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Archive for October, 2007

REPORT: EXCESS BODY FAT AND POOR FOOD CHOICES INCREASE THE RISK OF CANCER

Posted in Health Watch, Healthy Food, News Brief, Public Service Announcement, Toxic Food on October 31st, 2007

AVOIDING PROCESSED MEATS, LIMITING CONSUMPTION OF RED MEAT AND ALCOHOL, AND SHEDDING EXCESS WEIGHT SEEN AS PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

obesity.jpg Halloween is the time of the year when I, like many of my baby boomer generation, tend to indulge a little too much in the time honored tradition of stuffing oneself silly with candy.

But I am one of the lucky ones. For me, candy is but a sometimes indulgence and not a full-blown addiction, as it is for many. The periods of my abuse are usually limited to Halloween and the occasional Easter Sunday, give or take a day or two in either direction. Usually, I have had my fill right about the time that the first candy-related zit pops out craving attention on my otherwise zit-free face; usually somewhere between day two and day three.

So there I was early yesterday morning, still in the throes of my seasonal addiction when the word broke on MSNBC that a major, new medical study had been released ascertaining that bad lifestyle decisions and excess body fat were the cause of at least six of the most common forms of cancer.

To say that this was a buzz-kill is an understatement. Complicating matters was the method of delivery. The knowledge that many of the foods that I enjoy, and had enjoyed for much of my life, could be killing me was bad enough. Making matters worse was that it was being delivered over and over again all morning long by MSNBC’s staple of pert, size zero anchorwomen.

There is something sinister when attractive, rail-thin, people speak of dieting and personal sacrifice, even if it is for health reasons. For some reason, it just doesn’t ring true. Perhaps it is the perverse smugness in their tone, one that is not there when they are covering either the war in Iraq, or the latest sex scandal to hit the beltway.

But back to the report….

Well, the body fat issue is a no-brainier. Just look around you, Americans are too damn big and from the look of it getting even bigger. On the whole, this is the result of society making crappy food choices. But we are not entirely to blame for this. Most of us do not know any better, never having been exposed to the knowledge of what to eat for optimum health. Many of us, myself included, don’t even no how to shop, let alone what we should eat or not eat. Sadly, this comes from having been born in a time when packaged food reigned supreme and had successfully worked its way onto nearly every dinner table in America, the consequences of which, apparently we are suffering today.

Now the blame for a large part of this must go to the corporations, to the big multi-nationals that produce this crappy food. But ultimately, the responsibility falls to each of us for what we put in out body. Similarly, it will fall to each of us to figure out how we will shed this excess body fat.

The report recommends exercise, thirty –to- sixty minutes a day of walking, though how many of us have that kind of time in our schedules to devote to this is uncertain. But I guess, considering the alternative, we will figure out a way to find the time.

Moving on, the report also cites certain lifestyle issues as contributing to the growth of cancer in the United States, specifically poor quality foods, fast foods, alcohol and tobacco.

Among those foods, which we are being encouraged to eliminate entirely from our diet, are packaged, processed meat products, essentially meats that have been cured, smoked, salted or chemically preserved. Included on this list are hotdogs, bacon, sausages, and cold cuts. Also no-no’s, according to the report, are sugary sodas, fast foods, and processed foods that are either low in fiber or high in sugar or fat. Candy, unfortunately, falls on this list as does virtually every other man made treat.

The report also urges cutting back on the amounts of red meat and alcohol consumed. The consensus among the various experts on MSNBC yesterday morning was that red meat should not be eaten more than two or three times a week, and then it’s portions should be no larger than the size of the palm of your hand up to the first knuckle. Roughly speaking, three to four ounces per meal is about the maximum, which anyone should consume, though the report noted that vegetarians were least likely to catch any of the major diseases including, some forms of cancer. This flies in the face of American dietary tradition, where steaks are usually only served in twelve ounce or larger slabs.

Interestingly enough, none of MSNBC’s stream of talking heads addressed the alcohol component of the report, so I have nothing to share with you here, other than what is in the attached posting.

I guess that hit just too close to home.


-LIB

EXCESS BODY FAT IS LINKED TO CANCERS OF THE ESOPHAGUS, PANCREAS, COLON, RECTUM, ENDOMETRIUM, KIDNEY, AND BREAST CANCER IN POST-MENOPAUSAL WOMEN

Excess body fat increases an individual’s risk for six types of cancer, according to a report to be released today by two leading cancer research groups, which reviewed more than 7,000 studies on the topic published worldwide.

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STUDY: DRIVING TO WORK THE MOST UNHEALTHY PART OF THE DAY

Posted in Health Watch, News Brief, Toxin Alert! on October 31st, 2007

DIESEL-FUELED TRUCKS ARE THE SOURCE OF THE HIGHEST CONCENTRATIONS OF HARMFUL POLLUTANTS

cars3.jpgTake it from me, commuting sucks. What’s more, if the latest study is on the mark, the daily torture to and from work, school, whatever, is the least healthy part of our day. No surprises here. What is surprising, no make that troubling, is that scientists are only getting around to confirming this at this late stage in the game.

The problem, at least here in the golden state, is the trucks, more specifically, the diesel fumes that they emit.
Here in California, where our cars are held to some of the highest pollution standards in the nation, it is ironic that trucks for whatever reason – though I would guess that like everything else bad here and in the rest of the nation, that it has something to do with political contributions – have escaped regulation.

The downside of this is that our freeways are inundated with trucks that spew more than their fare share of pollutants into the air for you and I to breathe. At least New York City has the decency to ban these big mothers from the highways. If only California would get as tough with the truckers as they have with the automakers…..

-LIB

The research was done in Los Angeles, where the average driver spends 1.5 hours behind the wheel. That time in traffic accounts for 33 to 45 percent of total exposure to diesel and ultrafine particles (UFP), the study showed.

“If you have otherwise healthy habits and don’t smoke, driving to work is probably the most unhealthy part of your day,” said Scott Fruin, assistant professor of environmental health at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. “Urban dwellers with long commutes are probably getting most of their UFP exposure while driving.”

Ultrafine particles are of particular concern because, unlike larger particles, they can penetrate cell walls and disperse throughout the body, Fruin said. Particulate matter has been linked to cardiovascular disease, but the ultrafine fraction on roadways appears to be more toxic than larger sizes.

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REPORT: CHILDREN THE MOST AT RISK FROM GLOBAL WARMING

Posted in Global Warming, Health Watch, Toxic Living on October 29th, 2007

AMONG HEALTH DANGERS ASSOCIATED WITH CLIMATE CHANGE THAT WOULD AFFECT CHILDREN ARE A PROJECTED INCREASE IN VECTOR-BORNE ILLNESSES, SUCH AS MALARIA, A GREATER INCIDENCE OF ASTHMA AND RESPIRATORY ILLNESSES; AND MORE HEAT-RELATED DEATHS

teletubby.jpgChildren are especially vulnerable to the adverse health effects of global warming, said a report released Monday. “Anticipated direct health consequences of climate change include injury and death from extreme weather events and natural disasters, increases in climate-sensitive infectious diseases, increases in air pollution-related illness, and more heat-related, potentially fatal, illness,” the report presented at the annual congress of the American Academy of Pediatrics said.

“Within all of these categories, children have increased vulnerability compared with other groups,” it said.

The authors urged pediatricians, especially in the United States, which they noted produces the most greenhouse emissions per capita of any country, to lead by example and run environment-friendly practices.

The report also warned of food shortages caused by unchecked global warming, and much-reduced water availability in regions including the US west coast, parts of which, in California, were ravaged by fire last week.

Food and water shortages could in turn lead to massive population movements, the report said.

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SATELLITE VIDEO SHOWS OCEANS IN PERIL

Posted in Global Warming, News Brief on October 29th, 2007

CLIMATE CHANGE NEGATIVELY ALTERING OCEAN ECOSYSTEMS

sea-wifs-02.jpgThe ocean’s cerulean, aquamarine and emerald hues offer more than artistic inspiration—they reveal how sea biology is struggling with climate change.

NASA’s Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) has constantly measured ocean color as an indicator of sea life productivity since the satellite reached orbit in 1997. Combined with ocean temperature data, the observations suggest climate change is playing a big role in negatively altering ocean ecosystems.

A new video made from the decade of data illustrates how blooms of phytoplankton, which form the base of the oceanic food chain, are gradually thinning. In the video, purples and blues indicate low concentrations of chlorophyll, which plants and phytoplankton use to gather light energy, whereas yellows, oranges and reds show the highest concentrations.

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Source: LiveScience.com

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STUDY: A DIET OF FRUIT AND VEGGIES PROVEN TO SLASH HEART ATTACK RISK BY HALF

Posted in Eco -Chic, Health Watch, Healthy Food on October 27th, 2007

ANALYSIS SHOWED THAT THOSE WHO ATE LOTS OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES IN CONJUNCTION WITH WHOLEGRAIN FOODS, FISH, BEANS AND SMALL AMOUNTS OF ALCOHOL WERE 57 PER CENT LESS LIKELY TO HAVE HAD A HEART ATTACK

fruits.jpgA diet based on fruit and vegetables accompanied by the odd glass of wine cuts the risk of heart attack by more than half, researchers claim.

A study of almost 25,000 women showed that those who followed the diet were 60 per cent less likely to suffer heart problems.

Non-smokers who followed it and also exercised cut the risk by 90 per cent.

The study in Sweden will be of great interest in Britain where more than 113,000 women died from heart disease and stroke in 2004, 38,000 more than died from cancer.

The researchers tracked the diet and health of a group of postmenopausal women for six years.

During the course of the study, 308 of the women had a heart attack, of which 51 were fatal.

Analysis showed that those who ate lots of fruit and vegetables in conjunction with wholegrain foods, fish, beans and small amounts of alcohol were 57 per cent less likely to have had a heart attack.

The amount of alcohol found to be beneficial was roughly the equivalent of half a glass of wine a day.

Writing in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, the researchers, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, said diet and lifestyle could have a huge effect on heart health. “Coronary heart disease is the most important cause of death and disability in women,” they said.

MORE….

Source: Daily Mail

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ADMINISTRATION CAUGHT RED HANDED CENSORING TRUTH TO SERVE AGENDA

Posted in Eco Thugs, Global Warming, Government Shenanigans, Health Watch, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors on October 27th, 2007

FORCES CDC DIRECTOR TO REMOVE SPECIFIC REFERENCES TO CLIMATE CHANGE’S EFFECT ON HEALTH

jgerberding_cdc_photo.jpgThe anti-nuclear group Physicians for Social Responsibility said White House officials had forced CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding to remove specific references about the effects of climate change from Tuesday’s testimony to a Senate committee.

The deleted section reads:

“In the United States, climate change is likely to have a significant impact on health, through links with the following outcomes:

Direct effects of heat,

Health effects related to extreme weather events,

Air pollution-related health effects,

Allergic diseases,

Water- and food-borne infectious diseases,

Vector-borne and zoonotic diseases,

Food and water scarcity, at least for some populations,

Mental health problems, and

Long-term impacts of chronic diseases and other health effects.”

“Most notably, staff at the Office of Management and Budget removed the notation that ‘CDC considers climate change a serious public health concern,”‘ said the physicians group.

“It appears the White House has denied a congressional committee access to scientific information about health and global warming. This misuse of science and abuse of the legislative process is deplorable,” Dr. Michael McCally, the group’s executive director, said in a statement.

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Source: Reuters (excerpts) via ENN.com

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UN ISSUES ‘FINAL WAKE-UP CALL’ ON POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENT

Posted in Endangered Species, Global Warming, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxin Alert! on October 27th, 2007

POPULATION GROWTH COMBINED WITH UNSUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION HAS RESULTED IN AN INCREASINGLY STRESSED PLANET WHERE NATURAL DISASTERS AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION ENDANGER MILLIONS OF HUMANS, AS WELL AS PLANT AND ANIMAL SPECIES

cryingindian1.jpgThe human population is living far beyond its means and inflicting damage on the environment that could pass points of no return, according to a major report issued Thursday by the United Nations.

Climate change, the rate of extinction of species and the challenge of feeding a growing population are among the threats putting humanity at risk, the UN Environment Program said in its fourth Global Environmental Outlook since 1997.

“The human population is now so large that the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current consumption patterns,” Achim Steiner, the executive director of the program

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Source: INT

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LINGERING DUST AND SOOT-LADEN AIR MAKE BREATHING DIFFICULT IN CALIFORNIA

Posted in Health Watch, Toxin Alert! on October 27th, 2007

RESIDENTS ADVISED TO AVOID EXERTING THEMSELVES. CHILDREN AND PEOPLE WITH HEART AND RESPIRATORY CONDITIONS ARE URGED TO STAY INDOORS WITH THE WINDOWS AND DOORS CLOSED AND THE AIR CONDITIONER ON

california_wildfiressff_cams114_20071026212441.jpg“In the immediate aftermath of a fire, we’re all at risk of the fine particulate matter we can inhale,” said Julia Robinson Shimizu, a spokeswoman for Breathe L.A. “In general it’s good to limit outdoor strenuous activity at least seven days after the fires have ended.”

The University of California San Diego Medical Center saw an increase in patients coming in with breathing troubles they believe were related to air pollution, spokeswoman Jackie Carr said.

Meanwhile, about 23,000 homes were still threatened by five major blazes in three counties. Altogether, more than a dozen fires raced across more than 503,000 acres – the equivalent of 786 square miles – although many of the blazes have been contained.

At least three people – and possibly as many as seven – have been killed by flames. About 1,700 homes have been destroyed and damage estimates have surpassed $1 billion.

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Source: AP

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BEST REASONS TO GO VEGGIE

Posted in Eco -Chic, Health Watch on October 26th, 2007

A VEGETARIAN DIET REDUCES THE RISK FOR CHRONIC DEGENERATIVE DISEASES SUCH AS OBESITY, CORONARY ARTERY DISEASE, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, DIABETES AND CERTAIN TYPES OF CANCER INCLUDING COLON, BREAST, PROSTATE, STOMACH, LUNG AND ESOPHAGEAL CANCER

19ali1902.jpgPeople are drawn to vegetarianism by all sorts of motives. Some of us want to live longer, healthier lives or do our part to reduce pollution. Others have made the switch because we want to preserve Earth’s natural resources or because we’ve always loved animals and are ethically opposed to eating them.

Thanks to an abundance of scientific research that demonstrates the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet, even the federal government recommends that we consume most of our calories from grain products, vegetables and fruits. And no wonder: An estimated 70 percent of all diseases, including one-third of all cancers, are related to diet. A vegetarian diet reduces the risk for chronic degenerative diseases such as obesity, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and certain types of cancer including colon, breast, prostate, stomach, lung and esophageal cancer.

1. You’ll ward off disease. Vegetarian diets are more healthful than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is the single most effective way to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. Cardiovascular disease kills 1 million Americans annually and is the leading cause of death in the United States. But the mortality rate for cardiovascular disease is lower in vegetarians than in nonvegetarians, says Joel Fuhrman, MD, author of Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss. A vegetarian diet is inherently healthful because vegetarians consume no animal fat and less cholesterol and instead consume more fiber and more antioxidant-rich produce — another great reason to listen to Mom and eat your veggies!

2. You’ll keep your weight down. The standard American diet — high in saturated fats and processed foods and low in plant-based foods and complex carbohydrates — is making us fat and killing us slowly. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a division of the CDC, the National Center for Health Statistics, 64 percent of adults and 15 percent of children aged 6 to 19 are overweight and are at risk of weight-related ailments including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A study conducted from 1986 to 1992 by Dean Ornish, MD, president and director of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, California, found that overweight people who followed a low-fat, vegetarian diet lost an average of 24 pounds in the first year and kept off that weight 5 years later. They lost the weight without counting calories or carbs and without measuring portions or feeling hungry.

3. You’ll live longer. If you switch from the standard American diet to a vegetarian diet, you can add about 13 healthy years to your life, says Michael F. Roizen, MD, author of The RealAge Diet: Make Yourself Younger with What You Eat. “People who consume saturated, four-legged fat have a shorter life span and more disability at the end of their lives. Animal products clog your arteries, zap your energy and slow down your immune system. Meat eaters also experience accelerated cognitive and sexual dysfunction at a younger age.”

MORE….

Source: Vegetarian Times

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REDUCED BUDGETS AND AN INSISTENCE ON PRIVATE CONTRACTORS MAY HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO CALIFORNIA FIRE LOSSES

Posted in Eco Thugs, Government Shenanigans, News Brief, Presidential Crimes & Misdemeanors on October 26th, 2007

ADMINISTRATION’S FISCAL POLICIES AND CRONYISM MAY HAVE COST AT LEAST SEVEN PEOPLE THEIR LIVES

2007-09-19-national_debt.jpgPoor Budgeting And Policy Moves In The Us Forest Service May Have Made The California Fires Harder To Fight, contributing to more than $1 billion in property damage and the loss of at least 7 lives. Shrinking budgets and an insistence on private contracting appear to have made it more difficult for local communities in the San Diego area to fight the wildfires in their earlier stages, allowing the flames to spread.

A review of Bush administration budget proposals by the Huffington Post showed that the flow of money from the US Forest Service to help state and local communities fight wildfires faced chronic cuts since President Bush was elected.

During Bush’s first year in office, the Forest Service’s State Fire Assistance program for wildland fire management was funded at approximately $56 million per year. But the President’s budget proposal for 2008 only requests $35 million from Congress, an 18% cut from what it spent in the current year, already well below the earlier levels.

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Source: Huff Post

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