Saturday, March 05, 2011

Radio Show Notes. Headline Fail: How To Get Younger Americans To Eat Right

The food industry NewsLetter, 'FoodNavigator' does it again, with the biggest headline fail of the week. Here's what they said in the headline ... 

"How to persuade young Americans to follow dietary guidelines"

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But nowhere in this article did they talk about young people, and nowhere did they talk about the role of peer pressure. The article said the following ridiculous inanity:  
Weight loss and living longer are the prime motivators for persuading young people to follow the healthy eating habits as set out in the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 
Uh huh. 
The best way to get people to eat better, according to the, quote, article is to “Connect the dots for consumers in terms of a product benefit to a fundamental characteristic of healthy eating,” ... “Keep in mind that taste, convenience, and value are primary drivers of food choice overall for all generations.”
Does this make sense to anyone? 
Young people still think they're immortal, they still think they're going to live forever because they still have the metabolism of a bird, and can get away with eating nastiness. 
How to persuade young Americans to follow dietary guidelines

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Radio Show Notes. Ronald McDonald Gets Fired: "Hey you clown, take a hike"

As clowns' careers go, Ronald McDonald has had a pretty good run -- he's been the face of McDonald's for 48 years. But as fans of the jester may have noticed, he hasn't been featured much lately in the company's advertisements.

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There's a reason for that. 

Facing increased competition from more upscale chains, such as Starbucks, McDonald's today is more focused on selling profitable coffee drinks and salads rather than Big Macs and kids' Happy Meals, according to Bloomberg News.

The company is also revamping its restaurants, adding padded seating and free WiFi to lure more diners. All that nouvelle sophistication leaves little room for a buffoon in a bright yellow suit and ridiculously large red shoes.

"We haven't been seeing a lot of Ronald McDonald," Tim Calkins, a marketing professor at Northwestern University, told the news agency. "They're beginning to appeal to much more sophisticated individuals."

And that's Ronald's problem. Consumers link him to the old, high-fat foods that are increasingly falling out of favor with many Americans.

McDonald's has sought for years to remake its image by offering more healthful food items and adding gourmet coffee items to its menu. The company's McCafé coffee products helped to revive sales, pushing up revenues in six of the last seven quarters, the Oak Brook, Ill.-based company says.

McDonald's isn't putting Ronald out to pasture all together. His name, after all, does grace the company's charitable arm, Ronald McDonald House Charities. Ronald still plays an ambassador role, a company spokeswoman told Bloomberg. He just isn't tied to the menu.

See full article from DailyFinance: Ronald McDonald Put to Pasture as Fast-Food Chain Gentrifies - DailyFinance

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Friday, March 04, 2011

The Right Way To "March To May"

In this interview, Dr Clower talks about the importance of good walking technique so that you can "March To May" in good form, prevent injury, and get fitter in the process!!

Walking seems so intuitively natural that we don't even think about HOW to do it, to make sure we maximize our workout, and minimize the chance of hurting ourselves. 

If you have any question at all about this video, please let us know. 

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Lower Blood Pressure Without Drugs? Take A Nap

If you're looking to improve your blood pressure, there are some simple solutions to try ... before (or in addition to) taking meds.   

Compare the risks and side-effects of taking a nap versus medication:

Taking a nap. Side effects include alertness, better performance, less chronic hunger.  

Blood Pressure Meds. Side effects include: 
Beta-blockers — Acebutolol (Sectral), atenolol (Tenormin), metoprolol (Lopressor, Mepressor, Merol), nadolol (Corgard), pindolol (Visken), propranolol (Inderal) or timolol (Blocadren) may cause insomnia, cold hands and feet, tiredness or depression, a slow heartbeat or symptoms of asthma. Impotence may occur. If you have diabetes and you’re taking insulin, have your responses to therapy monitored closely.
ACE inhibitors — These drugs, such as captopril (Capoten), enalapril (Vasotec), lisinopril (Zestril or Prinivil), may cause a skin rash; loss of taste; a chronic dry, hacking cough most common side effect; and in rare instances, kidney damage.
Angiotensin II receptor blockers — These drugs may cause occasional dizziness.
Calcium channel blockers — Diltiazem (Cardizem), nicardipine (Cardene), Nifedipine (Procardia) and verapamil (Calan or Isoptin) may cause palpitations, swollen ankles edema, constipation, headache or dizziness. Side effects with each of these drugs differ a great deal.

WEDNESDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- A daytime nap of at least 45 minutes may help stressed-out people lower their blood pressure and protect their heart, a new study suggests.
The finding comes from a study that involved 85 healthy university students, divided into two groups. One group had an hour-long period during the day to sleep, and the others had no time to sleep. Both groups were given a mental stress test.
Blood pressure and pulse rates increased in both groups of students when they took the stress test, but the average blood pressure of those who slept for at least 45 minutes was significantly lower after the stress test than it was for those who did not sleep.
"Our findings suggest that daytime sleep may offer cardiovascular benefit by accelerating cardiovascular recovery following mental stressors," wrote the researchers, Ryan Brindle and Sarah Conklin of Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.
"Further research is needed to explore the mechanism by which daytime sleep is linked with cardiovascular health and to evaluate daytime sleep as a recuperative and protective practice, especially for individuals with known cardiovascular disease risk and those with suboptimal sleep quality," they added.
The study is being published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
On average, Americans get nearly two hours less sleep a night than they did 50 years ago, which could affect long-term health, according to background information in a journal news release on the study.
More information
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on sufficient sleep.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Designer Drug Abuse Out of Control

Designer drug abuse out of control: U.N. drugs board

The International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) said detailed instructions for how to make designer drugs, which are slightly altered to bypass existing control systems, are often shared via the Internet.
The report said the problem was "escalating out of control" and "major efforts" were needed to counter it.
"Given the health risks posed by the abuse of designer drugs, we urge governments to adopt national control measures to prevent the manufacture, trafficking in and abuse of these substances," Hamid Ghodse, the INCB's president, said at a briefing in London as the board's annual report was published.
To address the problem of designers quickly changing a single component of a drug to avoid bans, some governments have adopted measures to control entire groups of structurally related synthetic compounds, the INCB said, recommending that others follow suit.
The INCB's report cited the designer drug 4-methyl-methcathinone, known as "mephedrone," which it said is being abused in a growing number of countries and regions.
Designer drugs are often produced by slightly modifying the molecular structure of controlled drugs, making a new drug with similar effects which can elude national and international bans.
Mephedrone is available through the Internet and also through retail outlets known as "smart shops," sometimes advertised as bath salt, plant food or research chemical to avoid detection and legal proceedings.
The drug has effects similar to cocaine, amphetamine and MDMA, or "ecstasy." A number of reports of deaths from using it have been reported in recent years in Britain and Europe.
"Mephedrone has now become a problem drug of abuse in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia and in Australia and New Zealand," the INCB report said.
It added that mephedrone was just "one example of a large number of designer drugs that are being abused."
In Europe alone there are 15 other designer cathinones -- the class of drugs that includes mephedrone -- currently being monitored by the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction, and in Japan 51 drugs have been recently placed under control.
The INCB called on governments to remain vigilant in monitoring trends in drug abuse and in identifying new drugs of abuse. "Bilateral and international cooperation is essential in sharing information on this cross-border phenomenon," it said.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Eww. The Hygiene Perils of Hotel Sheets: Tips to avoid them

Philip Tierno doesn't feel comfortable staying in hotels. He knows too much.
The microbiologist travels with an impervious mattress and pillow cover to protect against the unseen debris that guests leave behind in what he compares to the lost Roman civilization, particles "literally buried over time" in the bed.
"What I'm saying is it's not just you in bed, it's who comes after you," said Tierno, director of microbiology and immunology at New York University's Langone Medical Center. 
More disturbingly, it's who comes before you, too.
Hygiene tips for hotel guests
Guests worried about germs and allergens can do the following to protect themselves: 

  • Wash your hands well and often with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitzer 

  • Move the bedspread aside 

  • Choose a hotel that uses impervious mattress and pillow covers, sometimes called allergy barriers 

  • Clean the remote control, the phone, the interior doorknob and other frequently used areas or devices with a germicidal wipe 

  • Wear slippers or flip flops at all times 

  • Cover open wounds and use disinfectant treatments on them 

    Source: Philip Tierno, NYU professor of microbiology and pathology

  • A microscopic look at hotel hygiene -

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    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Is Sarah Palin A "Fruit Loop"?: VIDEO

    British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver called Sarah Palin a "Froot Loop" for criticizing the Obama administration's healthy eating initiatives, and said getting healthy foods to kids is a civil rights issue.
    The U.S. is in a "really dark moment" when it comes to children's health and needs to make it a priority, said Oliver, who tried to transform the diets of a West Virginia town with his 2010 ABC show "Jamie's Food Revolution" and is filming a new version in Los Angeles.
    I've said this before ... you won't know my political views, but I can say that, on this issue, Sarah Palin is NOT a fruit loop. I don't know what kind of breakfast cereal she actually is ... perhaps Lucky Charms for the Tea Party, or Sugar Smacks for the guys, or Corn Flakes for the Iowans who don't happen to like her. 
    Oliver's complaint suggests that Mrs Palin is nutty, but I don't believe she's crazy at all. Rather, she is just being, plain old political. Not as sexy as saying she's a right wing nut job, but it's closer to the truth. 
    Here's why I say that. 
    She makes the argument that the gov and the First Lady of the US should not stand up to be role models, or initiate programs, to benefit our children, whatever the cause. But the First Lady Laura Bush initiated a slew of programs, endowments and, yes, government, government, government grants to incentivize us to encourage our children to read more. Who in this world thinks THAT is a bad thing? Mrs Palin seems just fine with that "government intrusion".
    Moreover, Mrs Bush did exactly what Mrs Obama is doing now, without anyone blubbering about undo gov intrusion. For example, where was Sarah Palin when Mrs Bush founded the Action For Healthy Kids organization, whose mission it is to influence our PUBLIC SCHOOLS so that we can begin to reverse childhood obesity? Can you imagine the outcry from the barking right if Michelle Obama had done the exact same thing? 
    Look. Being a role model is a good thing, whether you are a Priest, a Teacher, a Parent, or the First Lady of the US. It's a good thing! And, if you look at the historical comparisons of the last two First Ladies, it is clear that the criticisms of Mrs Obama are NOT be about what happened ... they are all about tearing down this person and her initiatives because (this time) the attempts to help American children are coming from someone who has a 'D' following their name, rather than an 'R'. 
    Thus, the data show that Sarah Palin is not a Fruit Loop at all. She's someone who is arguing against the health of our children because it doesn't suit her politics. She is better than that and it is disheartening to see her slide into such moral mediocrity.  
    Will Clower

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