Cut the fat:
Eating fatty foods not only increases your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, but it can also give you gallstones. Researchers at King Fahd Hospital in Saudi Arabia found this out after noting that a growing number of patients were having their gallbladders removed. (Gallstones are the most common reason gallbladders become inflamed and have to be removed.) When they surveyed 14 other hospitals, the researchers found that the number of gallbladder operations performed annually was almost times higher in 1986 than in 1977. Yet the local population had grown only 67 percent. What had changed was Saudi eating habits. In the old days, Saudis ate lots of high-fiber grains. These days the average Saudi eats 81 percent more calories, a whopping 197 percent more fat, and only one-quarter of the grain that he or she did in 1977.
Marlboro man faces death:
Cigarette companies are notorious for targeting specific groups with slick ads: Marlboros are for the rugged man, Virginia Slims for the "liberated" woman and Kool filters for the hip black. Maybe the American Cancer Society should use the same technique to convince smokers to stop. The suggestion comes from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. More than half of all smokers aged 17 to 24, for instance, said they like Marlboros. So, if the Cancer Society wants teen-agers to quit, it needs to counter the image of Marlboro smokers as strong, rugged and independent. At least one school group in California is giving it a try. They've developed a curriculum that uses a documentary film called "Death in the West." The film features six real cowboys who are dying of lung cancer or emphysema. That ought to help the sun set on some of those pretty cowboy images.