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5 Ways TV Can Hurt Your Health

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Couch potatoes beware: Watching the tube for two to three hours a day or more is linked to higher risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and higher rates of early death from all causes, according to new research published today in theJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The culprit is the couch potato lifestyle that frequently accompanies excessive viewing, the researchers report. With the average American logging five hours a day in front of the tube, sitting is replacing exercise.
TV viewing is associated with unhealthy eating, setting the stage for weight gain, the study indicates. Packing on pounds, in turn, boosts risk for diabetes, heart attacks, and a shorter life. Studies also link excessive tube time to sleep deprivation (another heart health hazard) and even nearsightedness in kids. Don’t blame the TV – it can’t shove you onto the couch or serve up a fast food meal. If your main form of physical activity is pushing buttons on the remote, take a look at how these habits can impact your health:
1. Type 2 Diabetes. About 26 million Americans have diabetes, which quadruples risk for heart attack and stroke. The main risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight, a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet (too many fried foods, too much processed meat and sugar-laden beverages), and family history. The JAMA study, which pooled results from earlier studies of 175,938 people, found that two hours of TV viewing daily ups risk by 20 percent.
Best prevention strategies: If you’re heavy, dropping even a few pounds can make a dramatic difference. In a study of people who already had pre-diabetes, those who shed 5 to 7 percent of their body weight (10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person) and exercised 150 minutes per week trimmed risk of progressing to full-blown diabetes by 58 percent. Exercise and weight loss also improve insulin resistance, the problem that leads to diabetes.  
2. Cardiovascular Disease (CVD). This includes heart attacks, high blood pressure, angina (chest pain due to reduced blood supply to the heart), stroke and heart failure. The JAMA study found a 15 percent increased risk for fatal or nonfatal CVD among those who watched TV two hours a day. A recent Australian study found that the more screen exposure kids get, the higher the risk that arteries in their eyes will narrow, which could mean CVD later in life.
Best prevention strategies: Avoid smoking, exercise at least 30 minutes for five or more days a week, have your cholesterol and blood pressure checked, and if they’re high, get them under control via diet, exercise and, if necessary, medication. Maintain a healthy weight and reduce stress (exercise helps with both).
3. All-Cause Mortality. The JAMA study found that watching two hours of TV daily boosted risk of death from all causes during the study period by 13 percent. Worse: the risks appeared to rise with TV viewing of more than three hours daily, due to the couch potato lifestyle linked to excessive screen time.
Best prevention strategies: The same healthy habits listed for fighting diabetes and CVD. 
4. Sleep Deprivation. We need between seven and eight hours of sleep daily but most adults don’t get that much. According to a National Sleep Foundation study watching the tube in bed or near bedtime is partly to blame. Skimping on slumber lifts risk for obesity, heart attacks, and car accidents. Multiple studies show that light at night, including light from the TV, boosts women’s risk of breast cancer.
Best prevention strategies: Turn off the TV at least one hour before bedtime, since the bright light from the screen stimulates the brain, making it harder to doze off. Develop good sleep hygiene. 
5. Nearsightedness in Kids. Myopia (nearsightedness) affects 1.6 billion people globally. By 2020, the number is expected to hit 2.5 billion. Rates are highest in countries where kids watch the most TV and play computer games instead of playing outdoors. In Tokyo and Hong Kong, 30 to 50 percent of kids are myopic, versus 20 percent in the US. Myopic kids spend an average of 4.3 fewer hours per week outside than kids with normal vision and logged about four more hours of TV time weekly, a 2009 study found.
Best prevention strategies: Spending two hours a day outdoors reduces kids’ risk of nearsightedness by encouraging them to focus on objects in the distance, which helps strengthen their eyesight. Outdoor play also helps kids maintain a healthy weight.
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8 Foods That’ll Make You Look Younger

June 9, 2011 Leave a comment
By Nancy Kalish, 
Kicking nicotine and avoiding excessive sunlight will help, but the secret to healthy-looking skin is the food you eat. “The wrong choices cause inflammation down to the cellular level,” says dermatologist Nicholas Perricone, the author of Forever Young, a book about how eating right can keep you looking younger than your years. “And while you can’t see it, that inflammation leads directly to wrinkling, sagging, and premature aging.” Here is what to eat to prevent that from happening.
1. Wild Salmon
The pigment that makes the fish pink, astaxanthin, is a powerful foe of free radicals, rogue molecules that damage cell membranes and DNA and cause skin to age. A study found that eating one serving every five days can prevent actinic keratoses—ugly rough patches that are precancerous.

2. Sweet Potatoes




Beta-carotene, which makes these tubers orange, balances your skin’s pH, helps combat dryness, and promotes cell turnover, all resulting in smoother skin.

3. Tomatoes

The fruit’s red pigment, lycopene, is a potent antioxidant that shields skin from sun damage—like sunscreen, but from the inside out. To best absorb lycopene, eat tomatoes with olive oil.

4. Citrus Fruits




Vitamin C is essential to building collagen, a vital component of young-looking skin, which starts breaking down in your twenties. Citrus also contains bioflavonoids, which protect skin from UV rays and help prevent cell death.


5. Leafy Greens

Spinach, kale, and other greens contain lutein, which protects skin from sun-induced inflammation and wrinkles.


6. Stay Away From White Foods

Need another reason to avoid white bread, pasta, rice, and other refined grain products? They’re quickly broken down into the ultimate white food: sugar. Once in the bloodstream, sugar bonds with protein and creates advanced glycation end products (aptly abbreviated AGEs), which cause collagen to become inflamed and stiff, leading to wrinkles.

7. Why Food Is Always Better Than a Pill

“There are so many factors in food that haven’t been studied. It’s very likely that these unknowns work synergistically for a bigger benefit than what you can find in a supplement.” —Nicholas Perricone, dermatologist.


8. Red Wine and Beer

According to dermatologist Leslie Baumann, red wine contains skin-friendly grape-seed extract and resveratrol, two powerful antioxidants. Hops in beer, it turns out, may also offer antioxidant benefits.

Read Original Article Here

Life’s Instant Booster

May 25, 2011 Leave a comment
Millions of people today prefer to start there day with a hot cup of
coffee. Drinking the right quantity of coffee a day also has benefits
of its own.
Coffee helps a great deal in improving our mental performance. Coffee
contains a compound called “Caffeine” which is considered to boost our
physical energy. Even a small amount of this Caffeine gives a large amount of energy and mental boost. 
Coffee is a beverage, which is prepared from coffee bean. Coffee
beans from different places have different characteristics A lot of
process is involved to convert the coffee seeds to the final product.
Coffee would best go with a book. Nothing like sipping a coffee along with flipping a good book.
Another good combination of coffee is friends.
Chilling out with friends with a cup of coffee is more trendy amongst
the youngsters. Today most of the Coffee Shops are not only packed with the teenagers but with people of all ages. Coffee is loved by all.
Drinking coffee can also cut men’s gallstone
risk. Men who consume about two to three cups of regular coffee per day
had a 40 percent lesser risk of developing gallstone disease. It also
reduces the risk of cancer too.
According to one study, those that drank two cups
of coffee per day as compared to those that drank less than one cup
per day were significantly less likely to develop the disease.
A similar study comparing coffee drinkers to non drinkers found that
those that drank 3 cups of coffee per day were less likely to develop
any disease. Coffee is consumed by students while preparing for exams because it makes them more alert and even boost their learning abilities and power of reasoning.
In the summer months iced coffee is a special
treat. For superior taste, cold coffee with different flavors is
consumed. Expresso, Doppio and Macchiato, Long Black, Caffe Frappe
Freddo, Latte and Cappuccino are some of the varieties that will be a
treat to your taste buds.
Categories: Health Care, Lifestyle

A Common Sense Guide to Healthier Eating

May 17, 2011 Leave a comment
Chances are that you can use a bit of a tune up when it comes to your
diet and nutrition. None of us are perfect eaters 100% of the time,
but it’s always a good idea to strive towards being as healthy as we can
be when it comes to food.
Many of us have lost sight of the fact that food is here to be fuel
for our body. It’s not a comfort device and it’s not meant to be a
source of pleasure per se, such as that pleasure that we feel when we
indulge in that double fudge cake or a tub of ice cream. It’s time for
most of us to re-establish a healthy relationship with our food to
improve our health and to help trim our tummies.
Watch what you Drink
Most of the beverages out there are absolutely unnecessary for us to
consume. Apart from water and low fat milk or soy milk, we really don’t
need to be drinking anything else. Alcoholic beverages are loaded with
sugars, coffees and teas are loaded in caffeine, and soda has both tons
of sugar and caffeine which are not good for our health.
Even fruit juices are so full of sugar that they can be more of a
detriment to our health than a benefit. Drink water and drink it
regularly to not only keep your body hydrated, but to also flush out the
toxins that may be causing weight gain and bloating, and to keep
yourself feeling full for longer so that you don’t reach for those
unhealthy snack foods.
Fruits and Vegetables are Important
Most of us just aren’t eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables
these days. While a daily multivitamin will help ensure that we are
obtaining the correct amount of nutrients we need, nothing tops eating
fresh fruits and vegetables.
If you have found yourself struggling to include these in your diet
before, make a point to have 1 or 2 servings of fruits and/or vegetables
with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try to add them into a smoothie or
into any pasta dishes that you may be making, and make an effort to have
one snack a day have fruits or vegetables be the sole focus. The goal
is to get 5 to 10 servings each and every day for optimal health. The
best thing about fruits and vegetables is that they are great for weight
loss. They keep us feeling full for longer, and the sugars in the
fruits and vegetables will help allay any cravings for “bad” foods.
Make Wholegrain Substitutions
One of the easiest things you can do to improve your health is to
look at all of the “white” foods that you eat and make them “brown”.
This means that the white tortilla shells, the white rice, and the white
pasta you enjoy should all be tossed out and replaced with whole grain
alternatives. There seems to virtually be a whole grain substitute for
any “grain” or “bread” product out there these days, including dinner
rolls and French loafs, so always go for the “brown” product over the
“white”.

CAMBODIA: Bird flu risk "under control", say health experts

April 19, 2011 Leave a comment
Bird flu can sometimes spread to domestic poultry
PHNOM PENH, 18 April 2011 (IRIN) – Health officials in Cambodia stress
that they have not let down their guard against H5N1, despite four
fatal cases of human avian flu this year, and are confident the community-based detection, surveillance and containment model remains robust and effective.

“There is no cause for alarm,” Chea Nora, a technical officer within
the Emerging Disease Surveillance and Response unit at the World Health
Organization (WHO) in Phnom Penh, told IRIN. “Even though Cambodia is
the only country [in the Mekong region] that has had cases this year,
H5N1 is well under control here.”

The four deaths, in February and March, were the first reported cases
of H5N1 in Cambodia since April last year and raised the number of
cases in the country to 14 since 2005, 12 of which have been fatal,
according to the communicable disease department at Cambodia’s Ministry of Health.

Nora said it was important to note that the cases occurred in different
areas of the country, that laboratory tests indicated the virus was
neither mutating nor getting stronger, and that the avian flu season,
which corresponds with the dry season in Cambodia, from November to
May, is nearing its end.

However, he said interviews with villagers had revealed that some
believed H5N1 was no longer a threat because there were no more radio
alerts, which had been part of the national awareness campaign funded
by USAID and the German government.

Ly Sovann, deputy director of the communicable disease control
department at Cambodia’s health ministry, said an appeal to mobilize
resources would be made at the next meeting of the H5N1 Technical
Working Group at the end of this month.

The group comprises officials from the health and agriculture
ministries as well as NGOs, including the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF),
the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Vision and
Medicam (the umbrella group of health NGOs in Cambodia).

Rapid response

Sovann,
the architect of Cambodia’s detection, surveillance and containment
model for communicable diseases, stressed that the rapid response to
each case of H5N1 demonstrated that his ministry had not let its guard
down. The message that H5N1 remains a threat due to the severity of the
disease and possibility that the virus might mutate is constantly
reiterated by the minister to health officials at the provincial,
district and commune levels, as well as village health volunteers, he
said.

The Rapid Response Team (RRT) comprises 1,200
people and covers the entire country, he said. Investigations are
conducted in every village where there is a case to discover the source
of infection and trace all those who had been in contact with the
patient, he said. Two-week COMBI (communication for behavioral impact)
campaigns are also conducted using flyers, loud-speakers mounted on
motorcycles and house-to-house visits by RRT staff.

One difficulty with awareness campaigns about H5N1 is that “the disease
is more alarming to health officials than it is to people due to the
small number of cases and limited transmission of the virus”, he said.

“Ongoing, sustainable health campaigns are required,” he said, noting
that rural Cambodians were more concerned with hunger, dengue fever,
malaria, cholera, diarrhoea and road accidents because they were more
prevalent threats.

Nora agreed that rising food insecurity in rural Cambodia was a risk
factor for H5N1 because hungry families were more likely to eat sick
chickens.

Funding for the country’s national H5N1 education campaign dried up at
the end of 2008 and the ministry has relied on alerts posted online,
text messages sent to staff at health centres throughout the country
and a national hotline since then.

According to the WHO, bird flu has killed 320 people in 12 countries since 2003, the vast majority in Asia.

vm/ds/mw

Categories: Health Care, Local News

In Cambodia, Women Fear Death at Childbirth

April 2, 2011 Leave a comment
By Marwaan Macan-Markar
 
KRAING KAOK, Cambodia, Apr 2, 2011 (IPS) – Death haunts women in this Cambodian village at a moment of happiness –
when they give birth.

“Today, nothing frightens Cambodian women more than having to give birth,”
says Mu Sochuea, former minister of women’s affairs. “It is costly, risky and
not safe for the mothers and the babies.”

Cambodia has acquired the notoriety of having among the highest maternal
mortality rates in the region. Five women die every day during childbirth,
according to U.N. reports.

Public health experts attribute the high death toll to lack of sufficient
midwives, limited health care centres, the cost of health services, and a bias
in remote rural areas towards untrained traditional birth attendants.

Hak Sam Ath still fights back tears as she recalls how Ouch Lay, her eldest
daughter, died at a health clinic that serves this fishing and trading
community on the banks of the Stung Slot River. “She had high blood pressure
at the time she had checked into the health clinic for her delivery,” said Sam
Ath. “But this was overlooked and she died on the night she was to give
birth.”

The death of mothers like 28-year-old Lay, over one year ago in this village
some 60 kilometres southeast of Phnom Penh, confirms why a common
saying in the local Khmer language about the dangers of childbirth still
resonates in this country of some 14 million people. “The expression
‘crossing the river’ is used in Khmer to describe the moment when a woman
is to give birth,” says Sochuea, now an opposition parliamentarian. “It
illustrates the risk and the danger of crossing a river, a totally uncertain
experience, which is how childbirth is viewed by many here.”

The country’s maternal mortality rates reflect this fear. There are 461
maternal mortality cases per 100,000 living births here, which is “among the
highest in the region and which has not changed much since 1997,” noted a
report released Mar. 28 on the country’s progress towards achieving the U.N.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – a set of global targets to reduce
poverty, ensure basic education, achieve gender equity, and overcome major
health challenges.

Such frequent maternal mortality has condemned Cambodia to fall well short
of meeting the fifth of eight MDGs by 2015, which specifically calls on
countries to improve maternal health by reducing maternal mortality ratios.
Cambodia is also trailing to meet the first MDG: slashing the number of
people living in extreme poverty and hunger.

“It is highly unlikely that the original [Cambodian MDG] target of 140 deaths
per 100,000 live births can be reached,” revealed the ‘Cambodian Millennium
Development Goals (CMDG) Update 2010’, the report that was jointly
produced by the government and U.N. agencies. “The target for 2015 has
therefore recently been adjusted to a more realistic level of 250, which still
represents a major challenge.”

To meet such a challenge in a country still struggling to rise to its feet after
the 1991 peace accords – which ended two decades of deadly conflict,
genocide and occupation – the U.N. has courted a prominent ally: Bun Ray
Hun Sen, the wife of Cambodian Prime Minster Hun Sen. The former nurse was
recognised in late February as the national champion for U.N. Secretary-
General Ban Ki-moon’s Action Plan for Women’s and Children’s Health.

“We are tackling the maternal mortality issue at an extremely high level,”
Douglas Broderick, the U.N. resident coordinator here, told IPS. “We will be
working with the first lady to raise the profile of the maternal mortality
challenge in the country.”

Limited numbers of midwives and skilled birth attendants in the hospitals and
health centres has contributed to maternal mortality, with the rural rice-
growing areas – home to nearly 85 percent of the population – being the
worst hit. Nearly 40 percent of births in Cambodia are “unattended by skilled
birth attendants, who could save women’s lives in case of emergencies,”
according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“Maternal mortality in rural areas is three times higher than in the urban
areas,” says Chea Thy, the national health advisor at the Cambodia office of
Plan International, a British child rights agency. “Some health centres don’t
have qualified midwives.”

Midwives are paid approximately 10 dollars for assisting in a birth and the
profession is struggling to attract larger and committed numbers to meet the
health ministry’s national health plans. The government has set its sights on
opening 1,600 health centres across the country, with each having up to two
midwives. This would mark a sizeable increase from the less than 1,000
health centres that currently dot Cambodia.

The high cost of health services in a country where over a third of the
population live in poverty is also fingered as an explanation of why maternal
care is so poor.

“The average payment for a four to six day stay at a hospital is 130,000 riels
(about 27 dollars),” Henk Bekedam, director of health sector development at
the WHO’s regional office, told IPS. “That includes mothers going for delivery,
a patient who has broken a leg, or somebody hospitalised for diarrhoea.”

IPS

Categories: Health Care, Local News

Iron Supplements Beneficial to Many Patients: Doctor

March 21, 2011 Leave a comment
Photo: Courtesy of Google Images
A simple supplement of ferrous sulfate, or iron, can help those who
suffer a deficiency due to diet and other causes, a US-based doctor
said Thursday.
Iron supplements can held women with lengthy menstruation, or who
have just delivered a baby, said Taing Tek Hong, a Florida physician,
as a guest on “Hello VOA” Thursday.
The supplements can help young children and adolescents with rapid growth, or people with colitis or Chron’s disease, he said.
They can also help chronic users of pain relievers like aspirin,
Advil, Motrin, and Aleve, as well as endurance sport athletes, frequent
blood donors, or those with parasitic infections like hookworm or
malaria.
Iron deficiencies in these and other groups can be treated with
ferrous sulfate, 324 milligrams once or twice per day. Common side
effects include constipation; although they can also cause diarrhea.
Supplements can be taken with stool softeners, he said.
VOA Khmer
Categories: Health Care, Local News