Health & Spirit

Unhealthy Relationships

Scott LaFee on

Which is worse for your health: a troubled relationship with a significant other or prolonged problems with parents, siblings and extended family members?

It's long been known that strained intimate relationships can have a significant adverse effect on physical health, but new research suggests the negative impacts of family strife are more harmful, measurably worsening chronic health conditions.

"We found that family emotional climate had a big effect on overall health, including the development or worsening of chronic conditions such as stroke and headaches over the 20-year span of midlife," said study author Sarah B. Woods of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "Contrary to previous research, which found that intimate relationships had a large effect on physical health, we did not get the same results."

The study surveyed almost 3,000 adults three times over a period from 1995 to 2014, asking about health status and relevant environmental conditions, such as family relations and support. The researchers found that greater family relationship strain was associated with a greater number of chronic conditions and worse health appraisal 10 years later during the second and third rounds of data collection.

Sweetness and Blight

Nearly two-thirds of children's drinks sold in 2018 were beverages with added sugar or artificial sweeteners, according to a new report by the University of Connecticut's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.


More than $2 billion in children's drinks were sold last year, but only $800 million worth (roughly 38%) were drinks consisting of 100% fruit juice or water blends. Beverage companies spent nearly $5 million more on advertising sugar-sweetened drinks than they did on advertising unsweetened drinks, resulting in kids ages 2-11 seeing twice as many ads for the former than the latter.

Increased consumption of sugary drinks has been linked to rising obesity rates in both adults and children, in addition to other health issues.

Get Me That, Stat!

Bad seeds: Investigators at the National Institutes of Health have found that sesame allergy is common among children with other food allergies, occurring in an estimated 17% of this population.


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Copyright 2019 Creators Syndicate Inc.


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