Skip navigation

HealthyChoices

Confused about Nutrition Labeling? It is Getting More Complex

Today, the government, food manufacturers, supermarket chains, health organizations and trade groups are all involved in nutrition profiling systems designed to help you make wise food decisions when you are shopping. Are all these initiatives going to help you, the consumer, along the road to better health? Or, will they simply serve to confuse and confound the well intentioned shopper? Is there consistency between systems, or do they vary widely?

Today's food shopper is confronted with an increasing number of shelf tags to on-pack symbols highlighting the goodness of many products. In the past, price and taste preferences determined most of our choices. While these are still predominant determinants of our shopping choices, our increasing awareness of the connection between diet and health is driving the creation of these systems.

Small Changes Make Big Differences

Earlier last week on my way to speaking appointments I was a passenger on a South African Airways jetliner as it lifted off from Washington's Dulles International Airport bound for Johannesburg, South Africa. It was a long, sixteen hour flight with a refueling stop in Dakar, Senegal. The majority of the flight was spent at approximately five miles above the earth where the air is thin and jet engines are the most efficient.

Are You Ready for H1N1 Flu--or Another Variant?

A sneeze releases millions of germ particles into the air.

During the past week we have heard a lot about the "Swine Flu", now dubbed H1N1. Near paranoia gripped the public and some media for a time. Doomsayers were prognosticating this was going to be "it" for the world we know! We now know that H1N1 responds well to two of the antiviral agents, and also most people who get it get well on their own. Rationale reason seems to be setting in at this time now.

Should we just breathe a collective "Whew, that was close one," and go on with our lives as usual? Or should we grip the edge of our seats waiting for this to get worse, or a more virulent strain to come along in the future?

The characteristics of influenza virus are:

How Tough Are You?

The other day while putting on my headphones for my daily bout of exercise, the head band snapped in two. They were less than a month old, and I had not used any undue exertion on them. When my exercise was finished, I went to the file and found my receipt so I could return them to the store. 

My headphones were not real expensive, and maybe that is why they broke. However, when we consider all the equipment and gadgets we use in life, many of them are rather fragile. Our cell phones can’t be dropped in water, or dropped hard for that matter. Our cameras are even more fragile. The laptops we use for our work and pleasure will shatter if dropped or sat on. Yes, there are some seemly indestructible devices like the “old” landline phone.