Health Front: Odd Health Trends of 2013


• Many news organizations come up with their list that rate “the best of the year” in news stories, the arts, inventions, and in food and health trends of the year.  Some also have lists that include “the worst of the year.” ABC News has a list of the worst health trends of 2013. On their worst list of health trends is Open-bar gyms. This trend has people doing a cool-down after exercising with an alcoholic beverage at the health club bar. Some gyms now offer a bar drink right after your workout. According to one study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, alcohol drains your muscles’ level of glycogen, their primary source of fuel. The effect: Your muscles don’t have the energy they need to repair, grow stronger, and increase your metabolism. Basically, post-exercise sips negate your workout.

ABC News also considers going on a gluten-free diet for no reason ridiculous and one of the worst health trends. Americans have become caught up with the herd instinct of “gluten free.” “Gluten free foods aren’t automatically better for you, and plenty of gluten free foods can make you gain weight,” says Seattle-based nutritionist Deborah Enos. “Gluten helps you hold food together. When food manufactures remove gluten, they add in fat and sugar to help the food maintain its shape.” Plus, a 2012 review in the Journal of the Academy of nutrition and Dietetics shows that a gluten free diet has no benefit – and can harm digestive health—in those people without celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.

• Thirty eight states, including California, will take part in a new program that allows parents to install devices in their cars to limit cell phone use and texting – and monitor their teen’s driving behavior, said  Esurance, a San Francisco insurance company that is a subsidy of Allstate. Auto insurer Esurance is introducing a new program that allows policy holders to install technology that creates “block lists” that will stop cell phone activity when the car is in motion.

Esurance is providing the device free of charge to policy holders with teen drivers. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo  said, “It is encouraging to see such programs that give parents new tools to help stop their sons and daughters from texting while driving,” as he approved the program in his state. “A combination of inattention and inexperience has far too often produced tragic results for teenage drivers,” Cuomo added. New York has taken more measures to crack down on texting behind the wheel. A new law there has hiked penalties for cellphone use while driving to equal severity as penalties for speeding or reckless driving. The California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones was in agreement to such new initiatives. Jones said that, “It is essential that we do all we can to help teen drivers avoid the dangers of distracted driving.”

• Catholic groups just won a permanent injunction against the Affordable Care Act. A federal judge today granted groups affiliated with the Roman catholic Diocese of Pittsburg and the Erie diocese a permanent injunction against the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate after government attorneys conceded that they had no evidence to offer…The diocese-related charitable organizations sued the federal agencies and officials because they do not want their insurance administrators to be required to provide what they call “preventive services” coverage. The injunction allows them to offer insurance that doesn’t include contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs.

• No longer are people able to use the excuse that “eating healthy costs too much.”  It does cost more to eat a healthier diet, but it only totals up to an extra $1.47 per day, plus some discipline. Researchers at Harvard and Brown Universities of Medicine have identified 27 previous studies from 10 different countries that have evaluated food prices of 1,230 stores. The researchers compared the costs of the healthiest eating patterns with the least healthly. In order to increase good protein and whole foods, while avoiding diets related to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disease, one would need an extra $1.47 per day. That might be a lot of money to a destitute family in Africa or South America. However, in North America it is only the price of one cup of coffee a day to partake in the healthiest dieting.

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January 29th, 2014

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