Taxing Soda and Booze Can Spark Healthy Spiral, Research Says

Taxing Soda and Booze Can Spark Healthy Spiral, Research Says

  • Tool to reduce ‘death and suffering’ can help the poor
  • Experts call for effort to stem obesity, disease costs

Nobody likes taxes, but new research shows they can be good for your health.

Taxing products such as soda, alcohol and tobacco can steer consumers toward healthier choices and avert a ruinous tumble in which obesity fuels disease and medical costs push people further into poverty, data from countries ranging from Chile to India show. The analysis was published Wednesday in The Lancet medical journal.

A tax on unhealthy goods “is probably the single-most important measure that can be taken to reduce death and suffering,” Larry Summers, the U.S. economist and former Treasury Secretary, said in an interview. “That’s why I think it’s important.”

Summers’s commentary accompanied the Lancet report, which focused on ways to curb illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer that can be blamed for 38 million deaths each year. A research group pulled together five studies and found that taxes on unhealthy products can work without disproportionately harming the poor.

New MilkyBar

When it comes to sweet drinks, more countries are willing to test taxes to tackle obesity along with budget deficits, potentially hurting companies such as Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The U.K.’s own sugar tax experiment is scheduled to take effect Friday.

Wealthier households usually shoulder more of the tax burden because they spend more on alcohol, sodas and snacks, the researchers said in the Lancet. Poorer families also tend to reduce consumption more in response to higher prices. Such taxes work best if some of the revenue is used to fund programs for the poor, they found.

Companies are responding by working to cut sugar and calories. Nestle SA has started selling slimmed-down Milkybar chocolates in Britain and Ireland in the first implementation of a new technology that promises the same sweetness with 30 percent less sugar.

In Mexico, the introduction of a soft-drinks tax resulted in a 17 percent decrease in purchases among lower-income groups, and almost no change in higher-income groups, the Lancet report said.

Obesity, once seen as a problem plaguing only wealthier nations, is now on the rise in lower-income regions too. Countries must tackle it in the same way as malnutrition, said Summers, who chairs a task force on fiscal policy for health with Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-04/taxing-soda-and-booze-can-spark-healthy-spiral-research-says

Give up coffee? Fuhgeddaboudit, say New Yorkers after California ruling

A California judge has ruled that coffee companies must put cancer warnings on their product but on the east coast, caffeine-crazed drinkers arent buying the latest health scare

Asking a New Yorker whether theyll give up their morning coffee during their commute is likely to elicit only one response laughter.

News broke on Thursday that a California judge had ruled coffee companies should carry cancer warnings on their products after an eight-year legal battle with big coffee. Coffee companies, led by Starbucks, had argued that the levels of acrylamide, a known carcinogen, present in their coffee were insignificant and outweighed by health benefits.

But the defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health, Elihu Berle, a superior court judge, ruled. While plaintiff offered evidence that consumption of coffee increases the risk of harm to the fetus, to infants, to children and to adults, defendants medical and epidemiology experts testified that they had no opinion on causation.

Harm to fetuses, infants, children, adults? Sounds scary. But not to New Yorkers. Three thousand miles away from the California court the reaction ranged from meh to fuhgeddaboudit.

Quick guide

How dangerous is acrylamide?

Acrylamide is hard to avoid. While it is practically non-existent in raw produce, it is found in all sorts of foods that are grilled, fried, baked or roasted. Thats because the chemical forms in the cooking process when sugars and amino acids react at high temperatures. The higher the temperature and the longer the cooking time, the more acrylamide is produced. Some of the most common products to contain acrylamide are potatoes, biscuits, bread and coffee.

In April,European regulations come into forcethat aim to keep acrylamide levels in food as low as possible. Last year, the Food Standards Agency took action itself, and launched apublic health campaignurging people to cut down on acrylamide-containing foods, including crisps, well-browned potatoes and well-done toast toreduce their risk of cancer.But the FSA made clear that the risk was not large. Professor David Spiegelhalter, a prominent statistician at Cambridge University, even questioned whether the campaign made sense, stating there was no good evidence of harm from humans consuming acrylamide.

The most recent comprehensive study on coffee and cancer came in 2016 from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a group of cancer specialists convened by the World Health Organisation. They found that while very hot drinks those hotter than 65C probably raised the risk of oesophageal cancer, there wasno strong evidence that coffee increased cancer risk. As a Cancer Research UK spokesperson said at the time: If you already drink coffee regularly youre probably not increasing your risk of cancer.

California! said Jarrett Boor, an architect winging his way to work on 8th Avenue in Manhattan. They put warning labels on everything. He said it was good in some cases and that the public should know when products are dangerous. But everything causes cancer: cellphones, GMO foods. Im not giving up my coffee, he snorted.

New Yorkers do, apparently, drink a ridiculous amount of coffee. A survey by health data website Massive Health calculated the city was running on 6.7 times as much coffee per person as other cities (San Franciscans, by contrast, eat 4.4 times as many brussels sprouts). Given the amount of joe coursing through a New Yorkers system its little wonder that the citys hopped-up workers dont seem too worried by Californias warnings.

According to a Harvard study, roughly 62% of Americans drink coffee every day, an all-time high. And, despite the fly California has dropped in the nations latte, two decades of research suggests that coffee is good for us, helping to reduce the risk of illnesses ranging from cancer to heart disease to Alzheimers.

One common complaint among caffeine-loving New Yorkers on Friday was that they were sick of the ever-changing buffet of health-related coffee news.

The last public health statement I saw was coffee was good for you. It reduces hypertension, said Marge Wetzler, wearily waiting for a medium iced latte in Gregorys Coffee in midtown Manhattan. Now its bad for you? I just dont buy that. She would, however, continue to buy her morning coffee.

coffee
Dude, Im enjoying my coffee. Photograph: Devon Knight for the Guardian

Whatever, said James Warren, a bike courier picking up a Starbucks between stops. Its bad for you, its good for you, its bad for you, its good for you. Its kinda irritating, he said before dashing out into traffic.

New Yorkers attitudes were echoed 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles.

I just dont think it would stop me, Jen Bitterman, a digital marketing technologist, told the Associated Press. I love the taste, I love the ritual, I love the high, the energy, and I think Im addicted to it.

Lawyer Darlington Ibekwe agreed. Its like cigarettes. Like, damn, now Ive got to see this? he said. Dude, Im enjoying my coffee.

Berles ruling could spell bad news for coffee companies. The third phase of the California trial, brought by non-profit organization the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, will determine any civil penalties that coffee companies must pay.

The potential penalties are massive, if unlikely, with a fine of up to $2,500 per person exposed each day over eight years. California has 40 million residents.

While its extremely doubtful that coffee will face the same kinds of penalties slapped on the tobacco companies, the case does open up the possibility of a world without coffee.

There would have to be an alternative, said Ali Philippides, a product manager at the Daily Beast. Commuting into work with her ridiculously cute corgi, Fig, Philippides was gripping a Starbucks cappuccino and looked a little shaken by the cancer news.

I used to drink a lot of Diet Coke and swapped for seltzer, she said thoughtfully. But could she give up coffee? As she paused to think for a moment you could almost see the post-apocalyptic dystopia of a coffee-free New York reflected in her eyes. Riots on the L train, Union Square on fire a city mad with withdrawal. Fig looked up at her with concern.

Could I give up coffee? she repeated. No.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/mar/30/coffee-cancer-warning-health-california-new-yorkers-response

86% of Teens Have These Toxic Chemicals in Their Bodies

Research published Monday in the journal BMJ Open revealed some frightening statistics about the incidence of Bisphenol A (BPA) among teenagers: 86 percent of 94 teenagers tracking their diet and submitting urine samples in a study showed evidence of BPA in their urine.

The culprit: plastic containers and bottles that seep potentially cancer-causing chemical through food and beverages. The teenage participants attempted to reduce their exposure to BPA by avoiding fruits and vegetables packaged in plastic containers, tinned food, and meals designed to be reheated in a microwave in packaging containing BPA, according to a press statement. Welpanyone whos had a long day and wants to just nuke some food in a microwave could be getting a dose of BPA to boot.

And while the teens were able to reduce their exposure to BPA, one author of the paper noted that its next to impossible to avoid BPA: Our students who followed the BPA-free diet reported that it would be difficult to follow it long term, because labelling of BPA products was inconsistent. They found it difficult to source and identify BPA-free foods.

Thats the crux of a problem highlighted BPA literature for the better part of a decade: Warnings about the health effects of cancer-causing chemicals that trickle into food and beverages from common plastic household products that then enter our systemsfrom babies sucking out of sippy cups to adults storing leftovers to heat up the next day. But its a problem neither public health nor the government has figured out yet.

Its not the first time that urine samples have shown that an overwhelming majority of people have BPA floating in their bodies. A 2003-04 survey conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that 93 percent of 2,517 urine samples of people over the age of 6 had BPA in their system, primarily from food and beverage containers; for infants, breast milk was a primary source.

But wasnt BPA labeled a bad guy nearly a decade ago, when bespoke water bottles flashed the fact that they werent made of BPA and made slinging one around in public practically cool? Yes, but the history of BPA in our plastics runs deepand continues to plague Western plastics consumption.

Public health advocates began warning of BPAs dire effects several years ago, as bombshell study after study reported the chemical, which is used to harden polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins, could seep into humans as they broke down. Used since the 1960s, the chemical is found in everything from plastic food storage containers to helmets to dental sealants to water bottlesproducts with high usage across all demographics, including children. BPA can seamlessly enter our bodies because its cloaked in a chemical disguise that makes it similar to estrogen. That means genes that respond to estrogen respond to BPA instead, disrupting the endocrine system and wreaking havoc in the regulation of hormones.

Getting even a minute trace of BPA into the bloodstream isnt pretty: Once in the bloodstream, it can lead to a host of serious health issues, including affecting the prostate gland of fetuses, increased risk of high blood pressure, and hyperactivity. BPA has been connected to other, more serious diseases as well, ranging from prostate cancer and heart disease to fundamental disruptions in the endocrine system and genetic expression, according to a database of BPA studies the NIEHS maintains.

Because of their dangerous side effects, children and pregnant women have been especially warned against using products that contain BPA. But health agencies have been slow to react to BPA outside warning Americans to be careful of exposing themselves to products. In fact, a 2008 report from the National Toxicology Program found minimal concern for females, infants, and children exposed to BPA in mammary glands (i.e., breast milk), and negligible concern for pregnant women and those who might be exposed to BPA in their workplace. Meanwhile, there was some concern about how BPA affected brain, behavior, and prostate gland development in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures.

What makes sense from a consumer frontavoiding products that explicitly say they are free of BPAisnt necessarily a safe strategy.

That leads to the latest study on BPA, which suggests that the effects are showing up in a majority of teens (who probably went through the first wave of BPA health warnings) and can lay latent until symptoms of more serious diseases show up later in life. On average, the participants in the studystudents in six southwest England aged between 17 and 19 years oldhad 1.22 ng/mL of BPA in their urine. The students were part of a public health initiative designed to see if tracking diet would help them identify sources of BPA, particularly around plastic food storage containers. The researchers not only found that 86 percent of the students showed signs of BPA in their urine, buttroublinglythat it was nearly impossible to avoid BPA in daily life due to poor labeling: We found no evidence in this self-administered intervention study that it was possible to moderate BPA exposure by diet in a real-world setting.

What's even more worrisome is the sheer prevalence of products that contain BPA in everyday life, despite regulations not only in the United States but across the world. As the studyfrom researchers at England's University of Exeterpoints out, the European Food Safety Authority has investigated the health effects of BPA. Similarly, the Food and Drug Administration has not outright banned the use of BPA but warned in the 2008 National Toxicology Report that it had some concern for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures, along with a 108-page report that outlined the negative health effects of BPA.

Whats more, alternatives arent exactly a safe bet. The public outcry over BPA had the plastics industry scrambling to create alternate products that were BPA-free yet helped harden plastics the way BPA did, but some early research indicated that these BPA-replacements had the ability to induce estrogenic activity, including baby bottles and sippy cups, that stressed they were BPA-free and used resins like polysterene and Tritan instead.

So what makes sense from a consumer frontavoiding products that explicitly say they are free of BPAisnt necessarily a safe strategy, and its one that the researchers themselves ran into while working with the 94 teens, who reported that they had a hard time outright avoiding products that contained BPA.

We found no evidence in this self-administered intervention study that it was possible to moderate BPA exposure by diet in a real-world setting, the authors noted. Furthermore, our study participants indicated that they would be unlikely to sustain such a diet long term, due to the difficulty in identifying BPA-free foods.

The study has its limits: It focuses on fewer than 100 British teenagers in a specific region in England, and the students self-reported their own dietary restrictions.

But the study highlights two things. First, its nearly impossible to avoid BPA in our food packaging. Second, safe substitutes arent necessarily safe. Better labeling might help, but what will ultimately make for less dismal statistics are outright bans of BPA and better-tested substitutes of plastic hardenersor better yet, avoiding them altogether with equally effective, affordable, accessible optionsthat dont make BPA the unavoidable health threat it has become.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/86-of-teens-have-these-toxic-chemicals-in-their-bodies

America Crowns a New Pollution King

For the first time in 40 years, power plants are no longer the biggest source of U.S. greenhouse gas pollution. That dubious distinction now belongs to the transport sector: cars, trucks, planes, trains and boats.  

The big reversal didn’t happen because transportation emissions have been increasing. In fact, since 2000 the U.S. has experienced the flattest stretch of transportation-related pollution in modern record keeping, according to data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The big change has come from the cleanup of America’s electric grid. 

The chart below shows carbon dioxide emissions from transportation exceeding those from electricity production in 2016 for the first time since 1978. The pollution gap has continued to widen further in 2017, according to a Bloomberg analysis.

Electricity use in the U.S. hasn’t declined much in the last decade, but it’s being generated from cleaner sources. A dramatic switch away from coal, the dirtiest fuel, is mostly responsible for the drop in emissions. Coal power has declined by more than a third in the last decade, according to the EIA, while cleaner natural gas has soared more than 60 percent. Wind and solar power are also increasingly sucking the greenhouse gases out of U.S. electricity production. 
 
This is good news, and not just because carbon dioxide emissions are the biggest contributor to global climate change. The shift to cleaner energy also has immediate local improvements to health by reducing the burden of asthma, cancer and heart disease.

The transportation sector is also entering a critical period of reformation. Cars are becoming more efficient under aggressive pollution rules passed under President Barack Obama, but that’s so far been offset by an ever-rising American appetite for SUVs, crossovers and pickup trucks. Even the nation’s clean-air policies could soon change. The Trump administration is considering rolling back the toughest fuel-efficiency standards, which are set to take effect in the early 2020s. 

Investments in electric cars may soon begin to do to the transportation sector what wind and solar have done to the power sector: turn the pollution curve upside down. The price of battery packs has been plummeting by about 8 percent a year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, and electric cars are now projected to become cheaper, more reliable, and more convenient than their gasoline-powered equivalents around the world by the mid-2020s.

When the electrification of the U.S. auto fleet begins in earnest, pollution from the two biggest energy sectors—electricity and transportation—may ultimately converge. Those electric cars are going draw their power from the grid.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-04/america-crowns-a-new-pollution-king

    Poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths, global disease study reveals

    Study compiling data from every country finds people are living longer but millions are eating wrong foods for their health

    Poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths around the world, according to the most comprehensive study ever carried out on the subject.

    Millions of people are eating the wrong sorts of food for good health. Eating a diet that is low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds and fish oils and high in salt raises the risk of an early death, according to the huge and ongoing study Global Burden of Disease.

    The study, based at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, compiles data from every country in the world and makes informed estimates where there are gaps. Five papers on life expectancy and the causes and risk factors of death and ill health have been published by the Lancet medical journal.

    It finds that people are living longer. Life expectancy in 2016 worldwide was 75.3 years for women and 69.8 for men. Japan has the highest life expectancy at 84 years and the Central African Republic has the lowest at just over 50. In the UK, life expectancy for a man born in 2016 is 79, and for a woman 82.9.

    Diet is the second highest risk factor for early death after smoking. Other high risks are high blood glucose which can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, high body mass index (BMI) which is a measure of obesity, and high total cholesterol. All of these can be related to eating the wrong foods, although there are also other causes.

    causes of death graphic

    This is really large, Dr Christopher Murray, IHMEs director, told the Guardian. It is amongst the really big problems in the world. It is a cluster that is getting worse. While obesity gets attention, he was not sure policymakers were as focused on the area of diet and health as they needed to be. That constellation is a really, really big challenge for health and health systems, he said.

    The problem is often seen as the spread of western diets, taking over from traditional foods in the developing world. But it is not that simple, says Murray. Take fruit. It has lots of health benefits but only very wealthy people eat a lot of fruit, with some exceptions.

    Sugary drinks are harmful to health but eating a lot of red meat, the study finds, is not as big a risk to health as failing to eat whole grains. We need to look really carefully at what are the healthy compounds in diets that provide protection, he said.

    undernourishment graphic

    Prof John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England, said the studies show how quickly diet and obesity-related disease is spreading around the world. I dont think people realise how quickly the focus is shifting towards non-communicable disease [such as cancer, heart disease and stroke] and diseases that come with development, in particular related to poor diet. The numbers are quite shocking in my view, he said.

    The UK tracks childhood obesity through the school measurement programme and has brought in measures to try to tackle it. But no country in the world has been able to solve the problem and it is a concern that we really need to think about tackling globally, he said.

    Today, 72% of deaths are from non-communicable diseases for which obesity and diet are among the risk factors, with ischaemic heart disease as the leading cause worldwide of early deaths, including in the UK. Lung cancer, stroke, lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) and Alzheimers are the other main causes in the UK.

    The success story is children under five. In 2016, for the first time in modern history, fewer than 5 million children under five died in one year a significant fall compared with 1990, when 11 million died. Increased education for women, less poverty, having fewer children, vaccinations, anti-malaria bed-nets, improved water and sanitation are among the changes in low-income countries that have brought the death rate down, thanks to development aid.

    People are living longer but spending more years in ill health. Obesity is one of the major reasons. More than a billion people worldwide are living with mental health and substance misuse disorders. Depression features in the top 10 causes of ill health in all but four countries.

    Our findings indicate people are living longer and, over the past decade, we identified substantial progress in driving down death rates from some of the worlds most pernicious diseases and conditions, such as under age-five mortality and malaria, said Murray Yet, despite this progress, we are facing a triad of trouble holding back many nations and communities obesity, conflict, and mental illness, including substance use disorders.

    In the UK, the concern is particularly about the increase in ill-health that prevents people from working or having a fulfilling life, said Newton. A man in the UK born in 2016 can expect only 69 years in good health and a woman 71 years.

    This is yet another reminder that while were living longer, much of that extra time is spent in ill-health. It underlines the importance of preventing the conditions that keep people out of work and put their long term health in jeopardy, like musculoskeletal problems, poor hearing and mental ill health. Our priority is to help people, including during the crucial early years of life and in middle age, to give them the best chance of a long and healthy later life, he said.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/sep/14/poor-diet-is-a-factor-in-one-in-five-deaths-global-disease-study-reveals

    6 million middle-aged people take no exercise

    Public Health Englands research suggests large numbers of adults do not walk for 10 minutes at a time once a month

    About 6 million middle-aged people in England are endangering their health by not taking so much as a brisk walk once a month, government advisers have said.

    Clinicians said such a lack of exercise increases an individuals risk of prematurely developing serious health conditions including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia and cancer.

    Public Health England (PHE) said 41% of the 15.3 million English adults aged 40 to 60 walk less than 10 minutes continuously each month at a brisk pace of at least 3mph.

    PHE has launched a health campaign targeting the sedentary middle-aged by encouraging them to walk to the shop instead of using a car and to take up walking on lunch breaks to add many healthy years to their lives.

    Health leaders believe that 10 minutes walking a day is likely to be seen as achievable by people who are chronically inactive and that the health benefits include increased fitness, improved mood, a healthier body weight and a 15% reduction in the risk of dying prematurely.

    PHE said walking required no skill, facilities or equipment and was more accessible and acceptable than other forms of physical activity for most people. Guidance issued by the UKs four chief medical officers in 2011 instructed the British population on how much exercise they should be participating in each week.

    They said that adults should do at least two and a half hours of moderately intensive activity a week.

    The PHE report said a quarter of the English population are inactive, doing less than 30 minutes of exercise a week. For some of these individuals 150 minutes may seem an unrealistic aim, according to the PHE report.

    PHEs One You campaign is urging those people to take up the challenge of walking briskly for 10 minutes a day. As part of the drive it has released the Active 10 app which will help users achieve the goal and GPs will be recommending it to their patients to help build up their activity levels.

    Dr Jenny Harries, the deputy medical director of PHE, said: I know first hand that juggling the priorities of everyday life often means exercise takes a back seat.
    Walking to the shops instead of driving or going for a brisk 10-minute walk on your lunch break each day can add many healthy years to your life. The Active 10 app is a free and easy way to help anyone build more brisk walking into their daily routine.

    Prof Sir Muir Gray, a clinical adviser for the Active 10 app and the One You campaign, added: We all know physical activity is good for your health but for the first time were seeing the effects that easily achievable changes can make. By walking just 10 continuous minutes at a brisk pace every day, an individual can reduce their risk of early death by 15%.

    They can also prevent or delay the onset of disability and further reduce their risk of serious health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, dementia and some cancers.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/aug/24/around-6-million-middle-aged-english-people-take-no-exercise

    World Health Organization: Processed Meats Cause Cancer

    Very sad news for bacon lovers.

    The World Health Organization announced Monday that cured and processed meats like bacon, sausage, hot dogs and ham cause cancer, adding the foods to a top-tier list of carcinogenic substances that includes alcohol, cigarettes, asbestos, and arsenic.

    Processed meats can be bundled with these threatening carcinogens because of their link with bowel cancer, according to a report from WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, though their inclusion doesn’t mean that bacon causes cancer at the same rate as, say, smoking. 

    “For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal (bowel) cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” IARC epidemiologist Dr. Kurt Straif said in a statement.

    The agency estimates that a 50-gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increased the risk for bowel cancer by 18 percent. That’s about three slices of cooked bacon. 

    The report also links red meat to cancer. It classifies beef, lamb and pork as “probable” carcinogens in a second-tier list that also includes glyphosate, the active ingredient in many weedkillers.

    The findings, which are based on more than 800 studies, are already receiving pushback from meat industry groups that argue meat is part of a balanced diet and that the cancer risk assessments needs to expand to include risk in the context of lifestyle and environment. 

    “We simply dont think the evidence support any causal link between any red meat and any type of cancer,” said Shalene McNeill, executive director of human nutrition at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

    Such lifestyle and environmental risks have been studied extensively, however, and the IARC noted this broader context was included in the study: 

    In making this evaluation, the Working Group took into consideration all the relevant data, including the substantial epidemiological data showing a positive association between consumption of red meat and colorectal cancer and the strong mechanistic evidence. Consumption of red meat was also positively associated with pancreatic and with prostate cancer.

    Both processed and red meats have been linked with cancer in the past. A 2013 study from researchers at the University of Zurich found that consuming processed meats increased the risk of dying from both heart disease and cancer. In 2012, a review published in British Journal of Cancer linked meats like bacon and sausage to an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, a disease with particularly poor survival rates. It’s no secret that red meat is rife with bad cholesterol and fats that are tied to diabetes and heart disease. 

    Unfortunately, the average American consumes about 18 pounds of bacon each year. Our nation eats more red meat than most of the world, though consumption has begun to dip in the past couple of years. In 2014, chicken was more popular than beef for the first time in over 100 years, showing that the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations for feeding on “leaner meats” may be making an impact on the national plate. 

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/10/26/world-health-organization-processed-meats-cause-cancer_n_8388732.html

    Color Genomics goes beyond cancer with a test for heart health

    Cancer and heart disease are the two leading causes of death in the United States. So far, Color Genomics has been focused on testing for mutations leading to a higher risk of certain cancers. But, today the four-year-old company is introducing a new category of genetic testing for cardiovascular health.

    The new Color Hereditary High Cholesterol Testwill tell you if you have a genetic mutation for something called Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH), a hereditary condition that causes high cholesterol levels leading to coronary heart disease.

    Possibly 34 million people are affected by the disease worldwide. About one in fifty people with high cholesterol have the mutation. The problem? Most people with the genetic mutation dont know they have it until they have a potentially fatal heart attack.

    Like cancer testing, earlier detection of the mutation can prevent the disease, improve survival rates and reduce medical costs. And thats where Color hopes its new test can help.

    We started with cancer because it was one of the leading causes of death and the science around genetics and cancer was well-established, Color chief marketing officer Katie Jacobs Stanton told TechCrunch. Similarly, there is well-established science around genetics and cardiovascular diseaseGiven that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death (and combined with cancer costs over $1.1trillion per year), we saw an opportunity to help more people learn their risk of developing hereditary cardiovascular conditions and proactively managing their heart health using genetic data.

    Unlike at-home genetic tests like 23andMe, you order this one through your doctor. The test is $249 for new customers. However, those whove gone through Colors cancer testing can purchase the cardiovascular test for an additional $150.

    Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/10/color-genomics-goes-beyond-cancer-with-a-test-for-heart-health/

    Reverse Any Liver Disease, HIV, & CANCER Following these Tips (Other Links are Below this Video)

    Learn powerful ways to help reverse liver disease, HIV and Cancer.

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    Please follow "all" information at your own risk, You must consult your licensed physician before starting or changing any new diet or foods. WE ARE NOT MEDICAL DOCTORS: therefore, we do not diagnose illness or prescribe pharmaceuticals. None of the information offered here is intended to replace any program that your medical doctor has prescribed for you, nor does it conflict with any pharmaceutical medication you are taking.

    Health effects of coffee: Where do we stand?

    (CNN)It’s one of the age-old medical flip-flops: First coffee’s good for you, then it’s not, then it is — you get the picture.

    Today, the verdict is thumbs up, with study after study extolling the merits of three to five cups of black coffee a day in reducing risk for everything from melanoma to heart disease, multiple sclerosis, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, computer-related back pain and more.
    To stay completely healthy with your coffee consumption, you’ll want to avoid packing it with calorie laden creams, sugars and flavors. And be aware that a cup of coffee in these studies is only 8 ounces; the standard “grande” cup at the coffee shop is double that at 16 ounces.
      And how you brew it has health consequences. Unlike filter coffee makers, the French press, Turkish coffee or the boiled coffee popular in Scandinavian countries fail to catch a compound called cafestol in the oily part of coffee that can increase your bad cholesterol or LDL.
      Finally, people with sleep issues or uncontrolled diabetes should check with a doctor before adding caffeine to their diets, as should pregnant women, as there is some concern about caffeine’s effect on fetal growth and miscarriage. And some of the latest research seems to say that our genes may be responsible for how we react to coffee, explaining why some of us need several cups to get a boost while others get the jitters on only one.
      But as you know, the news on coffee has not always been positive. And the argument over the merits of your daily cup of joe dates back centuries. Let’s take a look at the timeline.
      1500’s headline: Coffee leads to illegal sex
      Legend has it that coffee was discovered by Kaldi, an Ethiopian goatherd, after he caught his suddenly frisky goats eating glossy green leaves and red berries and then tried it for himself. But it was the Arabs who first started coffeehouses, and that’s where coffee got its first black mark.
      Patrons of coffeehouses were said to be more likely to gamble and engage in “criminally unorthodox sexual situations,” according to author Ralph Hattox. By 1511 the mayor of Mecca shut them down. He cited medical and religious reasons, saying coffee was an intoxicant and thus prohibited by Islamic law, even though scholars like Mark Pendergrast believe it was more likely a reaction to the unpopular comments about his leadership. The ban didn’t last long, says Pendergrast, adding that coffee became so important in Turkey that “a lack of sufficient coffee provided grounds for a woman to seek a divorce.”
      1600’s headline: Coffee cures alcoholism but causes impotence
      As the popularity of coffee grew and spread across the continent, the medical community began to extol its benefits. It was especially popular in England as a cure for alcoholism, one of the biggest medical problems of the time; after all, water wasn’t always safe to drink, so most men, women and even children drank the hard stuff.
      Local ads such as this one in 1652 by coffee shop owner Pasqua Rose popularized coffee’s healthy status, claiming coffee could aid digestion, prevent and cure gout and scurvy, help coughs, headaches and stomachaches, even prevent miscarriages.
      But in London, women were concerned that their men were becoming impotent, and in 1674 The Women’s Petition Against Coffee asked for the closing of all coffeehouses, saying in part: “We find of late a very sensible Decay of that true Old English Vigour. … Never did Men wear greater Breeches, or carry less in them…”
      1700’s headline: Coffee helps you work longer
      By 1730, tea had replaced coffee in London as the daily drink of choice. That preference continued in the colonies until 1773, when the famous Boston Tea Party made it unpatriotic to drink tea. Coffeehouses popped up everywhere, and the marvelous stimulant qualities of the brew were said to contribute to the ability of the colonists to work longer hours.
      1800’s headline: Coffee will make you go blind. Have a cup of hot wheat-bran drink instead
      In the mid-1800s America was at war with itself and one side effect is that coffee supplies ran short. Enter toasted grain-based beverage substitutes such as Kellogg’s “Caramel Coffee” and C.W. Post’s “Postum” (still manufactured). They advertised with anti-coffee tirades to boost sales. C.W. Post’s ads were especially vicious, says Pendergrast, claiming coffee was as bad as morphine, cocaine, nicotine or strychnine and could cause blindness.
      1916 headline: Coffee stunts your growth
      While inventions and improvements in coffee pots, filters and processing advanced at a quick pace throughout the 1900s, so did medical concerns and negative public beliefs about the benefits of coffee.
      Good Housekeeping magazine wrote about how coffee stunts growth. And concerns continued to grow about coffee’s impact on common aliments of the era, such as nervousness, heart palpitations, indigestion and insomnia.
      1927 headline: Coffee will give you bad grades, kids
      In Science Magazine, on September 2, 1927, 80,000 elementary and junior high kids were asked about their coffee drinking habits. Researchers found the “startling” fact that most of them drank more than a cup of coffee a day, which was then compared to scholarship with mostly negative results.
      1970’s and ’80’s headline: Coffee is as serious as a heart attack
      A 1973 study in the New England Journal of Medicine of more than 12,000 patients found drinking one to five cups of coffee a day increased risk of heart attacks by 60% while drinking six or more cups a day doubled that risk to 120%.
      Another New England Journal of Medicine study, in 1978, found a short-term rise in blood pressure after three cups of coffee. Authors called for further research into caffeine and hypertension.
      A 38-year study by the Johns Hopkins Medical School of more than a 1,000 medical students found in 1985 that those who drank five or more cups of coffee a day were 2.8 times as likely to develop heart problems compared to those who don’t consume coffee. But the study only asked questions every five years, and didn’t isolate smoking behavior or many other negative behaviors that tend to go along with coffee, such as doughnuts. Or “Doooonuts,” if you’re Homer Simpson.
      Millennium headline: Coffee goes meta
      Now begins the era of the meta-analysis, where researchers look at hundreds of studies and apply scientific principles to find those that do the best job of randomizing and controlling for compounding factors, such as smoking, obesity, lack of exercise and many other lifestyles issues. That means that a specific study, which may or may not meet certain standards, can’t “tip the balance” one way or another. We take a look at some of the years. The results for coffee? Mostly good.
      2001 headline: Coffee increases risk of urinary tract cancer
      But first, a negative: A 2001 study found a 20% increase in the risk of urinary tract cancer risk for coffee drinkers, but not tea drinkers. That finding was repeated in a 2015 meta-analysis. So, if this is a risk factor in your family history, you might want to switch to tea.
      2007 headline: Coffee decreases risk of liver cancer
      Some of these data analyses found preventive benefits for cancer from drinking coffee, such as this one, which showed drinking two cups of black coffee a day could reduce the risk of liver cancer by 43%. Those findings were replicated in 2013 in two other studies.
      2010 headline: Coffee and lung disease go together like coffee and smoking
      A meta-analysis found a correlation between coffee consumption and lung disease, but the study found it impossible to completely eliminate the confounding effects of smoking.
      2011 headline: Coffee reduces risk of stroke and prostate cancer
      A meta-analysis of 11 studies on the link between stroke risk and coffee consumption between 1966 and 2011, with nearly a half a million participants, found no negative connection. In fact, there was a small benefit in moderate consumption, which is considered to be three to five cups of black coffee a day. Another meta-analysis of studies between 2001 and 2011 found four or more cups a day had a preventive effect on the risk of stroke.
      As for prostate cancer, this 2011 study followed nearly 59,000 men from 1986 to 2006 and found drinking coffee to be highly associated with lower risk for the lethal form of the disease.
      2012 headline: Coffee lowers risk of heart failure
      More meta-analysis of studies on heart failure found four cups a day provided the lowest risk for heart failure, and you had to drink a whopping 10 cups a day to get a bad association.
      2013 headline: Coffee lowers risk of heart disease and helps you live longer
      For general heart disease a meta-analysis of 36 studies with more than 1.2 million participants found moderate coffee drinking seemed to be associated with a low risk for heart disease; plus, there wasn’t a higher risk among those who drank more than five cups a day.
      How about coffee’s effects on your overall risk of death? One analysis of 20 studies, and another that included 17 studies, both of which included more than a million people, found drinking coffee reduced your total mortality risk slightly.
      2015 headline: Coffee is practically a health food
      As a sign of the times, the U.S. Department of Agriculture now agrees that “coffee can be incorporated into a healthy lifestyle,” especially if you stay within three to five cups a day (a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine), and avoid fattening cream and sugar. You can read their analysis of the latest data on everything from diabetes to chronic disease here.
      2017 headline: Yes, coffee still leads to a longer life
      The largest study to date on coffee and mortality surveyed 520,000 people in 10 European countries and found that regularly drinking coffee could significantly lower the risk of death.
      Another study with a focus on non-white populations had similar findings. That study surveyed 185,000 African-Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites. The varying lifestyles and dietary habits of the people observed in both studies led the authors to believe that coffee’s impact on longevity doesn’t have to do with how its prepared or how people drink it — it has to do with the beverage’s biological effect on the body.
      But stay tuned. There’s sure to be another meta-study, and another opinion. We’ll keep you updated.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/14/health/coffee-health/index.html