Fastrack Archives March 2013
Tuesday March 5, 2013
Smarter Lunchrooms Improve Nutrition
The USDA in January of 2013 passed regulations designed to make school lunches more nutritious by requiring they increase whole grains and make students select either a fruit or vegetable with their purchased lunch.
A study published in the February 2013 Journal of Pediatrics reported that this could be done within 3 hours and for a cost of $50 by using behavioral cues while still preserving choices. They made fruits and veggies more attractive and placed them near the cash register where kids were waiting to pay for lunch. They also received verbal cues from the staff suggesting something like, "would you like an apple?"
Results of this study showed that students were 13% more likely to take fruit and18% more likely to take vegetables and that actual fruit consumption increased by 18% and vegetables by 25%.
We also know from previous research that it is easy to increase vegetable intake by being sneaky by, for example, including pureed vegetables in sauces and meat loaf.
Wednesday March 6, 2013
Epidural Steroid Injections May Lead to Worse Outcomes
According to the February 2013 issue of the journal, Spine, epidural steroid injections (ESI) often lead to more pain and level of functioning at 4 years. In the short term, ESI can have a profound effect on pain relief. In those eventually going to surgery, compared to those not getting ESI, surgeries were shorter as was hospital stay.
While steroids reduce inflammation marvelously, they also have a powerful effect on slowing healing.
Integrative approaches, such as chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, ultrasound, hypnotherapy, qiqong, and infrared light therapy are most ideal because they reduce inflammation but also speed up healing. To learn more about infrared light therapy, click here.
Thursday March 7, 2013
Vaccine Damaged Babies: How The System is Poisoning Us
Len Saputo, MD, who developed a new paradigm that is now known as integral-health medicine warns of the dangers of taking vaccines.
Friday March 8, 2013
Does Your Baby Need Baby Wash?
I never cease to be amazed at the lack of ethics of the pharmaceutical companies and much of the rest of the medical industry. Making a profit is clearly the major objective; service is often merely a convenience. Johnson and Johnson (J & J) are not an exception.
In the February 2013 issue of the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, the J & J funded a study stating that there was no difference in the water loss across the skin and that the amount of water in the skin was slightly higher than when water alone was used. While tis minor finding is of come interest, it never addresses the fact that the product is laden with a number of ingredients that are toxic. This evidence is then used to suggest the product is a good idea. Hello!!
Shame on J & J for submitting an article of such low quality and shame on the journal editors for accepting an article that is so misleading in terms of supporting Top to Toe Wash, which has so many toxic ingredients that it has on the label a safety tip that says, "Keep out of reach of children." In addition, this study looked at hydration of baby skin at two weeks after usage; we have no data on the long term effects, especially considering that the average baby has a life expectancy of about 80 years!
Because a neonate's skin is so permeable and more vulnerable to environmental toxins, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) advises that baby wash be avoided during the first 6 weeks after birth.
Monday March 11, 2013
NSAIDs are Not a Good Idea for Babies
According to an article published in the January 2013 issue of theJournal of Pediatrics, sick children, especially those with dehydration or under the age of 5, are at risk for serious kidney failure if given NSAIDs. Most children were treated with recommended dosages. The reason is suspected to be related to the fact that NSAIDs affect kidney function by restricting blood flow to the glomerulus.
Tuesday March 12, 2013
School Kitchen Garden Programs Work
Grow it, try it, and you just might like it! That is the motto many schools are using to encourage kids to eat more fruits and veggies. A program out of Australia published in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior in March of 2013 recruited 764 kids in grades 3-6 and 562 parents. Each class had 45 minutes a week in the garden with a trained gardener and 90 minutes in the kitchen with a cooking specialist.
Teachers noticed that kids were bringing in healthier foods for snacks and lunches from home and that they were developing social skills by sitting down together to share and enjoy their meals. A great program!!
Wednesday March 13, 2013
Should we Ban Celebrity Endorsements?
A study in the March issue of the Journal of Pediatrics out of the University of Liverpool showed that celebrity endorsements worked very well on 181 kids between the ages of 8-11 when it came to preferring a certain brand of cereal. However, celebrities endorse many products they know little about. Why do we trust them?
Should you believe either John Wayne or the American Medical Association about smoking Camel cigarettes? This is true. During the 1940s and 50s this actually happened. One of the ads that really annoys me is the one where Sally Fields promotes Boniva for osteoporosis. She's a great actress, but she's way over her head when it comes to drugs! Beyonce endorses Coke and Madonna endorses Pepsi.
Most advertisements make a product look far better than it actually is. When it comes to direct to consumer ads for drugs, it is hard to believe that people actually listen to the side effects of the drugs and still go to their doctor requesting it.
Thursday March 14, 2013
Conflict of Interest Policies in Medical Training Programs Work
Big Pharma is a massive business and its responsibility is return on investment to its investors, not you and me. One of the biggest sources of income is from doctors writing prescriptions. A study from the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center that was published in the February issue ofMedical Care reported that it is possible to change the effect of Big Pharma's brainwashing of doctors in training by restricting access to doctors in training.
In this study, 1652 psychiatrists in training from 162 residency programs were tracked after completing their training. One group graduated prior to the reduction in this conflict of interest and the other graduated afterward. The outcome of the study was to see if there was a reduction in how many prescriptions in the group that graduated later; in fact there was a substantial reduction! So, it looks like med schools are finally starting to protect doctors in training from the pharmaceutical industry.
Friday March 15, 2013
Solutions for Spousal Abuse
Spousal abuse is far more common that most of us realize. Actually, abuse is common in most marriages; perhaps that is why 50% of marriages end in divorce, 67% of second marriages end in divorse, and 75% of third marriages end in divorce. It is why marriage couselling is so common!
All to often courting leads to both people being on their best behavior and unless the courting period is sufficiently long, neither person knows the other that well. Until we're authentic ourselves it is very challenging to live in a comfortable relationship with another person.
The solution for spousal abuse is to work on ourselves first through a variety of therapies that range from psychotherapy to bodywork and then work on the relationship. All to often neither person in a dysfunctional relationship is capable of being a healthy partner. Frustration leads to fighting back, and sometimes the approach that is taken can lead to very sad scenarios.
Tuesday March 19, 2013
Aroma Regulates Satiety
Low fat foods feed right into the public's preoccupation with high calorie foods and weight management. However, as we're finding out, this doesn't work! A study out of the University of Vienna studied the effect of four different fats and oils that were added to yoghurt over a three month period to see if it made a difference whether they consumed lard, butterfat, rapeseed oil or olive oil.
Olive oil had by far the most impressive effect in creating satiety and was also associated with the biggest rise in the feel good and satiety producing effects of serotonin. Again olive oil had the most impressive rise in the level of this hormone.
Because olive oil and rapeseed oil have very similar fatty acid profiles, they turned their attention to the aroma compounds found in olive oil. One group was given olive oil extracts in their yoghurt and the other only ate plain yoghurt. What they found is that the group with the olive oil extract ate 176 fewer calories per day!
Lastly, because satiety is closely related to blood sugar levels they looked for compounds in the extract and their effect on blood sugar utilization in liver cells and found that two compounds slowed the absorption of glucose from the blood!
Friday March 22, 2013
The Outrageous Cost of Health Care in America
We spend more on health care in the US than the next 10 countries combined and at the same time we're ranked last among industrialized countries. Go figure! The only way to "achieve" this is to treat health care as a business rather than a service. The $2.8 trillion we spend every year is great for the economy, but does not do much for our health. The average American family of 4 spends nearly $20,000 per year for preferred provider (PPO) plans.
Our hospitals are ripping us off! Their internal price list for supplies and services that is charged to Medicare and insurance companies is done with no logic except to make a profit. A good example is the cost for gamma globulin that costs the manufacturer about $300. The average sale price by hospitals after purchasing this product is inflated on the average to more than $2000, and some charge as much as $4,000! This only happens in the US. US hospitals make a lot of money! Their average operating profit margin is a staggering 12.7%.
The death grip of Big Pharma on price gouging is reflected by legislation passed by President Bush in 2009 that makes it illegal for Medicare to negotiate the cost of pharmaceutical drugs or to even purchase the lower priced drug if there is more than one on the market!
It is no wonder US healthcare costs a lot and delivers so little...