Monday, December 20, 2010

Keeping Holiday Drinking in Check May Counter Cancer

Happy Holidays everyone! well this maybe a few weekends too late, especially since Ive just had about 4 Christmas parties in the last 2 weeks. haha well hopefully everyone enjoys their holiday breaks. I know i will!

SUNDAY, Dec. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Though holiday partying often includes alcohol consumption, cancer experts are urging partiers to partake moderately.

"Research shows that drinking even a small amount of alcohol increases your chances of developing cancer, including oral cancer, breast cancer and liver cancer," Clare McKindley, clinical dietician in the Cancer Prevention Center at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, said in a news release from the center.

"Researchers are still trying to learn more about how alcohol links to cancer," she added. "But convincing evidence does support the fact that heavy drinking damages cells and increases the risk for cancer development."

To reduce risk, experts say, drinkers can do a number of things. First, stick to the recommended serving size. A drink is defined as 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of liquor.

Women should have no more than one drink a day and men should have no more than two drinks a day, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

Try to avoid high-calorie drinks. Many popular alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories, especially those mixed with soda, fruit juice or cream. A one-cup serving of eggnog, a holiday staple, has about 340 calories. Being overweight or obese is also associated with an increased risk for cancer.

Researchers believe that it is the ethanol or alcohol in beer, wine and liquor that increases cancer risk. Check the ethanol percentage numbers on bottle labels and stay away from 100-proof liquor.

Also try non-alcoholic drinks. For example, for a "cocktail-like" beverage, try club soda and lime, McKindley suggested.

Original Article.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Soda Tax Could Lead to Slight Weight Loss

A SODA TAX?! really? I don't know what people are thinking and the fact that they use the whole excuse of could "lead to slight weight loss" i say BS. its just another tax and seriously i swear they are going to start to charge you to breath soon. Its soda people! either way as ridiculous as this is I'm middle class,and I'm positive it will only affect me when I have parties and HAVE to buy soda other then that i normally just drink water or tea,I'm sure lots of other people do the same. soda tax. OH and they say our country is overweight, which is probably true but for the most part .. you motivate yourself. a soda tax wont do it for you. what a JOKE!

Dec. 13, 2010 -- Increasing taxes on sweetened drinks, such as soda, could lead to modest weight loss at best, particularly among middle-income families, and could generate between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion in annual revenue, according to a study.

Researchers led by Eric Finkelstein, PhD, associate professor of health services at Duke University Medical Center-National University of Singapore, found that a 20% tax on sugary drinks would result in weight loss of about 0.7 pounds per person over the course of a year and generate approximately $1.5 billion in tax revenue; a 40% hike in would lead to an average weight loss of 1.3 pounds per person per year and result in $2.5 billion in tax revenue, and cost the average household about $28 per year.

The findings, based on 2006 data and published in the Dec. 13/27 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, support the argument for increasing the taxes of sugar-sweetened drinks as a means to help curb the obesity epidemic. The study was supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

"Although small, given the rising trend in obesity rates, especially among youth, any strategy that shows even modest weight loss should be considered," Finkelstein says in a prepared statement. "Extending the tax to restaurants and vending machines would generate more tax revenue and perhaps greater weight losses."

Although Finkelstein and his team found a so-called “soda tax” could lead to modest weight loss, their analysis showed that middle-income households were the most likely to feel the impact of the soda tax and to experience weight loss, whereas lower- and higher-income households would probably not experience as much weight loss. The findings are limited by the fact that the analysis only included beverages purchased in stores.

"Higher-income groups can afford to pay the tax so they are unaffected, and lower-income groups likely avoid the effects of the tax by purchasing generic versions, waiting for sales, buying in bulk, or by other cost-saving strategies," Finkelstein said. Moreover, "If they switch to other high-calorie drinks, the effects of the tax would be diluted."

Finkelstein and his team looked at a database of U.S. households that included information about the families’ food and beverage purchases over a one-year period. The database also included information about household demographics, as well as the brand, UPC codes, and calories (though not a breakdown of the nutritional content) of the groceries they bought. These store-bought purchases included sugary drinks, such as carbonated sodas and sports/energy drinks, and also fruit juice, skim milk, and whole milk.

Households were broken into four categories ranging from low- to high-income. Investigators used statistical techniques to calculate how any changes in the cost of sweetened drinks would affect household purchasing habits.

Finkelstein noted that subsidies supporting the production of corn -- the main ingredient in high-fructose corn syrup found in many sweetened drinks -- could also affect sweetened beverage consumption. “Removing the subsidies or implementing a tax that increases prices on products that contain this ingredient is justifiable,” he says.

According to the CDC, two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight or obese. Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer. The authors note that obesity costs the U.S. an estimated $147 billion per year.

Original Article.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thrill-Seeking Gene Can Lead to More Sex Partners

" I CHEATED ON YOU BECAUSE ITS IN MY GENES" hmm i wonder how many people are more likely to say that now? lol either way i still don't think that a thrill seeking gene can make a person cheat on someone who they love and care for. so yeah it might be something that you think,and the thought of wanting another person who isnt your SO might come into your head, but in the end you control what you do. don't think with the wrong head guys. if you know what i mean.. sorry long article.

John Coleman, a 22-year-old from Syracuse, N.Y., has been engaged for the last two years and cannot fathom having sex with anyone other than his girlfriend.

"I find cheating appalling," said Coleman. "There's got to be something going on in your head to cheat."

It turns out Coleman is right.

In what is being called a first of its kind study, researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York (SUNY) have discovered that about half of all people have a gene that makes them more vulnerable to promiscuity and cheating.

Those with a certain variant of the dopamine receptor D4 polymorphism -- or DRD4 gene -- "were more likely to have a history of uncommitted sex, including one-night stands and acts of infidelity," according to lead investigator Justin Garcia.

DRD4 is the "thrill-seeking" gene, also responsible for alcohol and gambling addictions. The gene can influence the brain's chemistry and subsequently, an individual's behavior.

The desire to cheat or sleep around seems to originate in the brain's pleasure and reward center, where the "rush" of dopamine motivates those who are vulnerable, the researchers say.

In the study, Garcia instructed 181 student volunteers at SUNY to take an anonymous survey on their previous sexual behavior, asking them questions like how many sex partners they had and if they had ever been unfaithful.

He then tested their DNA by oral rinsing with a special mouthwash -- a buccal wash -- and genotyped the DRD4.

His team discovered that there is a variation in the thrill-seeking gene and those with much longer alleles are more prone to, well, getting prone. (An allele is part of the gene's DNA sequence responsible for different traits such as eye color or curly hair.)

Those with at least one 7-repeat allele reported a higher rate of promiscuity -- that is admitting to a "one-night stand." The same group had a 50 percent increase in instances of sexual cheating.

"It turns out everyone has got the gene," said Garcia, who is a doctoral fellow in the laboratory of evolutionary anthropology and health at SUNY Binghamton. "Just as height varies, the amount of information in the gene varies. In those who have more, their alleles are longer and they are more prone to thrill-seeking."

"It's inheritable, too," he said. "If your parents have it, you have it."

When the brain is stimulated -- drinking alcohol, jumping from planes, having sex -- it releases dopamine, the pleasure response hormone.

"It's rewarding and makes us excited and gives us pleasure," said Garcia. "But the people with the DRD4 gene need more stimuli to feel satiated. Some of say 'wow,' that was a rush after jumping out of a plane. Others ask, 'When is the plane going back up?'"

But not everyone is convinced a roving eye is rooted in DNA.

"Certain people are vulnerable to affairs, but in the end, it's about personal choice," said Jenn Berman, a psychologist and host of "The Love and Sex Show" on Cosmo Radio. "And it depends on how well-developed their impulse control is."

Still, the study could have some interesting implications.

Armed with that kind of data, John Coleman said he might be inclined to test his fiance and himself as well.

"It's like getting tested for STDs," he said. "It's the ultimate form of honesty, really," he said.

But Garcia said the gene for risk also might have an evolutionary advantage, beyond producing more children.

The gene evolved about 30,000 to 50,000 years ago when humans were moving out of Africa.

"Having some individuals who have wanderlust and want to see what's on the other side mountain. It's important for new places to live. But it's also risk-taking. Sometimes, going to the other side of the mountain means that something eats you. There is a cost and a benefit."

Some of the implications of this study might be "huge," and not just in the bedroom. "The big question is what happens in drug rehab if you have a long allele and others don't? They might have different treatments."

The study also strongly suggests that sex drive and thrill can function independently of love.
That might be the case with Emma, a 20-year-old student from University of Southern Florida, who just broken up with her boyfriend after a two-year monogamous relationship.

She wanted to try something different, so she slept with three men in one month. Two were encounters with guys she had been friends with and another was a fling that transformed into a longer relationship.

"I'd never done anything like that before," said Emma, who did not want to reveal her last name. "It was something so new to me."

She said it's not in her personality to take risks. Defying college stereotypes, Emma's never touched alcohol and has only smoked marijuana once.

And now that she is in a committed relationship, Emma is certain she won't be unfaithful.

Upbringing, experience and culture may actually wield more influence than the risk-taking gene, according to Susan Quilliam, a noted British psychologist and author of the updated "Joy of Sex

"We are learning more and more about genes implicated in behaviors," she said. "Every time a genetic study comes out, responsible scientists also stress that we have choice -- nature and nurture," she said.

"Not everyone with the gene is promiscuous and not everyone who is promiscuous will have that gene."

And can't risk-taking be a good thing?

"Sometimes that overlaps with creativity, with entrepreneurship and wanting to push the boundaries," she said. "In relationships that can be exciting and fulfilling and help the whole couple move into new areas."

So should a woman have her boyfriend tested before accepting his marriage proposal?

"By the time she meets him, unless he is very young, his track record will prove whether he has acted on his infidelity gene or not," said Quilliam. "If he has been unfaithful in the past, he is likely to do it in the future."

Maureen Finn, a 19-year-old television, film and radio major at Syracuse University, agrees.

"I mean if you meet a guy at a party and he's making out with three other girls, that's a hint," she said. "If you're disrespecting me, something tells me you're not going to respect me enough to be faithful."

Original Article.