May is National Blood Pressure Month, which means you should be aware of your blood pressure levels and do your best to avoid hypertension and its adverse effects on your health! The consequences of high blood pressure can be devastating, even deadly. Numerous vital organ dysfunctions are associated with chronic, extreme hypertension. Fortunately, you can reduce your own blood pressure levels by altering your daily habits and working towards a healthier lifestyle. One of the most effective ways is to incorporate low-sodium, high-nutrition foods into your diet, such as fruits and vegetables. Start out with the foods listed below if you want to beat high blood pressure.
Low-fat milk is a great resource for calcium and vitamin D, the combination of which can help reduce blood pressure by 3 to 10 percent. Drink skim milk on the daily and you’ll face a 15 percent reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Now that’s some good stuff. Go get your milk mustache on. Read the rest »
Farah & Farah has reported about the health dangers that tainted food can present to Americans, but did you know that some foods and drinks are banned altogether in the United States?
So, here’s the bad news. If you really have a craving for a Taiwanese delicacy called Pig’s Blood Cake, you will actually have to go to Taiwan to get it because it is illegal to serve in the United States. The ban could have something to do with the fact that this snack is a mixture of pig’s blood and rice. While it is indeed served on a stick, calling it “cake” seems like a bit of a stretch.
Unsavory imagery aside, U.S. regulators still consider the consumption of pig’s blood unsanitary and so Pig’s Blood Cake is banned here. Some may say, thankfully so.
Read the rest »
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is urging the federal government to overhaul the current regulation of chemicals in the environment because of a concern about toxicity to children. According to an article in Fair Warning, there are about 80,000 chemicals that are used in everything from paints to cleaners and plastics, yet the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976 regulates just five chemical classes. A spokesperson from the Natural Resources Defense Council says the EPA couldn’t even ban asbestos with the current outdated law. The AAP issued a new policy statement saying the current “innocent until proven guilty” policy is backwards. Businesses that introduce a new chemical into the environment must notify the Environmental Protection Agency but are not required to conduct safety testing.
Published in the May edition of the AAP journal Pediatrics, the statement encourages manufacturers to be responsible for what they manufacture and market and supports giving the EPA the authority to stop the marketing of a chemical or demand additional safety testing. The AAP is getting involved because of susceptibility of young growing brains and bodies to toxic chemicals. Children whose mothers were exposed to pesticides have been shown to have a lower IQ years later. Read the rest »
All one deaf woman wanted in Baptist Hospital was an interpreter. Instead she got a stuffed monkey. Another woman thought she was being denied care at Baptist Medical Center South when she was out in a hallway to wait. Again no sign language interpreters were called, a Florida Times-Union article reports, even though her mother had given them a list. A third woman at Baptist Medical Center downtown couldn’t hear the ER workers when her name was called.
They are among the seven hearing impaired and deaf patients who are suing Baptist Health Systems for violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act. They charge that the hospital system could not or would not provide any sign-language interpreters. Jacksonville Area Legal Aid filed the federal court action last week. Since being deaf or hearing impaired is labeled a disability, it is protected under federal law. Read the rest »
A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that there has been a spike in emergency room visits for recreational use of opioid prescription drugs, which has more than doubled between 2004 and 2008. The number of ER visits for prescription drugs is now equal to the number of visits for illegal drugs and the misuse of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs according to the CDC.
It’s fair to say that the abuse of prescription drugs is a growing national problem for all ages, although the report shows that it is more common for women to abuse these common painkillers than men. The painkillers are typically written to someone recovering from surgery.
ER visits for prescription narcotics went from 144,644, in 2004 to 305,885 in 2008, which represents a 111 percent increase. People in the ER took a higher than recommended dose of the narcotic, took someone else’s prescription, or misused the drug. Read the rest »
Insurance companies that offer health care coverage have been given a larger presence in the American health care scene now that all Americans will need to be covered by private health insurance. One would assume that insurance would also be invested in health in general. That assumption would be false.
Harvard researchers found that giant health and life insurers hold nearly $2 billion in fast-food stocks. Burger King, Jack-in-the-Box, KFC and Taco Bell are favored holdings by the industry because of the returns they pay.
It is no mystery that consuming a lot of fast-food can lead to health problems – obesity, cardiovascular disease, and poor health of children. Ironically, the new health care bill will require fast-food establishments about 200,000 of them, to post their calorie counts on their menus. Read the rest »
Almost everyone would agree that the brave men and women who went in to try and rescue Americans hurt in New York City after the 9/11 attacks on our country are heroes. Many are now suffering the effects of breathing in the miniscule dust which carried toxins and asbestos. To help them, Congress is considering a September 11 Compensation and Health Act, estimated to be about $11 billion over the next 30 years.
On Tuesday, May 25, Republicans in Congress argued that the worker’s compensation plan amounts to an “entitlement program” similar to Medicare. The bill is attempting to establish a permanent fund to care for first responders who are ailing, Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said funding the program would put the nation’s finances at risk and they argued that first responders are already cared for under a $150 million President Obama requested for the year. Those members of the GOP want the first responders to appear before Congress every year to make their case, fearing some people are undeserving. Read the rest »
Triclosan is an antibacterial and antifungal that is found in almost everything. Kids toys, sheets, toothpaste, kitchenware, deodorant, cosmetics, dishwashing liquid, anywhere that germs lie, and that is just about anywhere. It’s estimated up to 80% of hand soaps contain a microbial.
But for years, environmental watchdog groups have been warning that triclosan goes down the drain and has the potential to kill good bacteria and increase antibiotic resistance and mess with hormones.
Now a new study finds triclosan is turning up in lakes and streams, according to a Discovery News article. It’s been found in human bodies and a decade ago, the U.S. Geological Survey found it in 58% of 139 streams sampled. Read the rest »
The federal government is issuing a warning about public pools this summer. About 314 million visit pools in the summer months and in a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) weekly report, CDC researchers find that one out of every eight pools inspected in 13 states two years ago had to be closed for serious code violations.
The violations included improper pH levels and disinfectant which can cause norovirus, Shingella and gastroenteritis. It should come as no surprise that child care facility pools had the highest number of closings at 17.2%. Bacterial contamination came from dirty diapers, poor hygiene, and people swimming who are ill or fail to rinse their bodies before getting into the pool. Read the rest »
It sounded like a win-win. Kids can fight the obesity battle with the help of schools not offering them sugar –ladened drinks. Who could argue with that? Certainly not First Lady Michelle Obama, who has made childhood obesity her targeted campaign.
Who could object?
How about the dairy and beverage industry for one? Florida educators came up with a plan to remove sodas and chocolate milk and Gatorade from Florida public schools. Instead schools would offer water, pure juice and white low-fat milk. Read the rest »