Advice From Your Government – and other news

by DavalosMcCormack on October 8, 2008

And you thought the Government had forgotten about you with all this stuff about the U.S. economy heading towards the toilet. Today the Feds came out with some groundbreaking recommendations about health. Now, sit down before you read this.

Michael O. Leavitt, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, issued the new guidelines calling on Americans to get more exercise to reduce their risk of disease and lead healthier lives.

To paraphrase Claude Raines in the movie “Casablanca”, “I’m shocked, shocked, to find exercise is good for you.”

OK, maybe that’s being a bit mean. Or sarcastic. Or both. But really. After all these years that is the best the government can come up with, telling us that exercise is good for us.

How about spending a bit of money to make it easier for more Americans to get exercise, offering tax breaks for gym memberships, bigger tax breaks for people who get gym memberships and actually use them, even bigger tax breaks for people who exercise and lose weight and give up smoking and reduce their cholesterol or blood pressure.

Ah, but then that would take real effort. It’s so much easier just to repeat what everyone else has already said and what we already know. Helping them do that would take real thought, planning and commitment.

Red Red Wine

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, red wine is good for you. I know. You have heard it before. I just love saying it. I’ll say it again, red wine is good for you!

This latest confirmation of the healthy properties of red wine comes in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

The research comes out of the vaults of Kaiser Permanente in Pasadena, California. I used to work at Kaiser. They’re all jolly nice people, and very clever, so if they say wine is good for you believe it.

In this specific study the researchers found that moderate consumption of red wine may decrease the risk of lung cancer in men.

Sadly, no similar association was found in men who drank white wine or beer. But I think that just means we need more research. In fact, even as I type this I’m carrying out my own study and am happy to report that so far, with my second beer of the night, I’m still lung cancer free.

But as we say in the  halls of academic research, more study is needed.


The Cure For Beer Breath

Just to show you that I really do think about what I write here, I want to report on a study that shows how you can get rid of bad breath, particularly if you’ve just been downing a few pints. The study says mouthwash can help get ease halitosis.

Now, this may be the single most international study I’ve ever reported on. It was done by researchers in Bahrain based on an analysis of five previous studies in the U.S., the Netherlands, Spain, Thailand and Israel.

The researchers found that antibacterial mouth rinses, as well as those containing chemicals that neutralize odors, are actually very good at controlling bad breath. However, the researchers also found that mouthwash containing chlorhexidine could stain teeth and reduce taste sensation on the tongue.

Kind of a mixed bag wouldn’t you say! You might just want to stick with regular brushing, flossing, gargling and maybe rinsing your mouth with something that won’t color your teeth, something like water.

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