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ANOTHER REASON TO EAT ORGANIC FOOD AND SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS

A new study has shown that children with higher levels of pesticide metabolites (chemicals generated when the body breaks down pesticides) were more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

 

THE RATIONALE:
1) Approximately 40 organophosphate pesticides are approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for use in the US. In 2001, approximately 73 million pounds of organophosphate pesticides were used.
2) According to the National Academy of Sciences, the major source of exposure of infants and children to pesticides is through their diet.
3) Children are at greatest risk for pesticide toxicity because they have developing brains and because they are smaller so the amount of exposure (dose) per body weight is greater.

 

THE FINDINGS:
1) From about 1,000 kids ages 8-15, approximately 10% had been diagnosed with ADHD.
2) Children with higher levels of pesticide metabolites in their urine were more likely to have been diagnosed with ADHD, even after considering other factors such as age, race/ethnicity, poverty, etc.
3) For the most commonly detected pesticide metabolite, children with levels in the top half of the sample were twice as likely to have been diagnosed with ADHD compared to children without detectable levels of that compound.

 

SO WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
1) You can try to avoid these types of pesticides by buying (and growing!) organic produce. See the link below for a good resource on finding organic food and direct-from-the-farmer produce. (See Local Harvest for sources near you!)
2) You can frequent farmers markets where you can actually ask the person who grew the food how it was produced. “Excuse me, can you tell me if any pesticides were used on these vegetables?” If yes, what did you use and why?

MORE BAD NEWS FOR SALT AND PROCESSED FOODS

Red meat has gotten a bad rap because of the saturated fat that it contains and the presumed link between saturated fat from red meat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. That is why a new study (article from WSJ) from the Harvard School of Public Health is so interesting. The researchersreported that the presumed risks associated with red meat in general are actually associated with processed meats such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs and cold cuts—and not from steak, hamburgers and other non-processed cuts.

 

THE INFO:
- Daily consumption of about two ounces of processed meat was associated with a 42% increased risk of heart disease and a 19% increased risk of diabetes.
- Daily consumption of about four ounces of red meat from beef, hamburger, pork, lamb or game animals was not significantly associated with an increased risk of heart disease or diabetes.

 

THE POTENTIAL CULPRIT?
“Processed meats generally have about four times the amount of salt as unprocessed meats.”

 

Just another reason to consume fresh, unprocessed foods!

WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER

There is an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today about a Stanford study that showed that phone calls – even recorded calls from a machine – helped people exercise more than when they did not receive any reminders or encouragement.

 

One thing that is interesting about the article is that it acknowledges that although having a workout partner or exercise buddy can increase the likelihood of exercising, not everyone likes to exercise with someone else. Some people would rather exercise alone or not have to coordinate schedules with someone else. What is interesting about this study is that it shows that you can (and perhaps should) have an effective workout partner with whom you do not actually exercise!

 

So, one thing we can all do is to formulate our movement goals and make them known to at least one other person – your new workout partner. You don’t have to exercise with this person, but you should commit to checking in with each other on a regular basis to see how things are going. Important points from the study are that the conversations should remain positive – congratulations on exercising and questions about how to make up missed workouts – scolding is not necessary. This approach greatly increases the number and type of people that you can have as workout partners!

 

Closing quotes from the article:
“You don’t want to let your team members down,” says Angel Patterson-Tetuan, a registered nurse who recently completed Walk Kansas  for her second consecutive year. She credits the program with helping  her lose 40 pounds and develop a year-round exercise regime. “I  used to be able to tell you what was on television every night,” says  Mrs. Patterson-Tetuan, a 42-year-old mother of three. “Now I have no idea. I’m up and moving, and so are my children.”

 

And that makes me smile.

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