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Friday's Top 5 Tips and Trends

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Friday's Top 5 Tips and Trends

To celebrate the beginning of March, we bring you the latest news stories about health, wellness, and the environment.

Finally it feels like spring might be in sight! To celebrate the beginning of March, we bring you the latest news stories about health, wellness, and the environment.

1. Feeling crafty?

Did you know that March is Craft Month? Better yet, crafts such as knitting have many health and social benefits, and they’re rising in popularity. Check out our recent article “Fibre Crafts Make a Comeback” (written by our very own editor Ellen Niemer) to learn how to get in on the action.

2. BPA-free plastics aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

New research is suggesting that the hard, clear plastics labeled “BPA-free” may not be any safer than those with BPA. In fact, they may actually be worse for us, according to a new study that measured estrogenic (read: hormone-disrupting) activity in toddler drinking cups. We just don’t know enough about them yet, say some researchers.

Your best bet? Stick to tried-and-true glass or stainless steel. To improve durability for kids, a silicone liner can be added to the outside.

3.  Kids are eating far too much salt

In a new study published in the journal Hypertension, 70 percent of the 340 children measured ate more than the recommended amount of sodium every day. This sodium rarely comes from adding salt while cooking or at the dinner table—the majority is found in surprising sources, such as bread, cereal, and other processed foods.

Increased sodium can increase the risk of high blood pressure very early in life. Learn tricks and tips to encourage healthy eating in your child with our article “Good Food is Cool Food.”

4. A dog’s nose knows

Another reason why dogs are our best friends: scientists are harnessing the power of pooches’ sense of smell to help diagnose cancer early. It’s believed that cancer and other diseases have distinct smells that are typically impossible for us—but not for dogs— to detect.

These new findings are inspiring researchers to use dogs to help diagnose cancers, as well as to create “artificial noses” or “electronic noses.”

5. A large waist puts you at risk, regardless of BMI

We’ve long known that the BMI (body mass index—a measure based on weight and height) is an imperfect indicator of health, as it doesn’t take into account how much of the weight is muscle versus fat. Enter waist circumference, which is thought to be a much better indicator of health risks.

Regardless of BMI, researchers have found that men with a waist circumference of 43 inches or more had a 50 percent higher risk of death than those with waists less than 35 inches. Women who had a waist measurement of 37 inches or greater had an 80 percent higher mortality risk than those with a waist of 27 inches or fewer. The good news is that a couple of inches make a big difference, so bring out the measuring tape, eat healthy, and exercise!

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