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According to the Pew Research Center, 64 percent of American adults owned a smartphone in 2015, and that number is likely to continue growing. These people often use smartphones for important, life-affecting tasks such as banking, looking up real estate listings, finding job information, taking classes, or submitting a job application. In fact, Pew Research also reports that 62 percent of smartphone owners used their phone to find information about a health condition at least once in 2015. If that health condition was an urgent crisis, however, a smartphone user may choose an option that’s quicker and easier than a browser search: vocally asking their phone a question. Smartphone voices such as Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are made to provide quick answers, but when it comes to medical advice, they may not always be trustworthy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one-third of the adult population in the U.S. is obese. This comes out to around 78.6 million people, all of which are at much higher risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and stroke. Because of these high risk factors, it’s believed that obesity is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the U.S. This also means that there are millions of people who should be taking active steps to reduce their body weight if they aren’t doing so already. Unfortunately, losing large amounts of weight can be an incredibly daunting task – so daunting, in fact, that it can prevent people from even making an attempt. However, a new study published this week in the medical journal Cell Metabolism could give many the hope they need to at least get started on the path to weight loss.
Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services collaborate to publish the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The publication essentially serves as the U.S. government’s official food and beverage recommendations for Americans, based on the most recent health research and evidence. The guidelines aim to help people maintain a healthy weight and prevent chronic disease, while also providing educational institutions and healthcare providers with reliable dietary strategies and recommendations. They also help inform national health promotion programs, school lunches, food labels and various policies in many different industries and organizations. So, these Dietary Guidelines are extremely important for shaping what Americans eat and what they deem is healthy. The latest version, published last week, has some interesting surprises – and many health experts aren’t happy.
With the Christmas season upon us, chances are good that your stress level has gone up significantly. Purchasing gifts, decorating your home, preparing family events, sending cards and planning for travel only adds to the chaos of year-end reports, increased workloads, social events and other typical December stressors. Even worse, the holidays are a time when many people start to suffer from anxiety and depression. It’s estimated that around 10 percent of people suffer from seasonal affective disorder, and many more suffer from a milder but still troubling condition colloquially referred to as the “winter blues.” So what could be done to reduce stress during the holiday season? Well, according to an encouraging new study, it may truly be better for your health to give than to receive.
There’s no doubt that coffee is one of America’s favorite beverages. According to the National Coffee Association, 59 percent of Americans currently drink a cup of coffee every day. Some sources indicate that American workers who buy coffee regularly throughout the week spend an average of $1,092 on coffee every year. Despite it’s popularity, however, the effects of coffee on health are somewhat nebulous. Many studies have shown that coffee can provide all sorts of health advantages, such as skin cancer prevention and mental benefits. On the other hand, coffee is thought to present problems for those with cholesterol issues or sleep problems – especially if it’s loaded with sugar. The latest study is another win for coffee lovers, but despite the study’s massive coverage in the media, the results actually aren’t universally positive.
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