Today’s Headlines: Walking Programs, Iodine Recommendation, Diet Soda Debate

Regular walking program may help clogged arteries in the legs: A new US study suggests that a regular, home-based walking program could help those who suffer from peripheral artery disease, which affects one in every 20 Americans over the age of 50. Researchers tested a group of patients over the course of one year. The result: “At the end of the study, people in the exercise program walked faster and farther than those in the comparison group, whose members ended up performing worse than when they started, McDermott’s team reports in the Journal of the American Heart Association.” (Reuters)

New recommendation for iodine supplement for pregnant and breastfeeding women: The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that pregnant and breastfeeding women seek out iodine supplementation. According to the report, iodine is necessary to help brain development, and natural consumption of the element has dropped in the last decade. “About one-third of pregnant women have a mild iodine deficiency, the report says. This is the AAP’s first statement on iodine supplementation during pregnancy, which is already recommended by the American Thyroid Association and other groups. “We think it needs some attention,” said Jerome Paulson, a pediatrician based at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and chair of the AAP committee that produced the report.” (Wall Street Journal)

Soda industry says diet soda helps with weight loss: A study funded by the American Beverage Association has found that diet soda drinkers lost weight faster than those who went cold turkey on the sweet beverage. Many previous studies have shown the contrary. “The researchers found people in the diet soda group lost an average of 13 pounds over the 12-week time period, while those who didn’t drink diet beverages only lost 9 pounds. This added up to 44 percent more weight loss among the diet soda drinkers than the control group.” (CBS)