Today’s Headlines: Surgeon General’s Call to Action, Diabetic Smokers, and the Science Behind Feeling Blue

The U.S. Surgeon General is urging for more walk-friendly communities. Adults in the United States are not getting the amount of exercise that they need on a daily basis. The Surgeon General urged that more Americans take up walking as a healthy, inexpensive pastime to get in some daily physical activity. “The surgeon general wants communities to make it easier and safer for people of all ages and abilities to walk where they live, learn, work and play – and to encourage them to get moving. That will require efforts from transportation officials and city planners, parks and schools, businesses and health officials, and the public, his report makes clear. Options range from zoning decisions and building sidewalks, to promoting worksite activity.” The Surgeon General hopes that new movements towards walk-friendly communities will encourage a healthier America. (Fox)

If you smoke and have diabetes you’re at risk for other major health problems. A recent study showed that smokers with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of significant health problems such as strokes, clogged arteries, and heart problems. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking can worsen the health risks that go along with diabetes, such as heart and kidney disease, nerve damage, and blindness. Using the risk estimates from their review and global rates of deaths from diabetes, the researchers estimated that smoking accounted for 14.6 percent of deaths in diabetic men and 3.3 percent of deaths in diabetic women worldwide.” The lead on the study said some diabetic smokers were worried about quitting because of potential weight gain, but they were assured that gaining some weight was not a negative consequence considering all of the other health problems they could face if they did not quit. (Reuters)

A new study shows that being sad could make you see colors differently. The clichéd statement of feeling blue when you are sad may have some scientific validity behind it. A new study revealed that being upset, sad, and depressed can make you see colors—specifically the color blue—differently due to your emotions. “Psychologists have long known that emotions have a direct influence on what is called “low-level visual processes,” or simple perceptions of space and form. That’s because your visual processes require some chemical input from your brain that might affect how you process what you see.” In the study performed only sad subjects perceived colors differently, proving that color and emotions are directly correlated in the brain. (Time)