Tanning - States are talking about banning indoor tanning. This is good news because tanning of any type is related to an increased risk of skin cancer, including the deadly melanoma. The link between UV rays and cancer is established and confirmed in lab studies. Unfortunately, the 18 states that have an indoor ban in mind are only setting age limits - not actually banning it.
Big T in Canada- A civil lawsuit for damages for tobacco related disease (cancer and addiction) is underway in Canada. It is the biggest civil suit that country has seen. The spin for this suit, as opposed to the 1998 suit in the USA, is that the tobacco companies tricked the consumer. This lawsuit is late in the game (we know tobacco kills). Many countries, including Canada, spend a lot of time and energy regulating tobacco and advocating against its use because of the health risks. Several popular press sources have run a story about the Canadian lawsuit, here is one.
Graphic Ads in USA - Speaking of tobacco or more specifically smoking it, the USA may not get its graphic pack labels, but the anti tobacco folks can still proceed with graphic anti smoking ads. This type of ad is effective - as evidenced from some great work out of Johns Hopkins. I have not seen the new ads, but I have put this on my to watch list. They are being produced and disseminated through the CDC.
Pink Slime - ah YES. Been around for years, but is finally getting some press. Here is a very basic overview. Pink slime, named so by a microbiologist, is meat. Consider ground beef. Most packages will tell you the percent of fat or leanness of the hamburger. One way to have lean ground beef is to grind up lean beef. Another way is to modify higher fat beef - i.e. use pink slime. Consider a higher fat hamburger product. Remove some of that beef, run it through a process that strips out the fat, give it a blast of ammonia ( for coloring I think) and put it back in. Its a filler and a leaning process. The FDA has signed off on the procedure as safe, but of course, when we KNOW what is going on, we eschew it. I believe that Marion Nestle was recently quoted as saying something like, " social media has been able to do what we have been trying to do for years." End this process. It is hard to tell if the lean hamburger product at the store has pink slime - it doesn't have to be declared. You can look it up(google it) though because there are some ways to know for sure - of course, the pure lean beef costs more.
White Rice - A study published in BMJ March 16, lead author Emily Hu, shows an association between white rice consumption and incidence cases of type 2 diabetes in Asian and Western groups - with higher consumption related to higher risk. Interestingly, the risk is greater in Japanese and Chinese populations than in Western. What is very helpful in the study is the introduction. The scientists explain the mechanics behind white rice and disease. They suggest that high glycemic loads/index increase the risk of type 2 DM and that white rice has a GI value of 64, brown rice 55, whole grains 41 and a much lower 25 for barley. I choose barley, bulgar and quinoa over rice - always. The authors discuss how the rice is processed and that it is primarily starch. Starch is what ups the GI. Recall my favorite steamed basket of shrimp and veggies at Asian restaurants.. I always turn down the rice. Here is a link to the research.Meat Labels - Yup. I did remember to go over to the meat case and turn over a few items today, chicken, turkey and beef. It appears that the serving size for each was 4 ounces. The chicken breast had about half the calories of the other two.