Report: Smoking Deaths Tripled Over Decade
Tobacco-related deaths have nearly tripled in the past decade—and if current trends continue, a billion people will die from tobacco use and exposure this century. That translates to one person every six seconds, according to an American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation report published today. Among the other findings: About 80 percent of people who die from tobacco-related illness live in low- to middle-income countries. Nearly 40 percent of male deaths in Turkey, for example, are smoking related. The report places blame on big tobacco companies, arguing that they are undermining public efforts to reduce smoking. "We must never allow the tobacco industry to get the upper hand," Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, said in a foreword to the report. "Tobacco is a killer. It should not be advertised, subsidized or glamorized."
14 Things You Might Not Know About Aspirin
Chances are you've got aspirin in your medicine cabinet or a kitchen drawer. It's a potent little pill, especially considering its negligible cost of a few cents or less for a couple of generic or store-branded tablets. Besides its talents as an anti-inflammatory and painkiller, a baby dose of 81 milligrams a day slashes the chance of heart attack and stroke to those at risk. And breaking research suggests that a daily aspirin can slow the spread of or even prevent cancer. Three studies published Tuesday in the Lancet and Lancet Oncology found that such a regimen might cut your risk of death from various cancers by up to 37 percent. Aspirin therapy isn't for everyone, however. Who might benefit? Here's what the research says:
1. The three new cancer studies support long-term daily aspirin use. Overall, researchers found that aspirin reduces the risk of dying from cancer by 15 percent—with notable benefits seen within three years for those taking a high dose (more than 300 mg a day) and within five years for low doses (less than 300 mg a day). Long-term use was particularly striking. After five years of regular use, risk of dying from cancer dropped by 37 percent. Aspirin benefits were most strong with daily use or usage three to six times a week, and were less clear-cut for use only once or twice a week. The research shows "quite convincingly" that aspirin reduces cancer incidence and death ... with an apparent delayed effect," according to a commentary published alongside the new studies. [Read more: 14 Things You Might Not Know About Aspirin]
10 Healthy Desserts—and They're Tasty, Too
A sweet tooth is meant to be satisfied—yes, even if you're watching your weight. Dessert, after all, is one of life's pleasures, and deprivation typically backfires. It doesn't have to be a high-calorie, high-fat disaster, either: The trick is making smart choices and substitutions. "Take advantage of foods that are naturally sweet and simply delicious," says registered dietitian Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet. Steer clear of fatty ingredients like creamy whipped topping or butter, and stick with fresh fruit and low-fat choices. Here are 10 desserts that are as healthy as they are tasty:
1. Grilled fruit. Try throwing pineapple, banana, apple, or pear slices on the grill. "There's nothing healthier than sticking with fresh fruit, and on the grill, it becomes even sweeter," Gans says. Grilling concentrates flavor by reducing water content, while also caramelizing the fruit's natural sugars. One serving of grilled pineapple usually provides around 80 calories.
2. Dark chocolate "bark". Melt dark chocolate and spread it on parchment paper. Sprinkle in healthy ingredients like tart cherries or sunflower seeds, suggests registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet. Refrigerate it for five minutes before breaking it into small pieces. "It's a healthy option because dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate," says Jackson Blatner. "And it contains more cocoa, which may make it heart-smart." One piece of "bark" should come in at less than 100 calories. [Read more: 10 Healthy Desserts—and They're Tasty, Too]