August 7: Weekly Health Roundup

Hot Tip for Longer Life

Scientists have found evidence that suggests the reason many of us are so drawn to spicy foods is that they are good for us. Though research is still in its infancy, it does point to health benefits like boosting metabolism, the prevention of gastric damage and reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer. A recent study has found a link between “the regular consumption of spicy foods and a lower risk of death”, via Washington Post

How Stress Lowers Self-Control

Recent studies have found that “stress can alter the brain to impair self-control when confronted with a choice”, even going so far as to change our food preferences. Even if you think your stress levels are manageable, think again. Even moderate levels of stress were found to impair our willpower, leading to unhealthy food choices when under stress for as little as three minutes, via The Financial Express

Yelp Takes on the ER

Yelp has expanded the health-care data available on its site to “give consumers access to government information on hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis clinics”. You can now look up ER wait times, fines paid by individual nursing homes and the amount of dialysis patients being readmitted to a hospital because of infections. Yelp has partnered with ProPublica to provide this wealth of data in a way that is accessible and easy to digest for the average consumer, via Washington Post

Parents Furious over ‘Honest’ Sunscreen Failure

Parents are in an uproar over multiple reports that The Honest Company’s sunscreen failed to protect children from sunburns. The FDA responded that “companies are responsible for testing the effectiveness of their own products” and that “[the product] is safe when used properly”. Consumers seem to disagree, though, as the Amazon reviews for the sunscreen are mostly negative, with 57% of reviewers giving it one star, via Business Insider

Colorado Resident Dies from Plague

An unidentified adult in Colorado has died from the plague – the second this year after a 16-year-old baseball player from northern Colorado perished in June. While plague cases are rare in the United States, they tend to cluster in the West with New Mexico and Colorado seeing the most cases. This particular form of plague is hard to diagnose as “it isn’t accompanied by the tell-tale swelling of lymph nodes seen in most plague cases”, via NY Daily News

Time to Weigh In

Are you more likely to chow down on some extra spicy peppers because of the potential health benefits? Have you found that your stress levels have affected what foods you reach for and when? Did you know that the plague (yeah, that plague) is still around? Color us surprised! What do you think? Cause for concern or no? Let us know in the comment section below!