Sparkly, magical and a risk to your health
Unicorns are mythologized for their purity and magical powers. If only the Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino were devised completely in their image. While the colorful drink was pretty enough to be the stuff of viral social media fodder for the five days it was sold, it’s also bad for you. Starbucks notes that a grande-sized version of the drink contains 59 grams of sugar. That’s more than two times the daily amount suggested by the American Heart Association, the Stratford, Conn., public health department asserted on its Facebook page last week. The AHA recommends that men take in no more than 36 grams of sugar per day, and women no more than 25 grams. Starbucks says the drink, which is known for its mango syrup, “sour drizzle” and “airy vanilla whipped cream,” had “magical powers.” We’re betting that magic had something to do with a pretty sweet sugar buzz.
To wear or not to wear, that is the question
Wearable devices are thought to be good for improving your health, although most end up in a step battle against co-workers. But in professional sports, the devices are taken pretty seriously — so seriously that the National Basketball Association’s new collective bargaining agreement has dedicated a specific section to player health and wellness that makes it clear that players cannot use them during games, according to a Fox Sports report. But in the National Football League, the Players Association just announced a deal with WHOOP, a wearable device company that gives players the right to wear the device (right) and to sell their in-game data. “Imagine how cool it would be [for fans watching at home on TV] to see [Indianapolis Colt] Adam Vinatieri’s heart rate as he lined up for a game-winning kick?” said ESPN analyst Matt Hasselbeck in a release. Similarly, Major League Baseball players have been wearing WHOOP devices since this year's season started.
Elephant tranquilizers add to opioid epidemic
If fentanyl weren’t taking enough lives as a part of the opioid crisis, a new drug, 100 times more potent, is being linked to overdose deaths across the country, according to a StarTribune report. Heroin laced with elephant tranquilizer, or the toxic sedative known as carfentanil, has been linked to deaths in Illinois, Colorado, Wisconsin and Minnesota so far. The drug is federally approved to sedate large animals for surgery, but two salt grain-sized specks are enough to cause instant death, the report states. “The drug is so new very little is known about it and the impact the drug has on humans,” said Jon Cole, M.D., medical director of the Minnesota Poison Control System to the Tribune.
Vending machine for emergency contraception
H&HN has covered clean-needle vending machines, and now the University of California, Davis is unveiling a similar machine that lets students purchase emergency contraception, according to the Los Angeles Times. The “Wellness to Go” machine is installed at the school’s Activities and Recreation Center and contains the morning-after pill, condoms, pregnancy tests, tampons and over-the-counter medications. So far, feedback has been positive, the report notes. The morning-after pill can be bought for $30, which usually costs $40 to $50 at most pharmacies. “This is a big college town. We should have these resources,” said Parteek Singh, former university student senator who led the push for the machine, to the Times.