Tuesday, 28 May 2013

America’s Wellness: World Health Day and National Public Health Week

This summer, I will be attending the Food for Your Whole Life Symposium as a media blogger, along with my fellow blog partners in crime, Corinne, Janel, Jessica, and Elizabeth. The symposium will be bringing together an amazing group of internationally renowned health experts, including Dr. Mehmet Oz, Mollie Katzen, Michael Roizen, David Katz, Roger Clemens, Karen Collins RD, Keri Gans RD, James Joseph, Petra Kolber, Joan Sabate, Brian Wansink, and Elisa Zied RD. These experts will be offering up their expertise on age-based nutrition for health and disease prevention during this 2 day workshop in NYC, and I cannot WAIT!

As part of our media blogging experience, the five of us will also be guest posting on the Food for Your Whole Life Blog, covering many of the age-related health issues that the symposium experts themselves will also be addressing.

This coming week, my post addresses the state of health of our nation, by focusing on the upcoming World Health Day.


America’s Wellness: World Health Day and National Public Health Week

By Lindsey D. Toth, BS

Every year since 1995, the first full week of April (April 5th through 11th this year) has been dedicated to improving the health of our nation, as National Public Health Week (NPHW). Within that same week, one day has been set aside dedicated to improving the health of our entire world– World Health Day, on April 7th, 2010.

This year’s World Health Day caters its message at overcoming health hurdles in urbanized areas, with the campaign “1000 CITIES, 1000 LIVES. Over three billion people currently live in cities- a number that continues to rise. By the year 2030, six out of every ten people will be city dwellers, and by the year 2050, this number will increase up to seven out of ten. This rising trend in urbanization ultimately has consequences on the health of the citizens living within the urban community. Want to walk to work? Sorry, there are no sidewalks. Want to go for a run in the park? Nope, no green space available to do that. Thinking about going for a bike ride? It can get dangerous with no bike paths available.

So what can you do to make your city a healthier place on April 7th?   Join the global movement to make cities healthier. The World Health Organization is encouraging cities around the globe to open their streets to promote health activities on April 7th, so get YOUR city involved:

  Close down one street in your city. Work with community members to have mental and physical health activities available, such as massages and dance lessons.Organize a group walk or bike run. It can be five blocks, or five miles! Get the city involved so that it’s safe and fun for everyone.Promote local produce with a farmer’s market. Get local restaurants involved for cooking demonstrations on how to use the fruits and vegetables at the market.Organize a free, outdoor exercise class. If you have a park, organize an evening or morning yoga class to promote physical and mental health after a long day’s work.Provide health screening. Get your local clinic involved by inviting them to hold free health-risk screening sessions and a health education booth.Organize a “Walking School Bus.” Encourage your children to walk to school in the morning under the safety supervision of an adult.Make it “Bike to Work Day” at the office. Encourage everyone at work to ride their bike into work that day, or form a “car pool” of bike-riders, picking each other up on your way in to the office.

Get online and register your city today as one of the 1000 healthy cities that will be involved in World Health Day this year, and get creative with your ideas to get your city moving and shaking!

How would you make YOUR city a healthier place?



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Monday, 27 May 2013

12 Things You Should Never Put in Your Mouth + The @AmazingAvocado Giveaway!

Ever wondered what a compilation of some of the world’s most disgusting, modern-day, food-like substances would look like? Well the folks over at Grist have done the dirty work for you, gathering up a slide show of the top 12 things out there that probably shouldn’t pass for food. Some of my “favorites” from the list include the Twinkie Sushi (see above) and the Cheeseburger in a Can (below).  Yes I am dead serious – the burger includes a soggy bun and all. They’ve even included a taste-test testimony of the canned burger for your reading pleasure. Apparently it tastes similar to a McDonald’s cheeseburger, which isn’t saying much in my opinion.

Want to check out the other 10 food-like items? Head here.  I recommend waiting a bit after eating though, for the sake of your stomach.


@AmazingAvocado + Biggest Loser Giveaway

Don’t forget to tweet @AmazingAvocado today with your fave avocado tips and tricks!  You could win a copy of the new book “The Biggest Loser: 6 Weeks to a Healthier You.” Check out the Avocados from Mexico site for more info, and enter today!


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A Glance at the Top 12 Food Trends for 2012

USA Today posted a look at 2012 food trends, some of which had even started to surface in 2011 and well before (street meat people!). Check out the trends at a glance below:

Fancy Salts These can get pricey, but man they’re delicious. My favorite is truffle salt sprinkled on garlic bread or for making croutons.Artisan Chocolates Taza stone-ground chocolate is my fave.Korean Food Kimchi – fermented cabbage – is a classic Korean dish, low in cals and high in probiotics to aid in a healthy digestive tract.QR Codes on Food Packaging Check out FoodScanner on your iPhone - it uses the QR code to provide the complete nutrition label and it can even track calories.Seaweed Low in calories, this sensation from the sea is packed with minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Head to your local sushi joint and order a seaweed salad for a quick fix – it’s my fave.Gluten-free It just keeps trending people!DIY i.e., “Do It Yourself” is trending, as people want to know exactly how their food is being made, and the best way to find out? Do it yourself!The Butcher People want someone knowledgeable and trustworthy handling their meat!Food Trucks Think NYC’s infamous street meat carts.Drugstores as Food Stores Eating on the go perpetuates this trend; good thing I’ve seen fresh fruit replace candy bars in the check-out line at some drugstores, like Duane Read.Mindful Snacks Think swapping regular chips for kale chips – consumer packaged goods companies are jumping on the snacking bandwagon with more health-focused snacks.The American Pickle God bless whoever invented pickles. They’re low in calories, an easy go to snack, and most important of all, they’re just plain delicious! Mix it up from your classic dill for new treat that won’t disappoint – there’s a local farmer’s market in my hometown that sells a Sweet & Spicy variety that are to die for. Related Posts with Thumbnails

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Preganancy news of the week: Pregnant women at risk of blood clot identified

By Loic Cobbina

A study identifies women at high risk of blood clot.
There are women that are at higher risk of blood clot. In general, blood clot is seen as a good thing because that is what protects us from losing blood when we get injured. But in some cases, for some weird reason the clotting takes place inside the body and that may result in heart attacks or stroke which are known serious medical problems.

In a new study, researchers were able to pinpoint certain factors that might increase the risk of blood clotting during pregnancy. They took the data from about 400,000 pregnancies that occurred between the years 1995 and 2009.

The key factors identified are age, disease history and weight. With respect to age, women older than 35 are at higher risk. Those who are overweight are also incurring the same risks. The same for women who smoke. Other medical complications like varicose veins, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease were also linked to an increased risk.

With this information at hand, Doctors should be able to identify pregnant women at risk and take the required measures in advance to prevent any complications. Internal blood clots can be dangerous considering the fact that they can break free and travel to the heart, the lungs or even the brain.

It was also discovered through the analysis of the data that women who had stillbirth were 6 times more likely to get blood clot. In the past it was referred to as venous thromboembolism (VTE). Dr. Matthew Grainge who works at the University of Nottingham in the School of Community Health Sciences acknowledged that all along the association between stillbirth and blood clot received limited attention to date. According to him, this finding is of a particular importance.

The news release also mentioned that blood clots occurs 2 times in every thousand pregnancies. It is quite rare but it remains the leading cause of death in women expecting a child in developing countries. Unfortunately preventive measures like taking the drug Heparin on daily basis may not be as effective as the doctors would have wished for. Heparin is usually used as a blood thinner but doctors only recommended it to patients considered to be at high risk. But Grainge added that medical practitioners do not even agree on what factors to look at when determining if a women is at high risk.

Talking of drugs that may not be as cost effective, there is a new one that has been re-approved by the FDA.

The US Food and Drugs Administration approve the return of Bendectin
A medication that was in the past used to help pregnant women deal with the morning-sickness has be re-approved by the FDA and will return into the market under a new name. The drug was withdrawn 30 years ago after several lawsuit that identified it as not been safe.

Today it’s returning back to the market under the name of Diclegis. It turns out to be the only drug specifically approved to help pregnant women deal with stomach upset.

According to the FDA, during the 30 years when the medication was withdrawn from the market it underwent rigorous scrutiny and it is now deemed safe. Diclegis is referred to as a “delayed-release pill”. Patients are expected to be taking it in the morning before symptoms set in. Pregnant women would usually experience the worse aspect of the symptoms after waking up. That is why it is called morning-sickness. The drug is expected to help them up but some may still have to go through some nausea all day long.

The medication is intended to help women manage their nausea. In most cases doctors will just recommend expectant mothers to make some adjustment with their diet and lifestyle to be able to cope with the symptoms which usually last during the first 3 months of the pregnancy. One of the main recommendation is to eat several small meals, not the usual 3 meals others take. The future mother should also avoid foods rich in fats and smells that she knows triggers the episodes.

For this new approval, the Food and Drug Administration looked at the effect of Diclegis on 261 women suffering from morning-sickness. The conclusion was that Diclegis does help relieve the symptoms associated with the morning sickness. Other studies have also shown that the active ingredients used in the preparation of the drug did not pose an increase danger for the baby in the womb. That said some side effects like drowsiness and sleepiness were recorded. Let’s hope that this time Diclegis is indeed the miraculous pill that relieves of pregnancy related nausea.

Talking of miracles related to pregnancy, the first woman to get pregnant with a transplant womb has been identified.

The first woman to get pregnant with a transplant womb
A 22 year old lady who goes by the name of Derya Sert, after seeing her doctor, was revealed to be pregnant for almost 2 weeks as a result of in vitro fertilization at Akdeniz University Hospital located in Southern province of Turkey. The news was released by her doctor Mustafa Unal in a written statement. He added that she is doing fine at the moment.

Sert as been referred to by some as a medical miracle after she became the first in the world to have a successful womb transplant from a donor that past away in August 2011.

The news of her pregnancy will light up hopes of many other women who can’t conceive a child due to complications related to the uterus. Sert was born without a uterus. This happens in every 5000 women around the world. Before implanting the embryo in her womb, the doctors decided to wait for more than 18 months just to make sure it was not rejected as a foreign organ.

This is the second womb transplant and it turned out to be successful. The world first transplant took place in Saudi Arabia in 2000 and after 99 days, doctors had to remove the organ due to heavy clotting.

Experts do fear that the pregnancy may carry many other health risks to both the patient and the baby who is expected to be delivered by C-section. The doctors intend to remove the uterus months after the delivery to avoid further complications. Let’s hope everything goes well.

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