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Overweight? You might be getting paid less, study says

new study from researchers at LinkedIn suggests workers who are overweight get paid less than their slimmer counterparts.

>> On AJC.com: One-third of all humans are now overweight — and American children are leading the way

The findings are part of a survey involving 4,000 workers in the United Kingdom. 

Survey respondents who classified as obese reported earning an average £1,940 ($2,512) less per year than those with healthy BMIs, according to the study. Twenty-five percent of overweight individuals — and one-third who were obese — said they believed their size held them back from a promotion. More than half (53 percent) of overweight workers said they felt left out of their work teams due to their weight.

>> On AJC.com: Very high or low BMI levels can kill you, study suggests

The disparities were even larger when considering age and gender. According to the survey, obese or overweight women are more likely to receive a lower salary than men of the same weight. That gender gap, the study found, was £8,919 ($11,547).

Younger workers aged 16-24 feel the most self-conscious about their weight in the workplace.

Plus-size bloggers like Stephanie Yeboah and Lottie L’Amour are working to transform the conversation and increase awareness of prejudices obese and overweight individuals face in the workplace.

>> On AJC.com: Georgia adult, teen obesity rates among worst in America

“The LinkedIn community has a number of groups and discussions on this topic, and we are pleased Stephanie and Lottie are opening up the conversation,” LinkedIn spokesperson Ngaire Moyes told Insider. "We hope more members will be encouraged to take part in the discussion about how it affects them and how size bias can be tackled."

This isn’t the first study to highlight pay differences based on a worker’s weight.

“Prior studies generally have found that obese workers have lower wages and that the wage reductions cannot be explained by variation in worker productivity,” according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. “The underlying implication is that obese workers, particularly women, face significant labor market discrimination.”

>> On AJC.com: Obesity linked to 11 types of cancer as overweight population grows, study says 

A survey of 500 hiring professionals last year even found that being overweight can weigh down career prospects. When the professionals were shown an image of an overweight woman and asked if they’d consider hiring her, only 15.6 percent said they would. About 20 percent even characterized the woman as lazy or unprofessional.

>> Read more trending news 

“The standards for physical appearance are stricter for women than men,” Kelly Brownell, the dean of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, told Moneyish. “Women are more likely to be evaluated on their physical appearance.”

Researchers in 2010 found that “very heavy” women made $19,000 less than their colleagues of “average weight.” Those who were “very thin” earned $22,000 more, on average. The study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, also found that a weight gain of 25 pounds was associated with an annual salary decrease of $14,000 per year.

>> On AJC.com: New anti-obesity drug could help you get rid of fat without dieting

More than 2.2 billion people around the world — about a third of the planet’s population — are estimated to be overweight. And 10 percent of the global population is considered obese.

Being overweight is defined as having a body mass index between 25 and 29.9. Obese individuals have a BMI above 30.

More about the LinkedIn study at thisisINsider.com.

Spanking children is harmful and ineffective, pediatricians group warns

To spank or not to spank? A group of pediatricians is against it, according to a new report.

>> On AJC.com: If you don't spank a child, how can you stop the tantrums?

Researchers from the American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a new policy statement, published in the Pediatrics journal, to recommend “healthy forms of discipline” to parents. 

The new statement comes 20 years after the 1998 recommendation, which encouraged parents to use discipline methods other than spanking. 

In the latest one, the experts said corporal punishment, defined as “any punishment in which physical force is issued and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort,” was minimally effective. 

“For many children, spanking increases aggression and anger instead of teaching responsibility and self-control,” the team wrote.

>> Read more trending news 

They also noted corporal punishment was associated with physical injury, increased aggression in school and a raised risk of mental health disorders, among other issues, which was all based on several studies they reviewed.

Furthermore, the pediatricians encouraged parents to employ other forms of discipline, “such as positive reinforcement of appropriate behaviors, setting limits, redirecting, and setting future expectations,” the authors explained. 

They also said different forms of discipline may work best for different age groups.

For children under age 1, they said parents should move the child to another area to distract them since they don’t yet have the ability to learn rules. As for toddlers and preschoolers, try time-outs. And for older children, parents are advised to allow the natural consequences of misbehavior to play out.

“This advice will be most helpful if it is combined with teaching parents new strategies to replace their previous use of corporal punishment,” the AAP said. “Appropriate methods for addressing children’s behavior will change as the children grow and develop increased cognitive and executive function abilities.”

>> On AJC.com: Here's what happens when a country bans spanking

Want to learn more? Read the full assessment here

Cancer expected to surpass heart disease as leading cause of death in US, study says

Cancer will soon be the leading cause of death in the United States, according to a new report

>> On AJC.com: You can avoid strokes and heart attacks with these two household fruits, study says

Researchers recently conducted a study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal, to explore data that suggests cancer will surpass heart disease as the leading cause of death in America.

To do so, they examined the death records of more than 32 million adults, aged 25 and older, across 3,143 American counties between 2003 and 2015. They assessed their medical information, income, race and other demographic data and followed them for about 13 years.

After analyzing the results, they found heart disease was the leading cause of death for 79 percent of counties in 2003, while cancer was the leading cause in the others. In 2015, heart disease was the leading cause of death for 59 percent of counties, with cancer being the leading cause in the remaining.

Overall, the heart disease mortality rate decreased by 28 percent between 2003 and 2015, and the cancer mortality rate dropped by 16 percent.

>> On AJC.com: Eat this meat twice a week to avoid heart attacks and strokes

However, upon further investigation, they discovered cancer deaths may be more on the rise in higher income counties. Heart disease deaths declined by 30 percent in high-income counties, while low-income counties experienced a 22 percent drop. A similar pattern was apparent for cancer deaths as the threat fell by 18 percent in high-income counties and by 11 percent in low-income ones.

“Data show that heart disease is more likely to be the leading cause of death in low-income counties,” the authors wrote. “Low-income counties have not experienced the same decrease in mortality rates as high-income counties, which suggests a later transition to cancer as the leading cause of death in low-income counties.”

>> Read more trending news 

They also noted patterns among racial and ethnic groups. Cancer replaced heart disease as the leading cause of death for Asian-Americans, Hispanics and whites. That was not the case for American Indians/Alaska Natives or blacks.

While the mechanisms behind the shifts in mortality rates are unclear, the scientists believe differences in smoking, obesity and diabetes trends between high and low income groups could be factors. 

As they continue their research, they are encouraging individuals to undergo recommended cancer screenings and practice healthy lifestyles. 

>> On AJC.com: You may be able to better avoid heart attacks with this common snack, study says

Read more about the findings here

Texas grandma drops 100 pounds by walking

A Texas grandmother was told to lose weight because her health was threatened. Six years later, she is 100 pounds lighter and is feeling great.

>> Read more trending news 

“Some grandmothers play bingo," Greta Ross, 61, told WFAA. "But, this grandmother goes to the gym."

Ross, from Irving, said she used to weigh 237 pounds. She refused medication from doctors but heeded their warnings to change her lifestyle.

"(It) scared me because I didn't want to leave my daughter and grandchildren behind," Ross told WFAA. "I knew I had to do something. Doing nothing wasn't an option.

"I had bad habits. I wasn't sleeping properly. I wasn't eating properly. I knew I had to do something. So I started walking."

Because of her weight, walking was the only exercise Ross could do comfortably, the television station reported. But with determination, Ross began to see results.

"It just became a routine," Ross told WFAA. "We would get up every morning and just walk. Next thing I know, the weight just started coming off.”

Within a year, Ross had lost 100 pounds, and she has kept the weight off for the past five years, the television station reported.

"I didn't stop. I just kept going and going and going," Ross told WFAA. "When I saw the transformation of my body, then my mind. ... my confidence level went through the roof. It was just incredible."

Ross has posted on social media about her turnaround.

"I just tell my real story so that way people will know you can do this," Ross told WFAA. "Is it a journey? Yes. Is it a process? Yes. Does it take time? Absolutely. But you have to be willing to say I am worth that. My family is worth that."

High blood pressure by this age raises heart attack risk, study says

High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease. But if you have the condition at a young age, your chances may be even higher.

>> On AJC.com: Study: Eat dinner at this time to avoid diabetes, hypertension

Researchers from Duke University recently conducted a study, published in JAMA, to explore hypertension in younger adults based on new blood pressure levels set by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.

In 2017, the organizations defined normal blood pressure as 120 or lower systolic blood pressure over 80 diastolic or less, elevated blood pressure as 120-129 over less than 80, stage 1 hypertension as 130-139 over 80-89 and stage 2 hypertension as 140 or greater over 90 or greater.

For the assessment, they examined more than 4,800 adults who had blood pressure measurements taken before age 40. About half of participants were African-American, and 55 percent were women. The scientists then categorized the subjects into the four aforementioned blood pressure groups and followed them for about 19 years.

>> Read more trending news 

After analyzing the results, they found people with higher blood pressure before age 40 were more at risk for cardiovascular disease events like a heart attack or stroke, compared to those under 40 with normal blood pressure. In fact, higher blood pressure before age 40 was associated with up to a 3.5 times greater risk of heart disease and strokes.

“This is a first step in assessing whether high blood pressure, as defined by the new criteria, is something that younger people should be concerned about as a potential precursor to serious problems,” lead author Yuichiro Yano said in a statement. “Although this is an observational study, it demonstrates that the new blood pressure guidelines are helpful in identifying those who might be at risk for cardiovascular events.”

>> On AJC.com: 5 reasons to take a second look at your blood pressure

The scientists now hope to continue their investigations to confirm their findings and encourage health care providers to better target younger individuals with higher blood pressure. 

This is when your body burns the most calories, study says

There are plenty of ways to burn calories. One of the ways to burn more could be linked to the time of day your workout happens.

>> On AJC.com: This is the best time to eat dinner to avoid diabetes, high blood pressure, study says 

Researchers from Harvard Medical School recently conducted a small study, published in Current Biology journal, to determine how circadian rhythms, which control the body’s sleep cycles, influence calorie burning.

To do so, they examined adults, aged 38 to 69, in a special laboratory without clocks, windows, phones and Wi-Fi to hide the time of day. The participants had assigned bedtimes and wake-up times. Each night, those times were adjusted four hours later to reflect the different time zones. This method helped the scientists identify the subjects’ natural circadian rhythms without the influence of environmental factors. 

“Because they were doing the equivalent of circling the globe every week, their body's internal clock could not keep up, and so it oscillated at its own pace,” co-author Jeanne Duffy explained in a statement. “This allowed us to measure metabolic rate at all different biological times of day.”

>> On AJC.com: Here’s how intermittent fasting can help you lose weight

The analysts also tracked the participants’ food intake, activity levels and body temperatures, which helped the team measure energy expenditure. 

After analyzing the results, they said people’s body temperatures were lowest late at night and early in the morning, and at their highest was in the late afternoon. They revealed the higher the temperature, the more calories burned.

In fact, they discovered individuals naturally burn about 10 percent more calories, which equals about 130 calories, in the late afternoon than they do late at night.

>> Read more trending news 

“It is not only what we eat, but when we eat – and rest – that impacts how much energy we burn or store as fat,” Duffy said. “Regularity of habits such as eating and sleeping is very important to overall health.”

Despite the findings, the researchers are not sure if people should reschedule their workouts and mealtimes. However, they hope to further their investigations so that they can evaluate how the body's response to food varies with the time of day. 

>> On AJC.com: The best times to eat breakfast and dinner for weight loss, study says

Want to learn more about the assessment? Take a look here.

Vaccine could bring hope to sufferers of celiac disease

There’s new hope for those who suffer from celiac disease who have to live a gluten-free lifestyle - a vaccine could either lessen the symptoms or even eradicate them. 

Nexvax2 has now cleared the first hurdle and will soon begin the second testing phase. 

The vaccine is a type of immunotherapy that uses the body’s immune system to treat celiac disease, according to celiac advocacy website Beyond Celiac.

Nexvax2 is designed to work by giving a patient a small amount of the vaccine then increasing the amount over time. The vaccine will work in conjunction with a gluten-free diet, Beyond Celiac reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Prevention reported that if successful, the treatment will help build an immunity to proteins in gluten and eliminate the side effects of consuming it.

The company that developed the treatment, ImmusanT Inc., is now looking for 150 total participants in Australia, New Zealand and the United States, for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study of Nexvax2.

To see if you qualify, click here and enter identifier NCT03644069.

The company isn’t just focusing on celiac disease. ImmunsanT is also looking at vaccines to treat other HLA-associated autoimmune diseases, like Type 1 diabetes.

Celiac disease affects about 2 to 3 million Americans.

The disease is an immune disease where people can’t eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine. Gluten is found in foods that contain wheat, rye and barley, as well as other products, including vitamins, hair and skin products and even toothpaste and lip balm, according to the National Institutes of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine

It is genetic and blood tests can help doctors make a diagnosis. Treatment includes a gluten-free diet, according the NIH.

Symptoms differ among patients. Some may have issues with their digestive systems, while others may be irritable or depressed, according to the NIH.

FDA warns some EpiPen labels could delay use during emergency

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning that the labels on some EpiPen and EpiPen Jr. auto-injectors – including authorized generic versions – might prevent the device from easily sliding out of their carrier tubes.

A letter to health care professionals from Pfizer, the manufacturer of the Mylan EpiPen, said the sticker on the auto-injector unit “may have been improperly applied, causing resistance when removing it from the carrier tube.”

>> Read more trending news 

While the issue does not affect the auto-injector device itself and the epinephrine it delivers, it could slow down its use during an emergency.

Patients and caregivers are urged to inspect their epinephrine auto-injector prior to needing it to ensure they can quickly access the product.

Click here for more information.

Duncan Hines recalls some cake mixes over salmonella risk

Duncan Hines announced it is recalling several varieties of cake mix due to potential threat of salmonella contamination.

The company said the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a potential salmonella outbreak that may be linked to Duncan Hines Classic White cake mix.

>> Salmonella: Signs and symptoms of infection

Duncan Hines said it has voluntarily recalled the following products as a precaution because they were made during the same time period:

  • Classic White, UPC: 644209307500, and have a best if used by date of March 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 2019.
  • Classic Butter Golden, UPC: 644209307494, and have a best if used by date of March 9, 10, 12, 13, 2019.
  • Signature Confetti, UPC: 644209307593, and have a best if used by date of March 7, 8, 9, 2019.
  • Classic Yellow, UPC: 644209414550, and have a best if used by date of March 12, 13, 2019.

According to the recall notice on the FDA's website, five people so far have reported becoming sick after consuming the cake mix.

"Several of the individuals reported consuming a cake mix at some point prior to becoming ill, and some may have also consumed these products raw and not baked," read the statement on the FDA's website.

>> Read more trending news 

The FDA is also reminding consumers not to eat any raw batter.

Consumers who have purchased these items are advised not to consume them and to return them to the store where originally purchased.

If you have any questions about the recall, contact customer service at 888-299-7646 or visit the Duncan Hines website.

Acute flaccid myelitis: Mom traveling to D.C. to fight polio-like illness

devastating disease is infecting children across the country.

>> Watch the news report here

A mother from Washington state says there's more to be done to fight AFM, which causes debilitating paralysis in children.

She is leading a group of moms to get Congress involved.

"The CDC gave it a name in 2014," said Heather Werdal of Bremerton.

"AFM stands for acute flaccid myelitis," she said.

>> What's causing polio-like illness that's paralyzing children? Health experts just don't know

The polio-like illness is now back in the news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that nearly 80 people in 24 states have been diagnosed with AFM this year.

Many of those stricken are young children, like Heather's son, Hayden, was in 2014.

"He was 13 years old," she said. "He was a perfectly healthy eighth-grader. He got a cold."

She said even doctors aren't sure what caused him to get so sick.

"The doctors that are working on this in Colorado, Nebraska, they have come across two entero-types of viruses that they suspect that several children have tested positive for," she said.

>> Acute flaccid myelitis: 155 cases of polio-like illness under investigation, CDC says

What they found are different forms of the entero virus which typically cause a minor illness but rarely turn catastrophic.

"What's unique about our kids?" she asked. "Why our kids? Why? We believe that small number is higher than what they're saying, but we still recognize it's rare. It's just that it may be one-in-a-million. But he's my 100 percent."

And not even the CDC can provide answers.

"Our biggest problem is there's no mandatory reporting to the CDC," Werdal said. "I know there's more cases just based on the number of parents that are joining our board. Their state health departments are diagnosing them with AFM but they're not necessarily submitting those cases to the CDC. It costs money to do that."

>> Georgia toddler paralyzed overnight as acute flaccid myelitis fears grow nationwide

At the center of all of this is her son and the remarkable way he sees his predicament.

"As a minor setback in my journey through life," he said. 

He says he hasn't asked, "Why me?"

"We've never had that mindset of, 'Why me?'" Hayden said. "It was always, 'This sucks; what can do we do to work on it?'"

The work his mother is now planning to do will need to happen in the other Washington. She and several other AFM mothers plan to travel there to talk to Sen. Patty Murray and other members of Congress to convince them to act.

"CDC doesn't have the power to demand to make it mandatory for every state to report cases of acute flaccid myelitis or even suspected cases," Werdal said.

>> Read more trending news 

She believes had the CDC been tracking AFM, her son might have gotten treatment sooner. And the paralysis might have been stopped before it rendered him a quadriplegic.

As it is, the future is looking brighter for Hayden. He is regaining movement in his limbs. And he's in college now, hoping to one day be a computer scientist.

"He's my all," she said. "And I have to fight for him. And I have to fight for the other kids that are going to be diagnosed in the future."

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