Category: Health

Should Companies Be Allowed to Advertise Junk Food to Kids?

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 by 1 Comment

Advertising tobacco to children has been banned since 1998. This ban has coincided with a substantial drop in youth smoking. Evidence suggests that a similar approach might be useful in curbing our country’s growing obesity problem.

In the last 20 years, the rate of obesity among children has more than tripped – climbing from 4% to 15%. Obesity is well known to increase the risk of chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes. Children who are obese are also more likely to become obese adults.

In this same time frame, the number of advertisements aired for prepared foods such as frozen dinners, sugary cereals, and packaged snack foods has more than doubled.

Many of these advertisements are clearly targeted towards children, appearing on networks like Nickelodeon or featuring popular cartoon characters essentially endorsing the product at hand.

Nutritionists are concerned that advertising causes children to prefer unhealthy foods over foods that provide the nutrition they need.

Children never see commercials for broccoli, but they are exposed to a multitude of commercials for chips and candy bars. When it comes time for them to select a snack, it’s obvious what types of foods will be at the front of their minds.

Even though we’ve gotten rid of cable television in our home, I’ve noticed that my son has an astounding capacity to remember commercials for unhealthy food options. Just seeing a commercial on the TV in the waiting room at the doctor’s office is enough to convince him that a certain candy or snack food is a “must-have” item.

I believe that marketers should not be allowed to create content that influences impressionable children to make choices that will set them up for a lifetime of health problems. These health problems, in addition to decreasing a child’s quality of life, result in lost wages, lower productivity, and higher health insurance premiums for everyone who must help compensate for the care of obesity-related medical conditions.

Regulating advertising in the interest of public health serves the greater good, which outweighs any potential harm to the profitability of a private enterprise.

What do you think? Would you like to see tighter restrictions on advertising targeted to children?

Photo credit: Stock.chng

Preemie Born at 23 Weeks Celebrates 1st Birthday

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 by No Comments

First birthdays are special, but for 25-year-old Rachel Crockett, the celebration for her son Conner marked a milestone many said would never happen.

Back when her water broke at 23 weeks, doctors delivered the bad news. Her baby was going to die. But when she saw his heartbeat on the scan, she knew differently. She knew she could save him.

Studies show that babies born at 39 to 41 weeks of pregnancy do better than those born 37 or even 38 weeks. When Rachel’s water broke at 23 weeks, her doctors told her she would miscarry.

In the UK, abortion is limited to 25 weeks or less. Rachel and her partner Craig Walkow told the doctors they wanted to save the baby, but even though Conner’s heart still beat, they were told her “case” would be treated as a miscarriage.

Desperate, they knew they had to find a specialist hospital to save their baby. They found one 39 miles away, but doctors said she couldn’t be transferred unless the hemorrhaging stopped.

Time was running out. She did the only thing she could think. She lied and said the bleeding had stopped.

They made the transfer to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and a day later she gave birth to Conner. She was only 23 weeks and two days along and the baby came into the world weighing only 1 pound 2 ounces.

“We thought we would never get the baby we always wanted, but I pushed them.” Rachel Crockett via the Daily Mail

Conner celebrated his first birthday in October, 2014. It was a milestone many didn’t think would ever happen.

Conner was in the hospital for the first 7 months of his life. He suffered many setbacks including fungal meningitis, perforated bowels, and a brain bleed. He also had to undergo eye surgery to have his retinas reattached after they started to detach due to a condition brought about by the ventilators.

While Connor has already faced more challenges than many children face their entire childhood, with more undoubtedly in the future, Rachel doesn’t regret her decision. In fact, now she calls on maternity units to do more to save babies who are routinely considered “unviable.”

She is also pushing to have the abortion limit amended to 20 weeks. She says, “I think the abortion limit should be lowered to 20 weeks – especially considering what happened with Conner. By then, you can see their sex – they are a person.”

Photo credits: wikimedia

Link Round-up: Homemade Candy, Tuna Roll-ups, Fall Home Maintenance, and More

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has homemade candy, mushroom risotto, tuna roll-ups, a fall home maintenance checklist, and more.

A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make homemade salted butter caramels.

Mind Body Green asked, “Are you taking care of everyone but yourself?”

Luv a Bargain showed us how to make mushroom risotto.

link ru fall maintenance checklist
Kenarry shared a fall home maintenance checklist with a free printable.

Life a Little Brighter showed us how to make tuna roll-ups.

Play Dates on Fridays shared five of the worst times to be a mom of multiples.

I Dig Pinterest showed us how to make Halloween Oreo popcorn.

Photo credit: A Beautiful Mess and Kenarry

Man Arrested After Calling Wife Fat 2 Days After Giving Birth

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 by 1 Comment

Back when I had my first baby, the doctor told me to keep my weight gain to 15-18 pounds for the entire pregnancy. Amazingly I did it.

Yet even with that, I’ll never forget lying on the hospital bed after giving birth, turning on my side and realizing that my flabby belly was resting on the bed beside me. As a first-time mom riding a hormonal roller coaster of happiness mingled with uncertainty that I was up to the job, it was a mental adjustment to say the least.

Would my body ever return to pre-baby fitness? What would I wear home from the hospital? Nothing would fit, so it was maternity clothes.

I can’t imagine what I would have done if had come home to a husband who called me “fat” or told me to quit being lazy so I’d burn calories. And all this when my daughter was two days old!!

No that didn’t happen to me, but that’s exactly what happened to one Georgia woman. She and her husband got into an argument after the dog pooped in the house and he told her to “quit being lazy and burn some calories” by cleaning it up. Remember we’re talking two days after giving birth.

During the exchange he told her he didn’t take off work to help her out after giving birth, but to have a “vacation.” He went on and threatened to leave her because she was fat!

She walked out the door and went to a neighbor’s house where she called the police for help in removing her personal belongings and the baby from the home. When the police arrived, the husband said his wife was only acting like that because of “female problems.”

These situations can be tricky for the police, but it turns out that when the husband told the wife to go f*** herself, he was taken away in handcuffs and charged with disorderly conduct. I have some good ideas for an “appropriate” sentence for this guy, how about you?

Photo credits: wikimedia

Kids, Sugar, and Halloween

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 by 1 Comment

With Halloween around the corner, I think back to my favorite treats.

I was never a candy corn fan. It made it into my family’s “do not like” bowl. When we came home with our hoard of candy, we’d pick through it and fill up the bowl with the stuff we didn’t want.

That was our parent’s candy to eat, and they seemed to like it all.

Now I find that some of the candies I liked best then are on the Least Favorite Halloween Candy List now, like Sugar Daddys. Yes, they were sticky, but their sweeter-than-caramel goodness lasted. Good and Plenty is another candy for the reject pile according to the list, and one I still buy occasionally today.

The biggest surprise on the list for me was “any” hot cinnamon candy, since that was and is a favorite for me. In fact, I recently bought a package of Atomic Fireballs for in the car on vacation.

All in all, I liked all but two of the candies that made the reject list and all I can do is think of my parents with that “do not like bowl.” They liked everything we put in there, and now if you filled a do-not-like bowl with the candies on this list, I’d eat almost all of them.

Even though I still have a sweet tooth, these days I lean more toward things like homemade cookies. Back then, it was like I could just keep eating piece after piece of candy, if my parents let me.

Turns out there is a biological reason for that and the research shows that our tastes actually do change regarding sweets as we grow older.

Recent scientific findings show that kids who are still growing have a “heightened preference for sweet-tasting foods and beverages during childhood.”

That same study says, “The liking for sweet tastes during development may have ensured the acceptance of sweet-tasting foods, such as mother’s milk and fruits. Moreover, recent research suggests that liking for sweets may be further promoted by the pain-reducing properties of sugars.”

That pain-reducing property may be why I go to sugar when I’m feeling down, but that’s a story for another day.

It’s no secret that kids like candy, and that they can eat a lot of it if we let them. It’s up to us to make sure our younger kids don’t overdo it.

Around age 15 or 16, when growth has stopped, the study showed taste preferences similar to adults. As a mom, I’m not so sure those findings are quite accurate.

Photo credits: Thomas

Kate Middleton Morning Sickness Waning

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 by 1 Comment

Kate Middleton has been out of the public eye since Kensington Palace made the official announcement that she is expecting her second child with Prince William last month.

Just like when she was expecting Prince George, she is suffering from a severe form of morning sickness called hyperemesis gravidarum. It’s caused her to cancel multiple royal engagements including her first solo tour to Malta at the end of September.

However, it looks like she’s ready to step back into the limelight.

According to Us Weekly, the “Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expected to greet the President of Singapore and his wife during a royal engagement on Oct. 21.”

The royal couple is scheduled to meet with their guests on behalf of Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Garden Hotel in London and as of now it looks like Kate plans to be there.

A Kensington Palace source told Us that the intensity of the Duchess’ sickness took everyone by surprise, but that the baby is well and that Kate Middleton is doing her best to stay healthy.

During her absence, she has written letters of apology. One such letter written when she had to cancel her appearance for the launch of The Art Room’s ninth center in the U.K. In it she says, “I am truly sorry that I cannot be with you all today as you celebrate this milestone. As patron of The Art Room, I feel great pride to see the work that the charity is doing. Vulnerable children flourish in the safe havens that The Art Room provides; this highlights just how important it is to support children at a time when they most need help and support.”

I hope she feels well soon as she presses forward to meet all her obligations. Part of me wonders if she is having another boy since this pregnancy is mimicking her first. I only say that because I experienced heartburn with my daughter but not with my son.

Time will tell, but I’d love to see them have a little Princess, wouldn’t you? No one knows officially how far along Kate is, but rumor has it the baby is due in April 2015.

Photo credits: The Incredible World

Skinfix a Centuries Old Diaper Rash Cream

Posted on Oct 13, 2014 by No Comments

I’m a fan of natural products, and I just learned about a centuries old remedy for diaper rash. It’s called Skinfix Diaper Rash Cream. The recipe for this cream was originally blended by a man by the name of Thomas Dixon in Victorian England in 1850. He sold the formula in his store.

The family recipe for this cream was passed down through British Pharmacopoeia and is an all-natural blend of botanicals, vitamins and minerals designed to prevent and heal skin problems from head to toe.

In 2007, Thomas Dixon’s great-great-great granddaughter brought Skinfix into existence as a skincare brand that’s all natural, and fragrance- and paraben free. That means it can be used to help heal your baby’s diaper rash, but also eczema, chafing, and heat rash, too.

My kids didn’t get diaper rash often, but it seemed no matter how careful I was they did get diaper rash from time to time. In fact, it’s one of the ways I knew my son was teething. While it may be a “harmless” rash, it certainly can make our babies fussy! I wish I would have known about Skinfix when they were in diapers!

Skinfix has been pediatrician and dermatologist tested, and has been shown to relieve diaper rash in just one application according to 90 percent of the moms who have tried it. In the short time Skinfix has been an official brand, it has grown into a national business but it wasn’t until 2013 that they launched in the U.S.

This is one product that offers everything we could look for in the natural realm, without the work of making it ourselves! And since it’s worked for more than a century, I’d say it’s been well tested!

No matter how careful you are, your little one will probably get diaper rash at some point. Most babies do. So plan ahead.  Learn how to treat diaper rash, plus prevent flare-ups. Your baby’s little bottom will thank you!

Photo credits: Joanna Lane

Link Roundup: Halloween Foods, Cronuts, Fight Aging, and More

Posted on Oct 9, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has Halloween and fall-inspired foods, glow-in-the-dark pumpkins, homemade cronuts, and more.

Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons showed us how to make Halloween bat burgers.

Living Locurto taught us how to make Frankenstein Halloween Pops.

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared her pregnant girl’s guide to what to sleep, eat, and wear.

link ru cronuts
A Beautiful Mess showed us how to make cronuts.

Mind Body Green shared seven ways to fight the effects of aging.

I Love to Create showed us how to make glow-in-the-dark pumpkins.

Tone It Up shared a recipe for healthy, yet decadent and divine, mocha brownies.

Photo credit: Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons and A Beautiful Mess

Choosing a Veterinarian for the Family Pet

Posted on Sep 24, 2014 by 1 Comment

If you consider your four legged friend to be part of the family, it’s important to have a vet you can trust to make sure Fido or Fluffy stays in tip top shape.

You can start looking for a vet by asking friends, coworkers, and relatives with pets who they use for veterinary services and if they’re happy with their pet’s medical care. The vet who does a great job with your sister’s kitten might not necessarily be the best choice for your full grown dog, but referrals should at least give you an idea of which vets in the area have a positive reputation.

After you’ve searched for personal referrals, make a few appointments with different vets in your area to check out their facilities and their staff. The ideal vet should have readily available appointments that fit well with your schedule, affordable payment plans that are within your personal budget, and friendly staff who genuinely love working with animals.

The facility should also be accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association. The AAHA is the leading national organization overseeing the quality of veterinary hospitals across the United States.

Questions to ask your potential vet include:

  • What veterinary school did you graduate from?
  • How long have you been practicing?
  • Do you have any specialties?
  • Are you familiar with my pet’s special health concerns? (This is especially important if your pet is older or dealing with chronic medical issues.)
  • Will you be meeting with us every time or are there other vets who rotate throughout the practice?
  • How do you feel about alternative treatments like chiropractic care or acupuncture for sick pets?
  • Where will I need to go if your practice can’t handle my pet’s health issue?
  • Are you willing to answer questions via email?

Photo credit: Dana Hinders