April 5, 2019

Weekend reads: Health-conscious millennials are ruining beer, too, research finds

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    The modern-day outbreak of an ancient disease. While it may sound like an ancient disease—and in many respects, it is—cholera is back in the news, with the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring an outbreak in Yemen as the worst in recorded history. According to NPR's "Goats and Soda," the ongoing outbreak in Yemen has affected more than 1 million people, and caused more than 2,500 fatalities, since it struck in 2016. But the gastrointestinal disease is hardly new; according to David Sack, a professor at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, cholera has "been in the Ganges delta from time immemorial," and spread from India throughout the West in the early 1800s. The disease remains a global threat to this day, with a fatality rate of about 50% when left untreated, but it is treatable via the prompt delivery of oral or intravenous rehydration fluids.

    Omega-3s may help childhood asthma, study finds. Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly found in fish and walnuts, may help relieve childhood asthma symptoms, according to a small study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. For the study, researchers observed 135 asthmatic children ages five to 12 living in Baltimore and found that the children with higher omega-3 intake had milder reactions to indoor pollution and lower neutrophil levels, a type of white blood cell that's associated with inflammation. On the other hand, a higher intake of omega-6 fats—which are commonly found in vegetable oils—was linked with greater asthma severity, higher levels of neutrophils, and more severe asthmatic reactions to particulate pollution. 

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    Woman finds purse she lost—six decades later.  Marty Ingham Everett was 16 when she lost her black purse in the science room at her school in 1954. Sixty-five years later, Everett was reunited with the purse, after a construction crew found it while doing a renovation at the school. The purse—which had remained undisturbed all those years—contained her old checkbook, school dance photos, and letters from three boys who wanted to take her to prom. Everett, now 81-years-old, said finding the purse was "like opening a time capsule," and said the letters are some of the most precious items she recovered. One letter from Everett's "first love," Carter Williams, read "Dear Marty, Bobbie and I aren't going back together … I'm just continuing to walk her to classes ... I'm just trying to be friends with everybody." Everett, now widowed, said she chose Carter to be her prom date.

    Why young people aren't drinking beer. Millennials and generation Z aren't drinking as much beer as older generations, according to a report from Berenberg Research. According to the survey, generation Z, like millennials, see beer as less authentic than spirits—and the beer market is feeling the loss. Beer lost 10% of its market share to liquor and wine between 2006 and 2016, with brands like Miller Light, Coors Light, and Budweiser taking the hardest hit. According to Daniel Blake, senior director of value brands at Anheuser-Busch, "Two of the reasons why people are turning away from beer that really jumped out to us were price and flavor." People are also becoming more health conscious, according to James Murray, VP of craft brewery Ballast Point. "[M]en and women in that 25- to 39-year-old age group … are more concerned about what they're putting in their bodies," he said, adding that low-calorie craft beer might be the product that can help beer stay on top of the alcohol industry.

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