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Posts Tagged ‘Children’

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Hold on to your hats folks, this is not good news…

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Kulkarni et al., Popul Health Metr. 2011

Over the years, the life expectancy of an adult in the US has increased dramatically. It is almost a law of nature that with advances in medicine, nutrition, and public health (vaccinations, etc.) life expectancy increases over time. A decrease in life expectancy is a sign of something going seriously wrong.

The figure above is from a recently published paper titled, “Falling behind: life expectancy in US counties from 2000 to 2007 in an international context.” It shows changes in life expectancy for women from 1987 to 2007. You will note from the figure legend that the red on this map depicts counties in which the change was less than zero. That means that the life expectancy of women in those counties has decreased over the past two decades.

This comes on the heels of a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation titled, “F as in fat: How obesity threatens America’s future.” Here are a few tidbits:

  • Colorado is the only state with an obesity rate below 20% (coming in at 19.8%)
  • A state at 19.8% obesity would have had the highest rate in 1995
  • No state has had a decline in the rate of obesity
  • Over the past 15 years, rates of obesity have doubled in seven states and rates of diabetes have doubled in 10 states

We are experiencing a crisis – and we need to make some changes. There will be no single solution, rather we will have to change our behaviors, policies, environments, practices, etc.

What are you going to change today?

FOODS WITH BENEFITS?

Monday, May 16th, 2011

The NYT is writing about food labeling again and how it seems that products from cereal to yogurt to juice are including claims on their packaging regarding how their product (which is usually packed with sugar) is gonna make your baby smarter or make you poop faster.

These labels tend to bother me as a consumer and as a scientist. It is misleading and unethical to lead people to believe that rice krispies will boost your immunity or that frosted mini wheats will make your kid ace an exam. Moreover, these types of claims often appear on “foods” that have been so processed and refined that I sometimes cannot even tell what they are actually made up of anymore.

As a result, I offer the labels above (which can be printed on Avery US Letter 5160 label paper – wink, wink). They read, “Humans have been on this earth for thousands of years. It is likely that early humans would not have even recognized this product as food.” I consider these labels appropriate for highly processed or refined foods making outrageous health claims. Feel free to use as you see fit.

HAPPY (BELATED) MOTHER’S DAY!

Monday, May 9th, 2011

Moms do so much for us and are so infrequently appreciated for all of their sacrifices and hard work. When we are young, moms feed us, play with us, and tuck us into bed. Moms sacrifice their own sleep and peace of mind to care for their children and ensure that they are healthy and safe. So, today we thank our moms who have and who will continue to always love and look after us.

Thanks mom.

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