Sun. May 26th, 2024

News outlets cover research that highlights how physical inactivity is linked to a slight decline in memory and thinking activities, and that even six to nine minutes of movement can help. Also: weight loss, the body positivity movement, breast density, heavy metals in dark chocolate, and more.

A Few Minutes Of Brisk Activity Can Help Your Brain, Study Finds

People who spent “even small amounts of time in more vigorous activities — as little as 6 to 9 minutes — compared to sitting, sleeping or gentle activities had higher cognition scores,” said study author John Mitchell, a Medical Research Council doctoral training student at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health at University College London, in an email. (LaMotte, 1/23)

Also on weight —

Midriff Bulge Linked To Later Physical Decline, Study Says

If you are a man or woman approaching 50, look down at your middle. If you’re like many people, you might have to lean over a bit to see your feet. Yes, it’s the dreadful midriff bulge — that expanding waistline that can often creep up on you as you age, much like a receding hairline or extra wrinkles. Tough to combat, it almost seems like a rite of passage, just part of the cycle of life, right? But a new study has found that allowing your middle to expand will do more than send you shopping for the next size up in britches -— it can also harm your physical abilities later in life. (LaMotte, 1/24)

In other health and wellness news —

Many Women Underestimate Breast Density As A Risk Factor For Breast Cancer, Study Shows

Dense breast tissue has been associated with up to a four times higher risk of breast cancer. However, a new study suggests few women view breast density as a significant risk factor. The study, published in JAMA Network Open, surveyed 1,858 women ages 40 to 76 years from 2019 to 2020 who reported having recently undergone mammography, had no history of breast cancer and had heard of breast density. (Chavez, 1/23)

Consumer Reports Urges Dark Chocolate Makers To Reduce Lead, Cadmium Levels

Consumer Reports on Monday urged four chocolate producers to commit by Valentine’s Day to reduce the amounts of lead and cadmium in their dark chocolate products, after testing revealed harmful levels of the heavy metals. In letters to Hershey Co, Mondelez International Inc, Theo Chocolate and Trader Joe’s, Consumer Reports said long-term exposure to the metals can result in nervous system problems, immune system suppression and kidney damage. (Stempel, 1/23)

Chatbots Create Questions About Transparency In Mental Health Care

The mental health field is increasingly looking to chatbots to relieve escalating pressure on a limited pool of licensed therapists. But they’re entering uncharted ethical territory as they confront questions about how closely AI should be involved in such deeply sensitive support. (Ravindranath, 1/23)

More Salmonella Cases Reported In Outbreak Tied To Pet Bearded Dragons 

A pair of Salmonella outbreaks linked to pet bearded dragons, first announced in October, has sickened at least nine more people in five more states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a Jan 20 update. The added cases bring the total to 32 infections from 20 states. Ten people have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported. The outbreaks involve two Salmonella serotypes: Vitkin (12 cases) and IIIb 61:z52:z53 (20 cases). (Schnirring, 1/23)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.


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