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7 Flu Myths We’re Fighting This Season

flu shot

Flu season is here, and the only things more infectious than the assorted flu viruses are the myths that surround them. While those who unintentionally spread the fake flu facts are doing so with the best intentions in mind, what they say often overshadows what people really need to know about the flu.

We’re here to set the record straight. When it comes to the flu, it’s important to know fact from fiction.

Myth 1: Vomiting and other stomach issues are flu symptoms.

What is commonly referred to as the stomach flu isn’t the flu at all. It’s actually gastroenteritis, which is an infection of the stomach and intestines. It’s usually caused by a virus, but can also be brought on by bacteria. The real flu, or influenza, rarely causes stomach problems.

Myth 2: Flu shots give you the flu.

Neither the vaccine administered with a needle nor the nasal spray vaccine will give you the flu. Vaccines administered through needle either have “inactivated” flu viruses or contain no flu viruses at all. The nasal spray does contain live viruses, but they have been weakened and cannot cause infection. Side effects of the flu vaccine can include low-grade fever, soreness at injection site, aches, runny nose and cough.


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Idaho has Cheapest Groceries, Virginia Most Expensive: Can You Feed Your Family a Meal for $15?

grocery prices by stateEMBED THIS GRAPHIC

Do you think you could feed your family a healthy meal with only $15? It all depends on where you live, and what you’re willing to buy.

To get the ingredients to make a simple meal at home, you would spend an average of $15. That’s compared to an average of $6.50 for a single meal from a fast food restaurant like McDonald’s. When looking at base cost, fast food certainly seems like the cheaper option, and that’s appealing to a family crunched for cash.

However, the ingredients you could get for $15 would make a meal for four people — we priced chicken breasts, potatoes, apples, and milk — and the meal would be better for you than a cheeseburger and fries from the nearest drive-through.

5 Family Menus for $15 or Less

Unfortunately, not everyone has access to fresh ingredients, nor can everyone afford them. In some states, the cost of a meal’s worth of groceries is far more than $15. In Virginia, for example, you would need nearly $30 for the same amount of food you could get for less than $10 in Idaho. How is it possible that a family can have more or less affordable food depending on where they live?

Food inequality is a growing problem in the United States, as shown in a recent study released by the Harvard School of Public Health. Though diet quality has improved among people of higher socioeconomic status, the same cannot be said for those on the other side of the spectrum.
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Food Patriots is the Food Movie For Everyone, Improving Health 10 Percent at a Time

food patriots

Food Patriots is the food movie for people who aren’t in to food movies. It takes a simple, non-preachy approach to the topic at hand; which is ultimately eating better, healthier food.

The documentary centers on Jeff and Jennifer Spitz and their two sons, Sam and A.J. A few years ago, Sam got sick after eating contaminated chicken. What should have been an easily-treated case of food poisoning was actually an antibiotic resistant bacterial infection that caused the football player to lose an alarming 30 pounds in 4 weeks.

After the health scare with their son, Jennifer knew the family had to make a change. Food Patriots follows the family as they make small, meaningful changes to their eating and shopping habits, finding plenty of other Food Patriots along the way.


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Trouble in Oz: Study Supporting Oz-Promoted Diet Pills Formally Retracted

dr. oz

Dr. Oz is making headlines again for products he’s promoted not passing “scientific muster.” Four months ago, the well-known doctor was skewered in a Senate hearing on false claims made in advertising for weight loss products; in part due to a lack of scientific evidence supporting those claims. Now, a study supporting diet pills containing green coffee bean extract (GCBE) and promoted by Dr. Oz has been retracted.

The study was one our own Mary Hartley, R.D. came out against, and now it seems the study’s lead researchers want to take it all back.

“The sponsors of the study cannot assure the validity of the data so we, Joe Vinson and Bryan Burnham, are retracting the paper,” the scientists posted in a statement online.


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What Do Americans Eat? Kale, Gluten-Free, and Organics Top 2014 Food Trends

food statistics

Food trends come and food trends go. One year we’re all raving about Sriracha, the next we’re falling for the cronut. For the last 30 years, Parade has surveyed those trends and other American eating habits.

This year, foods like snack bars and frozen sandwiches have risen in popularity. As more people eat on the go, convenience foods are going to see a natural rise. According to Parade‘s survey:

  • 27 percent of main dishes made at home are frozen or ready-to-eat meals.
  • 80 percent of our meals are prepared at home, and over half of them are made from scratch or fresh ingredients.


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