For Your Health

The FDA is considering new restrictions on indoor tanning. A 16-member panel has advised that children and teens should be barred from tanning beds unless their parents sign a consent form that warns of the dangers of tanning. The FDA will take the next few months to go over this recommendation before releasing any changes:

Tanning beds and tanning lamps are listed as FDA Class 1 devices — those least likely to cause harm. Elastic bandages are an example of Class 1 devices.

The 16-member panel seemed likely to advise the FDA to list tanning beds as Class 2 devices, which require special assurances, such as labeling requirements or mandatory performance standards, that they will not cause harm. Class 2 devices include X-ray machines and powered wheelchairs.

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Listen up ladies: A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that middle-aged women need to work out at least one hour a day just to shed off the pounds that come with aging. In other words, we need to work out an hour daily just to stay the same weight:

"We all have to work at it. If it were easy to be skinny, we would all be skinny," said John Foreyt, a behavioral medicine expert who reviewed the study but wasn't involved in the research.

Brisk walking, leisurely bicycling and golfing are all examples of moderate exercise. But don't throw in the towel if you can't do those things for at least an hour a day. Even a little exercise is good for your health even if it won't make you thin, the researchers said.

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It turns out optimism can boost not just your mood, but your health too. Research out of the University of Kentucky followed 124 students and found that when optimism increased so did the immune system's response. A new reason to look at the glass as half full:

To test immunity, the students had a dose of dead mumps virus or candida yeast injected under the skin of the forearm. These harmless cocktails trigger a cellular immune response, resulting in a small bump at the injection site. By measuring the bump, researchers can estimate the strength of the immune response.

As the students experienced classes, exams and internship interviews, their optimism levels rose and fell. So did their cell-mediated immunity. When optimism went up, so did the cell-mediated immune response. When optimism dropped, the immune system weakened.

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