Help Protect You & Loved Ones From Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity & More


Condensed from US by Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

Despite declining smoking rates among adults, 15 percent of American adults (36.5 million) were cigarette smokers in 2015. Of those, more than 22 million said they’d like to quit, according to the FDA. However, though more than 55 percent of adult smokers tried to quit in 2015, the agency said that only about 7 percent were successful.

To help encourage adult smokers to quit, the FDA is launching a new public education campaign called “Every Try Counts.” It will target smokers aged 25 to 54 who’ve tried to quit smoking in the past year but haven’t been successful.

To learn more about the new anti-smoking campaign, go to the Every Try Counts website.

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Condensed from article in Health Day by Serena Gordon

Fulfilling this years resolutions does not have to be as difficult as it’s been in preceding years. Believe it or not, small steps can make a big difference.

Here are eight ways to get started:

Break it down. Changing your lifestyle to shed weight can seem overwhelming. “Look at it one plate at a time, or even one choice at a time, but start right now, and by this time next month, you’ll see good changes,” advises nutritionist Samantha Heller, from NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City.”If you lose 5 percent of your body weight, you can significantly decrease your risk of many diseases…”

Pace yourself. Nutritionist Maudene Nelson, from Columbia University Health in New York City, and Ms. Heller both feel that very low-calorie diets don’t work in the long term because the body goes into starvation mode. “You don’t want to lose weight too quickly, because it scares the body into thinking there’s no food available,” Heller said.

Segment your plate. Half of your plate should be vegetables, one quarter is protein and one quarter is starch. If you finish your plate, and you’re still hungry, she said be sure to refill your plate in the same way. “Don’t just refill on the mac n’ cheese,” Nelson advised. In the morning, you can substitute fruit for the veggies.

Identify trouble times. Kids clamoring, worked late, you’re tired — you don’t feel like cooking. Don’t get into the fast food trap. Make sure you always have healthy snacks in the refrigerator and ingredients for a quick meal. Your family will understand. After all, you’ll all be learning to make changes to become healthier.

Add protein. Protein helps keep your blood sugar levels from spiking and then crashing. Without at least a little protein in your meal (especially breakfast), you’ll be hungry soon after eating because of a fast rise and fall in your blood sugar.

Track it. Both Heller and Nelson said one of the most important things you can do for losing weight is write in a journal or food tracker to keep track of the food you eat.

“You can use your food tracker to see what happened when you did well, or on days you didn’t. If you over-eat one night, you can look back and see that maybe you skipped lunch and were starving. You can use it as a learning tool for the next time,” Heller said.

Don’t drink your calories. Both experts said people often get empty calories from soda and juice. “It’s just not worth it to drink your calories,” Nelson said. What about adult beverages, such as wine and beer? Nelson said those can be considered part of the plate method. Each drink replaces a starch from your plate.

Plan a reward. It doesn’t have to be something expensive, it just should make you feel that you’ve accomplished something in small steps.

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Condensed from an article by Sandee LaMotte, CNN

Researchers followed the food habits of 42,000 Swedish men over 12 years and found that men who drank at least two sweetened beverages a day had a 23% higher risk of going into heart failure.

“People who regularly consume sweetened beverages should consider limiting their consumption to reduce their risk of heart failure,” said Dr. Susanna Larsson co-author of the Stockholm Karolinska Institute study

The risk for heart failure is mostly associated with coronary artery disease, uncontrolled high blood pressure, or a prior heart attack that damaged heart tissue. But heart defects present at birth, such as abnormal heart valves, can make the disease occur at any age. READ MORE

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Condensed from an article by Andrew Griffin in The Independent

Head and neck cancer is predicted to overtake cervical cancer in the USA by 2020. 

Men who have oral sex with multiple partners are at a much higher risk of developing head and neck cancer, according to a new study. Those who smoke and have oral sex with five or more partners are the most likely to develop the cancer triggered by exposure to the human papilloma virus, known as HPV, according to new research published in the journal Annals of Oncology.

Doctors hope that proof of the increased risk caused by the two behaviours (smoking and oral sex) will help identify the people who are more at risk of developing head and neck cancer. READ MORE

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While shoveling isn’t dangerous for many people, certain people are at higher risk. The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that both men and women should check with a doctor first if they don’t get regular exercise, have a medical condition or are middle-aged or older.

If you must shovel, know the symptoms of a heart attack

Here’s some tips from the Heart Association for safer shoveling:

  • Take frequent rest breaks.
  • Use a small shovel.
  • Don’t eat a big meal or drink alcohol before or soon after shoveling.
  • Be alert for signs of hypothermia, a dangerous drop in body temperature. Symptoms include shivering; slow, shallow breathing; confusion; loss of coordination; exhaustion; and a slow, weak pulse.

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34563855 - closeup of ingredients list of granola health bar with forms of sugar highlighted

A Granola Bar

Condensed from U.S. News by Dennis Thompson

Because of hidden sugars, research suggests that “people think they’re starting out having a healthy breakfast, but they may be setting themselves up to be hungry all day, and eat too much over the course of a day,” Naomi Mandel, a professor of marketing at Arizona State University said. Be careful when you reach for foods labeled “healthy” –  they may have hidden high levels of sugar and you may snack more later.

Research shows that it’s easier to exercise some self-control over sugar-driven hunger, if you are given fair warning through product packaging. So read those labels

Mandel said she’s particularly concerned about the impact from breakfast foods like cereal, yogurt or instant oatmeal, which are marketed as healthy but often contain loads of sugar. Read more

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Condensed from an article by Dennis Thompson in the Philly Enquirer

Mindfulness has become a billion-dollar industry. Countless practitioners and more than 1,500 smartphone apps promise to help people become calm and focused despite the turbulence surrounding them. It is touted as a cure-all for many modern ills, from stress and pain to depression.

In a new paper, Willoughby Britton, director of Brown University’s clinical and affective neuroscience laboratory. and 14 other experts say it’s time to replace the hype with serious scientific rigor.

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Condensed from an article by Alexandra Sifferlin for Time Health

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections in the U.S. It’s so common that federal experts say that nearly every sexually active man or woman will be infected with at least one strain at some point in their lives and one of the riskiest strains of HPV known to cause cancer, HPV 16, was six times more common among men than women.

“There was this perception that HPV was a disease among women, and that needs to change,” says study author Ashish Deshmukh, an assistant professor in the department of health services research, management and policy at the University of Florida.

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