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Low-carb diets can help keep the weight off, study says

There are several diets that promote weight loss, including low-carb plans. Now experts have more evidence to prove they work, according to a new report

>> On AJC.com: Should you avoid carbs? Here's what the science says

Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital recently conducted a small study, published in the British Medical Journal, to determine the link between weight loss maintenance and carbohydrates. 

For the first phase of the study, they examined 234 overweight and obese adults, who were fed a weight-loss diet that helped 164 of them drop 10 to 12 percent of their body weight within 10 weeks.

During the second phase, those participants, who were tracked for an additional five months, were required to follow one of three diets: one made up of 20 percent carbs, the second made up of 40 percent carbs and the third made up of 60 percent carbs. The protein remained at 20 percent for each diet, and the calorie intake was controlled to help the subjects maintain their previous weight loss.

After analyzing the results, they found those on the low-carb diet burned about 250 more calories a day than those on the high-carb diet.

>> Read more trending news 

“If this difference persists — and we saw no drop-off during the 20 weeks of our study — the effect would translate into about a 20-pound weight loss after three years, with no change in calorie intake,” Cara Ebbeling said in a statement.

Those with the highest insulin secretion in the low-carb group had even more dramatic results. They burned about 400 calories more per day than the high-carb group. Furthermore, the low-carb dieters had significantly lower levels of ghrelin, which is known as the hunger hormone.

“Our observations challenge the belief that all calories are the same to the body,” Ebbeling said. “Our study did not measure hunger and satiety, but other studies suggest that low-carb diets also decrease hunger, which could help with weight loss in the long term.”

Want to learn more about the findings? Take a look at the full assessment here

These jobs have the highest suicide rates in the country, CDC says

Jobs can be stressful, but there are some that cause more of a mental strain than others, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency recently conducted a study to determine the occupational groups with the highest suicide rates. To do so, they examined data from 17 states that participated in the 2012 and 2015 National Violent Death Reporting System. 

Overall, the researchers analyzed the suicide deaths of 22,053 Americans of working age, and they identified jobs by using the Standard Occupational Classifications set by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

>> Read more trending news 

After assessing the results, they found the construction and extraction field, which includes jobs such as carpenters, electricians and miners, had the highest rates of suicide for men in 2015, calculating 53.2 suicides per 100,000 working people. 

As for women in 2015, careers in arts, design, entertainment, sports and media had the highest suicide rates, with 15.6 suicides per 100,000 working people. Those jobs include illustrators, tattooists and professional sports players.

The largest suicide rate increase among males occurred in the arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupational group. There was a 47 percent hike between 2012 and 2015. The biggest increase for women between 2012 and 2015 was in the food preparation and serving-related group, where there was a 54 percent surge.

>> On AJC.com: US suicide : Rates among teen girls reach 40-year high

The education, training and library field, which includes teachers, professors and archivists, had the lowest suicide rates for both men and women.

The analysts were unable to pinpoint a specific reason for the link between certain careers and suicide rates, because they believe there are several explanations.

“The etiology of suicide is multifactorial, and identifying the specific role that occupational factors might play in suicide risk is complicated,” the team explained. “Both work (e.g., little job control or job insecurity) and nonwork (e.g., relationship conflict) factors are associated with psychological distress and suicide.” 

The scientists did note some limitations. They acknowledged the findings were not nationally representative as only 17 states participated. However, they said there should be more knowledge about suicide rates from each career group. 

“A better understanding of how suicides are distributed by occupational group might help inform prevention programs and policies. Because many adults spend a substantial amount of their time at work, the workplace is an important but underutilized location for suicide prevention,” the authors said. “Additional and tailored prevention approaches might be necessary to support workers at higher risk.”

Want to learn more about the evaluation? Take a look at the full report here

Overweight? You might be getting paid less, study says

new study from researchers at LinkedIn suggests workers who are overweight get paid less than their slimmer counterparts.

>> On AJC.com: One-third of all humans are now overweight — and American children are leading the way

The findings are part of a survey involving 4,000 workers in the United Kingdom. 

Survey respondents who classified as obese reported earning an average £1,940 ($2,512) less per year than those with healthy BMIs, according to the study. Twenty-five percent of overweight individuals — and one-third who were obese — said they believed their size held them back from a promotion. More than half (53 percent) of overweight workers said they felt left out of their work teams due to their weight.

>> On AJC.com: Very high or low BMI levels can kill you, study suggests

The disparities were even larger when considering age and gender. According to the survey, obese or overweight women are more likely to receive a lower salary than men of the same weight. That gender gap, the study found, was £8,919 ($11,547).

Younger workers aged 16-24 feel the most self-conscious about their weight in the workplace.

Plus-size bloggers like Stephanie Yeboah and Lottie L’Amour are working to transform the conversation and increase awareness of prejudices obese and overweight individuals face in the workplace.

>> On AJC.com: Georgia adult, teen obesity rates among worst in America

“The LinkedIn community has a number of groups and discussions on this topic, and we are pleased Stephanie and Lottie are opening up the conversation,” LinkedIn spokesperson Ngaire Moyes told Insider. "We hope more members will be encouraged to take part in the discussion about how it affects them and how size bias can be tackled."

This isn’t the first study to highlight pay differences based on a worker’s weight.

“Prior studies generally have found that obese workers have lower wages and that the wage reductions cannot be explained by variation in worker productivity,” according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. “The underlying implication is that obese workers, particularly women, face significant labor market discrimination.”

>> On AJC.com: Obesity linked to 11 types of cancer as overweight population grows, study says 

A survey of 500 hiring professionals last year even found that being overweight can weigh down career prospects. When the professionals were shown an image of an overweight woman and asked if they’d consider hiring her, only 15.6 percent said they would. About 20 percent even characterized the woman as lazy or unprofessional.

>> Read more trending news 

“The standards for physical appearance are stricter for women than men,” Kelly Brownell, the dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, told Moneyish. “Women are more likely to be evaluated on their physical appearance.”

Researchers in 2010 found that “very heavy” women made $19,000 less than their colleagues of “average weight.” Those who were “very thin” earned $22,000 more, on average. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, also found that a weight gain of 25 pounds was associated with an annual salary decrease of $14,000 per year.

>> On AJC.com: New anti-obesity drug could help you get rid of fat without dieting

More than 2.2 billion people around the world — about a third of the planet’s population — are estimated to be overweight. And 10 percent of the global population is considered obese.

Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index between 25 and 29.9. Obese individuals have a BMI above 30.

More about the LinkedIn study at thisisINsider.com.

Spanking children is harmful and ineffective, pediatricians group warns

To spank or not to spank? A group of pediatricians is against it, according to a new report.

>> On AJC.com: If you don't spank a child, how can you stop the tantrums?

Researchers from the American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a new policy statement, published in the Pediatrics journal, to recommend “healthy forms of discipline” to parents. 

The new statement comes 20 years after the 1998 recommendation, which encouraged parents to use discipline methods other than spanking. 

In the latest one, the experts said corporal punishment, defined as “any punishment in which physical force is issued and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort,” was minimally effective. 

“For many children, spanking increases aggression and anger instead of teaching responsibility and self-control,” the team wrote.

>> Read more trending news 

They also noted corporal punishment was associated with physical injury, increased aggression in school and a raised risk of mental health disorders, among other issues, which was all based on several studies they reviewed.

Furthermore, the pediatricians encouraged parents to employ other forms of discipline, “such as positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviors, setting limits, redirecting, and setting future expectations,” the authors explained. 

They also said different forms of discipline may work best for different age groups.

For children under age 1, they said parents should move the child to another area to distract them since they don’t yet have the ability to learn rules. As for toddlers and preschoolers, try time-outs. And for older children, parents are advised to allow the natural consequences of misbehavior to play out.

“This advice will be most helpful if it is combined with teaching parents new strategies to replace their previous use of corporal punishment,” the AAP said. “Appropriate methods for addressing children’s behavior will change as the children grow and develop increased cognitive and executive function abilities.”

>> On AJC.com: Here's what happens when a country bans spanking

Want to learn more? Read the full assessment here

Cancer expected to surpass heart disease as leading cause of death in US, study says

Cancer will soon be the leading cause of death in the United States, according to a new report

>> On AJC.com: You can avoid strokes and heart attacks with these two household fruits, study says

Researchers recently conducted a study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, to explore data that suggests cancer will surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in America.

To do so, they examined the death records of more than 32 million adults, aged 25 and older, across 3,143 American counties between 2003 and 2015. They assessed their medical information, income, race and other demographic data and followed them for about 13 years.

After analyzing the results, they found heart disease was the leading cause of death for 79 percent of counties in 2003, while cancer was the leading cause in the others. In 2015, heart disease was the leading cause of death for 59 percent of counties, with cancer being the leading cause in the remaining.

Overall, the heart disease mortality rate decreased by 28 percent between 2003 and 2015, and the cancer mortality rate dropped by 16 percent.

>> On AJC.com: Eat this meat twice a week to avoid heart attacks and strokes

However, upon further investigation, they discovered cancer deaths may be more on the rise in higher income counties. Heart disease deaths declined by 30 percent in high-income counties, while low-income counties experienced a 22 percent drop. A similar pattern was apparent for cancer deaths as the threat fell by 18 percent in high-income counties and by 11 percent in low-income ones.

“Data show that heart disease is more likely to be the leading cause of death in low-income counties,” the authors wrote. “Low-income counties have not experienced the same decrease in mortality rates as high-income counties, which suggests a later transition to cancer as the leading cause of death in low-income counties.”

>> Read more trending news 

They also noted patterns among racial and ethnic groups. Cancer replaced heart disease as the leading cause of death for Asian-Americans, Hispanics and whites. That was not the case for American Indians/Alaska Natives or blacks.

While the mechanisms behind the shifts in mortality rates are unclear, the scientists believe differences in smoking, obesity and diabetes trends between high and low income groups could be factors. 

As they continue their research, they are encouraging individuals to undergo recommended cancer screenings and practice healthy lifestyles. 

>> On AJC.com: You may be able to better avoid heart attacks with this common snack, study says

Read more about the findings here

Texas grandma drops 100 pounds by walking

A Texas grandmother was told to lose weight because her health was threatened. Six years later, she is 100 pounds lighter and is feeling great.

>> Read more trending news 

“Some grandmothers play bingo," Greta Ross, 61, told WFAA. "But, this grandmother goes to the gym."

Ross, from Irving, said she used to weigh 237 pounds. She refused medication from doctors but heeded their warnings to change her lifestyle.

"(It) scared me because I didn't want to leave my daughter and grandchildren behind," Ross told WFAA. "I knew I had to do something. Doing nothing wasn't an option.

"I had bad habits. I wasn't sleeping properly. I wasn't eating properly. I knew I had to do something. So I started walking."

Because of her weight, walking was the only exercise Ross could do comfortably, the television station reported. But with determination, Ross began to see results.

"It just became a routine," Ross told WFAA. "We would get up every morning and just walk. Next thing I know, the weight just started coming off.”

Within a year, Ross had lost 100 pounds, and she has kept the weight off for the past five years, the television station reported.

"I didn't stop. I just kept going and going and going," Ross told WFAA. "When I saw the transformation of my body, then my mind. ... my confidence level went through the roof. It was just incredible."

Ross has posted on social media about her turnaround.

"I just tell my real story so that way people will know you can do this," Ross told WFAA. "Is it a journey? Yes. Is it a process? Yes. Does it take time? Absolutely. But you have to be willing to say I am worth that. My family is worth that."

High blood pressure by this age raises heart attack risk, study says

High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease. But if you have the condition at a young age, your chances may be even higher.

>> On AJC.com: Study: Eat dinner at this time to avoid diabetes, hypertension

Researchers from Duke University recently conducted a study, published in JAMA, to explore hypertension in younger adults based on new blood pressure levels set by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

In 2017, the organizations defined normal blood pressure as 120 or lower systolic blood pressure over 80 diastolic or less, elevated blood pressure as 120-129 over less than 80, stage 1 hypertension as 130-139 over 80-89 and stage 2 hypertension as 140 or greater over 90 or greater.

For the assessment, they examined more than 4,800 adults who had blood pressure measurements taken before age 40. About half of participants were African-American, and 55 percent were women. The scientists then categorized the subjects into the four aforementioned blood pressure groups and followed them for about 19 years.

>> Read more trending news 

After analyzing the results, they found people with higher blood pressure before age 40 were more at risk for cardiovascular disease events like a heart attack or stroke, compared to those under 40 with normal blood pressure. In fact, higher blood pressure before age 40 was associated with up to a 3.5 times greater risk of heart disease and strokes.

“This is a first step in assessing whether high blood pressure, as defined by the new criteria, is something that younger people should be concerned about as a potential precursor to serious problems,” lead author Yuichiro Yano said in a statement. “Although this is an observational study, it demonstrates that the new blood pressure guidelines are helpful in identifying those who might be at risk for cardiovascular events.”

>> On AJC.com: 5 reasons to take a second look at your blood pressure

The scientists now hope to continue their investigations to confirm their findings and encourage health care providers to better target younger individuals with higher blood pressure. 

This is when your body burns the most calories, study says

There are plenty of ways to burn calories. One of the ways to burn more could be linked to the time of day your workout happens.

>> On AJC.com: This is the best time to eat dinner to avoid diabetes, high blood pressure, study says 

Researchers from Harvard Medical School recently conducted a small study, published in Current Biology journal, to determine how circadian rhythms, which control the body’s sleep cycles, influence calorie burning.

To do so, they examined adults, aged 38 to 69, in a special laboratory without clocks, windows, phones and Wi-Fi to hide the time of day. The participants had assigned bedtimes and wake-up times. Each night, those times were adjusted four hours later to reflect the different time zones. This method helped the scientists identify the subjects’ natural circadian rhythms without the influence of environmental factors. 

“Because they were doing the equivalent of circling the globe every week, their body's internal clock could not keep up, and so it oscillated at its own pace,” co-author Jeanne Duffy explained in a statement. “This allowed us to measure metabolic rate at all different biological times of day.”

>> On AJC.com: Here’s how intermittent fasting can help you lose weight

The analysts also tracked the participants’ food intake, activity levels and body temperatures, which helped the team measure energy expenditure. 

After analyzing the results, they said people’s body temperatures were lowest late at night and early in the morning, and at their highest was in the late afternoon. They revealed the higher the temperature, the more calories burned.

In fact, they discovered individuals naturally burn about 10 percent more calories, which equals about 130 calories, in the late afternoon than they do late at night.

>> Read more trending news 

“It is not only what we eat, but when we eat – and rest – that impacts how much energy we burn or store as fat,” Duffy said. “Regularity of habits such as eating and sleeping is very important to overall health.”

Despite the findings, the researchers are not sure if people should reschedule their workouts and mealtimes. However, they hope to further their investigations so that they can evaluate how the body's response to food varies with the time of day. 

>> On AJC.com: The best times to eat breakfast and dinner for weight loss, study says

Want to learn more about the assessment? Take a look here.

Vaccine could bring hope to sufferers of celiac disease

There’s new hope for those who suffer from celiac disease who have to live a gluten-free lifestyle - a vaccine could either lessen the symptoms or even eradicate them. 

Nexvax2 has now cleared the first hurdle and will soon begin the second testing phase. 

The vaccine is a type of immunotherapy that uses the body’s immune system to treat celiac disease, according to celiac advocacy website Beyond Celiac.

Nexvax2 is designed to work by giving a patient a small amount of the vaccine then increasing the amount over time. The vaccine will work in conjunction with a gluten-free diet, Beyond Celiac reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Prevention reported that if successful, the treatment will help build an immunity to proteins in gluten and eliminate the side effects of consuming it.

The company that developed the treatment, ImmusanT Inc., is now looking for 150 total participants in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study of Nexvax2.

To see if you qualify, click here and enter identifier NCT03644069.

The company isn’t just focusing on celiac disease. ImmunsanT is also looking at vaccines to treat other HLA-associated autoimmune diseases, like Type 1 diabetes.

Celiac disease affects about 2 to 3 million Americans.

The disease is an immune disease where people can’t eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine. Gluten is found in foods that contain wheat, rye and barley, as well as other products, including vitamins, hair and skin products and even toothpaste and lip balm, according to the National Institutes of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine

It is genetic and blood tests can help doctors make a diagnosis. Treatment includes a gluten-free diet, according the NIH.

Symptoms differ among patients. Some may have issues with their digestive systems, while others may be irritable or depressed, according to the NIH.

FDA warns some EpiPen labels could delay use during emergency

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that the labels on some EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. auto-injectors – including authorized generic versions – might prevent the device from easily sliding out of their carrier tubes.

A letter to health care professionals from Pfizer, the manufacturer of the Mylan EpiPen, said the sticker on the auto-injector unit “may have been improperly applied, causing resistance when removing it from the carrier tube.”

>> Read more trending news 

While the issue does not affect the auto-injector device itself and the epinephrine it delivers, it could slow down its use during an emergency.

Patients and caregivers are urged to inspect their epinephrine auto-injector prior to needing it to ensure they can quickly access the product.

Click here for more information.

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