Insight News

Oct 07th


Hennepin program targeting youth tobacco use in communities of color loses funding

Hennepin program targeting youth tobacco use in communities of color loses fundingTobacco-related disease is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, claiming the lives of more than 1,200 Americans every day and 5,000 Minnesotans each year. The implications related to tobacco use continue to be a huge concern, especially in terms of health care costs. According to the 2010 Healthcare Costs and Smoking report, smoking was responsible for $2.87 billion in excess medical care in Minnesota in 2007—a per capita cost of $554 for every man, woman and child in the state. $2.87 billion could buy our state five brand new Target Fields or pay four years of tuition for 57,000 students.

Despite these humongous figures staring at us, the Northwest Hennepin Human Services Council (NWHHSC) recently received notification that its Tobacco-Free Youth (TFY)-Start Noticing program will not receive funding in 2011, ending a program that has worked since 2007 to prevent youth tobacco use by countering tobacco industry tactics to hook kids.

Einstein's equation and weight management

Popular diets highlight carbohydrate, protein or fat as the best way to lose weight. However, a 2009 Harvard School of Public Health report reveals that a comparison of overweight participants assigned to four different diets over a two-year period showed that reducing calories achieved weight loss regardless of which of the three nutrients was emphasized.

This confirms the observation in the National Academy of Sciences 2005 Dietary Reference Intake manual that a certain amount of calories are required for a person to maintain a certain weight.

"Greening up" professional sports

Dear EarthTalk: What’s being done to “green up” professional sports? I know that the last two Olympic Games both made some effort, but are there others? -- Rob Avandic, Chicago, IL

The last two Olympics were indeed greener than any before, but environmental awareness isn’t limited to the realm of international amateur competition. In fact, in just the last few years all of the major professional North American sports leagues have made strides in greening their operations.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has helped blaze the trail through its “Greening the Games” initiative. Since 2003, when the National Football League’s (NFL) Philadelphia Eagles turned to NRDC for help saving energy and reducing waste, NRDC has helped dozens of pro teams evaluate their environmental impacts and make changes. Today the Eagles obtain all of their energy at Lincoln Field from wind power, pour fans’ beverages in biodegradable corn-based plastic cups, power their scoreboard with solar panels and have reduced electricity use overall by a third. The NFL itself has also jumped on the bandwagon, implementing various green initiatives at the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl and other big events.

A natural menopause remedy

The ANTIAGING Institute of California advises women about the time in their lives when menopause is most likely to start. It is not possible to predict exactly when a woman will go through menopause, as it can vary with each individual, but the average age for menopause in United States is 53. It is not unusual, though, for some women to experience menopause in their forties and others to experience it in late fifties.

Understanding causes of poor eating habits

Understanding causes of poor eating habits “Most of us are fortunate to be born healthy. It is what we have learned and have chosen to put into our mouths that drove our bodies crazy. The goal of this book is to help you better understand that what you are just about to put into your mouth will affect how you feel and look. Like it or not, that is the way it is…

Mind Your Wellness is not about asking you to stop eating your favorite unhealthy food. Its goal is to give you a deeper understanding about what could be the causes of your overeating or poor eating habits…

With this book in hand, you have the choice to be in total control of your thoughts and your health. Decide what you want and stick with it until you see the results... Be patient, be persistent, and your life and health will change for the better.”
- Excerpted from the Introduction and the Conclusion (pgs. 25 & 171)

2009: Lowest Teen Birth Rate

2009: Lowest Teen Birth RateA lowest teen birth rate—39.1 per 1000—in 70 years of record keeping was reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week. The rate for 2009 was 6% lower than for 2008, and marked the second consecutive year that the rate fell. The reduction follows two years of increases in 2006 and 2007.

Significantly, the rates fell for all sections of the population’s teens.

In a 2007 article, noted researcher, John Santelli, M.D., suggests that most of the decline in teen birth rates since the early 90s is due to better use of contraceptives.

Medicare: What you need to know now

Medicare is health insurance for people at age 65 and for disabled people.   Understanding Medicare can save you money-here are some important facts:  Most people first become eligible for Medicare at age 65, and there are four parts to Medicare: Parts A, B, C and D.

•    Part A helps pay for inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing care, hospice care, and other services.
•    Part B helps pay for doctors' fees, outpatient hospital visits, and other medical services and supplies not covered by Part A.
•    Part C allows you to choose to receive all of your health care services through a provider organization. These plans, known as Medicare Advantage Plans, may help lower your costs of receiving medical services, or you may get extra benefits for an additional monthly fee. You must have both Parts A and B to enroll in Part C.
•    Part D is the Medicare Prescription Drug Program.
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