SHAPE Shares: Salmonella Strikes in the Midst of Government Shutdown
In the words of Pitch Perfect's character Bumper, "Ladies, gather round." It's time for another roundup of radical, quirky, or otherwise interesting health news we're reading this week. You know what's coming: Scroll below for the stories, and then tell us: How'd we do? Did we miss any of the important headlines? Tweet us @Shape_Magazine or sound off in the comments below!
1. Surprise! Chicken nuggets contain less chicken, more mystery parts. Apologies to all the readers whose appetites I'm about to ruin, but in news that should shock absolutely no one, Misssissippi researchers examined two nuggets from different popular fast food chains and discovered that they consisted of about 40 percent muscle, with fat, cartilage, and bone making up the remainder of the nugget. Um, gross. To be fair, a sample size of two is too small to generalize to an entire population of chicken nuggets, but even still, we think this is a reason to skip the drive-thru (as if you needed another!).
2. In the midst of the government shutdown, a salmonella outbreak. It's almost funny-except that it's not. Because the government shutdown has caused both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to furlough employees, there aren't as many food safety officials monitoring the food supply or tracking infectious diseases, though the CDC did call in 30 workers to keep an eye on a salmonella outbreak this week. Officials are linking 300 cases in 17 states to raw chicken from three Foster Farm locations in California. So far no deaths have been reported, though 150 people have reportedly been sent to the hospital.
3. Poop pills may be the next big thing in medicine. Researchers are developing a medication based on feces to help combat Clostridium difficile (known as c.diff), one of the most common and toughest bacterial infections in the U.S. Since some people's systems are better than others at fighting off the bacteria, doctors are investigating whether it could be possible to concentrate the good bacterial populations that come from feces (minus, you know, the actual poop) in a capsule form that would be easy for patients to swallow.
4. Walking may lower your breast cancer risk. It's not news that exercise can reduce your risk of developing many types of cancer, but two recently published studies suggest that even regularly walking at a leisurely pace (three miles per hour or slower) can cut your risk of developing breast cancer by 14 percent. It doesn't get too much than easier than that.
5. Don't wait to get the flu shot. After a long, hot summer, flu season has reared its ugly head. While the flu always circulates, experts are warning the public to gear up for a particularly nasty flu season ahead of us this winter. While anyone can fall victim to the flu (even SHAPE editors aren't immune!), the elderly, pregnant women, and babies are more vulnerable to it and the possible complications, which is why experts are recommending that everyone over six months get the vaccine.