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Death by Diet Soda Artificially Sweetened Beverages To Premature Death

There was a collective gasp among Coke Zero and Diet Pepsi drinkers this week after media reports highlighted a new study that found prodigious consumers of artificially sweetened drinks were 26 percent more likely to die prematurely than those who rarely drank sugar-free beverages.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, followed 450,000 Europeans over 16 years and tracked mortality among soft-drink consumers of all persuasions — both those with a fondness for sugary beverages and those who favored sugar-free drinks.

Given the well-documented health effects of consuming too much sugar, it was little surprise the authors found that people who drank two or more glasses of sugar-sweetened beverages a day were eight percent more likely to die young compared to those who consumed less than one glass a month.

But what grabbed headlines, and prompted widespread angst, was the suggestion that drinking Diet Coke could be even more deadly than drinking Coca-Cola Classic.

“Putting our results in context with other published studies, it would probably be prudent to limit consumption of all soft drinks and replace them with healthier alternatives like water,” said Amy Mullee, a nutritionist at University College Dublin and one of 50 researchers who worked on the study, one of the largest of its kind to date.

The study is not a one-off. Over the past year, other research in the United States has found a correlation between artificially sweetened beverages and premature death.

The problem, experts say, is that these and other studies have been unable to resolve a key question: Does consuming drinks sweetened with aspartame or saccharin harm your health? Or could it be that people who drink lots of Diet Snapple or Sprite Zero lead a more unhealthy lifestyle to begin with?

A number of nutritionists, epidemiologists and behavioral scientists think the latter may be true. (It’s a theory that will be instantly recognizable to anyone who has guiltily ordered a Diet Coke to accompany their Double Whopper with cheese.)

“It could be that diet soda drinkers eat a lot of bacon or perhaps it’s because there are people who rationalize their unhealthy lifestyle by saying, ‘Now that I’ve had a diet soda, I can have those French fries,’” said Vasanti S. Malik, a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the lead author of a study in April that found that the link between artificial sweeteners and increased mortality in women was largely inconclusive. “This is a huge study, with a half million people in 10 countries, but I don’t think it adds to what we already know.”

The authors of the JAMA paper tried to account for these risk factors by removing study participants who were smokers or obese, and they tried to improve its accuracy through statistical modeling.

But Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Boston Children’s Hospital, said these so-called observational studies cannot really determine cause and effect. “Maybe artificial sweeteners aren’t increasing mortality,” he said. “Maybe it’s just that people with an increased risk of mortality, like those with overweight or obesity, are choosing to drink diet soda but, in the end, this doesn’t solve their weight problem and they die prematurely.”

Still, scientists say the alternative to observational studies — a clinical trial that randomly assigns participants to a sugary drinks group or a diet soda group — isn’t feasible.

“Clinical trials are considered the gold standard in science, but imagine asking thousands of people to stick to such a regimen for decades,” said Dr. Malik of Harvard. “Many people would drop out, and it would also be prohibitively expensive.”

Concerns about artificial sweeteners have been around since the 1970s, when studies found that large quantities of saccharin caused cancer in lab rats. The Food and Drug Administration issued a temporary ban on the sweetener, and Congress ordered up additional studies and a warning label, but subsequent research found the chemical to be safe for human consumption. More recently-created chemical sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose have also been extensively studied, with little evidence that they negatively impact human health, according to the F.D.A.

Some studies have even found a correlation between artificial sweeteners and weight loss, but others have suggested they may increase cravings for sugary foods.

“There’s no evidence they are harmful to people with a healthy diet who are trying to live a healthy lifestyle,” said Dr. Barry M. Popkin, a nutritionist at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He and others remain concerned that giving diet beverages to young children might encourage a sweet tooth.

Still, many scientists say more research is needed to determine the long-term effects of consuming artificial sweeteners. Although Dr. Mullee, one of the authors of the study, cautioned against drawing stark conclusions from their data, she said the deleterious effects of artificial sweeteners can’t be ruled out, noting studies that suggest a possible link between aspartame and elevated levels of blood glucose and insulin in humans. “Right now the biological mechanisms are unclear but we’re hoping our research will spark further exploration,” she said.

For consumers, the mixed messaging can be confusing. Dr. Jim Krieger, the founding executive director of Healthy Food America, an advocacy group that presses municipalities to enact soda taxes and increase consumer access to fruits and vegetables, said the new study and others like it raise more questions than they answer.

“Gosh, at this point, you probably want to go with water, tea or unsweetened coffee and not take a chance on beverages we don’t know much about,” he said. “Certainly, you don’t want to drink sugary beverages because we know that these aren’t good for you.”

By

Andrew Jacobs is a reporter with the Health and Science Desk, based in New York. He previously reported from Beijing and Brazil and had stints as a Metro reporter, Styles writer and National correspondent, covering the American South.

Source: Death by Diet Soda? – The New York Times

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5-Minute Tools to Clear Your Mind

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In the hustle and bustle of today’s world, it is far too easy to get lost in your own mind, weighed down by the pile of thoughts about work, relationships, technology, and your social life. When there are a million different things that are all begging for your attention, it is easy to forget to take a moment for yourself and clear your head. Doing this can be hard, though. Sometimes, it feels like we need an entire day to fully recharge our batteries. While this might be the case, there are some ways to quickly bring your mind to a state of relaxation and help you get focused. Here are some 5-minute tools to clear your mind…

5-Minute Tools to Clear Your Mind

Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation is more of a skill than an activity, especially if you are trying to do it in a quick 5-minute period. However, learning to quickly put your mind in a state of meditation can help calm your nerves and focus your mind. Of all types of meditation, , as it helps bring your mind inward and helps you focus on your body and mind in a hyper-attentive way.

5-Minute Tools to Clear Your Mind

Step Outside for a Moment

If you’re ever feeling stressed or anxious, it’s worth it to take a step outside. Studies have shown that simply being outdoors , including reduce stress, reduce the effects of depression, and improve mental capacity. When things are getting busy and hectic in the office, taking a quick moment for yourself outside can help you calm yourself and put your mind in a clear and productive space. Obviously, it would be ideal to be in a greener, more natural area, but even just the fresh air can do wonders for your mind.

5-Minute Tools to Clear Your Mind

Stretch

If you are feeling tense and anxious, it’s important to remember that your physical well-being is probably feeding directly into your mental well-being. Because of this, when things get really stressful in life, remember to take a few minutes during the day to stretch your muscles and limbs. This helps relieve tension throughout your body, and can help prevent your muscles from tightening up, due to anxiety. A nice stretch will leave your mind feeling more refreshed and ready to take on the other tasks throughout the day.

5-Minute Tools to Clear Your Mind

Do Something Active

If you’ve been working on mental tasks all day, then your body is probably restless and your mind is getting worn down. To help achieve some balance, and to give your body a boost of endorphins that help you wake up and get focused, take some time to do something active. Go on a quick little run, play a game, or even just take a brief walk. Just make sure that it’s something active that gets you up on your feet.

5-Minute Tools to Clear Your Mind

Breathing Exercises

If you’re feeling incredibly anxious and stressed, then take a moment to do some simple breathing exercises. The simplest way to do this is to simply take deep breaths inwards and outwards, and to count the time in between each breath, all while focusing on a focal point in the distance. However, there are a wide variety of breathing exercises that you can look up to determine what works best for you.

10 Relaxation and Meditation Tips for the Busy Mom  

Have a Dedicated Space

Whether at work or at home, it’s nice to have an area that is specifically geared towards helping your mind think clearly. This can be a variety of things, whether it is an area that you walk to, a meditation spot, or even that is set up to cater to your specific needs. This space should be free from distractions, or at least the things that will distract you, and should be designated specifically to either do mental tasks or simply to clear your mind.

By

 

Source: https://www.urbannaturale.com/clear-your-mind-5-minute-tools/

 

Is Sunscreen Dangerous? A Dermatologist Weighs In — KINDNESS — SEO

Is Sunscreen Dangerous? A Dermatologist Weighs In It’s becoming more and more difficult to figure out what to believe about anything – even something as basic as sunscreen. This is partly because companies, and some individuals, have figured out how to use the power of suggestion and incomplete (or false) information, to direct our thought […] […]

via Is Sunscreen Dangerous? A Dermatologist Weighs In — KINDNESS — SEO

This Is The Best Time To Eat Breakfast, According To A Nutritionist – Noma Nazish

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Growing up, we’ve all heard the saying – “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Famous sci-fi writer Robert A. Heinlein went so far as to say, “one should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.” And he couldn’t be more right. A healthy breakfast doesn’t just provide you energy to seize the day, it jumpstarts your metabolism, balances blood sugar levels, assists in weight management, even promotes heart health and improves cognitive function…….

Read more: https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2018/10/25/this-is-the-best-time-to-eat-breakfast-according-to-a-nutritionist/#60233146d55e

 

 

 

 

 

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Expansive New Study Says Not Exercising Is Worse for Your Health Than Smoking – Gina Martinez

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It’s common knowledge that there are many benefits to being fit, but one large new study found that skipping out on the gym is practically the worst thing you can do for your health. In fact, the study claims not exercising might be more harmful to your health than smoking. New findings, published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open, detail how researchers at the Cleveland Clinic studied 122,007 patients from 1991 to 2014, putting them under treadmill testing and later recording mortality……..

Read more: http://time.com/5430203/new-study-not-exercising-worse-than-smoking/

 

 

 

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Get Up, Stand up Including Exercise In Everyday Life Healthier Than Gym

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Incorporating physical activity into our everyday lives, from taking the stairs to holding “walkaround” meetings in the office, is more likely to protect us from heart disease and an early death than buying a gym membership, according to the author of a major new global study. The study, published in the Lancet medical journal, found that one in 20 cases of heart disease and one in 12 premature deaths around the globe could be prevented if people were more physically active. It compared 130,000 people in 17 countries, from affluent countries like Canada and Sweden to some of the least affluent, including Bangladesh and Zimbabwe……

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/21/get-up-stand-up-including-exercise-in-everyday-life-healthier-than-gym-says-study

 

 

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The Vaccination Debacle – Julian Vigo

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The topic of vaccination invariably provokes polarized debates, often manifesting in Twitter and Facebook. This is the case on my wall at this moment after I posted an article about the recent measles outbreak in Europe which shows 41,000 cases of measles recorded during first six months of 2018 surpassing the annual totals of every year since 2013.

This is not chicanery, this is not scare-mongering. This is a fact. And the level of vitriol surrounding this subject is par with debates about gun control while the debate looks more like faith-based debates around Creationism being taught in schools.

But science and technology are not incidental here as the WHO employs scientists who just a year ago predicted this very situation we find ourselves in. Why do so many people disbelieve proven science and opt for conspiracy theories?  Yes, medical research has been in bed with big with Big Pharma to the extent that many doctors and patient groups are distrustful of these conflicts of interest.

But to put one’s faith in a charlatan like Andrew Wakefield, the British surgeon behind the original hypothesis linking autism with the MMR vaccine, would be a tragic error not only because Wakefield has been for some time discredited and stripped of his medical license, but because there is zero science behind his claims.

Technology has a positive impact on our lives if we engage with it honestly. Let’s take a few facts about this year’s measles outbreak in Europe. First, even thought half of the measles cases this year were reported in Ukraine, the infection rates also took a hit in other countries renown for low immunization rates such as Serbia, Greece and Georgia.

Even countries like Italy, Romania, France and Germany have seen outbreaks in recent years. All these areas have issues with getting the population vaccinated with France being one of the highest vaccine skeptic nations on the planet. Hence, France, Italy, and Romania have passed laws making vaccinations mandatory just in the past two years with Italy’s Senate overturning the newly establish law earlier this month. This is a tragic U-turn for Italy since it had 5,000 cases of measles in 2016 occupying 29 per cent of all cases in the EU or European Economic Area as opposed to 870 cases in 2016.

At this point the science is in, and to ignore what medical technology offers us today is quite dangerous for society at large with many people still citing a fraudulent study that has been proven to be pure hokum. The biggest irony of those who resist getting their children vaccinated is that many of these parents work in the science and tech fields, are affluent and have the economic means to buck the system that would have previously prevented their unvaccinated child attending a public school.

For instance, before California’s strict vaccination law SB 277, was passed in 2015  after a measles outbreak that originated at Disneyland in 2013 as a result of parents who refused to vaccinate their children due to vaccine exemptions allowed for private schools. In August 2013, a Texas megachurch was at the centre of a measles outbreak.

To be clear, this church advocated that people refuse vaccinations. And the 2010 whooping cough epidemic in California, this too is directly linked to vaccination refusal. And while there are cases of vaccine failures, it is becoming clearer that people themselves are unaware that you need to have, for instance, two vaccinations against measles—not one. So the information for vaccine failures has not taken into account the masses who believe wrongly that having one jab is enough.

Too many people are treating technological advances in medicine as a belief system with many parents reverting to their skepticism in Big Pharma and others constructing vast generalizations as to how peer-reviews are carried out because of one single flawed study.

We need to speak out in favor of medical technology and call out the pseudo-science that is killing people and dispense with the conspiracy theories that governments around the world have concocted a method to control all members of the human race. Read the reports from this year’s outbreak where only 31% of Ukraine’s infected with measles never had the vaccine as irregular supplies afflicted the country.

Many parents also don’t realize that the “herd immunity” (where enough people from a community have been vaccinated such that the unvaccinated are protected) will not protect their child if more and more of the “herd” decide to not vaccinate. And this is what is happening today with many Americans deciding that the chances of their child getting sick are slim.

And then conversely, of the parents who are aware of the herd immunity, this becomes their reasoning for skipping their child’s inoculations—that others are already protecting them.

We need to stop treating flawed skeptic arguments against medical advice as the new gospel.  We also need to inform ourselves of the danger implicit in holding the health of an entire community in our hands all because we read a book or watched a documentary about how evil Big Pharma is. 

So too, we need to stop treating vaccination as a taboo topic of debate, as if speaking out is akin to telling someone that their religion is bad. That’s the thing, it’s science, not a personal religious belief.

 

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Symptoms of a Tension Headache —

Everybody experiences a tension headache at one moment in life or another. This is not a disease but merely an inconvenience one will feel for a period of time. Doctors refer to this as a tension headache. When this happens for a short period of time, it is known as episodic. Should this last more…

via Symptoms of a Tension Headache — Free PLR Articles

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Mental Health or Mental Illness? — How I Killed Betty!

I dislike the terms ‘Mental Heath’ and/or ‘Mental Illness’. Actually that’s a bit of an understatement. For me, simply using the word ‘mental’ immediately brings images to my mind of the mental asylums of old, with padded cells, beds with wide leather straps and children being torn from the arms of their mothers. The film […]

via Mental Health or Mental Illness? — How I Killed Betty!

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Get Inspired and Motivated By These Health and Wellness Sites

Get Inspired and Motivated By These Health and Wellness Sites

Get Inspired and Motivated By These Health and Wellness Sites
— Read on discover.wordpress.com/2018/05/01/health-and-wellness/

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