Today’s Headlines: The Relationship Between Dancing and Heart Disease, the Problem with Americans’ Diets, and Why the U.S. is Becoming a More Stressed-Out Nation

Dancing could reduce your risk for heart problems and heart disease. A new study reported that dancing is another physical activity that can significantly improve your health. “Only about 3,100 of the 48,000 people surveyed reported dancing of any intensity. Two-thirds of the group said they walked at any intensity. People who danced tended to be younger, have a lower body mass index, were less likely to have long-standing illnesses and got more overall physical activity than non-dancers.” The faster and more intense the dancing, the better it is for your health. (Fox)

America’s obesity problem is growing because we eat too much junk food. A recent study shows that almost sixty percent of the American diet is processed foods, which is a big problem. “‘The most common ultra-processed foods in terms of energy contribution were breads; soft drinks, fruit drinks and milk-based drinks; cakes, cookies and pies; salty snacks; frozen and shelf-stable plates; pizza and breakfast cereals,’…More than 20 percent of calories in the ultra-processed foods came from sugar. Federal eating guidelines say people shouldn’t get any more than 10 percent of calories from sugar and some nutritionists say it should be even less than that.” Nutritionists, health officials, and the researchers declared that fresh foods—fruits and vegetables—should make up the majority of our diet. (NBC)

From 2014 to 2015 the stress levels of Americans rose significantly. A survey revealed that discrimination was cause for added stress in the nation. “There was a particular increase among adults reporting ‘extreme stress,’ with 24% saying they were highly stressed in 2015 compared to 18% a year earlier… money and work are consistently the top two sources of stress (67% and 65%, respectively). This most recent survey also tracked the impact of discrimination on stress. Some 61% of adults surveyed reported that they have experienced unfair treatment or discrimination on a day-to-day basis.” Stress was also linked to health problems, with unhealthier people reporting more stress. (Time)