With 47 percent of the U.S. population projected to be obese by 2030 – and more than 2.1 billion people expected to weigh in as overweight or obese - it’s no surprise that governments worldwide have waged war on a health crisis which not only causes 5 percent of all deaths every year, but also has a $2.0 trillion economic impact annually. So what new measures can be taken that haven’t already been tried?
Three out of four Americans struggle to take their medications as directed, and this costs our healthcare system $300 billion every year! New smartphone apps can help consumers -- especially those with chronic conditions or multiple medications -- take their medication as directed and become healthier. These apps can be a great tool to help you keep track of your meds, but not all medication apps are alike and some are more useful than others.
Acetaminophen is the most commonly used drug ingredient in America. It is found in over 600 of the most commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs, including Tylenol, Robitussin, Dayquil, Nyquil and so many more. An estimated 50 million Americans take acetaminophen every week. When taken as directed, acetaminophen is safe and effective. Taking too much acetaminophen, however, can cause severe liver damage.
The New York Times recently broke the news that, largely because of a new anti-vaccine movement spreading across the country, cases of measles have reached a 20-year high. The article reported that 85 percent of this year’s cases were in people not vaccinated because of religious, philosophical or personal objections. Fear that misinformation could result in undoing the progress we have made against diseases like measles have been realized.
It’s unseasonably warm this week, and I’ve found myself longing to populate my deck with plants despite the cold that may lie ahead. Growing up, my parents spent summer weekends landscaping and planting, and I feel a deep satisfaction in caring for plants. We never had a successful garden exactly, maybe some tomatoes or herbs in pots -- but there was something beautiful and amazing about creating something sustaining and useful from tiny seeds.
Food is a cornerstone of love. Think of all the ways we use food to bond: cooking for loved ones, eating together as a means to share conversation, gifting food. I grew up in a family for whom food was a form of love, and while this might not be every person’s experience, I think we can all understand the association. This Valentine’s Day, couples will flock to restaurants, cookies will be baked for families, and young valentines will exchange candy at school.
As if it weren't enough that the restaurant chain Chipotle revolutionized the extremely affordable, locally sourced and 100% delicious fast food meal, now they’re speaking out against the unsustainable and inhumane nature of industrial agriculture. And they’re doing so in the most entertaining way. The satirical series, “Farmed and Dangerous,” calling out big agriculture is set to debut February 17, on Hulu.
I recently wrote about the miraculous number of lives saved by tough auto safety regulations. Some states today are recording the lowest traffic fatalities ever. Why? Because of safety devices (seatbelts, airbags, etc.) and designs that were lobbied for by consumer advocates like Ralph Nader, Joan Claybrook, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, CARS, and Consumer Reports/Consumers Union beginning in the 1960s.
As the obesity rate in Mexico rises, lawmakers have taken action in the form of a tax on sweet drinks and some unhealthy packaged foods. This action in Mexico might ultimately lead to similar laws in the United States and other parts of the world. Similar measures are being passed in many South American counties such as Chile, Ecuador, and Peru all of which are promoting healthier eating through law making.
The new year almost inevitably brings dieting difficulties for many of us, but many people realize that a diet isn’t always the best approach to losing weight and keeping it off. Changing your eating and exercise habits can have lifelong effects on your health, but doing so is more easily said than done. It can be a struggle, especially at the end of the day when you feel like you have eaten so healthfully and you just need a little something sweet.