Even modest changes to diet could reduce risk of death, study finds

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With more than one-third of U.S. adults suffering from obesity, it’s no surprise that many Americans would benefit from healthier eating habits. Fad diets capitalize on our desire for quick results but usually fail in the long run.

Now new research adds to the evidence that a more moderate approach can make a lasting difference.

A study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that improving the quality of diet over time, even with modest changes, may significantly reduce the risk of premature death.

Improvements to diet included consuming more whole grainsvegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish and eating less red and processed meats and sugary beverages.

“Overall, our findings underscore the benefits of healthy eating patterns including the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. Our study indicates that even modest improvements in diet quality could meaningfully influence mortality risk and conversely, worsening diet quality may increase the risk,” lead author Mercedes Sotos-Prieto, who worked on the study while a postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard Chan School department of nutrition and who is currently an assistant professor of nutrition at Ohio University, said in a statement.

For the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Sotos-Prieto and her team analyzed data on nearly 74,000 adults over a 12-year period. The researchers assessed the participants’ diet using three different scoring methods: the 2010 Alternate Healthy Eating Index, the Alternate Mediterranean Diet score, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet score. Each model assigns scores to various types of food, with healthier foods receiving higher scores and less healthy foods receiving lower scores.

The results showed that better diet quality over a 12-year period was linked to a reduced risk of death in the subsequent 12 years, no matter which method of scoring was used. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and fish or n-3 fatty acids appeared to contribute most to an improvement in diet quality.

Specifically, the study showed that a 20-percentile increase in diet-quality scores was associated with an 8 to 17 percent reduction in the risk of death.

That can be achieved, for example, by swapping out just one serving of red or processed meat and replacing it with one daily serving of nuts or legumes.

In contrast, worsening diet quality was linked to a 6 to 12 percent increase in the risk of death.

Nancy Z. Farrell, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, said the findings reinforce the work she does every day with her patients.

“Registered dietitian nutritionists practice evidence-based science every day in encouraging and educating the public on disease prevention and treatment, and we know that chronic disease increases the cost of health care and drives up insurance premiums,” she told CBS News.

Farrell says everyone can benefit from making smart diet swaps as often as possible.

“Have a ‘meatless Monday’ dinner where you incorporate beans or legumes, such as red beans and quinoa. Or have a veggie pizza night,” she suggests.

When it comes to snacking, avoid high-calorie junk foods like potato chips and opt for a handful of nuts, or make your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.

And if you’re looking for a sweet treat, skip the ice cream and try freezing some fruit instead.

“Blueberries or blackberries offer a refreshing summer snack with a burst of coolness,” Farrell said.

Importantly, experts say it’s crucial to not only incorporate such changes into your diet, but to stick with them over time.

“Our results highlight the long-term health benefits of improving diet quality with an emphasis on overall dietary patterns rather than on individual foods or nutrients,” said Frank Hu, professor and chair of the Harvard Chan School department of nutrition and senior author of the study. “A healthy eating pattern can be adopted according to individuals’ food and cultural preferences and health conditions. There is no one-size-fits-all diet.”


Superbug death spurs drug regulator warning

Superbug death spurs drug regulator warning (Kevin Shine/Getty Images)Superbug death spurs drug regulator warning (Kevin Shine/Getty Images)
In the wake of the recent death of an American woman after contracting an infection resistant to antibiotics, the drug regulator has directed the pharma supply chain, including retailers, chemists and drug makers, to strictly follow norms while selling antibiotics.

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has also asked companies to carry specified warnings to avoid antimicrobial resistance. “To contain anti-microbial resistance, the office has been advising the supply chain system in India to follow strict requirements of Schedule H and H1 for sale of medicines,” DCGI G N Singh said in a notice issued to all state regulators and other stakeholders.

The Centre has also asked state drug regulators to take “strong policy measures including stringent regulatory action on the over-the-counter (without prescription) sale of high-end antibiotics”.

An American woman, who contracted an infection while being treated for a thigh bone fracture in India two years ago, died recently. CDC Atlanta, which houses one of world’s most advanced laboratories, conducted tests on the wound specimen later and confirmed the presence of New Delhi Metallo-Beta-Lactamase (NDM) – a superbug that makes bacteria resistant to antibiotics. The incident has triggered a lot of concerns among health experts. Though antibiotic resistance is a global public health threat, misuse of antibiotics is rampant in India. According to a 2016 report in international journal PLOS, the infectious disease mortality rate in India is 416.75 per 100,000 persons and is twice the rate prevailing in the United States when antibiotics were introduced.

Experts blame poor public health systems, hospital infection, high rates of infectious disease, inexpensive antibiotics, and rising incomes for the increasing prevalence of resistant pathogens. Antimicrobial resistance has resulted in striking rise in the burden of untreatable neonatal sepsis and health-care-associated infections. To check irrational use of antibiotics, the government has already introduced a ‘red line’ differentiating high end antibiotics from other drugs. The move is aimed at discouraging unnecessary prescription and over-the-counter sale of antibiotics causing drug resistance for several critical diseases including TB, malaria, urinary tract infection and even HIV.

High-end antibiotics are used for critical diseases and in serious infection cases. These also include some new and innovative medicines used in cancer treatments. However, misuse of such antibiotics for common health conditions help bacteria develop resistance.

The government is running campaigns against irrational prescriptions and over the counter sale of antibiotics. The World Health Organisation has also created pressure on India seeking urgent and concrete measures to arrest the reducing effectiveness of antibiotics. It has cautioned the government and public health experts that if enough was not done now, common bacterial infections such as skin sores or diaorrhea would become untreatable and fatal


Babies Should Sleep In Parents’ Room To Help Prevent Sleep-Related Death

Babies Should Sleep In Parents' Room To Help Prevent Sleep-Related DeathInfants should sleep in the same bedroom as their parents for at least the first six months of their lives to minimize the risk of sleep-related deaths, according to new guidelines from US paediatricians.

Ideally, babies should stay in their parents’ room at night for a full year, according to recommendations released today by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Babies shouldn’t share a bed with parents, however, because that increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the guidelines stress. The safest spot for infant sleep is on a firm surface such as a crib or bassinet without any soft bedding, bumpers or pillows.

Sleeping in the same room, but not in the same bed, may reduce babies’ risk of SIDS by up to 50 percent, said Dr Lori Feldman-Winter, a co-author of the AAP guidelines and pediatrics researcher at Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey.

“Bed-sharing is potentially hazardous for SIDS, and this is most important for infants under four months of age and those who were premature or low birth weight,” Feldman-Winter added by email.

The new guidelines also encourage skin-to-skin contact as soon as possible after birth to help prevent SIDS.

With caesarean deliveries, mothers can do this with their babies as soon as they are awake and alert after surgery and, in the meantime, fathers or other caregivers can provide skin-to-skin contact to new-borns.

Breastfeeding can also help prevent SIDS, but mothers still shouldn’t sleep with babies in their beds to make nursing more convenient in the middle of the night, according to the guidelines, published in Pediatrics.

SIDS has become much less common in recent decades as doctors have urged parents to put infants to sleep on their backs without pillows or other soft bedding and toys that could pose a suffocation risk. But it still remains a leading cause of infant mortality, killing about 3,500 babies a year in the US alone, according to the AAP.

These deaths can be caused by a variety of factors including brain abnormalities or respiratory problems in babies as well as sleeping face down on fluffy surfaces or surfaces that pose a risk of suffocation.

“The majority of sleep-related infant deaths occur when babies are sleeping on their stomach, or with soft bedding nearby, or when bed-sharing with their mother, other caregiver or other family members,” said Dr Fern Hauck, a paediatrics researcher at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville who serves on the AAP task force on SIDS.

“The new guidelines emphasize the importance of placing infants on their back for EVERY sleep, naptime or night-time, at home, at grandma’s, at day-care and placing babies in a crib or bassinet with a firm mattress, without pillows, soft/loose blankets, bumper pads, or other soft objects, in mother’s/parent’s room close to her bed,” Hauck added by email. “All of these steps will allow for open flow of air to the baby.”

Roughly one in five sleep-related infant deaths occur outside the home, according to a separate study published in Pediatrics.

Researchers examined data on almost 12,000 infant sleep-related deaths from 2004 to 2014.

Compared to babies who died at home, infants who died outside the home were more likely to be found sleeping on their stomachs or in a stroller or car seat instead of a crib or bassinet, the study found. They were also less likely to be with their parents.

“Parents often assume that when other people take care of their infant, they also know about infant sleep safety. That is definitely not true,” said senior study author Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, a pediatrics researcher at Children’s Mercy Kansas City.

“Parents need to make sure that everyone taking care of their baby follows the A-B-Cs of safe sleep,” Colvin added by email. “Their infant should always be placed to sleep ‘A’ Alone, with no bed sharing or objects in the sleep area, ‘B’ on their back, and ‘C’ in a crib or bassinet only.”


Hardcore fans mourn the death of Nexus by denouncing the Pixel

nexus dying primary

It seems Google would like people to think the Pixel is the first phone it has ever produced with its “Made by Google” ad campaign. The most devoted fans of the Android platform have never seen it that way. To them, the Nexus phones were about “pure Android,” but now they’re suddenly finding their phones have been demoted.

Google has said there will be no new Nexus phones, and what’s more, the Pixel and Pixel XL will get exclusive features that aren’t coming to the current Nexus line, and Nexus owners are understandably upset. How upset? Well, we cannot reprint some of what’s been said, if that gives you an idea.

Sticker shock

The response to Google’s Pixel announcement among Nexus fans came in two waves—first came the price shock, then the feature shock. When the phones were announced, everyone was dismayed by the pricing. It was leaked in advance, but actually hearing that the smaller Pixel would start at $650 was jarring when the Nexus 5X was introduced at a starting price of $379, and had recently dropped to about $300.

People have pointed out time and time again that the Pixel phones lack some important features like water resistance and removable storage seen in other phones like the Galaxy S7, but the pricing is very similar. Google probably has a rationale for pricing these phones like it has (namely, identical to the iPhone 7 and 7s), but Nexus fans don’t see anything particularly compelling. Many comments around the internet simply call Google “crazy” for pricing the phones so high. Some especially irked Nexus fans actually seem insulted by the idea they should go back to spending $700-800 on a phone. Those who try to make a case for the pricing of the Pixel are frequently shouted down, and on Reddit,downvoted into oblivion.

nexus dying pixel pricePeople are looking toward phones like the OnePlus 3, Axon 7, and Moto Z Play as potential alternatives that aren’t so expensive. It’s hard to say if devoted fans of stock Android will go out and pick up a OnePlus 3, but the “stock Android” situation isn’t even as clear as it once was. That’s the other reason Nexus owners are feeling slighted.

Making Nexus a second-class phone

The selling point of Nexus phones was always that buyers would get “pure” Android right from Google, with over-the-air updates as soon as they were ready. There weren’t very many features layered on top of the straight AOSP (Android Open Source Project) version of Android for Nexus devices, but buyers were fine with that because they’d always have the newest, most Google-y OS. Now, Google has essentially created their own Android skin for the Pixel, and it’s not coming to Nexus phones. What’s more, Nexus owners are waiting on the 7.1 update like Samsung commoners. The nerve!

Nexus owners are probably more upset about this than the Pixel’s pricing. Even if they keep their modestly priced phones, they won’t get all the Android 7.1 goodies like Assistant, the Pixel Launcher, or the Pixel Camera. Some are even using the dreaded F-word to describe this—fragmentation. The decision to make Assistant exclusive is cited as particularly annoying. The decision feels arbitrary, especially considering Assistant already exists in Allo, and voice commands are a thing on Android.

pixel assistantAndroid 7.1 is ready to rock on the Pixel, but we still need to go through a developer preview and several months of waiting for Nexus phones to get an update. Even then, the features won’t be the same. The Android faithful repeatedly point out that this all feels like an artificial limitation. Some even compare it to Apple and its tendency to limit new software features to new devices.

But maybe it’ll work

The biggest Android fans are still grieving over the loss of the Nexus line, but some of the more self-aware admit that the Pixel approach could work. It sets Google’s offerings apart from other devices with mostly stock versions of Android. Google is also spending big on advertising the Pixel.

There’s a lot of ill-will right now, but if the Pixel phones do end up being good, a lot of Nexus fans will come around. The option for monthly payment plans make the higher flagship price more palatable, too. Even people who love their Nexus devices complain about cut corners and mediocre hardware, but the Pixels don’t have as many shortcomings thanks to the higher price.

If Google can actually make money on the Pixels, as opposed to subsidizing Nexus phones, we might see even better Pixel-exclusive features later. An Android alternative to the iPhone, with Google in charge of features and updates instead of carriers, is something Nexus was never able to accomplish. For a true Android fan, that’s where you want to be. Tempers will probably cool in the coming weeks, and the Pixels will become the new gold standard for Android.


Fears Of Ageing May Cause Earlier Death: UN

Fears Of Ageing May Cause Earlier Death: UN

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Fears Of Ageing May Cause Earlier Death: UN
Photo for representational purpose only.
GENEVA: Being afraid of growing old may shorten your life, the UN health agency said Thursday, as new data highlighted the widespread prevalence of ageist attitudes worldwide.

In a first-of-its-kind survey released by the World Health Organization, 60 percent of respondents said they believed older people “were not respected.”

Attitudes towards older people were more negative in richer countries, according to the data from more than 83,000 respondents, who were 18 years of age and older in 57 countries.

The data confirms “that ageism is extremely common,” said John Beard, WHO’s head of Ageing and Life Course.

He warned that discriminatory and negative views about older people can have sweeping consequences, including for younger people.

“There is very good evidence that people who have negative views of themselves as they grow older… it shortens their lives,” Beard told reporters.

WHO cited recently published research indicating that “people who hold negative views about their own ageing, do not recover as well from disability and live on average 7.5 years less than people with positive attitudes.”

Attitudes about ageing are “on the level that racism and sexism were maybe 20, 30 or 40 years ago,” Beard said.
“Things which are no longer accepted if you were talking about someone on the basis of their race or sex are still tolerated when it comes down to their age.”

WHO does not define the group of people victimised by ageism.

Such discrimination could be directed at a 50-year-old seeking a new job, or a 65-year-old facing mandatory retirement but who remains a productive employee.

The WHO official also came out against compulsory, age-defined policies like mandatory retirement, describing them as “problematic”.

In seeking a more just definition of what it means to be old, Beard said WHO had begun using the mid-point of life expectancy in each country.

That means, for example, in Britain, where life expectancy is 81, anyone over 41 would be defined as “older”, Beard said, voicing hope that this new definition would be “liberating” for those who viewed the onset of their 60s as an ominous benchmark.

There are currently an estimated 600 million people worldwide over the age of 60, a figure set to double by 2025 and hit two billion by 2050, according to WHO.

Because the survey released Thursday was the first set of global data on ageism, WHO officials said it was difficult to track how attitudes had shifted over time, but added there was some evidence that ageism was on the rise.


NFL Twitter hacked, stocks Goodell ‘death’ hoax

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

he Twitter account of the country wide football League become hacked Tuesday with a fake messageannouncing that Commissioner Roger Goodell had died.

The NFL speedy answered by using pronouncing the account had been hacked and Goodell turned into“alive and well.” Goodell tweeted later in the day, making mild of the problem.

this is the brand new in a chain of excessive-profile social media money owed being targeted with the aid of hackers. The Twitter account of singer Lana Del Rey changed into also hacked Tuesday.

Twitter declined to comment, directing CNBC to the NFL. The NFL stated that it has “engaged regulationenforcement to investigate the problem.” It brought that it’s miles “reviewing and strengthening [its] cyber-security features.”
The tweets published by using the hacker had been directly deleted, however display screen captures of the tweets may be visible under.