Friday, 31 August 2007

Secondhand smoke to kill two million in China, says report

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Smoking is a hot-potato issue across the globe right now, with bans happening in many countries on an ever-more-frequent basis. In China, the number of smokers is larger than the entire U.S. population, so that country is set to have some massive health problems if it does not curb its smoking population soon.

Chinese researchers have added that over two million Chinese people alive today will end up dying from emphysema and other chronic lung diseases directly caused by inhaling second-hand smoke. These are not smokers, but people who ingest smoke from nearby smokers.

In the research, most of the estimated two million Chinese citizens had never before smoked, but were exposed to second-hand smoke regularly. Of course, there will be more to come on the subject of smoking -- much more.

We Love to Gawk at Fit Celebs Weekly Round-Up: Stand up for your right to paddle edition

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Sound the horns and roll out the yoga mats! We Love to Gawk is making its triumphant return. Thanks to all of you who sent the postcards scribbled out with "Wish you were here" and "Miss You XOXO." It got to us, really. (OK, the only postcards that arrived were in the form of emails from the producer that read something along the lines of "When the hell are you going to get back in the celebrity goss game, lazy pants?!" I kid, I kid. I've been far too busy doing lunges and roller-blading to take crap from my producer, write this feature or read postcards. Also, kidding).

So, onward and upward to the fascinatingly mundane fitness routines of celebs you love, hate and read about obsessively anyway:


  • Jennifer Aniston's standing up. And this isn't just big news because all of her precarious relationships with hot men. While in Hawaii with BFF CCA, she's paddling while standing in sort of an African Queen type of exercise that proves how hawt she is. Who else (aside from Angelina, people!) would look sleek, toned and oh-so cool doing this stuff?
  • Posh hates the gym, confirming my thoughts that the little indentation in her booty is caused from walking in monster heels rather than doing squats. But you know what does garner my sympathy? Her bum's too small for bicycle seats. That's just sad, y'all.
  • Reese gets in a jog in her Brentwood neighborhood. I love to see the celebs, who could and surely do all kinds of crazy exercisey stuff (yes, Jennifer, I mean you), keeping it simple. I've adored Reese since before the Election years, but yowza! She's looking might fine these days. Go on, mama.

New Zealand looks at "traffic lights" for unhealthy foods

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In a unique development meant to warn consumers about the food they are about to eat, New Zealand's government may be installing a "traffic light" system that warns food-consuming patrons about obesity-causing foods and drinks.

That is, if companies in New Zealand don't do this first in voluntary fashion. The system involves labels colored red, yellow and green in indicate levels of fat, salt and sugar lurking inside foods.

It may take something as basic as this to give food consumers "at a glance" information about food nutrition, and I applaud it. From what I've seen, many consumers would love to eat healthy, but then they don't pay attention to food labels and nutritional information that would help them make an informed choice. Such a "traffic light" system would make decision making fairly straightforward.

Arthritis drugs increase skin cancer risk?

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Rheumatoid arthritis is one of the most messy diseases to deal with on a daily basis for most. The inability to physically grasp objects with force and the pain can be a nightmare for many. Consequently, pain drugs are up front in the medicine cabinets of most sufferers.

Drugs such as etanercept or infliximab, however, may be putting themselves at an increased risk for skin cancer. The risk increase is slight, but it's still there (according to research released this week).

In what I rarely hear from drug companies and especially researchers, the report stated that the risk was probably not significant enough to outweigh the benefits of taking both drugs to combat rheumatoid arthritis on a daily basis.

Measles increasing in Britain as vaccinations drop

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In Britain, the cases of measles have seen an uptick recently, which caused the British Government to remind parents about childhood measles vaccinations.

So far this year, there have been 480 cases of the measles, which seems pretty darn low in a country with tens of millions of citizens. But still, there should be virtually no cases if vaccinations were happening to almost all (if not all) citizens.

Perhaps a reason why vaccination shots for disease like measles and mumps have dropped is based on claims back form nine years ago that linked certain vaccinations to increases in autism rates due to the Thimiserol preservative in vaccination shots.

Immunization rates for U.S. kids at record high

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This week, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) proudly stated that immunization rates for U.S. children remained above record highs. the statement did chastise teenagers though, as that age group seemed to be behind the younger kids in getting all the suggested immunization shots and so forth.

The data used by the CDC was for 2006, with age ranges covered including kids aged 19-35 months and teenagers from 13 to 17 years of age. The first group saw a 77 percent response rate for immunizations that target 10 popular diseases.

The goal of the U.S. Government states that a 90 percent participation rate is requested within three years (2010), so there is still some work to do. So far, though more than a three-quarter participation rate means that parents are paying attention to the importance of childhood immunizations.

Some simple home remedies

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Next time you're about to head to the doctor for relief from one of the following problems, consider one of the following home remedies from Glee Magazine:
  • Athlete's foot: Tea tree oil works, but olive oil with a bit of garlic crushed into it (let stand for a couple of days before applying) works better
  • Tinnitus: Consider how much aspirin you are taking (too much can lead to Tinnitus.) If that's not the problem, increase your intake of zinc-rich foods like spinach, brussel sprouts, asparagus, string beans and sesame seeds.
  • Ingrown toenails: Soak your feet in a tub of warm water with Epsom salts. Make sure to let the toe breath
  • Acne: Tea tree and lavender oil can boost healing. Zinc supplements may also help.
To find out more helpful hints, read the full article.

Exercise tips for senior adults

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Exercise is a good course of action for anyone physically capable, regardless of age. After all, the human body seems to have been made for movement and such instead of sedentary movement (read: none).

What can you do to exercise safely if you're in your senior years? Plenty, as long as you have a good bill of health from your doctor and are cleared for any type of exercise beforehand (just to be safe).

There are areas you'll need to research and cover before you begin an continue a safe exercise regimen, though. Certain things need to be looked at before you exercise and after. In other words, you're making sure all safety points are being covered to allow you to benefit from exercise instead of suffering from it.

Want more detail? Of course you do! Mosy on over here and spend a few minutes reading and taking notes. Then, start planning your exercises to start next week.

What's in Red Bull anyway?

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Red Bull gives you wings, or so says it's well-known slogan. But while that offer is tempting, it's also makes me a bit wary -- what's the magic ingredient that makes you fly? Fitsugar addressed this question recently, and here's the lowdown: A regular Red Bull has 27 g of sugar, which is the equivalent of 2 tablespoons, so that doesn't hurt. It also contains:
  • Taurine: originally from bull bile but now synthetically made, it can be used either as a stimulant or a sedative, and it can help regulate your heartbeat.
  • Glucuronolactone: supposedly this additive fights fatigue
  • Caffeine: one can had 80 mg of caffeine -- three times the caffeine that's in a can of coke
  • Niacin: Usually, Niacin helps with cholesterol but it's barely traceable in Red Bull.
Fitsugar sums up by saying it's basically caffeine with sugar and I agree. What about you?

Why don't husbands do more housework?

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It may come as no surprise to many that a recent study concluded with the fact that men perform less housework than women. When it came to married men, even less of them shared the housework load.

this study did not just encompass the U.S. -- 27 countries were involved here along with 17,000 women and men. Out of a total weekly amount of 21 housecleaning hours, men performed just over nine hours of it.

There was a pretty large distinction between married couples and men and women living together (but not married). In all, it was suggested that the division of household labor changed when marriage entered the picture. So married ladies -- does your man measure up to you when it comes to housework?

Pasteurizing almonds: An unnecessary precaution?

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There are new rules coming into affect tomorrow by the US Department of Agriculture that state that almonds must be pasteurized as of September 1, 2007. The new rules are a result of a series of salmonella outbreaks that occurred between 2001 and 2004 and were ultimately linked to raw almonds. This applies to all almonds, including organic ones.

However, these new rules have been met with some outrage. One major point of contention is that no manufacturer can ever truly call their almonds 'raw' anymore, even though the new regulations state that the label 'raw almonds' can be still be used. It's also felt that the powers that be are over-reacting to a small incident that occurred years ago.

Figuring out the coffee shop menu once and for all

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With all the good news we've been hearing about coffee and its health benefits lately, plus the impending cool weather (we've already had a few chilly mornings here in the Midwest) knowing how to navigate the coffee shop menu and get exactly what you want is a pretty valuable skill. Unless you take your coffee straight black, though, it can be a tricky thing to figure out. What's the difference between an Espresso Macchiato and an Espresso con Panna? And what about a Flat White and a Cafe Breve? This handy chart couldn't be simpler, so if you walk out of the shop with whipped creme no more excuses that it was an accident!

Via Slashfood

Florida news anchor and 2-time breast cancer survivor Donna Hicken founds marathon to help fight the disease

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When Jacksonville, Fla news anchor Donna Hicken was diagnosed with breast cancer, she decided she wasn't just going to fight the disease by and for herself, choosing instead to both battle cancer and raise money for a cure. Now, after surviving two occurrences of the disease, Hicken has organized America's first marathon that is solely dedicated to fighting breast cancer.

Hicken, who relates the battle to deal with and beat cancer to running a marathon, has founded The Donna Hicken Foundation, which aims to help under-served women in the Jacksonville area who have been diagnosed with breast cancer deal with everything from financial needs to psychological ones.

26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer takes place for the first time on February 17, 2008 at Jacksonville Beach. Activities at the weekend-long event include a marathon, a half-marathon, a kid's marathon, a pasta dinner, a concert and a health expo. 100% of the monies raised will go to the Donna Hicken Foundation, which has pledged that the majority of the funds will be donated to the Mayo Clinic's Multidisciplinary Breast Clinic.

Approximately 200,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. If you would like to be one of the thousands helping to find a cure, visit the website for 26.2 with Donna The National Marathon to Fight Breast Cancer and find out more about running in the event as well as being a volunteer.

Carmindy of TLC's "What Not to Wear" to gives make-up tips at Bryant Park during NYC Fashion Week

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Recently, I wrote a post about "What Not to Wear's" resident make-up artist, Carmindy, and her tips on how to get great, glowing skin. The Californian beauty always looks fantastic without being overly made-up, so I thought it would be cool to check out her advice on how to get that naturally beautiful look.

Those of you out there who are also Carmindy fans, especially New York City-area residents and fashionistas who'll be in town for NYC Fashion Week, are in for a treat as the artist will appear at Byrant Park on Monday September 10th, as a part of the Word for Word Author Series.

Carmindy, who has penned a book called The 5-Minute Face: The Quick and Easy Makeup Guide for Every Woman, will appear at 12:30 p.m. and 1:45 p.m., and give away some of her best secrets and tricks of the trade including tips on how to enhance your best features and how to look great without spending hours primping. The author will also be available to sign copies of the book. If you love to look great and have fun with makeup, mark the event in your calendar.

Nancy O'Dell: Newest celeb mom to slim down

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I've never been pregnant, and don't plan to be any time soon, but when I do, I hope I can lose the baby weight as easily as some of the celebrity moms out there. Take Access Hollywood's Nancy O'Dell -- She's lost 24 of the 30 pounds she gained when pregnant with daughter Ashby Grace after only nine weeks, according to People Magazine.

O'Dell credits breastfeeding, which she says is 'the best diet.' Not only does it burn a ton of calories, but O'Dell is eating healthfully so as not to pass on any junk to her little daughter. She stays away from milk, cheese, tomatoes and garlic because it upsets her baby's tummy.

Working out is also an important part of the equation. Following advice from friend Lisa Rinna's trainer, she does ballet and dance workouts three times a week.

China now finding problems with imported U.S. packages

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The war has begun. Well, the war of words with China, that is. The country has had its name dragged through the mud in the most recent 12 months, with product recalls stemming from toothpaste to food to lead paint on toys. Since it was being battered in the media all over the world, I guess the best defense was a goofy offense for the country.

State media today released information the indicated it had found microscopic worms in wooden packaging from the U.S. In addition, health authorities even said that substandard U.S. vitamin pills had been discovered as well.

So now, the order of the day is to inspect all items from any country. It's probably quite true that food-related imports from almost any country would have some minor level contamination. I'm not defending U.S. producers here, but an attempt by China to overshadow massive quality problems there won't work here. Nice try.

Learn how to survive in the most bizarre and unlikely situations

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Some of the time the posts on That's Fit can be a bit gloomy -- stories about all the things that will give you cancer and how death rates are rising because of obesity, aren't exactly feel good fare. While these posts offer important information, I always enjoy the pieces that are a bit silly or goofy, because if we only ever talked about the serious side of health, we'd be a pretty stressed-out bunch.

So for that reason, I thought that today I'd highlight a fun but serious series of books that offer real advice for ridiculous and bizarre situations. The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbooks tell readers, in detail, how to:

  • Survive if your parachute fails to open,
  • Build a shelter in the snow,
  • Treat a scorpion sting,
  • Crash-land a plane,
  • Survive in a plummeting elevator,
  • Stop a car with no brakes,
  • Fend off a shark,
  • Wrestle an alligator, and
  • Use a defibrillator to restore a heartbeat, among other things.

There are books dedicated specifically to Travel, Dating and Sex and Work situations, in addition to the original handbook. While the books can be quite funny as it's unlikely that any of the crazy stuff they discuss will ever actually happen to you, the advice given is sound and you just never know when it might actually save your life.

How I got the body I wanted: 5 different approaches

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These days, there are so many ways to shed those unwanted pounds, and though there are certain healthy living standards, each person must do what will ultimately work for them. So I found this article on five different approaches to weight loss pretty fascinating. It follows five women, their different approached to weight loss, and what the pros and cons of each approach are. One did gastric bypass, one did liposuction, one modified her diet only, one took up weight lifting and one became a runner. Each has her reasons for choosing the path she did, and each was successful in the journey.

So my point is that no matter what you hear from friends or family or even some of the experts, in the end you need to figure out what works for you and do it. For me, I have a mostly healthy diet but I don't like to cut things (particularly cheese and pasta) out of it so I workout harder to make up for it. But for you, cutting something out of your diet might be easy. It's up to you how to figure out how to have a healthy life because it's the life you have to live with.

So, what works for you?

Lumae: Coca-cola's new skincare line

I was browsing through my regular blogs the other night and came across this story: apparently Coca-cola and L'Oreal are teaming up to bring you a beauty product in beverage form. Currently called Lumae, this nutraceutical is a tea-based drink that will supposedly help your skin. Riiiighttt...... Oh wait, they're serious?

This is just the newest in a bunch of 'healthy' drinks that coke has, including a new Diet Coke infused with vitamins, and another one that aids in weight loss called Enviga. I'm quite skeptical about any of these having the desired effect they were intended too, and the Beauty Brains are equally as put off -- check out what they have to say about the notion of 'drinking your way to better skin'.

I think coke is coke and no matter what they put in it, it will be bad for you. What do you think about all this?

Make your car healthy

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I don't know about you, but I spend a lot of time in my car, or so it seems. And I don't even have to commute -- I work from home! We're often talking about how to make our homes healthy, so here are some great tips from Fitsugar on making your car healthy too:
  • Keep fresh water in the car, but don't drink from bottles that have been there for weeks
  • Keep some healthy snacks in the glove box for stuck-in-rush-hour hunger pangs. Think nuts or dried fruit -- not chocolate or chips
  • Keep a set of gym gear or a yoga mat in the trunk in case you suddenly feel motivated to make a pit-stop at the gym
For allergy suffers, a box of tissues in the car is also a must. And make sure to give the inside of your car a good clean every now and then.

How do you keep your car healthy?

Most U.S. adults actually happy with their jobs

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Are you happy at work? Although I've heard from many working stiffs recently that they can't stand the site of the office, a recent survey refutes those opinions. Do you like your job? Why or why not? I love hearing from readers on this so I can see which responses come back as objective or subjective.

It's good to known that a recent survey concluded with the fact that a large majority of workers are actually happy with their job at this time, even though this weekend's stretch for three days will most likely be a welcome relief to many.

An average of about 86 percent of Americans say that they are satisfied with their jobs (averaged since 1972), and nearly 50 percent are "very satisfied" with their jobs. Not too bad, although it seems like I hear the exact opposite from many people. Maybe it's just my area.