Extra 10p on sugary drinks ‘cut sales’

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption 10p or 3% was added to the price of sugar-sweetened drinks and healthier soft drinks were added to the menu

An increase in the price of sugary drinks in restaurants and the offer of healthier alternatives could encourage customers to cut back on sugar, a study suggests.

In Jamie’s Italian restaurants, sales of sugar-sweetened soft drinks declined by 9% following a 10p price rise.

The chain also redesigned the menu and explained that money from the levy would go to charity.

Experts said more research was needed to pin down what measures worked.

Consuming too many sugary soft drinks has been linked to a higher risk of serious health problems such as obesity, type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and tooth decay.

Sugar tax

To help tackle obesity, the UK government is introducing a tax on high-sugar soft drinks such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Irn-Bru in April 2018 – and Jamie Oliver had been vocal in his support of the plan.

This study, in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, analysed sales of sugary non-alcoholic beverages at 37 of Jamie Oliver’s national chain of restaurants after a 10p levy was introduced in September 2015.

Low-sugar fruit spritzers (fruit juice mixed with water) were also added to the menu, which clearly explained why the levy was being introduced.

Image caption Jamie Oliver urged the government to be bold on a sugar tax

After 12 weeks, sales of sugary drinks per customer had declined by 11%, and after six months they had gone down by 9.3%.

But the study did not look at any other restaurant chains to compare sales figures.

The study also showed there was a general decrease in the number of soft drinks sold per customer, including diet drinks and bottled waters.

The researchers, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the University of Cambridge, said more people could have chosen tap water, but these figures had not been recorded.

Sales of fruit juices had increased by 22% six months after the changes were introduced.

Changing behaviour

Prof Steven Cummins, lead study author and professor of population health at LSHTM, said: “A small levy on sugar-sweetened drinks sold in restaurant, coupled with complementary activities [such as redesigning the menu], may have the potential to change consumer behaviour.”

But he said it was not possible to say that the price increase alone had caused the decline in sales of sugar-sweetened drinks.

There was also no separate data on what adults and children ordered.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Customers may have ordered tap water instead of sugary drinks

Prof Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics at the Open University, said it was plausible that the levy “played an important role” but he also called for “more investigation, in other restaurants, and with a longer follow-up period, to try to pin down more clearly what really works”.

Prof Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at the University of Oxford, said the findings were “encouraging news for public health”.

But she said there was a disappointing lack of data on alcohol sales, which could have increased over the same period.

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41637931

Oxford city center could be electric vehicle-only by 2030

The dreaming spires could soon be the first to benefit from being in a 'Zero Emission Zone'
Image: Shutterstock / elesi

A lot can happen in three years, but banning combustion engines from a major city centre? That seems a bit of a stretch.

Oxford City and Oxfordshire County Council have proposed plans to rid the city centre of all diesel- and petrol-fuelled vehicles — buses and taxis included — by 2020. This could potentially make Oxford centre the very first Zero Emission Zone, and the council also wants to expand this Zero Emission Zone twice more, in 2025 and 2030. 

The council cites the health risks caused by pollution as the reason behind this bold proposal. In a statement, Oxford council says, “Oxford city centre currently has illegally-high levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide, which contributes to diseases including cancer, asthma, stroke and heart disease – and contributes to around 40,000 deaths in the UK every year.”

The council projects that this new plan will lead to a 74% reduction in nitrogen dioxide on the centre’s most polluted street by 2035.

The City Council had already made some headway, as they state in their press release that they have won £500,000 in government funding to install charging points for electric taxis, and a further £800,000 for charging points for use by Oxford residents.

However, as optimistic as this plan may seem, The Memo picked up on a slight catch.

The area that would be covered by the 2020 no-emission zone is incredibly small, and already contains “very little traffic,” according to the Oxford Zero Emission Zone Feasibility and Implementation Study. It notes that implementing the diesel and petrol ban in this area “would potentially have little overall effect on air quality”.

The 2020 area only covers 3 roads, and they’re not particularly busy thoroughfares.

On the other hand, three years is not a long time to adapt a city centre to electric vehicles, so changes would have to be incremental. 

TheOxford Zero Emission Zone Feasibility and Implementation Study also suggests that the council could incentivise people to switch to electric vehicles by offering free EV (electric vehicle) parking in 2020 and then introducing EV-only parking areas in 2025.

James McKemey at Pod Point, a company which installs EV charging points, believes that the real incentive to switch to EV won’t come so much from the public sector, than from consumer experience. He told us that government grants and tax breaks encouraging the purchase of electric cars are “small incentives which are helpful in the early days […] but ultimately the real incentive to drive an electric vehicle will be that they are fundamentally better.” 

He also thinks that Oxford City Council’s 2020 goal isn’t an unreasonable target, given that EV battery pack prices have recently become far more affordable at a rate that is “far beyond what we expected”.

So from this point of view Oxford centre wouldn’t be forcing a change to electric vehicles so much as keeping up with a trend.

However, this doesn’t mean that enforcement won’t be an issue. Oxford council’s study recommends the implementation of Automatic Number Plate Recognition to help identify anyone infringing on the Zero Emission Zone, regardless of the “illuminated signs” they would put up.

The plans are still only a proposal, and from Monday Oxford residents will have six weeks of public consultation to voice their opinions about their town going electric. Lovely though the plans to reduce pollution sound, they’re bound to make disrupt life for local businesses, as well as the few Oxford professors who don’t ride to work on penny farthings. 

There goes the history department.

Image: Laura De Meo/REX/Shutterstock

Of course if Oxford does go electric, it will make for much more environmentally friendly car chases on Lewis. And what about Endeavour? Hard to say.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/13/oxford-city-centre-zero-emission-zone-2020/

US police killings undercounted by half, study using Guardian data finds

Harvard study finds over half of deaths wrongly classified, in latest example of databases greatly undercounting police killings

Over half of all police killings in 2015 were wrongly classified as not having been the result of interactions with officers, a new Harvard study based on Guardian data has found.

The finding is just the latest to show government databases seriously undercounting the number of people killed by police.

Right now the data quality is bad and unacceptable, said lead researcher Justin Feldman. To effectively address the problem of law enforcement-related deaths, the public needs better data about who is being killed, where, and under what circumstances.

Feldman used data from the Guardians 2015 investigation into police killings, The Counted, and compared it with data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). That dataset, which is kept by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was found to have misclassified 55.2% of all police killings, with the errors occurring disproportionately in low-income jurisdictions.

As with any public health outcome or exposure, the only way to understand the magnitude of the problem, and whether it is getting better or worse, requires that data be uniformly, validly, and reliably obtained throughout the US, said Nancy Krieger, professor of social epidemiology at Harvards Chan School of Public Health and senior author of the study. Our results show our country is falling short of accurately monitoring deaths due to law enforcement and work is needed to remedy this problem.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/11/police-killings-counted-harvard-study

Beyond just birth control: Rollback leaves some women fearful

(CNN)Rachel Jarnagin was on her way to a post-surgical checkup Friday when she heard the news: The Trump administration had rolled back Obamacare’s birth control mandate, opening the door for nearly any employer or insurer with religious or moral convictions against contraceptives to exclude those benefits from their health plans.

The announcement struck close to home: Jarnagin, 30, had an ovary removed because of endometriosis just over a week ago and was prescribed hormonal birth control to keep the disorder in check. Endometriosis is an often-painful condition in which uterine tissue grows outside the uterus.
“My doctor told me, ‘Unless we start you on birth control to manage it, there’s no guarantee that you won’t get endometriosis on the other ovary and lose it, too,'” said Jarnagin, who works at a bath and beauty store in Denver. “It’s a necessity for me.”
    Her reaction to the administration’s decision: “I deserve to have affordable medications for a condition that I have no control over. I have always been an advocate for access to health care, and it’s frustrating that I may have to fight or pay more for health care that I’ve already do.”
    Much of the controversy over providing contraception to women centers on its use for family planning. But many medical conditions also require the use of hormonal birth control methods.
    “I saw this announcement, and it made me really angry,” said Jarnagin’s older sister, Allison Phipps, 32. “Endometriosis is a very common problem. My mom had it when she was 27 and had a portion of both of her ovaries removed. I might even have it, because many women don’t even know it’s there until the symptoms start.”
    Phipps herself was on the pill for 11 years and believes it might have protected her from developing the condition that has plagued the women in her family.
    “Personally, that’s why it’s important to me for birth control to be covered,” said Phipps, who works as an art director in Denver, “but I also believe it’s very important to women as a family planning method.
    “I remember when I was in college and having to pay for it,” she said. “For a generic mini pill, it was $30 a month, and with no job and student loans, that was a big deal. That was ramen noodle packages for a month.”
    Phipps, like many women, took to social media to express outrage, often using the hashtag #HandsoffmyBC.
    Jennifer Lawson, 43, a best-selling author and blogger from San Antonio, used the hashtag to share how she used birth control in her youth to control excruciating cramps.
    Her cramps, she wrote in an email, were “so severe they made me physically sick. A doctor put me on birth control pills to help and it made a big difference. I still had cramps and nausea but they were finally manageable to the point that I wasn’t missing days of school and falling behind in life.”
    Children’s book author Jessie Talbot had an even stronger reaction. “If I didn’t have BC, I’d be dead now,” she posted.
    “My issues came to an abrupt end when I got a hysterectomy 17 years ago,” Talbot said in an interview. “The birth control helped for a while but there was actually too much wrong for it to save the day. At least I had that option at the time.”
    Atlanta interactive designer Deb Nilsen has polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal imbalance often treated with birth control. If left untreated, it can lead to serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
    “I think that the idea of the rollback on birth control is ridiculous and shortsighted,” Nilsen posted on Facebook. “Women like me, who have PCOS, typically do not have regular cycles and take birth control in order to get a period and not to prevent pregnancy. If a woman with PCOS doesn’t have access to birth control, I think it could be a risk factor for her.”
    None of these reactions comes as a surprise to Dr. Anne Davis, an OB-GYN in New York who serves as consulting medical director for the nonprofit Physicians for Reproductive Health. After the 2016 election, she says, she heard women warning each other that their access to birth control might dwindle once the president-elect took office.
    But worry is much different from reality.
    Friday, Davis was fitting an intrauterine device for a patient who has a condition that makes it medically dangerous to have more children. “I asked her if she’d seen the news,” Davis said. “She told me that she saw it and it was really hard for her not to cry.”
    Just a decade ago, says Davis, most women in her practice never considered using an IUD. “I would tell them, ‘Your insurance isn’t going cover it, and it’s 800 bucks.’ And people just shrugged their shoulders and said, ‘Well, I don’t have 800 bucks.’ It was completely out of reach financially for most of my patients.”
    One of those patients, she recalls, used a condom for contraception but, due to accidents, ended up having an abortion, and then another.
    “After the Obamacare mandate, she was able to get an IUD,” Davis said. “Years later, she’s planning a family, in a place and time in her life where she can support children. It was a sea change for her.”

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

    What’s next for women who find themselves reliant on birth control for their medical conditions?
    “People are feeling deeply unsettled,” Davis added. “They don’t know what’s going to happen.”
    Lawson, the author and blogger, said, “No employer knows me well enough to decide what is or isn’t acceptable for myself, my daughter, or anyone else. And they shouldn’t have to know me well enough because it’s none of their business.”
    Lawson says she no longer has to take birth control pills but would be terrified of how the Trump decision would affect her if she were still suffering as she did when she was younger.
    “But just because it doesn’t affect me personally doesn’t mean I will stop fighting for those who it will negatively impact,” Lawson said. “We’re in this together. Or at least, we should be.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/06/health/women-react-trump-birth-control-mandate-bn/index.html

    Arthur Janov, psychologist behind ‘primal scream’ therapy, dies aged 93

    Janov achieved celebrity with the idea that repressed childhood trauma leads to mood disorders, addiction and even epilepsy

    Arthur Janov, a psychotherapist whose primal therapy had celebrities screaming to release their childhood traumas and spawned a bestselling book in the 1970s, has died. He was 93.

    Janov died on 1 October at his Malibu home from respiratory arrest following a stroke, said his wife, France Janov.

    Janov, a clinical psychologist, became an international celebrity with his idea that adults repressed childhood traumas, making them neurotic and leading to problems such as mood disorders, drug addiction and even epilepsy.

    He believed that what he termed primal pain could extend as far as birth.

    Coming close to death at birth or feeling unloved as a child are examples of such pain, he wrote.

    When the pain is too much, it is repressed and stored away. When enough unresolved pain has occurred, we lose access to your feelings and become neurotic, he wrote. The number one killer in the world today is not cancer or heart disease, it is repression.

    His therapy method involved having people relive their traumatic memories by regressing to infancy or childhood in order to confront and exorcise their demons.

    His southern California centre provided props such as cribs and stuffed animals. Patients, who might pay thousands of dollars, would scream or shout as their supposedly pent-up traumas were revealed.

    Once you feel it, people just become themselves, his wife said. People dont need the drugs, the smoking, the acting out … not to feel that pain.

    Janov contended the therapy contended the therapy could cure everything from stuttering to drug addiction to epilepsy, and might even lead to an end to war.

    He included homosexuality as a curable condition, although the American Psychiatric Association took it off the list of psychiatric disorders in 1973.

    His 1970 book The Primal Scream made him an international celebrity. His patients included John Lennon, Yoko Ono and actor James Earl Jones.

    In a 1975 book, Janov called his therapy the only hope if mankind is to survive and suggested that what he called primal consciousness certainly means an end to war.

    As with many other emotional-release therapies of its time, primal therapy is today widely rejected by mental health professionals as unscientific and ineffectual.

    However, Janovs widow said it is still practised around the world.

    It changed so many peoples lives, she said.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/oct/04/arthur-janov-psychologist-behind-primal-scream-therapy-dies-aged-93

    Jimmy Kimmel Blasts GOP Senator Over Obamacare Repeal: He Lied Right To My Face

    After six minutes-plus of monologue on Tuesday, Sept. 19, dedicated to health care policy during the taping of his nightly show, a video of Jimmy Kimmel blasting Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) has gone viral. In the widely-shared video, Kimmel takes issue with Cassidy over the senator’s introduction of the latest GOP effort to overhaul Obamacare. The bill being used to achieve that effort, Kimmel says, proves Cassidy “lied” on national television.

    A few months ago after my son had open heart surgery, which was something I spoke about on the air, a politician, a senator named Bill Cassidy from Louisiana was on my show and he wasn’t very honest.

    Kimmel was later much more blunt about his opinion of Cassidy’s sponsorship of the bill. The host said,

    This guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.

    The “lie” to which Kimmel refers occurred back in May, when Sen. Cassidy appeared on CNN to discuss alternatives for healthcare reform. During that appearance, the senator said any repeal bill that the Senate passes would have to succeed what he called the “Jimmy Kimmel test.”

    Cassidy told CNN anchor John Berman,

    I ask does it pass the Jimmy Kimmel test. Would the child born with a congenital heart disease be able to get everything she or he would need in that first year of life … even if they go over a certain amount?

    Here’s a clip showing Cassidy’s May appearance of note:

    Cassidy would later go on to tout the merits of the Jimmy Kimmel test in other interviews, including one on Kimmel’s show itself. Just days before, Kimmel had been at the center of another viral moment, in which he got emotional while talking about his young son’s open heart surgery. During that particular monologue, Kimmel endorsed keeping Obamacare, which at the time had been a subject of priority for the Republican-controlled Congress.

    When Cassidy appeared on Kimmel’s show, shortly after the House passed a repeal bill, the senator said he agreed that — as Kimmel put it — “every American, regardless of income, should be able to get regular checkups, maternity care, etc., all of those things that people who have health care get and need.”

    Now, months later in September, Kimmel has come out strongly against Graham-Cassidy, the repeal bill recently introduced by Cassidy and fellow Republican Lindsey Graham, which Kimmel says betrays what Cassidy told him in May. He said,

    We want quality, affordable health care. Dozens of other countries figured it out. So instead of jamming this horrible bill down our throats, go pitch in and be a part of that. I’m sure they could use a guy with your medical background. And if not, stop using my name, O.K.? Because I don’t want my name on it. There’s a new Jimmy Kimmel test for you. It’s called the lie detector test. You’re welcome to stop by the studio and take it anytime.

    Here’s Kimmel’s full monologue on health care from Tuesday night, Sept. 19:

    For that monologue, Kimmel faced skepticism from critics who questioned — among other things — whether a discussion about complicated health care policy should be taking place on a late night show.

    Kimmel anticipated that criticism before it even came. During the monologue, he said,

    I never imagined I would get involved in something like this, this is not my area of expertise. My area of expertise is eating pizza, and that’s really about it. But we can’t let them do this to our children, and our senior citizens, and our veterans, or to any of us.

    The host later added,

    Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I’m politicizing my son’s health problems, I want you to know: I am politicizing my son’s health problems because I have to. My family has health insurance we don’t have to worry about this, but other people do. So, you can shove your disgusting comments where your doctor won’t be giving you a prostate exam once they take your health care benefits away.

    Republican senators in support of Graham-Cassidy are looking to pass the bill before Sept. 30, at which point the deadline for repeal Obamacare via a 50-vote threshold ends.

    Read more: http://elitedaily.com/news/politics/jimmy-kimmel-blasts-gop-senator-obamacare-repeal-lied-right-face/2075755/

    New report shows lifestyle changes lower cancer risk

    The American Cancer Society recommends that people at average risk of colorectal cancer begin routine screening at age 50. The most common screening method is a colonoscopy to check for masses and remove polyps that may be pre-cancerous.

    Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the U.S., and with recent trends showing more and more patients being diagnosed in their 20s, it’s clear that colorectal cancer isn’t just a concern for senior citizens.

    The overall rates of colorectal cancer have been falling since 1998, but there’s been an uptick in rates among patients 20 to 34 years old. 

    Though the overall rate of colorectal cancer is still low in younger populations (9 out of 10 diagnoses still occur in patients 50 or older), researchers are eager to understand the trend and reverse it. 

    THE BEST DIETS FOR FEEDING YOUR BRAIN

    While an exact cause hasn’t been pinpointed, there are aspects of the typical American diet and lifestyle that have been shown to increase patients’ risk, and the American Institute for Cancer Research has recently released a new report which estimates that lifestyle changes could prevent 47 percent of colorectal cancers in the U.S.

    The report takes into account worldwide research on colorectal cancer risk, analyzing 99 studies and including data on 29 million people (a quarter of a million of whom were diagnosed with colorectal cancer). The lifestyle changes found to reduce risk were increased physical activity and whole grain intake. Risk factors that increased risk were consumption of alcohol, red meat, and processed meats. Obesity also increased cancer risk.

    Americans’ consumption of whole grains, such as breads made with whole-wheat flour and brown rice, has increased in the last decade but still falls woefully short of the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, which recommend that half of all grains consumed be whole grains. In the average U.S. household, whole grains are a fraction of total grain consumption. The new report concludes for the first time that eating more whole grains lowers your colorectal cancer risk independent of other factors. People who ate an average of three servings of whole grains daily had about a 17 percent reduced risk.

    DOCTOR GOES INTO LABOR WHILE DELIVERING PATIENT’S BABY

    Physical activity decreased cancer risk as well, though it only seemed to reduce the risk of colon cancer and had no impact on the incidence of rectal cancer. Only 1 in 3 adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week, and less than 5 percent engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day.

    It was also found that processed meats like bacon and hot dogs increase the risk of colorectal cancer. About 50 grams of processed meat a day (about one hot dog) was linked to a 16 percent increase in risk, and the more you eat, the greater your risk. Other factors that increased risk included eating more than 18 ounces of red meat (beef or pork) each week, consuming an average of two or more alcoholic drinks per day, and obesity. (Excess weight also increases your risk for a host of other cancers, offering a powerful incentive to try to maintain a healthy weight whenever possible.)

    The report also found less conclusive associations between risk and lifestyle choices. It’s possible that low intake of fruits and vegetables increase cancer risk, especially for those eating less than a cup of each per day. Fish and foods high in vitamin C may also reduce your risk of colorectal cancer.

    CONNECTING THE DOTS BETWEEN HPV AND ORAL CANCER

    Of course, there are no guarantees when it comes to cancer, but we know that a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and a plant-based diet lowers your risk not only of colorectal cancer but of other cancers, heart disease, and obesity.

    As research continues to reveal links between lifestyle factors and disease, we should feel empowered. Though lifestyle changes can be challenging, these findings show that many of us can improve our long-term health by making healthy choices on a daily basis.

    This article first appeared on AskDrManny.com.

    Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel’s senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. For more information on Dr. Manny’s work, visit AskDrManny.com.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2017/09/21/new-report-shows-lifestyle-changes-lower-cancer-risk.html

    Killer who duped William F. Buckley dies in prison at 83

    Edgar Smith, a murder convict who got off New Jersey’s death row with the help of columnist William F. Buckley only to later confess to the crime, died in a California prison hospital. He was 83.

    Smith died March 20, a spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told The Associated Press on Monday. The death was first reported by The Washington Post on Sunday. Prison officials told the newspaper that Smith had been suffering from diabetes and heart disease.

    Smith, originally of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, spent 14 years on death row for the 1957 murder of 15-year-old Victoria Zielinski. He gained national attention while on death row for his writings, most notably the best-selling “Brief Against Death.”

    Buckley, the conservative columnist and editor of National Review, became convinced Smith didn’t receive a fair trial and profiled him for a piece in Esquire magazine. He also helped him establish a defense fund to retain the lawyers who engineered a 1971 plea bargain that led to Smith’s release on parole for time served.

    Over the next few years, Smith maintained his innocence. Buckley invited him to appear on his television program after his release, and Smith made speeches around the country about what he billed as his unjust treatment.

    Then, in 1976, Smith abducted and stabbed a San Diego woman. He was arrested after he called Buckley, who told the FBI where he was hiding out in a Las Vegas hotel, The Associated Press reported at the time.

    The following year, Smith was on trial in San Diego for attempted rape and attempted murder when he shocked the courtroom by confessing to killing Zielinski.

    “For the first time in my life, I recognized that the devil I had been looking at the last 43 years was me. I recognized what I am, and I admitted it,” he told the judge.

    He went on to describe the crime in detail.

    Buckley later expressed regret for supporting Smith.

    He wrote in his nationally syndicated column that he first became involved with Smith when he “became convinced that he had not been fairly tried and that he could not have committed the murder. … I believe now that he was guilty of the first crime.”

    ___

    This story has been corrected to show Smith was on trial for attempted murder and attempted rape in San Diego, not murder and rape.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/09/25/killer-who-duped-william-f-buckley-dies-in-prison-at-83.html

    Opioid overdoses shorten US life expectancy by 2.5 months

    (CNN)Opioid drugs — including both legally prescribed painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, as well as illegal drugs such as heroin or illicit fentanyl — are not only killing Americans, but also shortening their overall life spans. Opioids take about 2.5 months off our lives, according to a new analysis published in the medical journal JAMA.

    In 2015, American life expectancy dropped for the first time since 1993. Public health officials have hypothesized that opioids reduced life expectancy for non-Hispanic white people in the United States from 2000 to 2014. Researchers have now quantified how much opioids are shortening US life spans.
    The researchers noted that the number of opioid overdose deaths are likely underestimated because of gaps in how death certificates are completed.
      From 2000 to 2015, death rates due to heart disease, diabetes and other key causes declined, adding 2.25 years to US life expectancy. But increases in deaths from Alzheimer’s disease, suicide and other causes offset some of those gains. On average, Americans can now expect to live 78.8 years, according to data from 2015, the most recent data available. That’s a statistically significant drop of 0.1 year, about a month, from the previous year.

      Women can still expect to live longer than men — 81.2 years vs. 76.3 years — but both of those estimates were lower in 2015 than they were in 2014.
      Life expectancy at age 65 remained the same in 2015. Once you’ve reached that age, you can expect to live another 19.4 years. Again, women fare slightly better: 20.6 years vs. 18 years for men.

      Drug overdose deaths reach new highs

      Drug overdose deaths are expected to continue to reach new record highs. The CDC expects drug overdose deaths to top 64,000 in 2016 when the numbers are finalized — that’s more than the number of American troops lost during the Vietnam War. Most of these overdoses involved an opioid. Since 1999, the number of opioid-related drug deaths has more than quadrupled.
      While prescription opioids like oxycodone or hydrocodone were considered to be driving factors in the increasing rates of overdose in the early part of the 2000s, heroin and illicit fentanyl have become the drivers for opioid overdose deaths in recent years. In fact, the number of overdose deaths related to fentanyl is expected to more than double, from an estimated 9,945 in 2016 to 20,145 in 2017, the CDC says. For the first time, fentanyl will be the leading cause of opioid overdose.

      ‘It’s a national emergency’

      On the heels of the release of a draft report of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, over the summer, President Donald Trump said “The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I am saying, officially, right now, it is an emergency. It’s a national emergency.
      “We’re going to spend a lot of time, a lot of effort and a lot of money on the opioid crisis,” he added. “It is a serious problem the likes of which we have never had.”
      Yet, five weeks have passed since Trump’s statement, and the White House has yet to make any sort of formal announcement of a national emergency.
      In addition, this week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who chairs the drug addiction commission, posted a letter on the White House’s website requesting an additional four weeks for the commission to complete its final report. “In the interest of submitting … sound recommendations, our research and policy development are still in progress,” wrote Christie. “Accordingly, and pursuant to the Executive Order establishing the Commission, we are seeking an additional four weeks to finalize our work.”

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

      Many public health officials point to the over-prescribing of narcotic painkillers as one of the roots of the opioid overdose epidemic. Last year, the CDC issued new prescribing guidelines for using opioids to treat chronic pain. According to a recent government report, the No. 1 reason that people misuse prescription drugs is to manage pain. In an attempt to help deal with the pain issue, the Trump administration is partnering with private pharmaceutical companies to help fast-track non-opioid, non-addictive pain relief alternatives.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/19/health/opioids-life-expectancy-study/index.html

      Here’s What You Need To Know About Working Out When You Have PCOS

      Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a health problem that affects one in 10 women during their childbearing years. It’s typically caused by an imbalance of hormones and can lead to issues like ovarian cysts, weight gain, irregular or absent periods, acne, excessive hair growth, and in some cases, infertility. Hormonal therapy, such as birth control, is often recommended to treat the condition, but some evidence suggests other lifestyle factors — including a proper diet, stress reduction, and even working out with PCOS — can make a world of difference in easing the symptoms.

      And easing the symptoms is all we can really do when it comes to treating the diagnosis, as the exact cause of PCOS is still unknown, and there is currently no cure for it. But an early diagnosis and a proactive attitude toward making these lifestyle changes early on can reduce the risk of developing more serious, long-term health complications, such as heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

      One of the best tools for managing PCOS is exercise, but it seems that many of the available online sources don’t exactly give women with the condition a guide on  to exercise. Too many of these resources focus on telling women with PCOS they need to work on losing weight in order to manage their symptoms effectively. But, as two experts on the subject have told us, there’s  much more to it than that.

      Elite Daily spoke with Alisa Vitti, a functional nutrition and hormone expert and best-selling author of the book , who has some advice on how to find healthier ways to balance fitness and a PCOS diagnosis.


      Vitti encourages women to remember that working out , not harder, is essential when it comes to this hormonal condition.

      She tells Elite Daily,

      Keep in mind that with PCOS, you have some degree of inflammation, micronutrient depletion, adrenal overload, and blood sugar sensitivity synergistically slowing down your metabolism.

      If you are getting a cycle, then the first half of the month, do 30 minutes of cardio maximum, and the second half of the month, keep it to short [with] seven- to 20-minute high-intensity interval training sessions.

      If you haven’t gotten a cycle in months, then stick to 30 minutes of walking and seven-minute tabata training to rev up your metabolism without aggravating the underlying causes of your PCOS.

      Vitti also says the MyFLO app can help you sync your workouts to your cycle and understand what foods to eat to get your hormones on track.

      Certified health and wellness coach Nicole Granato wholeheartedly agrees with Vitti on the “less is more” mentality when it comes to exercising with PCOS. Granato was diagnosed with PCOS at a young age, but when her doctor recommended the traditional hormonal therapy to treat her symptoms, she decided to opt for a more holistic approach instead.


      Granato claims she “reversed” her diagnosis (and was actually “undiagnosed”) through wholesome nutrition and gentle exercise.

      Granato says it’s all about less , rather than less movement, when it comes to exercising with a PCOS diagnosis. She explains to Elite Daily,

      I believe in doing more nourishing exercises that are gentler around the reproductive area.

      It’s important not to stress or overwork your body when you have PCOS, which is why I recommend exercises like pilates, walking, low-impact running, and yoga.

      The inspiring health and wellness coach says these exercises promote healthy circulation and nourish the reproductive system. She recommends keeping these workouts to about an hour a day, and furthermore, Granato explains, a proper amount of restful sleep can really help in relieving stress and achieving a happy hormonal balance.

      She adds,

      If we train our bodies to balance themselves naturally, then we have control as women. It’s about healing ourselves, not ‘treating’ an issue.

      The [birth control] pill only gives us more issues, and we become dependent on it. When you decide you want a family, it will only be harder to find that nourishing balance.

      Granato says her personal favorite healing exercise is walking, an underrated form of movement that, in her eyes, simply doesn’t get the credit it deserves. She also enjoys pilates, which she believes offers a great mix of gentle movement and strengthening exercise that’s perfect for women with PCOS because it helps build muscle in a slow, yet sustainable way.

      So, whether it be a light jog or a restorative yoga class, when you have PCOS, it’s important to find stress-free forms of movement that your body loves, and that you’ll actually look forward to doing every day.

      Read more: http://elitedaily.com/wellness/workout-out-with-pcos/2067137/