Sunday, April 29, 2012

Odds and Ends

Surviving Cancer - For some time now, researchers who study cancer recurrence and survivability have been suggesting that weight control and regular exercise are key factors for both.  Two years ago and times before and since, I also noted that the days of telling cancer patients to rest and eat are long gone.  This past week, the American Cancer Society went a step further - they made  official recommendations and are asking physicians themselves to promote the guidelines with their patients.  An article by Mike Stobbe from the AP is really well written and explains the research both simply and accurately.  Take a look.  Remember as well, what prevents recurrence and reduces fatality also reduces the risk of primary cancer diagnosis.  I.e. may reduce ones odds of getting cancer in the first place.

ROS - It is hard to believe that it has been a year since I attended my first Ride of Silence.  It was such a powerful experience that I wrote about it that evening.  This year it takes place on May 16 - this is an international event. It is a very low key bicycle ride (7-8 miles, 10 mph pace) that is done in complete silence.  It is in honor of cyclists who have been killed or injured.  Please visit this link to find where the ROS is taking place in your state (in your country).

Nutella - Well you probably heard that the company that makes this spread has been charged with false or misleading advertising and has agreed to a settlement.  There was a label claim that using the spread was healthier than using another product.  The lawsuit was triggered by some astute NFP (nutrition facts panel) readers who couldn't understand why something so high in sugar and fat would be better for you.  I checked out a jar at the store today.  It is so, though it may be made with hazelnuts, the first ingredient is sugar.  I also noticed on the label a statement that went something like this, "A balanced breakfast would include nutella on toast, orange juice and skim milk."  Yeah - ok.  I am not a fan of the spread, but let us say it is ok - and sure, calcium (in the skim milk) is good.  But the OJ is overkill and just adds more sugar... maybe an orange or other piece of FRUIT would be best - but NOT a banana.  One of my friends told me she liked nutella on a banana - sugar on a high glycemic starchy fruit = blood sugar spike.

WOTN - I almost started this one off by saying if the USA did not have an obesity problem I would not be in the doctorate program at UNC or writing this blog.  But that is not true - because I love both (blogging and school)- I would just be focusing on tobacco again.  We do have a weight problem though.  A serious and substantial one that has led to a great collaboration between some high level folks.  Beginning next month, HBO will air a 4 part documentary titled, Weight of the Nation.  I was able to get a free screening kit from the CDC (well, they tell me it is in the mail) and I hope to set up some community/university showings.  Here is the press release on the shows.

Cost of Healthy - For the first time that I recall, I saw a hummus that was fat free. In other words, the food maker did not add oil to it when pureeing the chik peas. The store where I saw this was having a sale on this particular humus brand, 2 for 2.99.  There were lots of flavors, but only the original came in FF.  I made sure that the sale tags covered all the flavors/versions.  When it was scanned at the register it did not come up as on sale.  There was a manager helping to bag the groceries and when I said that the price was wrong she said, "Oh I don't think the sale includes the fat free one."  OF course NOT - right?.  But I did get the sales price because of the tags.

Now - I hope I don't do bad on my exam tomorrow because I stopped studying to write my blog... but it was a nice break......

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