Mid-calorie sodas still a bad idea

It common knowledge that sugary soda drinks help add empty calories, which leads to weight gain if not careful. Now, Coca-Cola is developing a mid-calorie soda that uses a combination of natural sweeteners instead of artificial. The new formula will have 70 calories per a 12-ounce can. Granted this can help cut off some calories from a diet since a can of regular Sprite has 140 calories and Fanta has 160 calories. Yet the best recommendation to reduce calories is to omit sodas all together–even with natural sweeteners, because it is still an empty caloric soft drink. But if a soda alternative won’t do, then having the option of choosing a lower caloric value is a better choice.

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Meditation helps keep the sickness away

With the rising numbers of caregivers attending to the needs of elderly or disabled members of the family, so does the emotional and physical toll on them as well. If they don’t have a release for the pent up stress, it will cause havoc on their health. A recent study found by the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, that practicing a routine of yoga, meditation and Tai Chi not only helps to reduce stress on an emotional and mental level but also on a cellular level. The study explains that cells are helped by increasing the activity of DNA sequencing that helps to maintain the longevity of the cell.

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Possible HIV preventive drug

Finally, there is a positive step in prevention for HIV/AIDS on the horizon. There is a pending FDA vote on whether they will approve Truvada medication as a preventive treatment for healthy people who are at high risk through sexual intercourse. Currently there are no other drugs have been approved to prevent HIV infection. Since Truvada has been already in the market as part of a cocktail drug therapy for those already HIV infected, the pharmaceutical company would be able to advertise it as a preventive drug if the FDA approves it as such, which means more profit. What’s at stake is the health of the people if the drug is unaffordable for those at high risk in a lower economic status.

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Teens and Sex

By: Ivana Bozic

A recent article in the LA Times revealed that researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a decline in birth rate among girls 15-19. The study shows that teenager girls in the states are waiting longer to begin having sex and when they do, they are using proper and dependable forms of birth control.

Research like this is important especially at a time like this because one of the hottest issues during this election year is birth control and a woman’s right to decide how she handles her pregnancy.

I think if girls are aware of the dangers and risks of underage sex and know they have support if they choose to become sexually active then the number of underage girls having sex will continue to decline because the peer pressure to participate in what others are doing won’t be present.


Natural Products Expo


By Ivana Bozic

The LA Times did a fantastic job covering the Natural Products Expo in Anaheifor those who weren’t able to attend or simplyweren’t aware. I think it’s important to look at some of the trends they reported on to understand how families are slowlymaking changes.

For a long time children went to school with Capri Sun juices and Gushers fruit chews. With childhood obesity becoming as widespread in America as it is parents are trying to take steps to help their children lead healthier lives.

Juice can now be replaced with different flavored water and unhealthy snacks such as chips can be substituted with kale chips or banana chips. Making the transition to healthier eating habits for kids isn’t as tough as it may seem because companies are working towards making natural products as delicious as they are healthy.

I think one of the most important decisions I made regarding my health was to stop eating meat and incorporate natural foods into my diet to replace the nutrients I would be missing. I automatically noticed that I was having an easier time after meals because I had more energy and didn’t feel stuffed when I was full.

Facebook Study

By: Ivana Bozic

I think this article on Facebook relationship status’ is really interesting because it shows how important social media is to some people.

I don’t have a Facebook anymore for many reasons but one of the main ones was due to other people posting what I thought was irrelevant or just plain childish. When I first made my Facebook page it was fairly new and there weren’t so many “extras” like there are now with applications being added on and new interfaces. Facebook was simple.

Now I see my friends going crazy with refreshing their main page every few minutes and ignoring responsibilities because they simply must see what their boyfriend or girlfriend is talking about and to who they are sending messages.

Relationships on Facebook are becoming more and more difficult to wrap my head around. Just the other day my friend pointed out a girl who changed her relationship status and then commented about how in love she was and how she was going to marry her boyfriend only to two days later change the status to “single” again. It’s become sort of an obsession to some to change their status right away so people can see that they have a significant other. People lose sleep over this and there have been enough cases resulting in murder or assault simply off of someones relationship activity on their profile.

I think Facebook jealousy is just going to get worse and unhealthier for people.

Antidepressant Study

By: Ivana Bozic

I think the most common misconception about antidepressants is that they’re dangerous for everyone and especially younger people. Family members on my mom’s side have all suffered with depression and I fell into that category as well. It was never talked about or mentioned in my house but I remember when I became old enough to understand the commercials on TV talking about it and I asked my mom what it meant.

Five years later I had therapy appointments and I was taking antidepressants. I don’t remember waking up one morning and saying I feel sad I should tell someone, it was something that kept building up and my family began to notice I was changing. I had no idea anything was different about me but those around me sure did.

The LA Times claims a study now suggests that antidepressants don’t influence suicidal thoughts in young people and I think this is extremely important to talk about.  I don’t know what I would be like today if I didn’t have proper treatment for my depression, it’s not just something that can be cured with a long nap or watching a funny movie.

It almost seemed taboo for a while to even mention that your child was taking antidepressants because there were so many negative connotations associated with them and yet here they are still getting me through my daily routines. I never felt anything remotely related to suicide or self harming but I do know that I struggled with both before being diagnosed.

Two Farms Quarantined for Mad Cow Disease

By Lissette Talledo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture have quarantined two farms as they continue to investigate mad cow disease. Last month the USDA discovered mad cow disease at a California dairy farm.

Last week, the USDA documented the fourth confirmed case of mad cow disease in California. Mad cow disease is a brain wasting disease which affects cattle.

USDA  officials said the cow was not a threat since it wasn’t set out for human consumption.

The farm where the cow was discovered is being quarantined as well as another farm which is closely related to the first one.

They are investigating to see if there are more diseased cows in either of the two farms.

India Drugmaker Cipla Cuts Prices of Generic Drug

By Lissette Talledo

Indian drugmaker Cipla has cut the generic version of Bayer’s Nevaxar by 75 percent. These are lung and brain cancer drugs which will be sold at 6,840 Rupees a month.

That is compared to how much Bayer sells these drugs for at 284, 428 per month.

Cipla says they do not expect these price cuts will affect their revenue. The products already have low volumes.

The reason for their decision is to make these drugs more affordable to patients.

Bayer is suing Cipla for patent infringement over Nexavar in court.

This occurred two months after India decided to allow another drugmaker to make a cheaper version of drugs despite Bayer’s objections.

Vogue: Skinny, Underage Model Ban

By Lissette Talledo

Vogue editors of all 19 editions have decided to ban the use of skinny models under 16. The purpose is an attempt to change the fashion industry for a healthier body image.

The editors made a six-point pact where they pledge to not knowingly use models under 16 or ones who appear to have an eating disorder.

Casting directors will also have to check the model’s ID before photo shoots as well as encourage healthy habits backstage.

Fashion designers will be encouraged to consider the consequences of using extremely small sample sizes.

In 2009, the Vogue editor for the UK criticized fashion houses for sending clothes too small for their models.

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