Monday, March 30, 2009

Traditional parenting 'leads to well-adjusted children'

Traditional parenting methods that focus on breastfeeding, discipline and high expectations are most likely to produce well-adjusted, able and healthier children, a study has shown. 

And the more 'nuclear centered' families are for the children's values and main input, the better adjusted and functioning the children are.

A woman breastfeeding

Breastfeeding, discipline, high expectation and nuclear family centering are best for children, researchers have found Photo: GETTY

The research found that a culture of "good enough" parenting - under which children are not stretched or closely supervised - led to a greater risk of behavioral and emotional problems among young people.

The greatest gift a parent can give a child is their involvement, interest in their activities, supervision & guidance, discipline when needed, and their presence.

It was also found that children who received continual contrary input, to their parents', from outsiders or non-nucleus family members suffer high levels of emotional stress, are less likely to make sound decisions and are likely to suffer from a large variety of both emotional and health disorders throughout their lives.

Also, the more outside interference during the formative years, the more turmoil there is between parents and children, leading to permanent damage to the family unit and the Mother-Child and Father-Child relationships; which are the most basic and important unit and relationships in anyone's life. (Note: The family unit can be birth parents, step-parents, adoptive parents or foster parents and the children they are raising. Anyone else is a remote relative who needs to respect that unit and the parents who are at the head of it.) 

The strength or dysfunction of someone's Mother-Child and Father-Child relationships (again with those individuals who actually fill those rolls) affect all other relationships people have throughout their lives, their decision process, their perspective and the relationship they go on to build with their own children.

The study found that the extended family and outside input are only valuable if they support and enhance the parent's vision, their general teachings and their wishes for their children.

Breastfeeding for at least six months also improves the relationship mothers have with their babies as well as boosting their health and educational development, according to the Institute of Education in London.

Its study of 1,136 mothers found that breastfeeding is associated with more positive parenting practices that can continue beyond infancy.

When researchers studied mothers reading a storybook to their one-year-old children, they found those who breastfed made more effort to engage their infants in the book than mothers who bottle-fed and they appeared to have a warmer relationship with their babies.

Low income mothers who bottle-fed their babies tended to communicate with them much less.

The UK has some of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in Europe and many mothers give up because they do not feel supported enough or they return to work.

Fewer than eight in ten mothers breastfeed their babies from birth and only one fifth are still feeding naturally six months later.

Researchers said women should be offered targeted support and if necessary financial help so they can delay their return to work.

It is already known that breastfed babies are healthier, tend to be less prone to obesity, have fewer allergies and respiratory illnesses, have fewer emotional problems throughout life and have higher IQ’s.

The study found single mothers and those from low income families could help overcome the disadvantages their child was born into through breastfeeding.

Dr Leslie Gutman, who led the research, said: "Breastfeeding is a time-consuming activity and mothers can be tempted to put their babies on the bottle earlier if they feel they have to return to work for financial reasons.

"Mothers are given information leaflets in hospitals about breastfeeding but we may need more than this. Another option is workplace nurseries where mothers could go and feed their babies during the day."

A repeat experiment four years later found that mothers who had been on a low income when their child was one, but had breastfed for more than six months, had a higher quality of interaction with their five-year-old than other mothers.

They also made more effort to engage their child in the book-reading exercise than mothers who had not breastfed. By contrast, breastfeeding appeared to have no lasting effect on the parenting behaviors of married and higher-income mothers.

Marital status had no effect on the quality of a mother's interaction with her child, provided she had breastfed for six to 12 months. In fact, single mothers who had breastfed for this period made slightly more effort than other mothers to explain the storybook to their child.

Experts recommend women breastfeed exclusively for at least six months if they can. They also recommended a return to the focus on the nuclear family structure, strong discipline and the setting of high standards.

It appears that a ‘back to basics’ approach to parenting is definitely worth another look.

Source:  Rebecca Smith/Time Medical
Last Updated: 7:20AM GMT 27 Mar

Posted:  True Health Is True Wealth - 11:27 PST 30 Mar

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A Drink for a Smaller Waist

There’s an easy way to turn a routine workout into a powerful waist-whittler: Drink green tea

That’s right. Ditch the Gatorade and instead sip several mugs of the green stuff throughout the day. Research shows that the wonder duo of green tea and exercise may target belly fat better, so it shrinks more easily than with exercise alone. 

Fat-Busting Brew
In a study, overweight adults who engaged in an exercise program for 12 weeks lost more belly fat if they also drank green tea daily. The green tea seemed to boost overall weight loss and triglyceride control in the study group, too. The magic amount of tea needed for the effect? Enough to get about 625 milligrams of catechins plus a little caffeine every day (roughly 7 cups daily). 

The Power of Green
Researchers think that catechins in green tea might blast tummy fat by acting on enzymes that influence the body’s calorie- and fat-burning mechanisms. And catechins and caffeine together may boost the body’s metabolism. Brew up a pot of tea the next time friends visit and you can all enjoy these extra benefits as well:
  • More Energy
  • Healthier Joints
  • Stronger Heart
Source:  RealAge

Related Articles: Foods That Fight Belly Fat

Monday, March 23, 2009

FDA Approves Deadly Antidepressant for Children

CODE RED - FDA Approves Deadly Antidepressant for Children

Is the FDA insane or just stupid? Barely a month after the U.S. Department of Justice sued Forest Labs, maker of blockbuster and potentially suicide-inducing antidepressant Lexapro, for illegally marketing the drug for children when it wasn't approved for use in children, the idiots at the FDA approved this highly dangerous drug for use in…you guessed it….children.

Hopefully, doctors won't be stupid enough to prescribe it to children in the newly approved 12-to-17-year-old population, or to kids even younger. But we can't count on that – especially considering that the DOJ suit alleges that the Big Pharma firm essentially bribed doctors to prescribe the drug to kids.

And it's not like the danger of death isn't widely known. On the
Forest Labs own Lexapro website, you'll find this very clear warning:

Antidepressants increased the risk compared to placebo of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other psychiatric disorders.

Bottom line: If your child is depressed, Lexapro could send them over the edge to suicide. If your doctor recommends this dangerous drug for your child, walk out of his office and find a new doctor immediately.

Hold the Mayo and Cream Cheese

Health Tip...

Was just reading an article on fat loss where the author recommended getting a knife when you order a bagel or burger.

This was so you could scrape off the mayo or cream cheese.

If you're ordering a bagel with cream cheese or a burger with mayo, then you definitely need to pick a better midday snack. Maybe some nuts or fruit.

Catsup, because of the sugar content is another culprit... so hold the mayo, hold the cream cheese and hold the catsup.  And don't forget, thousand island dressing is essentially mayo and catsup with salty pickles... ooops!

On second thought maybe hold the burger, bagel and sandwiches.

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By Marion Algier - Ask Marion 

How sleep affects your blood-pressure

This may sound trivial but it's important to acknowledge that sleeping well can help lower blood-pressure. Here are some facts and suggestions for getting a good night's sleep, every night.

·              Get plenty of sleep - When you are refreshed, you're better able to tackle the next day's problems, allowing you to avoid and better cope with stress.

·              If you have difficulty falling asleep, try keeping a schedule; going to sleep and awakening at a consistent time each day. A bedtime ritual such as taking a warm bath, reading or eating a light snack helps many people relax.

·             Make sure you sleep healthily - People with high blood-pressure are more likely to suffer from a condition called sleep apnea. In this potentially serious sleep disorder, breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep. Apnea is Greek for "without breath."

If you have been told that you snore loudly or you wake up feeling tired after a full night's sleep or you are sleepy during the day, it may be worthwhile to learn more about sleep apnea.

Related Articles:  The Night Shift Isn’t Called Graveyard for No Reason 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Avoiding Diabetes Helps with Incontinence

Overweight women who suffer from pre-diabetes can lower their risk of developing urinary incontinence by preventing the onset of full-blown type 2 diabetes. That's the primary finding of a study published by the Diabetes Prevention Program Research Group based at Maryland's George Washington University School of Medicine. George Washington researchers pointed to past studies showing that type 2 diabetes can increase the risk of urinary incontinence among women. According to this study, efforts to control pre-diabetes through weight management and dietary modification can significantly reduce pre-diabetic women's incontinence risk. Women in the study who avoided the onset of full-blown diabetes were up to 30% less likely to develop incontinence than women who did not successfully manage their condition

Source:  LifeScript

Friday, March 20, 2009

Why Does the FDA Maintain a Conspiracy of Silence about the Health Benefits of Vitamin D?

In other vitamin news, British researchers have found that vitamin D may help slow aging—in the study, women with higher vitamin D levels showed fewer aging-related changes in their DNA. Professor Brent Richards, who led the study, said, "This could help to explain how vitamin D has a protective effect on many aging-related diseases, such as heart disease and cancer." 

And a study in the Journal of Geriatric Psychology demonstrates that vitamin D deficiency is linked to mental decline in older people, and may contribute to the severity of Alzheimers Disease. Researchers found an inverse correlation between blood levels of vitamin D and performance on tests of attention, memory, and orientation in time and space. A lack of vitamin D has also been linked to multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. 

Vitamin D is produced naturally by the body upon exposure to sunlight. It is known to play a critical role in calcium absorption and bone health, while recent research has suggested that it also contributes to healthy immune function and cancer prevention. At latitudes far from the equator, however, it may be hard for people to get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone, so a supplement becomes necessary. Some foods also contain very small amounts of vitamin D, notably oily fish and eggs.

Source:  American Association for Health Freedom

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Foods That Fight Belly Fat

Did you know that besides doing wonders for your health, a certain nutrient group might also help keep your pants size down? 

It's true. Flavonoids -- those antioxidant-like compounds found in fruits, veggies, chocolate, tea, and wine -- seemed to help ward off belly fat in a 14-year study. 

Multitasking Flavonoids 
  • Specifically, catechins, flavonols, and flavones -- types of flavonoids -- may help curb belly bulge by improving the body's metabolic profile, the researchers noted. So where can you get your fair share? The study participants got most of theirs from pears, apples, tea, chocolate, broad beans, onions, leeks, and sweet peppers. Pretty tasty choices. 
  • Got some chicken in the freezer? Got an apple rolling around the crisper drawer? Great! Then grab some leeks on the way home and make this: Saute of Chicken with Apples & Leeks
  • Need a yummy side dish that's full of flavonoids but isn't salad? Try Pear & Red Onion Gratin.
  • Got nothing for dessert? Make: Green Tea-Poached Pears with Matcha Cream.
Low-Cal Delights
Interestingly, only the women in the study experienced a waistline benefit from flavonoids. But because flavonoid-rich foods like fruits and veggies are often low in calories, they're still a smart choice for anyone who is weight conscious.

Saute of Chicken with Apples & Leeks

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (1-1 1/4 pounds), trimmed 
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 large leeks, white parts only, washed and cut into julienne strips (2 cups)
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 firm tart apples, such as York or Granny Smith, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1. Place chicken breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin or a small heavy pot to pound them to a thickness of 1/2 inch. 
2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Cook until browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
3. Reduce the heat to low. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and leeks. Cook, stirring, until the leeks are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, sugar and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more. Increase the heat to medium-high, stir in vinegar and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
4. Add apples and broth and cook, stirring once or twice, until the apples are tender, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and return the chicken and any juices to the pan. Simmer gently until the chicken is heated through. Serve immediately.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 235 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 64 mg cholesterol; 19 g carbohydrate; 25 g protein; 2 g fiber; 245 mg sodium; 346 mg potassium. 
Nutrition bonus: Selenium (30% daily value), Vitamin A (16% dv). 
1 Carbohydrate Serving 
Exchanges: 1 fruit, 4 very lean meat, 1 fat

Pear & Red Onion Gratin

1 large red onion 
3 ripe Bosc pears 
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup coarse dry breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Note)
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Fill a large bowl three-quarters full with water; add a handful of ice cubes. Cut onion into 16 wedges, place in a strainer and lower into the water. Let stand for 20 minutes. 
2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
3. Halve and core each pear; cut each half into 6 slices. Drain the onion wedges well and place them in a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish along with the pear slices, 1 tablespoon oil, thyme, salt and a grinding of pepper; toss to combine. Cover with foil.
4. Roast for 30 minutes, stirring twice.
5. Meanwhile, combine breadcrumbs and cheese in a small bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil; stir to combine. Remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the gratin, return to the oven and roast until the breadcrumbs are well browned, 20 to 30 minutes more. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 188 calories; 7 g fat (1 g sat, 4 g mono); 3 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 4 g fiber; 225 mg sodium; 215 mg potassium.

Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (15% daily value). 

2 Carbohydrate Servings 

Exchanges: 1/2 starch, 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1 fat

TIP: Note: We like to use the Ian's brand of coarse dry breadcrumbs, labeled "Panko breadcrumbs." Find them in the natural-foods section of large supermarkets. 

To make your own breadcrumbs: Trim crusts from firm sandwich bread. Tear the bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. One slice makes about 1/3 cup. Spread the breadcrumbs onto a baking sheet and bake in a 250°F oven until dry and crispy, about 15 minutes.

Green Tea-Poached Pears with Matcha Cream

1/4 cup Matcha Cream (recipe follows)
4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons green tea leaves, preferably sencha
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
4 firm, ripe Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, halved and cored
1 tablespoon sliced almonds, toasted

1. Prepare Matcha Cream.
2. Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a shallow pan or deep skillet. Stir in tea, turn off heat and let steep, covered, for 5 minutes. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined sieve to remove leaves; return tea to the pan. 
3. Add sugar, ginger and almond extract and bring just to a boil. Add pears, cut-side up, and poach over low heat until quite tender when pierced with a wooden skewer. Transfer to a bowl and let the pears cool in the poaching liquid. 
4. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Use a slotted spoon to place two pear halves in each dessert dish. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the poaching liquid over the pears. Serve with a generous dollop of Matcha Cream and garnish with almonds.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 369 calories; 4 g total fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 86 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 5 g fiber; 23 mg sodium; 408 mg potassium.

4 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings

TIP: To toast almonds:
Heat a small dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until the nuts are lightly browned and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.

 Matcha Cream

1 cup (8 ounces) low-fat or nonfat vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 1/2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons matcha dissolved in 1 tablespoon very hot water (optional)

1. Line a sieve or colander with cheesecloth and set over a bowl, leaving at least 1/2 inch clearance from the bottom. (Alternatively, use a coffee filter lined with filter paper.) Spoon in yogurt, cover and let drain in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Discard whey. 
2. Whip cream in a small bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar and continue whipping until firm peaks form. Fold in drained yogurt, along with matcha mixture, if using.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per tablespoon: 37 calories; 2 g total fat (1 g sat, 1 g mono); 8 mg cholesterol; 4 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 0 g fiber; 15 mg sodium; 581 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Calcium (45% daily value), Vitamin A (20% dv), Selenium (18 dv), Potassium (17% dv).

0 Carbohydrate Servings

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Source:  RealAge

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Blood Test Predicts Dementia Risk

A new test can help predict whether a patient will develop frontal lobe dementia (Frontotemporal Dementia or FTD). Next to Alzheimer’s, FTD is the form of dementia that strikes people most frequently at a relatively young age—younger than 65.

In FTD, large numbers of brain cells begin to die off in the frontal lobe, the foremost part of the brain which comprises about 30 percent of brain mass. The frontal lobe helps regulate behavior, movement, and mood, and is responsible for functions such as language. The first signs of FTD are changes in behavior and personality. In later stages, the victim suffers from memory loss.

Researcher Christine Van Broeckhoven and her colleagues found that a large percentage of people who have FTD have a genetic defect in chromosome 17. Those people produce only half the normal amount of a progranulin protein, and Van Broeckhoven discovered that a shortage of this protein, which is a growth factor, leads to cells dying in the frontal lobe. Additional results indicate that a lack of progranulin also plays a role in Alzheimer’s disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

Krisel Sleegers, one of Van Broeckhoven’s scientists, has developed a test to measure the amount of progranulin in the blood. The test, which is simple and could be used on a large scale, will help doctors determine if someone is at risk of developing FTD long before symptoms appear. 


Click Here & Checkout:  GojiHealthStories/onDementia  

&  The Big Red Juice - GoChi & Goji

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Computer Vision Syndrome

Save Your Vision Month

People who sit in front of a computer for long periods of time often encounter a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.  Headaches, neck strain, backaches and wrist pain are common, but, sadly, the most prevalent symptoms of prolonged computer use-eye strain, blurred vision and dry eye-are often overlooked. In fact, eye and vision problems are the most frequently reported health care problems among computer users.

Computer Vision Syndrome:

These symptoms contribute to computer vision syndrome, which the American Optometric Association defines as "the complex of eye and vision problems related to near work that are experienced during or related to computer use."  Sitting at a computer generally causes a person to look straight ahead for long stretches, work in a dry office or home environment, and to blink less often.  These factors can lead to vision problems.  Additionally, computer use requires specific vision skills, which add further demands to the visual system and contribute to eye and vision discomfort.  These skills include:

  • Ocular motility- the ability of the eyes to move in various positions.
  • Accommodation- the ability of the eyes to focus clearly at various distances.
  • Vergence- The ability to move the eyes in (convergence) or out (divergence).

A queston to ask yourself:  Is Your Work Station Properly Arranged?

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The Night Shift Isn't Called Graveyard For No Reason

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Night Shift Isn’t Called Graveyard for No Reason

Often the night or graveyard shift, usually 10:00PM to 6:00AM, 11:00PM to 7:00AM, or 10:00PM to 8:00AM with variations, is the entry level shift at large 24-hour companies, social service care facilities, prisons, medical facilities and for emergency service personnel and first responders.  But it is also the shift of choice, in many cases, for working students, working moms and single parents, people that work two jobs or for some who just like the perks it sometimes brings including more time off or the extra time during conventional waking or productive hours.  But this shift comes with a grave cost.

I came from 5-years at a job like this and have several friends who are still working that job and shift; some 5-days a week and some long 4-day a week shifts, but none with special time off benefits or shorter work weeks so I know the hazards first hand. It took me almost 3-years to physically get off that shift and get back to a semi-normal sleep pattern, and after 5-years, I still don’t sleep as soundly as I used to.

Another friend, Jack Reeder, has worked the same shift at a local hospital for 18-years because it allows him to work one week on and one week off and he likes the flexibility to travel and pursue his hobbies, but it still comes with a price.  He and most of my friends working these shifts are now chronic insomniacs.  According to the American Heart Association, weekly changes of sleep time affect the cardiac sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic controls in our bodies.  The sympathetic nervous system accelerates body functions, including heart rate and digestion. The parasympathetic nervous system slows down some of these systems causing what some researchers say afflicts many people who work a shift schedule – higher rates of accidents and cardiovascular disease. 

What this means is that the natural circadian, or daily, rhythms of your biological clock are constantly wrestling with your work schedule if you are required to work during the hours when your body and brain would normally be resting.  The tug-of-war happens because your circadian rhythm and your lifestyle are not in sync. Circadian rhythms are, in part, tied to the 24-hour cycle of the Earth’s rotation and the amount of daylight to which you are exposed.

According to Raffaello Furlan, MD, a professor at the University of Milan and the lead author of their sleep study, “This resistance of the body’s internal ‘clock’ to change with varied work schedules indicates that people don’t adapt as easily as we think to shift work.”  Certain processes like cell division and DNA repair happen at regular times while we sleep and are missed by shift workers.  Circadian rhythms also seem to control the amount of and time when various hormones are released in the body, such as cortisol, growth hormone, melatonin and testosterone, which control weight, energy, and reaching the ‘deep sleep’ state among many other processes.  Because the release time of these substances might not match your schedule, it can lead to health problems say Furlan and other Italian researchers.

The researchers believe that the higher rate of sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal and cardiovascular diseases, and accidents that shift workers experience may be due to the stress that the frequent changing of sleep and awake periods place on the body’s nervous system.

Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, director of Baylor College of Medicine sleep research center in Houston, and the author of Sleep Disorders for Dummies says that the biological clock is a strong force in determining people’s sleep habits.

“These are three basic processes that govern and regulate sleep patterns – circadian rhythms, homeopathic rhythms, and anything that activates the sympathetic nervous system and can interfere with sleep”, says Hirshkowitz, “For most people, it’s more difficult to sleep during the day.  Light is a stimulant, and there is more noise during the day.”

Your biological clock tells you that the sleepiest time of the day is 4:00AM, Hirshkowitz says, yet many shift workers drink coffee around that time to stay awake. “Then they can’t go to sleep, or they sleep but wake up a short time later,” he says.  “It’s equivalent to drinking coffee after dinner.”

Shift workers also often develop destructive habits like trying to change their sleep patterns on the weekends or their days off because they want to be with their friends or families.  But according to Dr. Hirshkowitz, this is the wrong thing to do!  “It creates a cycle of sleep deprivation”, he says.  He advises that if you have to work a night shift, you should keep your sleep patterns the same on your off days, and you should protect the time slot when you’re supposed to sleep.  If you have to change shifts constantly and it involves the night shift, you should do whatever you can to protect your sleep time.  Don’t exercise within two hours of trying to sleep, but do exercise, and use blackout curtains and earplugs.  In other words, practice what Hirshkowitz calls “sleep hygiene”.  More sleep rather than “less”… which shift workers tend to get is also critical; 8 hours during the day under ‘ideal’ conditions is like 5 ½ or 6 during the night, 6 hours of day time sleep is like getting about 4 at night, and so on down the scale.  And broken sleep, a hazard of day-sleepers, is almost worse than no sleep.

Hirschkowitz says it’s easy to see these effects.  What happens if you haven’t had enough sleep?  With sleep deprivation, your balance is off; you have gastrointestinal upset, your eyes ache, and you are more prone toward colds, headaches and whatever else is going around.

Most shift workers know that they need more sleep.  Some chose not to take the step to correct their chronic sleep deprivation because of activities or because they like the extra money. Others have no choice because of family responsibilities, childcare or because it is the only option for them to afford to go to school.

The schedule is the worst for day people who naturally like to go to bed early and get up early”.  Evening or night owls do better but eventually the shift affects everyone. Night people will often say the first five years they worked this shift, they didn’t have a noticeable problem with going from night sleep to day sleep or sleeping day hours in general.  But eventually it takes its toll.  Studies show that extended graveyard shift work, can affect longevity.  It’s not called “graveyard shift” for no reason.

Studies have shown links to graveyard workers or shift change workers that include the night shift to increase breast and prostrate cancer, diabetes, weight shifts and obesity, mood swings, forgetfulness, chronic fatigue and a weakening of the immune system in general for years.  In 2007, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer arm of the World Health Organization, added overnight shift work as a probable carcinogen, just like UV rays and diesel exhaust fumes.  It is a surprisingly positive step validating a concept once considered wacky or at least improbable.. And, it is based on research that finds higher rates of breast and prostate cancer among women and men whose work day starts after dark.   

Many companies and organizations in the U.S. and worldwide have begun to recognize the sacrifice of night shift workers and have compensated them for their sacrifices, as well as trying to cut-down the related increases in their accident and sickness ratios with shorter shifts for 40-hours pay, shorter work weeks, and non-traditional rotations including flextime and the options of part-time and job-share types of positions. Graveyard workers are generally compensated with 10% higher wages than their day-worker counterparts. They are also often compensated with additional sick or compensatory time or allowed extra time off without pay, but also without attendance penalties. Perks like areas for naptime on break or between shifts or recreational facilities are also common. In New York, some companies are supplying sleep capsules for 20-minute naps for both shift workers and day workers in high stress positions. New studies suggest the use of ‘light boxes’ in a special area where shift workers work or in the break room will make them sharper. Workers who do not have physically or mentally challenging positions or are in an observation capacity with lots of sitting should always work with a partner and be allowed access to television, radio, a computer or something that interests them to keep them alert, between or after their duties are done. Eating healthy foods rather than excessive amounts of caffeine and sugar is advised and wearing sunglasses in the morning, from sunrise until bedtime to cut out a lot of the blue light which tells the body that it is morning, is also helpful.

Let us hope that these and additional balancing measures will become common knowledge, uniform in practice and mandatory before more people end up far too young in the graveyard for which their shift is nicknamed.

By: Marion AlgierAsk Marion 

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Eating Salads Can Make You Fat


Eating Salad Could Be Making You Fat!


America's Worst Salads
It takes a uniquely American brand of innovation to transform a healthy helping of produce into a green monster.


No meal on the planet carries a healthier reputation than salad, and because of that, our fast food merchants know they can hide gobs of fat-riddled toppings amidst the foliage. So most of today's salad entrees are swimming in as much fat and sodium as a heaping plate of cheese fries -- and that's before the greens are drowned in dressing.


Looking to capitalize on our belief in the almighty leaf, restaurants and fast-food chains have loaded their menus with dubious salads, and diners are grazing away, like sheep before the slaughter. Reports from the National Restaurant Association and the USDA show salad sales up by as much as 50% over the past decade.

So how did the salad leap from a nutritional boon to a full-blown health hazard? Over the past decade the restaurant industry has surreptitiously merged our growing affinity for greens with two other scary restaurant trends -- bigger portions and more fried foods.


That's why today's fresh produce increasingly is freighted with more crumbled cheese, greasy bacon, pan-browned beef, and oily dressing. The one-time rabbit food now looks a lot more like pig slop.


Chili's Caesar Salad w/ Grilled Chicken and Caesar Dressing

  930 calories
  71 g fat (13 g saturated)
  1,840 mg sodium


The top three words you never want to see sharing a space with "salad" on a menu: tuna, taco, and yes, the mighty Caesar. Consider that tangle of romaine a hapless vehicle for the troubling trinity of croutons, parmesan cheese, and viscous Caesar dressing. Chili's version is the worst; the elephantine portion yields a salad with more fat than a dozen Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches from Breyers. (Maybe Brutus was right to take a knife to him, after all.)


Chili's Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad

  1,070 calories

  78 g fat (15 g saturated)
  4,440 mg sodium


This twisted new concoction earns the dubious distinction of being America's Saltiest Salad, packing more sodium in a single bowl than you'll find in 77 cups of buttered popcorn. How can they possibly cram so much salt into a pile of greens? Simple, by mixing chunks of fried chicken with some of the food world's most sodium-riddled conspirators: wing sauce, crumbled bacon, bleu cheese, and fried tortilla strips.


Quiznos Chicken with Honey Mustard Flatbread Salad

  1,110 calories
  74 g fat (14.5 g saturated)
  2030 mg sodium


Surprised to see a Quizno's salad with nearly as many calories as five packages of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? Don't be. Half the salads on the menu top 1,000 calories, and 330 of those calories come from the flatbread alone. (See if Quizno's and your other favorite eateries make the grade with this handy Restaurant Report Card.  If you don’t see their chart posted, ask for it.


Macaroni Grill Seared Sea Scallops Salad

  1,320 calories
  91 g fat (25 g saturated)
  2,860 mg sodium

Macaroni Grill manages to take two normally healthy food -- salad and seafood -- and turn them into the caloric equivalent of 29 Chicken McNuggets. Not to mention more than one day's worth of sodium, fat, and saturated fat. There's an important lesson here: Sea creatures, just like leafy greens, are at grave risk when they fall into the hands of the restaurant industry.


T.G.I. Friday's Pecan Crusted Chicken Salad

  1360 calories
  Fat: Unknown (The company refuses to disclose the nutritional content of the food they're serving you.)
  Sodium:  Turns out Friday's monster salads aren't much better than their burgers.


Six out of the seven we analyzed topped out with more than 900 calories, which means that lunchtime can be the start of something big -- namely, your belly.


Chevy's Fresh Mex Tostada Salad with Chicken
  1,551 calories
  94 g fat (37 g saturated)
  2,840 mg sodium


Steer clear of Mexican-themed salads; they invariably suffer from the caloric impact of fried tortillas, shredded cheese, and ice-cream-size scoops of sour cream. This particular Mex mess has nearly two days' worth of saturated fat and more than an entire day's sodium.


Salad Hall of Fame
Now that you've been warned of the greenest nutrition follies in the nation, here are seven salads worthy of their healthy reputation.


McDonald's Premium Asian Salad with Grilled Chicken

  300 calories
  10 g fat (1 g saturated)  890 mg sodium

Panera Classic Cafe Salad

  400 calories
  11 g fat (1.5 g saturated)
  270 mg sodium

Au Bon Pain Butternut Squash Salad

  280 calories
  6 g fat (4 g saturated)
  570 mg sodium

Jack in the Box Southwest Chicken Salad with Grilled Chicken Strips

  310 calories
  12 g fat (5 g saturated)
  840 mg sodium

Carl's Jr. Charbroiled Chicken Salad

  330 calories


By David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding

Sources: &

You should always check the nutrition chart, especially at fast food restaurants before ordering.  Often making the fish or chicken sandwich choice is no healthier than the burger you really wanted.


Posted:  Marion's Place - Eating Salads Can Make You Fat 


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