Today’s Headlines: Fast-Food Consumption Down, Benefits of Stress, and Rising Drug Overdoses

Fast-Food Calorie Consumption Decreasing in the US:  A survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has concluded that Americans are consuming slightly fewer calories from fast food in the past few years. The researchers surveyed about 11,000 adults from 2007 to 2010. The average percentage of fast-food calories consumed dropped slightly from the previously reported 13% to only 11% of total daily calories. The survey also found that “young adults eat more fast food than the national average and their elders; starting from 15% of calories for ages 20 to 39 and dropping to 6% for those 60 and older.” (TwinCities.com)

Stress Can Have Positive Health Benefits for the Positive-Minded: Even though stress has been linked with poor health consequences, researchers have shown that the overall effects of stress can be positive if you put your mind to it: It can improve the immune system and accelerate brain processing. The researchers studied 300 investment bankers who were stressed because their company had recently went through a round of layoffs. The researchers divided the groups into the half who viewed stress as debilitating and the half who saw it is helpful. After a week, researchers found those with a positive mindset reported fewer health issues and performed better at work than the negative mindset group. (Wall Street Journal)

Deaths From Drug Overdoses Up for Eleventh Straight Year: According to research from the National Center for Health Statistics, “38,329 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2010, an uptick from the previous year.” More than half of the overdoses (57%) involved prescription drugs, especially painkillers like Oxycontin and Percocet; 77% of the overdoses were accidental. (LA Times)