Today’s Headlines: Vitamins, Yellow Dye and Obese Women

Evidence lacking on vitamins’ use for prevention: “Most vitamin and mineral supplements, alone or in combination, have not been proved to help or hurt when it comes to preventing cancer or heart disease, says a new report from the high-profile U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. In most cases, more research is needed, but there are two exceptions, the panel says: Consumers should not take beta-carotene or vitamin E to prevent heart disease or cancer because vitamin E doesn’t work and beta-carotene increases the risk for lung cancer in people at high risk for the disease. The report, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, finalizes conclusions the group made public in an earlier draft statement.” (USA Today)

New concerns raised about yellow dyes: Watch out for the color yellow. A new study from Rutgers University suggests that “yellow dyes found in many common household products and items could contain a potentially harmful chemical that may be bad for your health.” The chemical, PCB 11, is often found in yellow-toned printing inks, paper, paint and clothing but may also be “leaching into the air and water.” Prior studies have “linked PCBs in general with irritations, cancer, birth defects and developmental problems in children and even very bad acne.” PCB11 is not used in every yellow product, but the researchers found it in all 16 tested pieces of clothing, 28 paper samples, and in 15 out of 18 tested paper goods. (ABC News)

Obese women get only one hour of exercise in a whole year: “The average obese woman gets only one hour of vigorous exercise each year, and obese men get less than four, according to a new study.” The study’s participants wore accelerometers that tracked their movements. “Vigorous exercise was defined as fat-burning activities like jogging, though one academic not related to the study cautioned that ‘vigorous’ is relative to an individual’s fitness level.” Federal guidelines recommend at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise every week. (Time)