Today’s Headlines: Flour Recalls Due to E. Coli, The Correlation Between Drinking Water and Weight Loss, and The Gene That May Put You at a Greater Risk for Skin Cancer

General Mills issued a recall on many products containing contaminating batches of flour. The products being recalled include Krusteaz Blueberry Pancake Mix, Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Party Rainbow Chip Cake Mix, and Betty Crocker Delights Super Moist Carrot Cake Mix. “General Mills has voluntarily recalled 30 million pounds of flour since the E. coli outbreak was reported in June by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…Among the 42 reported cases of E. coli infection in the outbreak, 11 people were hospitalized, according to the CDC.” Learn more about the symptoms of this foodborne illness and if you have purchased any of these items, you are urged to call for a refund and throw the package away so it’s not consumed. (ABC and CBS)

Researchers at the University of Michigan medical school believe there is a correlation between water intake and weight loss. The average American does not drink enough water, which could be a factor in the national obesity epidemic. “About 33% of the people in the study weren’t adequately hydrated. What’s more, the researchers found a link between dehydration and overweight. People who weren’t hydrated enough had higher BMIs than those who were. There may be all kinds of explanations for these findings. People with obesity need more water than people who have smaller bodies, making the hydration threshold potentially harder to reach. But some research suggests that water can play a role in weight control, showing that when overweight people drink water before a meal, they eat fewer calories than if they eat it without water.” You can tell if you’re hydrated by looking at the color of your urine – if it’s dark, you may be dehydrated. This study only suggests a correlation and more research needs to be done. (Time)

People who have a recessive gene for red hair may be at a higher risk for skin cancer. A new study from the UK found that while red-headed, fair-skinned people have an increased risk for skin cancer, those that had the “red hair gene” were also predisposed to these risks. “Around 25% of UK adults have one version of the gene called MC1R which increases their risk of malignant melanoma. These carriers may not always look like “easy burners,” say the researchers – but they are. Although not true redheads, they will have pale skin and some freckles and are prone to sun damage. Their natural hair colour can range from brown through to blond, sometimes with a hint of red…patients who had at least one copy of a genetic variant of MC1R had 42% more sun-associated mutations in their cancers than individuals without these variations – equivalent to the toll of an additional 21 years in the sun.” The study raises awareness about this gene so people can get tested and take proper precautions if necessary. (BBC)