Monday, October 20, 2014

Sugary drinks warning signs change habits of US teens

Signs warning shoppers how much exercise they need to do to burn off calories in sugary drinks can encourage healthier choices, US research suggests.
A study of teenagers' purchasing habits found they bought fewer sugary drinks and more water when the signs were up.

The most effective sign said it took five miles to walk off the 250 calories in a sugary drink.

Public Health England said the study showed simple health messages worked.

Study leader Dr Sara Bleich, associate professor at the Bloomberg School, John Hopkins University, said people do not understand calorie content on its own on a label.

"What our research found is that when you explain calories in an easily understandable way such as how many miles of walking is needed to burn them off, you can encourage behaviour change."

For six weeks, the brightly coloured signs were displayed in corner shops in neighbourhoods in Baltimore, in full view of young customers buying sugary drinks.

Four different signs were used in the shops. Two translated the calories in the drinks into the amount of exercise needed to burn off those calories.

One sign said it would take 50 minutes of running to work off the 250 calories - or 16 teaspoons of sugar - contained in a 590ml bottle of fizzy drink, sports drink or fruit juice.

The remaining signs listed the sugar content of the drink and the calories contained in the drink.

A can of fizzy drink, which is 330ml in size in the UK, contains around nine teaspoons of sugar.

To find out the impact of the signs, the researchers - writing in the American Journal of Public Health - interviewed children aged between 12 and 18 years old leaving the shop.

Out of the 35% of those interviewed who said they saw the signs, 59% said they believed the sign and 40% said their behaviour had changed as a consequence.

Before the signs were put up, 98% of drinks bought in the shops were sugary ones. After six weeks, this was reduced to 89%.

During the time the signs were on view, sales of larger bottles of fizzy drinks went down from 54% to 37% of all purchases.

The percentage of teenagers who chose to buy no drink at all in the shops increased from 27% to 33%.

This change in behaviour continued for several weeks after the "exercise" signs were taken down, the study adds.

In total, more than 3,000 drinks purchases were observed by the research team.

Dr Bleich said the findings could help in the fight against obesity,

"This is a very low-cost way to get children old enough to make their own purchases to drink fewer sugar-sweetened beverages and they appear to be effective even after they are removed.

"Using these easy-to-understand and easy-to-install signs may help promote obesity-prevention or weight loss."

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at Public Health England, said: "This is an interesting study which demonstrates that we need to use a range of clear, simple messages to help people follow healthier diets.

"This is one of many possible approaches and PHE continues to keep the evidence base for behaviour change under review."

PHE says Change4Life uses "sugar reveals" in its campaigns which have been proven to have an impact on a person's selection of drinks.

Dr Tedstone added: "We all need to make sure we get our six to eight glasses of fluids a day not from sugary drinks but from water, lower fat milk, no added sugar or sugar-free drinks."

Kawther Hashem, a nutritionist at campaign group Action on Sugar said that any measure which helps draw attention to the dangers of consuming too many calories - was "a good thing, especially if it converts awareness into people taking positive action and switching to less calorific drinks".

She said it was also critical that soft drink manufacturers were made to reduce the sugar content of their drinks.

One quarter of all adults and one in five children in the UK are classified as obese.


Saturday, October 18, 2014

best vitamins for energy deficiency

•    Are a group of organic nutrients required in small quantities for a variety of biochemical functions, forproper metabolism, to protect health, and for normal growth and activity of the body. Also for the prevention of a number of diseases.
•    Most vitamins cannot be synthesized by the body.  They must be supplied in the diet.
•    Vitamins are usually classified as water soluble or fat soluble

Types of Vitamins:
1. Fat-Soluble Vitamins:
•    Fat soluble vitamins often have very specialized functions
•    Necessary for the function or structural integrity of specific body tissues and membranes.
•    Can be retained in the body, and are not leached out quickly. 
•    Apolar hydrophobic compounds that can only be absorbed efficiently when there is normal fat absorption.
•    Unlike water soluble vitamins, an excess of a fat soluble vitamin can be just as harmful as a deficiency


2.  Water-Soluble Vitamins:  
–    Act as catalysts and enzyme cofactors in metabolic processes and energy transfer.
–    Are not stored in the body (excreted fairly rapidly) and must be replaced each day.
–    These vitamins are easily destroyed or washed out during food storage and preparation (overcooking)
–    Water soluble vitamins do not accumulate in the body, so regular supplies are necessary


Vitamin A:

Vitamin A is also known as retinol
Vitamin A Sources:
•    Commonly found in cod liver oil, green vegetables, fruit dairy products, eggs, and liver
•    Carrots indirectly serve as a source of vitamin A since they contain b carotene which the body readily converts to vitamin A

Vitamin A Functions:
•    Role in aiding in night vision.
•    Retinol is oxidized to retinal, which combines with the protein opsin to form rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is the active agent which converts light signals to electrical impulses that the optic nerve transmits to the brain
Vitamin A Deficiencies:
•    A deficiency in vitamin A results in night blindness.
•    The most serious deficiency results in a condition known as Xeropthalmia, a severe form of conjunctivitius or blindness.

Excess of Vitamin A:
•    Carotenemia; Bleeding; Hepatosplenomegaly (rare)

2-Vitamin D (Calciferol)
    Dairy products, eggs, Fish liver oils. Synthesized by sunlight action on skin.
    Unlike other vitamins, the body synthesizes vitamin D in the skin through the action of ultraviolet light on 7-dehydrochlosterol
Vitamin D Functions:
    Vitamin D is an important regulator of calcium metabolism. 
    It is involved in the uptake of calcium and phosphate ions from food into the body. 
    It is necessary for the proper formation of  bone structures and teeth.
Vitamin D Deficiencies:
•    Rickets (children)
•    Osteomalacia (adults)
Excess of Vitamin D :
•    Hypercalcemia leading to metastatic calcification and renal damage (rare).

3- Vitamin K:
•    Blood clotting, Required for synthesis of Prothrombin (II) and clotting factors VII, IX and X.
•    Green leafy vegetables, liver; Naturally produced by bacteria in the intestine.
•    Hemorrhagic disease

Water-Soluble Vitamins:
1-    B12 (Cyanocobalamin)
Food source:
Red meats, Liver, eggs, dairy products and fish
Nucleic acid production
Megaloblastic anemia (Pernicious anemia);neuropathy.

2-    Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
•    Citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes
•    Collagen formation in teeth, bone, and connective tissue of blood vessels
•    May help in resisting infection
•    Absorption of iron, calcium, folacin
•    Ascorbic acid is a great antioxidant
•    Works with vitamin E as a free-radical scavenger.
•    Scurvy (breakdown of skin, blood vessels, and teeth)
•    Impaired wound healing.
•    *Vitamin C deficiency- often results secondary to hyperparathyroidism

•    None known, minimal-possibly urinary calculi, gastrointestinal complaints including diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramps

3-    Folic Acid (Folacin)

Whole-wheat foods, green vegetables, legumes, organ meats, fish, citrus fruits.
Nucleic acid metabolism
Megaloblastic anemia (Pernicious anemia)

Other vitamins:

1.    Vitamin P (bioflavonoids, citrin):
a.    Helps increase strength of capillaries found in the mesocarp (tasteless, spongy, white layer beneath the rind) of lemon fruit.

2.    Vitamin F (unsaturated fatty acids):
a.    Is important in respiration of vital organs.
i.    -helps maintain resilience and lubrication of     cells.
ii.    -helps regulate blood coagulation.
iii.    -is essential for normal glandular activity.

3.    Vitamin B13 (Orotic acid):
a.    is needed for the metabolism of some B-vitamins

4.    Vitamin B15 (Pangamic acid):
a.    helps eliminate hypoxia helps promote CHON metabolism stimulates nervous and glandular system

5.    Vitamin B17 (Laetrile):
–    has been linked to cancer prevention

Whole Grains are Great for You

Including more whole grains in your diet is one of the tastiest and most effective ways to reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, many cancers and obesity. For best results include 3 servings of whole grains every day.

Here are 7 easy ways to get 3 servings a day. (1 serving is 1/2 cup prepared whole grains like oatmeal or brown rice; 1 slice of 100% whole wheat bread; a "serving" (check nutrition label) of any 100% whole grain cereal; 1 oz of 100% whole grain crackers/snacks):

    1 cup of prepared oatmeal for breakfast; 1/2 cup brown rice at dinner.

    A "serving" of 100% whole wheat/grain cereal for breakfast; a sandwich at lunch made with 100% whole wheat or 100% whole grain bread.

    One 100% whole wheat bagel at breakfast; 1 oz (std serving) of whole grain tortilla chips for a snack.

    1/2 cup stone ground whole grain grits (not standard grits) at breakfast; 1, 6" 100% whole wheat tortilla at lunch; 1/2 cup barley at dinner (great in soup and stews).

    3/4 cup prepared oatmeal at breakfast; 3/4 cup quinoa at dinner.

    1/2 cup homemade granola (get my recipe) at breakfast; 1 serving (1oz) of 100% whole wheat crackers as a snack (100% whole wheat Wheat Thins, Ak-Mak, Rye Crisps, Triscuits); 1/2 cup brown rice at dinner.

    1, 100% whole wheat English muffin at breakfast; 3/4 cup Quinoa at dinner.

If you want to be adventurous try the "other" more exotic whole grains - farro, kamut, spelt, amaranth and kasha.

If diabetic, pre-diabetic, overweight or trying to lose weight, physically intact grains are best. In other words, avoid breads and crackers.


Healthy Mall Food || America's Healthiest Mall Food

When you hang out in malls, you get tempted to have foods available in food courts. But, foods that are available in food courts are rich in fat content. A great number of people resist themselves of having mall food with the fear of having more number of calories that contribute to the problem of obesity. Here are some healthy mall food choices that you can enjoy and at the same time enjoy a perfect health.

An important factor to be considered while selecting mall foods is the fat content of the foods.

• Fruits are very healthy foods that have zero fat and are rich in fiber and other nutrients. Hence, a fruit bowl with an assortment of fruits is a very healthy mall food.

• Pretzel without fat is also a healthy food choice. One can have about 170 calories of energy by having a single pretzel.

• If you love to have animal foods, then consider having chicken soup.

• A cup of hot coffee.

• Small sized fat free ice cream cone.

• Mexican foods are a great choice of healthy mall foods. However, it is essential to eliminate the guacamole sauce and the sour cream to control the fat content of the foods. A chicken burrito or a taco without sour cream is a very healthy mall food to have.

• Even Chinese foods are good to have at malls. But, it is essential to request the chef to use less amount of oil. Chicken and broccoli or shrimp and broccoli cooked with least amount of oil are a healthy choice. Avoid having fried egg rolls that are rich in fat content.

• If you wish to have a burger, avoid including cheese. Instead, add sauces for taste. Make sure to order a small sized burger as the patty used also contributes to the fat content.

• Nutritious bars made of whole grains and nuts are a good choice instead of having sugary cream filled candies.

• Brown rice, spaghetti and whole grain pasta that are rich in fiber content and are very nutritious are very healthy to have.

• A small bowl of sprouting seeds mixed with grated carrot and celery is a good choice. However, avoid using extensive salad dressings that are rich in fats.

• Avoid the habit of ordering items such as French fries that are not only unhealthy but also do not have any nutritional value.

In addition to making healthy food choices, it is essential to take certain measures before going out to a mall to become less tempted at outside foods. Before you leave for a mall, have a nice meal that is handmade at home. This will cut down your appetite and you will be less tempted to have outside foods. If you are planning to hang out for a very long time, consider packing simple snacks along with you. This way, you will not only enjoy perfect health but also save good amount of money which you can divert towards your shopping.


After zooming from one end of the mall to the other, don't you deserve a quick bite? Of course. Does it have to be greasy fries, gooey cinnamon buns, or some other equally fattening, sodium-loaded calorie bomb? No way! Believe it or not, you can eat healthy while you tackle holiday errands. Check out our delicious, nutritious picks.,,20437424,00.html

Despite 'Healthier' Options, Fast Food Is Still High in Calories

A trip to your local drive-through may present you with more options than you would have had a decade ago. Salads, oatmeal, fruit smoothies – at a glance it’s easy to think that fast food restaurants have upgraded their typical fries and burger fare. However, a closer examination reveals that despite the explosion of ‘healthy’ options, fast food still will not do your waistline any favors.

Katherine W. Bauer of the Temple University Department of Public Health and Center for Obesity Research and Education led a study examining the calorie counts of offerings at eight popular fast food chains. The menu selections and average calorie counts of the last 14 years were tabulated and compared.

This study confirmed the ballooning of fast food menu choices. In 1997, the eight restaurants studied had a combined total of 679 menu items. By 2010 that number had leaped to 1036 items. Much of this increase is accounted for by ‘healthy’ options that include entree salads and sweetened teas.

With the number of healthy options increasing, one would expect that the average calorie count would decrease. However, this is not the case. Bauer’s study found that there was very little noticeable change in the median number of calories in entrees and drinks. The average calorie count in side dishes did decrease from 264 to 219, likely because of limits on size and the addition of more side salads.

Why No Change?

Although an increase in the number of salads and smoothies sounds like an improvement, choosing a salad over a Big Mac will not necessarily reduce your calorie count. The study cites two reasons for this. First, many fast food salads include rich dressings and calorie-dense toppings like cheese and bacon bits. Second, people may not stop at a salad. "You might order a lower-calorie entree, but then you get a drink, fries and a dessert," said Bauer. "Calories can add up very quickly."

Another issue with fast food calorie counts lies not in the menu offerings but in the consumer’s desire to eat. A calorie-dense fast food meal may not be a problem every once in a while, but as a regular part of a person’s diet they can quickly lead to unwanted pounds. A recent study showed that 80% of adults had purchased fast food in the past month and 28% had reported fast food consumption in the past week.

Bauer explains that her study is not meant to discourage people from ever eating fast food. However, diners should take preparation method, portion size and condiments into consideration when making food choices.

Access to Information

Recent changes in US law will require all restaurants with more than 20 locations to display calorie counts on their menus. This leads to an interesting question: will greater access to nutritional information change consumer’s dining habits?

Bauer speculates that being forced to display caloric information may prompt restaurants to change their offerings even more. "Fast food restaurants may modify the calorie content of the foods they sell so consumers can see a smaller number on the menu board," she explains. "The key is for consumers to try to educate themselves about calories and be aware that just because a restaurant promotes healthful options, does not mean that overall the foods sold are lower calorie."

Steps to Take Now

Just because fast food menus are not getting much healthier yet does not mean you have to avoid the drive through completely. Instead, go in with as much knowledge as possible. If calorie counts are not plainly available on the menu board, ask for copies of the restaurant’s nutritional information. You can also find this information online.

Another common trap to avoid when eating fast food is consuming unnecessary calories. The average 20 ounce soda can have over 200 calories – calories that could be eliminated by switching to water. A slice of cheese can add 50 calories to a burger. A packet of salad dressing can have as many calories as the soda you just said no to, as well as a large portion of your daily fat allowance.

While fast food restaurants may not be reducing their calorie counts, being an educated consumer will allow you to make choices that will improve your health.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Type A and Type B Personalities: Useful Measure of Personality or Conspiracy Funded by Tobacco Companies?

Have you ever heard someone describe themselves as 'Type A' and then wondered what on earth they were talking about? This is a reference to a popular personality theory that is often used in recruiting and management and that has been shown to successfully predict a number of facets of an individual's personality and behaviour – particularly their likelihood of developing heart disease. It's a controversial theory that isn't that highly regarded by the wider scientific community these days but it's nevertheless an interesting subject to look at and particularly seeing as it has become such a well-known theory. Here we'll see what it gets right and why people are still sceptical.

The Types

As you might imagine, Type A and Type B personality theory essentially attempts to divide people into one of two categories. 'Type A' personalities are described as being ambitious, driven, impatient, competitive, prone to taking on more than they can handle, proactive, workaholic and straight forward.

On the other hand, Type B personalities are generally described as being more withdrawn, steady, laid back, introverted, creative, reflective and generally more relaxed.

History and Criticisms

The original Type A personality was described in the 1950s by two cardiologists named Meyer Friedman and Ray Rosenman. They looked at the personality type specifically with regards to its role in heart disease and found in a study of people aged 35-59 that these personality traits were indeed related to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease – though not necessarily mortality. The likely explanation is that Type A personalities are more likely to experience high blood pressure and stress and thus will place more strain on their hearts. Criticisms were levelled against the original study which failed to take into account potential confounding variables such as diet and exercise, but a subsequent trial by Friedman and cohorts accounted for these factors and still found a correlation. Further they found that providing 'Type A personality counselling' would help to reduce the risk of recurrence in post myocardial infarction patients.

Since then the concept has gained popularity, likely largely due to its relative simplicity compared to many other personality theories, and partly due to its close ties with health.

Despite this, the theory has nevertheless come under considerable fire and its effectiveness is a controversial subject. Some subsequent studies have failed to replicate the findings of Friedman et al, and there is evidence that some of this may be due to funding from tobacco companies. The accusation here is that tobacco companies – known to have been interested in Type A personality theory for a number of decades – actually funded a lot of the research and encouraged particular results. The hope here being that researchers would that way be able to 'prove' that smoking was more likely to correlate with heart disease rather than cause it – simply because Type A personalities would be more likely to be smokers. Furthermore, this would then provide a new variable in the study of heart health which could be used to discredit previous studies demonstrating the link between heart health and smoking (because they would not have accounted for personality type).

A recent study from 2012 looked at many previous studies on Type A personality and drew these conclusions – seriously undermining previous findings. Of thirteen etiologic studies reviewed, only three had positive findings and all of these were linked in some way to the tobacco industry.

An Evaluation of the Type A/Type B Personality Theory

So does this mean that this personality theory is without merit? Not at all. While some of the previous studies may be questionable, there have nevertheless been some studies with positive findings that do not have any connection to the tobacco industry.

Furthermore, the effects of stress are well known to be far reaching and profound when it comes to our health and it's certainly true that some types of people are more prone to stress than others. Even if the correlation isn't quite as clear cut as some studies would make out, that's not to say that there isn't an important relationship here to examine.

It's also possible that another relationship exists here entirely. Studies have shown for instance that there may be a third factor responsible – that being the role of magnesium. Studies show that Type A personalities are more likely to experience stress and to produce more catecholamines in response. This can then lead to intracellular loss of magnesium, which in turn can increase the likelihood of cardiovascular problems. Early studies in this area are so far promising.

If nothing else, this is just a fun way of looking at your own personality and learning about yourself. While this personality theory may be a little 'black and white', it's nevertheless interesting to ask yourself which category you fall into and how that may be harming your health.

Nursing Continuing Education For the 21st Century

One need only scan a newspaper or read a weekly magazine to be astounded by the number of stories about new medical breakthroughs, disease processes, emerging threats of disease, or innovations in medical and health care technology. The World Health Organization warns us to prepare for a potential worldwide Bird Flu epidemic, terrorists threaten us with chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and new protocols for ACLS are released. How is a working nurse to keep up?

Nursing education provides the basic building blocks of medical, scientific, and nursing knowledge, but competence in the nursing profession requires an ongoing process of continuing education. Continuing education for nurses is necessary for the nurse to remain up to date with the latest practice issues and it is necessary for patients safety as well. Some states have made continuing education for nurses mandatory and require a certain number of course credit hours be attained before license renewal, or require certain mandatory course subjects, while other states leave it to the nursing professional themselves to accept a personal responsibility for their own continued learning. Regardless of whether nursing continuing education, or Nursing CEUS as such programs are commonly referred to, are mandatory in ones state or not, all nurses who describe themselves as professionals need to be willing and ready to implement change in their own practice by realizing that competence in any profession requires periodic updating.

Methods of obtaining nursing continuing education hours and the pros and cons of each:

1. Professional Journals: Most professional nursing journals offer an article for continuing education credit. Some offer a partial credit hour or one credit hour to readers who fill out a post test after reading the article and mail it in. While some journals offer the credit for free, others charge 10 or more and in addition to the inconvenience of needing to tear out a post test form and mail it in the nurse has no official record of having taken and passed the course. Obtaining continuing education hours through professional journals is costly and inefficient in that the cost of the journal itself must be taken into consideration along with the cost of the course if there is one, and the time and expense of mailing in addition to the lack of official record of completion and lack of central maintenance of all credits accumulated by the nurse. Additionally, nurses who rely on professional journals for their CEU hours are typically only exposed to courses related to their own specialty rather than a broader range of topics that they actually need to be exposed to in today's ever evolving health care climate.

2. Seminars: Professional development programs and seminars that offer accredited continuing education hours for nurses are frequently offered at various locations in every state, in some foreign countries, and even on cruises. Employers frequently pay the registration fees for nurses to attend local seminars of short duration such as one day, but nurses still have to sacrifice their precious day off to attend them or lose time from work to do so. In addition nurses who attend seminars away from home have to pay their own travel expenses, hotel bills, and costs of meals. Needless to say cruises and foreign travel are an appealing avenue, but obtaining one's continuing education by that method is not something every working nurse can afford to do.

3. Online Nursing CEUS: The internet provides nurses access to extremely affordable and high quality accredited continuing education courses covering a plethora of professional nursing topics. Online nursing ceu courses are the gateway to nursing continuing education for the 21st century! Nurses who take advantage of online ceu courses are not restricted by geographical barriers, financial hardships, or the inconvenience of taking time from work or family in order to attend courses. Online nursing continuing education courses are readily available for both mandatory state required subjects, courses in one's own nursing specialty, and courses that all nurses regardless of practice specialty need to be familiarized with so nurses have access to a much broader choice of subject matters than they ever had before when restricted primarily to journals or seminars. In addition to those benefits, substantial as they are, online nursing ceu courses are inexpensive, up to date with changing trends, can be taken from the comfort of ones own home, generally allow nurses who take them to keep an official record of courses completed and credit hours earned online with the course provider, and allow nurses who complete a course to print the course certificate immediately upon completion.

In order to stay professional and to safeguard the wellbeing of the public nurses need to continue their education over the course of their career through a variety of means including taking continuing education courses. The most convenient and most cost effective method of nursing continuing education is by taking online Nursing CE courses. Online nursing continuing education courses are readily available, flexible, offer online tracking, and provide nurses with the broad scope of subjects they need to familiarize themselves with in order to keep up to date in today's ever changing health care climate. Online nursing continuing education is indeed the face of nursing continuing education for the 21st century!

thank you.