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

Adult Obesity Rates Hold Steady but Remain High

(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) The latest annual report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) shows that adult obesity rates remained level in every state except for one, Arkansas. Thirteen states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent, 41 states have rates of at least 25 percent, and every state is above 20 percent, according to the report.
Key Findings
1.    Rates vary by region. Of the states with the 20 highest adult obesity rates, only Pennsylvania is not in the South or Midwest. For the first time in eight years, Mississippi no longer has the highest rate—Louisiana at 34.7 percent is the highest, followed closely by Mississippi at 34.6 percent. Colorado had the lowest rate at 20.5 percent.
2.    Rates vary by age. Obesity rates for Baby Boomers (45-to 64-year-olds)** have reached 40 percent in two states (Alabama and Louisiana) and are 30 percent or higher in 41 states. By comparison, obesity rates for seniors (65+ years old) exceed 30 percent in only one state (Louisiana). Obesity rates for young adults (18-to 25-year-olds) are below 28 percent in every state. 
3.    Rates by gender are now consistent. Ten years ago, there was nearly a 6 percentage point difference between rates for men and women (men: 27.5 percent, women: 33.4 percent), and now rates are nearly the same (men: 35.8 percent, women 35.5 percent). Men’s obesity rates have been climbing faster than women’s for this last decade.
4.    Rates vary by education. More than 35 percent of adults ages 26 and older who did not graduate high school are obese, compared with 21.3 percent of those who graduated from college or technical college.
5.    Rates vary by income. More than 31 percent of adults ages 18 and older who earn less than $25,000 per year were obese, compared with 25.4 percent of those who earn at least $50,000 per year.
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Is your extra weight killing you?

(USA Today) Are those extra pounds you're lugging around killing you? A new study is relaunching the debate about just how many people's deaths may be because of their obesity.
About one in five (18%) of deaths among white and African-American people in the USA, ages 40 to 85, are associated with people being overweight or obese, the latest research suggests.
Yet several national health experts think that may be an overestimate because of the methodology used for the analysis. Calculations from scientists with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that about 5% of deaths a year in the U.S. are because of obesity.
A third of Americans (36%) are obese, which is roughly 35 pounds over a healthy weight. Obesity puts people at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other diseases. 
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Why Childhood Obesity Drop May Herald a Change of Habit

(Katherine Tallmadge, M.A.,R.D., LiveScience) According to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, childhood obesity decreased in 19 states from 2008 through 2011. This modest decline is nothing short of miraculous, because America's overall food and physical-activity environment seems worse than ever.
The new reversal in the childhood obesity trend means families, parents, caretakers, teachers and schools are making huge efforts to overcome negative lifestyle influences.
Reversing obesity in American culture, where being overweight is the norm, takes effort — 2 out of 3 adults and 1 out of 3 children are overweight or obese. The problem of obesity is not an accident! Now it seems that adults are making better — harder — choices for their kids. Americans seem to be slowly internalizing the need for healthy eating and exercise, something I focused on in the Easy Solutions for Your Kids chapter of my book — there are tons of ideas that easily integrate into family life.
Just as smoking was once considered normal adult behavior, the nation is gradually realizing that mindful meals and physical activity must be made a societal norm. And that's great news for children, for their families and for the country — which spends billions of dollars annually on obesity and its related diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and others.
Community: Yes, we are changing our habits: “Four-in-10 U.S. adults say they pay attention to menu calories.” Change may be slow, but education and repetition work.
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It's Up to Us, Not Our Kids, to Change the Food Environment

(Yoni Freedhoff, MD, University of Ottawa) I was asked by [a radio] show's host, "If you, as a parent, teach your kid –  that's too much sugar, do you think that kids can make the right choices? Do you think that they can resist?" It was an important question as I think the question itself is reflective of the scope of this problem. Not that the interviewer was doing anything wrong by asking. Rather, the fact that the notion that 9-year-old children should or could be taught to defend themselves against a constant onslaught of junk food offerings didn't strike the interviewer as defeatist shows just how far society has to go to fix this.
Whether or not 9-year-old children can defend themselves isn't addressing the problem. Instead of wondering whether or not elementary school-age children can be taught to defend themselves against junk food's inappropriate and constant provision, what we should be questioning is why junk food has become society's constant child-minding crutch, and what means we might employ to change our awful new normal…
Maybe instead of teaching preschoolers about self-regulation, or encouraging 9-year-olds to take a stand and fight back against cabin parties with maca balls or saying "no," we should instead get to work on changing the world we've built our children – the world where treats are the answer to anything and everything child-related.
Community: It’s not just 9-year-olds who need relief from the sugar culture. But I’m proud to say that my sister in law, principal of a private school in my hometown, is trying to change the sugar culture there. She’s putting effort into being more creative about prizes and what to serve at meetings and get-togethers.
Here’s how our First Lady is helping: “Michelle Obama's new anti-obesity weapon: Hip-hop.”
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More Information and Recent Research on Obesity and Weight Loss

(UPI) More than 7-out-10 U.S. adults would rather keep their current debt, than gain 25 pounds and be completely debt free, a survey indicates. The survey of 2,021 U.S. adults for Credit Karma, a personal finance company, found weight trumped debt for many U.S. adults this summer.
(Art Markman, Ph.D., Psychology Today) There is a tendency to look at people who have put on weight and assume that there is something about their personality that made them gain weight. We rarely contemplate the opposite possibility, though. Perhaps behaviors that lead people to gain weight actually lead to changes in people’s personality over time.
(Faith Brynie, Ph.D., Psychology Today) [Researchers] have discovered that a particular lipid messenger in the gut, known as oleoylethanolamine (OEA), controls the brain’s perception of reward value when it comes to food. The researchers studied two groups of mice—one fed a high-fat diet and another fed a low-fat diet. They found that the high-fat group had unusually low levels of OEA in their intestines. Additionally, in response to fat, the brains of mice on high-fat diets didn’t release as much dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with reward, compared to mice on low-fat diets. Thus high-fat diets can disrupt communication between the gut and the brain.
An infusion of OEA into the mice that were fed high-fat diets seemed to restore the rodents’ dopamine-based reward response. It even led the mice to choose more low-fat foods when given the option. Based on these findings, the researchers suggest that OEA signaling in the gut may help limit the consumption of high-fat foods through its effects on the dopamine-based reward circuit in the brain.
(Scientific American) Your mother was right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day—especially if you're looking to lose weight. And the bigger the better, according to a new study… The study included 93 overweight or obese women. Half the women ate 700-calorie breakfasts, 500-calorie lunches and 200-calorie dinners. The other reversed it, with a 200-calorie breakfast, the same 500-calorie lunch and a 700-calorie dinner. After three months, those eating the jumbo breakfasts lost an average of 17.8 pounds and three inches from their waistlines—10 pounds and an inch-and-a-half more than the group having skimpy breakfasts and big dinners.
(Appetite for Health) Starting your day with a bowl of oatmeal is one of the best ways to improve your heart’s health, but it may also be a great way to start your day to help manage your hunger to help keep your calories in check, which may help you whittle your waistline.
(Sharecare.com) Got a belly bulge that won't budge? A pooch that won't vamoose? Are all the drop-5-pounds-fast tricks that used to work for you increasingly useless? Blame the shifting hormones and slowing metabolism that come with extra birthday candles. They have a way of rewriting the rules of weight loss after 40. Here's how to fix that: rising blood sugar… The fix: Cut the carbs and stop the madness… sleep problems… The fix: yoga… disappearing muscle… The fix: strength training.
More . . .


Chicken Kebabs with Creamy Pesto
Use the vegetables you have on hand with chunks of protein-rich chicken for a 20-minute family-friendly meal.
Feta, Corn & Chicken Salad with Smoky Tomato Dressing
This hearty chicken salad recipe is full of grilled sweet corn, scallions, salty feta, escarole, pine nuts and spicy chicken. Smoked paprika gives the tomato dressing a bacon-like flavor.
Whole-Wheat Penne with Egplant and Ricotta
Tossing hot whole-wheat pasta with ricotta cheese creates a quick creamy sauce that's rich in taste and low in fat. Top this dish with fresh parsley or basil, if you have some on hand.
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Red Potato Salad
Potato salad isn't just for picnics - this sophisticated version can be used as a side dish for even the fanciest meal…
Food as Medicine
An analysis by the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service found that the levels of phenolic compounds (which provide antioxidant protection and other health benefits) in red potatoes rivals the levels found in some vegetables that are traditionally regarded as nutrition powerhouses, including broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts.
Appetite for Health:
Low Carb Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Here’s an easy low carb Asian restaurant favorite to make. You’ll love the crunch of the lettuce, the slightly saltiness of the soy sauce and the ever so sweet richness of the hoisin sauce and ginger, in these tasty wraps.  This dish is great as a appetizer or light main course lunch or dinner.
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Coffee and Tea May Contribute to a Healthy Liver

(Science Daily) Surprise! Your morning cup of tea or coffee may be doing more than just perking you up before work.
An international team of researchers … suggest[s] that increased caffeine intake may reduce fatty liver in people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Worldwide, 70 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes and obesity have NAFLD, the major cause of fatty liver not due to excessive alcohol consumption. It is estimated that 30 percent of adults in the United States have this condition, and its prevalence is rising in Singapore. There are no effective treatments for NAFLD except diet and exercise.
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Those making $75,000 a year more likely to eat fast-food

(UPI) U.S. adults who earn $75,000 a year or more are more likely to eat fast-food at least weekly than those making less than $20,000, a survey indicates.
For those in the $75,000-and-above category, 51 percent said they hit a fast-food restaurant at least weekly, while only 39 percent of those earning under $20,000 a year do so, Gallup's annual consumption poll found.
The poll, conducted July 10-14, found 8-of-10 Americans reported eating at fast-food at least monthly, while only 4 percent said they never dine at fast-food restaurants.
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New Business Opportunities Identified in Rapidly Growing $38 Billion Medical and Functional Foods Markets

(Technology Catalysts International) To address the growing interest and identification of new business opportunities in the medical and modified functional foods markets, Technology Catalysts International (TCI) has launched a new Technology and Business Review titled "Medical Foods and Modified Functional Foods." This report focuses on new developments, market trends, and regulations of both the medical and modified functional foods markets. 
The medical foods market, estimated at approximately $12 billion, includes products that are designed to meet the specific nutritional requirements of a diseased population.  The modified functional foods market, estimated at $26 billion, includes food products that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition for the healthy general population…
As the modified functional foods market continues to grow spurred by an increasing consumer demand for healthier food products, functional ingredient and food companies are gearing up to produce products with health claims. Such health claims are monitored by government regulations to protect consumers from false advertising and misleading statements.  Market trends for the functional food market are based on consumers' interests for increasing health with a focus on brain health, eye health, gut health, weight loss, and joint health. 
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Will Massachusetts Be the First State to Scrap Food Waste?

(TakePart) Glancing at the headlines over the last year or so, one might get the sense that food waste is the new enemy No. 1 in the sustainable food world. New York City made a splash in the news in June for its ambitious proposal to require eight million city residents and numerous small businesses to separate their food scraps each week for composting.
But quietly, Massachusetts, the Empire State’s symbolic rival, may be the first state in the nation to achieve zero-waste status when it comes to discarded food. That distinction is certainly several years off, but the Commonwealth made an unprecedented step forward last month in proposing a plan that would require all businesses to recycle their food scraps into renewable energy.
And just last week, the City of Boston launched a three-month pilot program that will allow residents to drop off their unused food scraps at three farmers markets throughout the city to be “transformed into fertile soil for use in commercial and personal farming and gardening projects,” a press release announced.
“Residents have made it clear that they support a healthier, cleaner Boston that supports local agriculture, healthy food and waste reduction,” Mayor Thomas Menino said in a statement. “This pilot will show residents how separating food scraps from trash is better for the environment and our bottom-line.”
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Iams, Eukanaba dry pet foods recalled over salmonella fears

(NBC News) Nearly 30 different types of cat and dog food are being recalled by the Procter & Gamble Company because they could possibly be contaminated with Salmonella, the Food and Drug Administration said Thursday.
No human or pet has been reported sick, the FDA says, but says the company is recalling the dry food because it might be contaminated.
“Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products,” the FDA said in a statement…
The recalled lots – only a fraction of a percent of P&G’s annual production – include 11 types of Eukanaba dog food, 8 types of Iams dry dog food and 10 types of Iams cat food, all with best-by dates in November 2014.
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Why Are Industrial Chemicals in Food Not Safety Tested?

(Jennifer Sass, Natural Resources Defense Council) Processed foods, which so many Americans eat every day, typically contains industrial chemical additives to preserve, flavor, thicken or otherwise alter what people consume. Some of the chemicals are very familiar to me, because they are also industrial chemicals or pesticides that I review every day in my oversight of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulatory programs here at NRDC.
If you are shocked to learn that industrial chemicals are routinely in the food you are feeding to your family, you will be even more shocked to read about a study published this week…
After extensive research into what manufacturers add to our food, the researchers report that about 1,000 additives are in the food supply without the FDA's knowledge.
And, for those additives the FDA does actually know about, fewer than 38 percent of more than 8,000 FDA-regulated additives — including those manufacturers intentionally add directly to food and materials that may come into contact with and contaminate foods — have a published feeding study.
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Who Benefits from Vitamin D?

(Science Daily) Studying the expression of genes that are dependent on vitamin D makes it possible to identify individuals who will benefit from vitamin D supplementation, shows a University of Eastern Finland study…
The researchers concluded that persons whose expression of the CD14 and thrombomodulin genes was not altered as a result of vitamin D supplementation already had a sufficiently high serum vitamin D concentration or their utilization of vitamin D was disturbed, which calls for further study.
The researchers believe that studying the expression of vitamin D dependent genes in tissues is a novel way to identify individuals who might benefit from long-term vitamin D supplementation.
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Aspirin tied to smaller lung and colon cancer tumors

(Reuters Health) Colon and lung cancer patients who regularly took low-dose aspirin before their diagnosis tended to have less advanced tumors, in a new study.
Scientists already knew that aspirin was tied to a decreased risk of death for people with colon cancer, said senior author Yudi Pawitan.
"We showed evidence that it is also beneficial for lung cancer, and has both early and late protective effects," Pawitan, of the department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, told Reuters Health.
However, the finding doesn't mean everyone should be taking aspirin to ward off advanced cancer, researchers said.
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New Prostate Cancer Imaging Technology Shows Promise

(University of Rochester) A new imaging technology that combines ultrasound and laser technologies has been shown to be highly effective in identifying prostate cancer. The system, which was developed by University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) researchers, could also ultimately be deployed to detect and track breast, kidney, liver, skin and thyroid cancers…
The system uses nanosecond long bursts of light from a laser to bombard the target tissue. This heats the tissue and creates thermal waves that can be detected by ultrasound. These signals are then used to recreate an image of the target tissue and – because different wave lengths elicit different responses – observe variations in light absorption. To accomplish this, the researchers used an acoustic lens to focus the image, a method that is more cost effective than the alternative electronic focusing system.
The system enables researchers to track the level of lipids (fat), water, and forms of hemoglobin found in the blood, all of which respond to different wave lengths from the laser.
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New Implant No Longer Dangerous in MRI

(LiveScience) For patients suffering intense pain that isn't helped by the use of drugs or other treatments, a new device that can be surgically implanted near the spinal cord may offer relief.
Doctors have been implanting such spinal cord stimulators for years, but the new device has a unique feature — unlike most other metal devices, it can safely be used in an MRI machine, which means that people with the implant who need to also undergo MRI scans (which is not uncommon for patients with disabling pain) — can do so.
Last week, the first patient in the United States to have the device implanted since it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration underwent surgery at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
Read more.            
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Woman's Death from Rabies Highlights 'Missed Opportunity' in Public Health

(LiveScience) A South Carolina woman who died from rabies she contracted from bats in her home might have been saved if she had been told of rabies risks associated with bats, according to a new report of her case.
The 46-year-old woman, who died in December 2011, was the first person to die from rabies in South Carolina in more than 50 years, according to the report published today (Aug. 15) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). She had sought information from a local county animal control service on having bats removed from her home, but was not advised of the rabies risks associated with bats.
"Lack of referral to guidance concerning health risks associated with bats living in the home was possibly a missed opportunity to prevent rabies infection," CDC researchers wrote in the report.
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Health Insurance Options and the New Marketplace

(USA.gov Team, via email) Visit USA.gov's Health Insurance page to learn about the new Health Insurance Marketplace and other types of health coverage.
Starting October 1, 2013, you can fill out an application for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace. You'll be able to compare your options side-by-side and enroll in a plan that fits your budget and meets your needs. Coverage takes effect as early as January 1, 2014.
·         A brief overview on health insurance and the Affordable Care Act.
·         Key dates for enrollment and coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
·         Publications to help you prepare for enrollment through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
·         Information about Medicaid, Medicare, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and COBRA.

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Mediterranean Diet May Protect Against Type 2 Diabetes

(Science Daily) New research shows that a Mediterranean-style diet and diets low in available carbohydrates can offer protection against type 2 diabetes…
To assess dietary habits, all participants completed a questionnaire, and the researchers constructed a 10-point Mediterranean diet score (MDS) and a similar scale to measure the available carbohydrate (or glycaemic load [GL]) of the diet.
People with an MDS of over 6 were 12% less likely to develop diabetes than those with the lowest MDS of 3 or under. Patients with the highest available carbohydrate in their diet were 21% more likely to develop diabetes than those with the lowest. A high MDS combined with low available carbohydrate reduced the chances of developing diabetes by 20% as compared with a diet low in MDS and high in GL.
The authors say: "The role of the Mediterranean diet in weight control is still controversial, and in most studies from Mediterranean countries the adherence to the Mediterranean diet was unrelated to overweight. This suggests that the protection of the Mediterranean diet against diabetes is not through weight control, but through several dietary characteristics of the Mediterranean diet. However, this issue is difficult to address in cohort studies because of the lack of information on weight changes during follow-up that are rarely recorded."
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Beating Blindness With Vegetable Oil

(Science Daily) Findings [of a new study] suggest that incubating retinal cells with vegetable oils induces biochemical and biophysical changes in the cell membrane, which may have a beneficial effect in preventing or slowing the development of retinopathy.
"Membrane fluidity, which refers to the viscosity of the lipid bi-layer of a cell membrane, is a marker of the cell function," explained Prof. A. Khalil, professor at the Université de Sherbrooke and principal investigator of the study. "A decrease of membrane fluidity can affect the rotation and diffusion of proteins and other bio-molecules within the membrane, thereby affecting the functions of these molecules. Whereas, an increase in membrane fluidity makes for a more flexible membrane and facilitates the transmission of light through the eye."
The researchers discovered that vegetable oil fatty acids incorporate in retina cells and increase the plasma membrane fluidity. They concluded that a diet low in trans-unsaturated fats and rich in omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil may reduce the risk of retinopathy. In addition, the research suggests that replacing the neutral oil used in eye drops with oil that possesses valuable biological properties for the eye could also contribute to the prevention of retina diseases.
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Fish oil is safe and effective in reversing liver disease in some

(UPI) Fish oil is safe and effective in reversing liver disease in children with intestinal failure who require intravenous nutrition, U.S. researchers say…
The study … showed children receiving fish oil had a much higher rate of reversal of liver disease than those who received the standard soybean oil. In fact, after 17 weeks of fish oil, nearly 80 percent of patients experienced a reversal of their liver disease while only 5 percent of the soybean patients experienced a reversal, the study said.
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk Falls as Omega-3 Intake Rises

(MedPage Today) A diet rich in fatty fish appeared to protect against rheumatoid arthritis in women, results of a large cohort study showed.
Regular consumption of a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids was associated with 35% lower odds of RA over the short term, increasing to more than a 50% risk reduction with long-term intake of the fatty acids, found in abundance in salmon and other fatty fish…
"The study indicates a potentially important role for dietary long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the etiology of RA, and that adherence to existing dietary guidelines regarding fish consumption may also be beneficial in terms of RA risk," the authors concluded.
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Celery, Artichoke Flavonoids Kill Pancreatic Cancer Cells

(Science Daily) Celery, artichokes, and herbs, especially Mexican oregano, all contain apigenin and luteolin, flavonoids that kill human pancreatic cancer cells in the lab by inhibiting an important enzyme, according to two new University of Illinois studies.
"Apigenin alone induced cell death in two aggressive human pancreatic cancer cell lines. But we received the best results when we pre-treated cancer cells with apigenin for 24 hours, then applied the chemotherapeutic drug gemcitabine for 36 hours," said Elvira de Mejia, a U of I professor of food chemistry and food toxicology.
The trick seemed to be using the flavonoids as a pre-treatment instead of applying them and the chemotherapeutic drug simultaneously, said Jodee Johnson, a doctoral student in de Mejia's lab who has since graduated. "Even though the topic is still controversial, our study indicated that taking antioxidant supplements on the same day as chemotherapeutic drugs may negate the effect of those drugs," she said…
And prevention of this frightening disease is another story. "If you eat a lot of fruits and vegetables throughout your life, you'll have chronic exposure to these bioactive flavonoids, which would certainly help to reduce the risk of cancer," [Dr. de Mejia] noted.
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More Reasons to Eat Celery

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Celery is a vegetable that people seem to either love or hate - if you are in the latter group, you are missing out! A biennial plant, celery is in the same family as carrots, dill and fennel. Why should you add it to your meals? Celery: 
1.    Is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, and its active compounds, pthalides, may help lower blood pressure.
2.    Has long been associated with dieting due to its low calorie count.
3.    Is rich in potassium and sodium - important in regulating fluid balance and stimulating urine production.
4.    Lends itself to soups, stews and stir-fries as well as salads or spread with natural peanut butter.
When choosing, always seek out organically grown celery, as pesticides are commonly used on conventionally grown varieties.
Community: I eat a stalk of celery most days, with some hummus, as an appetizer before eating my lunch salad. I don’t buy organic celery, but I wash it very thoroughly. One benefit Dr. Weil doesn’t mention is celery’s reputation as an aphrodisiac. Sharecare lists some other foods that can boost men’s love life. Why do it? Here’s one reason: “Study: People who have sex four or more times a week make more money.”
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Cooking Light:
5-Ingredient Summer Recipes
Requiring only five fresh ingredients and a handful of pantry staples, these delectable summer dishes aren't far from your table.
Roasted Shrimp and Broccoli
Put dinner on the table fast by simply roasting shrimp and broccoli together for a quick, flavorful meal.
Grilled Salmon with Tomatoes & Basil
This recipe is so beautiful and yet so simple to prepare—it’s perfect for entertaining. You just spread a side of salmon with minced garlic, sprinkle with fresh basil, then layer sliced tomatoes on top. Put it on the grill for 10 minutes and you’re done!
Must-Have Mustard Dishes
Mustard is not only a healthy, flavor-enhancing condiment that's a natural on sandwiches and burgers, it's fantastic to use in cooking, too. Give your dishes some extra kick by adding a little champagne mustard, white wine mustard, Dijon mustard, or spicy brown mustard. You may also want to try powdered mustard, which is simply finely ground mustard seed.
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Super-Vegetables that Cost Less than $2

(Deborah Enos, CN, LiveScience) Not all vegetables are expensive, but they're also not created equal. For example, iceberg lettuce is inexpensive, but it contains less protein, fiber, calcium, folate and vitamin K per calorie than its pricier counterpart, romaine. If you look at the lettuces in terms of penny per nutrient, instead of penny per calorie, romaine is the clear winner.
And speaking of nutritional winners, a study … reported two clear winners in the overall cost-per-nutrient category: potatoes and beans (beans are classified as a vegetable by the USDA).
Researchers used a combination of nutrient profiling methods and national average pricing to create an affordability index, which was used to examine the nutrients in 98 individual vegetables as well as five subgroups. The fact that potatoes come out on top is surprising to some, but potatoes are extremely rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin C and magnesium. And, they're cheap too!
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Those who drink 4 cups of coffee a day have higher death risk

(UPI) Men and women age 55 and younger who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had a 50 percent increased mortality risk from all causes, U.S. researchers say…
"Significantly, the results did not demonstrate any association between coffee consumption and all-cause mortality among older men and women," said senior investigator Steven H. Blair of the University of South Carolina. "It is also important to note that none of the doses of coffee in either men or women whether younger or older had any significant effects on cardiovascular mortality."
Community: But there are some significant benefits to drinking coffee, though this study tells us it’s best not to overdo it.
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Suit claims Campbell's soup misleads with 'Heart-Check Mark'

(ABA Journal) A class action lawsuit claims some of Campbell’s Healthy Request soups don’t live up to the American Heart Association’s nutritional guidelines, though they carry the AHA’s "Heart-Check Mark."
The soups contained more sodium than recommended by the AHA’s noncommercial nutritional guidelines, according to the federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Camden, N.J. Instead, the soups satisfy lower standards set by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the suit…
The complaint alleges the Heart-Check Mark is “unfair, deceptive and misleading.”
Campbell Soup Co. and the AHA are both defendants in the suit.
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The Healthiest Food Trucks in America

(Greatist) Eating street meat straight out of a roach coach — not exactly the most glamorous outpost for people looking for a quick bite. But lucky us, street vendors are hitting the road and glamming up fast food. We rounded up 26 of the best food trucks across the U.S. with meals on wheels that take a healthy, innovative, sustainable, and gourmet approach to standard street fare.
Good Humor trucks may have been at the forefront of mobile treats, but now gourmet sandwiches, smoothies and salads are taking over.
Here’s where to find the best of the best.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Are those earbuds killing your hearing? Take this test

(USA Today) [Wednesday] the good folks at AsapSCIENCE posted a feature on YouTube called "How Old Are Your Ears?"
The piece explains how, as we age, we lose our ability to hear higher frequencies. If you watch with headphones (and the video set to 1080p) you can compare your hearing with the average for your age.
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Human Eye Movements Adaptable, May Help with Vision Loss

(Science Daily) When something gets in the way of our ability to see, we quickly pick up a new way to look, in much the same way that we would learn to ride a bike, according to a new study…
Our eyes are constantly on the move, darting this way and that four to five times per second. Now researchers have found that the precise manner of those eye movements can change within a matter of hours. This discovery by researchers from the University of Southern California might suggest a way to help those with macular degeneration better cope with vision loss.
"The system that controls how the eyes move is far more malleable than the literature has suggested," says Bosco Tjan of the University of Southern California. "We showed that people with normal vision can quickly adjust to a temporary occlusion of their foveal vision by adapting a consistent point in their peripheral vision as their new point of gaze."
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Adding a Drug Helps Overactive Bladder

(MedPage Today) Combining anti-muscarinic agents can help manage the symptoms of overactive bladder in older patients who have not responded to high doses of a single agent, researchers reported.
In a phase II, double-blind trial, patients given two agents saw the average number of daily incontinence events fall and the average bladder capacity increase, according to Kirill Kosilov, MD, and colleagues…
About 30% of patients reported side effects, but only three stopped successful therapy because of them, Kosilov and colleagues reported.
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Pharma Ties Common on Guideline Panels

(MedPage Today) Three-quarters of the members on guideline panels that proposed changes in disease definitions and diagnostic criteria had ties to drug companies, a study found.
Furthermore, 12 of the 14 panel chairs had financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry, according to the research…
"Companies with financial relationships with the greatest proportion of panel members were marketing or developing drugs for the same conditions about which those members were making critical judgements," Ray Moynihan, of Bond University in Robina, Australia, and colleagues wrote.
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Affordable Care Act News

(Kaiser Health News) Hospitals, universities, Indian tribes, patient advocacy groups and local food banks were among organizations awarded $67 million in federal grants Thursday to help people sign up for coverage in new online health insurance marketplaces that open for enrollment Oct. 1. Planned Parenthood, the United Way and the National Urban League are some of the best known organizations among the 105 awarded "navigator" grants in 34 states that will rely on the federal government to operate all or part of their marketplaces.
(Consumer Reports) You can't start buying individual health insurance through your state's health insurance marketplace (or "exchange") until Oct. 1, 2013. That's the date set by the new health reform law, the Affordable Care Act. But scammers are trying to get consumers to sign up for bogus plans in advance of that date—and make off with their money, the Federal Trade Commission has warned.
(Kiplinger Personal Finance) As health care reform kicks into high gear, many Americans are asking: Will I qualify for a government subsidy to buy health insurance under the new health care law, and when do the changes kick in? Eligibility depends on your income, family size and the cost of coverage in your area. The biggest changes from the health care law take effect Jan. 1, 2014, when insurers will no longer be able to reject people for coverage or charge higher rates because of their health… You can run your numbers through the Kaiser Family Foundation's health insurance subsidy calculator.
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Report: Mass. Residents Paying More, Getting Less

(Kaiser Health News) If Massachusetts residents have the feeling they’re getting less coverage from their health insurance even though it’s costing more, there’s now evidence that they’re right.
A state report says Bay State premiums rose 9.7 percent between 2009 and 2011, while the value of that coverage shrank 5.1 percent…
[said Aron Boros, whose state agency, the Center for Health Information and Analysis, published the report] says there’s one particularly thorny issue in Massachusetts: Residents get most of their care at the most expensive hospitals, instead of going to the nearest community hospital for the basic stuff like mammograms, check-ups and routine surgery.
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Eating right, exercise may help reduce prostate cancer risk

(UC Los Angeles) Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have shown for the first time that men with prostate cancer who closely adhere to World Cancer Research Fund lifestyle recommendations have a significantly reduced risk of highly aggressive prostate tumors.
The nine WCRF recommendations suggest desirable ranges for body mass index and physical activity and provide guidelines for the consumption of foods of low caloric density, fruits and non-starchy vegetables, salt, legumes and unrefined grains, and red meat.
While the recommendations are intended to decrease individuals' overall risk of cancer and are also recommended for cancer survivors, the current study shows that adherence may also benefit men who have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer, said Lenore Arab.
Community: More information on the World Cancer Research Fund lifestyle recommendations can be found here. And the Nutrition Diva also has some advice.
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Baldness Drug May Protect Men from Prostate Cancer

(LiveScience) A drug used to treat an enlarged prostate and male-pattern baldness also seems to help prevent prostate cancer, a new long-term study suggests.
Researchers found that middle-age and older men who took finasteride (sold as Propecia and Proscar) daily for seven years reduced their risk of prostate cancer by about one-third compared with men who took a placebo.
"A 30 percent reduction in risk, with over 200,000 cases of prostate cancers per year, is a profound reduction in the number of cancers," said study researcher Dr. Ian Thompson, director of the Cancer Therapy and Research Center at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.
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