Protecting your skin from deadly solar radiation requires more than a big floppy hat and sunscreen: you may need to adjust your thinking about what constitutes healthy behavior, too.
Today reported July 29 on some common mistakes people make when it comes to the sun, including:
- Tanning: all suntans are a form of skin damage.
- Using a tanning bed: it causes skin cancer.
- Getting a “base tan” to protect against sunburn: it doesn’t.
- Forgetting to reapply sunscreen throughout the day.
- Failing to apply a second coat of spray-on sunscreen.
- Thinking that sunscreen is waterproof: it isn’t — water resistant is about all you can hope for.
- Neglecting to have a doctor check out a suspicious mole.
Five is the magic number when it comes to eating fruit and vegetables for good health, NBC News reported July 29.
Each of us should have five servings of fruit and vegetables daily, and each of those servings of fruit will reduce your odds of dying young from heart disease by 5 percent, according to researcher Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health.
Every serving of vegetables reduces heart-disease risk by 4 percent, a study by Hu and colleagues found.
No additional benefit was seen for eating more than five daily servings, however.
The research was published in the British Medical Journal.
(Photo © the_moment via Flickr)
How much bang you get for your healthcare buck is determined in part by where you live.
Fox News reported July 30 that a new study from WalletHub ranked U.S. states by their return on investment (ROI) for healthcare dollars. According to the report, the states with the best ROI were:
- (Tie): Hawaii & Iowa
States with the worst healthcare ROI were:
- West Virginia
- South Carolina
- Tie: Ohio & Alabama
Researchers noted that Minnesota has the nation’s lowest average healthcare insurance cost, while Alaska has the highest.
(Photo © sushi ina via Flickr)
Looking for a healthy meal out? In case the name wasn’t enough of a hint, it’s best to avoid the Cheesecake Factory.
CNN reported July 30 that three Cheesecake Factory offerings made the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s (CSPI) list of unhealthiest restaurant meals: the Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake, Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic in a cream sauce, and custard-filled French toast. The latter, for example, has an entire’s week’s worth of saturated fat, CSPI said.
A Cheesecake Factory spokesperson noted that the restaurant does offer some lighter options, but added: ”Many of our guests come in and want to celebrate and not be concerned with calories.”
Other dishes that made the list include:
- Red Robin Monster burgers
- The Big Slab of spareribs at Famous Dave
- Signature Deep Dish Pizzas at BJ’s Restaurants
- Chevys’ Super Cinco Combo, with two enchiladas, a taco, a tamale, a fried stuffed pepper, rice, corn pudding and beans
- The Big Hook Up platter from Joe’s Crab Shack: crab balls, fish and chips, coconut shrimp, stuffed shrimp, hushpuppies and coleslaw
- Steak at Maggiano’s Little Italy served with Italian sausage links, potatoes, peppers, mushrooms, roasted onions, sun dried tomatoes, sauce and garlic butter
Skin cancer affects 5 million Americans annually, a public-health problem that demands greater attention and education, according to the U.S. Surgeon General.
CNN reported July 29 that acting Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak — himself a dermatologist — said, ”We have to change the social norms about tanning. Tanned skin is damaged skin, and we need to shatter the myth that tanned skin is a sign of health.” Lushniak also warned of the dangers associated with indoor tanning.
The call to action from the Surgeon General includes five goals:
- Increase Opportunities for Sun Protection in Outdoor Settings
- Provide Individuals with the Information They Need to Make Informed, Healthy Choices About UV Exposure
- Promote Policies that Advance the National Goal of Preventing Skin Cancer
- Reduce Harms from Indoor Tanning
- Strengthen Research, Surveillance, Monitoring, and Evaluation Related to Skin Cancer Prevention
Rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, increased 200 percent between 1973 and 2011 and is now one of the top types of cancer among young people.
Congress this week also passed legislation designed to speed up the process by which new types of sunscreen are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
(Photo by USPHS licensed under public domain via Wikimedia Commons)