Archive for "candidate"

Health: Energy Drinks Can Cause Caffeine Overdose; There Are New Findings on Alcoholism; Curious About The Presidential Candidates’ Views on Health?

September 30th, 2008

Energy drinks can cause caffeine overdose. The super-decaffeinated energy drinks can trigger caffeine intoxication, according to the findings of a new study published in the most recent issue of the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence. “The caffeine content of energy drinks varies over a 10-fold range, with some containing the equivalent of 14 cans of Coca-Cola, yet the caffeine amounts are unlabeled and few include warnings about potential health risks of caffeine intoxication,” said one of the authors of the study, Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.  A regular 12-ounce cola drink has about 35 milligrams of caffeine. A 6-ounce cup of brewed coffee has 80 to 150 milligrams of caffeine. The Food and Drug Administration imposes limits on how much caffeine food products can contain (71 milligrams for each 12-ounce can). But energy drinks are designated as dietary supplements, not food products, and their makers can load their products with caffeine – and do. Moreover, says Chad Reissig, another of the stud’s authors: “It’s notable that over-the-counter caffeine-containing products require warning labels, yet energy drinks do not.”Caffeine intoxication, a recognized clinical syndrome, is described as nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, tremors, rapid heartbeat, restlessness and pacing. In rare cases, caffeine intoxication can cause death. See this Mayo Clinic report on caffeine side effects and this L.A. Times story on energy drinks that was written by a doctor. One death apparently linked the drinking of a popular energy drink, Red Bull, made the headlines in 2000, when Irish athlete Ross Cooney, 18, died of sudden adult death syndrome hours after drinking four cans of the drink. Following the incident, France prohibited the energy drink, but it removed the ban only days after. However, in countries such as Norway, Uruguay and Denmark, it remains banned. Decaffeinated energy drinks are a growing concern because they guarantee super alertness. Still, they carry with 10 times or even more the caffeine content of soft drinks. Advertising for energy drinks is aimed at teens and young adults and promotes the drinks as performance enhancers. Recently, however, some manufacturers have applied a harder edge to their marketing. One product is named Cocaine, and another product, a powdered energy drink sold in a vial, is named Blow. The makers of both products have received warning letters from the FDA about misleading advertising. The team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University who carried out the study said that manufacturers should note on decaffeinated energy drinks’ labels the caffeine doses the products carry, and to caution on presumptive risks they pose to consumers.  

There are new findings on alcoholism. More than a third of adults with alcohol dependencies that began more than one year ago are now in full recovery, according to an article in the current issue of Addiction. The fully recovered individuals show symptoms of neither alcoholism nor alcohol abuse and either abstain or drink at levels below those known to increase relapse risk, reports BlackDoctor.com. They include roughly equal proportions of abstainers (18.2 percent) and low-risk drinkers (17.7 percent). The analysis is based on data released Monday from the 2001-2002 National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a project of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). One-quarter (25.0 percent) of 43,000 adults studied who were alcoholism that began more than one year ago now are dependent, 27.3 percent are in partial remission (that is, exhibit some symptoms of alcoholism or alcohol abuse), and 11.8 percent are asymptomatic risk drinkers with no symptoms but whose drinking increases their chances of relapse (for men, more than 14 drinks per week or more than four drinks on any day; for women, more than 7 drinks per week or more than three drinks on any day), according to the analysis. “Results from the latest NESARC analysis strengthen previous reports that many persons can and do recover from alcoholism,” said NIAAA Director Ting-Kai Li, M.D. “Today’s report is valuable as a snapshot of current conditions and for information about some of the characteristics associated with different recovery types.” The researchers said that more study would be needed to find out what caused the changes over time. The likelihood of abstinent recovery increased over time and with age and was higher among women, individuals who were married or cohabiting, individuals with an onset of dependence at ages 18-24, and persons who had experienced a greater number of dependence symptoms, the researchers found. They also discovered that the more the alcohol dependent people drink the less likely their chances were that they’d recover.  

Curious about the presidential candidate’s views on health? Two new Web tool helps you find out exactly where the presidential candidates stand on health issues. The Kaiser Family Foundation has added two new resources on its health08.org Web site detailing presidential candidates Sen. John McCain’s and Sen. Barack Obama’s stance on key health care issues, building upon health08.org’s existing comparison of the candidates’ health reform proposals. A new, interactive tool allows users to compare the candidates proposals and positions on a range of health care issues — biomedical research, care coordination and prevention, health information technology, HIV/AIDS, long-term care, racial disparities, Medicaid and SCHIP, mental health parity, prescription drugs, and other health issues not necessarily addressed in the candidates’ health care reform proposals. These comparisons are based on information compiled and video from the candidates’ Web sites and speeches and campaign debates. A separate side-by-side comparison of the candidates’ health reform proposals is also available on health08.org. You can also find the foundation’s first brief, Covering the Uninsured: Options for Reform at Health08.org

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Among Lists of Firsts, Obama Makes TV History

September 1st, 2008

His acceptance speech attracted more viewers than ever

Obma DNC
It seems that everything that Barack Obama does these days makes history. Turns out that when Obama, the first Black major-party nominee, gave his acceptance speech last Thursday before the largest live convention audience ever – 84,000 people – there were more than 40 million people tuning in, making it the most popular TV event in political convention history. As Nielsen Media Research put it, “More people watched Obama speak from a packed stadium in Denver on Thursday than watched the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing , the final ‘American Idol’ or the Academy Awards this year said Friday. (Four playoff football games, including the Super Bowl between the Giants and Patriots, were seen by more than 40 million people.)” Nielsen data showed that together CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, Univision, Telemundo, BET and TV One accounted for a 24.5 national household rating in the 10 p.m. hour. That translates into about 38.4 million people who watched Obama address the Democratic National Convention at Denver ’s Invesco Field. That doesn’t even include those who tuned in from C-SPAN or PBS, according to Nielsen. About 7.5 million of the viewers in the 10 p.m. hour were Blacks, Nielsen estimated. In Obama’s speech was the fifth-highest-rated, non-sports event watched by Blacks in more than a decade. Michael Jackson’s 2001 30th anniversary CBS special is No. 1. No other convention in history even comes close. The next largest TV audience was when 27.6 million watched Bush deliver his acceptance speech after defeating John Kerry four years ago.

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Obama Was Never In Jeopardy, Police Say

August 28th, 2008

Three men were arrested for allegedly trying to kill the presidential nominee

Obama Plot
Law enforcement officials said Tuesday that three racist, convicted “meth heads” – who cruised around Colorado with a pickup truck laden with guns, ammo and bullet-proof vests – never really posed a serious threat to Sen. Barack Obama, even though one of the men allegedly talked about killing the Democratic presidential nominee. Read more about why police say Obama was in no danger at BET.com/News.

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A Lesson for Obama In John Edwards’ Affair

August 11th, 2008

Screening vice presidential candidates is suddenly an even tougher task.

John Edwards
If nothing else, the revelation of John Edwards’ extramarital affair ought to serve as a serious wakeup call for Sen. Barack Obama. With the Democratic National Convention just weeks away and Obama on the verge of announcing his presidential running mate, the Edwards’ debacle is a reminder of just how important it is to have a slow, thorough vetting process. Just imagine if Obama had chosen Edwards – who we now know was creeping with Rielle Hunter, a former campaign aide – days before this story broke. Are you surprised by the news of his affair? Get the latest details at Pamela On Politics.

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Nader Has More Race Words For Obama

August 7th, 2008

In June he said Barack was “talking White.” Now he says the Democrat is not a good Black candidate.
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who a couple months ago chided Sen. Barack Obama for “talking White,” said Wednesday that Obama would not make the kind of Black president he was hoping for. “People who have fought the civil rights battle – politically, economically, legally – as we have since the ’50s would often talk about, ‘Look what would happen if we had an African-American president or chairpersons of major congressional committees,’” said Nader. “It doesn’t look like it’s going to be what we all thought it would be. … I lost respect for him when I saw him over a year ago on C-SPAN vigorously opposed to the impeachment of Bush and Cheney – vigorously opposed. He said it would be ‘divisive’. That is a cop-out word. We have the most multiple impeachable presidency in American history.” Nader was speaking to the media during a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. In June, Nader blamed Obama with assuaging “White guilt” by ignoring issues of race and poverty. Nader, who enjoyed a long reign as nation’s most respected consumer advocate – that was until he lost favor among many Democratic voters by drawing just enough votes in the 2000 election to knock Al Gore out of presidential contention – has been outspoken about Obama’s new stance on drilling for offshore oil.

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McCain Adviser Says Terrorist Act Would Help His Candidate

June 24th, 2008

It isn’t the first time that Charlie Black ha made “inappropriate” comments
John McCain

A top adviser for Sen. John McCain had the Republican presidential nominee squirming Monday after saying that a terrorist attack on the United States would give his candidate a big boost for the November election. Charlie Black, who has a knack for putting his foot in his mouth, is quoted in the upcoming July edition of Forbes magazine saying that if terrorists strike on U.S. soil it “certainly would be a big advantage to McCain. Black acknowledged that the comments were inappropriate. “I deeply regret the comments. They were inappropriate. I recognize that John McCain has devoted his entire adult life to protecting his country and placing its security before every other consideration,” Black said. But it isn’t the first time he’s had to apologize for ill-advised remarks. Following the assassination of former Pakistani leader Benazir Bhutto last December, he said that the “unfortunate event” had “helped us.” Both McCain and Sen. Barack Obama were quick to denounce the comments. “I cannot imagine why he would say it,” McCain said from a campaign stop in Fresno, Calif. “It’s not true. I’ve worked tirelessly since 9/11 to prevent another attack on the United States of America. My record is very clear. …I cannot imagine it, and so, if he said that — and I don’t know the context — I strenuously disagree.” Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama, also was quick to fire back. “The fact that John McCain’s top adviser says that a terrorist attack on American soil would be a ‘big advantage’ for their political campaign is a complete disgrace, and is exactly the kind of politics that needs to change. Barack Obama will turn the page on these failed policies and this cynical and divisive brand of politics so that we can unite this nation around a common purpose to finish the fight against al-Qaeda,” Burton said in a statement. Traditionally, national polls show, Republicans are considered to be tougher against terrorists, more able to keep Americans safe in the event of an attack on American soil.

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