Vepachedu, PhD, LLM
Associate Editors &
Rajagopal Duddu, PhD
Ramarao Vepachedu, PhD
Marina Strakhova, PhD
5106 Kali Era , taarana
Year, Aashaadha month
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Vikramarka Era, taarana
|Diet and Exercise
A compound, called dodecenal, found in the fresh leaves and the seeds
of cilantro, also known as coriander, an herb key to many cuisines and central
to salsa, can kill food poisoning bacteria, Salmonella. The study, published
in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, shows why
salsa, a staple of Mexican food, and many other spicy foods seem to have
innate antibacterial activity. It fits in with other studies done over the
years that show popular spices can keep food from spoiling.
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An ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot and is the most common type
of stroke. Fruit and vegetable intake has long been associated with a lower
risk of ischemic stroke. Sufficient blood levels of carotenoids, a family
of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables, might reduce the risk of ischemic
stroke, according to a study published in the rapid access issue of Stroke:
Journal of the American Heart Association. The results of this study
support a diet high in fruits and vegetables to reduce ischemic stroke risk.
The American Heart Association recommends a total well balanced nutritious
diet consisting of a variety of foods: fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals,
lentils, beans and bread, soy and nonfat and low-fat dairy products, and
the use of vegetable fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) for animal
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According to an article in the June issue of The Archives of Ophthalmology,
the researchers found that fruit consumption was inversely associated with
risk of neovascular age-related maculopathy (ARM), an eye disease that can
cause blindness, and participants who ate three or more servings per day
of fruit had a 36 percent lower risk of ARM compared to participants who reported
eating less than 1.5 servings per day. These findings were similar for men
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|Salmon is Dangerous
Atlantic salmon and trout raised in federal hatcheries in the Northeast
have high enough levels of dioxin and other pollutants that anglers should
eat no more than half a serving a month, federal officials said in May.
A study published in January in the journal Science had suggested
pollutants found in farm-raised salmon came from PCBs, or polychlorinated
biphenyls, in the fish oil and meal fed to the fish.
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Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Fiber
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia have discovered that
a session of prolonged exercise and a dose of omega oil supplement dramatically
decrease chances of atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease.
A revised food pyramid coming from the government to guide Americans' eating
habits may recommend more fiber and fewer refined grains such as white bread,
federal advisers decided in May. The government is going to recommend
Omega-3 fatty acid containing foods. However, don't be surprised if
they do not talk about flaxseed
or urad dal
that contain both fiber and omega-3 oils. They are going
to recommend salmon (see above). While the 13-member Dietary Guidelines Advisory
Committee reached conclusions for fish-eaters, the advice was less specific
for people who do not like fish or whose diets preclude it for other health
reasons or ethical and religious reasons.
Back to the top
The Buffet Effect: Too Much to Eat, a
Studies dating back to the 1960s have shown that variety can increase
calorie consumption an average of 25 percent. Nutritionists have been telling
you for years, variety is important! Have nutritionists been wrong?
No, not really. Then why are we eating too much to kill ourselves? Blame
it on so-called sensory specific satiety, a mental process that makes food
taste better at first but progressively less interesting as a person continues
to eat it. Switch to a new food and, even if the person is full, it will be
appealing. Marketers know this. Coca-Cola sells nearly 400 different
drinks, Frito-Lay offers about 150 different chips and pretzels in the United
States alone, and Campbell's produces 170 soups. A typical American grocer
has 35,000 products, up from 10,000 in 1983. More than 150 all-you-can-eat
options are on the Red Apple Buffet's Italian-American-Chinese-Japanese menu.
As a result, in America, e.g., in Arkansas, about 22 percent of the children
are considered obese while 18 percent are merely overweight. Fifty-eight
percent are normal weight, and 2 percent underweight. Texas fourth-graders
were overweight at a rate 46 percent higher than children of similar age
elsewhere in the country, according to a study conducted by the University
of Texas School of Public Health.
As omnivores with a variety of nutrient requirements, we need to switch
from food to food and take in a lot of different nutrients. But, that doesn't
mean eat as much as the buffet allows you. The problem isn't just that people
seek variety, but also that the foods they are eating are high in calories
(sugars and fats) and high in amounts.
Availability of such foods overseas has increased dramatically recently.
Since 1989, U.S. exports of snack foods have quadrupled to more than $1.5
billion last year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. For
example, an influx of foods has had a dramatic effect on the people of the
Solomon Islands in the South Pacific. Thirty years ago the islanders' diet
was limited mostly to what could be produced locally. Trade has since introduced
a torrent of variety, especially calorie-dense foods previously absent from
this nation of 340,000 people. The country now has one of the highest obesity
rates in the world. Up to 20 percent of men and 25 percent of women in European
countries are considered obese. Yugoslavia, Greece, Romania and the Czech
Republic have among the highest rates, while the Netherlands, Norway, Hungary
and Switzerland have the lowest.
High fat, energy dense diets and sedentary lifestyles over the past 20
to 30 years, along with economic growth, urbanization and the globalization
of food markets have contributed to expanding waistlines around the globe.
More than one billion overweight adults and at least 155 million overweight
children are worldwide.
In the past, experts found excess weight was a problem mainly for people
living in wealthy nations such as the United States, Britain, Germany and
Japan. The poorer residents of those countries typically were heavier than
richer ones. The opposite was true in developing countries, where only the
richest were overweight and the poor could not get enough food to become
Obesity, once a problem chiefly in the world's richest countries, is increasingly
prevalent among poor and less educated women in developing nations, a study
released on 2nd June said. The findings from 37 developing countries including
the Peoples Republic of China and the Indian Union, revealed a major shift
in the populations hardest hit by obesity.
Poor countries like the Indian Union are faced with a "double whammy,"
with a 70% of the population (~700 million) that is undernourished and about
30% of population (~300 million, more than US population) that is becoming
increasingly obese, with increasing affluence, sedentary lifestyles and availability
of junk food. No one is predestined to become obese genetically, but
people are certainly predisposed to eat too much and become obese. People
need to be better educated about the impact of their diet not only on their
waistlines but also on their health. Obesity is linked with an increased
risk of certain cancers, osteoarthritis and other complications.
Back to the top
Despite claims about the detrimental behavioral effects of artificial
food colorings and preservatives, there have been no broad studies of the
prevalence of hyperactivity related to intolerance to food additives. Artificial
food colorings and benzoate preservatives increase hyperactive behavior
in preschool children, according to a new report in the June Archives
of Disease in Childhood.
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Vitamin C and Arthritis
Consumption of foods high in vitamin C appears to protect against inflammatory
polyarthritis, a form of rheumatoid arthritis involving two or more joints,
suggest new research findings, which appear in the Annals of the Rheumatic
Back to the top
Alcohol and Pancreatitis
Acute pancreatitis is mainly caused by alcohol abuse and gall stones.
It produces a sudden attack of severe upper abdominal pain, often accompanied
by nausea and vomiting. An attack usually lasts for about 48 hours. Rates
of acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) have doubled over the
past 30 years, particularly among younger age groups, finds a study in BMJ.
Increasing alcohol consumption may be to blame.
Back to the top
Bone is a common metastatic site for prostate and breast cancer, and bone
cancer is usually associated with severe pain. But an increasing number of
patients seek alternative therapies because of the failure of traditional
treatments or the resulting side effects. The researchers from the Johns
Hopkins University School of Medicine in the US compared the analgesic effects
of a diet with either soy as a protein source on three experimental mice models
of bone cancer pain and shown to reduce some of the pain caused by bone cancer
in an animal study in a recent issue of the Journal of Pain.
Back to Contents
The world's only latex women's condom is to be distributed all over Europe
the second half of 2004, where it is already CE approved. Intellx Inc.
announces the expansion of its distribution for the VA women's condom throughout
Europe this summer, after a year of limited trial distribution in Germany
and Spain. (http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/
20040615/DETU016). Asia and India (VA is manufactured by Medtech
Products in Chennai, India) are expected to also have the condom available
later this year. The VA condom currently awaits final approval by the US
FDA. The VA condom, worn by women, one of only two existing female condom
alternatives to male condoms, is to be distributed around the world, except
in the US where Intellx hopes the FDA approval could be put on a "fast-track"
process for approval within 6-12 months. The newest version, with a new sponge
insert, has achieved very favorable user response from company in-house surveys,
especially from men. There is no other women's latex condom on the market,
and the introduction of the VA condom is a major step forward in AIDS prevention,
including distribution by US social agencies funded by the Bill and Melinda
Gates Foundation, who recently started distributing condoms to AIDS-inflicted
areas in India.
Back to Contents
and Body Fat
Beta-conglycinin, a major soy storage protein, has previously been found
to reduce triglyceride levels in obese mice and inhibit atherosclerosis in
mice. In the a new Japanese study researchers found that soybean beta-conglycinin
might help to maintain a healthy body fat ratio and serum lipid levels in
healthy women. The researchers concluded that if soybean beta-conglycinin
is ingested continuously (5g daily), it will be effective in keeping body
fat ratio and serum lipid levels normal and eliminating excessive lipids
from the body. This study was reported in the Journal of Nutritional
Science and Vitaminology 2004;50(1):26-31).
Testicular cancer affects about 1 in 500 men and is most common in 15
to 44 year olds. The number of cases has doubled in the last 25 years to
about 2,000 cases a year. If the disease is detected and treated early
the survival rate is very good. Familial testicular cancer accounts
for an estimated 20 percent of cases. Other risk factors include infertility
and malformed or undescended testicles. There is also a higher incidence among
first-born sons and non-identical twins. Young men in Britain are unaware
of the risk of testicular cancer and rarely check for signs of the disease.
They should, quite literally, take their health in their hands, according
to a survey.
It is well known that birds are the most monogamous animals in the world.
About ninety percent of birds pair up exclusively to mate and rear chicks.
Whereas, less than five percent of mammals and about 15% of primates are
monogamous, while most other mammals practice either promiscuity or polygamy.
It appears monogamy is not appropriate for males when it comes to propagating
their genes. It has been in their interest to reproduce with as many females
as possible. Polygamy makes perfect sense in war torn societies where the
male population dwindles due to war and females are captured and enslaved.
Whereas monogamy makes sense in stable and peaceful societies. In addition,
if predators are rampant, males are better off staying around their homes
to protect their offspring from being devoured. Scientists believe
that monogamy evolved from polygamy and among Homo sapiens four in five societies
practice polygamy, especially polygyny. There is a big difference
between promiscuity and polygamy. Chimps are promiscuous, and gorillas are
polygamous. The chimps are not committed to any one female, while gorillas
are committed to a group of females. Gorillas spend more energy to
protecting their territory and providing for their females and their children.
Bonobos, our closest relatives, engage in sex in virtually every partner
combination and more often and more casually than among other primates.
Vole is a rat-like animal. Voles, found in the wild throughout much of
North America, have been particularly useful in studying monogamy, which
in biology refers more to the complicated social bonds based on partnership
than to sexual fidelity. There are two kinds of voles: a family-type prairie
vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and a sexual predator meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus).
What can we learn from voles? A mutation in a single gene can have a profound
impact on complex social behavior. Scientists working with voles have
found that promiscuous males can be reprogrammed into monogamous partners
by introducing a single gene into a specific part of their brains. Once they
have been converted, the voles hang around the family nests and even huddle
with their female partners after sex. The research presented in the journal
Nature helps shed light on monogamy and hints that perhaps specific genes
could play a role in human relationships.
The prairie vole pairs up like some humans. Males may occasionally stray
from their lifelong partners, but they inevitably return to their nests and
help care for litter after litter. On the other hand, meadow voles prowl
their habitat for any available female and show no interest in staying in
touch. The difference is due to a receptor for the hormone vasopressin.
Prairie voles have vasopressin receptors in a part of the brain known as the
ventral pallidum and meadow voles do not. The scientists used a common
gene therapy technique to make promiscuous male meadow voles behave like
their loyal prairie cousins, by injecting the animals' forebrains with a
harmless virus carrying the gene responsible for expressing the receptors.
There may be soon a vaccine to cure promiscuous men and prevent sexual crime
and reform and rehabilitate criminals like Mark Dutroux!
However, as the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth pound
of cure. A new national survey released by the National Marriage Project
at Rutgers University closely links marital outlook to upbringing. So,
not everything is in our genes. According to the study, although majority
of single young men aspires to stable marriage, about one-fifth is deeply
skeptical of the institution and their prospects of making it work.
Most young men are still the marrying kind. The men who are the best
`marriage bets' are those who are more traditional in their family background.
The survey found that men with negative attitudes were far more likely than
the rest to have been raised by a divorced parent in a non-religious family.
Twenty-two percent of the single men were hard-core marriage evaders for whom
the human version of Vole-gene therapy may be the answer. Back to Contents
Skin cancer is preventable, yet it is on the rise in America. The American
Cancer Society estimates that more than a million nonmelanoma cancers and
55,100 melanoma cancers will be diagnosed in America this year and 7,910 Americans
will die of melanoma, 5,050 of whom will be men. Men have ignored the decades
of warnings about overexposure to the sun than women have.
The most common types of skin cancer are basal cell carcinoma, which accounts
for about 75 percent of all cases; squamous cell carcinoma, accounting for
about 20 percent; and melanoma, which is less common but far more deadly,
causing 79 percent of skin cancer deaths. There are also precancerous lesions
called actinic keratoses, which can become cancerous.
Skin cancer is curable, if detected early. Prevention is critical because
sun damage is cumulative. Having two or more blistering sunburns in your life
can double or triple your chance of melanoma.
Wearing protective clothing like long-sleeved shirts, long pants and wide-brimmed
hats would prevent the sun skin cancer on the face, nose, neck, scalp, ears,
chest, back and shoulders. Men like baseball caps, but they do not provide
full coverage. They provide no protection to the side of the face or neck.
Hats are especially important for men who are bald or losing their hair.
A hat is by far the best sunscreen. Back
Diabetes among Indian Children
An estimated 1.8 million British schoolchildren are overweight and a further
700,000 obese. East Indian (South Asian) children in Britain have more than
13 times the rate of type 2 diabetes as other youngsters, according to a
report in Archives of Disease in Childhood. Type 2 diabetes
is 13.5 times more common in Indian children than in white children.
Type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form of the illness, results from
the body's inability to respond to the action of insulin produced by the
pancreas. It is strongly linked to being overweight or obese. Children
with the disease were about 13 years old when they were diagnosed and were
usually overweight or obese girls who had a relative with the disease.
If the illness is not treated, it can lead to serious complications later
in life including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease and blindness.
Blurred vision, unusual thirst, frequent urination and tiredness are symptoms.
Back to Contents
Air pollution is composed of many environmental factors, such as carbon
monoxide, nitrates, sulfur dioxide, ozone, lead, secondhand tobacco smoke
and particulate matter. Particulate matter can be generated from vehicle
emissions, tire fragmentation and road dust, power generation and industrial
combustion, smelting and other metal processing, construction and demolition
activities, residential wood burning, windblown soil, pollens, molds, forest
fires, volcanic emissions and sea spray. Secondhand smoke is the single
largest contributor to indoor air pollution when a smoker is present according
to the statement. Studies of secondhand smoke indicate that air pollution
in general can affect the heart and circulatory system.
Exposure to air pollution contributes to the development of cardiovascular
diseases, according to a new American Heart Association scientific statement
published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Some conclusions of the American Heart Association about pollution:
1. Prolonged exposure to elevated levels of particle pollution is a factor
in reducing overall life expectancy by a few years.
2. Short-term exposure to elevated levels of particle pollution is associated
with the increased risk of death due to a cardiovascular event.
3. Hospital admissions for several cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases
are increased in response to higher concentrations of particle pollution.
People with heart disease or cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes or
pulmonary disease limit outdoor activities when pollution is high, per Environmental
Protection Agency Air Quality Index recommendations. The EPA provides daily
information about ozone and particulate matter levels for more than 150 cities
Back to Contents
Saliva contains antioxidants, molecules that normally protect the body
against cancer. Smoking destroys protective molecules in saliva and transforms
it into a dangerous cocktail of chemicals that increases the risk of mouth
cancer. In research reported in the British Journal of Cancer,
researchers studied the impact of cigarette smoke on cancerous cells in the
laboratory. Smoking and drinking are the leading causes of head and neck
or oral cancers, which includes cancer of the lip, mouth, tongue, gums, larynx
and pharynx. Nearly 400,000 new cases of the illness are diagnosed worldwide
each year with the majority in developing countries. The five-year survival
rates are less than 50 percent.
As many as two-thirds of people who begin smoking in their youth are eventually
killed by the habit, according to a 50-year study by British researchers
released in June. The report in the British Medical Journal
is the second part of a study that began in 1951. The publication's first
report on the study in June 1954 was considered a landmark, confirming the
link between smoking and lung cancer. The second part of the study tracked
the same participants for the past 50 years and highlights the findings that
kicking the habit can add years to the lives of former smokers. The main
tobacco-related causes of death included lung cancer; heart disease; cancers
of the mouth, pharynx, larynx and esophagus, and other respiratory diseases.
Those who stopped at the age of 60 gained three years of life, those who
quit at 50 gained six years and those who stopped smoking at 40 gained nine
years of life expectancy, the report said. For those who kick the habit at
30 the increased risk was avoided almost totally, the researchers said.
Computers and Children
Young children used to play mostly with dolls, building blocks and other
low-tech toys, but these days, it is not unusual for children to use computers
before they start kindergarten. Even children who do not have a computer
at home often have access in other places, such as libraries, community centers
or a parent's workplace. Experience with computers may give young children
a head start when it comes to being prepared for pre-school and beyond.
Among children ages 3 to 5, kids who had access to a computer performed better
on learning tests, researchers report in the journal Pediatrics,
Back to Contents
|Hygiene in the Third World
A household handwashing program in Pakistan substantially reduced the
occurrence of diarrhea among children living in a high-risk situation, according
to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The results come from a study of more than 4500 children living in 36 low-income
neighborhoods in Karachi. In 25 of the neighborhoods, handwashing was promoted
to encourage the use of plain or antibacterial soap after defecation, food
preparation, eating, and child feeding. The other 11 neighborhoods served
as the control group. No apparent advantage was seen for using antibacterial
soap rather than plain soap, since the antibacterial agent has no effect
on many organisms that cause diarrhea.
Back to Contents
Raspberry Passion Fruit Swirls
Ingredients:2 1/2 cups raspberries, 2 passion fruit, 1 2/3 cups low fat
fromage frais, 2 tbsp caster sugar. raspberries and springs of mint, to
Directions: Mash the raspberries in a small bowl with a fork until the
juice runs. Scoop out the passion fruit pulp into a separate bowl with the
fromage frais and sugar and mix well. Spoon alternate spoonfuls of the raspberry
pulp and the fromage frais mixture into stemmed glasses or one large serving
dish, stirring lightly to create a swirled effect. Decorate each dessert each
dessert with a whole raspberry and a sprig of fresh mint. Serve chilled.
Ingredients: 2 medium cooked beetroot, diced, 2 heads chicory, sliced,
1 large orange, 60 ml / 4 tbsp natural low fat yogurt, 10 ml / 2 tsp wholegrain
mustard, salt and pepper.
Directions: Mix together the diced cooked beetroot and sliced chicory
in a large serving bowl. Finely grate the rind from the orange. With a sharp
knife, remove all the peels and white pith. Cut out the segments, catching
the juice in a bowl. Add the segments to the salad. Add the orange rind,
yogurt, mustard and seasonings to the orange juice, mix thoroughly, then spoon
over the salad.
Back to the Top
Ingredients:150 gm diced ripe mango, 5 gm chopped red chilies, 20 ml oil
( olive / sesame / mustard), 2 gm mustard seeds, 5 gm ginger juliennes, 10
gm chopped mint leaves, 150 gm low fat yogurt, salt to taste
Directions: Place the diced mangoes in a salad bowl. Heat oil in a nonstick
pan, add the mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
Add the chopped red chilies, stir-fry briefly. Pour the tempering over
the diced mangoes and allow to cool. Beat yogurt and add half of the ginger
juliennes and chopped mint to to it. Stir the yogurt into the mangoes and
garnish with the rest of chopped mint leaves and ginger julienne's.
Back to the Top
Black Beans with Rice
A delicious Caribbean vegetarian favorite that is cholesterol-free and
made with very little added fat. 1 lb. dry black beans
Ingredients: 1 clove garlic, minced. 7 C. water. 1/2 t. salt.1 medium
green pepper, coarsely chopped. 1 C. chopped onion. 1 T. vegetable oil.
1 T. bay leaves. 1 T. vinegar (or lemon juice). 6 C. rice, cooked
in unsalted water. 1 jar (4 oz.) sliced pimento, drained. 1 lemon, cut into
Directions: Pick through beans to remove bad beans. Soak beans overnight
in cold water. Drain and rinse.
In large soup pot or Dutch oven, stir together beans, water, green pepper,
onion, oil, bay leaves, garlic, salt. Cover and boil 1 hour. Reduce
heat and simmer, covered, 3 to 4 hours or until beans are very tender. Stir
occasionally and add water if needed. Remove about 1/3 of the beans,
mash and return to pot. Stir and heat through. Remove bay leaves and
stir in vinegar or lemon juice when ready to serve. Serve over rice.
Garnish with sliced pimiento and lemon wedges.
Back to the Top
This tasty bean dish is made without fat or lard.
Ingredients:1 lb. pink beans, 10 C. water, 2 medium plantains, finely
chopped, 1 large tomato, finely chopped, 1 small red pepper, finely chopped,
1 medium white onion, finely chopped, 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, 1
1/2 t. salt
Directions: Rinse and pick through beans. Put beans in large pot and add
10 C. water. Place pot in refrigerator and allow beans to soak overnight.
Cook beans until soft. Add more water as needed while beans are cooking.
Add plantains, tomato, pepper, onion, garlic, salt. Continue cooking at low
heat until plantains are soft.
New Orleans Red Beans
This main dish is cholesterol-free, virtually fat-free and chock-full
Ingredients: 1 lb. dry red beans, 2 quarts water, 3 T. chopped parsley,
1 1/2 C. chopped onion, 2 t. dried thyme, crushed
1 C. chopped celery, 3 T. chopped garlic, 1 t. salt, 4 bay leaves, 1 t.
black pepper, 1 C. chopped green pepper,
Directions: Pick through beans to remove bad beans; rinse thoroughly.
In a large pot combine beans, water, onion, celery, bay leaves. Bring to
a boil; reduce heat. Cover and cook over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours or
until beans are tender. Stir.
4. Mash beans against side of pan. Add green pepper, garlic, parsley,
thyme, salt, black pepper. Cook, uncovered, over low heat till creamy, about
30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve with hot cooked brown rice, if desired.
This citrusy rice side dish contains almonds, celery, and onions, but
no added salt.
Ingredients: 1 1/2 T. vegetable oil, 1 1/4 C. finely chopped celery with
leaves, 1 1/2 C. finely chopped onion
1 C. water, 2 T. lemon juice, 1/2 C. orange juice, dash hot sauce, 1 C.
long-grain white rice, uncooked 1/4 C. slivered almonds.
Directions: Heat oil in medium saucepan. Add celery and onions and saute
until tender, about 10 minutes. Add water, juices, hot sauce. Bring
to boil. Stir in rice and bring back to boil. Let stand covered until
rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Stir in almonds.
|Source: The primary
sources cited above, New York Times
(NYT), Washington Post (WP), Mercury News,
Bayarea.com, USA Today, Intellihealthnews, Deccan
Chronicle (DC), the Hindu, Hindustan Times,
Times of India, AP, Reuters, AFP, womenfitness.net