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

European Guidelines Offer Recipe for Ripe Old Age

(MedPage Today) If you want to live to be 100 years old, the best advice is follow guidelines from major cardiology groups: Eat the right stuff, exercise, and avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol, researchers reported…
In a study of 118 centenarians in Spain, Manuel Martinez-Selles D'Oliviera-Soares, MD, … reported that most of the individuals considered their health status as very good -- with 45% rating their health status at least an 8 on a 10-point scale. "Most of the centenarians that we studied were physically active during their lifetime and continued to exercise after they were 65 years of age," Martinez-Selles said in a press conference at the annual congress of the European Society of Cardiology.
"Their use of tobacco and alcohol was very, very low," he said. "These centenarians appear to follow the advice in the European Society of Cardiology lifestyle guidelines."…
Eva Swahn, MD , professor of cardiology at the University of Linkoping, Sweden, told MedPage Today, "The 100-year-olds are the survivors. They are the ones who have good genes, and they have lived a very good life with a healthy lifestyle. So if you want to be 100 years old, choose your parents carefully, but if you can't choose your parents at least live as healthy as you can."
Swahn said that examples of individuals who are overweight and use tobacco into their 90s -- such as the late British Prime Minister Winston Churchill who died at age 90 -- "are true outliers. Forget about them as examples."
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Top Antiaging Foods from Around the World

(Mehmet C. Oz, MD, and Michael F. Roizen, MD) Take a look at what the longest-lived people in the world are eating (if you know us, this list will look familiar, but with a few twists). Then, put their anti-aging favorites on your own table.
Costa Rica: Beans for Breakfast
Residents of Costa Rica's Nicoya Peninsula are four times more likely than most North Americans to live past age 90. One reason may be dishes like gallo pinto, a tasty mix of black beans and rice flavored with onion, red peppers, garlic, olive oil, cilantro, and a salsa lizano -- a condiment a little like Worcestershire sauce…
Nova Scotia: Wild Blueberry "Grunt"
Some of Nova Scotia's picturesque villages are home to Canada's highest percentages of centenarians… One reason may be polyphenol-packed wild blueberries produced by the millions of tons on this island… Use 'em to make a traditional "grunt"-- lightly cooked blueberries (skip the sweetener that's usually in the recipe; the berries are sweet enough!) served over a biscuit (but please, make it whole grain, or skip the biscuit altogether)…
France: Wine
Moderate drinking (1 glass for women, up to 2 for men) with a meal a day seems to explain some of the "French Paradox"-- low rates of heart disease despite a penchant for artery-clogging goodies like cheese. It may help explain why the French tie the Italians (another nation with a healthy love of wine) as Western Europe's longest-living people…
Greece: Lots of Veggies, Little Meat
On some Greek islands, one-third of the residents have already celebrated their 90th birthdays. Their longevity secret? The famed Mediterranean diet
Japan: Tofu
[O]n the Japanese island of Okinawa, [eating tofu] may be why residents age gracefully to 100+ more often than anywhere else on earth. Researchers credit this mild-tasting soy curd's low fat content and high levels of good-for-you saponins and isoflavones…
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Eat Nuts to Live Longer

(Sharecare.com) By now you probably know that nuts are nutritional powerhouses that help keep weight, blood sugar and cholesterol in check. But research shows the ultimate benefit: Regularly eating nuts -- including pistachios, walnuts and even peanuts -- may help you live longer.
A study published last month … looked at nut consumption and total mortality among more than 100,000 people over more than two decades. The findings were significant: People who ate nuts seven or more times a week had a 20% lower death rate than those who didn’t eat nuts.
And that’s not all. When researchers looked at specific causes of death, they found that regular nut-eaters were less likely to die of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease than those who did not eat nuts.
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Older adults who volunteer are happier, healthier

(Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care) Older adults who stay active by volunteering are getting more out of it than just an altruistic feeling – they are receiving a health boost!
A new study … is the first to take a broad-brush look at all the available peer-reviewed evidence regarding the psychosocial health benefits of formal volunteering for older adults…
Among the key findings:
·         Volunteering is associated with reductions in symptoms of depression, better overall health, fewer functional limitations, and greater longevity.
·         Health benefits may depend on a moderate level of volunteering. There appears to be a tipping point after which greater benefits no longer accrue. The "sweet spot" appears to be at about 100 annual hours, or 2-3 hours per week.
·         More vulnerable seniors (i.e. those with chronic health conditions) may benefit the most from volunteering.
·         Feeling appreciated or needed as a volunteer appears to amplify the relationship between volunteering and psychosocial wellbeing.
"Taken together, these results suggest that volunteering is associated with health improvements and increased physical activity – changes that one would expect to offer protection against a variety of health conditions," said Dr. [Nicole] Anderson. Indeed, a moderate amount of volunteering has been shown to be related to less hypertension and fewer hip fractures among seniors who volunteer compared to their matched non-volunteering peers.
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More Information and Recent Research on Aging

(Lauren Kessler, Counterclockwise) [P]eople who are kind to themselves suffer less stress and anxiety, which translates into less cortisol circulating in their system. Cortisol (the “stress hormone”) increases blood sugar, suppresses the immune system, decreases bone formation and is implicated in systemic inflammation. All bad. People who are stressed and anxious also have higher blood pressure and faster heart rates. Not good. Self-kindness is an anti-aging strategy! Take this self-compassion test online, and see how you do.
(Shots, NPR) An eye exam may be the ticket to a longer life, researchers say, because good vision is essential for being able to shop, manage money and live independently. And maintaining independence in turn leads to a longer life.
(Washington Post) Falls are a significant danger as we age. They cause serious injuries that can limit mobility, diminish quality of life and increase risk of premature death. They also are eminently preventable.
(Reuters Health) Half of the 20 most commonly prescribed medications taken by older adults may raise the risk of falls, according to new research. Painkillers and antidepressants were most strongly tied to a greater likelihood of being injured in a fall, the study of 64,000 Swedes over age 65 found. Severe injuries were significantly more common with 11 out of the 20 medications studied.
(Washington Post) Seniors pose a special challenge for yoga instructors, because of their very mix of abilities and condition: Some 80-year-olds are still running marathons, and some 70-year-olds are unable to get up out of a chair.
(Mayo Clinic) Fluzone High-Dose is an injected flu vaccine formulated for people age 65 years and older. Like other flu vaccines, Fluzone High-Dose is made up of the three flu strains most likely to cause the flu during the upcoming season. The high-dose vaccine, however, contains four times as much flu virus antigen — the part of the vaccine that stimulates the immune system — as regular Fluzone and other standard flu vaccines.
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Recipes

MyRecipes.com:
Sausage-Spinach Rice Bowl
This quick and easy sausage and spinach rice bowl recipe is a one-dish meal that can be ready in 10 minutes flat.
EatingWell:
Macaroni with Sausage & Ricotta
A bit of sausage goes a long way in flavoring the creamy ricotta tomato sauce in this healthy and quick pasta recipe. While this recipe calls for macaroni, you can make this dish with any type of tubular pasta. It’s just the thing to satisfy your craving for comfort food in a hurry.
Mayo Clinic:
Cooking Light:
Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Traditional tabbouleh is made with bulgur wheat. Quinoa, a native grain of the high Andes, is higher in protein than bulgur wheat, gluten-free, and quinoa is easy to cook. The red variety is particularly attractive in this vegetable-and-herb-packed salad. This makes a satisfying main course for lunch.
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Food as Medicine

(Andrew Weil, M.D.) Considered a "super food," quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a relative of beets, spinach and Swiss chard, but its seeds resemble couscous and are prepared and eaten in much the same way… Quinoa is: 1. High in magnesium - magnesium helps relax blood vessels… 2. A good source of manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous, vitamin B2 and other essential minerals 3. The richest source of protein of any grain… Gluten-free and easy to digest.
(Science Daily) Older women who eat foods with higher amounts of potassium may be at lower risk of stroke and death than women who consume less potassium-rich foods. The health benefits from potassium-rich foods are greater among older women who do not have high blood pressure. Most older American women do not eat the recommended amounts of potassium from foods.
(Consumer Reports) 5 good reasons to eat in the morning: 1. It may protect your heart… 2. It might lower your risk of type 2 diabetes… 3. It gets you moving… 4. It might give you a mental edge… 5. It just might keep your weight down.
(Sharecare.com) Heard claims that eating fruits and vegetables offer only weak protection against cancer? Those claims are false. Six servings a day can lower your risk by 11%. In this video, Michael Roizen, MD, explains why you should keep produce on the menu.
(Sharecare.com) When it comes to a cholesterol-smart diet, "fat is not a bad word," say Marc Gillinov, MD, and Steven Nissen, MD, authors of Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You'll Ever Need (Three Rivers Press) [please do not buy the book from Amazon]. "The idea that fat is bad for your heart is simply incorrect." What matters is the type of fat that's on your plate. Good fat -- unsaturated fat -- can help lower your total cholesterol and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels and boost your HDL ("good") cholesterol.
(The Supermarket Guru) From polyphenols to lycopene there are a lot of antioxidants to know about. Here are two antioxidants you’ve probably never heard of that you need to know. Syringic acid found is pears, swiss chard, sage, nutmeg, walnuts, black olives and more. It’s best known for its blood sugar regulating properties… Kaempferol [is] found in kale, swiss chard, leeks, broccoli, strawberries and more. It’s best known for protecting cells against cancer-causing toxins, lowering inflammation and may also reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. Researchers also believe it helps lower blood sugar as well as, strengthening bones.
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Slightly fewer U.S. households lacking enough food: USDA

(Reuters) The percentage of Americans regarded as "food insecure" - lacking access to enough food for a healthy life - has edged down in the past few years but still represents over 17 million households, the U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday.
About 14.3 percent of households were termed food insecure in 2013, down from 14.9 percent in 2011.
Rates of food insecurity were substantially higher than the national average in households with incomes near or below the poverty line, those headed by single women or single men, and those headed by blacks and Hispanics, USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) said in an annual report.
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More Food News

(LiveScience) Taxing all packaged foods and using the revenue to subsidize healthy, fresh food could save lives and reduce health care costs, experts say.
(Appetite for Health) In celebration of fall, we’ve put together our list of six super foods of autumn that will also help to slim down. We’ve included foods with a high fiber and/or water content that will keep you full for longer, helping you to reduce cravings. Apples… Pumpkin… Pomegranates… Dates… Butternut Squash… Oats.
(Consumer Reports) Follow these tips to get a healthier start to your day. 1. Front-load your calories… 2. Think protein… 3. Time it right… 4. Pump up your cereal… 5. Choose yogurt carefully… 6. Don’t be afraid of eggs… 7. Go easy on the fruit juice.
(Sharecare.com) Adding about half a cup of chickpeas to your daily diet can cut cravings for salty, sugary and fatty snacks. In this video, Robin Miller, MD, reveals what makes chickpeas such a craving stopper.
(Consumer Reports) Greek yogurt may be all the rage, but regular yogurt has its advantages: It tends to be higher in calcium and lower in calories, plus it costs less. We rated eight plain regular yogurts and 10 vanilla ones for nutrition and taste.
(Andrew Weil, M.D.) The health benefits of beans are numerous: they are an excellent source of protein and fiber, are high in folic acid, and are a low-glycemic-index food… The easiest (and healthiest) route? Buy canned beans. Canned kidney and pinto beans are two of the most antioxidant-rich foods you can eat, as the heat of the canning process enhances the availability of nutrients in the beans. Choose low- or no-sodium versions of canned beans when possible. I recommend one to two servings of beans and legumes per day - easy to do if you swap out meat for beans in salads and sandwiches, and make hummus or bean dip part of an afternoon snack.
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Quick Takes

(The Atlantic) An experimental program is using "barbershop intervention" to bring health education to African American men.
(Reuters) A wireless microphone in the shape of a pen, made by Switzerland's Sonova, can help people with hearing loss understand speech better than those with normal hearing at certain noise levels, a study has shown. As the population ages, the hearing aid industry has become fiercely competitive as manufacturers rush to launch devices packed with newer technologies that will increase the appeal of wearing one.
(AP) The Food and Drug Administration says there is little evidence that testosterone-boosting drugs taken by millions of American men are beneficial, though the agency is also unconvinced by studies suggesting the hormone carries serious risks.
(Reuters) The U.N. racism watchdog urged the United States on Friday to halt the excessive use of force by police after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman touched off riots in Ferguson, Missouri. Minorities, particularly African Americans, are victims of disparities, the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) said after examining the U.S. record.
(Reuters) A bill allowing family members to ask a judge to order firearms removed from people likely to commit gun violence was sent to California Governor Jerry Brown on Friday for signing into law. The bill, one of several gun control measures up for votes in the last week of the state's legislative session, was introduced after police near Santa Barbara said they were unable to confiscate weapons from a man who later went on a rampage and killed six people, despite concern from his family that he was in poor mental health and might become violent.
(Science Daily) Alcohol industry magazine ads reminding consumers to “drink responsibly” or “enjoy in moderation” fail to convey basic public health information, according to a new study. Federal regulations do not require "responsibility" statements in alcohol advertising, and while the alcohol industry's voluntary codes for marketing and promotion emphasize responsibility, they provide no definition for "responsible drinking."
(BBC News) Three-quarters of cancer patients who are clinically depressed do not get the psychological therapy they need, according to research in the Lancet. This "huge unmet need" is partly due to a focus on physical symptoms at the expense of good mental healthcare, researchers say. They argue depression is often overlooked but could be treated at a fraction of the cost of cancer drugs.
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The Latest from The People’s Pharmacy

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Man tied to deadly 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak arrested

(Reuters) U.S. officials on Thursday arrested a pharmacist linked to a 2012 outbreak of meningitis that killed 64 people across the United States as he was boarding a flight to Hong Kong, Justice Department officials said.
Glenn Adam Chin, 46, had been a supervising pharmacist at the now-defunct New England Compounding Center of Framingham, Massachusetts. It produced tainted steroids that sickened 700 people in 20 states in the worst outbreak of fungal meningitis recorded in the United States, officials said.
Chin has been charged with mail fraud in connection with shipping 17,000 tainted vials, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston. The contaminated vials were sent to more than 76 facilities in 23 states. The steroid, methylprednisolone acetate, typically was injected into patients to ease back pain.
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Infectious Disease News

(Reuters) The United Nations said $600 million in supplies would be needed to fight West Africa's Ebola outbreak, as the death toll from the worst ever epidemic of the virus topped 1,900 and Guinea warned it had penetrated a new part of the country.
(UPI) The World Health Organization said budget cuts slowed its ability to respond to global outbreaks of diseases like the Ebola virus.
(Reuters) A U.S. health missionary infected with the Ebola virus entered on Friday morning the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for treatment after being flown in from West Africa, a spokeswoman for the medical center said. Dr. Rick Sacra, a 51-year-old Boston physician, is the third U.S. missionary infected with the deadly virus.
(ABC News)The first two doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine have been injected into human subjects in the National Institutes of Health’s fast-tracked clinical trial… The trial will test the safety of the vaccine, which was developed by GlaxoSmithKline and the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It was expedited by the burgeoning Ebola outbreak in West Africa, where more than 1,900 people have died from the infection, according to the World Health Organization. The vaccine, which is designed to prevent Ebola, is different from the experimental drug ZMapp, which is designed to treat the infection.
(AP) As West Africa struggles to contain the biggest ever outbreak of Ebola, some experts say an unusual but simple treatment might help: the blood of survivors. The evidence is mixed for using infection-fighting antibodies from survivors' blood for Ebola, but without any licensed drugs or vaccines for the deadly disease, some say it's worth a shot.
(Reuters) Canada's experimental Ebola vaccine was stuck in the government lab that developed it as officials puzzled over how to safely transport it, three weeks after it was offered to Africa to fight the deadly epidemic… "We are now working with the WHO to address complex regulatory, logistical and ethical issues so that the vaccine can be safely and ethically deployed as rapidly as possible," said Health Canada spokesman Sean Upton said in a statement.
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Interesting Stuff from Discover Magazine

The rocks won’t move if there’s too much water or ice, too much sun, or not enough wind. Everything must act in perfect harmony for the races to ensue. So, in addition to their “sailing stones” moniker, we suggest a new name for these fascinating boulders: the Goldilocks Rocks.
(Bryan Roche, National University of Ireland) Those who hang dearly onto the notion that IQ is fixed for life have managed to ignore decades of published research in the field of applied behavior analysis. This has reported very large IQ gains in children with autism who have been exposed to early intensive behavioral interventions once they have been diagnosed with learning difficulties… So it’s about time we reconsidered our ideas about the nature of intelligence as a trait that cannot be changed. Undoubtedly, there may be some limits to the development of our intellectual skills. But in the short term, the socially responsible thing to do is not to feel bound by those limits, but to help every child work towards and even exceed them.
There are strong signs that one of Iceland’s largest volcanoes could be about to erupt, raising fears of an ash cloud which could ground international flights. Alarms were raised last week, when an earthquake swarm struck beneath Bardarbunga — Iceland’s second-tallest volcano, situated in the center of the island nation.
In a lab at North Carolina State University, researchers have created moths that are a blend of wires and tissue. The eventual plan: to control a cyborg moth army. The biobots could be used to map ecosystems, spot survivors in search and rescue missions, or to carry out spy missions.
Though people have been counting … rings in shells – called increments – since at least Leonardo da Vinci’s time, isotopic analysis, electron microscopes and other innovations have given the field a shot in the arm in recent years, propelling it toward answering ever bigger climate questions. A key study [paleoclimatologist Al] Wanamaker and colleagues published in 2012 showed it could be done: His team reconstructed over a millennium of climate change based on clam shells collected off Iceland’s northern coast.
(Seriously Science) It seems … that flatus can cause infection if the emitter is naked, but not if he or she is clothed. But the results of the experiment should not be considered alarming, because neither type of bacterium is harmful. In fact, they’re similar to the ‘friendly’ bacteria found in yoghurt. Our final conclusion? Don’t fart naked near food. All right, it’s not rocket science. But then again, maybe it is?
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Medical Technology News

(Science Daily) Researchers have demonstrated an acoustofluidic pump powered by a piezoelectric transducer about the size of a quarter. This reliable, inexpensive, programmable pump is a crucial feature for lab-on-a-chip devices that could make the diagnosis of many global life-threatening diseases easy and affordable.
(Science 2.0) The most commonly used clinical sign of withdrawal is tremors, especially in the hands and arms. Judging tremor severity is harder than it sounds; it requires considerable medical expertise, and even experienced doctors' estimates can vary widely… [Researchers have] developed the world's first app to measure tremor strength, providing objective guidance to direct treatment decisions. The app also shows promise in making solid predictions about whether the tremor is real or fake.
(Reuters) A Boston Scientific device that stimulates the vagus nerve – a superhighway connecting the brain to the rest of the body - failed to help patients with heart failure in a mid-stage clinical trial. Vagus nerve stimulation (VNS), which involves delivering mild electrical pulses to the nerve in the neck, is already used to treat epilepsy and depression - and researchers have been looking to expand its use to other conditions.
(Reuters) A nerve stimulation device from Cyberonics improved cardiac function in heart failure patients in a small clinical trial, in contrast to an unsuccessful study backed by Boston Scientific. However, the Cyberonics trial … did not contain a control arm - unlike the one using the Boston device in which some patients received sham treatment - and experts said further research was now needed.
(MedPage Today) A telestroke program in rural Bavaria cut door-to-needle times by half and the lag between symptom onset and first treatment by 20%, researchers said.
(Science Daily) The US has experienced widespread adoption of robot-assisted prostate removal surgery to treat prostate cancer in recent years, a new study reveals. The study also found that while such surgeries are more expensive than traditional surgeries, their costs are decreasing over time.
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Medical Research News

(Science Daily) Organoids derived from human prostate cancer tumors can be grown in the laboratory, giving researchers an exciting new tool to test cancer drugs and personalize cancer treatment, research demonstrates for the first time.
(Science Daily) A strategy to prevent one of the most serious complications of hemophilia treatment is underway at an American university. The approach, which uses plant cells to teach the immune system to tolerate rather than attack the clotting factor protein, offers hope for preventing one of the most serious complications of hemophilia treatment.
(Science Daily) Researchers are making progress towards new antimalarial drugs, after revealing how an antibiotic called emetine blocks the molecular machinery that produces the proteins required for malaria parasite survival.
(Science Daily) The cause of the involuntary muscle contractions which patients with severe spinal cord injuries frequently suffer has been discovered through a study on rats. The findings, in the long run, can pave the way for new treatment methods.
(Politico) A research network funded with millions by the Affordable Care Act will begin conducting vast studies next year to compare standard medical treatments. But what about the 100 million patients in the network — do they have a choice in the matter? Will researchers get permission from each of those patients? And if patients are told about the studies, what, exactly, will they be told? These questions have bioethicists, scientists and health care officials debating how to bring the question of patient informed consent into the 21st century.
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Some Americans take risks with needed drugs due to high costs

(Consumer Reports) Americans take a lot of medicine. More than 4 in 10 (44 percent) regularly take a prescription drug. And among those, people take an average 4.5 medicines—and an eyebrow-raising 16 percent take 7 or more. That's according to our 2013 Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs Prescription Drug Tracking Poll of 1,136 U.S. adults.
But the high costs of those medicines, our poll found, too often can lead to risky behaviors and force families to choose between the medications they need and paying other bills.
More than half (57 percent) of those we spoke with reported taking steps in the last year—some of them potentially dangerous—to curb high medication costs.
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Health Insurance News

(Los Angeles Times) Kaiser Health News The report released Wednesday suggests that changes underway in medical care and insurance coverage may help rein in America’s notoriously high-cost system, even as millions of Americans gain insurance through the federal healthcare law. But the slowing still may not make healthcare affordable, as medical spending is projected to outpace economic growth over the next decade, the report says.
(Reuters) Health insurance premiums for low-cost Obamacare plans in 16 U.S. cities will fall slightly in 2015 as competition helps drives down price for the new subsidized individual health plans, according to a study Friday from the Kaiser Family Foundation… If the trend holds across the country, the study said, the lower benchmark premium could mean that the government subsidies are less overall and there are more tax savings.
(Kaiser Health News) Consumers may soon find a surprise in their mailbox: a notice that their health plan is being cancelled. Last year, many consumers who thought their health plans would be cancelled because they didn’t meet the standards of the health law got a reprieve. Following stinging criticism for appearing to renege on a promise that people who liked their existing plans could keep them, President Barack Obama backed off plans to require all individual and small group plans that had not been in place before the health law to meet new standards starting in 2014.
(AP) Borrowing a Republican idea, a group including former senior Obama and Clinton advisers is unveiling a novel proposal to let states take the lead in controlling health costs. Individual states would set their own targets to curb the growth of health care spending. If they succeed, they’d pocket a share of federal Medicare and Medicaid savings, ranging from tens of millions to $1 billion or more, depending on the state.
Community: Actually, the Affordable Care Act is full of Republican ideas. A saner approach, if Democrats had any gumption, would have been single payer—Medicare for all.
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Diets work, but brands don't make much difference, study finds

(Los Angeles Times) Which diet is the best for you? Whichever one you can stick with, according to a new meta-analysis of 48 different trials involving nearly 7,300 overweight and obese adults. 
The findings … show that there’s relatively little difference in the effectiveness of various low-fat or low-carb diets, including the branded ones, from Atkins to Zone. “Our findings should be reassuring to clinicians and the public that there is no need for a one-size-fits-all approach to dieting because many different diets appear to offer considerable weight loss benefits,” the study authors wrote…
Low-carbohydrate diets edged out the low-fat diets (echoing an Annals of Internal Medicine study released Monday)…
Among individual, brand-name diets, the weight loss differences “were minimal,” the study authors wrote…
This supports the practice of recommending any diet that a patient will adhere to in order to lose weight,” the study authors wrote. In other words: Pick the one that’s easiest to stick with over the long haul.
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Diet Research, Stuck in the Stone Age

(David Katz, M.D., Yale Prevention Research Center) The current diet study  making headlines  purportedly asked, and answered this question: Which is better for weight loss and improving cardiac risk, a low-fat or a low-carb diet? For starters, that is a truly lousy question, resurrected from something like the Stone Age…
Why prehistoric? Because it is long known and well established that dietary fats  run the gamut from good to bad to ugly. No good diet should willfully exclude the monounsaturated fats and omega-3s in nuts and seeds and avocados. I'm pretty sure everybody not stuck under a boulder knows that…
The concept of low-carb is also terribly outdated, and was silly when it was first spawned. Everything from lentils to lollipops  is carbohydrate. Why on earth would anyone want to treat such a vast expanse of the food supply as if it were just one thing? Sillier still, all plant food is a carbohydrate source. A truly "low-carb" diet is, of necessity, low in all plant foods -- including vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils along with whole grains. This is directly at odds with everything we know about diet and health across the lifespan…
I am an advocate, based on the evidence , of wholesome foods in sensible combinations. That dietary pattern can be low or high in fat, relatively lower or higher in carbohydrate. The theme is pretty universal, but the variant on the theme that best suits you and your family is really up to you, and frankly -- that's the beauty of it. All of us can hope to love the food that loves us back .
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Shed Weight this Fall

(Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, Appetite for Health) [I]f you’ve found that … your weight has been steadily creeping up this summer, here are 5 tips to help you get back on track toward your weight goal:
1) Assess the damage… Knowing where you are today is the first step toward acknowledging and remedying the problem.
2) Don’t Beat Yourself Up… Use this temporary set back instead to start a food journal…  It will help keep you accountable… to yourself.
3) Buddy Up.  Speaking of accountability… start building a support network.  Avoid those who overtly or covertly undermine your weight loss efforts (you know who they are!) and forge connections with friends or family members who genuinely support your healthy weight goals…
4) Get Thee to a Grocery…  Healthy eating starts at home, by preparing and serving healthy meals in moderate portions…
5) If you feel you are solidly “in a rut” seek professional help… If you cannot figure out on your own why you aren’t losing weight, meet with a registered dietitian or MD specializing in weight management.
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5 Ways to Jump-Start Your Weight Loss

(SouthBeachDiet.com) The upcoming fall season is the perfect opportunity to make a commitment to better health. Whether you're about to begin another college semester, start a new job, or better yet, embark on an entirely new, healthy lifestyle, take this time to set goals, get organized, create a new workout routine, and identify areas of your life that you would like to improve. Follow these tips to help you get on track with your weight-loss goals.
Eliminate Cravings
You can tackle pesky cravings by removing foods made with refined white flour and white sugar, from your diet...permanently. Instead, choose vegetables, beans and other legumes, and whole fruits and whole grains…
Make Movement a Must
Want to see faster weight loss results? The solution is easy: Regular exercise! Schedule at least 20 minutes of either cardiovascular or core-strengthening exercise on most days of the week…
Identify Bad Habits and Change Them
Lack of sleep and too much stress can be real diet busters…
Seek Support and Inspiration
[S]eek out the support and encouragement of your family and friends. Let them know that you’re trying to stick to a healthy diet and exercise regimen and ask them to help you make good decisions…
Reward Yourself!
Success comes in many forms and can be measured in different ways. Whether it’s the way you feel, how your clothes fit, or the number on the scale, the most important thing is that you celebrate your successes — no matter how big or small. 
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More Weight Loss Tips

(Appetite for Health) The three worst diet-destroying habits for your waistline include drinking alcohol, not getting enough sleep and watching TV, according to new research.
(Sharecare.com) Turns out you don't have to completely overhaul your life in order to fit into your jeans better. Researchers have pinpointed two simple strategies that could help you get a smaller waist. Part 1: Just walk an extra 500 steps every day. Part 2: Trim a mere 100 calories from one meal each day (that's roughly equivalent to eating one less tablespoon of butter, drinking three fewer sips of soda, or leaving three or four bites at a meal).
(Amir Khan, U.S. News & World Report) Have you ever tried to lose weight, only to fall off your diet? If staying on your diet could net you some extra cash, would you be more likely to stick to your goal? Thanks to websites like DietBetFatBet and HealthyWage, you can bet on yourself to lose weight – hit your target and you win cash, or miss it and pay up.
(Science Daily) A spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids decreases hedonic hunger with up to 95 percent -- and increases weight loss with 43 percent, research concludes.
(Appetite for Health) Carrying extra fat around your middle is harmful to your health… Here’s what you can do now to help melt away your muffin top. Reduce Calories and Focus on High-Intensity Exercise… Eat Minimal Amounts of Added Sugars… Limit Saturated Fats and Trans Fats and Up your Unsaturated Fats… Enjoy Low-Fat Greek Yogurt.
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More Information and Recent Research on Obesity and Weight Loss

(Science Daily) A possible molecular explanation for why overweight is harmful has been discovered by researchers. They suggest that overeating increases the immune response. This increased immune response causes the body to generate excessive inflammation, which may lead to a number of chronic diseases. This new knowledge may provide new drugs for heart attack, stroke, cancer and chronic intestinal inflammation.
(Science World Report) A team of researchers has found that people with abdominal fat are at an increased risk of developing hypertension… "Generally speaking, visceral fat stores correlate with the 'apple shape' as opposed to the 'pear shape,' so having centrally located fat when you look in the mirror tends to correlate with higher levels of fat inside the abdomen," said senior author Aslan T. Turer, M.D., M.H.S., a cardiologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
(Science Daily) Investing in dog owner education and facilities as a strategy to target physical inactivity and problems such as obesity in both people and their pets.
(Science Daily) A team of researchers call for the implementation of taxes and subsidies to improve dietary quality in the United States. Over time, the size of the tax could be on a sliding scale depending on nutritional quality, a tactic the authors hope would prompt restaurants and food manufacturers to produce healthier products.
(Scientific American) Women who had reported feeling stressed or depressed in the day before eating a calorie-packed meal burned 104 fewer calories during the seven hours following the meal than women who felt more mellow.
Community: There are many practical things we can do to reduce stress.
(Reuters Health) Watching high-energy TV programs might make watching calories harder, a new study suggests.
(Science Daily) Being subjected to abuse during childhood entails a markedly increased risk of developing obesity as an adult. This is the conclusion of a meta-analysis carried out on previous studies, which included a total of 112,000 participants.
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