Posted by Cindy Danielson
on March 15th, 2012
Image By Marcos André
Stress, coffee, cell phones, even pickled vegetables — it seems like everything has the potential to give you cancer these days (here’s a short CNN post about some new candidates). Should the artificial coloring in soda be on the list? Probably not – unless you’re drinking thousands of cans a day.
Dark sodas like Coke and Pepsi get their tint from a caramel coloring that contains a chemical called 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI. A consumer watchdog group recently tested soda cans from several major brands and found that some had levels of 4-MI nearly five times higher than the limit set by California, and implored the FDA to require these beverages to be labeled as potentially carcinogenic.
4-MI was added to California’s list of carcinogens several years ago after a study found that mice who drank water containing massive doses of 4-MI over the course of two years had a greater risk of developing certain types of tumors.
Before swearing off soda, though, it’s worth noting that a person would have to drink about 5,000 of cans of soda a day to get the equivalent dose of 4-MI that these mice were receiving. And even with these extreme doses, the story is not so simple — the same high doses that led to increased tumors in mice actually seemed to protect against the development of other types of tumors in rats. Here are some more details about 4-MI in soda.
Too much of anything can be dangerous – salt, sugar, and even water in high enough doses can kill you – but that doesn’t mean to we need to avoid these things entirely. While we do know that soda can rot your teeth, lead to obesity and diabetes, and may even be associated with a higher risk for stroke, we probably don’t need to add cancer to the list of health concerns.
Posted by Medill Reports
on March 4th, 2012
by Zara Husaini/Medill News Service
During my sophomore year of college, I interned at a woman’s magazine. The staff dispelled many of the stereotypes of vain, cut-throat New York City editors. They were savvy but compassionate, creative and socially conscious.
But not surprisingly, weight loss tips were traded around the office like baseball cards. One editor (a woman of supermodel svelte proportions) swore by one simple stay-slim secret: she drank diet soda throughout the day. She claimed that the carbonation kept hunger pangs at bay. She skipped breakfast, skipped lunch, and sipped on calorie-free soda all day long.
Sure, there are tremendous health benefits that come with keeping off weight. On the flip side, women need to understand that there’s a huge difference between a low calorie diet and a healthy one. In today’s world of radical diets, diet pills and liquid cleanses, healthy dieting is a must.
It seems that women are sacrificing health in their pursuit of perfect bodies. The amount of misinformation surrounding the topic of weight is alarming and could have terrible repercussions. (Read more…)
Mothers have always nagged their kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. Unfortunately, less than 25% of Americans heed their mother’s advice and consume the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. The benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are numerous and include a reduced risk of chronic diseases, like stroke, heart disease, and certain cancers. They can also help you lose or maintain your weight by acting as low-calorie fillers that reduce your appetite.
But if we won’t follow our mothers’ advice, what can we do? (Read more…)