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Sugary drinks associated with hypertension, study finds

BY Allison Cerra

DALLAS — A new study published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association established a link between high blood pressure and the consumption of such beverages as soda and other sugar-sweetened drinks.

In the "International Study of Macro/Micronutrients and Blood Pressure," researchers analyzed consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks, sugars and diet beverages in 2,696 participants, ages 40 to 59 years, in eight areas of the United States and two areas of the United Kingdom. What they found was that for every extra sugar-sweetened beverage consumed per day, participants on average had significantly higher systolic blood pressure by 1.6 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure higher by 0.8 mm Hg.

What’s more, the consumption of sugar-laden beverages added an average of 397 calories per day to the participants’ daily caloric intake.

"This points to another possible intervention to lower blood pressure," said Paul Elliott, senior author and professor in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics in the School of Public Health at Imperial College London. "These findings lend support for recommendations to reduce the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, as well as added sugars and sodium in an effort to reduce blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health."

Study authors did note, however, that limitations were that it was cross-sectional and diet was self-reported.

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Rite Aid regains NYSE compliance

BY Alaric DeArment

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid has regained compliance with the New York Stock Exchange’s share price-listing requirements, the retail pharmacy chain said Tuesday.

The 4,700-store chain regained compliance after its closing share price and average closing share price for the 30 days ended Monday were both above $1.

Companies that trade on the exchange are threatened with delisting if the average closing price of their shares falls below $1 over a consecutive 30-day trading period.

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Ralphs announces charitable campaign to benefit children’s hospitals

BY Allison Cerra

LOS ANGELES — A Kroger banner based in Los Angeles has kicked off a charitable campaign to benefit children’s hospitals based in Southern California.

Ralphs on Monday said it is raising funds through its nonprofit, The Ralphs Fund, by asking customers and associates to donate their spare change in collection canisters located at Ralphs checkout stands.

Southern California children’s hospitals that will benefit from the charitable fundraising drive include:

  • Children’s Hospital of Orange County;

  • Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles;

  • Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital;

  • Mattel Children’s Hospital (UCLA);

  • Miller Children’s Hospital (Long Beach); and

  • Rady Children’s Hospital (San Diego).

Since 2005, Ralphs, its associates and customers have given more than $1 million to children’s hospitals in Southern California. This year, Ralphs has set a goal of raising $170,000 for children’s hospitals.

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