Two-thirds of Americans reported that they consume alcohol at least occasionally, according to the poll conducted July 9-12. When asked how many drinks they had in the past week, 34 percent of these drinkers said none, 52 percent said one to 7, and 12 percent said eight or more.
Gallup found that 22 percent of drinkers said they sometimes drink too much, up from 17 percent last year. This year's figure, however, is similar to the percentages in most other years over the past decade, according to a statement from the research firm.Continue »
College students who binge drink report being happier with their social lives than their non-binging counterparts, according to a new study presented here today (Aug. 20) at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association. And the higher a student's social status, the more likely they were to binge drink.
The study looked at students at just one liberal arts college in the Northeast, but it could help explain why schools tend to have consistent levels of binge drinking over time, said study researcher Carolyn Hsu, a sociologist at Colgate University in New York.Continue »
A report published by Cochrane Collaborations that analyzed 20 studies found that people who eat a bit of dark chocolate or cocoa daily experienced a slight reduction in blood pressure.
"Although we don't yet have evidence for any sustained decrease in blood pressure, the small reduction we saw over the short term might complement other treatment options and might contribute to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease," lead researcher Karin Ried of the National Institute of Integrative Medicine in Melbourne, Australia said in the press release.Continue »
(CBS News) Should a carton of eggs contain health warnings like a carton of cigarettes?
A new study suggests that eating egg yolks may lead to plaque buildup in the arteries that is comparable to what's found in cigarette smokers.
"What we have shown is that with aging, plaque builds up gradually in the arteries of Canadians, and egg yolks make it build up faster - about two-thirds as much as smoking," study author Dr. David Spence, director of the Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Centre at Western University in Canada, said in a press release.
"Everyone loves chocolate - but unfortunately we all know that many chocolate bars are high in fat," Stefan Bon said in a press release. "However, it's the fat that gives chocolate all the indulgent sensations that people crave - the silky smooth texture and the way it melts in the mouth but still has a 'snap' to it when you break it with your hand."Continue »
Missa Bay LLC, owned by Ready Pac Foods Inc. of Swedesboro, N.J., announced the voluntary recall on Friday, saying a total of 293,488 cases and 296,224 individual units went to 36 states and the District of Columbia. People who may have purchased the recalled products are asked to record use-by dates and UPC codes and contact Ready Pac at 800-800-7822. More information on the more than two dozen products recalled and the states involved is available on the company's website.
A complete list of products can also be found here on the Food and Drug Administration website.
Packaged apple slices distributed to McDonald's and Burger King in some states are included in the recall, as are some packaged fruit, veggies, salads and sandwiches containing apples distributed to Wawa convenience store and Wegman's grocery chains. Various apple and fruit snacks with "Ready Pac" labels and apple salad kits with a "Safeway Farms" label are included as well.
Specifically, 1.2-oz. packages of apple slices with "McDonald's" label that were sold only in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont on or before Aug. 19 were included in the recall, including oatmeal products containing apples sold in those states. Also included were McDonald's 5.75-oz. fruit and walnut snacks sold on or before Aug. 20.
Burger King's 2-oz. fresh apple slices sold on or before Aug. 30 are included in the recall.
No illnesses have been reported, but the recall was a result of Listeria being found on equipment used to produce apple products by Missa Bay.
The recalled snacks have use-by dates of July 8 through Aug. 20, the company said. People should check their refrigerators for products with those use-by dates, the company said. It asked retailers to check store shelves and inventories to make sure none of the packages are there.
Last summer, McDonald's announced healthier Happy Meals would include fruit automatically with every meal purchased. Previously kids had been offered a choice between fries and apple slices with caramel dipping sauce. Burger King also announced last summer its cashiers would routinely ask customers if they wanted "healthier apple fries" instead of the standard for French fries.
Listeria is a bacteria that causes food poisoning and is especially dangerous to the elderly, people with weakened immune systems and pregnant women. While a pregnant woman may experience mild, flu-like symptoms, the illness caused by Listeria -- called listeriosis -- can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or life-threatening infection in newborns.
Symptoms in people besides pregnant women can include fever and muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.
Earlier this month, seven tons of pre-made meat and pasta salads from Garden Fresh Foods were recalled over concerns onions in the products may have been contaminated with Listeria.
An outbreak of Listeria in cantaloupes last year was linked to 30 deaths and one report of a pregnant woman who had a miscarriage while she was sick. In total, 146 people were sickened across 28 states.
(CBS/AP) Snacks sold in vending machines at schools may soon be getting healthier under the government's ongoing plan to raise a healthier generation. Now, a new study provides what experts are calling the first evidence that laws that curb the sales of junk food and sweetened drinks at school may play a role in slowing childhood obesity.
But even the researchers behind the study acknowledged that critics' cries of a "nanny state" and opposition by the snacking industry and schools in need of food processors' cash mean such laws to curb vending machine sales are no slam-dunk.
But if the laws have even a tiny effect, "What are the downsides of improving the food environment for children today?" asked Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital. "You can't get much worse than it already is."Continue »
(CBS News) Should doctors start prescribing coffee?
In the latest study to tie coffee to health benefits, new research finds a daily caffeine boost may ease symptoms of Parkinson's disease in sufferers.
Parkinson's is a degenerative brain disease that causes tremors, difficulty with walking, movement and coordination. The condition most commonly develops in adults over 50, and occurs when nerve cells in the brain that make the muscle-controlling neurotransmitter dopamine are slowly destroyed, leading to loss in muscle function. The cause of the disease remains unknown.
Does the national uptick in people eating gluten-free foods suggest a celiac disease epidemic or are people unnecessary turning to the diets as a food fad? According to a new study from the Mayo Clinic, it may be both. It found most people with celiac disease might not be aware they have the condition, and many people eating gluten-free diets have never been diagnosed with celiac disease.Continue »
Whether that will add up over time to an actual health benefit remains up for discussion.Continue »
The study, published in the July 17 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, showed that in 2009 (after the trans fat ban went into effect) people ate on average 2.4 g less trans fats, consuming fewer than 0.5 grams of trans fat per meal when compared to rates in 2007 (before the rules were in place). More people also bought items that had 0 percent trans fats, showing an 86 percent increase in choosing foods that were healthier for them.
But, why is this such good news? What's the skinny on trans fats?Continue »
The EFSA issued a positive opinion in response to an application from Barry Callebaut, one of the world's largest makers of chocolate products, that cocoa powder or dark chocolate can help a person's blood flow. Barry Callebaut also supplies Kraft and Hersey's with cocoa and chocolate products.Continue »
(CBS/AP) The controversial chemical BPA, or bisphenol-A, can no longer be used in manufacturing baby bottles or sippy cups, the Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday.
The U.S. chemical industry's chief association, the American Chemistry Council, had asked the Food and Drug Administration to phase out rules allowing BPA in such products in October, after determining that all manufacturers of bottles and sippy cups had already abandoned the chemical due to safety concerns.
It is illegal for companies to use substances not covered by FDA rules.Continue »
The study, which was published in Archives of Internal Medicine on July 9, involved 1,616 subjects an a subgroup of 1494 subjects. The group was randomized into people who used cranberry products and people who did not.
After analyzing the results, it was found that cranberry-containing products worked to prevent UTIs best for women with recurring UTIs, women, children, cranberry juice drinkers and subjects who used cranberry-containing products more than twice daily.
Cranberry juice was found to be more effective that the cranberry capsules or tablets. Researchers suggested this may be due to the people drinking the juice being more hydrated than those using the other methods, but warned that drinking juice with a high sugar content may "raise concerns" for people who are diabetics.
The CDC is urging emergency rooms around the country to be on the lookout for internal injuries that may be caused by accidental ingestion of wire grill-cleaning brush bristles. In the July 6 issue of its journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC describes six cases that occurred at a Providence, R.I., hospital which occurred between March 2011 and June 2012.Continue »