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Powdered alcohol might initially seem like a ludicrous idea, but it is a genuinely real product that could potentially end up in stores by the end of the year. The tidal wave of controversy surrounding powered alcohol didn’t stop it from being approved for sale by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on March 10 of this year. The specific product in question, known as Palcohol, is essentially freeze-dried alcohol that comes in a small, portable pouch. The powder is available as vodka or rum, but ready-made cocktail options are also available, including Cosmopolitans, Lemon Drops and “Powderitas.” Simply adding six ounces of water (or a mixer such as Coca-Cola or orange juice) to the powder can create a standard mixed drink. Technically speaking, approval from the TTB is a green light for Palcohol to begin distribution, but there’s still plenty of pushback.
When it comes to the health of children in America, it seems as though there hasn’t been much good news lately. According to the CDC, around 12.7 million children aged 2 to 19 were obese in 2012. Research from last year indicates that overweight children as young as preschool age may already exhibit risk factors for diabetes and heart disease, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar. As recently as this week, it was reported that the vast majority of parents don’t recognize when their child is overweight or obese. Although that study occurred in the UK, it’s likely that similar trends could be occuring in America. It’s common knowledge that low-quality food, especially pizza, plays a role in childhood obesity. Luckily, a new study provides a break from the bad news: kids are eating less fast food.
It’s not uncommon for any generation to think that younger people are more selfish or entitled. Nearly 40 years ago, respected author Tom Wolfe famously declared the 1970s to be the “Me” Decade. But it seems as if there’s an especially high amount of concern about narcissistic children and young adults now. In 2013, Time Magazine declared millennials to be the Me Me Me Generation, calling them lazy, entitled, selfish, shallow and narcissistic (to be fair, it also said millennials will “save us all”). Articles such as these point to studies like this one from 2008, which claimed narcissism in college students has skyrocketed since the 1970s. This study, also from 2008, says that 9.4 percent of people aged 20 to 29 are extreme narcissists, while only 3.2 percent of people older than 65 exhibit narcissism. The continued prominence of social media doesn’t help either. Selfies and Facebook only seem to fuel the fire for a narcissistic generation.
The number of people who suffer from allergies has skyrocketed in the last couple decades. Food allergies in particular now affect around 15 million Americans, and the number of children with food allergies increased by a whopping 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. Also, anybody who suffers from a food allergy knows that they’re much more than a simple annoyance. Food allergies lead to over 200,000 emergency room visits every year, and they can cause a potentially deadly reaction known as anaphylaxis. The vast majority of food allergies are caused by wheat, shellfish, eggs, milk, soy, tree nuts, fish and, of course, peanuts. The number of people with a peanut allergy more than tripled between 1997 and 2010. While the typical prevention strategy for children has long been to simply avoid peanuts, a new study is saying just the opposite.
Between all the dieting and exercise, people who are trying to get healthy may be overlooking one crucial lifestyle element: sleep. Most people know that sleep is essential for concentration, memory, productivity and overall brain function. However, some might not know that insufficient sleep can raise the risk of serious conditions such as diabetes, obesity, depression, hypertension and even cancer. And it’s not just health-conscious people who should be concerned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a full 30 percent of civilian employed adults in the U.S. get less than six hours of sleep each night. This means that almost one-third of Americans are getting less than the recommended amount of sleep. Typical sleep recommendations state that eight hours a night is best, but new research from the National Sleep Foundation has changed the guidelines a bit.
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