Daily Rounds: Cell Phones And Turkey; Steward Job Cuts; Diet Soda For Weight Gain? Happy Thanksgiving!

When Phones Come Out Long Before The Turkey (The New York Times) – “Not long ago, pulling out a phone to send a photograph of Thanksgiving dinner or a text about the proceedings was considered rude, a violation of the “eat it, don’t tweet it” rule. But almost 40 percent of the 234 million Americans over the age of 13 with a mobile phone now use a social network, according to the analyst group comScore, and the numbers are growing fast. Instagram, the darling of people who love to share pictures of what they’re eating, has more than doubled its members to more than 100 million in less than a year, according to Facebook, the company that bought Instagram this spring. Facebook says Thanksgiving is one of its busiest days of the year.”

Steward Health Care Systems To Cut Jobs At Three Of Its Community Hospitals (Boston.com) — “Managers at three community hospitals owned by Steward Health Care System have notified representatives of Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union that they plan to eliminate as many as 35 service and technical jobs, union leaders said Wednesday. Over the past week, they said, Steward officials alerted them of its intention to cut 15 union jobs at Norwood Hospital, 12 at Carney Hospital in Dorchester, and seven or eight at Morton Hospital in Taunton. Because the union is proposing alternatives to job cuts and other union members have “bumping rights,” Local 1199 officials said they expect fewer than 35 members will lose their positions. Other workers who are not Local 1199 members also could be affected by the cuts. In an internal letter to colleagues, Norwood Hospital president Emily Holliman warned of “challenging times in our industry,” citing federal cuts to Medicare reimbursements along with the Massachusetts health care payment overhaul, which seeks to reduce costs. Steward spokesman Chris Murphy declined to discuss the number of job cuts planned at the hospitals.”

Is Diet Soda Making You Overweight? (Everyday Health) — “Of top concern, drinking diet soda has been linked to developing metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a group of conditions that include expanding waist size, increased blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, lower levels of good cholesterol, and high fasting blood sugar levels. Having three or more of these findings increases your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Here are some other research findings you should know about diet soda: According to the San Antonio Heart Study, the more diet sodas you drink, the greater the chance that you will be overweight or obese. For each diet soda you drink there is a 65 percent increase in your risk of becoming overweight. According to the Framingham Heart Study, if you drink diet soda you are at risk for weight gain and metabolic syndrome. According to research done at Purdue University, rats that were fed artificial sweeteners gained more weight than rats fed normal sugar. Findings from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, show that meat, fried food, and diet soda are all significantly associated with metabolic syndrome.”

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