4 Things You Learn Moving From A Small Town To A Big City

So after a life spent in a small town, you think you’re ready to move to the big city. If multiple talking animal movie protagonists can do it, why can’t you? Besides, you know what to expect: glitzy nightlife, exotic dining options, everyone spends all day, every day honking their horns in traffic. Well, I’ve made this journey myself, and trust me, you’re in for some surprises …


The City Is Actually Safer

Small towns are where you can leave the windows open at night, knowing that in the very worst case, you’ll be visited by a talking owl with handy life lessons. Ask anyone who’s never left their tiny hometown what life in a big city is like, and they’ll provide you with the IMDb synopsis for The Departed. Sure, the city has its benefits … if you survive.

And in fact, within a couple months of my move, there was a brutal murder just two blocks away from my new place. Shot right in the goddamned head! Everyone had been right all along! And I was probably next! I had re-habitated to Murder Town, and it was only a matter of time before the police found my body in a river or a dumpster behind a Dunkin’ Donuts, or scattered in between.

The truth of the matter is that in general, you’re far more likely to die purely by accident, and that happens way more in smaller towns. There, you’re 20 percent more likely to die from unintentional injuries, your screams echoing across the tranquil countryside. That rural illusion of safety is based on pop culture, which tends to favor stories about shootouts in city streets over tragic tales of middle-aged men tumbling off their roofs while trying to adjust their satellite dishes.

Plus, for people like me, who don’t necessarily feel safer with a shitload of armed citizens around, I was relieved to learn that guns aren’t nearly as popular in cities as they are in rural areas. And to verify both of these studies, I just went and looked out my window, and didn’t see a single person open-carrying or trying to shoot a lawnmower full of Tannerite and getting their leg blown off. (Warning: That link is to a video of that exact thing happening, though now that I think about it, it mainly proves that the real killer is boredom.)


People Will Totally Refuse Cash As Payment

If somebody standing behind a counter tells you that the cash in your hand is no good, it’s a safe bet that the things you’re trying to buy are canned goods and bullets and that a riot raging behind you, because clearly the system has collapsed. Once, I went to nearby town and they asked me for a check instead of cash, and had no idea what to do. Don’t they have to take it, by law? Isn’t this the fabric that holds all of society together?

I worked at the same place for 15 years in my small town, and they still don’t have a credit card machine, because that shit will eat into three percent of their profits (that’s right, whenever you use a card, the bank takes a little sliver of that money from the merchant). We took cash, because we were in America.

When you move to a city, you may quickly find that physical currency is no longer accepted, depending on where you’re shopping. Suddenly my cold, hard cash was deemed as worthless as a slip of paper with “I PROMISE TO PAY U BACK” written in crayon. This is partly done for theft prevention (so easy for a cashier to just pocket the money and insist the missing carton of Marlboros must have been shoplifted), but abandoning the 10,000-year-old concept of physical currency entirely seems a bit extreme.


Nobody Smokes

Where I’m from, every fourth pedestrian seemed to be a glorious human chimney, and the designated smoking areas outside of bars were like their own private social events. You could hang out at the kids’ table inside the brewery, or you could play cancer roulette with the hip people outside. After moving, though, I’ve noticed that I’m often the lone smoker outside of a bar, and walking down the sidewalk while puffing away feels like I’m bothering literally every person I pass.

As it turns out, the difference in the number of smokers between urban and rural areas is fairly dramatic. In the span between 2001 and 2007, adult smoking in New York City had dropped 20 percent, and smoking among teenagers had dropped 52 percent. This was attributed to things like higher costs due to state and city tobacco taxes, anti-smoking ads, and there being fewer places to buy cigarettes. If you’re the type of person who likes avoiding annoyances like debilitating lung issues and heart disease, this is fantastic news. But if you’re a smoker (like me), you just feel like the fuckface who’s poisoning everyone in your general vicinity. Nice job, jerk. You just got all of Brooklyn sick. It’s like how common courtesy says you step outside of a crowded party to go smoke, only the city is one big crowded party, so there’s no place to go.


Driving Sucks In Exciting New Ways That You Don’t Expect

The traffic is the one part of city life everybody already knows about. It’s one of the first things you learn as a child — colors, shapes, and not going over the Brooklyn Bridge at 5:30. But it’s not just bumper-to-bumper traffic and gridlock that suck years off your life; it’s completely foreign concepts, like weird-ass parking rules you had no idea existed.

Where I live, there are certain streets that have what’s called an “odd-even” parking ordinance, which basically means that if the day of the month is even, you have to park on the side of the street with the even-numbered addresses, and the reverse on odd-numbered days. With a lot of streets in big cities, you’re forced to move your car at one specific time of the week to make room for street cleaning. Then you either try to cram your car into one of the four open spaces left in the whole city, or just drive around until the army of street sweepers has retreated. The policies are likely a large-scale Milgram experiment intended to see just what city-dwellers will tolerate before finally rising up to overthrow the system.

Back where I’m from, distance is actually a meaningful concept. The grocery store I would frequent was an inconvenient 12 miles away, and it took me about 15 minutes to drive there, which is easily calculated based on how fast the car is being driven. Now I live in a city bustling with commerce, so that store chain is now just a few miles away. Which is a totally meaningless figure, because what matters is how many minutes that is, and oh by the way, it’s at least the same 15-minute trek as in the small town (only it’s a much more stressful 15 minutes that feel much longer).

It’s particularly harrowing because when pedestrians have the right of way, they just fucking go. Considering how cold and cynical city-dwellers are supposed to be, these people seem to have supreme confidence in the goodwill and braking reflexes of their fellow urbanites. Some of us are from out of town, dammit! We’re not expecting strangers to just shuffle right in front of us while we’re trying to make a right turn! Plus, this is the ninth day of the 12th month, which I believe means I can legally park on your face.

Dwayne is on Facebook and Twitter … sometimes.

Man, what a Tale of Two Cities. No matter where you live, it might not be a bad idea to carry some mace with you.

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For more, check out 7 Things No One Tells You About Moving to a New Country and The 5 Worst Things About Getting a Job in a Small Town.

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Jimmy Kimmel’s Son Undergoes Second Heart Surgery

Jimmy Kimmel’s young son Billy underwent a second successful heart surgery on Monday, according to a statement from ABC. 

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host became a vocal critic in the health care debate last spring after Billy was born with a congenital heart disease that required him to undergo emergency open-heart surgery at just 3 days old. In August, Kimmel revealed that Billy would have to face two more surgeries

Although the second procedure was scheduled to occur in October when Billy reached 6 months old, the operation was postponed as a precaution when he caught a cold.

A post shared by Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) on

Kimmel will take the week off from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to be in his family, ABC announced. Celebrity guest hosts, starting with actor Chris Pratt, will fill in during Kimmel’s absence. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross will host on Tuesday, followed by actor Neil Patrick Harris on Wednesday and actress Melissa McCarthy on Thursday.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jimmy-kimmel-son-second-surgery_us_5a264e33e4b086e4e5040b52

As scarlet fever cases rise, baffled researchers investigate

(CNN)The age-old killer scarlet fever is on the rise in England and East Asia, according to research published Monday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, and investigators don’t know why.

“Whilst current rates (in England) are nowhere near those seen in the early 1900s, the magnitude of the recent upsurge is greater than any documented in the last century,” said study author Theresa Lamagni of Public Health England, the agency that funded the analysis. “Whilst notifications so far for 2017 suggest a slight decrease in numbers, we continue to monitor the situation carefully … and research continues to further investigate the rise.”
Identified by a bright red rash that looks and feels like sandpaper, scarlet fever is a highly contagious disease caused by the same bacteria behind strep throat, group A Streptococcus pyogenes.
    Historically a common cause of childhood death, scarlet fever had been declining over the past two centuries, according to the study, with any rise in cases typically following a “natural cyclical pattern” every four to six years.
    But since 2009, cases have been steadily increasing in several East Asian countries, including Vietnam, South Korea, Hong Kong and mainland China.
    An outbreak then hit England, where cases tripled in one year, from 4,700 in 2013 to 15,637 in 2014. Infections continued to rise to nearly 20,000 in 2016, a 50-year high for the United Kingdom, according to the analysis.
    Hospital admissions during the outbreak in England are also high, the researchers said, nearly doubling between 2013 (703 cases) and 2016 (1,300 cases).

    Identifying scarlet fever

    Although anyone who gets strep throat can get scarlet fever, also known as scarlatina, the disease typically strikes children under the age of 10. Frequently spread by droplets via coughing and sneezing, group A strep can also hide on doorknobs, plates and utensils for hours.
    The red rash that gives scarlet fever its name typically starts on the neck and face and spreads to the chest, the back and other parts of the body. At first, the rash will look like a bad sunburn, but then it will begin to raise and become bumpy. If pressed, the red skin will turn white; it can also be itchy. Once the rash subsides, the skin will often peel, especially on the groin, fingertips and toes.
    A very sore, red throat that makes it difficult to swallow, along with a fever of 101 or higher, is a key sign of scarlet fever, along with swollen neck glands, headaches and body chills, nausea and vomiting.
    An early symptom can be a “strawberry” tongue — one that looks more red and bumpy than usual — along with a whitish coating on inside of the throat. Other telltale signs include be a flushed face (except for a white streak around the mouth) and red streaks in the creases of the skin, with the armpits, knees and elbows showing a deeper hue.
    Treatment for scarlet fever is the same as for strep: a course of antibiotics, which must be completed to be rid of the bacteria and avoid a relapse. If the regimen is followed appropriately, the disease is usually gone within a couple of weeks. Left untreated, it can lead to serious illness or even death.
    Complications of scarlet fever can include Bright’s disease, a form of kidney damage, and rheumatic fever, an autoimmune disease that affects the heart, joins, skin and brain. If rheumatic fever affects the heart, it can cause long-term damage. That’s one of the reasons scarlet fever was a leading cause of heart disease for adults before penicillin was discovered.
    Over the centuries, scarlet fever has caused devastating epidemics. Those infected were often isolated for weeks, while their bedding and belongings were burned to prevent disease spread. Why the prevalence of the disease began to decline, even before the wide-spread use of antibiotics, is a mystery.

    Detective work is underway

    Why the disease is making a resurgence today is also a mystery, according to the study. Investigators are looking at such possibilities as a change in human immune status, environmental causes and even the disease traveling from Asia to England, although evidence for that is slight. Though the cases in the United Kingdom came from at least three known strains, only one of those was also seen in Hong Kong, and only in few cases.
    “Whilst there is no clear connection between the situation in the UK and East Asia, a link cannot be excluded without better understanding of the drivers behind these changes,” Lamagni said. “The hunt for further explanations for the rise in scarlet fever goes on.”
    Meanwhile, she suggests that parents in England keep an eye out for telltale signs and act quickly to get their children, or themselves, to a doctor for evaluation and treatment.
    “Guidance on management of outbreaks in schools and nurseries has just been updated, and research continues to further investigate the rise,” she said. “We encourage parents to be aware of the symptoms of scarlet fever and to contact their (general practitioner) if they think their child might have it.”

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    In a comment published alongside the paper, University of Queensland professors Mark Walker and Stephan Brouwer recommend that public health systems around the world be on guard.
    “Scarlet fever epidemics have yet to abate in the UK and northeast Asia,” they wrote. “Thus, heightened global surveillance for the dissemination of scarlet fever is warranted.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/27/health/scarlet-fever-mystery-study/index.html

    Big Tobacco’s court-ordered ads make their debut

    (CNN)A wave of new tobacco ads is planned to be broadcast across prime-time television and published in newspapers this weekend, but they aren’t promoting what you might expect.

    They are “corrective statements” that a federal court judge ordered tobacco companies in the United States to release to inform the public about the dangers of smoking. The tobacco industry is expected to begin running these ads on Sunday.
    In 1999, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the country’s largest cigarette manufacturers and tobacco trade organizations, claiming civil fraud and racketeering violations over the course of more than 50 years.
      Then, in 2006, federal judge Gladys Kessler ruled that tobacco companies had violated civil racketeering laws and ordered them to put stronger language and warning labels in their marketing and to print ads detailing smoking’s health effects.
      Under court order, the ads are paid for by the tobacco companies Philip Morris USA, Lorillard, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and Altria Group.
      “There was a decade of litigation over exactly what they say and when they’re going to run and what the font sizes are and all of that stuff,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and the Truth Initiative distinguished professor of tobacco control at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved in the lawsuit.
      “But it is meant to, to some extent, reverse 50 years of lying to the public,” he said.
      The ads appear as black text on white backgrounds and detail the health effects of smoking, the addictiveness of cigarettes, and the dangers of secondhand smoke and low-tar cigarettes, among other health concerns.

      Tobacco companies weigh in

      Altria, which owns the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, issued a statement in October in response to the court order.
      “This industry has changed dramatically over the last 20 years, including becoming regulated by the FDA, which we supported,” Murray Garnick, Altria’s executive vice president and general counsel, said in the statement.
      “We’re focused on the future and, with FDA in place, working to develop less risky tobacco products,” Garnick said. “We remain committed to aligning our business practices with society’s expectations of a responsible company. This includes communicating openly about the health effects of our products, continuing to support cessation efforts, helping reduce underage tobacco use and developing potentially reduced-risk products.”
      In a statement to CNN, R.J. Reynolds said it “will fully meet its obligations under this order as part of its commitment to being a responsible company operating in a controversial industry.” 
      “We are working to address and resolve many of the controversial issues relating to the use of tobacco. The tobacco industry today is very different than it was when this lawsuit was filed in 1999,” the statement said.

      ‘They will have to tell the truth, the whole truth’

      The corrective ads mark a “landmark moment,” said Cliff Douglas, the American Cancer Society’s vice president for tobacco control and director of the society’s Tobacco Control Center.

        The evolution of anti-smoking campaigns

      The American Cancer Society — along with the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund, the National African American Tobacco Prevention Network and Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights — was involved in the case to ensure that public health interests were presented to the court.
      “It brings a certain degree of closure to an era now extending to well over 50 years, during which the tobacco industry committed widespread fraud and engaged in conspiracy, as found by the court, to deceive the public and health experts and the government,” said Douglas, who is also an attorney.
      “Now, they will have to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to the world,” he said. “The court ruling was also forward-looking and focused on the fact that the industry’s wrongdoing has continued with regard to the issues focused on by the corrective statements, which are designed in part to deter future wrongdoing.”
      Although many medical professionals and tobacco control advocates applaud the ads, some also warn that the “corrective statements” are far from closing this chapter in history.
      “As pleased as we are that it has finally come to be and the corrective statements will be out there in newspapers and more also on television, the way young people watch and consume media has fundamentally changed,” said Robin Koval, CEO and president of the Truth Initiative, a nonprofit tobacco control organization.
      For instance, only about 5% of 18- to 29-year-old Americans often get news from reading print newspapers, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted last year.

        How to quit smoking forever

      Dr. Eric Presser, a thoracic surgeon who is a member of First California Physician Partners and an associate professor at the University of California, Riverside School of Medicine, sees the tobacco companies’ forthcoming corrective ads as a “step in the right direction in educating the public.”
      Presser was not involved in the case or the ads, but he said he sees the health impacts and addictiveness of smoking firsthand.
      For the many patients whom he has treated for smoking-related cancers, Presser said, he tells them “it’s not your fault” for having a cigarette addiction.
      “One patient of mine who sticks out was a professional football player,” said Presser, author of the book “An Empowering Guide to Lung Cancer.”
      “He told me that he used to smoke while he was playing, which is unbelievable, because you take an athlete on the professional level as a football player and then you put smoke into his body, you wonder how good he could have been,” Presser said before detailing how he removed cancer from the patient’s lungs.
      After the procedure, the patient stopped smoking, Presser said, but then his mother died, and he returned to smoking for a short while before quitting again.
      “So imagine the addictive effect and the addictive nature of cigarettes to give someone cancer, you cut out the cancer and tell them you’ve given them a second chance at life, and they still go back to it even on occasion,” Presser said. “That’s how powerful this drug is.”
      Smoking rates have been on the decline in the US, but some experts — such as Presser and UCSF’s Glantz — point to the rise of e-cigarettes as representing a new era of public health concern.
      “I think the situation with e-cigarettes is that the more we learn, the worse they look, and people started out very optimistic about them,” Glantz said. “Now, it’s looking like they probably cause as much heart disease and lung cancer, lung disease as conventional cigarettes do.”

      See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

      Presser said patients often ask him about their use of e-cigarettes or “vaping.”
      “The biggest thing I tell my patients is, the only thing you should be breathing is air,” Presser said. “Anything that goes in through your mouth, through your nose, through your lungs, that is smoke, is just not supposed to be there, and it is going to cause the same kind of inflammation and effects that a cigarette does.”

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/21/health/tobacco-ads-court-order-bn/index.html

      Want to live longer? Get a dog

      (CNN)The benefits that come with owning a dog are clear– physical activity, support, companionship — but owning a dog could literally be saving your life

      Dog ownership is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and death, finds a new study published Friday in Scientific Reports, a Swedish publication.
      For people living alone, owning a dog can decrease their risk of death by 33% and their risk of cardiovascular related death by 36%, when compared to single individuals without a pet, according to the study. Chances of a heart attack were also found to be 11% lower.
        Multi-person household owners also saw benefits, though to a lesser extent. Risk of death among these dog owners fell by 11% and their chances of cardiovascular death were 15% lower. But their risk of a heart attack was not reduced by owning a dog.
        “A very interesting finding in our study was that dog ownership was especially prominent as a protective factor in persons living alone, which is a group reported previously to be at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than those living in a multi-person household,” said Mwenya Mubanga, an author on the study and PhD student at Uppsala University.
        As a single dogowner, an individual is the sole person walking and interacting with their pet as opposed to married couples or households with children, which may contribute to greater protection from cardiovascular disease and death, said the study.
        Owners of hunting breeds, including terriers, retrievers,and scent hounds, were most protected from cardiovascular diseaseand death. However, owning any dog will reduce an owners risk of death, just to different extents, said Tove Fall, senior author of the study and Associate Professor in Epidemiology at Uppsala University.
        The study looked at over 3.4 million Swedish individuals between the ages of 40 and 80 sampled from a national database and the Swedish Twin Register over a 12-year study period.
        “We know that dog owners in general have a higher level of physical activity, which could be one explanation to the observed results,” said Fall. This includes taking the dog out for a walk in any weather condition.
        The findings also suggest increased social well-being and immune system development as additional reasons why dog ownership offers protection against cardiovascular disease and death.
        One factor behind this may be because dogs bring dirt into homes and they lick you, which could impact your microbiome — the bacteria that live in your gut — and thus your health.
        “It may encourage owners to improve their social life, and that in itself will reduce their stress level, which we know absolutely is a primary cause for cardiovascular disease and cardiac events,” said Dr. Rachel Bond, Associate Director of Women’s Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, who was not involved in the research.

        More to be revealed

        Fall believes that while their study provides strong evidence for the health benefits of dogs, their work is not done yet, since it does not answer why dogs achieve these results or why specific breeds seems to offer more protection.
        Bond commented that owners of hunting breeds may be getting more exercise because these dogs are more active as opposed to small dogs who do not require as much exercise.
        There are also other factors that still need to be considered, such as the owner’s personality and general physical health and activity.
        “It is hard to say if there truly is a causal effect. This study in particular, excluded patients with heart disease in general, and we know that disabled people may be less likely to own a dog so that really raises the question if owning a dog lead to heart health or is it merely a marker for people who are more likely to have good heart health,” said Dr. Bond.

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        While Bond may not prescribe a dog as treatment for a patient, she said that she will not discourage owning or buying one, or expressing the benefits of owning one.

        Benefits beyond Sweden

        While the research was carried out in Sweden, Fall does believe it may also apply toother countries, including the U.S., since popular breeds and people’s attitudes toward dog care are similar.
        However, some factors that may affect the results are thedifferences in climate and socio-economic backgrounds, noted Fall.
        “We have a colder climate so we have indoor dogs where owners take their dogs out for a walk. In warmer climates, they could keep them in the yard and won’t have to actively take them for a walk,” said Fall.
        “I think it would be hard to take the data from Sweden and apply it to the US since we have a more diverse population. More studies should be obtained in the United States,” said Bond.

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/17/health/dog-owners-heart-disease-and-death/index.html

        President of American Heart Association recovering after heart attack

        The 52-year-old president of the American Heart Association was recovering this week after suffering what was described as a “minor” heart attack during a health conference in California.

        John Warner, a cardiologist who is also vice president and chief executive of UT Southwestern University Hospitals in Dallas, was in stable condition after doctors inserted a stent to open an artery, the association told the Washington Post in a statement.

        The heart attack occurred Monday, one day after Warner delivered a speech about his family’s longstanding battle with heart disease, at the organization’s annual five-day Scientific Sessions conference in Anaheim, Calif., the Dallas Morning News reported.

        As a cardiologist, Warner routinely performs the same procedure that he underwent himself as a patient following his heart attack, the organization said.

        After his heart attack, Warner said he wanted to reiterate the message he delivered in his speech — about the ongoing fight for cardiovascular health.

        “After my son was born and we were introducing him to his extended family, I realized something very disturbing: There were no old men on either side of my family. None. All the branches of our family tree cut short by cardiovascular disease,” Warner said in his speech, the Dallas Morning News reported.

        “John wanted to reinforce that this incident underscores the important message that he left us with in his presidential address yesterday – that much progress has been made, but much remains to be done,” Nancy Brown, the heart association’s CEO, said in a statement, the Washington Post reported.

        Warner is serving a voluntary one-year term as the organization’s president since accepting the position in July, the Post reported. 

        Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/11/16/president-american-heart-association-recovering-after-heart-attack.html

        FDA moves to revoke soy health claim

        (CNN)The US Food and Drug Administration called into question Monday the authorized health claim that soy protein reduces heart disease risk.

        “We are proposing a rule to revoke a health claim for soy protein and heart disease,” said a statement from Susan Mayne, director of the FDA Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “For the first time, we have considered it necessary to propose a rule to revoke a health claim because numerous studies published since the claim was authorized in 1999 have presented inconsistent findings on the relationship between soy protein and heart disease.”
        Soy protein comes from soybeans, and some research suggests that a daily intake of soy protein may slightly lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, possibly leading to healthy-heart benefits.
          “But we’ve since learned that not every way of lowering cholesterol has benefits, and some things that do lower cholesterol actually have shown harm, (and) what we know is that there was never any clinical trials ever that showed eating more soy improves heart health,” said Dr. Karol Watson, a cardiologist and director of the UCLA Women’s Cardiovascular Health Center.
          Yet many Americans rely on high-quality protein like soy, said John Erdman, professor emeritus in the division of nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a scientific adviser to the Soy Nutrition Institute.
          “If nothing else, it doesn’t contain cholesterol, and it’s not high in saturated fats, so if you’re replacing meat or dairy with soy, you’re automatically getting heart health benefits,” he said.
          Erdman was disappointed but not surprised with the FDA’s announcement, he said.
          After all, he said, the FDA has been “under tremendous pressure” from anti-soy groups like the Weston A. Price Foundation to revoke the claim, despite some studies suggesting that soy has health benefits. The foundation is a nonprofit that works to restore what it calls nutrient-dense foods to the human diet, according to its website.

          The history of soy and health claims

          “There was a sufficient amount of data prior to 1999 to suggest that 25 grams of soy protein a day was sufficient to lower cholesterol, assuming you had an otherwise appropriate diet,” said Erdman, who authored a statement paper in the journal Circulation in 2000 that concluded “it is prudent to recommend including soy protein foods in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol to promote heart health.”
          Then, in 2008, the American Heart Association stated that there was not enough evidence to claim a strong link between soy protein and the reduced risk of coronary heart disease.
          Last year, the FDA denied a citizen petition submitted by the Weston A. Price Foundation, requesting that the health claims about soy protein and reduced risk of heart disease be revoked.
          Now, “while some evidence continues to suggest a relationship between soy protein and a reduced risk of heart disease — including evidence reviewed by the FDA when the claim was authorized — the totality of currently available scientific evidence calls into question the certainty of this relationship,” said the statement from the FDA’s Mayne.
          “Our review of that evidence has led us to conclude that the relationship between soy protein and heart disease does not meet the rigorous standard for an FDA-authorized health claim,” the statement said.
          On Monday, the American Heart Association said in an emailed statement that its “position on soy protein and coronary heart disease remains the same as outlined in our 2008 comment letter. Moving forward, we will carefully review the FDA’s proposed rule, especially the possibility that the FDA may allow a qualified health claim related to soy and heart disease, because in this instance we are concerned that consumers may not understand the claim or that it is based on limited evidence.”

          What is a health claim?

          Qualified health claims do not require as much scientific evidence as is required for an authorized health claim.
          Authorized health claims are reviewed by the FDA and typically allowed on food labeling to show that a food or food component may reduce the risk of a disease or a health-related condition. However, such claims must be supported by scientific evidence.
          The FDA’s proposed rule to reverse the claim sets in motion a 75-day public comment period. The comments, along with all related research, will be reviewed to consider whether the rule will become final. If it does, the FDA said, a qualified health claim may be permitted if the agency feels there is evidence to support one.

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          The authorized health claim is one of 12 such claims allowed on foods. Other examples include the benefits of calcium and vitamin D to reduce risk of osteoporosis, some fruits and vegetables preventing cancer and folic acid preventing birth defects.
          The FDA has been evaluating health claims on packaged foods since 1990, it said.
          The take-away message for consumers should be to maintain a healthy daily diet as a whole to benefit your heart health and not focus too much on individual food items or nutrients, Watson said.
          “You can actually prevent many diseases with lifestyle,” she said.

          Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/30/health/fda-soy-heart-health-claim-bn/index.html

          ‘Detox’ from overly processed foods: Why and how to cut back

          (CNN)If nutrition headlines catch your attention, you’ve probably heard the advice to eat more fresh, whole foods and consume fewer processed foods.

          It sounds straightforward enough, and you may have chosen to abide by this “food rule.” But like many topics in nutrition, the advice is not as simple as it sounds.
          Before you do a pantry or freezer overhaul, keep in mind that “processed” is a very general term.
            Some processed foods serve as important players in filling nutrient gaps and contribute to the availability of a safe and convenient food supply. Others are, well, pretty much junk food.
            The challenge lies in knowing which ones to include in your diet and which processed foods pose a problem.

            Processed Foods 101

            Processed foods include any food that has been deliberately changed before we consume it. “I think it is important that people understand, anytime you alter the food from its natural state, that is actually considered ‘processed,’ ” said Kristi L. King, a senior registered dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital and a national spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
            According to the International Food Information Council, processing can be as simple as freezing or drying food to preserve nutrients and freshness, or as complex as formulating a frozen meal with the optimal balance of nutrients and ingredients.
            Minimally processed foods retain most of their inherent nutritional and physical properties. Examples of these include washed and cut fruits and vegetables, bagged salads and roasted nuts.
            Those, along with foods processed to help preserve and enhance nutrients and freshness of foods at their peak — canned tuna, beans and tomatoes, as well as frozen fruits and vegetables — are healthful and offer important nutrients.
            Other processed foods include sauces and dressings, as well as ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, crackers, nut butters, yogurt and milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
            It’s the more heavily processed foods, snacks and meals high in added sugars, sodium and unhealthy fats that are the “problem” processed foods, as consuming too many of them can lead to health problems. Also known as “ultra-processed” foods, they are formulations of salt, sugar, oils and fats, as well as flavors, colors and other additives.
            “The problem with highly processed foods is, they are usually loaded with sodium for shelf stabilization, sugar for taste or added fats, including saturated and trans fats, for mouth feel,” King said. Research has linked all of these ingredients to chronic health problems, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and some types of cancer, according to King.
            “The cookies, chips, snack cakes that we all know and think of as ‘processed foods’ would be ones that are not so healthy for us, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages and highly processed meats such as sausage,” she said.

            How to cut back on highly processed foods

            According to experts, the key to an overall healthy diet is to limit your intake of “ultra-processed” foods, which make up about 60% of our calories and contribute 90% of calories from added sugars, while choosing healthier, unprocessed and minimally processed foods that offer a variety of nutrients.
            And there are some relatively painless ways to do it.
            1. Start slowly. “If you eat a significant amount of highly processed foods, try taking small steps toward a less processed diet,” said Jackie Newgent, a registered dietitian, culinary nutritionist and author of “The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook.” “There’s no need to go cold turkey today — and often, if you slowly ease into a less-processed eating plan, your likelihood of continuing your wholesome new habits increases.”
            2. Supplement your meals with fresh foods. Try adding a banana or apple at breakfast or as a snack, or a vegetable at lunch. “Ultimately, half of your plate at lunch and dinner should be fruits and vegetables,” King said. “Simply adding a freshly prepared salad to an otherwise not-so-fresh meal makes it better for your body … and more enjoyable,” Newgent said.
            3. Fewer sugar-sweetened beverages, more water. If you get tired of water, King recommends carbonated water or adding fruit to water for flavor.
            4. Stop adding salt to foods. “If you need an extra flavor boost, add garlic or pepper instead,” King said.
            5. Choose whole grains over processed grains. “Go with brown rice in place of white rice, whole-wheat pasta instead of ‘white’ pasta and whole-grain bread instead of ‘white’ bread. These swaps are nuttier-tasting and more filling, too,” Newgent said.
            6. Limit or avoid processed meats. Meats such as bacon, ham, hot dogs and sausage have been linked to increased risk of colorectal cancer.
            7. Plan ahead. “If you find that you are reaching for the highly processed foods because they are convenient and you are in a hurry to get to your meeting or your kid to soccer practice, try planning out snacks on the weekend for the weekdays,” King said. Set aside portions of trail mix, carrots and celery with hummus, Greek yogurts, and fruit with natural nut butters so they are ready to grab and go.
            8. Use substitutes for highly processed snacks and foods. Instead of potato chips, try nonfat popcorn, which is whole grain and a good source of fiber and still gives the crunch you’re looking for. “You can add a dash of chili powder or Parmesan cheese for flavor,” King said. You can also replace sugar-sweetened cereal with unsweetened oatmeal and add fruit for flavor.
            9. Make your own versions of traditionally processed foods. Consider homemade kale chips, granola and even salad dressings.
            “Instead of bottled salad dressing that may contain preservatives your body doesn’t need, whip up your own,” Newgent said. “Simply whisk together three tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon vinegar of choice for an easy two-ingredient vinaigrette. Or add that oil and vinegar to a blender with a small handful of berries for a lovely fruity salad dressing.”
            10. Make healthier versions of frozen meals. “Try batch cooking on the weekend or a weeknight when you have time,” King said. Consider a homemade mac and cheese with whole-wheat pasta and veggies or turkey burger patties with sautéed vegetables.

            See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

             11. Don’t be fooled by the advertising. If you see fat- or sugar-modified food, such as fat-free mayo or sugar-free yogurt, be wary. “These foods may have artificial ingredients — such as the artificial colors yellow No. 6 or red No. 40 — or other chemical additives, such as the artificial sweetener acesulfame potassium, making them more processed and potentially less healthful for you,” Newgent said.
            “Read the ingredient list on packaged foods, and look for a list that reads more like a recipe rather than a pseudo-science experiment,” she added.

            Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/27/health/processed-food-eat-less-drayer/index.html

            These 5 Items Are The Batmen Of Cybersecurity

            This piece was written by the people who run the Cracked Store to tell you about products that are being sold there.

            Whether or not you were one of the 143 million people affected by the Equifax breach, you’ve probably realized by now that even casual use of the internet is about as dangerous as walking down a dark alleyway in a Batman comic. But hope is not entirely lost. You can fortify your defenses against all forms of digital crime with the following security products. And feel free to yell out “Pow!” and “Whammo!” and “WHERE’S THE TRIGGER?” while you use them.

            GateKeeper Wireless Bluetooth PC Lock

            Working anywhere with a sizable amount of tech-savvy colleagues can leave you constantly vulnerable to cyber-pranks. Having your desktop populated with a mess of delete-proof folders all named “fetish stuff” is funny the first six times, but repeatedly shuffling down to IT gets old fast. Lock your computer wirelessly as soon as you walk away with a GateKeeper PC Lock. Those meddling nerds will never stand a chance. Get a 2-pack of these workstation key fobs here for $59.99. Take an extra 15 percent off with coupon code SAVE15.

            Zoolz Cloud Storage

            Here’s a scenario most anti-hacking devices don’t prepare you for: What if your laptop actually gets stolen? Like, physically stolen. Like, a mugger swipes it while you’re ordering a second pumpkin spice latte, or your tablet gets carried away by a well-trained flock of crows. Well, there really isn’t much you can do to keep your data safe, short of handcuffing yourself to your computer bag and carrying around a can of crow repellent. Oh wait, there totally is something you can do! PUNCH. CROWS.

            OK, please don’t do that. Just keep your important data encrypted on the cloud. For only $49.99, you can get a lifetime of access to 2 TB of fully encrypted cloud storage. Take an extra 20 percent off with coupon code SOFTWARE20.

            Sticky Password Premium

            Reusing the same password is a great way to allow someone you’ve never met to vandalize your public profile, sabotage your online relationships, or empty your bank account. But who has time to memorize a variety of long and complicated passwords? Machines do! Sticky Password Premium provides strong encrypted passwords for all of your accounts, controlled by a master password known by you and only you. (Just please don’t make that password, “PASSWORD.” I tried that, and now some guy in Kansas has maxed out my credit card buying SNES Classics.) A lifetime subscription to this robust password manager is just $29.99 from our store. Take an extra 20 percent off with coupon code SOFTWARE20.

            BullGuard Identity Protection Suite

            We can all admit that we’ve stumbled into some seedy parts of the web, be it inadvertently or, for some of us, very, very advertently. Unfortunately, partaking in digital excavations without some form of protection can lead to some nasty network-transmitted infections. And also shame. BullGuard Identity Protection Suite can help with the former by keeping an active watch on all of your devices, including smartphones, and it stays up to date with the latest malware vaccinations to keep your PC always feeling fresh down there. The shame, though? That’s for you and you alone. This cross-platform online shield is being offered in the Cracked Shop for 74 percent off the usual price, just $29.99. Take an extra 20 precent off with coupon code SOFTWARE20.

            Disconnect VPN

            Much like how flossing carries unseen benefits that extend beyond teeth, like helping to prevent heart disease and finally having something to brag to your mom about, a good VPN does a lot more than just block ads. With Disconnect VPN, you’ll notice that your battery life lasts longer and that your internet gets faster. Or you might not notice, on account of having access to early premieres on international Netflix. A three-year premium subscription to Disconnect will curtail online tracking in all its forms. And it costs only $29 when you order it here. Take an extra 15 percent off with coupon code VPN15.

            Every hacker worth their salt knows you gotta treat your computer like the queen she is. So slip your hardware into something a little more comfortable with this Black Cat Selina Laptop and iPad Skin. If the handheld route is more your speed we still got you covered. Check out this 5th Turtle iPhone and iPod case. You’re welcome.

            And pick up some epic computer skills with Your Boss Thinks You’re Dumb, So Prove Him Wrong With Excel.

            Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/these-5-items-are-batmen-cybersecurity/

            ‘Toxic’ cars hit with new charge

            Image copyright Getty Images
            Image caption The T-Charge aims to cut pollution in the capital

            Drivers of older, more polluting vehicles will have to pay almost twice as much to drive in central London.

            Mayor Sadiq Khan’s £10 T-Charge, which mainly applies to diesel and petrol vehicles registered before 2006, has come into force.

            It covers the same area as the existing congestion charge zone, bumping the cost to £21.50 for those affected.

            Opponents said the scheme would “disproportionately penalise London’s poorest drivers”

            The measure is the latest attempt by Mr Khan to improve air quality in the capital.

            Mr Khan, said: “London’s air is a killer and is linked to asthma, strokes, heart disease and dementia.

            “I refuse to be a mayor who ignores this and I am determined to take effective action to reduce the harm it does to Londoners.”

            What is changing?

            From Monday 23 October, there will be a £10 daily fee for those who drive more polluting vehicles in the congestion charging zone, on top of the existing £11.50 congestion charge.

            Vehicles which do not comply with the Euro IV exhaust standard must pay the charge.

            The standard defines emissions limits for cars, vans, buses, coaches and lorries. Most vehicles registered before 2006 are likely to exceed these limits.

            The zone will operate between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.

            The T-Charge is the first of a series of new rates being introduced in London.

            It is due to be replaced by a stricter Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2020, although Mr Khan is consulting on bringing this forward to 2019.

            This will mean diesel cars registered before September 2015 and petrol cars registered before 2006 will face a #12.50 charge.

            The mayor hopes to expand the area covered for cars and vans up to the North and South Circular roads in 2021.

            Image copyright GLA
            Image caption The mayor has launched a poster campaign to highlight pollution

            Sue Terpilowski from the Federation of Small Businesses said: “The introduction of the T-charge, comes at a time when small and micro-businesses in London are already facing astonishingly high property, employment and logistics costs.

            “There is a fear that this will be the final straw that closes businesses and takes jobs.”

            Shaun Bailey, conservative environment spokesman at the London Assembly, said: “As an asthmatic I’m well aware of how critical an issue this is for London but we need policies that actually deliver progress.

            “By boasting about a policy that so disproportionately penalises London’s poorest drivers and puts jobs at risk, the mayor is simply blowing more smoke into the capital’s already-polluted atmosphere.”

            Related Topics

            Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-41695116