Monthly Archives: January 2010

BEWARE!: The Return of Toilet Seat Dermatitis

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According to a study by the journal Pediatrics, Toilet Seat Dermatitis is back to attacking the backsides of many.


What is toilet seat dermatitis?

Skin irritation, (itchy, redness) found on the buttocks and upper thigh region of the body.

Causes:

In 1927, wooden toilet seats that have varnish, lacquers and paints that cause skin irritation were to blame.

Present day, harsh chemical cleaners used to disinfect toilets and their seats. These harsh chemicals are often used to in schools but are now being found in the home as people strive for a more squeaky clean toilet experience.

Prevention:

  • Toilet seat covers are usually found in public restrooms, hospitals and school bathroom…use them
  • If no toilet seat cover available… create a toilet seat cover by strategically placing toilet tissue around the seat or…squat (requires coordination and strong thigh, hip, and buttocks muscles)
  • Replace wooden toilet seats with plastic ones
  • Avoid harsh toilet cleaners that will irritate the skin after long-term sitting exposure.
  • http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20100125/toilet-seat-dermatitis-making-a-comeback

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/01/hey_kids_and_parents_watch_out.html

    Cutting Salt In Food Would Save Thousands Of Lives – Shots – Health News Blog : NPR

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    Cutting Salt In Food Would Save Thousands Of Lives

    By Scott Hensley

    How bad is all that salt in the food you eat?

    Getting the salt out could save a lot of lives.

    Let’s put it this way, if everyone in the country ate just a half-teaspoon less salt each day, it would save the lives of between 44,000 and 92,000 people a year. The prediction comes from an analysis just published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    Eating a lot of salt raises the risks for high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Sodium one of two elements that make up table salt is the bad actor.

    Americans consume far more than they need. The government recommends limiting salt intake to 5.8 grams a day, or about 1 1/2 teaspoons. But the average American gets about 10.4 grams of salt a day; women consume about 7.3 grams a day.

    Even if you want to cut back on salt, it’s hard to do. Most of the stuff–75 percent to 80 percent– finds its way into your body through processed foods, not the shaker on the table. That’s sparked proposals to get the food industry to dial back how much salt is put into food.

    A consortium of health departments and medical groups led by New York City recently

    via Cutting Salt In Food Would Save Thousands Of Lives – Shots – Health News Blog : NPR.

    Parents Choose Healthier Options For Kids, Not For Themselves – Shots – Health News Blog : NPR

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    Parents Choose Healthier Options For Kids, Not For Themselves

    By Nadja Popovich

    Think calorie counts on fast-food menus are useless?

    Nutritional labeling gives parents an extra tool to make good decisions when they’re eating out, if only for their kids.( Justin Sullivan/Getty)Maybe not. Well, at least, not if your mother is dictating what you eat.

    In a new study, out in yesterday’s Pediatrics medical journal, parents were given sample McDonald’s menus with and without nutritional information and asked to choose a hypothetical meal for their kids. All in all, parents who were given data on calories chose lower-calorie meals for their children — about 100 calories lower on average, or a 20 percent reduction.

    But parents’ good-intentions for their kids’ health doesn’t seem to carry over to their own eating habits. As it turned out, there was no difference in calories between the meals that the two groups of parents chose for themselves.

    Dr. Pooja Tandon, of Seattle Children’s Research Institute, led the project. She tells Shots that while her research doesn’t answer why the calorie counts in the parent groups remained about the same, previous studies have come up with similar results. Still, while some studies support

    via Parents Choose Healthier Options For Kids, Not For Themselves – Shots – Health News Blog : NPR.

    Whole Foods To Reward Skinny Workers | Long Island Press

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    Whole Foods To Reward Skinny Workers

    Whole Foods stores will soon be offering their employees discounts on food according to their body mass index.

    The grocery chain will launch a nationwide healthy eating campaign called “Health Starts Here” in March where workers can boost their current 20-percent employee discount on food according to their body fat percentage in relation to their height and weight, beginning in March.

    Provided the employees also don’t smoke and meet health standards for blood pressure and cholesterol levels, they will get a 22-30 percent discount, according to their health category: bronze, silver, gold or platinum.

    In a company letter from Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, employees were told the program was designed to reduce Whole Foods’s $150 million health care bill from last year, the Daily News reported.

    Participation in the incentive plan is optional.

    via Whole Foods To Reward Skinny Workers | Long Island Press.

    Do you chew ice?

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    You could be anemic.

    Iron-Deficiency Anemia is a deficiency of iron in hemoglobin, which is often accompanied by a reduced number of red blood cells. Iron is stored in hemoglobin, the protein found in red blood cells that transport oxygen to the different parts of the body.

    Symptoms of anemia are fatigue irritability, increased heart rate, sore or swollen tongue, enlarged spleen, pale complexion, breathlessness, dizziness, frequent breath holding, and pica….

    What is Pica?

    “Pica”, a symptom of anemics, is the craving and chewing of substances with no nutritional value, such as dirt or ice…or eating foods crunch (raw potatoes, carrots and celery).

    Possible Reasons to Chew Ice?
    Ice chewing, also known as pasophagia, is often associated as a symptom of anemics.  Some researches found that anemics chew ice because the ice works as a pain reliever for the tongue pain and inflammation associated with anemia. The same researches found that the ice just tasted better to people who were iron deficient.

    What to do?

    See if the other symptoms match up and get tested! A simple blood test by a medical professional can diagnose the problem and them comes the fun part….

    Treatment:

    Eat More Iron Rich Foods:
    Meat: Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Duck, Turkey, Egg Yolks, Liver and other organ meats

    Fish: Shellfish (Oysters, Clams, Shrimp), Salmon, Sardines and Anchovies

    Beans: Lima Beans, Black-eyed Peas, Pinto Beans, Tofu and Green Peas

    Leafy Greens: Cabbage, Broccoli, Kale, Turnip Greens and Collard Greens

    Veggies: Asparagus, Parsley, Watercress, and Brussel Sprouts

    Dried Fruit: Raisins, Prunes, Dates, and Apricots

    Iron Supplements: May cause irritation of stomach. Take on an empty stomach with orange juice to increase absorption into the body.

    Remember to keep your doctor informed on your symptoms just in case you have a more serious condition.

    http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-basics

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chewing-ice/AN01278

    Menthol Cigarettes are Harder to Quit

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    mmmmm…menthol

    According to a study conducted by University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), the poison in menthol cigarettes goes down easier.

    Menthol is a compound that  triggers the cold-sensitive nerves in the skin and used to relieve throat irritation.  Because of the cooling sensation of menthol, menthol cigarettes smokers are able to inhale more smoke per cigarette (causing more nicotine and carbon monoxide poison per cigarette). The menthol additive makes it easier to smoke a larger number of cigarettes by numbing the body from the harshness of the smoke on the throat.

    More nicotine inhaled per cigarette means even if you cut down the number of cigarettes you have per day, you may still be addicted to the same amount of nicotine. Because the body is addicted to certain level of nicotine, rather than numbers of cigarettes, mentholated cigarettes are harder to quit…because menthol smokers get by on fewer cigarettes per day.

    Dr. Kolawole Okuyemi of the University of Minnesota states “If you take a menthol smoker who smokes 10 cigarettes and a non-menthol smoker who smokes 10 cigarettes a day, the carbon monoxide, the nicotine and cotinine [a byproduct of nicotine] will be higher for the menthol smoker.” That suggests “there is something about menthol that makes it easier to smoke more intensely,” Okuyemi says.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=122868470

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090110085918.htm

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125985943713674851.html

    What is Public Health?

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    Public Health is the science of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health. The purpose of this journal is to promote public awareness on National (United States) and International public health stories, as well as, improving ones own health through disease prevention.

    If I do my job correctly this will serve as a site to demystify the complicated public health stories found in the news and provide helpful healthy tips that you can share with your family and friends.