Adverse Outcomes in Pregnancy - There is an increase in the risk of having a stroke during pregnancy and within a few months of giving birth. This information comes from a study that is not yet published, but is described in this link from Heartwire. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease include diabetes and obesity. Because we have more risk factors of heart disease in our children and young adults, it makes sense that these adverse outcomes would be on the rise for young mothers. This is another example of how obesity and being overweight must be viewed as disease conditions and targeted for prevention.
Tylenol Changes - In July of 2009 when I wrote this post Acetaminophen, an FDA panel had recommended that the maximum dose of Tylenol be lowered. Two years later, the drug maker has decided to change its label so that that maximum amount of extra strength Tylenol one should take in a day is 3000mg. Other changes are expected in the future. I won't go back over the why of this, but you can refresh your memory by visiting the past post.
AQI - I have had more than a couple of days this month where I did not feel well - two of them occurring this week. Part of it is due to becoming dehydrated because I AM one of the people who exercises out side in the heat and would need to replenish my electrolytes. But Thursday was especially bad and I had been taking care to hydrate. Oddly, I was speaking with a friend that morning and pondering my malaise without ever thinking of the air quality. The oddity refers to irony really, because I was speaking to the friend who inspired my posting about Air Quality Indexes some years ago. Indeed, in this east coast heat wave, we are also having code orange days - which are not bad for everyone - but they are not ideal exercise days. And just now, I found this AWESOME link that you can visit to see the forecast of Air Quality across the country and a day ahead of time. It is quite a find - take a look
Salad Bars - I occasionally receive updates from Let's Move - the US Government's obesity prevention program but do not spend a lot of time with the newsletter. This week however, I was intrigued by an announcement that there is funding available to help schools get salad bars into their lunchrooms. The grant program is available to any K-12 school that participates in the National School Lunch Program. If you are a parent (aunt, uncle, grandparent) and your "child's" school does not have a salad bar, I would tell them about this program. Here is the website - and this time, I AM impressed.
SNPs - Guess what a SNP is? It is pronounced SNIP and has to do with DNA and genetic codes? OK - Single Nucleotide Polymorphism. It means that a mistake is made when a cell is reproducing. The body can sometimes catch and repair these mistakes and at other times, changes occur which could make one susceptible to a disease or condition or vice versa. I read an article about SNPs and muscle strength and endurance this week. There is some interesting research about predispositions - but GREAT caution was made against using gene testing to determine athletic prowess or prescription. I want you to hear that - if you read advertisements about a test that can determine if you or your child could be a sprinter, jumper or Olympic marathoner - do NOT buy into that hype. I am looking forward to the next article in the series, because it promises to tell us how to change the things that we CAN change. Brace yourself, I expect it will take some effort. (article by Dr. Maria Urso in the ACSM Certified News Vol. 21)
GST - Once again my International Public Health hero, Boyd Swinburn has a quotable moment. He was actually in two stories this week. He is from Australia and has an important position with the World Health Organization. He is also a professor at Deakin University. The reference to GST is about a tax that is used in Australia. A recent study showed that if the GST is not applied to fruits and vegetables sales of them go up significantly. That is a great idea and one that we could use in the US. Since everyone gets their panties all in a wad when we talk about increased taxes on junk food, let us just decrease taxes on healthy food!
Dr. Swinburn also gave a speech about obesity recently and likened the problem and the solution to measures taken in Australia with regard to tobacco (cigarettes). In this speech is a quote to note - it is in direct alignment with what I plan to write my dissertation on:
"Clearly we have not had a global (obesity)epidemic because people have suddenly lost willpower or mothers don't know how to parent any more.''
And thus - the rise in obesity has a great deal to do with the availability of very high calorie food that is mercilessly marketed to everyone and more readily available to the poor.