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Till receipts contain ‘cancer chemical’

Till receipts contain high levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical associated with cancer and early puberty.

The chemical mimics the female hormone oestrogen and scientists have long suggested it poses a risk to health — especially to young children. In the latest research, a team from two US campaigning groups tested till receipts made from thermal paper that they had collected from 22 popular retailers and cafes in America.

They found that half of them were coated with large quantities of BPA. The chemical is used to make ink visible on thermal till receipts. Holding the receipts for just 10 seconds caused up to 2.5 micrograms of BPA to transfer from the paper onto a person’s fingers.

Meanwhile rubbing the receipts increased the amount of BPA transferred from the receipts onto fingers around 15-fold. “Since BPA in thermal paper is present in a powdery film, we suspected it could easily travel from those receipts to other objects,” said the researchers.

The researchers from the Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer Chemicals, Safer Families group, found the chemical on 21 of 22 bills tested, although in much lower levels than on the till receipts.

Parents have limited influence over children’s eating habits

If you thought you could influence your child’s eating habits, you are wrong — at least partially, for a new study claims that this influence is limited.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health reviewed and assessed the degree of association and similarity between children and their parents’ dietary intake based on worldwide studies published since 1980.

“Contrary to popular belief, many studies from different countries, including the United States, have found a weak association between parent-child dietary intakes,” said Youfa Wang, lead author of the study.

“This is likely because young people’s eating patterns are influenced by many complex factors, and the family environment plays only a partial role. More attention should be given to the influence of the other players on children’s eating patterns such as that of schools, the local food environment and peer influence, government guidelines and policies that regulate school meals, and the broader food environment that is influenced by food production, distribution and advertising,” he said. “Parents need to be better empowered to be good role models and help their children eat a healthy diet.”

Whey supplements reduce blood pressure

A Washington State University study has found that beverages supplemented by whey-based protein can significantly reduce elevated blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke and heart disease.

The research led by Susan Fluegel found that daily doses of commonly available whey brought a more than six-point reduction in the average blood pressure of men and women with elevated systolic and diastolic blood pressures. While the study was confined to 71 student subjects between the ages of 18 and 26, Fluegel says older people with blood pressure issues would likely get similar results.

“One of the things I like about this is it is low-cost,” says Fluegel, a nutritional biochemistry instructor interested in treating disease through changes in nutrition and exercise.

“Not only that, whey protein has not been shown to be harmful in any way.”

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