No Increased Waste In Fruits And Vegetables

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Thank you to the Baylor College of Medicine for sharing this article with Your Health Journal…..

fruitswhiteStudy shows no increased waste in fruits and vegetables after implementation of new school lunch guidelines

In a study that compared food waste in elementary school cafeterias before and after the implementation of the new school lunch guidelines, researchers at the USDA/ARS Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital found that there was no increase in waste after the new guidelines were put in place. Their report recently appeared in Preventive Medicine Reports.

The research was conducted at eight elementary schools in southeast Texas where dietitians anonymously observed what foods children in kindergarten through 5th grade selected in the cafeteria lunch line and how much of what they selected they actually ate.

“With the new guidelines, they have to select a fruit or vegetable on their tray to have the meal count as a reimbursable meal,” said Dr. Karen Cullen, professor of pediatrics at Baylor and the CNRC and first author of the paper.

Researchers observed that more fruits and juices were selected after the implementation of the new guidelines and for those students who selected these, they consumed the same amount as before. The only item with higher waste after the new guidelines were put in place was legumes. The requirement to select a fruit or vegetable in their meal did not lead to increased waste of these foods.

“There’s always going to be kids who leave food on their plate, you can’t get around that because you don’t want to force your kid to clean their plate if they are not hungry,” said Cullen. “You may take food but you may not be hungry enough to eat all of it – there’s a fine line.”

Cullen emphasized that we need to do more to be sure children are eating more fruits and vegetables, grains and proteins.

Others who took part in the study include Tzu-An Chen and Jayna M. Dave of Baylor and the CNRC.

This study was supported by funding from the National Institutes of Health (no. R01HD068349). The project was funded in part by federal funds from the USDA/Agricultural Research Service.

MRSA Infections Pose Increased Risk For Seniors

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Submitted by David Brimm

seniors2Antibiotics are usually effective for treating bacterial infections, but due to the proliferation of antibiotic treatments, some types of bacteria are showing resistance to treatment. One of the bacteria that is causing concern is Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) defines MRSA as a type of staphlococcal (staph) bacteria that is resistant to certain antibiotics called beta-lactams. These antibiotics include methicillin and other common antibiotics such as oxacillin, penicillin, and amoxicillin.

The proportion of healthcare-associated staphylococcal infections that are due to MRSA has been increasing: 2 percent of S. aureus infections in U.S. intensive-care units were MRSA in 1974; 22 percent in 1995; and 64 percent in 2004.

“The symptoms of MRSA depend on where you’re infected. Most often, it causes mild infections on the skin, like sores or boils. What concerns health professionals is that while MRSA is serious it is not usually life threatening in younger, healthier patients, but it can cause more serious infections in wounds, the bloodstream, bones, the lungs, or the urinary tract in seniors and in immune compromised individuals,” according to Mardy Chizek, RN, FNP, BSN, MBA, AAS and president of Westmont, Illinois’ Charism Eldercare Services.

Chizek notes that a study from Linköping University in Sweden indicates that the mortality rate can be 50 percent higher for intensive care patients infected with MRSA. This means added risk to seniors who may be compromised from other conditions or diseases. Patients may enter the hospital already carrying the MRSA organism (in fact, 30 percent of us carry staph bacteria in our noses). Many hospitals culture patients for MRSA when they enter the hospital in an attempt to be proactive with treatment.

Serious staph infections are more common in people with a weakened immune system. A weakened immune system may be due to drugs, surgery or therapies or may be due to aging. As our body ages, it is less able to fight infections as vigorously as when we were younger. Diseases like cancer, lung disease, heart disease and immune related conditions also increase the risk of an adverse outcome due to MRSA.

The CDC notes that most MRSA infections are skin infections that may appear as pustules or boils which often are red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage. They often first look like spider bites or bumps that are red, swollen, and painful. These skin infections commonly occur at sites of visible skin trauma, such as cuts and abrasions, and areas of the body covered by hair (e.g., back of neck, groin, buttock, armpit, beard area of men). The infection may also be accompanied by fever, swollen and red areas, and may be seen around surgical wounds or invasive devices, like catheters or feeding tubes.

seniormanInfections in hospitals and other healthcare facilities are not always preventable. Patients and visitors bring their own body’s normal bacteria to the institution. Other patients have infections that bring them to the hospital and they require intensive antibiotic treatment. Is it any wonder that MRSA and other infections are always in healthcare facilities?

The best way to protect yourself is a good hand washing. The type of soap and temperature of the water are less important than the friction. A fun rule of thumb is to wash your hands to the tune of Yankee Doodle. When you are done with the song, your hands have received an adequate scrub.

Alcohol solutions are equally effective, but must cover the entire surface of the hand like hand washing. You never completely rid your hands of organisms, but you decrease the number of organisms to a point where the number of bacteria or virus are minimized and less able to spread infection.

“As with any other change, report it to your healthcare provider as soon as you note or suspect an infection. Fever, heat, redness and pain are indicators of a bacterial infection and may require antibiotic therapy. But remember, that over utilization of antibiotics have prompted the onset of bacteria like MRSA that are immune to some antibiotics”, Chizek warns. She adds that, “prudent use of antibiotics will allow bacteria to continue to be sensitive to existing antibiotics.”
For more information on MRSA or infections in seniors, visit Charism Eldercare Services at

Rate Of Obesity In Israeli Children Increased Fivefold From 1950s To 1990s

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earthfoodThe issue of obesity is prevalent not just in the United States but also around the world as well, and no country is exempt. The recent report on obesity among Israeli children by a Knesset Committee shows that Israeli society has been as affected by this problem as has American society. The problem is outlined in an article by Judy Siegel-Itzkovich published in the Jerusalem Post on July 2nd, 2013 entitled “Children’s obesity rising as schools fail to enforce regulations on sale of junk food.” According to this article, the Knesset Education Committee found that between the 1950s and the 1990s the proportion of Israeli children who are overweight increased fivefold. The article also says that the study found that 42 percent of Israeli children drank at least once sweetened beverage each day, even though drinking sweetened beverages increases the risk of developing obesity by 22 percent.

According to this article, testimony that was delivered to the Knesset Education Committee said that 64 percent of the Israeli population is overweight, meaning that Israel has one of the ten highest percentages of overweight citizens in the world. According to the article, Israelis have the same degree of problems with obesity as do Americans. According to the article, Nir La’or, the director of the Israeli Forum for a Healthy Way of Life said that the Education Committee had engaged in an “important discussion on the nutrition of schoolchildren and the need to provide a supportive environment for their good health in a place where they spend so much of their time…”

Lastly, the article discusses how there are regulations about nutrition for schoolchildren in Israel but that these are not enforced adequately. Implementing regulations to curb obesity is a similar approach to the American regulations that were enacted recently. A Reuters article by Yasmeen Abutaleb entitled “New school snack food rules clamp down on calories, fat” published on June 27, 2013 outlines the new regulations. According to this article, the new regulations set limits on 12 ounce drinks that say that they can have no more than 60 calories. The article describes how Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack discussed his own experiences as a child who suffered from obesity, saying, “You really can’t concentrate and you cannot be the student you were intended to be if you are worried about what people think of you, so weight has always been an issue for me,” Vilsack said while speaking in Portland, Maine in March 2013.

To read the complete press release…..Click here

– Courtesy of PRWeb