Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rachael Ray Pushes for Child Nutrition Programs

A new bill announced Thursday with the help of Food Network star and TV talk show host Rachael Ray was established to prevent hunger in America's children and provide better nutrition in school and out.
The proposed $8 billion bill would improve access and funding to school meal programs, improve access to out-of-school meal programs, help schools and child care improve the quality of meals and encourage public and private partnerships to improve child nutrition and wellness.
"I really think teaching a child good nutrition and the basics of cooking gives them the skills they need for self esteem and for security for the rest of their lives," said Ray. "The difference an apple or a good school lunch makes to these kids is more than just keeping them focused in class, you know, it literally is everything." The food Network guru strongly believes in a healthy relationship with food helps to empower children and their families in doing so through her nonprofit organization, Yum-O!
Many thanks go to the first lady as lawmakers praised first Michelle Obama for her hard work to combat childhood obesity through the Let’s Move program. She introduced to the legislation to stay in line with the goal to reduce childhood obesity, improve school wellness, implement new school food safety guidelines, and involve families and local communities. This is all part of President Obama’s goal to end childhood hunger by 2015.
Rachael Ray has made many trips to Washington, D.C. to urge lawmakers to improve child nutrition and end hunger. Ray said, “Today will mark the first day that we will end hunger for our kids and improve nutrition. Not many of us know what it would be like to close our eyes and be hungry. Imagine being a child and imagine what it’s like to truly be hungry.”
Ray made sure to point out ways to address the lack of healthy food options available to low income families. She mentioned planting gardens, whether on school grounds, or even on an abandoned piece of land. Ray also said that she talks to families all of the time that go to co-ops or a farmer’s market - wherever they can go to get healthy nutritious foods and stock up. Ray noted that education is essential. “You can go to any grocery store where you would have dried beans and a whole chicken. You gotta just learn some basic skills."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Unpredictable Weather Brings Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Risks

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is urging residents to be aware of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning when using alternative sources of power during an outage.
Due to recent weather-related power outages, Michigan residents are asked to be extra vigilant as they compensate for the lost power.
If not used safely, gas-powered generators, kerosene heaters or other alternative heating or power sources can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Residents are encouraged to seek shelter with friends, family, or at a community shelter as a safer alternative.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, tasteless, and odorless gas formed when fuel is burned. Carbon monoxide can build up to deadly levels within minutes in enclosed spaces and can only be detected with a carbon monoxide detector.
Warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include flu-like symptoms without the fever: headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause coma and death. Every year, hundreds of people in Michigan are hospitalized and 15 to 20 die as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.
To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when the power is out:
- NEVER run a generator inside your house or in your garage, and keep it away from windows and doors. (If theft is a concern, lock it to a tree or fence.)
- NEVER use charcoal or propane grills or camp stoves indoors.
- Do not use portable heaters powered by propane or kerosene indoors.
- Always turn off your vehicle in the garage.
- Place a carbon monoxide detector in the hallway outside bedrooms in all sleeping areas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Colder the Weather The Higher the Risk for Heart Attack

Scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have completed a study that suggests cold weather means a bigger increase for heart attack.
People aged between 75 and 84 and those with a previous history of heart disease appeared to be more vulnerable to the effects of colder conditions, while those taking aspirin were less susceptible. They examined data on 84,010 hospital admissions for heart attack recorded in the Myocardial Ischaemia National Audit Project (MINAP) during 2003-2006, and daily temperatures from the British Atmospheric Data Centre, focusing on 15 geographical areas in England and Wales.
What researchers found was that a 1°C drop in average daily temperature was linked to a cumulative 2% increase in risk of heart attack for 28 days. The highest risk was within two weeks of exposure.
In an accompanying editorial, Dr Paola Michelozzi and Manuela De Sario, of the Lazio Region Department of Epidemiology in Rome, wrote: "Heat and cold exposure affect people with cardiovascular diseases and increase the incidence of coronary events with high impact on short term mortality. Moreover, while the effect of cold on myocardial inffection is well documented, the short-term effect of heat is still contradictory but cannot be disregarded.”
The team further wrote in their report that, “Clinicians should be aware that exposure to environmental heat and cold is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and should consider this in risk prevention and management, and efforts should be especially directed towards most vulnerable individuals identified by a multiplicity of risk factors."
The British Heart Foundation suggests the study showed that those at risk of a heart attack during cold weather should take precautions. Simple thing such as wrapping up warm and always wearing a hat to minimize body heat loss through the head.