Sunday, October 11, 2009

Odds and Ends

The first O&E is an odd that should be ended! A product called, Cholest Off. It is not a medicine but falls in the very broad, not well defined and NOT regulated supplement category. The problem is that these products are not under FDA guidance and do not have to be proven effective. They of course have to meet some level of safety, but not the same level as medications. If the makers falsely advertise them or undeclared items are found in them, or people start having problems, then the FDA can do a cease and desist order. I do not know a thing about this product. I just heard the commercial and almost threw something at the TV. If you want to keep yourself from getting high cholesterol and do not have a significant family history of it, watch what you eat. If you want to treat high cholesterol, exercise and watch what you eat. If your cholesterol level is putting you at risk for atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular events, talk to your physician about a medicine that has been proven effective in rigorous clinical trials. And THEN, get the generic version.

We had a guest speaker at work this week and he was from the county waste management and green business department. It was actually a very good presentation. The most important message being that we cannot just recycle everything and think that is enough. The mantra is really reduce, reuse and THEN recycle. Reduce for example, by buying a water filter jug and not water bottles. Reuse, by not buying new disposable plastic wear every week, but using the ones you have again and again ( I reuse my plastic baggies). Finally, recycle plastic, glass, aluminum, cardboard etc. Different cities, counties and states have different rules on what is recyclable and it is often related to the “market”. Some places pay for plastics numbered 1-7 while others only 1 and 2, etc. One of the biggest waste makers that I have become more in tune to as I mature are CARS. We do not need a new car because there is a new model out there. Appliances may be similar. When both have more environmentally friendly versions it makes more sense to recycle or remove your version. The gentleman who spoke to us also showed pictures of and explained our landfills. Landfills are very different from dumps and though burying things in the ground disturbs my senses, they are least are doing in with a great deal of engineering and environmentally protective measures. Oh and lastly, there are three reasons why plastic bottles should NOT be capped when recycled. One is that the cap plastic is often not worth any money, two the caps can get stuck in the machines and three, when the bottles are squished; the caps can be lethal (well disfiguring) projectiles. Oops, one more. I did not know this, but cereal boxes are NOT recyclable.

Do you fish for the answers that you want? I had a voice mail message this week from someone who had attended a tobacco education class of mine. The caller said that she had spoken to several people and read a few things regarding the E Cigarette and was still trying to determine if the product was safe or not. She decided to call me because she thought if anyone would know, it would be me. Right indeed! I called her back and explained that the product had not been tested for safety before being marketed and that recently there had been some reports of human toxins being found in the e cigarette vapor. Of course not all E Cigarettes are the same so whether or not the one you buy has ethylene (or diethylene) glycol or other substances is not a certainty. The FDA is currently investigating. My advice to the caller was NOT to use the product. If she was interested in quitting smoking, then nicotine replacement therapies that had been vetted were available. She was more interested in using the product long term, instead of smoking. She argued around me as I spoke until I finally told her that she could keep calling people if she wanted to, but the answer is, the product is not proven safe. She was very much looking for someone to tell her it was and kept trying to rationalize the danger away.

Oh and my favorite for the ends of the odds and ends! Gym memberships are cost effective! This bit of info did NOT come from the DHHS or CDC or anyone interested in you joining their gym or getting your BMI down. It came from a financial program on Fox or CNN over the weekend. The financial advisor stated that people who are overweight spend 1500 dollars more per year than those who are not and that gym memberships generally cost less than half that, per year. Sweet news!

and NOW - SNF -Sunday Night Football

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