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Health
05/13/2010
IconI got this in response to a blog I wrote last week: Hi, Dr. Laura.' I am my kid's dad!' I'm writing in response to your blog, " Idiots on Parade ". As a 15 year member of the world's greatest Air Force, and third generation protector of this great nation, I want to thank the residents of Lebanon, Missouri for the support and dedication they have displayed, as they laid one of their own "true patriots" to rest.' My travels with the Air Force have allowed me to see that there are still many, many Americans who are grateful for the service that my brothers and sisters in uniform perform on a day-to-day basis. Many of us spend an unknown amount of time putting our necks on the line so that ALL Americans - even the folks in Berkeley --can continue to enjoy the freedoms they have today.' Having been stationed in California for the last three years, I have seen first-hand the many demonstrations that have taken place in protest of the war.' At first, when I see these demonstrators, my blood boils because I wonder how anyone could feel this way when many young men and women sacrifice a lot on a daily basis.' But once my blood pressure returns to normal, I remind myself that what they are doing is a good thing.' What I mean by that is they are exercising their constitutional rights - the very same rights that we in the military are sworn to uphold and protect at all cost. So, I want to thank the residents of Berkeley for their indirect support, I want to thank the residents of Lebanon, Missouri for their direct support, and, most of all, I want to thank all of my brothers and sisters in uniform for the outstanding Job that they are doing on a day-to-day basis.' There is no doubt in my military mind that we have the best and greatest people serving in the volunteer force known as the United States military! Sincerely, One Proud Air Force member andAMERICAN Technical Sergeant,A. Carpenter More >>

Tags: Bad Childhood - Good LifeBad Childhood-Good LifeHealthMilitarySocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconI work very hard on fitness.' I'm 61 and can do about one and a half one-handed pushups.' I'm quite proud of that, and thank my trainer, Jason Baker, and my yoga instructor, Pamela Griffin, for years of helping me get in great condition.A study from the Unit for Preventive Nutrition at the Department of Biosciences and Nutrition at Novum Karolinska Institute in Sweden, presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's 55th annual meeting, found that men with increased muscular strength are likely to live longer.The men with decreased muscular strength had a 60% higher risk of cardiovascular disease.' This study further challenged the concept that walking and regular physical activity are the best for preventing heart disease and increasing longevity.'Instead, they suggest that men start by incorporating weight or resistance training into a daily routine.' The benefits of "muscles" extends beyond the risk of dying from all causes, as muscular strength prevents disability from injury, thereby keeping you more independent for a longer period in your life.I'm just going to assume that the same is true for women, and I'll keep pumping that iron! More >>

Tags: Healthhumor
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05/13/2010
Icon"Obese and overweight people require more fuel to transport them and the food they eat, and the problem will worsen as the population literally swells in size," a team at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine says.' This adds to food shortages and higher energy prices, say the School's researchers, Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts, who wrote about this subject in the most recent issue of the medical journal Lancet .At least 400 million adults worldwide are obese.' The World Health Organization (WHO) projects that by the year 2015, 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more than 700 million will be obese.' The researchers calculate that these fat and obese people require 18% more energy than someone with a stable Body Mass Index (BMI).Is the next step giving tax breaks to those who are thin and fit? More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreHealthObesitySocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconA study by Harvard-affiliated researchers published in the Archives of Internal Medicine challenges the notion that you can be fat and fit.' They found that being active can lower, but not eliminate heart risks faced by women who are fat or obese.This new study involved nearly 39,000 women, average age of 54, who filled out a questionnaire at the beginning of the study detailing their height, weight and amount of weekly physical activity in the past year, including walking, jogging, bicycling, and swimming.' They were then tracked for approximately 11 years.Women were considered "active" if they followed government-recommended guidelines, and got at least 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.' Women who got less exercise than that were considered "inactive." Weight was evaluated by body mass index (BMI):' a BMI between 25 and 29 is considered overweight, and 30 or higher is considered obese.Compared with normal-weight active women, the risk for developing heart disease was 54% higher in overweight active women, and 87% higher in obese active women.' By contrast, the risk for developing heart disease was 88% higher in overweight inactive women and 2 1/2 times greater in obese inactive women.About two in five American women at age 50 will eventually develop heart attacks or other cardiovascular problems according to the Associated Press report ( 4/29/08 ).' Excess weight can raise those odds in numerous ways, such as increasing blood pressure and increasing the risks for diabetes, as well as increasing "bad" (LDL) cholesterol.' Exercise counteracts all three.If there's one place in the world where there is no excuse for being inactive, it's southern California.' Between the glorious weather, the hiking trails in the mountains, marked bicycle lanes and more, it's almost impossible to excuse or explain being out of shape. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreHealthObesity
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05/13/2010
IconHere's some good news for the day after Mother's Day.' One delightful index of the movement away from the "feminist mother" mentality of "other-than-mother" care is the percentage of new moms who are breastfeeding.' While it is possible that some women squeeze out breast milk into a bottle for the hired help to administer to their baby, the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data indicate that 77% of new mothers breastfeed their infants, which is the highest rate in the United States in at least 20 years!The percentage of black infants who were breast-fed rose most dramatically - to 65%.' Only 36% were ever breast-fed in 1993-1994, the study found.' For whites, the figure rose to 79% from 62%.' For Hispanics, it increased to 80%, from 67%.The rates of breast feeding were lowest among women who were unmarried, poor, rural, younger than 20, and had a high school education or less.Experts emphasize that breast milk is better than formula at protecting babies against disease and childhood obesity. More >>

Tags: ChildrenHealthMotherhoodMotherhood-FatherhoodParenting
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05/13/2010
IconJust when I thought it was safe to go on to another subject, we have yet another attempt to draw our kids down the wrong alley.' Picture this: a white powder that comes in a clear vial.' It's sold with a mirror and fake credit card.' The product is called "Blow," one of the street names for cocaine.' It's a powdered energy drink, and the obvious comparison to cocaine is alarming.The advertising is very pro drug culture, designed to entice and to look at drugs and drug behavior as cool and glamorous.' Not only that, but each drink is like having almost 7 cans of Coca Cola, with 240 milligrams of caffeine - downright dangerous!When the company's owner was challenged, he said: "Parents that think it's despicable are typically the parents that don't want to take personal responsibility for educating their children about drugs and addiction in general." That is a load of garbage.' How can parents deal with their children's constant brainwashing with the Disney girl behaviors and power drinks that mimic drugs?' How can families insulate themselves from the forces attempting to make a profit as well as have access to ever new markets for sexual exploitation and drug sales - legal or otherwise? More >>

Tags: HealthPersonal ResponsibilitySocial IssuesValues
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05/13/2010
IconLast month, I was asked to write a note to wives of Los Angeles SWAT team members ("warrior wives") after a SWAT officer was killed in a real life incident.' I thought it made sense to share it with all of you:Not long ago, I received an award from a Native American patriot group for being "the proud mother of a deployed American paratrooper."' The representatives of this group travel the country giving special awards to military personnel and their families honoring their efforts, sacrifices, and suffering.' Part of the quite moving ceremony was that I was given a Native American name.' The representative of the tribe said that he got special permission from the elders to do so, and that he prayed to the spirits for many days until they told him what name to give me: Walks With Warriors .The obvious irony is that I talk about "warriors" with great reverence and respect almost every day on my radio program.' Modern-day warriors include the military, firemen, and the police.' These folks elect to put themselves in harm's way for perfect and imperfect strangers.' Why?' Because as the hot dog commercial touted, they "obey a higher power."' That higher power is purpose .When my son volunteered for the military, I was at once proud and scared.' I talked to him just before he left for basic training and said something like "You know, honey, this is not like a video game or shooting targets.' There will be young men on the other side trying to kill you before you kill them."' "Mom," he replied, nonplussed while I was reverberating with discomfort, "the way I drive, I could get killed on the freeway.' Of course, I don't want to die or even get hurt.' And some day, I'm going to die anyway, because, eventually, we all do.' If I die in combat, I will at least have died for a noble purpose." I was stunned.' My eighteen year old wild kid had overnight turned into a man who understood that a life without purpose is the greatest loss.' The constant memory of that conversation is what buoys me as a mother of a combat soldier.' I'm so proud.I have used my own experience to help the mothers, wives, and children of warriors; I help them understand that they are not just wives, mothers, and children - they are warrior wives, warrior mothers, and warrior children - and provide them real back-up for these extraordinary people' The sacrifice of time, energy, commitment, financial riches, and sometimes life and limb, make these warriors and their families special and deserving of infinitely more respect than they get by some who don't appreciate the price of freedom from enemies foreign and domestic, as well as from natural disasters.I am reminded of a scene from the Yul Brynner version of the film, "The Magnificent Seven." It takes place in Mexico, where a small village is one of the many terrorized by a roving gang of Mexican bandits preying on their own.' Yul and six of his gun-slinging buddies are hired to protect the town.' The scene of most importance to the issue of heroes and warriors is one in which one of the gunslingers tries to shoo away two young boys who are enthralled with him as a warrior and hero.' One of them insults his own father, calling him a coward.' The gunman grabs him and yells at him (I'm paraphrasing here): "We're just men with guns.' Your fathers are the real heroes.' They work hard every day trying to squeeze food from the dirt to take care of your mothers and siblings.' They struggle against the forces of nature and the evil of bandits.' And they survive to protect and provide for you - they are the real heroes!" The truth is, we need both.' We need those willing to fight evil and disasters and we need those who toil each day supporting those warriors and the life they have us live.' When we lose "one of ours," and collapse into negativity and despair, we destroy 1) what they built, and 2) what they lost.' Their deaths are best honored by our continuing to do what they lived for:' to have wonderful, productive, happy, and safe lives.'Don't take what they lost and waste it with self-pity and rage.' Take what they lost and honor their memory and their efforts by squeezing every ounce of joy that life,' love, relationships, hobbies, work, family, and just plain smelling the lilacs can give.We most honor the deaths of warriors by continuing their commitment, not by giving up on our own.'A respected rabbi once said: "Despair is a cheap excuse for avoiding one's purpose in life.' And a sense of purpose is the best way to avoid despair." I have relied on this sentiment many times as despair has grabbed at my feet.' I hope this helps you.My heart is with all of you, past and present.Dr. Laura C. Schlessinger More >>

Tags: AttitudeHealthMorals, Ethics, ValuesPersonal ResponsibilityPurposeValues
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05/13/2010
IconIt's been a well-known, absolute fact that you're supposed to drink eight 8 oz. glasses of water each day to help flush toxins from the body, prevent weight gain, and improve skin tone.' I'm surprised folks haven't been walking around with those aluminum hospital poles holding up bags of water for an all-day water drip.' Remember all the recent arguing about those ubiquitous plastic water bottles and whether or not they should be banned?Well, brace yourself.' Dr. Dan Negoianu and Dr. Stanley Goldfarb of the Renal, Electrolyte and Hypertension Division of the University of Pennsylvania say that not one single study indicates that an average, healthy person needs to drink that much water each day.They did report the obvious:' that individuals in hot, dry climates, as well as athletes, need to increase the amount of water they drink.' But no studies have found any benefit to the organs of increased water intake.' Evidently, there is little to no data to support that drinking more water curbs your appetite, cures headaches, or improves skin tone.On the average, the body uses between 1.7 and 2.6 pints (1.0 - 1.5 liters) of water daily, and more in high temperatures or when exercising.' While this can be replaced through drinks, a large amount is also contained in food, so it isn't necessary to drink an equivalent amount to replace water levels.Keep in mind that too much water can affect the balance of salts in the body, causing "water intoxication," which can be fatal - as it was to that woman in the radio contest where contestants were supposed to drink water continually without urinating in order to win a Wii. More >>

Tags: Health
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05/13/2010
IconAccording to the Wall Street Journal (March 14, 2008) restaurant owners have identified a "worrisome" long-term trend: "The number of harried working moms isn't growing the way it was." What??' This is a worrisome trend for marriages and children?' I think not!' Instead, this is a worrisome trend for businesses built on the virtual dissolution of family bonding and togetherness.Since the percentage of women in the work force has been dropping, the result is less money in the family budget for eating out.' Fatty, salt-laden, hyper-caloric, oversized meals will have to go by the wayside for warm, home-cooked meals filling the home with luscious aromas and bringing a family together around their own kitchen table.Ahh....not to worry!' Restaurants are coming up with ideas to undermine all that syrupy "homey" stuff:' offering children's books, Etch-A-Sketch toys and handheld video games to appeal to children who might drag in their parents; and also coming up with ideas of pre-cooked meals moms can buy at the grocery.There is always hope that the disgusting new television program, "The Secret Life of A Soccer Mom" will simply succeed in seducing moms and wives away from their families to go back into some "dream" job..... More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreexerciseHealthParenting
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05/13/2010
IconIt's been all over the news.' A "nanny-cam" in the home of two twin preemies showed the nanny handling the children like trash bags.' I mean, if you know it's going to be shown on Nancy Grace's television program, it has to be bad!The single most important issue, however, was never addressed.' Where were their parents?' These delicate babies were in the hands of hired help and not their own parents.' Nowhere in the news pieces did anyone suggest that these parents had to work or risk being homeless.' Quite the contrary.There are babies who have been forgotten, neglected, and abused in day-care centers.' Now, nannies are doing the same in the parents' home.' Parents themselves are forgetting their own children in cars, which literally causes the children to be poached to death.' When will the tide turn back to parents making their children their number one priority, and moving their dual careers or owning "things" to a lower spot on their list?' Until then, more horrifying stories are sure to come. More >>

Tags: anxietyChildrenFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthParentingStress
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