Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cancer Doctors Cite Risks of Drinking Alcohol

The American Society of Clinical Oncology, which represents many of the nation’s top cancer doctors, is calling attention to the ties between alcohol and cancer. In a statement published Tuesday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the group cites evidence that even light drinking can slightly raise a woman’s risk of breast cancer and increase a common type of esophageal cancer.

Heavy drinkers face much higher risks of mouth and throat cancer, cancer of the voice box, liver cancer and, to a lesser extent, colorectal cancers, the group cautions.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Lifestyle changes for diabetes: bad or better?

OCTOBER 28, 2017 4:54 PM

Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Video of an ‘Angel’ Nurse Sings for Dying Patient

OCTOBER 27, 2017 8:43 AM
But before that, Neufelder wanted to share a few more minutes — and the calming power of music — with her old friend.

“There was almost a sense of peace knowing that it was her favorite song and she did tell me it’s the song she wants played at her funeral,” Neufelder told NewsChannel 5. “She didn’t feel like a patient at that time. I wanted her to know that she was loved even if her family wasn’t able to be there.”

To Your Health: A shocking overdose video exposed her addiction — and may have saved her life

Erika Hurt was found unconscious last fall in her car. (Hope, Ind., Police Department)

Erika Hurt had become the face of drug addiction.
The young mother was captured in a photograph by police, passed out in the driver's seat of her car outside a Dollar General store in Hope, Ind. — an empty syringe still resting between the 25-year-old addict's fingers. The snapshot captured yet another horrifying moment in the worsening U.S. opioid epidemic.
What was not seen that Saturday afternoon last October was her 10-month-old son, buckled into his car seat in the back.
When Hurt first saw the photo, she was embarrassed.
“I was angry and I wanted to blame the police for putting my business out there and showing the world my private addiction and everything like that,” she told NBC News, a year after the image went viral.

HIV-Positive Italian Valentino Talluto Jailed for Infecting 30 Women

Valentino Talluto, an Italian HIV-positive man accused of infecting through unprotected sex about 30 women, looks on during his trial on October 25, 2017 in the courtroom of the Rebibbia prison
Valentino Talluto was arrested in November 2015
An Italian man has been jailed for 24 years after intentionally infecting 30 women with HIV.
Valentino Talluto is said to have had unprotected sex with at least 53 women after his HIV diagnosis in 2006, the youngest of whom was 14 at the relationship's start.
The accountant, using the pseudonym "Hearty Style", went on social networks and dating sites to find his victims.
On Friday, judges sentenced the 33-year-old to 24 years in prison.
Talluto's defence lawyers had argued their client's actions were "imprudent, but not intentional".
However, those who asked him to wear a condom were told he was either allergic, or had recently been tested for HIV, news agency AFP reported.
When some of the women confronted him after discovering they were infected, he denied he was a carrier of the potentially deadly virus, which can lead to Aids.
As a result of his actions, another four people contracted the virus on top of the women he directly infected: three men and one baby.
Prosecutor Elena Neri told the court last month: "His actions were intended to sow death."
However, Talluto - whose mother was an HIV-infected drug addict who died when he was four - told the court if that had been the case, he would not have gone to the effort of having actual relationships.
"Many of the girls know my friends and family," he said. "They say that I wanted to infect as many people as possible. If that had been the case, I would have gone for casual sex in bars, I would not have brought them into my life."
Judges in Rome deliberated over the sentence for more than 10 hours before announcing the verdict.
According to local media, victims wept as the sentence was read out. However, it fell short of the life term prosecutors had asked for.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Obesity is about much more than an unhealthy lifestyle

Despite an abundance of evidence illustrating that weight gain is caused by a complex cocktail of factors, obesity is often solely attributed to poor individual lifestyle choices – such as diet and exercise.
This type of simplistic view of what causes weight gain leads to and reinforces what’s known as “weight stigma”. This is defined as:
A bias or discrimination aimed at individuals perceived to be overweight.
But this isn’t something that just impacts people of a certain weight. In fact, weight stigma affects people of all body shapes and sizes – including people classed as a healthy weight.
These types of attitudes of course aren’t helped by the fact that fat jokes, as well as stereotypical and derogatory images of overweight people are so common. For a start, think about TV soaps – research has shown that characters with excess weight have more negative experiences, fewer friendships and less romantic relationships when compared to characters of a healthy weight.

The role of the media

An examination of national newspapers also shows obesity is portrayed in a negative way. And there is evidence that newspapers stigmatise and in some cases dehumanise people who are overweight.
This can be seen in The Times’ recent article, which has the headline “Heffalump Traps will Clear the NHS of Fatties” – clearly highlighting that people with obesity are stereotyped and in many cases, belittled.
Reports in newspapers are often on the “controllable causes” of weight gain, such as dietary behaviours, with little mention of so-called “uncontrollable causes” – like portion upselling, food formulation, and food advertising.
Research looking at the way national newspapers in the UK portray obesity also shows that 98% of articles inform readers it is something that is controllable. This leads people to believe that being overweight is caused only by poor lifestyle choices, and is fundamentally solved by being more active and eating a healthier diet. The reality of course is very different and extremely complicated.
What’s more, these newspapers are collectively read by millions of people. Such articles both reinforce and endorse stigmatising attitudes and discriminatory behaviours towards people with obesity. It sends the message out loud and clear that it’s acceptable to judge people based on their body weight.

Widespread stigma

Weight stigma is seen in all areas of society – including workplaces, schools and education centres – as the recent Daily Mail article article “Why I refuse to let my daughter be taught by a fat teacher” clearly demonstrates.
Even healthcare services aren’t immune to this type of weight stigmatisation – it has been suggested that patients may be denied bariatric surgery due to the biased attitudes of surgeons.
These types of attitudes are also clearly evident in government policy. In 2011, Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, said:
We need to be honest with ourselves and recognise that we need to make some changes to control our weight. Increasing physical activity is important but, for most of us who are overweight and obese, eating and drinking less is key to weight loss.
This was written in a call to action on obesity.
Whether you’re a politician or a medical professional, it doesn’t necessarily make you immune to popular belief and media misconception.

Overcoming discrimination

But beyond all of this, weight stigma is doubly damaging because it not only negatively impacts people who are overweight, but it further hinders the likelihood of countries taking effective action. This system wide action would see the creation of a health promoting environment – one that is free of stigma and individual blame. The responsibility for obesity must be shared between society and the individuals within it.
To help with this, we must move beyond the use of demeaning weight related imagery in the media. This is one reason why the Obesity Action Coalition, the Rudd Centre for Food Policy & Obesity – a non-profit research and public policy organisation – and the European Obesity Association have each produced preferred non-stigmatising image banks that journalists and media outlets can use.

The use of non-stigmatising images can help reduce weight discrimination. Canadian Obesity NetworkCC BY-NC-ND

This is an important step because negative images can greatly impact people with obesity on a daily basis, which can lead many to feel depressed about their physical appearance.
Only by accurately reflecting the realities of obesity – that it is a chronic disease caused by both controllable and uncontrollable factors – can we move towards establishing an effective solution. Given that a UK based research study from 2015 found that adults of all ages and backgrounds have stigmatising attitudes towards those with excess weight, this is clearly something that needs to be tackled sooner rather than later.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

How Much Do Macronutrients Really Matter?

Macro-focused diets say that by getting the right balance of proteins, carbs and fat, you can lose weight and be healthier.

“Eating a variety and balance of each macronutrient ensures that you meet your micronutrient goals, which is also key in promoting good health." (iStockPhoto)
OK, you might not have heard of the term “macronutrients” before, but you still eat them every day.
They are carbohydrates, protein and fat, and your body needs a lot of them – which is why they’re called “macronutrients,” not “micronutrients,” such as iron and zinc. Macros also provide your body energy: Each gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories; protein contains 4 and fat, 9. (The only other substance that feeds our bodies calories is alcohol, which has 7 calories per gram. But, since we don’t need booze to survive, it doesn’t get to be a member of the macronutrient club.)
For years, diets have ganged up on this-or-that macronutrient, telling us to banish them as much as possible to lose weight. In the 90s, it was the fat-free craze. But then research found that healthy fats such as avocados, walnuts and olive oil can help you shed fat. For instance, one study in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that adults who eat the most unsaturated fat have lower body mass indexes and less belly fat than those who eat the least.
Then, in the early 2000s, the Atkins Diet stormed onto the scene, and urged people to cut carbs – even from fruits and veggies – and fill up on protein and fat. But some research disputes that approach. In one 2014 PLOS ONE study, when adults tried two different diets, one rich in whole grains and low in red meat and one low in whole grains and rich in red meat (both diets packed the same number of calories), they enhanced the diversity of their gut bacteria, lost more weight and body fat and improved their BMI more than when they swapped whole grains for red meat.
That brings us to today’s macro-focused diets, including The One One One Diet and the IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) diet, along with apps such as My Macros+ and Fitocracy Macros. These diets don’t cut macronutrients, but instead tell you to get them all.
“Carbohydrates provide us with energy as well as fiber, which improves heart and digestive health; protein is the building block for strong muscles and healthy tissues and also helps make hormones and enzymes; and fats help maintain healthy tissues and cells, ensure proper nerve and brain function and increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins,” says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, author of "The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss." She adds: “Put simply, each macronutrient plays a very different role in keeping your body healthy, and skipping out on any one of them can compromise health.”
Counting Macros
The One One One Diet focuses on getting one serving of carbohydrates, one serving of protein and one serving of fat at every meal and snack. “Because every meal or snack contains a protein, a carb and a fat, you’re supporting each structure and function of your body with nutrients every few hours, which leads to overall health and wellness," she says. Plus, by combining them at each meal, you can stay full longer, keep your blood sugar from spiking, prevent fat gain, and give your muscles a constant supply of protein for muscle growth.
“Portion control is inherent in the diet and based on the formula when you stick with one of each of the macronutrients,” she says. For example, in The One One One Dieta serving size of nut or seed butter (which would count as a fat), is 1 tablespoon, not 2 as indicated on the nutrition label. Some foods, count as two different macronutrients, for example, beans count as both a carb and protein, and cheese counts as a fat and protein. In her book, Batayneh provides a cheat sheet of common foods, their macronutrient classifications and serving sizes. Those serving sizes are critical to keeping your macro intake balanced as well as not overdoing it on calories.
Meanwhile, the If It Fits Your Macros diet requires a lot of math. You have to know how many calories your body burns in an average day, and eat 10 to 20 percent fewer calories every day than that number. Then you’ve got to split those calories so you get 40 percent of them from carbohydrates, 40 percent from protein and 20 percent from fat during the course of each day. ( has a calculator to help you determine the number of grams of carbs, protein and fat you need daily.) It doesn’t matter when you get each of them. Meanwhile, drink plenty of water and make sure you’re getting a good bit of fiber from the foods you’re eating. It’s worth mentioning that while some nutritionists say this is a pretty healthy split, the diet was designed by competitive bodybuilders, not licensed health professionals.
Does It Guarantee Healthy Eating?
“Eating a variety and balance of each macronutrient ensures that you meet your micronutrient goals, which is also key in promoting good health. Proteins tend to be high in iron and zinc; carbs boast fiber and B vitamins; and fats offer omega-3 fatty acids and help absorb fat-soluble vitamins found in many fruits and vegetables,” Batayneh says.
Is that an excuse to get your carbs from donuts and your protein and fat from bacon? There, The One One One diet and IIFYM diet don’t agree. According to Batayneh, you can moderate hits to your health by making sure splurges pack all three macros in roughly similar amounts, but a salmon fillet with brown rice and a green salad with lemon and olive oil is still going to pack more vitamins, minerals and healthy fats (not to mention fewer chemicals) than a fast-food cheeseburger made of processed ground beef, American cheese and a white-bread bun. However, according to, bodybuildersdesigned IIFYM so that dieters could eat so-called “dirty” foods without gaining weight. According to the diet, it doesn’t matter if you get your carbs from whole grains or cupcakes, as long as you get the right number of calories from carbs that day
Other health experts such as Wesley Delbridge, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, gravitate toward the The One One One approach. “All carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, but we are seeing that refined ones are adsorbed and stored differently in the body,” he says. Focus on getting your macros from whole, unprocessed foods and weight loss will likely follow, says Holly Herrington, a registered dietitian in the Center for Lifestyle medicine at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago. But remember that to lose weight, you still have to take in fewer calories than you’re burning, she says. Getting your macros at every meal will make that easier by reducing insulin spikes, crashes and cravings.
Make Macros Work for You
While counting macros may be the nutritional ideal, it’s not super practical, Delbridge says. For those who aren’t up to measuring serving sizes or tabulating percentages, simply taking a quick scan of your plate and making sure it contains some of each macronutrient is an easy way to lose weight and be healthier. “If you are really mindful of getting whole, fiber-filled carbs, lean proteins and healthy fats at each meal, you will get yourself into a habit where you won’t really have to think about calories,” he says.
“What I think is missing from the common American diet is that we aren’t focused on getting all of our macronutrients for every meal and snack. People wake up and have a granola bar and an apple for breakfast and think they are doing well. Not to knock apples, but without fat and protein in that breakfast, too, they are just going to be starving and tired in an hour,” he says. Protein and fat delay gastric emptying (how long it takes for food to leave your stomach), prevent blood sugar spikes and help keep your hormone levels stable for longer-lasting fullness and energy.
The American Heart Association recommends that no more than 30 percent of your daily calories come from fat (only 10 percent should be saturated fat). That leaves 70 percent or more of your calories to divvy up between protein and fat. There’s debate over what that split should be, but Herrington recommends that 40 to 60 percent of your total calories come from whole carbs and 20 to 30 percent from lean protein.
The point is, you have wiggle room – as long as, at every meal, you get all three macronutrients.