Photo Essay: LA Under Lockdown

LOS ANGELES — Some of Southern California’s most iconic destinations were deserted Monday. There were no tourists trying to fit their palms into Marilyn Monroe’s handprints at the TCL Chinese Theatre, no shoppers on Beverly Hills’ Rodeo Drive and shockingly few cars on LA’s famously gridlocked freeways.

Gavin Newsom on Thursday became the first governor in the nation to order nearly all state residents to stay at home and most retail businesses to close their doors to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Under Newsom’s order, only “essential” services should remain open, including grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, banks, certain state and local government functions — and, yes, cannabis retailers.

Newsom doubled down on his order Monday, ordering some state park parking lots to close after stir-crazy Californians thronged to parks, beaches and hiking trails over

Read More

The United States of … stasis? | Health Beat

More time on the couch or staring at a computer screen increases your risk of developing serious health problems. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Uncle Sam has a message for sluggish Americans: Get moving now.

More than 15% of American adults are physically inactive, a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study reports. And all that time on the couch or staring into a computer screen adds to the risk of health problems and premature death.

“Too many adults are inactive and they may not know how much it affects their health,” said Dr. Ruth Petersen, director of the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.

The CDC defined inactivity as doing no leisure-time physical activities in the past month—such as running, walking for exercise or gardening.

“Being physically active helps you sleep better, feel better and reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and

Read More

The bloated burden of high-fiber diets | Health Beat

Gas is a byproduct of high-fiber diets—but you can keep it in check by controlling your fiber sources. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

If you want to reduce bloating when eating a high-fiber diet, try making it carbohydrate-rich rather than protein-rich, new study findings suggest.

Bloating is a common side effect that discourages many people from adopting a high-fiber diet.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from a clinical trial involving 164 participants who followed heart-healthy, high-fiber diets.

The participants were about 40% more likely to report bloating while following diets rich in plant proteins than on carbohydrate-rich regimens.

The findings were recently published online in the journal Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology.

High-fiber diets are believed to cause bloating by increasing certain populations of healthy, fiber-digesting gut bacteria. They produce gas as a byproduct. These findings suggest that carbs and proteins change the gut bacteria population (microbiome).

“It’s possible that in

Read More