As old and simple as it is, hand-washing, is a great public health tool!
An experiment in elementary school school children demonstrated the value of hand-washing.The children were taught how to take culture samples from their hands and how to wash their hands properly. Ninety-one percent reported they saw reduced microbial growth after cleaning hands--89% said this changed their hand hygiene in the right direction. Most importantly student absenteeism rates dropped significantly as a result of these activities.
PositiveTip: Are you regularly washing your hands? Do your part to faithfully prevent the spread of disease!
Buffets serve up bacteria and viruses--in addition to food.
Eating at a buffet, while very popular and allowing you to eat to the max, may also expose you to many disease causing agents! Touching the serving utensils is like shaking every person's hand in the establishment. Some of these people just coughed or sneezed into their hands, others just went to the bathroom and did not wash their hands. Buffet borne bacteria and viruses can make you sick.
PositiveTip: Use hand sanitizers to clean your hands before touching your food.
Exercise was as effective or more so in lowering mortality for some conditions.
Modern medical research may not detect the most effective therapy for some diseases. Researchers analyzed data from 300 studies to see if exercise interventions were as effective as drugs. They found there was no significant difference between the two treatments for mortality from coronary heart disease or prediabetes. Exercise beat drugs hands down in stroke rehabilitation.
PositiveTip: Make physical activity a part of your routine everyday. (If you have questions, talk with your physician.)
Clinical antioxidant trials have shown increased risk of cancer with supplementation.
The wide use of supplements (50% of U.S. population), fueled by marketing-oriented claims of many benefits, may actually increase the risks of cancer according to a review of many studies. In the face of the abscence of convincing evidence that more is better in nutrient-adequate populations, especially for cancer, the authors called for more education from the scientific community and more regulatory vigilance.
PositiveTip: Healthy food choices are the best way to support health and reduce the risk of disease.
Disease outbreaks are 150 times higher with raw milk.
The interstate distribution and sale of non-pasteurized dairy products has been prohibited in the United States since 1987. However, each state regulates the sale of dairy products produced within its borders, and some states permit the sale of raw milk. In a review of all disease outbreaks between 1993-2006, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) researchers have found that the rate of dairy-associated outbreaks is almost 150 times higher from unpasteurized products than from pasteurized milk. Sixty percent of those sickened were people under 20 years old.
PositiveTip: Consuming food products made from raw milk should not be considered safe under any circumstances.
For thousands of years humans have fallen to the illnesses served up by nature's villains. Infectious disease such as bubonic plague, malaria and tuberculosis have killed millions. But the tables have turned -- we are now killing ourselves at a higher rate than nature is killing us.
The World Health Organization reveals this in the Global Status Report on Noncommunicable Diseases. Each year, of the 57 million deaths in the world, 63% (36 million) are now from self-inflicted causes. Four specific risk factors were identified: (1) tobacco, (2) alcohol, (3) lack of exercise, and (4) poor eating habits.
Around the world, one billion adults are overweight. This will rise to 1.5 billion by 2015. Of children under 5 years of age, 40 million are overweight or obese.
US Surgeon General reports there is NO risk-free level of smoking.
The U.S. Surgeon General has just released How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease, exploring how smoking is responsible for nearly one in every five deaths and costs almost $200 billion in health expenditures and lost productivity per year. The principal message of the report is:
- There is NO risk-free level of exposure to tobacco smoke.
- Smoking leads to DNA damage, bonding of carcinogens to DNA, and cancer growth.
- Smoking damages the delicate lining of the arteries leading to cardiovascular events.
PositiveTip: Stopping smoking is the only way to lessen the severity of tobacco smoke damage.
Americans on average eat less than one-third the recommended amounts of whole grains!
According to the Whole Grains Council, Americans average less than one serving of whole grains per day, falling far short of the three or more ounces recommended daily in the 2005 US Dietary Guidelines. You can learn about the many health benefits, food labeling issues, and serving sizes at Whole Grains 101--a plethora of easy to understand information.