Health Points: Thursday

Doctors can't help patients recover more quickly by prescribing antibiotics, said Richard P. Wenzel, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. “There is probably some sense of a placebo effect, but that's short-lived,” he said.
Given the intensity and high-voltage anxiety of serious illness, public crying in hospitals — by patients or family or staff — is less common than one might expect. Sure, it goes on more frequently than, say, at a department store or a restaurant. But more often, people remain buttoned up, dry-eyed, determined to maintain composure.
Africa, a continent usually synonymous with hunger, is falling prey to obesity. It's a trend driven by new lifestyles and old beliefs that big is beautiful. Ask Nodo Njobo, a plump hairdressing assistant. She is coy about her weight, but like many African women, proud of her "big bum." She says she'd like to be slimmer, but worries how her friends would react.
Staying slim and fit is especially important for cancer survivors, because obesity raises the risk of cancer coming back, the American Cancer Society said in new guidelines issued on Wednesday.
Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy were nearly three times more likely to start smoking regularly at, or before, age 14 and about twice as like to start smoking after age 14 compared to children born to nonsmoking mothers.
  • Okay, how many of you belong to a gym? I do. Have you ever really looked at some of the trainers? A lot of them could use a personal trainer themselves—they’re pumped up, but a little doughy. So this begs the question, how qualified are they? Rick Callahan of the Associated Press investigates:
Virtually anyone can become a certified trainer because there are no national educational standards for the field. Numerous Web sites offer personal trainer certification after just a few hours of online training -- and a few hundred dollars.
And at this time of year, bitter greens are calling from nearly every other stall or stand at the farmers market or the grocery store; they're a boon of winter. Until fairly recently, bitter greens have been popular in this country only in the South, but more of them have become more widely available, though their names still can be confusing. Greens in the chicory and endive family include Belgian endive (also called French endive and witloof), curly endive (sometimes called chicory or frisée), escarole and several varieties of radicchio. Then there are dandelion greens, mustard greens and turnip greens (yes, keep the tops of your turnips).
The study by World Health Organization researchers projects global figures for mortality and the burden of 10 major disease groups in both 2015 and 2030.

"According to our baseline projection, smoking will kill 50 percent more people in 2015 than HIV/AIDS and will be responsible for 10 percent of all deaths globally," said their study in the Public Library of Science Medicine.

Fiber Power

Last week Sally Squires of The Washington Post explained that eating lots of plant matter and less animal products is a good way to keep weight in check. She referred to the term “energy density” which is used to describe foods puffed up with air or filled with fiber and water that can help you feel full on fewer calories. Dr. Fuhrman calls this caloric density. In case you missed it, here’s his definition from Eat to Live:
Because meats, dairy, and oils are so dense in calories, it is practically impossible for us to eat them without consuming an excess of calories. These calorie-rich foods can pile up a huge number of calories way before our stomachs are full and our hunger satisfied. However, eating foods higher in nutrients and fiber and lower in calories allows us to become satiated without consuming excess calories.


When subjects eating foods low in caloric density, such as fruits and vegetables, are compared with those consuming foods richer in calories, those on meal plans with higher calorie concentrations were found to consume twice as many calories per day in order to satisfy their hunger.1
Yesterday Squires talked a little more about the importance of dietary fiber. In her report, entitled Building a Taste for Bulk, she examines studies that link increased consumption of fiber with weight-control and weight-loss. Take a look:
University of Rhode Island researchers reported recently that women who ate fiber-rich, whole-grain cereals did better in controlling their calories during a three-month study than did participants who ate less fiber-full fare. Plus, those who ate high-fiber cereal also wound up consuming more of other essential nutrients, especially vitamin B6 and magnesium, the team reported in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.


This isn't the first study to find weight benefits in eating high-fiber foods. In 2004, Harvard School of Medicine researchers reported high-fiber diets helped women maintain their weight during a 12-year study of 75,000 nurses.
All this makes sense to me. Even as a layman I get it—fiber-full foods like fruits and vegetables take up more space in our stomachs than do equal size portions of foods like steak and oil.

You might also want to check out this post Nutrient Density of Green Vegetables. It’ll show you just how poorly an equal portion of sirloin matches up nutritionally against broccoli, Romaine lettuce, and kale. The data shouldn’t surprise you, especially in regard to fiber.

Now, reports like this usually fire up the low-carbers—“Eating all those things that grow on trees are full of carbs! Don’t do it!” But take a look at this post and you’ll see Dr. Fuhrman believes the right kind of carbohydrates are essential to our bodies and actually encourage weight loss.




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Health Points: Tuesday

  • Get ready, here comes a big surprise—obesity is in the news again! Yup, you can pretty much bank on obesity always being in the headlines. Today The Chicago Tribune reports obesity has been linked to female infertility. Judy Peres has more:
"That association is pretty well established," said Dr. Roger Lobo, a reproductive endocrinologist at Columbia University. Heavy women often don't ovulate normally because their hormones are out of whack. If they lose just 5 percent of their body weight, he said, "some will ovulate and even get pregnant with no further intervention."
The CDC also offers weight-management classes, healthy grocery shopping seminars, health assessments, walking programs and other activities.

The agency also has improved its cafeteria fare and expanded its salad bars. Three years ago, the CDC began bringing in produce vendors so employees could buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Now, the produce carts visit three CDC campuses and boast daily sales of $2,000 to $3,000.
The researchers admitted they do not know why the extra pounds (kg) may protect premenopausal women from breast cancer, but noted obesity actually greatly boosts breast cancer risk after menopause, when the disease more often is diagnosed.
  • Does spicy food increase metabolism? To be honest, I never assumed it does. Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times investigated, and believe it or not spicy food can actually give your metabolism a kick—coming soon, the hot-pepper diet! Here’s more from O’Connor:
One study by Canadian researchers this year looked at a group of adult men and found that those who were served hot sauce with appetizers before a meal went on to consume on average about 200 fewer calories at lunch and in later meals than their peers who did not have anything with capsaicin. The researchers suggested that capsaicin may work as an appetite suppressant. But take heed: spicy foods can also worsen symptoms of ulcers and heartburn.
At least six states and some counties prohibit foster parents from smoking when foster children are present, says Kathleen Dachille, director of the Legal Resource Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy at the University of Maryland School of Law. "There are times when it's appropriate to regulate what people can do in their home," she says. "The state is responsible for that child."
Men with the highest levels of vitamin E in their blood were 18 percent less likely to die than those with the lowest levels, the researchers found. They also had a 21-percent lower risk of death from cancer, a 19-percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, and a 30-percent lower risk of death from other causes.
Blues and purples: Keep memory sharp and reduce risk of several kinds of cancer, including prostate. Plums, eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes (and raisins).

Greens: Protect bones, teeth and eyesight. Kiwi, spinach, broccoli, Romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, honeydews.
Reporting in the journal Tobacco Control, a team from the National Health Screening Service in Oslo found that limiting the daily amount of cigarettes may be useful as a temporary measure when a smoker is trying to quit, but kicking the habit is the only real way of reducing the risk of smoking-related health consequences and early death.

Why We Eat Too Much

According to a recent article in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers from the University of Alabama have uncovered ten reasons why people overeat. The Detroit Free Press passes along the top three:
  • We don't get enough sleep. Studies on animals and humans have shown that too little sleep increases appetite. Other studies have found that fewer hours of sleep at night are associated with being overweight.
  • We have more air conditioning. As the temperature goes up, appetite goes down and we tend to burn more calories, say scientists (and people who live in the Bahamas). But when air conditioning keeps temperatures even, so the thinking goes, our bodies expend less energy (calories) to stay cool.
  • Disrupted hormones. DDT, PCBs and other industrial chemicals can mess up our metabolism, say scientists. Maybe that's why we're too fat.

Health Points: Tuesday

  • Sure you can go to the gym, run on the treadmills, and use all the machines, heck, maybe even take a couple spin classes or, you can waltz? Now I’m not sure how many muscle-heads would be willing to dance the dance of high-society, but, according to Janet Cromley of The Los Angeles Times, waltzing is a great workout:
In a study of 110 heart failure patients presented last week at a meeting of the American Heart Assn. in Chicago, researchers reported that dancing the waltz three times a week for eight weeks was just as effective in improving cardiopulmonary function as exercising on a treadmill or bicycle for the same period.
Are you among the "supertasters," people who shun vegetables because they find them more bitter than the average person does? Supertasters may be more at risk of developing colon cancer as a result, says a recent University of Connecticut study.
Abuse of the legal stimulant is an emerging problem among young people, according to Northwestern University researchers, who recently analyzed three years' worth of cases reported to the Illinois Poison Center.

Symptoms include everything from nausea, vomiting and a racing heart to hallucinations, panic attacks, chest pains and trips to the emergency room.
  • I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, smoking is bad news. If you blink, you’ll miss the latest headline touting another health complication associated with smoking. Did you blink? Because here’s a new one. Robert Preidt of HealthDay News reports that smoking may hinder joint injury repair:
In the first study, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis looked at fracture healing in a group of mice exposed to cigarette smoke 6 days a week for a month. There was also a control group of mice that weren't exposed to smoke.

The researchers found that fracture healing was delayed in the smoke-exposed mice. This delay was noted in the early stages of healing and was caused by cigarette smoke's hindrance of the development of mature cartilage cells.
They recruited 210 marathon runners for their study and matched them for age and sex with 210 other people they signed up at five recreation centers in Austria. All 420 people were screened by a dermatologist.

The marathon runners had more abnormal moles and lesions, and 24 were referred for surgical treatment, while there were 14 treatment referrals among the nonmarathoners.
  • Stuff like this makes me nervous. Libby Quaid of the Associated Press reports salmonella is on the rise in chicken meat. Health officials cite a fourfold rise in positive salmonella tests between 2000 and 2005. Although the whole situation seems to be a little complicated:
"It still continues to rise, even though the overall incidence of salmonella in general has fallen," said Richard Raymond, the Agriculture Department undersecretary for food safety. "It's one that we still don't have all the scientific evidence we need to know how best to attack it."
  • I’m not really into cell phones to begin with, but this is all the reason I need to avoid using one even more. According to The Detroit Free Press cell phone usage can cause infertility:
Men who spend four hours or more on their cell phones had significantly lower sperm counts, according to the study, which observed 361 men at an infertility clinic.
Cranberries are full of antioxidants, which protects cells from damage by unstable molecules called free radicals.

Report: Fish and Soy Cut Cancer Risk

Reuters reports people who ate soy regularly are less likely to develop breast cancer. And, men who eat fish several times a week have a lower risk of colon cancer. Wait, so you’re telling me diet has something to do with cancer? No way! Yes way. Here’s more from this double discovery:
The women who ate the most soy-based foods such as tofu and miso when aged 5 to 11 reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by 58 percent, the researchers found…

…A second study presented at the meeting showed that men who ate fish five times a week or more had a 40 percent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer compared with men who ate fish less than once a week.
Researchers believe the isoflavones in soy and the omega-3s in fish have something to do with it. If you’re a Followhealthlife reader you already know how important macro- and micro-nutrients can be. But there are some important things to consider about fish and soy.

Got Bad Habits?

If you do, you might want to lose them. Because a new study shows middle-aged men who avoid such risk factors as smoking, being overweight, and drinking excessively, have a better chance of reaching old age—and reaching it healthier! Shari Roan of The Los Angeles Times reports:
The chance of survival to age 85 is as high as 69% in men with no risk factors at middle age and as low as 22% in men with six or more risk factors. Grip strength — a measure of physical fitness — was associated with longevity, while not having a marital partner was associated with death before age 85.
To be honest this does sound like commonsense, but in our “I have a family history of it” culture, it’s good to see something encouraging people to take control of their health and ditch pesky habits. But as Dr. Fuhrman points out breaking old habits, especially food addictions, is hard work. From the January 2005 edition of Healthy Times:
It is difficult to break old, addictive eating habits and form new, healthy ones. One of the difficulties is the immense power of addiction, which makes the human mind hungry to rationalize and attempt to justify the bad habits. As a result, people often fail before they even attempt to change. They either use denial about the vital necessity of change—the need to improve their health and happiness, or they simply give up without even trying—thinking that change is too difficult.
I relate to this all too well. Early on in college I had a major diet cola addiction. A twelve-pack of cans would last me two to three days, tops! Hey, I’m not proud of it. And I guess in a world filled with temptations I could have been hooked on something a lot worse. But in the end I kicked my addiction lickety-split. How’d I do it?

First, I recognized how displeased I was with my habit—I’ve never trusted artificial sweeteners—and second, repetition, repetition, repetition. Every time I wanted a diet soda I just reached for a bottle of water instead. It’s been almost three years and I haven’t had a diet drink of any sort since.

Dr. Fuhrman considers repetition and recognition critical steps towards breaking bad habits. Good to hear, because back then I thought I was just driving myself crazy with habit-breaking neurosis. There’s more about breaking bad habits in the September 2004 edition of Healthy Times too:
Identifying the cause(s) of your problems, eliminating your bad habits, and learning what is necessary to reestablish great health are tremendous first steps. But they are only 50 percent of the overall solution. Before you can achieve true success, you must practice, repeating your new beneficial behaviors over and over until they become part of you. Repetition will make these positive actions feel more and more natural. Soon, these new good habits will make your previous bad habits things of the past.

Health Points: Friday

Consumer and health groups protested that they did not go far enough -- saying that junk food ads should be banned from all programming before 9:00 pm, whether for adults or children.
Safe and effective doses in humans have not been established, and there could be downsides to taking resveratrol. Preliminary studies point to some cancer protection, but there's also evidence that it may increase the risk of breast cancer -- a reminder that tinkering with nutritional substances can be complex.
The study of more than 2,000 patients in 27 countries focused on the outcomes of angioplasties performed more than 24 hours and up to 28 days after the patients first developed symptoms of a heart attack.
"The results of our study provide clear evidence that regular smoking increases the risk for asthma and that important chronic adverse consequences of smoking are not restricted to individuals who have smoked for many years," Dr. Frank D. Gilliland, of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, said in a prepared statement.
The theory is that vitamin D explains the link. Sunlight triggers vitamin D synthesis in the skin, so a person’s stores of the vitamin depend, in part, on where he or she lives. Moreover, a growing number of studies have linked vitamin D intake and vitamin D levels in the blood to cancer risk.
The test was repeated three times -- once with each kind of drink -- and the data showed that the cyclists were able to go between 49 and 54 percent longer on the second stint after drinking chocolate milk than when they drank the carbohydrate drink. The difference between the milk and the fluid-replacement drink was not significant.
The plan, vigorously debated for two years and heavily opposed by power plants and mining companies, trumps a weaker federal rule. Pennsylvania would join Illinois as the first major coal-producing states to move beyond the federal limits and make them tougher - if measures to do so in both states become final.
  • Have you noticed the newcomers in the pear-market? You haven’t? Well get ready the Asian pears are coming. David Karp of The New York Times reports:
In recent decades Chinese government policy and market reforms have encouraged farmers to sharply increase pear production, which is expected to reach 12.5 million metric tons this year, more than two-thirds of the world’s supply. Virtually all are Asian pears, crunchy and ripe off the tree, not the European kind, such as Bartlett and Bosc, which develop their desired buttery texture and rich flavor after harvest.

Don't Have a Cow Man

You’ve heard of The China Study right? It’s kind of a big deal here on Followhealthlife. Dr. Fuhrman shows it plenty of love in his book Eat to Live:
This project reported disease rates from towns that ate almost a complete plant-based diet and from other areas that ate a significant amount of animal products. The researchers found that as the amount of animal products increased in the diet, even in relatively small increments, so did the emergence of the types of cancers that are common in the West. The researchers noted that most cancers increased in diet proportion to the quantity of animal products eaten and decreased relative to the amount of fruits, vegetables, and beans consumed.
The results of The China Study seem pretty cut and dried, but for many its message falls on deaf ears—you only have to prod the low-carb loonies to see what I mean. But so many other studies have confirmed the basic theses. Here's one more: Steven Reinberg of HealthDays News reports new research has determined a link between red meat and cancer:
"We found that higher red meat intake may be a risk factor for hormone receptor-positive breast cancer among premenopausal women," said lead author Eunyoung Cho, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "The majority of breast cancer is hormone receptor-positive, and the incidence of hormone receptor-positive tumors has been increasing in the United States," she added.
Yet another reason why I don’t eat red meat! So considering all this Eugenia Calle, the managing director of analytic epidemiology at the American Cancer Society, recommends people limit their consumption of processed and red meat, and eat fruits and vegetables and unrefined grains. Not a bad idea, I wonder where I heard this before?

For an in depth interview with China Study author Colin T. Campbell, check out this previous post: Interview With The China Study Author

Health Points: Friday

The contaminated pills included metal fragments ranging in size from "microdots" to portions of wire one-third of an inch long, the Food and Drug Administration said. Perrigo discovered the metal bits during quality-control checks after realizing the equipment it uses to make pills was wearing down prematurely, the FDA said.
"Tobacco consumption reduces your pregnancy probability, not only due to the already known ovarian effects but also due to impaired uterine receptiveness," said Dr. Sergio R. Soares, lead author of the study and director of the IVI Clinic in Lisbon, Portugal.
  • If you keep up with all the health news you’ll soon realize one of the biggest dangers associated with obesity is the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. One Miami social studies teacher was all too afraid of this. According to The Miami Herald he created an annual free diabetes screening for young students. Desonta Holder reports:
Since the program began in 2004, about 1,500 students -- 500 each year -- have been screened for risk factors that could lead to diabetes -- obesity, high blood pressure and elevated blood glucose levels. Many of these high school students -- 80 percent Hispanic and 13 percent black (non-Hispanic) -- in this middle-class area were already beginning to show signs of diabetes.
At a press conference with top executives of these companies, he said it was crucial food and drink companies cooperate in the fight against flab because the EU cannot legislate against products that are not dangerous.

If Europe wants to curb overweight, "we have to form public-private partnerships. We are all part of the problem — industry, parents, consumers, the authorities, doctors — and will have to be part of the solution."
According to the researchers, their findings are unlikely to be a case of "reverse causality," where hay fever caused some children to avoid outdoor activities. For one, the study followed the children over time, documenting new cases of hay fever. In addition, sedentary children were inactive year-round, not only during pollen season.

Recent Followhealthlife Highlights

If you haven’t noticed, we do a lot blogging—don’t blink! You might miss something. In case you did, here are some highlights from the past couple of months:
The New York Times introduces us to Canto and Owen, two rhesus monkeys on totally different sides of the calorie restriction spectrum. Canto who eats 445 calories a day is healthier and much younger looking than his buddy Owen who consumes 885 calories daily—Owen doesn’t appear happy about it. Some scientists believe the plight of Canto and Owen sheds serious light on the benefits of calorie restriction for humans.
  • Here’s another one from The New York Times. I was very alarmed to read that more and more children are going through puberty earlier and earlier. Puberty in preschool is pretty hard to believe, but according to Dr. Fuhrman a vegetable-based diet can help buck this trend:
Fat cells produce estrogen, so excess fat on the body during childhood results in more estrogen production. A large volume of high fiber from fruits and vegetables in the gut serves to lower circulating estrogen naturally. The high fiber and the resultant healthy bacteria that colonize the gut of a person consuming a high produce diet conjugates (binds together) estrogens so they are more readily excreted in the stool. As estrogen cycles into and out of the digestive tract, a person eating more animal products and less high-fiber vegetation reabsorbs more estrogen from the digestive tract, rather than losing more in the stool.
  • Sometimes you’ve just got to stick with what you’re good at—someone should pass on this bit of knowledge to Chicago Bears wide-receiver Bernard Berrian. Last month he talked to school children about the benefits of eating bacon and maple syrup. No, I’m not joking:
What ensued was a melee of animal fat drizzled in hearty helpings of liquid sugar. Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t these the types of things school food reforms are trying to knock out? It gets worse, here’s my favorite—well not-so-favorite—quote from Bernard:
It’s the perfect combination, you should eat it everyday and you’ll be in the NFL too.
Who the hell cares about the veggies anyway? You don't need them and there is absolutely nothing essential about them. Don't let the acculturated veggie sympathizers tell you otherwise.
Are none of us reading about the obesity of our young people? Do you think it helps their well-being that after every sporting event our children gorge themselves Fall-of-Roman-Empire style on extra calories, extra sugar, extra hydrogenated fat? I recently sat down with Annette O’Neill, a registered dietitian and bona fide nutritionist, and asked her, “Do you think it’s a good idea for our kids to have Cheetos and Kool-Aid after a sporting event?” Her response: “Uh, no.”
In Disease-Proof Your Child Dr. Fuhrman says, “The diagnosis and treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has skyrocketed in recent years, with a tremendous increase in the percentage of our elementary school children who are taking amphetamines and stimulants such as Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Cylert, and others.” So as a layman, I wonder—what's going on here? Is this some kind of epidemic?
The injection of even this small amount of mercury repeatedly year after year from multiple vaccines can cause neurotoxicity (brain damage). The American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Public Health Service have issued a joint statement calling for the removal of mercury from vaccines. Chronic low dose mercury exposures may cause subtle neurological abnormalities that rear their head later in life.

Chemicals and Young Children

One of Followhealthlife’s major issues is childhood exposure to hazardous chemicals during and after pregnancy—whether it’s from eating contaminated seafood, pesticides on playgrounds, or anything else—according to Dr. Fuhrman it’s bad. In Disease-Proof Your Child he points to scientific findings that are difficult to ignore:
  • Children whose parents work with pesticides are more likely to suffer leukemia, brain cancer, and other afflictions.
  • Studies show that childhood leukemia is related to increased pesticide use around the house.
  • Nine studies reviewed by the National Cancer Institute showed a correlation between pesticide exposure and brain cancer.
  • Exposure to week killers in childhood increases asthma risk by more than fourfold.
And all this is just from eating produce treated with pesticide! Dr. Fuhrman encourages parents to be wary of other commonly used chemicals as well. More from Disease-Proof Your Child:
We must be careful not to expose our children to chemical cleaners, insecticides, and weed killers on our lawns. Chemicals used in pressure-treated wood used to build lawn furniture, decks, fences, and swing sets have also been shown to place children at risk. When young children are around, we must be vigilant to maintain a chemical-free environment.
So, if you haven’t already realized, this is kind of a big deal. And perhaps an issue that often goes overlooked—except when it hits us in the face, like right now. According to Reuters new research reveals exposure to industrial chemicals in the womb or early in a child’s life can impair brain development. And what’s worse is only a handful of these chemicals are controlled to protect children. Reporter Patricia explains:
"Only a few substances, such as lead and mercury, are controlled with the purpose of protecting children," said Philippe Grandjean of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts and the University of Southern Denmark.

"The 200 other chemicals that are known to be toxic to the human brain are not regulated to prevent adverse effects on the fetus or a small child," he added.
Come on, you’ve got to be astounded by this. In this day and age where information is everywhere—does no regulatory agency think this is important? Reaney adds that even though millions of children may have been harmed by toxic chemicals, only lead, methylmercury, and polychlorinated byphenyls (PCBs) have been adequately studied and regulated. Pretty concerning if you ask me. Makes you wonder if this will ever change.

For a list of things Dr. Fuhrman advises women should avoid during pregnancy, check out this previous post: Precautions to Take When Pregnant or Nursing

Health Points: Wednesday

Nor do people crave foods that they have not already tasted. "Think of food cravings as a sensory memory," says psychologist Marcia Pelchat of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, a research organization in Philadelphia. "You remember how good it felt the last time you had that food. You have to have experienced eating it before."
Medicine has been too depressing for me lately. I just took care of a guy with life threatening, self-inflicted stab wounds to the neck and chest a few minutes ago. He was arrested during a meth lab bust. He yelled out to the police that he didn't want to go to jail, took a knife, cut his own neck and stabbed himself in the chest. He bagged his internal jugular and put a hole in his ventricle.
It was another appearance by Ingraham's mysterious underground candy salesman, a lanky, A- and B-average senior who has been defying the Seattle Public Schools' nutrition and solicitation policies for about a year. The Seattle Times agreed not to identify him, but around Ingraham, most teachers and administrators have looked the other way, anyway. Some buy from him.
When they were about halfway through their burgers they discovered marijuana on the meat and used a field test kit confirm it. They sought treatment at a hospital while their fellow officers arrested 3 Burger King employees and charged them with possession of marijuana and aggravated battery on an officer, a felony.
The number of alcohol-related deaths last year stood at 8,386, compared to 4,144 in 1991. Death rates among middle-aged men more than doubled to 30 per 100,000 of the population.
Lentils are high in protein, cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, iron, most B vitamins, folate, molybdenum, manganese, phosphorous, copper, thiamin and potassium. The pigment in Beluga black lentils acts like an antioxidant and helps protect against heart disease, and cancer. Cooked lentils have only 230 calories per cup.
Many of the China's environmental disasters have been blamed on companies which, counting on lax enforcement of regulations, find it easier and cheaper to dump poisons into rivers and the ground instead of treating them.
You reach a "goal weight" - How did you come by this number? What is an ideal body weight and who decides what is normal?

You decided that you are happy with your appearance.
Yet what may seem like just another routine odd job around the house is really a vigorous aerobic workout that involves prolonged repetitive motion, twisting, bending, lifting and carrying. Due to the physically strenuous nature of the work, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reminds those charged with the task to take proper safety measures to avoid injury.
A new study in mice suggests that sugary drinks contribute to liver damage. For the research, German scientists either gave mice sugar-sweetened water or water containing an artificial sweetner. They found that mice with the sugar water ate less but still gained more weight and also suffered from "fatty liver." The problem was worse when a specific type of sugar - fructose - was used. According to Reuters, the scientists concluded: "These data support the hypothesis that high fructose consumption may not only (damage) the liver through over-feeding, but may be" toxic to it.

Toxic Hunger and Kids

Do you know what toxic hunger is? No, it’s not a comic book villain or a professional wrestler. In Disease-Proof You Child Dr. Fuhrman explains toxic hunger results from feeding children so much calorie-rich food so frequently that children learn to disconnect eating from hunger. Guilty! How many of you, in the past, have gone out for Chinese food at two in the morning?

Dr. Fuhrman believes toxic hunger contributes to obesity and causes people to become bona fide food addicts. From Disease-Proof Your Child:
After enough time goes by continually consuming more calories than they need, children will feel discomfort when they do not have food constantly in their stomach. They must keep their digestive tract going all the time, because the minute it empties, they feel uncomfortable. By the time they become an overweight adult, they are true food addicts.
And the symptoms of food addiction sure smack of drug withdrawals—not that I know what those are like! Here’s more from Dr. Fuhrman’s book:
A few hours after eating, feeling weak, headachy, tired, mentally dull, and stomach cramping or discomfort is not true hunger! These symptoms of stomach cramping and fluttering, headaches and fatigue that begin when digestion is completed I call “toxic hunger” because these symptoms only occur in those who have been eating a toxic diet. These are withdrawal symptoms from an unhealthful diet, and this discomfort is mistakenly interpreted as the need to eat more frequently and take in more calories. Continual eating stops the discomfort, just like frequent coffee drinking stops the headaches from caffeine withdrawal. Your body can’t withdraw from (detoxify and repair) your toxic dietary habits and digest a meal simultaneously. By eating, this detox process is stopped. When we consume a toxic, disease-promoting, our body reacts in an attempt to remove or deal with the damage this unhealthful diet could cause. This concept is called withdrawal. The body attempts to detoxify from a harmful, low-nutrient diet and we feel the symptoms of toxic hunger. We build up more waste products in our cells when we eat unhealthfully, and when the body is not busy digesting, it can attempt to withdraw from or initiate repair mechanisms that result in these uncomfortable symptoms. The disease-building diet most Americans eat drives these symptoms, and these symptoms promote overeating.
So, with all this in mind, get a load of this new report. Researchers found that overweight children are more likely to binge eat than other kids, and, these hefty eaters are hungry again more than an hour sooner than their peers. Reuters has more:
"Children who report binge-eating behaviors appear to have deficits in appetite regulation that put them at risk for the development of obesity," write Margaret C. Mirch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues.
Mirch explains the key to changing this behavior is to teach them to recognize and respond to only true hunger. Not sure what true hunger is? Let’s check back with Disease-Proof Your Child:
True hunger is felt in the neck and throat; where thirst is felt, hunger is a subtle sensation, and when you feel it, almost any food tastes food and satisfies you. True hunger is not felt in the head or belly. When you eat when you are truly hungry, your ability to taste is maximized and food truly tastes better. True hunger marks the time when the digestive juices are ready to be released and the enzyme-secreting glands have had time to refill and are ready for action. Healthy digestion, no indigestion, results. When we eat only when hungry, we also prevent ourselves from becoming overweight and maximize our chances for a long, disease-free life.
Now, if you need help getting your own kids to eat better, check out this podcast: Dr. Fuhrman on Getting Children to Eat Well

Health Points: Monday

Scientists engineered mice to have body temperatures 0.5 to 0.9 degrees lower than normal mice. Female experimental mice lived a median of 662 days — about 112 days longer than normal female mice. Male mice survived a median of 805 days — 89 days longer than their normal counterparts.
"An increasing number of Chinese are eating more fat and junk food but less grains and vegetables, leading to a high number of cases of high blood pressure and diabetes," Pan was quoted as telling a conference on food consumption and health in Beijing.
Matthew Turner, author of a new and controversial study on the topic, acknowledges that in the last three years, roughly a dozen studies have taken statistical snapshots of where people live and how heavy they are — most reporting that people who live in sprawling neighborhoods tend, on average, to be fatter.
"We've done standard interviews with people who've become ill with this organism and with well people in the same communities, and we've identified tomatoes eaten in restaurants as the cause of this outbreak," Dr. Christopher Braden, chief of outbreak response and surveillance in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Foodborne Branch, said during a teleconference.
John Whipple, president of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, called the proposal costly and unconstitutional. He also said it would penalize eateries for providing nutritional information voluntarily.
"Restaurants should be encouraged in their health education efforts, not dissuaded from such effort by misplaced regulatory policies," Whipple said in written testimony to the New York City Board of Health.
Belly fat is more dangerous than general weight gain, because abdominal and visceral fat — found surrounding the internal organs — is more clearly and strongly linked with disease than general body fat.

Friday: Food Points

Moreover, women who were prone to binge-eating problems often overindulged when eating out. One-third of their bingeing "episodes" over the two-week study occurred in a restaurant, according to findings published in the Western Journal of Nursing Research.
  • Jennifer from Vegan Lunch Box is at it again, with this very scary LUNCH BOX OF DOOM! Tremble before the shrunken heads, mummy calzone, and the bucket of blood! Igor! Fetch me some cruciferous vegetables! Check it out:
Cue the scary music and ghost sounds, because it's time for the Halloween Lunch Box! It's a ghastly Mummy Calzone on a bed of mummy wrappings (torn paper towel), with a bucket of blood (pizza sauce) for dipping.
Swiss chard and kale are just amazing. We've had a little frost and a lot of cold nights in the high 30's but still they grow, in containers! In theory they should die off quicker in containers because the soil cools more quickly but they didn't get the memo. I wonder how long I can keep them going?
  • Okay, one of my major vices is sushi. If it wasn’t for all the contamination I’d probably eat it all the time. FatFree Vegan Kitchen has come up with a wonderful alternative. Behold the Sushi Salad:
I enjoy making sushi--and my family enjoys eating it. But sometimes I want the taste of sushi without the time and effort it takes to roll it. One way I get around the task of making sushi rolls is to have "Roll Your Own" nights: I'll prepare the rice and fillings and cut the sheets of nori into quarters, and we'll each make our own little cones of sushi right at the table. Kids love making their own sushi, so I really recommend this activity to parents whose kids aren't sure about sushi yet; it will probably turn them into sushi lovers.
Both growers and retailers say there is wide agreement that the industry needs better methods for establishing and enforcing food safety practices, though some question whether such a program can be in place by the Dec. 15 deadline set by the retailers and distributors.

"We can't maintain the status quo," said Kathy Means, vice president of government relations for Newark, Del.-based Produce Marketing Assn., a trade group of produce shippers, processors, distributors and other suppliers. "And we can't have any more mistakes."

Heart Disease in Young Children

I admit, kind of a dramatic title, but not without merit. In Disease-Proof Your Child Dr. Fuhrman points out that an unhealthy diet early in life sets the stage for coronary atherosclerosis and heart disease later in life. He’s a refresher from the book:
There is considerable evidence that the lipoprotein abnormalities (high LDL and low HDL) that are linked to heart attack deaths in adulthood begin to develop in early childhood and that higher cholesterol levels eventually get “set” by early food habits.1 What we eat during our childhood affects our lifetime cholesterol levels. For many, changing the diet to a plant-based, low-saturated-fat diet in later life does not result in the favorable cholesterol levels that would have been seen if the dietary improvements were started much earlier in life.
And don't forget exercise. According to Reuters a new study has revealed teens that get a minimum of ninety minutes of exercise three times a week reduce their cardiovascular risk. The results are pretty amazing, here’s an excerpt:
After six months, tests showed that the exercisers had improved the flexibility of their arteries, allowing these vessels to carry more oxygen-rich blood. Moreover, the already expanded inner layer of their arteries had shrunk.

The exercisers also lowered their cholesterol levels and blood pressure and lost weight.
Good thing my folks had me playing soccer and little league when I was a kid. The researchers do point out that primary obstacle to all this is teen’s low perseverance and motivation to exercise. Maybe you could just do what my father did, hold my Nintendo hostage until I worked up a sweat.
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