Swine Flu May Infect 1 in 3
A new study projects that swine flu will infect 1 in every 3 people worldwide, BBC News reports. In the study, published in the journal Science, scientists took data from the flu's spread in Mexico to estimate its potential impact worldwide. The study's lead researcher, Neil Ferguson, a member of the World Health Organization's emergency committee on swine flu, said in an interview with BBC Radio: "This virus really does have full pandemic potential. It is likely to spread around the world in the next six to nine months, and when it does so, it will affect about one third of the world's population. To put that into context, normal seasonal flu...probably affects around 10 percent of the world's population every year, so we are heading for a flu season which is perhaps three times worse than usual, not allowing for whether this virus is more severe than normal seasonal flu viruses." And WHO said today that the virus may yet mutate into a more dangerous form, Reuters UK reports.
Some experts are predicting the return of the swine flu next winter. Explore whether alternative remedies can help ward off swine flu, and find out whether the illness poses a special threat to asthmatics. Here are 14 things you should know about swine flu and 5 ways to prepare your family.
Which Fish Is the Best Fish? Consider Omega-3s, Sustainability, and Mercury
Health experts say, "Eat fish." But seafood's health benefits, risks, and options aren't as uncomplicated as the advice. To help, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson offers a breakdown of major things to assess when considering a fish meal. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which may help lower your heart disease risk. Go-to sources for omega-3s include mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, and salmon.
When buying fish, you might think about the health risks posed by contaminants such as mercury and PCBs. These can build up to elevated levels in big fishes that are high on the food chain—including albacore tuna, which is a species recommended as an omega-3 source. The contaminant risk is primarily a concern for pregnant women. You also may want to consider the effect your fish food choice could have on the environment. Some fishing techniques could put other species at risk or dredge up the ocean floor, and fish farms can pollute the environment or upset ecological balance by allowing farmed fish species to escape into the wild.
Today's Kids Are Fat. Why? They Eat More
What's causing the childhood obesity epidemic? Are kids eating too much junk food or spending too much time watching TV instead of exercising? Scientists think they've worked out an answer. To do it, they tested children and adults to see how many calories they burn in a day and compared that with how much Americans eat, using the national food supply figures from the 1970s and the early 2000s.
From there, they estimated what Americans should weigh considering how much they ate. If weights were lower than projected, they figured people now get more exercise than their counterparts from 30 years ago. If folks weigh more, they're getting less exercise. Adults weighed less than expected, suggesting they're getting more exercise than in years past. But children weighed exactly what scientists projected, suggesting that their exercise habits aren't waxing or waning but that their appetites have grown. Today's children eat about 350 calories a day more than did kids in the 1970s, the equivalent of a small serving of french fries and a nondiet soda. Unlike adults, who also eat more, they're not compensating with more exercise.
If you're looking to change your family's unhealthful eating habits, consider these diets shown to promote health and learn why we're prone to eating too much from an interview with former FDA Commissioner David Kessler.