A Few Tweaks to Amp Up Your Workout

Image

Change up your exercise routineSpringtime is a great time to revitalize your workout to get the health results you have been aiming for. When it comes to maximizing your work out, variation is key. Engaging in the same workout routine allows your muscles to adapt to that workout and make it easier while burning less calories. This ultimately makes losing weight and maintaining fitness more difficult. A study from the University of Florida also indicates that people who do the same work out are less likely to continue exercising. The same study indicates that to alleviate mental fatigue and boredom, workouts should be modified every two weeks. This change allows people to remain interested in their exercise routine and are thus more likely to follow through with their fitness goals.

Ways to change up your workout include incorporating strength training, changing location, and the intensity of your workout. More >>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on physical activity and other behavioral health topics. Learn more about Tulane research projects in the Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences department. 

Advertisements

Where America drinks most: Study finds binge-drinking trouble spots

XXX COCKTAILS PRET A PORTER.JPGA new study indicates that one’s drinking habits are tied to one’s geographic location. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health indicates that binge drinking levels are on the rise nationwide, and assessed drinking levels county by county. While the percentage of people who drink is remaining fairly constant, the amounts of alcohol being consumed are increasing among drinkers.

Heavy drinking is defined as more than two drinks per day for men and more than one drink a day for women. Heavy drinking is linked to heart disease, cancer, and liver damage among other health complications. Binge drinking–at least five drinks on one occasion for men and at least four drinks for women–is linked to car crashes, injuries and alcohol poisoning. In general, the study finds the highest rates of problem drinking occur in New England, the Pacific coast and in the northern parts of the West and Midwest.

While regular, moderate drinking is more prevalent in wealthier communities, problem drinking is more prevalent in poorer, more rural communities. More>>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on substance abuse and other behavioral health topics. Learn more about Tulane research projects. 

 

 

Ban on Fast Food in South L.A. Has Not Cut Obesity

A recent study has shown that the ban on fast-food restaurants in South Los Angeles has not been effective in reducing obesity. Despite the ban—which was put in effect seven years go—fast food consumption in South L.A. has increased. The percentage of people who are overweight or obese in the area affected by the ordinance has also increased from 63% to 75%, mirroring trends throughout L.A. county. Councilman Bernard C. Parks, who co-wrote the zoning restriction, is not discouraged by the lack of results, and remains confident that the ban was a necessary step for long term reductions in obesity. Parks stated that the ordinance was only the first move in attempting to have these establishments replaced by farmers’ markets and grocery stores: a step which has proved more difficult to accomplish.

The 2008 law was the city’s landmark attempt at tackling fast-food restaurants. Supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute, the ordinance targeted the predominantly African American neighborhoods in South L.A. which has a higher rate of obesity and diabetes. More>>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on obesity and food policy. Learn more about Tulane research projects.

Sugary Soft Drinks Taken Off Burger King Kid’s Menu

Burger King has joined the ranks of fast food chains to eliminated sugary soft drinks from their children’s menu, replacing them with apple juice and milk. In a statement to USA Today, Burger King reports the change is “part of our ongoing effort to offer our guests options that match lifestyle needs.” While soft drinks are still available, they are no longer advertised on the children’s menu. Other fast-food chains who have adopted this policy include Wendy’s and McDonald’s.

Fast-food chains have recently felt more pressure to increase their efforts to reduce childhood obesity. According to the CDC, over a third of American children and teens are obese: a statistic they argue is due in large part to the consumption of sugary soft drinks. More>>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on childhood obesity and other nutrition related topics. Learn more about Tulane research projects.

Warning Sounded on Heavy Metals in Chocolates

A consumer action group is taking legal action against several chocolate producers for (Photo: stock.xchng.)failing to report on potentially harmful levels of lead and cadmium in their products. “As You Sow,” a group based in Oakland California, has put sixteen manufacturers on notice for violating California’s Proposition 65 — which requires warnings on products containing chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. The group originally ordered testing on forty-two products for lead and cadmium, both of which are labeled as reproductive and developmental toxins. Twenty-six products were identified as having above threshold levels of heavy metals without the appropriate warning labels.

Prop. 65 actions can result in legal action, often as agreements to post warning labels or penalties. If the parties do not reach an agreement, then the action may continue on to court. Eleanne van Vliet, As You Sow’s director of toxic chemical research hopes that this action will improve consumer awareness and push manufacturers to develop safer food practices. More >>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on lead and other environmental health topics. Learn more about Tulane research projects. 

Teen Dating Violence Harms Both Genders, Government Report Shows

According to the CDC, approximately 21% of female teens have experienced some form of violence at the hands of their partner, with almost 10% of male students reporting the same. The study, ultimately published in the JAMA Pediatrics journal, asked 9,000 students on their experiences with dating violence. This included physical violence, sexual violence, or both at the hands of their dating partner. The CDC had not previously included reports on sexual violence as it pertained to dating violence. While girls were more likely to experience violence, the study indicated that both genders were at risk for victimization. Teens who experienced this violence were also more likely to use and abuse drugs and alcohol or report suicidal ideation. More>>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on Dating and Interpersonal Violence. Learn more about Tulane research projects. 

Dietary Cholesterol Not “A Nutrient of Concern”

Image

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee reports thatsix-eggs-in-carton dietary cholesterol is not a source of concern for overconsumption. Dietary cholesterol – found in foods such as eggs, shrimp, and butter – was placed in the “foods and food components to reduce” category in the 2010 guidelines. Current recommendations advise consuming less than 300mg per day; a single egg contains about 164mg. Should the suggestions be adopted by the USDA and the US Department of Human Services, it could radically change the way Americans perceived their dietary choices.

Research indicates that the dietary cholesterol in food has little to do with cholesterol levels in the blood. The evidence linking heart health and saturated and trans fats is much stronger, as well as the cholesterol reducing effects of eating whole grains. More>>

Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine currently conducts interdisciplinary research on cardiovascular disease and other disease. Learn more about Tulane research projects.