Gallery

Health Updates 25 October 2011

  • Federal judge blocks Florida’s drug-testing-for-welfare law: “Judge Mary Scriven issued a temporary injunction against the state, writing in a 37-page order that the law could violate the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment ban on illegal search and seizure.  Gov. Rick Scott, who signed the measure into law on May 31, touted it as a way to ensure taxpayer money isn’t ‘wasted’ on those who do drugs.  ‘Hopefully more people will focus on not using illegal drugs,’ he said then.  But, in her order, Scriven issued a scathing assessment of the state’s argument in favor of the drug tests, saying the state failed to prove ‘special needs’ as to why it should conduct such searches without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, as the law requires.” (St Petersburg Times)
  • Yoga and stretching equally effective for back pain: “Weekly yoga classes relieve symptoms of low back pain about as well as intense, regular stretching sessions, a new study shows.  The research found that yoga and stretching were equally effective in easing chronic back pain and improving function, but the participants had to practice each regularly to see benefits….The study is the largest and most thorough to date to look at whether yoga has an effect on chronic low back pain, a problem that affects millions and has no surefire long-term remedy.” (Anahad O’Connor, NY Times)
  • Coffee linked to reduced skin cancer: “Women who drank more than three cups of coffee had a 20% reduction in risk for basal cell carcinoma.  Men who drank that much coffee had a 9% reduction in risk of the slow-growing cancer.  People who drank the most coffee had the lowest risk.  The team did not identify reduced risk for squamous cell carcinoma.” (LA Times/Booster Shots)
  • Gas pump handles are the filthiest surfaces in the nation: “A team of hygienists swabbed hundreds of surfaces around six US cities to see what everyday objects are breeding grounds for the worst bacteria and viruses.  The top offenders, following gas pumps, were handles on public mailboxes, escalator rails and ATM buttons.  Closely following on the filthiest list were parking meters and kiosks, cross walk buttons and buttons on vending machines in shopping malls.” (Reuters)
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