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2 Health Beat September 2013

Backpack safety can prevent serious injuries

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rips and falls on the playground may account for the majority of injuries that send school children to the nurse’s office. But backpacks cause their fair share of injuries as well. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates there are more than 7,300 backpack-related injuries per year. Children routinely carry more than the recommended weight in school backpacks and, compounding the problem, also carry their bags incorrectly. The American Academy of Pediatrics and other medical agencies recommend

that a child’s backpack should weigh no more than 10 to 20 percent of the child’s body weight. However, this figure should be adjusted based on a child’s fitness level and strength. That means that the average 7-year-old second grader who weighs between 55 and 60 pounds should be carrying no more than 11 to 12 pounds in his or her backpack. A backpack that is too heavy may cause: • Red marks on the shoulders or back from the straps • Tingling or numbness in the arms and back

• Changes in posture when wearing the backpack, and • Pain anywhere in the back. To compound these problems, which also may include nerve damage resulting from pressure on nerves in the shoulders, children should lighten their loads and carry backpacks correctly. The following tips are some additional ways youngsters can prevent backpack-related injuries. • Carry only necessary items. Children should only carry what is required for that particular school day in their backpacks. If teachers {Continued on page 11}

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CONTENTS September 2013 • Issue 9

Ann Laurence Publisher

FEATURE

Bill Robinson Health Beat Editor

Are your kids sitting too much at school?

Advertising Staff

Get ‘em up and moving!

Tim Merlin Media Consultant

Page 8

Perry Stocker Media Consultant

ARTICLES 4

Nancy Woodward Media Consultant

Mental Morsels: Use Your Dreams

5

Joyce Rose Composing

Panel backs lung cancer screening for some smokers

6

Don’t walk through the pain

7

GROWING UP: Sibling Rivalry: The first love-hate relationship

10

Eating Well The ‘exercise cost’ of some popular foods

12

September is National Preparedness Month

13

Five myths about ADHD

14

Recipe for a Healthy Life: A fast, fresh take on creamy chicken corn chowder

Who to call To advertise in Health Beat, call 623-1669 For story ideas, call Carrie Curry at 624-6695 Health Beat is an official publication of the Richmond Register.

FDA cracks down on illegal diabetes remedies By Matthew Perrone, AP Health Writer WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on more than a dozen companies that market illegal treatments for diabetes, ranging from bogus dietary supplements to prescription drugs sold online without a prescription. All of the products aim to cash in on the country’s diabetes epidemic, which affects nearly 26 million Americans. Regulators worry that consumers who buy such unapproved products could put off getting legitimate medical care, which could exacerbate heart disease, kidney failure and other deadly complications. The FDA sent warning letters to 15 companies, both in the U.S. and abroad, ordering them to stop selling diabetes treatments that violate U.S. drug laws. Three of the products targeted are

marketed as “natural” supplements, but actually contain unlisted pharmaceutical ingredients. For example, Diexi, which is sold as a traditional Indian “herbal formula,” actually contains metformin, the most common prescription drug used to treat diabetes. The product is sold by Amrutam Life Care, of Surat, India. “Consumers should exercise caution before using products claiming to be herbal or all-natural alternatives to FDA-approved prescription drugs,” the agency said in a statement Tuesday. “These products should be considered unsafe and should not be used.” Other products include genuine dietary supplements that make unproven claims to treat or prevent diabetes. For example, Diabetes Daily Care is a capsule-based supplement containing cin-

namon extract and other herbs. Its manufacturer, Nature’s Health Supply Inc., claims it “safely and effectively improves sugar metabolism.” Under U.S. law, only FDA-approved medicines are permitted to make claims for treating or preventing disease. Other companies targeted by the FDA run online pharmacies that sell prescription drugs for diabetes without a prescription. The FDA issued a warning letter to www.bestcheapmedsonline.com for marketing unapproved versions of diabetes drugs like Januvia, from Merck & Co. Inc. The FDA warns patients against buying prescription medications on the Internet. Only 3 percent of online pharmacies actually comply with all U.S. {Continued on page 11}


4 Health Beat September 2013 MENTAL MORSELS:

Use Your Dreams A

s a counselor, I have been asked multiple times, “Do dreams really mean anything?” My response is one of psychology’s most tattered, die-hard responses: It depends. Societies around the world have long historical and cultural associations about dream content. Some consider dreams to be visitations by spirits, messages from God, psychic predictions of the future, evidence of a past life and the like. For people looking for confirmation of these types of theories about dreams and dreaming, I can only say that psychology offers no ready answers. They must seek them in metaphysics, meditation or religion. The psychological discipline today limits itself to what can be reliably observed and consistently replicated. Dreams, yes. Spiritual visitations? Alas, no. Sigmund Freud was one of the early thinkers who tried to make ideas about dreams “more scientific,” by fitting them into his theories about an “unconscious mind” and calling them “symbolic content.” Ultimately, Freud’s symbols proved to be too rigid to be useful and are considered by mainstream psychology today as antiquated, at least in their original form.

Personally, I think the only way we can speak about dreams is to ask a different question: “Can dreams be USEFUL?” And there IS evidence that whether dreams have a “real meaning” or are instead just random brain cells shooting off in the skull, people can and have harnessed their dreams for some meaningful purpose in their waking life. Several song writers have admitted to being inspired by dream content, including Paul McCartney and Billy Joel. Scientists too can thank their dreaming experiences for influencing their work. Dmitry Mendeleyev awakened from a particular dream with the form for the periodic table of elements that chemists still use today, while Paul Horowitz had the same experience before finding the successful design for laser telescope controls. In the political arena, Mahatma Gandhi drew from a dream his passion for nonviolent protest against the British in India. My own life has been far less distinguished, with or without visitations to Dreamland. But I too have managed to give my dreams purpose and to, therefore, make them “mean” something. In 2004, for example, I had a dream about a college friend I hadn’t seen in at least a year. The next day, I decided to give her a call, because the memory

Thomas W. Thornberry, M.A.

was still fresh. She told me later that my call had come at a time she was making important decisions about her career, and because we had talked, she eventually successfully found a new job! In a sense, my dream meant a new career path for her. So my advice is to find creative ways to use your dreams. Of course, 95 percent of dreams are forgotten, except for the ones that happen in the time right before we wake up. To preserve them, keep pen and paper next to your bed. Write some of them down, even if all you get are a few sentences of barely legible scribble. Then think about them throughout your day. Even the most hard-core science-minded type will admit that the sleeping brain is chemically different than the waking one. No matter how weird the stories it generates, or how old the content, you might be surprised at how dreams can make you think in directions different than what you normally would. Thomas W. Thornberry, M.A., is a mental health professional who has worked extensively with those suffering lifestyle stress and communication issues. His interest is in language and the power of words to create change. Thomas welcomes your feedback: sirtomas@gmail.com.

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September 2013 Health Beat 5

Panel backs lung cancer screening for some smokers By MARILYNN MARCHIONE, AP Chief Medical Writer

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or the first time, government advisers are recommending screening for lung cancer, saying certain current and former heavy smokers should get annual scans to cut their chances of dying of the disease. If it becomes final as expected, the advice by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force would clear the way for insurers to cover CT scans, a type of X-ray, for those at greatest risk. That would be people ages 55 through 79 who smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years or the equivalent, such as two packs a day for 15 years. Whether screening would help younger or lighter smokers isn’t known, so scans are not advised for them. They also aren’t for people who quit at least 15 years ago, or people too sick or frail to undergo cancer treatment. “The evidence shows we can prevent a substantial number of lung cancer deaths by screening” — about 20,000 of the 160,000 that occur each year in the United States, said Dr. Michael LeFevre, a task force leader and family physician at the University of Missouri. Public comments will be taken until Aug. 26, then the panel will give its final advice. Reports on screening were published Monday in Annals of Internal Medicine. The recommendation is a big deal for many reasons. The task force, an independent group of doctors appointed by the government, in recent years has urged less frequent screening for breast and cervical cancers, and no screening for prostate cancer, saying PSA blood tests do men more harm than good. There are no good ways to screen for ovarian cancer or other less common types. But lung cancer is the top cancer killer worldwide. Nearly 90 percent of people who get it die from it, usually because it’s found too late for treatment to succeed. About 85 percent of lung cancers in the U.S. are attributable to smoking, and about 37 percent of U.S. adults are current or former smokers. The task force estimates that 10 million Americans would fit the smoking and age criteria for screening. The American Cancer Society used to recommend screen-

ing with ordinary chest X-rays but withdrew that advice in 1980 after studies showed they weren’t saving lives. Since then, CT scans have come into wider use, and the society and other groups have endorsed their limited use for screening certain heavy smokers. The scans cost $100 to as much as $400 and are not usually covered by Medicare or private insurers now. But under the new health care law, cancer screenings recommended by the task force are to be covered with no copays. “It’s generally going to be covered by all health plans” if {Continued to page 15}


6 Health Beat September 2013

Don’t walk through the pain D

id you know, around 70 percent of Americans will suffer from a foot condition at least once in their lifetime? And many of them will suffer needlessly, “walking through the pain” until they finally can’t stand it any longer. One of the most frequent of those foot complaints is heel pain. While there are several things that could cause heel pain – arthritis, infection, fractures, sprains, certain diseases, walking around on your tippy toes all the time – the most common culprit is plantar fasciitis (pronounced planter fash-e-itus). “Plantar” means bottom and “fascia” refers to the particular type of tissue affected. Despite the funny name, it hurts, and the pain will likely increase if you don’t get it checked out. Most people who have it will get out of bed in the morning and as soon as their foot hits the floor, they will feel agonizing pain in the heel, possibly shooting up through their leg. Once their foot is limber, the pain eases up. However, being at a desk all day or after sitting for a while, the pain can come right back. Muscles tighten when in rest and plantar fasciitis can begin to flare up during these times. There is a thick band of tissue in your foot that stretches from the heel all the way across the arch to your toes which is called the plantar fascia. It keeps everything in place when you walk and run. But, sometimes a person’s natural gait (the way they walk) puts too much stress on the heel bone. This can inflame the plantar fascia tissue. Treatment for plantar fasciitis typically involves three steps: 1. Relieve the tightness – You might need orthotics to support your arch, which can be tucked unseen into many shoe styles. If you are in a lot of pain, a good option may be a walking boot to relieve the pain and allow your foot to heal. Or, it could be as easy as changing your shoes. 2. Reduce the inflammation – There are a few different options here, ranging from ice treatments to anti-inflammatory medications, arch supports, or in more severe cases, steroid injections or physical therapy. It just depends on the severity of the inflammation and pain. 3. Prevent future problems – If plantar fasciitis is caused by how you walk, the problem won’t easily go away. Most likely, you’ve been walking that way since you were a kid, and that’s a hard habit to change. Custom orthotics or arch supports will prevent your arch from collapsing and less-

Dr. Nicole Freels, AACFAS

en the chance that you’ll have this problem again. Special exercises or changing the type of shoes you wear may also have an impact. Custom orthotics provide a simple nonsurgical method of restoring the arch to its optimal shape, thus relieving the stress on the bones and joints and allowing the foot to gradually heal. They differ from the one-size-fits-all mentality of the drug store knock-offs or large, unflattering orthotics of the recent past, because they specifically fit each person. You can expect to feel improvement in your feet, legs, hips and even your lower back. In rare cases, surgery might be necessary if the foot doesn’t respond to treatment. It’s important to see a podiatrist (a doctor who treats conditions below the knee, in the foot and ankle) when your feet are in pain and get a proper diagnosis along with an individualized treatment plan. Pain in your feet is NOT normal and can be an indicator of larger problems. Early treatment is the key to pain-free feet.

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September 2013 Health Beat 7 GROWING UP:

Sibling Rivalry: The first love-hate relationship

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top! It’s mine and you can’t have it!” Tommy screamed. “It is too! Let go!” His brother Mike screamed back. Several muffled smacking sounds come from the bedroom and then Tommy came out crying, seeking his mother. This type of situation plays out in most households between brothers and sisters. Sibling rivalry is competition, jealousy and fighting between brothers and sisters. It can start as soon as a second child enters the family and can continue a lifetime, although it is usually at its most intense during childhood. There are a variety of reasons why sibling rivalries occur. Some children feel they are getting unequal amounts of parents’ attention or that their relationship with a parent is being threatened. They also may not know positive ways to get attention from their siblings, or they may be experiencing a lot of stress. Regardless of the cause, many parents get frustrated by the bickering between siblings, and some become concerned about the aggression and wonder what is the best way to stop the jealousy and fighting. There are some initial steps that parents can take to lessen sibling rivalry.

First, don’t play favorites and try not to compare one child to another. Second, let each child be who they are and resist the temptation of labeling or pigeonholing them. Third, try to set up opportunities for siblings to cooperate with one another rather than compete. Fourth, teach children positive ways to get attention from each other. Finally, have the children understand that being fair is not the same as being equal. For example, fairness occurs even when older children get more privileges than younger ones because they also have more responsibilities. When most sibling disagreements do occur, parents should take a step back and monitor what is going on but not intervene. The reason for this is that children need to learn how to resolve conflicts on their own. When children are able to work out their own solutions to conflicts, they develop important life skills like cooperation, compromise and seeing things from another person’s point of view. However if a child is in physical danger or the conflict becomes one-sided with one child always being victimized, a parent should intervene.

Dan Florell, Ph.D. and Praveena Salins, M.D.

When intervening in sibling conflicts, parents should model and teach good conflict resolution skills. This should occur during a calm period and not involve yelling or lecturing in the middle of a conflict. Children pay particular attention to how parents resolve their own disagreements. If parents tend to yell and throw things, so will the children. When negotiating a resolution to a conflict, make it a win-win situation where each child gains something. There are some sibling relationships, where one child is consistently the victim and whose physical safety is often threatened. In these cases, parents need to take an active role and seek professional help from a psychologist or other mental health provider. While sibling rivalries are common, the more severe ones need to be taken seriously as constant victimization from siblings can have a long-term negative impact on a child’s mental health. Dan Florell, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky University and has a private practice, MindPsi (www.mindpsi. net). Praveena Salins, M.D., is a pediatrician at Madison Pediatric Associates (www.madisonpeds.com).

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8 Health Beat September 2013

Are your kids sitting too much at school? Get ‘em up and moving! By Jasmine Rutherford, Fourth Grade Teacher, Model Laboratory School Children spend six or more hours a day in school, and it is my belief that schools have a responsibility to promote health and physical activity (in addition to math, science, etc.) for their students. I asked guest columnist (and daughter) Jasmine Rutherford, a fourth grade teacher at Model Laboratory School, to write about what she does in her classroom to ensure that all the children are physically active. – Dr. Jack Rutherford

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tudents, have a seat!” We can all remember being a kid in school and hearing the teacher tell everyone to sit down.

Think about how many years you were told to “sit down!” “Have a seat please!” “Stay in your seats!” Or maybe you were that kid who was told to “park it!” Either way, we have all done a lot of sitting throughout our school years. As a teacher, I can admit asking students to stay in their seats too. But why? Why is getting up and moving such a bad thing for kids? The answer is: it’s not. Movement is really good for you, especially if you are a child. In fact, there is a great deal of research on the positive effects of quality physical movement. A recent study from the University of Granada links longer attention spans in students to participating in physical activity. Several studies have proven that after participating in quality physical movement, students scored higher, particu-

larly in mathematics, than those who did not participate in any movement. So why are teachers hesitant to let their students move in the classroom? As a teacher I faced the same issue. The students will get out of control, no learning will take place, and it takes away from other more “important” subjects. However, think about how you learned to ride a bike. Did you read a book about how to ride a bike and suddenly you knew? Or perhaps someone who knows a lot about bikes told you what to do to ride the bike and then you learned? Of course not. You got out there and practiced and fell until you learned to ride a bike. Why can’t learning in a classroom be the same way? It can. Here are some practical ways that teachers can incorporate movement in their classrooms. Please read with caution though. If implemented, these solutions will make the classroom a more fun, exciting and lively place. Students will be more excited to learn and even more focused on a daily basis, especially those hyperactive students! Why walk? Instead of walking students down the hallway, try a different movement,


September 2013 Health Beat 9 like skipping, hopping, walking backwards, lightly jogging or galloping. With the right amount of prep work to remind students to move safely and stay quiet, students will be thrilled at the idea of moving faster down the hallway. They will not even realize they are doing a movement activity that helps them stay focused in the next class. Students don’t even make a peep while doing this because they are so excited to try it in the first place. The best part is it takes no additional instructional time. In fact, it gives more instructional time because instead of ending class early to line up students and walking slowly down the hallway, students end up getting through the hallway and to their next class faster! You can dance if you want to Before tests, quizzes or something stressful that your students will face, why not dance with them? There are many easy social dances that kids can learn, or you can have students make one up. One way to try this is to get all students to stand up and give them a minute to think of an appropriate dance move. When the music starts, ask for a volunteer to show you their dance move. Then, have everyone in the class (including you – yes, teachers must act goofy sometimes too) copy that dance move. One song length is usually long enough (4 to 5 minutes). The students like showing off their dance moves, and it gives them an opportunity to get out any frustrations before sitting down to do something stressful. Plus, dancing just makes you feel good. You can even condition your students to know that before tests or quizzes they get to dance. Game time Before tests or as review of concepts you have already studied, create games or stations in your classroom. Some

examples include bean bag toss, puttputt golf, ping pong ball toss, hockey stick-handling, soccer target shooting, and basketball shooting. Yes, that’s right, I said hockey. If your gut reaction is “there’s no way my students could handle those exciting activities appropriately,” don’t worry. With clear expectations and modeling of how to use the equipment and consequences for misuse, this can be successfully executed. After you think of the station activities you want, create a sign with directions on what to do at the station (4 to 5 stations are plenty). Group your students ahead of time so they know exactly where they are moving and when. Then decide on a signal (lights on/ off, whistle, clap) to let students know when it’s time to clean up and switch centers. Prepare review questions on cards for students to answer after completing the activity at each station. Stress the importance of having a fun way to review instead of worrying about completing each station 100 percent correctly, and students will love these movement review games! Take 10 Take 10 minutes out of your daily schedule to do some sort of movement with students. There is a program called “Take 10” that lists 10-minute move-

ment ideas to do with students that align with academic subjects. These are short energizers for students when they seem antsy and need a break. The best part is these activities don’t take away from class time because the “Take 10” activities align with school subjects. If your school is unable to buy the program, you can integrate your own movement ideas with what you’re already teaching. Get students to walk like Daniel Boone to blaze a trail, hop the syllables or certain sounds of spelling words, move like the different stages of the water cycle, jump up or down to compare two numbers as greater or less than. Or, simply have students take turns offering a movement that the whole class will do. Whatever the movement, your students will love it. So, if students are getting antsy, get them up and moving. Ten minutes of quality physical movement is enough to help kids become refreshed and focused on the next part of the lesson. For some students it increases their academic performance. With practice, once you start incorporating movement into your kids’ lives, it becomes simple. It’s as easy as riding a bike. All parents want their children to grow up healthy and fit. Most schools promote good health for their students. But do they practice what they preach?


10 Health Beat September 2013 EATING WELL:

The ‘exercise cost’ of some popular foods By Beth Cecil, Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer writer

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hey’re back! That golden sponge cake with a creamy filling we all came to know (and probably love) disappeared from the store shelves back in late 2012, but now it’s back. Twinkies have returned. While I have not officially seen the new snack cake, sources say the new Twinkies are a little smaller in size and contain slightly fewer calories than the old Twinkie. Regardless, would you ever sit down and consume an entire plate full of Twinkies? Unless you were participating in a Twinkie eating contest (yes, they had one last week at Holiday World), I doubt very many of us would. Nor would I ever recommend it. How timely, though, that I recently came across an article written by another dietitian, Beth LaCoste, RD, LD, in 2010. This article compared the calorie content of various restaurant foods to the number of Twinkies one would have to eat to match these calories. Very interesting! Additionally, the “exercise cost,” or amount of exercise needed to burn off these calories, was also mentioned. In this case, it was the number of miles a person would need to run. Many restaurants are now providing the calorie content of their foods on the menu and menu boards. If the “exercise cost” was also listed on these menus, I wonder how it would impact our food choices. Would we as the consumer ultimately make healthier selections? Some research shows that we would. You be the judge. Listed below are some common food items from various restaurants. In addition to the calorie content, I have listed

the exercise cost. And just for kicks, I am just more than 500 calories • A good 4-mile run is the exercise including the number of Twinkies that cost here would have to be eaten to match the cal• Three and a quarter Twinkies ories in the restaurant food. Large chocolate chip cookie dough Grilled or roasted chicken sandwich, no shake (32 ounces) from an ice cream sauce, green beans and mashed potatoes with gravy shop • The meal, which can also be both • Roughly 1,700 calories satisfying and filling, checks in at • Almost 15 miles of running will about 450 calories with 16 grams total burn this off fat but only 3.5 grams saturated fat • 11 Twinkies • Run 4 miles and burn that off Meat lovers 9-inch thick crust pizza (sounds much better than 10 or 13 • 1,500 calories doesn’t it?) • A half marathon (13.1 miles) or 2-3 • Three Twinkies hours of running As you can see, there are plenty of • 10 Twinkies Chicken burrito with beans, rice, cheese, choices to make these days when dining salsa and sour cream from a Mexican out. Healthier options are available. Eating in moderation and making educated, restaurant • This one burrito is close to 1,050 conscious food choices are the keys when placing your order at a restaurant. Othcalories • A 15K run (or 9 miles) would be erwise, you may need to invest in a good needed to balance calories for this pair of running shoes. Food selections and calories noted meal are estimates, and the number of miles • Seven Twinkies Vanilla blended frappe type coffee needed to run to burn of the calories will vary depending on body weight. beverages, 24 ounces • Around 550 calories • Almost 5 miles • Three and a half Twinkies Regular hamburger, A Premier Senior Living Community side salad with light Featuring: Maintenancebalsamic vinaigrette All-Inclusive Free Assisted dressing, apple slicIndependent Living Living es and a fruit and Studio, One Bedroom, & One yogurt parfait (no One- & Bedroom Deluxe, Private Suites Two-Bedroom Cottages granola) • A nice amount 532 Cady Drive, Richmond, KY 40475 859-624-0022 www.ArcadianCove.com of healthy and Call or Come In for a Tour Today! filling food for


September 2013 Health Beat 11 {Continued from page 2}

Backpack safety can prevent serious injuries routinely have students carry home many heavy books, parents can consult with the teachers to see if there are other options. • Distribute weight evenly. Items in the backpack should be spread out to distribute the weight across the entire back. Heavier items should be at the bottom of the pack. • Use both straps. Using only one strap shifts the backpack weight to one side, causing the back and shoulders to strain. Many orthopedists have reported treating children with back or shoulder pain as the result of carrying backpacks incorrectly. • Choose the correct backpack size. The size of the backpack should match the scale of the child and should rest evenly in the middle of the child’s back. • Lift safely. Children should lift their backpacks by bending their knees and lifting to protect their backs. There are some safety features parents can look for when purchasing backpacks. A padded back reduces pressure on the muscles and can be more comfortable, while compression straps make the backpack more sturdy. Additionally, reflective material on the backpack can make the child more visible to motorists. {Continued from page 3}

FDA cracks down on illegal diabetes remedies pharmacy laws, according to a review by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. People with diabetes are unable to properly break down carbohydrates, either because their bodies do not produce enough insulin or because they’ve become resistant to the hormone, which controls blood sugar levels. These patients face higher risks of heart attacks, kidney problems, blindness and other serious complications. Many diabetics require multiple drugs to control their blood sugar levels. The U.S. market for prescription diabetes drugs is the largest in the world, with sales of $22 billion last year. Sales have ballooned more than 60 percent in the last four years from $13.6 billion in 2008, according to health data firm, IMS Health. The FDA said it has not received any reports of injury or illness connected with the products, but is taking action as a precautionary measure. The FDA sent the warning letters to the companies last week, but posted them online Tuesday morning. The letters gives each company 15 business days to reply and explain how they will come into compliance with U.S. law. FDA warning letters are not legally binding, but the agency can take companies to court if they are ignored.


12 Health Beat September 2013

September is National Preparedness Month S

eptember 2013 marks the 10th annual observance of National Preparedness Month. Over the last decade, our nation has experienced disastrous hurricanes, droughts, wildfires, tornado outbreaks, acts of terrorism, the threat of pandemic influenza and other large-scale emergencies. Although some may think it’s impossible to be prepared for unexpected events, taking steps to be prepared does help us deal much more effectively with disasters of all sorts. In life-threatening emergencies, we rely on first responders like police, fire and EMS to help us. However, Kelley McBride, with Madison County EMA/ CSEPP, points out that “in a nonlife-threatening situation, you may need to be your own first responder. Professional first responders may not be immediately available to you if they are dealing with a large-scale emergency elsewhere.” Here are some steps that will help us take better care of ourselves and our families when natural or manmade emergencies occur: Be informed Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared. When you know what to do, you can make plans for your household to be ready when disaster strikes. Familiarize yourself with risks that are common in our region and community. Think about the best ways for your family to get alerts and warnings. For example, do you have an AAR (Adviser Alert Radio) from the Madison County Emergency Manage-

ment Agency? Do you know about the outdoor sirens in Madison County and the different types of wails they can sound? If you have questions about emergency alert systems in our county, contact Madison County EMA/CSEPP at 624-4787 or www.madisoncountyema.net. If you have a newer-generation smart phone, you probably receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) straight to your phone. Many good emergency preparedness apps also can be found on the market, like the American Red Cross series, the FEMA app, and “Life360.” Make a plan Make an emergency plan that is specific for your household. Think about things like how to get in touch with each other if separated, special needs for anyone with chronic disease or access needs and what to do with pets. If you have children in daycare or school, familiarize yourself with the emergency plans of those facilities, too. Once you have a plan, discuss it with your family. Make sure everyone agrees on what actions to take. You can find a template for a family emergency plan at www.ready.gov. You may also decide that there are skills you want to build, like basic first aid or CPR, which will help your family during an emergency. Build a kit It is never a bad idea to have a supply kit of basic items for your household. Try to put your kit together well in advance, because you may not have time to gather the things you need when an emergency happens.

Christie Green Madison County Health Department

A household kit should include enough food and other supplies to last for 72 hours. Think about the items you would need in your home if basic services, like electricity and water, were cut off during a disaster. Although there are basic items that every kit should have, like flashlights, sanitation supplies and nonperishable food, your kit will be unique to your family and to address specific needs, like medications or baby supplies. For more ideas about building your emergency supply kit, visit www.ready.gov. Get involved Now that you and your family are prepared, maybe you would like to get involved with disaster-relief activities. Many people volunteer through their churches, and many denominations have well-organized national or international disaster relief programs. Other options include volunteering with the local Red Cross chapter, with the health department’s Medical Reserve Corps, the Salvation Army or the Humane Society. Getting involved with the response or relief organization that suits your interests and skills before emergencies happen helps make sure that you will have the training or credentialing needed to help when things do go wrong. None of us like to think about bad things happening in our communities. Being prepared helps reduce some of the fear and uncertainty that we feel during emergencies. If you haven’t already, take time this month to get informed, make a plan, build a kit and get involved.


September 2013 Health Beat 13

Five Myths about ADHD According to recent studies, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, appears to be more prevalent than ever before. Nearly 1 in 10 kids between the ages of five and 17 is being diagnosed with ADHD. Despite that prevalence, misinformation regarding the disorder continues to circulate, and that information can make it harder for parents to understand the disorder. Dispelling the misinformation surrounding ADHD may help those who are truly affected by the disorder get the treatment they need. Myth# 1: ADHD is not a real disorder. Many people honestly feel that ADHD was a concept drummed up by psychiatrists and pharmaceutical companies to increase business. However, the condition is real and is recognized by major health institutions, including the Surgeon General of the United States and the National Institutes of Health. Myth #2: ADHD is only a children’s disorder. Statistics indicate that while the majority of the people diagnosed with ADHD are children, at least 4 percent of adults experience it at as well. The reason the statistics may be lower for adults is that ADHD is often misdiagnosed or goes undiagnosed in adults.

Myth #3: ADHD is caused by bad parenting. There are a number of people quick to point fingers at parents, laying the blame for ADHD at the feet of mom and dad. But some people with ADHD have difficulty controlling impulsivity and behavior, and that difficulty may have nothing to do with how those people were raised. Myth #4: More boys have ADHD than girls. According to a 2001 report from the U.S. Surgeon General, girls are less likely to be diagnosed with ADHD despite need. Girls tend to have lower rates of hyperactivity and external symptoms than boys, but they may have greater intellectual impairment due to ADHD. As a result, girls may be underdiagnosed with the condition. Myth #5: Those with ADHD are lazy. People with ADHD are no more lazy or less determined than those who have not been diagnosed with the disorder. ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder that changes the way the brain responds and presents unique challenges. A person with ADHD is no more at fault for the behaviors associated with ADHD than a person with depression or mania is for the symptoms associated with those conditions.

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14 Health Beat September 2013 RECIPE FOR A HEALTHY LIFE:

A fast, fresh take on creamy chicken corn chowder BY SARA MOULTON, Associated Press

D

uring summer, dinner could be as casual and carefree as a backyard picnic or barbecue. But the start of the school year means a return to at least a slightly more formal sit-down dinner most weeknights. If this shifting of gears is catching you by surprise, consider reaching for some “cheating ingredients” to help you get dinner on the table without a hitch. This delicious chowder recipe makes liberal use of two of my favorite cheating ingredients: store-bought rotisserie chicken and salsa. I’ve never met a rotisserie chicken I didn’t like. They are paragons of versatility. You can heat one up and pretend you roasted it, or shred it and add it to all kinds of recipes, from chilies and sandwiches to salads and soups. During the hectic fall dinner season, I almost always have a rotisserie chicken in the fridge. And when the meal is over, I hold on to all the bones and scraps, stockpiling them in the freezer for that rainy day when I have a little extra time to make a stock. Those bones make a killer stock. Salsa is another ingredient I like to keep handy at all times. An all-purpose condiment that’s replaced ketchup in many households, there’s a salsa these days for every taste: fresh or jarred, mild, medium or hot. And almost all of them are mercifully low in sweeteners. Use the salsa of your choice to set the spiciness of this soup. Fresh corn is not a cheating ingredient, especially not in August and September. On the contrary, it’s one of late summer’s great stars, built into this recipe not only because it’s absurdly good — try eating freshly picked corn raw right off the cob! — but also because the starch in the corn helps to thicken the broth. Indeed, after you’ve cut all of the kernels off of the cob, you should scrape the cob itself with the dull side of a knife. The milky liquid that results is another soup thickener (as are the potatoes in the recipe). Finally, at the end of the cooking process, I pureed some of the vegetables — the onions, as well as corn and the potatoes — to make the soup creamy without adding any cream. I recommend garnishing this soup with homemade tortilla strips. They’re delicious, a snap to cook up, and both fresher and lower in fat than store-bought tortilla chips. Then again, if you’ve run out of time, use the store-bought baked chips. The real beauty of this soup is that it’s a hearty and complete meal in a single bowl. You won’t need to serve anything else on a weeknight and it leaves you with very few dishes to clean up.

Southwestern Corn and Chicken Chowder with Tortilla Crisps Start to finish: 1 hour (30 minutes active) Servings: 4 Three 6-inch corn tortillas 2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided 1/2 teaspoon chili powder Kosher salt 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion 1/2 pound red bliss or Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes 2 cups fresh corn kernels (or thawed frozen) 4 cups chicken broth 3 cups chopped or shredded rotisserie chicken 1 cup purchased salsa 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice Chopped fresh cilantro or basil, to garnish (optional) Heat the oven to 400 F. Arrange the corn tortillas on a baking sheet, then mist them with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon of the cumin, the chili powder and a pinch of salt. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the tortillas. Using a pizza cutter, cut the tortillas into thin strips. Bake them on the middle shelf of the oven until they are golden and crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large saucepan over medium, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the potatoes, corn and chicken broth, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potato is tender. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture (mostly solids) to a blender and carefully blend until smooth. Return the mixture to the saucepan, add the chicken and salsa and cook until just heated through. Add salt and lime juice, to taste, and water, if necessary, to achieve the desired consistency. Divide between 4 serving bowls and garnish each portion with some of the tortilla strips and cilantro, if desired. Nutrition information per serving: 400 calories; 110 calories from fat (28 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 85 mg cholesterol; 39 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 34 g protein; 1,140 mg sodium.


September 2013 Health Beat 15 {continued from page 5}

Panel backs lung cancer screening for some smokers the advice gets final task force approval, said Susan Pisano of the industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans. She said her group may develop a response during the public comment period but has had “high regard� for the task force in the past “because they rely so heavily on the evidence� in crafting their recommendations. The task force considered lung cancer screening in 2004 but said there was too little evidence to weigh risks and benefits. Since then, a major study found that screening the age group covered in the task force’s recommendation could cut the chances of dying from lung cancer by up to 20 percent and from any cause by nearly 7 percent. Screening “is absolutely not for everybody,� not even all smokers, LeFevre stressed. That includes President Barack Obama, who said a couple years ago that he had quit smoking. Obama is too young (he will turn 52 in a few days) and too light a smoker (he reportedly smoked less than a pack a day), to be in the high-risk group advised to get screening.

The potential benefits of screening may not outweigh its possible harms for people not at high risk of developing lung cancer. A suspicious finding on a scan often leads to biopsies and other medical tests that have costs and complications of their own. The radiation from scans to look for cancer can raise the risk of developing the disease. “These scans uncover things, often things that are not important. But you don’t figure out that for a while,� and only after entering “the medical vortex� of follow-up tests, said Dr. Peter Bach, a cancer screening expert at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. The best way to prevent lung cancer is to quit smoking or never start, and screening doesn’t make smoking safer, doctors stress. “That’s everyone’s public health concern: People will see this as a pass to continue smoking,� Bach said of screening. “I don’t think it’s likely,� because people know how harmful smoking is, he said.

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Health Beat, September 2013