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Thursday
Feb172011

Europe Takes Measures to Stop Fake Drug Sales

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BRUSSELS, Belgium) - The European Parliament has approved a measure to help safeguard patients against the sale of fake drugs, which make up an estimated one percent of medicine sales each year in Europe.

The directive would help implement new safety features on packaging and new tools to monitor Internet-based pharmacies and counterfeiting.

Governments of the European Union are expected to implement the new laws within two years, after the council has had time to look over the law and make amendments.

Medical experts say fake medications have the potential to be deadly, either because they don't work to cure conditions or they contain harmful substances.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

Palin Ties First Lady's Endorsement of Breast Feeding to Price of Milk

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(LONG ISLAND, N.Y.) -- Sarah Palin says first lady Michelle Obama's campaign to get Americans to treat their bodies better, and her encouragement of breast feeding, is a result of rising food costs and the price of milk.

During a speech on Long Island on Thursday, the former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate said, "No wonder Michelle Obama is telling people to breast feed their babies...because the price of milk is so high right now."

Michelle Obama mentioned breast feeding during a roundtable discussion with reporters last week, when she said that her endorsement of healthier eating and her "Let's Move!" initiative aim to influence kids early. The first lady went on to say she believes kids who are breastfed longer have less of a tendency to become obese.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

Study: Doubt Your Drugs Will Work? Then They Won't

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(OXFORD, England) - If you tell yourself your painkiller won't work, you may be tricking your brain into feeling pain, according to a new study.

The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, found that if a patient doesn't think their painkiller will be effective, it could actually become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

"It's phenomenal, it's really cool. It's one of the best analgesics we have and the brain's influence can either vastly increase its effect, or completely remove it," Professor Irene Tracey, from Oxford University, told the BBC. "Doctors need more time for consultation and to investigate the cognitive side of illness, the focus is on physiology, not the mind, which can be a real roadblock to treatment."

The study subjected 22 patients, attached to an intravenous drip, to pain by applying heat to one of their legs. Patients were then aksed to rate the pain they felt on a scale of one to 100.

Initially, patients rated the pain an average number of 66. When given a painkiller through the drip without being told, that number dropped to 55. When given the painkiller after being told, the score went down to 35. Finally, when patients were told that the painkiller was withdrawn and that they should expect pain, the average number jumped to 64, although the drug remained in their system.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

Study: Stretching Before Running Doesn't Prevent Injury

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- Despite the common perception that stretching before exercising prevents injury, this theory doesn't seem to hold true for runners, according to a new study released Thursday.

Authors of the study looked at 2,729 runners who run 10 or more miles per week, assigning about half of them to stretch for three-to-five minutes just prior to exercising, while the rest were told not to stretch before working out.  After observing the runners for three months, researchers found there was no difference in injury rates among runners who stretched before a run compared to those who didn’t.

The researchers did, however, find there was a 40 percent increase in injury rates among runners who normally stretched but were assigned to the no-stretch group, suggesting that switching from a pre-run stretching routine to a non-stretching routine could potentially increase injuries.

The study, conducted by USA Track and Field and Simon Fraser University, was presented at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons meeting in San Diego.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

Study: 26 Babies Injured Daily in Cribs, Bassinets, Playpens

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Every day, an average of 26 children under the age of two are injured in cribs, bassinets and playpens, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio reviewed data from National Electronic Injury Surveillance System on children younger than two years of age who were treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. from 1990 through 2008 for injuries associated with cribs, playpens and bassinets.  After looking over the data, they estimated there were over 180,000 such injuries during that time period, 83.2 percent of which were crib-related.

The authors of the study also determined that the majority of the injuries -- about 66 percent -- were caused by falls from the cribs, bassinets or playpens.

Since 2007, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has recalled more than nine million cribs.  On Thursday, Congress will hold a hearing with the CPSC to assess whether some of the protections on certain products, including cribs, should be rolled back.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

CSPI: Caramel Coloring in Cola Can Cause Cancer

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A major consumer group called for a government ban Wednesday on two types of caramel coloring used in colas, warning that the ingredients could cause cancer.  The soft drink industry came out swinging, strongly objecting to the claim.

"We're asking the Food and Drug Administration to ban the use of caramel coloring that's used in colas and certain other soft drinks and a variety of other foods," said Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.  "The reason is that several years ago a government agency, the National Toxicology Program, tested a contaminant in the coloring and found that it caused cancer in mice and possibly rats."

According to the CSPI, pure caramel is made by heating sugar, while the coloring found in cola like Pepsi and Coca-Cola is made by reacting sugars with ammonia.  Jacobson said the chemicals the reaction produces have been proven by federal government tests to be carcinogens, a finding that the Coca-Cola Company vehemently disputes.

"CSPI's statement irresponsibly insinuates that the caramel used in our beverages is unsafe and maliciously raises cancer concerns among consumers," the company said in a statement.  "This does a disservice to the very public for which CSPI purports to serve.  In fact, studies show that the caramel we use does not cause cancer."

For now, the FDA tells ABC News that it, along with the World Health Organization, has been studying these chemicals and their potential effects on humans.  The FDA says it will respond to CSPI's petition in accordance with required timelines. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Feb172011

Survey: Over 700,000 Young Teens Drank Alcohol Last Month

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- An estimated 709,000 young teenagers between the ages of 12 and 14 drank alcohol last month, according to a survey released Thursday.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration found that almost half of those who drank got the alcohol from their family or at home, indicating family members can play a direct and important role in reducing young adolescents' access to alcohol.

According to SAMHSA administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D., "People who begin drinking alcohol before the age of 15 are six times more likely than those who start at age 21 and older to develop alcohol problems."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb162011

New CDC Report Says Many Americans Get No Exercise

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(ATLANTA) -- Exercise is key to good health and an essential tool in the fight against obesity, but new numbers suggest that many Americans don't get any physical activity at all.

In a checkup of the nation's health, the CDC found that fewer than two in 10 Americans get the recommended levels of exercise, and more than a quarter of U.S. adults do not devote any time to physical activity. The findings were published Tuesday in the agency's annual report on health statistics.

Regionally, the problems are even more pronounced. Inactivity runs rampant across the U.S. South and Appalachia, where nearly 30 percent of people reported that they do not get any physical exercise -- not even light activities such as golfing or gardening.

"That's probably even an underestimate of the real problem," said Dr. Antronette Yancey, a professor at UCLA who serves on a board that supports first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign. Yancey said that in self-reported data, participants often vastly overstate their actual activity.

In Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee, inactivity rates are at least 29.2 percent in more than 70 percent of counties. These states also have some of the highest levels of health problems, such as diabetes and obesity.

Federal guidelines call for 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity every week, including two days of full-body strengthening.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb162011

People Who Handle Conflict Make Better Lovers

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(MINNEAPOLIS) - If your boyfriend or girlfriend doesn't hold a grudge after a fight, chances are they would make a more stable and fulfilling romantic partner then those who don't handle the conflict well, reports Psychological Science.

A study by the University of Minnesota College of Education and Human Development's Institute of Child Development found that those who recover better after conflict make better romantic partners.

"What we show is that recovering from conflict well predicts higher satisfaction and more favorable relationship perceptions. You perceive the relationship more positively," said lead researcher Jessica Salvatore. "If I'm good at recovering from conflict, my husband will benefit and be more satisfied with our relationship."

Salvatore and her team studied 73 individuals from birth to young adulthood. They found that those who grew up with a caregiver who was more responsive to their emotional needs recovered better from conflict and were less likely to let the conflict spill into other parts of their relationship.
 
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Feb162011

Fast-Food Calorie Labels May Not Mean Healthier Choices

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) - You would think that finding out your favorite fast-food hamburger has more than 600 calories would prevent you from ordering it, but new research suggests that for some, that isn't the case.

A new study has found that displaying the calorie content of items at fast-food restaurants doesn't make parents of young children or teenagers order healthier food, reports Science Daily.

Researchers studied orders at four fast-food restaurants in New York both before and after legislation was implemented there that made it mandatory to display calorie and nutritional content.

"We didn't notice a change in calories purchased before and after labeling [went into effect]," said study leader Dr. Brian Elbel, assistant professor of medicine and health policy at the New York University School of Medicine and Wagner School of Public Service.

In fact, the number of calories per order actually rose slightly for teens, on avearge. Although just 57 percent of teens studied in New York noticed the labels, the teens bought 755 calories worth of food compared to 730 calories before the labels were implemented.

The study authors have recommended that a similar study be conducted nationwide when mandatory labeling takes effect across the entire country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio