Health Updates 9 June 2011

  • Weight Watchers, DASH diets win best diet programs: “[US News & World Report] assembled information about how each diet works, whether its claims stood up under scrutiny, any potential health risks it poses and what it’s like to actually live on the diet.  A team of 22 experts then graded the diets for their short-and long-term weight-loss results, how easy they were to follow, their nutritional quality (as measured by compliance with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans), their safety and their ability to prevent or manage diabetes and heart disease”. (Washington Post)
  • Flu shots in pregnancy may help newborns: “When pregnant women receive an influenza vaccination they might be providing protection that extends to their babies after they are born, researchers found….Vaccination is primarily recommended to protect the women, but there is some evidence from previous studies that it can also protect the unborn child”.  Further, “…based upon another study, a possible additional benefit of influenza vaccination during pregnancy is the avoidance of impaired fetal growth in babies born to mothers with a serious respiratory infection during pregnancy”. (Todd Neale, MedPage Today)
  • More money needed for migraine research: “Migraines affect more Americans than diabetes and asthma combined, but funding for migraine research is low.  Without an infusion of research dollars, researchers say, it will be hard to conquer migraines…Thirty-six million Americans suffer from migraines, which cost the United States more than $20 billion each year.  Costs include direct medical expenses, such as doctor visits and medications, and indirect expenses, such as missed work and lost productivity.”  (Orlando Sentinel)
  • Safety recommendations to fight food contamination risk: Given the worrying recent outbreaks of E. coli and salmonella, here are some suggestions for minimizing the risks of exposing yourself to pathogens as you try to eat a more greens-based diet: 1). Always wash all packaged greens, even if  pre-washed; 2). Do not purchase greens past their ‘best-if-used-by’ date; 3). Scrub all veggies and fruit under cold, running water before using; 4). Do not use raw bean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts in salads – toxin risks are high; 5). Purchase and use tofu in packaged form only, not from open bulk containers; and 6). At a salad bar, make sure veggies are well chilled (over ice) and that food is shielded from coughs and sneezes.  Avoid offerings that look tired, old or dried out. (

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