In It For Health

Where health and psychology intersect

Posts Tagged ‘life’

The FDA is finally wising up about serving sizes!

Posted by Dr. Susan on February 9, 2010

It’s taken a long time, but maybe, just maybe, the FDA is realizing what I’ve said for years-many food companies are basically con artists when it comes to reporting serving sizes accurately and in a way that truly represents the product. This article explains it: half a muffin is a serving size; six potato chips…really!? They count on consumers looking at the calories and not paying attention to the serving size, and unfortunately, in many cases that’s exactly what happens.

This is not to say that the consumer is without responsibility–we should be more educated and less willing to be duped. But less face it, if we were more disciplined, we wouldn’t be one of the most overweight nations in the world.

Regardless, accurate, realistic packaging should be mandatory! A whole muffin, an entire bottle of juice, a bowl of chips or ice-cream–THIS is a serving size and should be labeled as such, with the calories reflected right on the package. Perhaps when we see what we’re actually eating, not what we wish we were, or would like to pretend we are, we’d stop being one of the most overweight countries on the planet!

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Turn the TV off…seriously, you might die!

Posted by Dr. Susan on January 11, 2010

This study finds that for every hour a day you watch TV, you increase your risk of dying–from any cause–by 11%. For dying from cardiovascular disease, the increased risk was 18%. The study goes on to say that when they compared people who watched less than two hours of TV a day to those who watched more than four, the four-hour watchers had an 80% greater chance of dying from cardiovascular disease.

OK, that’s scary! But the issue is not about TV exactly…it’s about NOT moving your body! The more TV you watch, the more likely you are to be sedentary, the more likely you are to NOT be healthy. You get it, right. So…turn off the TV and take a walk….or some day someone may find you kicked-off in front of the TV, having breathed your last breath. Wouldn’t that be ironic!

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Beware of weight-loss spam!

Posted by Dr. Susan on January 6, 2010

It’s interesting, but this new study shows that young adults and teens are more likely to be suckers for purchasing the products you receive in weigh-loss spam!! Don’t do it. No matter how bad you feel about your body in that moment (or the email makes you feel it), this stuff at best likely doesn’t work and at worst is bad or DANGEROUS for you. This includes supplements, liquids, and detoxification products. All of these can make your heart beat too fast and throw off your electrolytes–both of which can cause a heart attack, resulting in death–yup, really!

Stick with traditional, healthy weight loss techniquest–the kinds that come from your doctor or a well-balanced diet and exercise. Sorry!! There really are no quick fixes, expecially when it comes to your health. So make sure you hit the delete button, quickly.

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TV contributes to toddler violence

Posted by Dr. Susan on November 2, 2009

A new study finds that toddlers who watch TV are more likely to be violent! This study controlled for MANY other factors, such as mom’s depression, spanking, and living in an unsafe neighborhood. As a parent it is critical that you be aware that the TV and other media (movies, internet, video games) are not benign influences on your child–especially at young ages.

Limit exposure, and most of all pay attention to ratings. However, even during otherwise appropriate shows, the commercials may not be wholesome enough for younger viewers. For example, on Nick, during the most wholeome ‘Full House’, tantalizing ads for the super-racy ‘Degrassi’ are being shown to young kids who shouldn’t yet know about sex, sexting, drugs and other teen topics, let alone be having them role-modeled on TV. They’re already being primed to watch these shows as young as they can nag you into letting them, so be ready!

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Workplace wellness works!

Posted by Dr. Susan on September 3, 2009

Research is now showing that companies that utilize wellness programs can save anywhere fromf $3 to $15 for every $1 they spend on wellness! In addition, aside from savings and productivity, great wellness programs will attract better employees and increase morale. Important factors in a great program include targeting: smoking cessation, stress reduction, nutrition, early detection/weight management, workplace safety and disease management.

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Less Stress for Back to School Success

Posted by Dr. Susan on August 24, 2009

the transition of going back to school can cause anxiety and be a bit scary for kids…and parents. Parents and kids can have less stress for back to school success by following the tips in this article: http://bit.ly/POPTg. Have a great start to the school year!

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Even teens who THINK they’re overweight are at risk for suicide!

Posted by Dr. Susan on May 19, 2009

A huge study,  published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, finds that both BOYS and GIRLS who either are, or think they are overweight, are more likely to attempt suicide. This tells us two things:

1. We need to develop better social, school and peer supports for overweight kids and teens as well as those who have poor body images and don’t need to lose weight.

2. We need to become more effective at helping those kids who need to lose weight do so.

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Stay Healthy after losing your job

Posted by Dr. Susan on May 5, 2009

Losing your job might be the toughest experience you’ve ever had and you’re likely to want to climb into bed, eat junk food and watch TV! But, this won’t help you find another job. In fact, staying healthy will not only keep your body looking and feeling good–it will help you at interviews, by keeping your mind sharper too. Check out this article for some easy, inexpensive, practical tips to keep yourself from getting into a big slump!

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A recession maybe, but not when it comes to cheap sweets!

Posted by Dr. Susan on March 26, 2009

Since the crash of the market, there’s been an uptick in purchases of inexpensive candy and cheap chocolates! This great NY Times article, explains that even as we wallow in the demise of life as we knew it, we continue to soothe ourselves with instant gratification!

Despite the fact that we know eating too much junk food is not good for our health,  we still associate sweets with helping ourselves feel better and we’re suckers (no pun intended!) for the feeling that we had when we were innocent kids at the corner candy shop and all was right with the world.

So as we get fatter (again!) while we lose all our money, yet another corporate entity–the candy makers–are raking in the bucks. Let’s not let that happen!!! A little good-quality chocolate once in a while is great for stress reduction (it increases your feel-good neurotransmitters), but please don’t sacrifice your health for a quick sugar fix all the time!

Instead, when you’re feeling a little down, take a walk, talk to a friend, write in a journal, ask your kid to tell you some funny knock-knock jokes. All of these will lift your spirits just as well…maybe better…than candy, and without the negative side effects.

Also, when you’re stressed, don’t jump to other negative habits. Smoking, drinking, drugs–you know the drill. Over-eating is on that list too.

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TV time in teens linked to depression…interesting

Posted by Dr. Susan on February 9, 2009

Does your child watch a lot of TV? If so, here’s yes ANOTHER compelling reason to make a change! This new study finds that the more TV teens watch (especially boys), the more likely they are to become depressed as young adults. The researchers theorize that watching TV isolates kids, which makes them less likely to interact with peers–having a strong social network innoculates one against depression; or play sports–physical activity has been shown to be as effective as antidepressants for mild to moderate depression.

However, you can’t suddenly tell your teen to stop watching TV, you need to set the rules when your child is young and stick with them all the way through, beginning with no TV in bedrooms!

What’s more–if YOU are depressed, the same rules apply to you: TV isn’t helping you feel better. So turn it  off and get out…talk to your friends and go for a walk. Even better…go for a walk with your friends!

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