A community for people who want to remain as healthy as possible as we age.

Is stroke preventable?

(NIH Senior Health, via email) A stroke is serious, just like a heart attack, and stroke damage in the brain can affect the entire body. But a stroke is preventable. Learn about the risk factors for a stroke and see what steps you can take to prevent a stroke.
The information on Stroke was provided by NIHSeniorHealth and developed by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the risk of stroke.
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Clogged Heart Arteries Can Foreshadow Stroke

(Science Daily) Blockages in your heart arteries could mean you're more likely to have a stroke, even if you're considered low risk, according to research…
"This study demonstrates that stroke risk is tightly aligned with coronary atherosclerosis, showing the closely related nature of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease," said Dirk M. Hermann, M.D., the study's lead investigator… "This raises the need for intensified interdisciplinary efforts for providing adequate disease prevention and management strategies."
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the risk of stroke.
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Mediterranean Diet Helps Cut Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke

(Science Daily) Results of the PREDIMED study, aimed at assessing the efficacy of the Mediterranean diet in the primary prevention of cardiovascular diseases, … show that the Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or tree nuts reduces by 30 percent the risk of suffering a cardiovascular death, a myocardial infarction or a stroke…
According to the researchers, the results of PREDIMED study are relevant as they prove that a high-vegetable fat diet is healthier at a cardiovascular level than a low-fat diet. The authors state that the study has been controversial as it provides new data to reject the idea that it is necessary to reduce fats in order to improve cardiovascular health.
Hopefully, these results will provide new references to prevent cardiovascular diseases.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the risk of stroke.
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Water Cure for Stroke

(Discover Magazine) A simple drink of water laced with hydrogen gas might prevent some of the brain damage resulting from strokes, new research conducted in mice suggests…
The researchers are not sure why hydrogen helps, but it may react with and disable the toxic oxygen species. Although hydrogen gas has not been systematically tested in people, there are no signs that it is toxic, suggesting that it could be given as a preventive medicine against strokes, one of neurology’s long-held goals.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize the risk of stroke.
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More on Stroke Prevention and Treatment

(Huffington Post) Researchers from the University of Kansas Hospital and Medical Center found that yoga seems to improve symptoms and quality of life for people with atrial fibrillation… Atrial fibrillation occurs when the heart doesn't beat as it's supposed to -- potentially leading to symptoms of weakness, shortness of breath, confusion, chest pains and heart palpitations, according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition itself isn't usually fatal, but can lead to complications including stroke and heart failure.
(MedPage Today) Closing off the heart's left atrial appendage with a Watchman device to prevent stroke in atrial fibrillation improved quality of life, a PROTECT AF trial subanalysis showed. Closure with the Watchman was associated with improved physical quality of life modestly more often than warfarin (35% versus 30%...), David Holmes Jr., MD, … and colleagues found. Mental health showed a similar trend for improvement with the device compared with warfarin prophylaxis (33% versus 23%,…), they reported.
(UPI) Many believe marijuana use is relatively safe, but a study found its use may more than double stroke risk in young adults, a researcher in New Zealand says. The study provides the strongest evidence to date of an association between marijuana and stroke.
Community: And as we saw recently, middle-aged pot smokers are also at risk.
(MedPage Today) Low-dose aspirin might help ward off transient ischemic attacks, but it didn’t reduce overall incidence of stroke or improve outcomes following a stroke, an analysis of the Women’s Health Study showed. There was no significant difference in total stroke incidence between women randomized to 100 mg of aspirin every other day and those randomized to placebo.
(UPI) Unclear text messages, jumbled emails, garbled language -- a phenomenon known as dystextia -- may be a sign of stroke, a U.S. researcher says… Harvard University researchers recently wrote … about a case in which the garbled text messages of a 25-year-old pregnant woman were the first apparent signs that she had suffered an acute ischemic stroke. Her texts, which included such nonsensical phrases as "every where thinging days nighing" and "Some is where!" alerted her husband to the potential problem, the researchers said.
(Science Daily) From the moment a person starts to experience stroke symptoms, the clock starts ticking. Every minute that passes can make a difference in how well their brain, arms, legs, speech or thinking ability recover. Now, new national guidelines for stroke treatment … lay out a role for all types of hospitals in treating stroke emergencies, including community hospitals of the type involved in a recent [University of Michigan] led study of stroke care.
More . . .

Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Garlic Chicken Pizza
In about 20 minutes you can serve your family a garlicky-good, three-cheese and chicken pizza that's just as good as what you'd get at a pizza restaurant.
EatingWell:
Beef & Bean Enchiladas
These beef enchiladas, topped with a zesty green and red homemade sauce, are perfect for a party or a potluck. To cut calories and saturated fat we fill them with 90%-lean beef bulked up with chopped portobello mushrooms and beans. Although white-flour tortillas are traditional in San Antonio, we go for whole-wheat or corn tortillas to add a little fiber.
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In Season: 5 March Superfoods

(Huffington Post)  [H]ere are a few of our favorite pieces of produce you should be able to find during the month of March…
Collard Greens… [C]ollards are rich in potassium, fiber and vitamins A and C…
Scallions… An antioxidant found in the onion and garlic family seems to play a role in cancer prevention, Leo Galland, M.D., wrote…
Turnips… They're rich in potassium, fiber and vitamin C, and boast some antioxidant powers as well…
Radishes… They're rich in potassium, fiber and vitamin C, and boast some antioxidant powers as well…
Radishes… This spicy member of the cabbage family is rich in fiber, vitamin C, folate and potassium, and very low in calories…
Artichokes… These prickly-looking picks are packed with fiber, as well as the vitamins common in many green veggies, like C and K. They're also one of the top 10 most antioxidant-rich foods, according to the USDA.
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Commentary: Where is the science against genetically modified crops?

(Glenn Garvin, Miami Herald) If this column appeared under the headline, “Massive defeat for the anti-science forces,” you would naturally assume I’m talking about some kind of setback for conservative Republicans, right? And you would be completely wrong.
The losers in this case are the luddite shock troops of progressivism like Greenpeace. And the winners are the children of the Philippines, thousands of whom will not go blind or die because the anti-science wing of modern liberalism finally is getting some pushback.
The Filipino government has finally approved the planting of genetically modified rice that contains vitamin A. “Golden rice,” as the stuff is called, probably won’t make a splash in the United States, but in the Third World, it will be a godsend. Between a quarter-million and a half-million children go blind each year from vitamin A deficiency, the United Nations says, and half of them die within 12 months. Some studies put the figure even higher.
As many as 300 million of the people at high risk for vitamin A deficiency live in countries where the staple food is rice. For them, golden rice will provide a quick, easy and cheap fix: eating just two ounces a day will provide 60 percent of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin A.
Community: Well, we’ll have to see if there are adverse health effects. We just don’t know yet. There’s no reliable long-term science on either side, Mr. Garvin. Although you insulted those who dare ask any questions about these new products, are we allowed to ask whether you are a corporate shill? How much extra will the Filipino farmers have to pay for the seeds? And will they have to pay every year for seeds? And will they get sued if the special seeds simply blow onto their property?
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Food labels often missing potassium content

(Reuters Health) Most packaged food labels don't list the amount of potassium the foods contain, according to a new study by New York City health workers.
That's concerning, researchers said, both because many health-conscious people want to make sure they're getting plenty of potassium, and some others - including those with impaired kidneys - have to restrict how much of it they consume.
Among people without potassium-related diet restrictions, the mineral has been tied to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and death. The Institute of Medicine recommends most adults get 4.7 grams each day.
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Brain Pathway Triggering Impulsive Eating Identified

(Science Daily) New research from the University of Georgia has identified the neural pathways in an insect brain tied to eating for pleasure, a discovery that sheds light on mirror impulsive eating pathways in the human brain…
The research team … found that presenting fed fruit fly larvae with appetizing odors caused impulsive feeding of sugar-rich foods. The findings … suggest eating for pleasure is an ancient behavior and that fly larvae can be used in studying neurobiology and the evolution of olfactory reward-driven impulses.
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Bullies, Bodies, and the Body Politic

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) [Michael Moss'] exposé this week reveals that academic debate about whether or not food is addictive is at best a sideshow, and at worst a boondoggle. Large food companies know full well that food can be, in all the ways that matter, addictive -- and engage experts in everything from biochemistry and neuroscience to mathematical modeling to make it so. When they tell us "betcha' can't eat just one," they've done their homework, and know full well they can take it to the bank…
The food industry brings in serious muscle to bully us into eating too much of all the wrong things, while someone counts the cash. Any conversation about personal responsibility or public policy that fails to acknowledge this reality is either disingenuous, or uninformed…
[W]e are bullied, but not helpless. And if we pick natural foods, they preclude food industry mischief. It doesn't matter how clever a food scientist is -- she can't do much to adulterate that apple, or broccoli, or blueberries, or walnuts direct from nature. There are no harmful additives in true foods to which nothing has been added.
I would then presume to append my own version of pithy wisdom…: Taste buds are malleable little fellas. When they can't be with the foods they love, they pretty readily learn to love the food they're with…
You can, in essence, rehabilitate your taste buds.
And once you do, the food industry manipulations become easy to resist.
Community: Remember, “Cooking Real Food Is a Revolutionary Act.”
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Aspartame In Milk: Dairy Industry Seeks Approval To Drop Label For Artificial Sweeteners

(Huffington Post) Got diet milk? The dairy industry for the past three years has been hoping to sell you some under the guise of just plain "milk," so that chocolate and strawberry varieties that contain artificial sweeteners would no longer need to carry a special label.
Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledged a 2009 petition from the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation that seeks to drop the FDA requirement to label milk and other dairy products as "artificially sweetened" when they contain sweeteners such as aspartame.
The FDA asked the public to submit data, information and comments related to aspartame and other artificial sweeteners in milk last week.
Community: Probably nobody should be drinking strawberry or chocolate flavored milk, anyway.
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Cloud-Borne Bacteria May Affect Human Health and the Environment

(Science Daily) Recently scientists captured more than 2,100 species of microbes traversing the Pacific Ocean from Asia to North America on huge plumes of air in the upper troposphere—up to 12 miles above the surface of the earth. A good fraction of them were bacteria, which can mean trouble for human health. In Africa, in a region known as the meningitis belt, dust storms carry the bacterium Neisseria meningitides…, which infects around 200,000 people there annually.
Yet for most people in most places, the microbes in the air are totally harmless, says David Smith, a microbiologist at the nasa Kennedy Space Center and lead author on the work that found the 2,100 traveling microbes. “You don't need to be worried,” says Smith, whose findings were published online last December… “This has been happening naturally, always.”
Beyond health, microbes in the atmosphere might also be important for climate. “We're interested in whether they can contribute appreciably to the concentrations of cloud nuclei,” says Susannah Burrows, an atmospheric scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash. Bacteria can clump together, forming the seed around which clouds form and thus providing a key component of our atmosphere, she notes.
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The Patient Satisfaction Chasm

(Science Daily) Quality is a central component of any discussion around health care and one of the key dimensions and measurements of quality care is the patient experience. However, many healthcare organizations struggle to become 'patient focused' and fail to score well on patient satisfaction surveys. New research … offers a potential explanation -- insufficient support from hospital management to improve the patient experience by engaging physicians and nurses in the process…
"Organizations that are successful in fostering a culture of patient-centered care have incorporated it as a strategic investment priority by committed leadership, active measurement, feedback of patient satisfaction and engagement of patients and staff," said David Bates, MD, … senior author of the paper… " Ultimately, the patient experience is at the bedside."
Now that this chasm has been identified and defined, [the researchers] are working to address it. They created a framework for a patient experience culture and have begun to take the next steps to test and implement this structured patient satisfaction model.
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Emergency Room Patients Ask: How Much Will I Be Charged?

(Science Daily) Emergency departments play a critical role in health care, yet consumers typically know little about how medical charges are determined and often underestimate their financial responsibility -- then are shocked when the hospital bill arrives.
A new study led by UC San Francisco highlights the problem by identifying giant price swings in patient charges for the 10 most common outpatient conditions in emergency rooms across the country.
Out-of-pocket patient charges ranged from $4 to $24,110 for sprains and strains; from $15 to $17,797 for headache treatment; from $128 to $39,408 for kidney stone treatment; from $29 to $29,551 for intestinal infections; and from $50 to $73,002 for urinary tract infections.
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Shocked, Shocked, Over Hospital Bills

(Uwe E. Reinhardt, Princeton University) Capt. Louis Renault’s famous line in the movie “Casablanca” comes to mind as I behold the reaction to the journalist Steven Brill’s 36-page report “Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us,” published in a special issue of Time last week…
Americans are shocked, just shocked. But what they should have known for years is that in most states, hospitals are free to squeeze uninsured middle- and upper-middle-class patients for every penny of savings or assets they and their families may have. That’s despite the fact that the economic turf of these hospitals – for the most part so-called nonprofit hospitals – is often protected by state Certificate of Need laws that bestow on them monopolistic power by keeping new potential competitors at bay.
As George Bernard Shaw, whose works include “The Doctor’s Dilemma,” might have put it, that any lawmaker would grant hospitals monopolistic powers plus the freedom to price as they see fit is enough to make one despair of political humanity…
Why not make it illegal for hospitals to charge uninsured people more than X percent of what Medicare pays for a procedure? That maximum price would certainly cover the true incremental cost of serving uninsured middle-class people, with handsome contribution margins to overhead and, most probably, to profits as well.
Could this be done? Yes. It was done in 2008 by former Gov. Jon Corzine of New Jersey and the state Legislature, when they enacted Assembly Bill No. 2609. (Disclosure: I was chairman of Governor Corzine’s Commission on Rationalizing Health Care Resources, which produced a report in 2008.) The bill limits what New Jersey hospitals can charge uninsured New Jersey residents with gross incomes up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level: no more than 115 percent of the applicable payment under the federal Medicare program.
Community: Good idea, but unlikely to happen until we take the money out of politics. Only then can we take the profit out of health care.
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Drugstore chain Rite Aid expands online physician service to 58 stores in 4 cities

(AP)  Drugstore chain Rite Aid Corp. said Friday it has expanded an online doctor service for its customers that is limited to virtual visits but cheaper than a traditional primary care appointment.
THE DETAILS: Rite Aid’s NowClinic Online Care program is now available at 58 locations in four cities: Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Customers can consult with doctors by video or phone or through an online chat about a range of ailments. A 10-minute consultation costs $45.
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NIH Cuts Began Ahead of Sequester

(Wall Street Journal) The National Institutes of Health began reducing research-grant payments to scientists at universities and hospitals around the country over recent months, even before the across-the-board federal spending cuts took effect Friday.
NIH Director Francis S. Collins said spending will be cut by 5% at each of the NIH's 27 institutes and centers, including the National Cancer Institute; the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute, and the National Institute on Aging. "Everything will take a hit," he said.
NIH's own renowned hospital in Bethesda, Md., for example, expects to accept 9,945 new patients this year, down 14% from last year.
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Stressed? Do someone else (not yourself) a favor

(Women's Health) Stressed? Sure, you could relax with a bath, a massage, or a yoga session. Better yet: Give your guy a massage or drop a friend off at her yoga class. People who help others are less likely to die after stressful events, according to a study…
Research has shown that serious stressors--like losing a job or a loved one--can worsen your health and shorten your life. But among the 846 adults in this study, those who did good deeds for others were less likely to die in the five years that followed a major blow. On the other hand, people who didn't do much for others weren't as lucky: Every stressful event they experienced led to a 30 percent greater risk of death.
It's not just karma at work here. When you focus your attention on someone else's wellbeing, it actually reduces your own stress levels. As a result, that curbs the negative impact that stress can have on health, says lead study author Michael Poulin, Ph.D.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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Stress-Busting Smiles

(Wall Street Journal) Researchers are finding that wearing a smile brings certain benefits, like slowing down the heart and reducing stress. This may even happen when people aren't aware they are forming a smile, according to a recent study. The work follows research that established that the act of smiling can make you feel happier.
Some research suggests only a full and genuine smile affects the body in positive ways. Other studies, though, indicate even a polite smile may be beneficial. Frowning also may have a health effect: Preventing people from frowning, such as with the use of Botox, can help alleviate depression, a recent study found.
"You can influence mental health by what you do with your face, whether you smile more or frown less," says Eric Finzi, a dermatologic surgeon and co-author of the study on frowning.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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Stress 101: Eat Well, Sleep More and Move Around a Lot

(Jan Bruce, meQuilibrium) "Eat well, sleep more and move around a lot." That's what I say to people who are asking for the primer on how to take better care of themselves to manage stress…
Our days are filled with decisions: what to wear, which route to take to work, what to tackle first when we get there. Some choices hardly demand consideration. How often do you wrestle with forcing yourself to brush your teeth or put shoes on before leaving the house? Other actions, however, require more internal negotiation, and we have tricky ways of telling ourselves that we're avoiding something unpleasant or inconvenient or difficult for rational reasons. This is especially true with food, exercise and rest…
What we often think of as sensible arguments [against making the healthier choice] are in fact the product of a false view of the situation, often rooted in deep beliefs (called "iceberg beliefs") we have about how the world should be. If we could teach ourselves to stop and think more critically in these moments of decision, we'd have a fighting chance of preventing the stress that results from our bad choices about what to eat, whether (or not) to exercise and how to rest.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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Reduce stress with these foods

(Chicago Tribune) In the March 2013 print edition, Women's Health gives nutrition food tips to eliminate stress…
Dark chocolate: Lowers blood pressure
Papaya: Good for skin, eyes, heart and immune system
Rosemary: Stimulates circulation, anti-irritant and memory booster
Flaxseed: Soothes monthly mood swings, helps prevent overeating
Oranges: Antioxidant helps people recover from stress
Celery: Lowers the concentration of stress hormones in the blood
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
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More Recent Tips and Research on Stress

(Scientific American) Stressful events early in a person's life, such as neglect or abuse, can have psychological impacts into adulthood. New research shows that these effects may persist in their children and even their grandchildren.
(Bangor Daily News) When people stop working, everything about their weekday schedule changes. Their lives may move more slowly and be more relaxed. Losing work-related stress may come as a huge relief — and be good for your health. But losing your everyday movement and social interaction can also harm your health… To stay healthy after retirement, experts advise people to schedule activities outside the house.
(Science Daily) For chronic pain sufferers, such as people who develop back pain after a car accident, avoiding the harmful effects of stress may be key to managing their condition. This is particularly important for people with a smaller-than-average hippocampus, as these individuals seem to be particularly vulnerable to stress. These are the findings of a study by Dr. Pierre Rainville, PhD.
(Science Daily) Before examinations and in critical situations, we need to be particularly receptive and capable of learning. However, acute exam stress and stage fright causes learning blockades and reduced memory function. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich have now discovered a mechanism responsible for these cognitive deficits, which functions independently of stress hormones. In animal studies, the researchers show that social stress reduces the volume of Homer-1 in the hippocampus -- a region of the brain that plays a central role in learning.
(Science Daily) The perennial stress-buster -- a deep breath -- could become stress-detector, claims a team of researchers from the UK. According to a new pilot study … there are six markers in the breath that could be candidates for use as indicators of stress.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Maple-Mustard Chicken Thighs
Speed up prep by marinating only 30 minutes. Serve with cabbage-carrot slaw.
EatingWell:
Breadcrumb-Crusted Cod
It’s great to have a quick baked fish recipe for healthy fast dinners. This breadcrumb-crusted cod fits the bill. A creamy spread of Greek yogurt and tarragon keeps the cod moist and flavorful and helps keep the crispy breadcrumb topping in place.
The Supermarket Guru:
Black Bean and Pork Chili
Ground pork used in this spicy delicious chili, but if you'd rather use ground beef, am up the spices a tad and you'll have everyone clamoring for refills. Serve in deep bowls and offer grated cheddar, sour cream, chopped red onions or chopped green scallions for toppings.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Potatoes with Kale
Kale, once just a garnish in restaurants, is enjoying a renaissance, and with good reason - it's tasty, highly nutritious and lovely when sautéed just until the leaves turn bright green…
Food as Medicine
Kale is among the most nutrient-dense foods in common use, and is an especially rich source of vitamins K, A and C.
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Dietitian: U.S. eating less processed food

(UPI) Recent trends indicate U.S. adults are shopping for less processed foods for more healthy eating and food companies are responding, a dietitian says.
Susan Rodder of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center's Preventive Cardiology Program in Dallas said most people know a heart-healthy diet includes olive or canola oil rather than butter, less animal protein and processed food, and more fish, beans, whole grains and vegetables.
Food companies, in turn, are reducing the number of added ingredients, minimizing trans fats, adding more whole grain and reducing sodium content.
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How Big Food Corporations Watered Down Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move’ Campaign

(ThinkProgress) On Wednesday, First Lady Michelle Obama launched her third “Let’s Move!” tour to combat childhood obesity. Before she kicked off the tour in Mississippi, Illinois, and Missouri, Mrs. Obama appeared on “Good Morning America” to praise her campaign’s success in changing children’s eating and exercise habits…
Besides school lunch reform, however, “Let’s Move” has deliberately veered away from pushing actual legislation, instead focusing on personal responsibility in nutrition and fitness…
This avoidance of policy change may have something to do with the food lobby’s influence in Obama’s White House. According to a Reuters analysis, 50 food and beverage groups have spent more than $175 million in lobbying since Obama took office, dwarfing the $83 million spent in the last 3 years of the Bush administration.
The new MyPlate Recipe Partnership suggests that even in the post-election season, “Let’s Move” will still emphasize personal habits. It doesn’t seem likely that the campaign will attempt to rein in Big Food through regulation anytime soon. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Wednesday, the First Lady congratulated “great American companies” like Walmart, Disney, and Walgreens for “stepping up to invest in building a healthier future for our kids.”
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Mass. Weighs Governor’s Plan To Tax Candy And Soda

(Kaiser Health News) In Massachusetts, candy and soda are considered food and are exempt from the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. But Gov. Deval Patrick wants to change that. He’s proposing that the legislature tax every bag of M&M’s and bottle of Pepsi bought in the state.
“Half of the people in the commonwealth are overweight or obese,” says Massachusetts Public Health Commissioner Dr. Lauren Smith. “A third of our kids are overweight or obese. Those are pretty daunting statistics, so the idea of adjusting the price of things that we know are associated with [obesity] makes sense.”
Smith says taxing candy and soda would raise about $53 million a year for general state spending.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Grape Seed-and-Skin Extract: A Weapon in the Fight Against Kidney Disease Caused by High-Fat Diets

(Science Daily) Grape seed and skin extract (GSSE) is known to contain powerful antioxidants. [A new] study … is the first to make a link between GSSEs and high-fat-diet-induced renal disease…
Rats were fed a high-fat diet that induced a low-grade reno-lipotoxicity, that is, kidney damage associated with lipids. This was characterized by elevations in plasma urea and protein in the urine. The researchers found increased deposits of triglycerides (TG) (especially saturated fatty acids), increased signs of oxidative stress and depleted copper levels in the kidneys. There was also histological evidence of disturbance in the kidney structure.
When the animals received GSSE at 500 mg/kg bw (which corresponds to 35g/day for a 70 kg human adult) along with the high-fat diet there was a partial reversal of the TG deposition as well as the histological damage.
The authors suggest polyphenols including resveratrol are likely the components in GSSE responsible for the positive effects. Furthermore the GSSE prevented the oxidative stress and copper depletion.
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Machine Similar to Dialysis Removes Cholesterol from Blood

(Science Daily) Some patients are genetically prone to such dangerously high levels of cholesterol that no amount of diet, exercise and medications can reduce their cholesterol to safe levels.
So Loyola University Medical Center is offering a treatment called LDL apheresis, which is similar to kidney dialysis. Once every two weeks, a patient spends two to four hours connected to an apheresis unit that removes 70-to-80 percent of the patient's LDL (bad) cholesterol, then returns the blood to the body. The good HDL cholesterol is not removed…
The Loyola LDL Apheresis Program is intended for patients who have been unable to control cholesterol with lifestyle changes and medications. 
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Higher cancer risk after Fukushima nuclear disaster: WHO

(Reuters) People in the area worst affected by Japan's Fukushima nuclear accident two years ago have a slightly higher risk of developing certain cancers, the World Health Organization said on Thursday…
"A breakdown of data, based on age, gender and proximity to the plant, does show a higher cancer risk for those located in the most contaminated parts," Dr. Maria Neira, WHO director for public health and environment, said of the Fukushima report.
The United Nations agency said for the general population in Japan the predicted health risks were low. But it was not able to say how many people were exposed in the area where the highest amount of radioactive material was released.
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Prevailing Winds Protected Most Residents from Fukushima Fallout

(Scientific American) Japan dodged a bullet thanks to the weather. The pattern of prevailing winds during the accident meant that most of the radioactive materials released from the plant were blown out to sea. The results therefore say little about the health risks of any future nuclear accidents.
"Had the winds been less favorable, the consequences could have been more serious than Chernobyl," says Keith Baverstock, a radiobiologist at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio.
Community: But where did it all go? Will we have irradiated seafood for the next billion years?
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Health care for 30 million more Americans will boost nation's prosperity

(McClatchy) The Affordable Care Act will create a healthier population less burdened by excessive medical bills and the fear of economic ruin from getting sick.
That increased physical and financial security for consumers will translate into a healthier business environment for health providers, insurers, suppliers and the rest of our national economy.
The rapid escalation in health-care costs in the past and the burden that places on individuals has traditionally been a drag on economic growth. The ACA aims to lift that burden in several ways.
Community: Can’t have a boost to the economy when Democrats are in power, so Republicans are doing their best to negate the effects of the ACA.
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Looming federal spending cuts will hit hospitals where it hurts

(McClatchy) Hospitals across the country will face significant job losses, service reductions and other belt-tightening measures when President Barack Obama signs the order Friday implementing a series of automatic budget cuts…
More than 4,200 hospitals that are among the largest employers in their communities would lose nearly $3 billion under the Medicare cuts this year, according to an analysis by iVantage Health Analytics, a Maine health care research firm.
That could trigger the loss of 73,000 hospital jobs nationwide and tip the operating margins of nearly 100 hospitals from positive to negative, the company estimates.
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Sequester spin: The threat to free meals for seniors

(Washington Post) “Federally assisted programs like Meals on Wheels would be able to serve 4 million fewer meals to seniors.”
— White House fact sheet on the impact of sequestration
If you address the tax expenditure issue, we’ll limit the amount of deductions people can take, you will have a fairer tax system, and you will not have to then take food out of the mouths of seniors on Meals on Wheels and all of the other community-oriented initiatives that we as Americans take pride in.
— House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Feb. 28, 2013
Google “meals on wheels” and “sequester,” and you’ll see that this has been one of the White House’s most successful pitches to reporters about the dangers of the automatic spending cuts that take effect Friday.
Community: It ain’t spin if you’re the one about to lose your meals.
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Medicare Paid $5.1 Billion for Inadequate Nursing Homes

(Bloomberg) Medicare paid $5.1 billion to nursing homes in 2009 that failed to meet quality-of-care requirements, U.S. government investigators said.
Reviewers found examples of poor quality of care, including services related to wound and medication management, the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general said in a report [Thursday]. The analysis builds on a separate report last year that showed Medicare paid $1.5 billion more to nursing homes than they were owed in 2009 because the facilities erroneously billed a quarter of their claims.
“These findings raise concerns about what Medicare is paying for,” Daniel Levinson, the inspector general, said in his report.
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Sitting Less Trims Diabetes Risk

(MedPage Today) Just getting out of the chair and moving a little may help ward off type 2 diabetes among individuals at risk even more than engaging in strenuous physical activity, British researchers found.
After adjustment for potential confounders such as body mass index (BMI), time spent sedentary was significantly correlated with negative metabolic factors including 2-hour glucose level…, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol …, and triglycerides…, according to Joseph Henson, PhD, of the University of Leicester, and colleagues.
Time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity also was associated with those metabolic factors and with BMI and waist circumference, but after adjustment for sedentary time, the association with glucose, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides was no longer significant, the researchers reported…
This weaker association with moderate-to-vigorous activity suggested that individuals at risk for diabetes should be "encouraged to simply sit less and move more, regardless of the intensity level," they wrote.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize diabetes.
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Just one can of fizzy drink a day increases the risk of diabetes

(Daily Mail) Drinking just one can of fizzy drink a day could increase the risk of developing life-threatening Type 2 diabetes.
Scientists have found that sugar-based calories, such as those found in fizzy drinks, are much more likely to cause the condition than the same number of calories from any other source.
For every additional 150 calories of sugar available per person per day, the prevalence of diabetes in the population rose by one per cent.
In contrast, an additional 150 calories of any type caused only a 0.1 per cent increase in the population's diabetes rate, the researchers … found.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize diabetes.
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