Tag Archives: Dr. Richard Besser

Farmers Markets in All 50 States Accept Your EBT SNAP Cards, Some Double Your Money!

snap at farmers market

It’s no secret: it can often take a lot of money to eat healthy. Anyone who has tried to shop at premium grocers or attempted to buy mostly organic produce can understand this. It can leave you questioning how low-income families can do it! You may not believe it, but the best place to go just may be your local farmers market.

Recently, Dr. Richard Besser hosted a conversation on G+ as a part of the TED-MED series on childhood obesity. Featured in this panel was Don Schwarz, Health Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity in the City of Philadelphia. When asked how to combat the issue of African American and Latino children being exposed to the highest level of unhealthy foods and beverages, he suggested policy change to allow public benefits (like food stamps) to be accepted at farmers markets.

Well, Mr. Health Commissioner, have we got good news for you: They already do!

We have noticed a growing trend in our local farmers markets throughout the country accepting SNAP (or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps) just like regular cash. Gone are the days where affordability and accessibility of fresh produce isn’t possible on food stamps. Shopping at your local farmers market is not only better for the environment, but the nutritional quality is higher, and your money can literally go further.

okra forsythe market koskie

Wholesome Wave Georgia features more than 20 farmers markets that accept SNAP throughout the state, but Forsyth Farmers Market in Savannah, has taken it to another level. They literally give you twice the bang for your buck. This market will match your SNAP dollars thanks to a grant from Wholesome Wave Georgia. Accepting SNAP since 2009, they developed this partnership to ensure that the highest quality produce was perfectly attainable no matter your resources. And is it working?

“Last year, we had the top redemption rates for a single market in the state of Georgia,” says Forsyth Farmers Market co-founder and coordinator Teri Schell.

But if you’re not in the Savannah area, fear not. There are farmers markets that accept SNAP in all 50 States. We found 50 with the best deals!

Alabama: On Double Days, Homegrown Alabama will match dollar-for-dollar up to $25.

Alaska: Alaska Farmers Market Association says to check that the booth you shop at accepts them, too!

Arizona: Hosts a whole list of SNAP-specific gardens.

Arkansas: Featured this week in the Top 10 Fastest Growing Farmers Market states. (more…)

TED-MED and Dr. Richard Besser Host a Candid Chat about the 1 in 3 American Children Who are Obese

dr-richard-besser-ted-med-childhood-obesity-hangout

Quick Stats About Childhood Obesity

  • Nearly 1 in 3 children in America are overweight or obese
  • 8.4% of children 2 – 5 years old are obese
  • 17% of children 6 – 11 years old are obese
  • 20.5% of children 12 – 19 years old are obese

This afternoon, Dr. Richard Besser hosted a conversation on Google+ Hangouts as part of TED-MED to discuss childhood obesity. Dr. Besser is a pediatrician and the Chief Medical Editor at ABC News, and the author of Tell Me the Truth, Doctor, a comprehensive health guide that will both inform and surprise as he deciphers fact from fiction for nearly 70 confusing medical questions.

Dr. Besser assembled a discussion panel for today’s session, including:

  • Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association
  • Don Schwarz, Health Commissioner and Deputy Mayor for Health and Opportunity, City of Philadelphia
  • Elissa Epel, Professor, UCSF School of Medicine
  • Lisa Simpson, President and CEO, Academy Health

The group began by talking about stress and the effect it has on health, both in children and adults. Stress is biologically potent and causes us to overeat sweets. Research shows the combination of stress and overeating is “the most dangerous combination,” Elissa says. One of the challenges the group agrees on is taking the research and putting it into practice. Very little is happening so far to create actionable programs that make a difference.

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Concerned or Curious About Children’s Nutrition? Join the ABC Twitter Chat with Dr. Richard Besser

kids eating

Get ready to jump over to Twitter: On Tuesday, March 25, 2014, from 1-2 p.m., ET, we’ll be joining ABC News and ABC News’ chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser for a live tweet chat called “Feeding Your Kids the Right Way: First 5 Years of Life.”

On tap for discussion: everything from breast feeding to a vegetarian diet for children to the importance of organics to dieting for young children.

Have questions or opinions you’d like to share? It’s easy to join:

Step 1: Go to Twitter

Step 2: Search for the hashtag #abcDRBchat

Step 3: Follow the conversation or chime in when you’ve got something to add! (more…)

The Best of 2013: From Fearless Selfies to Fitness Leaders, the 26 Must-Follow Names in Wellness

I don’t know about you guys, but we had a really great year over here at DietsInReview.com. We certainly felt the love — hello you named us a Top 50 Health Blog for 2013! — and tried every day to show it to you, too. Together we celebrated some tremendous weight loss successes, fitness milestones, and met so many more of you out there who make this a fun place to be in here.

Along the way, we found a few people who made the Internet a healthier place to be, even enlightening and holding us to a higher standard. They should be recognized, and you should consider following them. There’s a lot of brains, talent, and heart in this bunch of 26 brands and people in our 13 categories, covering food, fitness, and even social networks.

Without further adieu … meet our picks for the best of 2013!

THE SELFIE

kenlie alan

It was Oxford’s word of the year, you don’t think we’d pass up a legitimate chance to use it, did you? We selected two individuals who are using their selfies to better themselves and those around them. Plus, their selfies are duck-face free, so we can actually stand to look at them!

Alan Ali@Sweating_It_Off

Kenlie Tiggeman@ALLTHEWEIGH

VIDEOS

One hundred hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every MINUTE. It would take longer than four days to watch a single minute’s worth of new video content – and no one has time for that! So we saved you the potato couchin’ time and sorted through to find the very best new clips from this year. Honestly, you’ll put them on repeat.

Dance Walking Fitness by Ben Aaron

Prancercise on YouTube (more…)

23andMe Broke the FDA’s Rules. Dr. Richard Besser Explains the Violation and Why This isn’t About Blocking Your Rights

UPDATE 12/7/13: 23AndMe may no longer support new clients in accordance with the FDA directive delivered to the personal genome testing company last month. Our interview, below, with ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser explains, as does this message on the company’s homepage.

23andme suspended

This week the FDA took action against 23andMe, the popular home genome testing kit, to discontinue marketing its product until years of unresolved requests from the government agency can be addressed.

“Since July of 2009, we have been diligently working to help you comply with regulatory requirements regarding safety and effectiveness and obtain marketing authorization for your PGS [Personal Genome Testing] device,” wrote the FDA in a letter made public on its website. The company has failed to comply with all of the FDA requests to receive proper validation and approval by the agency, something required of medical devices and tests.

23andme

According to Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor at ABC News and author of Tell Me the Truth, Doctor, that’s exactly what 23andMe is. He thinks a lot of people online are missing the point about what is going on with the FDA’s motion, explaining “the way our system works, medical tests used for diagnosis, treatment, or prevention need to be approved by the FDA to make sure it does what it says.”

There in lies much of the problem – these genetic home testing kits aren’t always accurate. Dr. Besser cited a government study conducted in 2010 that used 10 kits from four different companies and had a group of volunteers submit their tests. He explained that the results varied not only by company, but within tests from the same company. Some tests showed positives for some genetic markers and diseases, while others showed negatives. The inconsistency can be incredibly misleading and disconcerting for consumers.

“These tests are fine if you want to look at your ancestry or for male pattern baldness,” explained Dr. Besser, who went on to say that when a test like this shows a woman that she is a carrier for the BRCA gene (the marker for breast cancer), “she needs to know that it’s right.” Some serious, sometimes life-altering, decisions have to come from the results of these tests.

What has happened in this instance is that 23andMe hasn’t just marketed this test as a cellular way to track your ancestry and family history, but instead with the intention of “diagnosis of disease or other conditions or in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or is intended to affect the structure or function of the body,” per the FDA letter. 23andMe’s website tells customers the test will provide health results for 254 diseases and conditions, and that’s a red flag for the FDA, who has been trying for the better part of five years to get 23andMe to relinquish the pertinent data, testing, and information necessary for validation and approval. (more…)

Join ABC’s Tweet-a-thon for Feeding America and Fight Hunger this Holiday Season

On Tuesday, November 19, use your tweets for more than just a way to share your daily witticisms. On that day from 1-2 p.m., ET, ABC is holding a Tweet-a-thon to benefit Feeding America. Dr. Richard Besser, ABC’s chief medical editor, hosts the event where the network will donate $1.00 to Feeding America, up to $10,000, for every tweet that goes out during the hour-long ABC Health Tweet chat. By simply joining the conversation and using the hashtag #abcDRBchat, you can help fight hunger in America.

feeding america

Feeding America is an organization committed to hunger relief in our country. According to their website, the national food insecurity rate is 19.5 percent. That means almost 20 percent of people don’t have consistent access to adequate food. For children the statistic is even worse. Nearly 30 percent of kids are hungry or are facing the risk of hunger.

A network of food banks is Feeding America’s primary tool in the fight to end hunger. Every state, in addition to Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, has at least one food bank that is a part of that network. In addition to food banks, Feeding America coordinates volunteers, enables activists against hunger, and directs those who are hungry to the resources they need including the food banks and assistance programs. (more…)

Bagged Salad Sickens Hundreds in Midwest and East Coast; Still No Recall

  • After eating prepackaged salad, 221 people in Nebraska and Iowa have contracted the stomach parasite cyclospora
  • Hundreds more have contracted the diarrhea bug in 13 other states, though the cause is unknown.
  • Iowa’s Food and Consumer Safety Bureau claims the parasitic salad has been removed from shelves, but as of this morning no recall had been announced on the FDA’s website.
  • Cyclosporiasis also causes fatigue, weight loss, stomach cramps, vomiting, aches and fevers, and without antibiotics, symptoms can linger for months.
  • According to the CDC, leafy greens are the number one cause of food poisoning because they’re exposed to the elements and eaten raw.

Get More Information: ABC News (more…)

Obesity Deemed a Disease by the AMA, Medical Establishment Faces Tough Questions

Obesity is no longer a disorder, it’s a disease.

This week, the American Medical Association voted to reclassify obesity—a $150 billion annual health care headache—from a chronic health condition to a disease. According to the CDC, 35 percent of adult Americans are obese. To be considered obese, you must have a Body Mass Index of 30 or higher. A healthy BMI is is between 18 and 25, and the CDC has a handy BMI calculator on their website.

Obesity

Dr. Richard Besser, Chief Health and Medical Editor for ABC News, couldn’t care less about the formalities. “I think it matters little whether we call obesity a disease, a condition, or a disorder,” he told us. “It matters less what we call it than what we do to prevent it.”

The question is, how will medical treatment change in response to this new decision? Labeling obesity a disease quickly left those in the medical establishment with uncertainty about the future of obesity treatment. There are a slew of surgical procedures that combat obesity, none of which cure it completely. The onus is on the patient to follow through with the treatment and reach a healthy weight. Obesity is a unique disease because nutritional education, fitness awareness, and simple willpower are the most effective remedies. “We need to get physical activity back into everyone’s lives, starting with our kids,” said Dr. Besser.

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