Probiotics, defined as living microorganisms that confer health benefits, are being added to food and beverages to alleviate a range of health problems, including yeast infections, celiac disease symptoms and hypertension. Probiotics such as the BC30 strain from Ganeden Biotech can be used in muffins, chocolate, soups, ice cream and other products.
School-based programs to prevent bulimia nervosa in young girls are successful and cost-effective, CDC researchers reported after analyzing results from the Planet Health initiative. The report in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine suggested that if 100 schools were to use the program, 26 cases of bulimia could be prevented, translating into a savings in treatment costs of about $680,000.
A study in the British Medical Journal analyzed a bike-sharing program in Spain and estimated that the health benefits of the exercise could prevent about 12 deaths each year. Researchers factored in potential harm from air pollution, improvements in air quality from fewer cars on the road and the dangers of traffic and concluded it was "important now to encourage cities to follow the lead of Barcelona" in developing such programs.
A report from the NPD Group indicates the aging population in the U.S. will provide opportunities for food and beverage companies that offer healthful products. "With the population aging ... there's going to be money to be made selling health," said NPD's Joe Derochowski.
The Generation Healthy Coalition in Springfield, Ill., is made up of health care providers, public health officials, educators and other volunteers who help develop wellness initiatives to reduce childhood obesity. Group member St. John's Hospital recently created an interactive map that it hopes will help students log physical activity. Coalition lobbying caused a school to remove chocolate milk from its menu and to create mini-breaks from classwork where students participate in physical activity.