New resource available to help increase outdoor activities

02/13/2010

There’s a new resource we wanted to share that helps people of all ages get outdoors. Created by The North Face, PlanetExplore (www.planetexplore.com) is an online community of national and regional organizations to help people of all ages find local outdoor recreational activities. Kids especially need to start NOW to be healthy so that they grow up to be healthy adults. In fact, according to The Outdoor Foundation’s recently released Special Report on Youth (http://www.outdoorfoundation.org/research.youth.html) outdoor participation among youth continues to decrease each year, with the rate of decline steepest among the youngest age groups. Electronics, among other things, is sure to be a big part of the blame. PlanetExplore is trying to make it easier for parents to combat this issue of kids not getting outdoors enough. They and their kids need to get outdoors, and PlanetExplore helps to facilitate that.

For more heart healthy info visit www.heart-strong.com

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Are You Ready for American Diabetes Month?

11/05/2009

November is American Diabetes Month, devoted to increasing awareness about diabetes and educating people about the prevention and  treatment of diabetes.  We all need to pay attention to this increasing epidemic. 

Some alarming facts about diabetes:

1 in 3 American children born this year will develop diabetes if they follow the typical American diet and lifestyle.

Every 20 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes.

Diabetes is the #1 cause of blindness in adults.

Diabetes is one of the strongest risk factors for heart disease and stroke in both men and women.  Adults with diabetes are at a 2 to 6 times higher risk of having a heart attack.

The American Diabetes Association has just released some great new educational videos covering a multitude of diabetes lifestyle and management tips.  Go to www.libertymedical.com to view free.

Also during the month of November help get the message out there to both adults and kids about the risks associated with diabetes, prevention tips and the importance of appropriate management. 

Why should you get involved?  Someone you know either has diabetes or is at risk to develop diabetes (maybe even you).

Two of the most important things to do to prevent diabetes:

1)      Maintain a healthy weight AND waist (men’s waist circumference should be less than 40 inches and women’s waist circumference should be less than 35 inches)

2)      Get a moderate amount of exercise daily

“Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” discusses how women can control their  risk factors to prevent a heart attack, stroke and diabetes.  Also include info for women with diabetes – how to control your risk factors to prevent heart disease.

 “Take Charge: A Man’s Roadmap to a Healthier Heart” is due to be released Fall 2009. For more info visit www.heart-strong.com


Daily Candy Intake in Childhood May Lead to Adult Violence???

10/09/2009

kidwithcandy

 I think back to when I was a child and I remember eating candy as a treat.  Did I have it every day?  No.  Not sure if my mom restricting my sweet intake is what has kept me out of jail though.  When I came across this article I had to share it because it was something I had never heard mentioned before.

 This study (British Cohort Study) was conducted in the United Kingdom and followed 17,000 people from birth through adulthood.  Children who ate candy almost every day (according to self-completed questionnaires) were more likely to have been convicted of a crime/violent act by age 34 than children who did not consume daily candy.  This was found irrespective of economic status, urban or rural environment, or parenting styles. 

 This study showing the impact of diet on behavior should really raise some questions and open up areas of future research.  The authors state that maybe the sweets given too frequently make children impatient and focused on immediate gratification, and this may lead to poor impulse control in adulthood. 

 With all the recent publicity about the overconsumption of sugar in America especially among kids and teens this relationship should be evaluated further.  Everything in moderation is our motto. So having an occasional soda, cake or candy is okay even for kids but overconsumption is not healthy and may lead to future behavioral problems??

 Visit www.heart-strong.com for heart healthy nutrition tips. Special Little Hearts section for kids.


October—National Children’s Health Month

10/05/2009

We Can!™ or “Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition” is a national program designed for families and communities to help children maintain a healthy weight. The program focuses on three important behaviors: improved food choices, increased physical activity and reduced screen time.  

 We Can!™ or “Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity and Nutrition” is a national program sponsored by the NHLBI for families and communities to help children 8-13 years old maintain a healthy weight. Program materials provide tips, fun activities, and references to learn about nutrition, energy balance, and maintaining a physically active lifestyle. Visit the We Can!™ Web pages at http://wecan.nhlbi.nih.gov.

 A variety of organizations have joined We Can! and are making a difference in the lives of families across the country. So far, more than 1,130 communities have joined We Can!

 We Can! provides families and communities just like yours with helpful resources that you can start using today to help prevent childhood overweight.


Is Obesity Hereditary?

08/12/2009

obese girl

A recent study by Plymouth’s Peninsula Medical School found that obese mothers were 10 times more likely to have obese daughters.  Obese fathers were 6 times more likely to have obese sons.  An interesting finding was that children of the opposite sex were not affected.  The researchers suggest that the increased obesity risk may be related to similar lifestyles rather than genetics.

This suggests the need to target parent’s eating and exercise habits in order to promote healthy lifestyles for adults and their children.  We know children learn from their parents, this includes both good and bad habits.  Parents need to become positive role models.

For more heart healthy info please visit www.heart-strong.com


Sweetened drinks increase a woman’s risk for heart disease

07/31/2009

 The Nurses Health Study evaluated over 88,000 women aged 34 to 59 over 24 years.  They recently reported that women who drank 2 or more sweetened beverages a day had a 35% increase in their risk for heart disease (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, April 2009).  Sweetened beverages in this study included: Caffeinated and non-caffeinated colas and carbonated beverages with sugar.  The increased risk was not observed with artificially sweetened drinks.  The researchers believe that the sweetened beverages can increase triglycerol levels and this might be the cause of the heart problems.

 Enjoying an occasional sweetened beverage may be okay but – Moderation is Key!

 For more heart healthy info and New Women’s Heart Health book “Take Charge: A Woman’s Guide to a Healthier Heart” visit www.heart-strong.com


Binge Drinking Increases Stroke Risk

07/26/2009

BingeDrinking

Regular “moderate” alcohol consumption is associated with a lower risk for heart disease and strokes (1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men).  But heavy alcohol intake can increase the risk of strokes.  Excessive chronic alcohol intake has previously been shown to increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart failure.  A study published in the journal Stroke (October 2008) found that binge drinking (common among young people) can also significantly increase the risk of stroke.

 Over 15,000 men and women between the ages of 25 and 64 were followed for a ten year period.  Binge drinking was defined as 6 or more alcoholic beverages in one session for men or 4 or more drinks for women.  Binge drinking was reported to be an independent risk factor for strokes.

 Younger people need to understand the potential dangers of binge drinking.  Remember moderation is key!

 For more heart healthy info visit www.heart-strong.com