Staff Editorial: What you don’t know could kill you

Recent research by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has lead to the discovery of certain chemicals in microwave popcorn bags that could cause cancer.

This favorite food can just be added to the list of seemingly benign things that we have to watch out for in every day life.

From artificial sweeteners that have aspartame, to french fries that contain acrylamide, and even to Ex-Lax, the main ingredient which the FDA found causes cancer in rats, the world is filled with unseen dangers.

This alarming list is not limited to obscure chemicals either. Seemingly normal habits, like being well rested, can have the potential to cause harm. Over sleeping has been linked to multiple negative effects such as increased risk of diabetes and death.

According to WebMD, death rates are higher for people that sleep more than nine hours a day. This study also noted that individuals that over sleep may do so because of outside factors such as depression and low socioeconomic levels that could contribute to their increased death rate.

So what’s next and how do we avoid the next bad habit or cancer-causing agent hidden in our favorite foods and activities?

First, it is important to remember that these discoveries are not unique to our generation. For our parents, it was lead-based paint and mercury that turned out to be harmful. Preventative measures can be taken in case your favorite snack is chock-full of dangerous chemicals. Antioxidants have shown promise to slow, or even prevent, the development of cancer.

Last, look at successful people around you. There are age-defying seniors that still wake up every morning to run or are very active in their community. Take a page from their book-  they are obviously doing something right.

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial staff.