Older people with better balance tend to live longer: study

New research indicates that if older people cannot stand on one leg for 10 seconds, they have nearly double the risk of death within the next decade. In other fascinating research, another study found that any light exposure during sleep is linked to a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and other diseases.

CNN: Balance ability linked to longer life, study finds

An inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds later in life is linked to nearly double the risk of death from any cause in the next decade, a new study has found. The simple balance test may be useful to include in routine physical exams for middle- and older-aged people, the research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine on Tuesday, has suggested. While aging causes a decrease in physical fitness, muscle strength and flexibility, balance tends to be reasonably well preserved until a person’s 50s, when it begins to decline relatively rapidly, according to research. Previous research has linked the inability to stand on one leg to an increased risk of falls and cognitive decline. (Hunting, 6/21)

In other health and wellness news –

CNN: Sleeping in any light increases risk of obesity, diabetes and more, study finds

Even dim light can disrupt sleep, increasing the risk of serious health problems in older people, according to a new study. “Exposure to any amount of light during the sleep period was correlated with higher prevalence of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension in older men and women,” the report said. lead author Phyllis Zee, chief of sleep medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. told CNN. “People should do their best to avoid or minimize the amount of light they are exposed to while sleeping,” she added. (LaMotte, 6/22)

KHN: New weight loss treatment marked by heavy marketing and modest results

First came the “edible billboard,” which popped up last year during the holidays in New York’s East Village laden with treats. Then, in late January, came the national marketing campaign, with TV and digital media promoting the idea that trying to lose weight doesn’t mean a person can’t like to eat. These commercials are pushing a product named Plenity as a potential release from dieters’ woes. It’s a $98-a-month weight-loss treatment that’s like medicine: Patients take three capsules twice a day. But it’s not a drug. And its success in piling on the lost pounds, on average, is modest. (Appleby, 6/22)

NPR: Daily Harvest recalls lentil dish amid food poisoning allegations on social media

Daily Harvest, a home food delivery service, issued a recall on its dish of lentil and leek crumbs, after several customers complained on social media of stomach problems after consuming them. Reddit, Twitter, and Instagram users have reported nausea, vomiting, and liver damage after consuming the dish. One Reddit user said his wife had symptoms including “extreme fatigue, dark urine, mild fever, and itching all over her body with no rash.” Another user said his mother “was as sick as a dog and was throwing up a lot” a day after eating the beans. (Archie, 6/22)

Bloomberg: Mental health hotline 988 offers hope but faces challenges

A 2020 law creating a national mental health helpline, 988, has been hailed as an important step to make crisis services more accessible and de-stigmatize seeking help. But with less than a month to go until its July 16 launch, state and local agencies appear unprepared for its rollout, according to a recent report by research group Rand Corporation. Designed to be accessible by phone, text and online chat, the new hotline will connect to the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which links some 200 local crisis centres. When this hotline debuted in 2005, it answered 50,000 calls; in 2020, it took 2.4 million. (Yeah, 6/21)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.

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