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Eat Less-Move More
05/13/2010
IconAll those who don't follow the guidelines for good eating and no smoking are just going to have fewer choices available to them.' Free will to be self-destructive is about to managed by the government.The Los Angeles City Council approved a one-year moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a 32 square-mile area of South Los Angeles, an area plagued by above-average rates of obesity:' 30% of adults, as compared with about 21% in the rest of LA.' Nationally, 25.6% of adults are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.When you look at the realities, an intact family with a homemaker mom or dad (versus a two-career, busy, busy, busy set of parents) generally results in everyone eating less fast food, and more nutritious at-home meals.' But promoting marriage and a division of responsibilities is politically incorrect, isn't it?California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill into law ordering that, as of 2010, no California restaurant will be able to serve foods containing a harmful form of fats called trans fats .' Baked goods containing trans fats will be banned in California as of 2011.' If a product's list of ingredients contains the words "partially hydrogenated," the product contains trans fat, which is used to harden vegetable oils into shortening and margarine to help extend product shelf life.' Trans fats lower "good" cholesterol (HDL) and contribute to other health problems.According to the New England Journal of Medicine , eliminating artificial trans fats from the food supply "could" prevent between 6 and 19 per cent of heart attacks and related deaths each year.'Do you think there'll be an underground market for trans fat products?San Francisco is ready to become the first city in the nation to ban sales of tobacco products at pharmacies, which last year accounted for almost 20% of U.S. tobacco sales.' The logic is that pharmacies are places people go to get healthy, so cigarettes ought not to be on the shelves as they are a known health hazard.'Since trans fats are going to be off the supermarket shelves because they're unhealthy, shouldn't supermarkets stop selling cigarettes too?I am all for healthy habits.' I work hard at eating as healthily as possible, generally ordering fish without sauces in restaurants and salad without dressing.' As sauces, gravies, and dressing are very high in calories, perhaps they should be banned from restaurant recipes, or ordered only under a physician's approval...assuming you already have a very high HDL level.Lastly, restaurants around the country will soon have to post on menus the exact calorie count of a meal.' It will blow your mind to see what you thought was healthy is actually loaded with hidden calories.' There's a terrific book, called "Eat This, Not That" which will make your head explode when you find out where calories are hidden in some of your favorite meals. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreHealthObesityPersonal ResponsibilitySocial Issues
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05/13/2010
IconThe American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that under the current guidelines, thirty per cent of the nation's children are overweight or obese.' Many doctors fear that a rash of early heart attacks and diabetes will strike these children as they grow older.The nation's pediatricians are therefore recommending wider cholesterol screening for children - starting at age two - and more aggressive use of cholesterol-lowering drugs starting as early as eight years of age in hopes of preventing adult heart problems.Because statins (cholesterol drugs) have been around since only the mid-1980s, there really is no evidence to show whether giving statins to children will, indeed, lower the risk for heart attack in middle age.The main problem is that we live in a culture which is largely hooked into electronic entertainment and spend too much time feeding one end and not moving the other. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreFamily/Relationships - ChildrenHealthObesityParenting
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05/13/2010
IconJapan has instituted one of the most serious campaigns in the world to get its citizens to be fit.' This action is motivated by the rapidly aging society's ballooning health care costs, as most Japanese are covered under public health care or through their employment.The term "metabo," comes from the medical concept of "metabolic syndrome," i.e., the factors that heighten the risk of developing vascular disease and diabetes.' They are:' obesity, high blood pressure, high glucose, and high cholesterol.' The term "metabo" has become the nation's nickname for "overweight."Under a two month-old national law, companies and local governments must measure the waistlines of people between the ages of 40 and 74 as part of annual checkups.' That amounts to 44% of the population of Japan.The International Diabetes Federation's ( www.idf.org ) guidelines for Japan of no more than 33.5 inches for men's waistlines and 35.4 inches for women is being used as the standard.' When folks are over those measurements and have a weight-related ailment, they will be given dieting guidance and education.The government will impose financial penalties on companies and local governments that fail to meet these targets.' NEC, a Japanese personal computer production company, said to the New York Times (6/13/08) that if it failed to meet its targets, it could incur almost 20 million in penalties.A survey by the National Center for Health Statistics in the U.S.A. found that the average waist size for Caucasian American men was 39 inches, a full inch smaller than the 40 inch maximum established by the International Diabetes Federation.Ladies didn't do as well:' the average waist size of Caucasian American women was 36.5 inches, about two inches above our threshold.' (The differences in thresholds between Japanese and Americans and men and women have to do with height and body type). More >>

Tags: ChildrenEat Less-Move MoreHealthObesityParentingSocial Issues
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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
IconWe already have taxes levied on cigarettes, purportedly to pay for education to stop smoking.' So, what's so wrong with a tax on fast food to subsidize education about "eating less and moving more," considering that two-thirds of the American population is fat or obese?Lawmakers in New Jersey are considering such a tax, and planning to use the revenue from it to fund struggling hospitals.' Obviously, the old hat argument comes out that condemns such a tax as specifically aiming at the poor. When you want to budget money for eating, why not consider eating at home and brown-bagging it for lunch?' Everyone knows that this is a cheaper and more nutritious alternative.As one taxpayer pointed out, "It costs $12.86 for fries and this little chicken wrap...." This taxpayer was complaining about adding a tax.' Yipes.' This taxpayer should have been complaining about how much money he's wasting on such a menu.' He did also comment that "if they raise it [i.e., the price with a tax], I'll stop buying it." Brilliant!' If it's unhealthy, he'll eat it.' If it has a "sin tax," he'll stop.' I think that's a good enough reason for the tax. More >>

Tags: BudgetEat Less-Move MoreEconomyObesitySocial 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
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
IconA recent essay in the New York Times (December 2, 2007) talked about the growing popularity of social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace, and others where the word "friends" is used to describe email relationships with folks we barely know.' Humans are gregarious creatures and fare better belonging to networks of family, community, spiritual groups, clubs, and so forth - all of which are sustained through face-to-face contact.The bottom line is that the more time we spend online, the less time we spend having true relationships complete with challenges, vulnerability, risks and profundity.' These are not real-world relationships with depth.' These on-line relationships are shadows and facsimiles which ultimately amount to little more than casual, superficial experiences.One mother, Jene, who listens regularly to my radio program, sent me this letter her 21 year-old son wrote to Facebook.' I suggest you show this to all your children and read it twice yourself if you are hooked to on-line pseudo-friendships: "As a mother of two young adults, I've witnessed their obsessive involvement with the many electronic forms of communication that are all the rage in recent years...email, instant messaging, texting, and the several web-based social networks like Facebook and MySpace.' All are useful communication tools, but often counterproductive in really getting to know people. It came to my attention that my 21 year-old son took a bold step recently and closed down his Facebook account by writing a breaking-up letter and posting it as a good-bye.' When he shared it with me, I was touched, relieved, and very proud of his stand.' I asked him if I might share this with you.' His grin, soft laugh and nod of his head spoke volumes: 'Facebook, we need to have a DTR (defining the relationship) talk...It's not all your fault, it's mostly mine...This is the end of you and me, Facebook.' I'm leaving you because I have spent more time browsing your pages than I have been spending in the pages of The Good Book.' And I can't live like that anymore.' I've let you become a monster...you've taken too much of my time and my thoughts.' Maybe it's just my lack of self-control or discipline, but you're addictive to me.' I'm ashamed of the number of times I check you daily.' If I were able to grasp how much time I have spent swimming though your endless ocean of profiles, I would be able to bear the guilt. Here's why: because of your profiles, I've become lazy.' Because of you I found myself talking with person after person, asking them questions that I already knew the answers to.' On many levels I've substituted and even avoided personal interactions with people because of your artificial and superficial means of communication.' You have diluted my perception of true social interaction. You've made me a coward.' There's a difference between a Facebook friend and an actual friend.' Everyone knows the difference, but when one tries to reach across the barrier from Facebook friends to actual friends it just isn't the same. Facebook, you're not all bad.' You have your benefits.' I must admit, you allow me to network and keep in touch with people with whom I normally wouldn't have been able to...but at what cost?' Wasting time Facebooking people I'll never meet has distracted me from meeting the person sitting next to me in class, or has kept me from calling up and hanging out with an old friend because Facebooking is just as good?' I beg to differ. In some form or another, you've hindered my investment in the relationships with those genuine people hiding behind the idealistic profiles they've made of themselves.' Let's face it, I don't perceive myself in the same way someone else perceives me.' From now on, I only want to know people for whom they truly are; not for what you (Facebook) says they are.' I just can't trust you. 'This might seem radical, but I have to make up for lost time.' This hurts me just as much as it hurts you, but I have to take a stand.'Logging out for good, Kyle.'" I am so very impressed with Kyle's maturity and good sense. More >>

Tags: Eat Less-Move MoreExerciseHealthInternet-MediaInternet/MediaMySpaceSocial Networking
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