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January 27, 2011
In response to violations of international human rights norms, Western governments are slapping sanctions on a rogue regime by halting exports of a deadly substance. That's nothing new; what is new is that the rogue nation is the United States. The substance in question is sodium thiopental, a fast-acting anesthetic designed for surgery that has been put to a more sinister purpose in 34 states, which use it to numb condemned prison inmates before injecting another drug that stops their breathing and a third that stops their hearts.
January 22, 2011 | By Carol J. Williams, Times Staff Writer
The sole U.S. maker of the anesthetic used in executions announced Friday it would stop manufacturing sodium thiopental to prevent its product from being used to put prisoners to death. Discontinuance of the drug that has been in short supply nationwide for the past year portends long-term complications for death penalty states. Some, like California, might have to revise laws governing executions and those seeking supplies from foreign makers may be turned away by countries that condemn capital punishment.
January 21, 2011 | By Andrea Chang, Los Angeles Times
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the nation's largest retailer and grocer, said Thursday that it would launch an aggressive initiative to make its food products more healthful and affordable and would build new stores in underserved areas. Appearing with First Lady Michelle Obama at a news conference in Washington, Wal-Mart executives outlined the ambitious plan, which includes reformulating thousands of packaged food items by 2015 to reduce sodium by 25%, lower added sugars by 10% and remove all industrially produced trans fats.
December 2, 2010 | By Carol J. Williams, Los Angeles Times
A San Francisco judge has given state corrections officials until Tuesday to explain how they obtained fresh stocks of sodium thiopental, the key drug used in lethal-injection executions that is no longer available from the sole U.S. manufacturer. The state reported in October that it had acquired 12 grams of the drug ? enough for four executions . On Nov. 22, the office of Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown reported that the state had ordered an additional 521 grams and expected delivery this week.
November 15, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, For the Los Angeles Times
Less salt in teen diets each day would lower the risk for heart disease and stroke as they age, say researchers at an American Heart Assn. conference. Teens eat more salt than any other age group, the study says, more than 9 grams, or 3,800 milligrams, each day. The Heart Assn. recommends no more than 1,500 milligrams per day of salt for most Americans. Trimming just 3 grams a day would mean 44% to 63% fewer hypertensive teens and young adults, and 30% to 43% fewer hypertensive adults 35 to 50. Teens shouldn't find it hard to cut sodium – if cutting fast food weren’t an obvious way. Say they pick up a Fresco Burrito Supreme–Chicken from Taco Bell on the way home from school.
October 20, 2010 | By Jonathan E. Fielding and Paul Simon
The Times' Oct. 15 editorial (" Wait a New York minute! ") on New York City's recent actions to improve nutrition misses the mark on several counts. We disagree with a number of the opinions expressed in the editorial regarding public health efforts by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reduce the consumption of sodium and sugar-sweetened beverages First, Americans now consume nearly double the daily recommended amount of salt. More than 75% of this intake comes from processed foods and restaurant fare, over which consumers have little control.
August 5, 2010
For those who crave the sweet taste of sugar, but not the 15 calories that come with each teaspoon,  there are plenty of alternatives -- sucralose (better known as Splenda), aspartame (Equal) and saccharine (Sweet'N Low), just to name a few. But where are the alternatives to salt? It's a good question. Public health experts keep telling us that we need to cut back on our sodium consumption in order to bring down the nation's blood pressure and reduce our risk for heart attacks and strokes.
July 26, 2010 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
In May, we raided the nutritionally bankrupt pantry of Stephanie Jacobson, a Toluca Lake publicist whose meals were based on processed and frozen foods ? or fast food. She was so hard-core she had Chipotle and Pizza Hut apps on her phone. She did have an occasional stalk of broccoli or glass of milk, but registered dietitian Ruth Frechman obviously had her work cut out for her. Undaunted, the Burbank nutrition expert suggested that Jacobson, for starters, do more cooking at home and told her how to add more fruits and vegetables, lean protein, dairy foods and whole grains to her diet.
July 12, 2010 | Marc Siegel, The Unreal World
"Miami Medical" CBS, Friday, July 2, 10 p.m. Final episode: "Medicine Man" The premise: A school bus crash in the Florida Everglades hurls teacher Lori Wilson (Elizabeth Ho) into a canal and damages the spine and brain of 16-year-old Ben Sims (John Bain). They're both brought to the trauma center at Miami Medical for treatment. When Lori's hands swell and she develops a sudden inability to find words (dysphasia), Dr. Chris Deleo (Mike Vogel) struggles to figure out what's wrong with her. An MRI of the brain is normal.
June 26, 2010
Avoid excessive fat, sugar and salt. Boil and bake, rather than frying foods. Eat the good carbohydrates, such as beans and whole grains. Maintain your ideal weight. That's the advice the U.S. Department of Agriculture and then-Department of Health, Education and Welfare issued in 1980, in their first Dietary Guidelines for Americans. And it's not much different from the 2010 guidelines offered for public comment this month. In between the two reports, however, most Americans have grown overweight or obese on fats and sugar, while lacking key nutrients such as calcium and potassium.
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