This is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English. I'm Bob Doughty.
And I'm Barbara Klein. This week -- research into eating fish as a possible
way to help save eyesight in older people.
A study says moderate coffee drinking may reduce the risk of some diseases.
Muhammad Ali enters the snack food business, but the aim is to help
overweight young people.
And if you are listening to us on a personal computer, get ready to wish the
P.C. a happy birthday on Saturday.
Two studies are suggesting ways to reduce the risk of age-related macular
degeneration. A.M.D. is the main cause of blindness among older adults. It
affects the macula, the part of the eye that lets you see in detail. The disease
makes seeing less and less clear and in time leads to blindness.
One study found that cigarette smokers were almost two times as likely to
develop A.M.D. as people who did not smoke. Researchers with the Massachusetts
Eye and Ear Infirmary organized the study. Their findings appeared in the
Archives of Ophthalmology.
The study involved men with twin brothers, almost seven hundred individuals.
The average age was about seventy-five.
The men were asked questions about their diet and history of cigarette
smoking, alcohol use and physical activity. Some of the men already had
age-related macular degeneration.
The study found that the men who ate more fish, even those who smoked
cigarettes, were less likely to develop A.M.D. Those who ate more than two meals
a week containing fish were the least likely to develop the disease.
A second study produced similar results. It found that people who ate at
least one meal containing fish each week were forty-percent less likely to
Researchers with the University of Sydney in Australia studied information on
almost three thousand people. Each person was forty-nine years of age or older.
They were asked about their diet and medical history, and then tested for the
disease after five years.
The results of both studies have not yet been confirmed. But they do show a
possible link between eating fish and prevention of age-related macular
Researchers say the best fish to eat are those high in omega-three fatty
acids, like salmon and mackerel. Some people take fish oil supplements or eat
foods, like flax seeds and walnuts, that also have them.
Many people drink coffee to quickly increase their energy levels. Researchers
from Norway and the United States say there may be another reason to drink
coffee. They found that drinking moderate amounts of coffee each day may help
protect against some health problems, including heart disease.
The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
David Jacobs of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis worked on the study
with researchers from the University of Oslo. He says the findings suggest there
may be health reasons for drinking coffee.
The researchers studied the link between coffee drinking and risk of death
from heart disease, cancer and other diseases that involve inflammation of
The researchers used information about nearly forty-two thousand women. The
women were between fifty-five and sixty-nine years of age when they entered the
The researchers removed some of the women from
consideration because of their condition. Those removed already had heart
disease, cancer, diabetes, colitis or liver
. As a result, the number of women studied dropped to
twenty-seven thousand three hundred. During a fifteen-year period, almost four
thousand three hundred of them died.
The researchers found a link between the amount of coffee the women reported
drinking and their risk of dying from heart disease. Coffee drinking was
measured in cups. One cup is equal to about two hundred twenty-five grams.
There was a reduced risk of death from heart disease among women who drank
from one to three cups of coffee each day. A reduction in the risk of death from
other inflammatory diseases was also seen. Professor Jacobs says this risk
reduction did not decrease among women who drank more coffee. But the risk
reduction for death from heart disease did decrease in women who drank more than
three cups a day.
The professor told Reuters Health he would like to see other studies done
before making a "very strong statement" in support of coffee drinking.
The researchers say antioxidants in coffee might reduce the risk of heart
disease. Earlier studies found that coffee has high levels of antioxidants.
Antioxidants have been shown to help prevent cancer, heart disease and other
You are listening to SCIENCE IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English.
Former heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali has started a company that
will make healthy food products for young people to eat and drink between meals.
The goal is to help young people who are overweight.
The foods and drinks will contain no more than one hundred fifty calories
each. They will contain added vitamins and fiber.The long-established food
company, Mars Incorporated, will help develop the products. Mister Ali’s new
company is called GOAT Food and Beverage. The name comes from the beginning
letters of words used to describe the former boxer -- “Greatest of All Time.?
Early next year, some stores will introduce the snack foods, which will be
shaped like equipment used in boxing.
A company official said the new foods are meant for people ages sixteen to
twenty-four who often eat between meals. The idea is for young people to eat the
healthy snacks several times a day instead of high-calorie, high-fat foods.
The World Health Organization says more than fifteen percent of American
children and young people weigh too much. Many experts say this is partly
because they eat and drink too many foods that are high in calories, fat and
Doctors say that extreme overweight in young people can have serious results.
Being too fat can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes and liver disease.
Some observers praised the idea of Mister Ali’s new snack foods. But others
said people might not buy them. They said people often do not buy food described
as healthy because they do not believe it will taste good. Other critics said
young people might eat too much of the low calorie food. Mister Ali became
concerned about overweight children after his son, Sadi, struggled with weight
Muhammad Ali was heavyweight champion of the world three times. Now he is
sixty-four years old. He suffers from Parkinson’s syndrome.
Mister Ali says he wants to pass on the values that made him a champion to
the next group of champions. He believes that better nutrition can help young
people be the best they can be.
Last week we discussed the fiftieth anniversary of an important event in the
history of computing. It was the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial
Now we have another computer-related anniversary to mark. In New York, on
August twelfth, nineteen eighty-one, the International Business Machines company
announced a new product. It was the IBM Personal Computer. That machine was the
first P.C. to become a success on the market.
Personal computers have done a lot in twenty-five years. But, by now, the
traditional P.C. is considered old technology. Listen next week for more on the
past, present and future of computing.
SCIENCE IN THE NEWS was written by Brianna Blake, Lawan Davis and Jerilyn
Watson. Mario Ritter was the producer. Transcripts and archives of our shows are
at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Barbara Klein.
And I'm Bob Doughty. If you have a question about science that we might be
able to answer on our show, send it to email@example.com. Join us again next
week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of America.
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