Sunday, July 29, 2012

Odds and Ends

HPV and Herd Immunity  I believe I've mentioned herd immunity when discussing seasonal flu.  Basically, it means that if enough people in your group are immune to an illness, your chances of getting sick decrease even if you are not immune.  The disease gets blocked before reaching you.  I mention it today because there is a suggestion that herd immunity may working to protect some people from HPV.  Public health advocates hope that young men and women will NOT depend on herd immunity.  I am sure that Merck and GSK also hope that you don't skip the vaccines.

Pretentious Grocers  I frequent stores such as Whole Foods and Earth Fare as rarely as possible as I cannot afford to shop at them. I only go if I cannot find a product somewhere else.  In the last week or so I have had to visit both stores.  As usual, the visits led me to gasp at the prices.  Prices on items that I buy at other grocers were priced, not a few cents more, but dollars more.  That is nuts.  The items come from the same place!  These stores promote themselves with offerings of all natural, organic, people and environmentally friendly products, but exclude a great number of people with their prices.  It must be noted that none of the healthy eating indexes (HEI, AHEI and the AHA version) or the DGA, explained here in the last month, mention all natural or organic items in terms of reducing the risk of overweight or disease.  This is because science has yet to make such a link.

Physical Activity When I first presented my exercise tracker, I noted that I did not include general physical activity.  Instead, I focused on what would be considered exercise, by definition.  I did not include all the activity breaks that I take in a day.  Many of those are walks around the block which I have had to limit with my calf injury. So I noticed that in the last 7+ days, I've done more physical chores than usual.  I have cleaned my bathroom and kitchen, using an old fashioned sponge mop instead of my 'swifter,' and getting better results.  I went to the local coin car wash and washed my own car.  Again, it was cleaner by my own hand.  I spent extra time at the community garden, watering, harvesting and pruning.  These are activities that people do much less these days - meaning we are sedentary in general and specifically.

Hyatt Menus The company press release included a statement on the increase in overweight and obese children, but the menu description does not mention any SoFAS or calorie moderation.  It does note choosing food suppliers whose agricultural practices involve sustainability which I value as an environmentally focused person.  However, the rest of the focus is on organic foods.  Intuitively, organic foods should be better for us if they contain less contaminants or additives, but there is nothing to suggest that using them leads to less calorically dense meals.  So if the hotel chain wants to address obesity they are going to have to do it by lowering calories.  If they want to cater to the deep pockets that shop at Whole Foods and Earth Fare, well, they have that covered then.

Aerosol I learned today that aerosol cans are recyclable.  I thought that disposing of the 'contents under pressure' cans was problematic and checked my city's recycling website to see what I could do.  Indeed, I can recycle as long as the can is completely empty and the nozzle is removed.  Pretty cool.

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