The Healthiest Eaters in the US Live in Naples

Residents of Naples, Florida, are the healthiest eaters in the nation, a new poll finds.

With 75.3 percent of the residents of Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island answering “yes” to the question, “Did you eat healthy all day yesterday?”, the community won the top spot in the poll, which was conducted by the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. The same community topped the list of happiest communities in a survey from earlier this year.

Other communities that came in near the top of the list included Barnstable Town, Massachusetts (75.1 percent answered yes) and Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California (74.2 percent).

The community with the lowest rate of healthy eating was Lubbock, Texas, where just 53.8 percent of the residents said they had eaten healthy all day the previous day, according to the poll. Other communities that ranked the lowest of the 189 communities surveyed were the areas in and around Memphis, which spills across parts of Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas (55.9 percent), and the Cincinnati area, which covers parts of Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana (56.3 percent).

Many of the communities with the highest rates of healthy eating were in California, with 10 of the list’s top 25 communities coming from that state, according to the poll. In addition, four of the top 25 communities were in Florida, while two were in Texas and two were in Arizona.

The states at the bottom of the list were Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana, which each had three communities in the bottom 25, according to the poll, which was published today (May 3).

The researchers also looked at how the rates of healthy eating were associated with the rates of certain health conditions. For example, the investigators found that the rates of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol were lower in people who said that they had eaten healthy the previous day compared with people who did not say this. In addition, the rates of depression and stress were also generally lower among the healthy eaters compared with unhealthy eaters, according to the poll.

The new poll results are based on a subset of telephone interviews of more than 350,000 adults in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., done between Jan. 2, 2015, and Dec. 30, 2016.

FDA To Consumers: Don’t Let Your Kids Have Codeine

The FDA has released a statement saying parents should not give children medication that contains the narcotics codeine or tramadol. Some children and adults process opioid drugs more quickly—which can cause the level of narcotics in the bloodstream to rise too high—too quickly.

This can lead to an overdose in children because of their small size. Nursing mothers are also warned to stay away from the narcotics, as they can pass unsafe levels of opioids to their babies through their breast milk.

The FDA says medication labels will be updated to warn against giving these medications to children under 12, as well as women who are nursing or pregnant.

Dr. Douglas Throckmorton, deputy center director for regulatory programs at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said “it’s very hard to determine which child or mother has this risk, so that’s why we’ve taken this action today.”

Multiple prescription drugs, such as the painkiller Tylenol 3, contain codeine and tramadol.

“They are powerful, effective medicines when used right [but] they can cause a lot of harm when they’re not,” Dr. Throckmorton added.

The FDA also warned against giving these narcotics to children ages 12 –
18 who are obese, suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, have a weakened respiratory system or have just had their tonsils removed, as the drugs can increase the chances of dangerous breathing problems.

The FDA will hold a public advisory committee meeting later this year to discuss broader use of the drug as a cure for cough and cold.

“We understand there are limited options when it comes to treating pain and cough in children,” Throckmorton said.

Why Work Out When You Can ‘Napercise’ Instead?

Imagine this: You hit the gym ready for a workout, but the exercise bikes have been swapped for cots. Soothing nature sounds are playing instead of hard-driving music, and the temperature is a little on the cool side. You’re invited to do a few stretches and then curl up under a blanket and take a nap.

Have you stumbled upon the gym of your dreams?

The U.K.-based David Lloyd Clubs are testing “napercise” — a class in which participants lightly stretch and then rest for 45 minutes — at one location in East London. The class, according to the company’s website, is “targeted at exhausted parents” and is “scientifically designed to reinvigorate the mind, improve moods and even burn the odd calorie.”

Not surprisingly, the trial sessions are sold out.

“According to our research, 86% of parents admit to regularly suffering from fatigue, which is alarmingly high when you consider the important role getting a good night’s sleep can play in our overall mental and physical and well-being,” noted a company press release. “We’re always looking for new ways to tackle the issues that everyday families face, which is what ‘Napercise’ sets out to do.”

If the class is successful, the company says it plans to include it at locations nationwide.

Although some might question why you’d pay to go sleep at a gym when you can nap for free at home, likely they’ve never had kids. It can be hard to get a good night’s sleep when you have little ones in the house.

“Honey! I’m off to my kickboxing class! Have you seen my pillow?”

Here’s a video that explains the concept:

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Florida Officials: No Zika Found in Mosquito Samples So Far

Florida agriculture officials say no mosquitoes in the state have tested positive for the Zika virus so far this year.

According to a statement from the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, nearly 90,000 individual mosquitoes have been tested for the virus linked to severe birth defects. None of the mosquitoes from more than 6,500 samples have tested positive for the presence of Zika so far in 2017.

Agriculture officials recently hosted workshops around the state for local officials to discuss mosquito surveillance and control measures. Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said that as summer begins, it’s important that Florida communities have the resources they need for their Zika response efforts.

Cycling Or Walking To Work Linked To Substantial Health Benefits

Active commuting by bicycle is associated with a substantial decrease in the risk of death from all causes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD), compared with non-active commuting by car or public transport, finds a study in The BMJ today.

Walking is also associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, but the risk of death from cancer was no different than non-active commuting, the results show.

Many studies have shown that cycling and walking are linked with health benefits, but there is still some debate about the strength of these associations. So researchers at the University of Glasgow set out to investigate the association between active commuting and incident CVD, cancer, and all cause mortality.

The study involved 264,377 participants (average age 53 years) recruited from the UK Biobank – a database of biological information from half a million British adults.

Participants were asked to record the types of transport they used to get to and from work on a typical day. Options included walking, cycling and non-active (car or public transport). During an average five year follow-up period, information on hospital admissions and deaths were recorded.

After adjusting for several influential factors, commuting by walking was associated with a lower risk of CVD incidence and mortality. However, commuting by cyclingwas associated with the lowest risk of these – as well as lower risks of all cause mortality and cancer.

Mixed-mode commuting (a combination of active and non-active transport) was also associated with some benefits, but only if the active component comprised cycling.

Furthermore, a lower risk for CVD incidence was only evident among the walking commuters who covered more than six miles a week (equivalent to two hoursof weekly commuting by walking at a typical pace of three miles an hour).

The researchers point out that this is an observational study, so no firm conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect, and they outline some limitations could have introduced bias.

Nevertheless, they conclude that “the findings, if causal, suggest population health may be improved by policies that increase active commuting, particularly cycling, such as the creation of cycle lanes, cycle hire or purchase schemes, and better provision for cycles on public transport.”

In a linked editorial, Professor Lars Bo Andersen at the Western Norwegian University of Applied Sciences, says active commuting has the potential to substantially reduce the costs of cardiovascular disease (estimated at £15bn each year in the UK) and to save many lives.

He argues that the UK has neglected to build infrastructure to promote cyclingfor decades and the potential for improvements to increase cycling and the safety of cycling is huge.

“The findings from this study are a clear call for political action on active commuting, which has the potential to improve public health by preventing common (and costly) non-communicable diseases,” he writes. “A shift from car to more active modes of travel will also decrease traffic in congested city centres and help reduce air pollution, with further benefits for health.”

Those Annoying Fitness Posts on Instagram Might Actually Be Good for You

Unless you play team sports, working out is a usually a solo activity. You might browse #fitspo posts on Instagram, but at the end of the day, it’s just you alone in the gym. However, a new study shows that our workout habits might be influenced by our surroundings more than you think.

The five year study by the MIT Sloan School of Management analyzed the exercise patterns, locations and social networks of more than one million people and found that comparing our workout results causes you — and your friends —  to actually exercise more.

While having a real life workout buddy is helpful, the benefits are there whether you physically work out together or not. Just seeing your friend’s progress online is enough to motivate you to get off the couch.

The key to workout motivation seems to be triggering our competitive side. If we see on Facebook or any other social media platform that our friend had a particularly impressive workout, we subconsciously take that in and push ourselves to exercise harder and faster.

On the flip side, the study also found that our lazy friends can also impact our workout. Co-author of the study Sinan Aral explained to The Cut, “people who are less active influence people who are more active with a greater magnitude than the other way around. Couch potatoes influence marathoners more than marathoners influence couch potatoes.”

Interestingly, researchers also found that while men were influenced by both male and female friends, women were only influenced by other women.

Overall, the study’s message is who you hang out with matters. So while your friends constant gym selfie and Fitbit stats might be annoying — they’re actually making you healthier.

Sexing Neighbors Interrupt Sarasota Open

Cats, lizards, streakers and even marriage proposals have all been responsible for bringing pro tennis matches to screeching and often hilarious halts, however this latest video from the Sarasota Open may be the most bizarre of them all. Tuesday night’s ATP Challenger Tour match between Frances Tiafoe and Mitchell Krueger was interrupted by sounds of intense lovemaking, which can be heard at the :15 and 1:50 marks above. At first, the announcer suspects its someone playing around on their phone, however after the second occurrence, he and the crowd discover that the sounds are coming from an adjacent apartment. “Nope, that’s not a phone, that’s an apartment across the lake,” he says. “That wasn’t a video. At least someone is having a good night.”

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Get Out and Go For A Run If You Want To Live Longer, Researchers Say

If I had a nickel for every time someone told me that running was bad for me, I’d buy a closet full of new running gear and move to a tropical location where I could run on sandy beaches every day. Running has a bad rap as being bad for the knees and joints and even damaging to your heart and immune system. But new research has found what most runners already know — running is actually beneficial to your overall health. Now we have the numbers to prove it.

The recent study, published last month in Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases, took a close look at running and its effect on human health, for better or for worse. The research team, which included sports researchers and cardiologists from Iowa State University, South Carolina State University, and Harvard Medical School, looked at running as a lifestyle factor and attempted to crunch the numbers on whether or not it could be beneficial and if so, by how much.

By reviewing large-scale epidemiological studies, the team concluded that running consistently adds about three years to your life. And we’re not talking huge amounts of running, either. They noted that running just 2.5 hours per week for 50 years would be all you need to boost your lifespan. That works out to an additional seven hours of living for every hour spent running. Not a bad investment, right?

It’s worth noting that the authors of the study have also recently published reviews cautioning runners about the dangers of too much running. So it’s safe to assume that they weren’t trying to skew the data in any particular direction. (It’s also worth noting that these numbers are based upon self-reported data from respondents regarding their levels of exercise. So take it all with a grain of salt.)

Still, when the researchers compared the health of runners, non-runners, and those who are active but do not run, running came out on top as an indicator of longevity. In the study, researchers broke the participants into four groups:

  1. Active runners (who got at least 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week through running and other activities.)
  2. Active non-runners (who exercised for at least 75 minutes each week but did not run.)
  3. Inactive non-runners (who did not get the minimum of 75 minutes of exercise each week)
  4. Inactive runners (who ran, but not enough to get 75 minutes of exercise each week.)

Using the inactive non-runners as a baseline, the team found that active runners were 43 percent less likely to die during the study, even when all other factors (such as age, education, location, etc.) were accounted for, whereas active non-runners were only 12 percent less likely to die than their couch potato peers. Even the inactive runners — those who ran but did not get as much exercise each week as those who were active in ways other than running — fared better in the long run; they were 30 percent less likely to die during the study than those who did not exercise at all.

According to this data, running is good for your health and a great way to add some extra years to your life. Now if only I had those nickels…

The Joint World Cup Bid Between The US, Mexico, & Canada Is Really Happening

The press conference at the top of One World Trade Center started a few minutes late and opened in somewhat awkward fashion— US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, Mexican Football Federation president Decio de María, CONCACAF and Canadian Soccer Association chief Victor Montagliani, and host Alexi Lalas milling about uncomfortably while the opening refrains from “Can’t Hold Us” played over the PA. After a few moments, Lalas took control of things and started talking about growing up in Michigan and playing soccer when the US won the hosting rights for the 1994 World Cup and how much it meant to him.

Finally, Lalas yielded the floor to Gulati, who made things official; the US, Canada, and Mexico are bidding to host the 2026 World Cup.

Gulati said conversations about a joint bid began years ago. While he did not specify exactly when, it’s not that far of a leap to suggest that they were spurred in part from US Soccer’s experience bidding for the 2022 World Cup— ultimately awarded to Qatar— and the realization of a strong anti-American voting bloc in FIFA. (It’s also not that far of a leap to suggest that the joint bid is being made to get around that.)

Montagliani noted that all three men on the dais are children of immigrants and that they are keenly aware of the World Cup’s promise of global unity. De María praised the bid as “a very important day for Mexican football.”

After giving some short speeches and fielding questions from the press, all three federation heads signed the Memorandum Of Understanding, officially launching the bid process.

Some highlights from the announcement:

– The MOU includes a provision saying that 60 of the 80 games scheduled to take place during the 2026 World Cup will be held in the US. This includes every match from the Quarterfinals onward— including the Final.

– Gulati has been in contact with Donald Trump and said the latter is openly supportive of the project and pleased that Mexico is part of it.

– No firm details on number of venues and no discussions on the issue of turf, although Montagliani “assumes” all games will be played on grass.

– Gulati says this bid won’t be as costly as some other recent bids, in part, because stadiums and critical infrastructure are already in place. He also noted that the bid would not require much (if any) taxpayer funding, which is a huge advantage.

– Gulati, Montagliani, and De María seem to be operating on the assumption that all three host countries will receive automatic berths in the tournament. It would make sense, but there’s never been a successful three-country bid before, so who knows.

– Gulati downplayed potential logistical issues regarding travel among three countries, saying that grouping games together will be crucial and that it won’t be an issue. He also said they have the ability to host the entire tournament in one timezone— say, on the West Coast. Gulati did not address the political side of the equation (including the soon-to-be-built border wall between the US and Mexico) or the staffing and bureaucratic nightmare that would no doubt entail.

There were plenty of unanswered questions at the end of the press conference and plenty of reasonable concerns. Even if costs are kept under control— which is not exactly guaranteed, even with the infrastructure baked in— the logistics and politics involved make this bid very precarious. But the three countries seem eager to make this work. And, at least tentatively, FIFA seem willing to listen.

Looks like we’re doing this thing.

This Fitness Tracker Wants to Tell You How Stressed You Are About Not Being Fit

Staying active is a big part of staying healthy, and that’s often the reason given for why you should wear a fitness tracker; they’re a constant reminder to get up off the couch. But stress can be just as detrimental to your health as sloth, so Garmin hopes its new vívosmart 3 will finally quantify what you already know: you need a vacation. Besides all the features we’ve comes to expect from a fitness tracker, the vívosmart 3 has a stress tracker built in too.

The Garmin vívosmart 3 is an update to the late 2015 eyesore, the vívosmart HR. Like the vívosmart HR, the new vívosmart 3 doesn’t include any GPS hardware for tracking a running or cycling route. That’s odd coming from Garmin—a company notable for its GPS tech. Yet it’s also a minor trade-off which results in a fitness tracker that doesn’t look as bulky as a smartwatch, despite also being able to receive vibrating alerts for emails, messages, phone calls, and appointments when connected to the Garmin app on a smartphone.

The lack of bulk isn’t just a welcome change from other smartwatches, but the vívosmart HR as well. A year and a half of technological advancement has resulted in a smaller, sleeker fitness tracker that, among other improvements, is just more comfortable to wear.

Though that’s not a terribly difficult feat to accomplish. The vívosmart HR is monstrous compared to the new vívosmart 3. The protruding heart rate sensor and LEDs on the older model dug into my wrist, making it uncomfortable for me to wear.

In the vívosmart 3 that lump has been reduced to a barely noticable bump more in line with heart rate trackers on other wearables. Garmin claim’s the new model measures everything you’d expect a fitness tracker equipped with a heart rate sensor to quantify, but Garmin is also introducing two additional metrics for VO2 max levels and stress.

VO2 max (also known as maximal oxygen consumption) is a metric designed to give athletes an indication of their overall physical fitness. If you’ve ever seen a professional athlete running on a treadmill while wearing a breathing apparatus, that device is calculating their VO2 max. Last year Fitbit claimed to be able to measure the number with nothing but a heart rate monitor, and Garmin is now making the same claim, helpfully translating the number to a fitness level score ranging from poor to superior. Until we get a chance to hop on a treadmill and pick up an oxygen mask you’ll want to take that metric with a grain of salt.

More useful to non-athletes struggling to find the time (and motivation) to stay fit, is the vívosmart 3’s claimed ability to assess stress levels by measuring variations in a wearer’s heart rate. The results are delivered via a simple graph, and the wearable can even walk you through breathing exercises to help you relax. It’s a clever way to reinterpret a user’s heart rate data, and a feature that companies like Fitbit don’t offer yet. Yet a couple of goofy Kickstarters have made similar claims, and were quickly noted to be virtually incapable of accuracy. Without additional context about someone’s lifestyle and health, measure stress via heart rate is far from being an accurate, and definitely not a replacement for doctor’s consultation.

The vívosmart 3 also includes a mostly-improved display compared to the always-on but unlit LCD display on the vívosmart HR, which was occasionally hard to see indoors. However, the glowing display on the new vívosmart 3, which automatically turns on when you raise your wrist, is hidden behind a thin layer of smoky rubber. As a result the display always looks a little fuzzy (I swear it’s not a problem with my camera) but is also very difficult to read outdoors in the sun, despite it being so bright indoors. If you’re primarily a runner, that could very well be a deal breaker.

Available now for $140, the vívosmart 3 comes in at $10 cheaper than the new Fitbit Alta HR, while doing essentially the same types of fitness and activity tracking. But as we pointed out in our review of the Alta HR, the popularity of fitness trackers has been in decline since the resurgence of smartwatches, and Fitbit recently laid off six percent of its staff. So if you’re still in the market for a fitness tracker, and want to guarantee your investment will be supported for at least a few years, Garmin always has its GPS business to keep it afloat. One less thing to keep your stress levels in check.