Millions of US adults may have tough-to-spot high blood pressure.
The doctor’s office says your blood pressure is normal. You’re fine, right? Maybe not. A new study suggests that many Americans may have “masked” hypertension—a condition described as blood pressure that tends to be higher outside of the clinical environment. Researchers analyzed data from a government survey and estimated that about 17.1 million (12%) of adults in the US over the age of 21 have masked hypertension. American Journal of Epidemiology, January 2017
Artificial sweetener consumption on the rise.
Artificial sugar intake by American children and adults has soared in recent years. According a new report, consumption of foods and beverages with sweeteners such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin among children rose 200% from 1999 and 2012. Furthermore, use among adults increased 54% during the same period. Researcher Dr. Allison Sylvetsky writes, “The findings are important, especially for children, because some studies suggest a link between low-calorie sweeteners and obesity, diabetes, and other health issues.” She recommends drinking water instead of soda and consuming a diet with plenty of fruits and veggies, whole grains, and limited added sugars. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, January 2017
Vitamin D for chronic low back pain?
A new study set out to assess the impact of vitamin-D supplementation in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP). In the study, 68 vitamin D-deficient patients with CLBP consumed 60,000 IU of vitamin D every week for eight weeks which resulted in improvements in pain intensity and functional ability. The finding suggests that simple vitamin D supplementation may help manage CLBP. Further clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings. Pain Physician, January 2017
Talking or texting on your phone during exercise may lead to trouble.
Two recent studies published in the journals Computers in Human Behavior and Performance Enhancement & Health found that talking or texting on a cell phone during a workout lowers the intensity of exercise sessions. Furthermore, talking on a cell phone can reduce postural stability by up to 19%, while texting can reduce said stability by up to 45%. Study author Dr. Michael Rebold adds, “If you’re talking or texting on your cell phone while you’re putting in your daily steps, your attention is divided by the two tasks and that can disrupt your postural stability, and therefore, possibly predispose individuals to other greater inherent risks such as falls and musculoskeletal injuries.” Hiram College, January 2017
Cutting back screen time can extend your life.
Using data concerning 423,659 men and women in the United Kingdom over a 7.6-year time frame, University of Cambridge researchers report that exchanging just 30 minutes of screen time with a simple walk each day can cut the risk of early death by up to 5%. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, January 2017
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