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Teen Hookah Smoking Up, Sugar and Brain Damage, Waiting for Harry Potter & Other News

The number of teens who smoke flavored and unflavored tobacco through a Hookah water pipe device is up dramatically, according to a study in the August issue of Pediatrics, a medical journal.

Hookah use is up about 18 percent on an annual basis, according to the study, which tracked 5,540 high school seniors nationwide. That’s not good news, experts say.

“Hookah use is not less harmful or addictive than cigarettes,” said Joseph Palamar, the lead author and assistant professor of population health at New York University, according to statements that appeared in USA Today [1], National Memo [2] and other news outlets.

Baptist Health medical experts are also concerned about the growth in alternative tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes. Here’s our report:  Are eCigarettes a Safer Smoking Alternative? [3]

Sugar and Brain Damage

Your sweet tooth may be hurting your brain, according to research recently published in the journal Neurology. A new study has linked excess sugar consumption to memory loss and an elevated risk of dementia, according to an article published by Salon [4], an online magazine.

“A poor diet can eat away at brain health,” Salon reported.

The dangers of sugar have been covered in several articles on this blog:

  • New Sugar Guidelines: Cut Down on Hidden Sugar [5]
  • Added Sugars Amount to More Heart Risks [6]
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    3 Stressful Habits

    Is your lifestyle stressing you out? Forbes magazine featured a short list of habits that can make life very stressful: Ditch These 3 Habits That Keep You Stressed [7]. Hint: Being a slave to your cell phone tops the list.

    Stress can be a major factor in pain and illness. Check out these Baptist Health stories for more information:

  • Stress—What a Pain! [8]
  • Exercise to Lose Stress [9]
  • New Guidelines for Heart Disease, Stroke Prevention [10]
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    Muggle Alert: Long Lines for Harry Potter Ride

    The new Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios is a mega-hit, according to the Associated Press. [11] How popular is The Wizarding World of Harry Potter-Diagon Alley?  Thrill seekers have been waiting in line for up to 450-minutes, according to different news reports.

    But waiting in line doesn’t have to be wasted time. Here are a few easy exercises that you can do while visiting a zoo or waiting in line at a theme park: Zoo Moves You Can Do, Too! [12]