Tag Archives: CDC

Walking is Up, Overall Exercise Still Not Up to Par Nationwide

While making small steps toward a healthier lifestyle is extremely crucial for achieving longterm health, sometimes those small changes are a little two small. This comes according to a Centers for Disease Control study that found walking is on the rise in American adults, but less than half are getting enough exercise to improve their health.

As reported by Reuters, the study was based on a 2010 telephone survey that found 62 percent of adults walk an average of 10 minutes or more a week. While that number may seem small, it’s actually a 55.7 percent increase since 2005. These findings were based off of responses from 23,129 adults nationwide.

Based on the survey, the CDC also concluded that a mere 48 percent of adults are getting enough exercise to improve their health. But that’s a 6 percent improvement since 2005.

CDC director Dr. Thomas R. Frieden is hopeful that exercise will continue to become more of a priority in our nation. “Physical activity is the wonder drug. It makes you healthier and happier,” he said. “More Americans are making a great first step in getting more physical activity.”

The CDC recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of physical activity a week; this could include any aerobic exercise such as walking at a brisk pace or biking. By doing so, the agency contends you can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and even some forms of cancer. (more…)

Tobacco Use is Up, Lung Cancer Still Killing Thousands

A recent Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report about cigarette use gives us cause for celebration. However, upon reading the entire report, we realize it’s a small, temporary celebration.

The research regarding cigarette use was released in the August issue of Morbidity and Mortality Report. The report states that Americans have decreased their cigarette use by 32.8 percent over the last 12 years. This news is fantastic as the numbers show a constant decline in smoking, giving hope that people are finally letting go of such a harmful habit.

The celebration is cut short, though, when all of the facts regarding tobacco are revealed. While cigarette smoking has decreased, a constant increase in other forms of combustible tobacco use has taken place. During the same 12-year period, the use of pipe tobacco and cigars have seen a 96.9 percent increase.

It seems fair to assume that tax laws were the reason for this shift. The taxes on pipe tobacco and cigars are lower than the rates on cigarettes. It doesn’t seem like anyone really quit smoking, they just switched their products to save money. (more…)

E. Coli 0145 Outbreak May be Tied to Ground Beef

UPDATE: 11:48 a.m.: Just announced via CNN, 14 people in six states have been effected by this strain during the past couple of months. “”Their illness onsets range from April 15 to May 12, 2012,” said Lola Russell from the CDC. Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Florida are the known effected states; the CDC will not reveal the other two states.

Another dangerous E. coli outbreak, centered in Atlanta, Georgia, is being investigated by health officials.

Five people have been hospitalized and a toddler has passed away. The CDC has said that they have not identified the cause and at this time no specific food is responsible for the outbreak. Food is the primary source for spreading this bacteria.

“At this time, we continue to interview new cases as we are notified of them,” Nicole Price, spokeswoman for Georgia’s Department of Public Health, told ABC News. We have detected no food items or environmental exposures that are statistically associated with illness at this time. This investigation is ongoing.” However, according to iScienceTimes.com, investigators are looking closely at ground beef for the source of this outbreak. (more…)

CDC Reports Unmarried Couples Having More Children Than Ever

The CDC reports that unmarried women living with partners having more babies than ever.

Between 2003 and 2010, 27 percent of births were to unmarried couples. This increase is triple from 1985, researchers from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention found.

“It’s thought that in births outside of marriage, one parent isn’t present. But our data is showing that a large proportion do have two parents, even though [they’re] not formally married,” said report author Gladys Martinez to Healthday, a demographer in the CDC’s Division of Vital Statistics.

In addition, not only are many older women giving birth, but many also are having more then one child, Martinez said.

The report showed there is actually an increase in the number of older women having more than one child. Women who tend to delay childbirth have usually received a secondary education.

Nearly 60 percent of women who did not complete high school had their first child as a teenager, according to Healthday, compared with only 4 percent of women with a college degree.

The CDC’s data was from over 22,000 interviews done between 2006 and 2010 with men and women aged 15 to 44. The data was compared with similar data from 2002.

“It’s surprising that so many unmarried couples are having children,” Dr. Christine Mullin, a reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist at the Center for Human Reproduction at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, N.Y., told Healthday. She also noted women typically delay giving birth for education and career reasons.

The report also included:

  • Forty-three percent of women aged 15 to 44 had never had a baby.
  • Among men aged 15 to 44, 45 percent had fathered a child.
  • The average age at which women had their first child was 23; for men it was 25.
  • Almost 40 percent of women whose first birth occurred between the ages of 35 and 44 had at least two children; it was 26 percent in 1995.
  • Women between the ages of 40 and 44 had an average of 2.1 children.

Also Read:
Yoga for Babies
Pregnant Women Don’t Exercise Enough
Number of Children with Eating Disorders on the Rise

Bread, Not Salty Snacks Responsible for Excess Sodium Consumption

sandwich on a plateThe Centers for Disease Control compiled a list of the top sources of sodium in the American diet, and the list is likely to surprise you. Nine out of ten Americans consume too much salt on a daily basis, but the culprit isn’t salty snacks like pretzels or chips. In fact, you may be eating the two biggest sources of sodium in your lunch today: bread and cold cuts appear as the top two.

Mary Cogswell, one of the reports authors, explains that breads and rolls don’t necessarily contain more salt than other foods, but that people tend to eat more of them. However, you can cut your sodium intake by looking for breads that contain less than 150 milligrams per slice. Similarly, look for low-sodium deli meats and try to avoid salami, bologna and pimento.

Other items on the list include pizza, processed poultry, pasta dishes and soups. Salty snacks appeared at the tenth item on the CDC’s list, accounting for 3.1 percent of all sodium consumption. Like bread and other products, you can cut a significant amount of sodium from your diet by comparing the nutrition labels on the back of packages. The difference in sodium between one brand of potato chips an another can be as much as 150 milligrams.


Cigarette Packs to Get More Aggressive Warning Labels

new FDA tobacco warning labelCigarette packages will soon display larger, more graphic warning labels. The announcement was made this morning, according to a press release sent by the CDC. The more prominent labels will feature photos illustrating the harmful effects of smoking. This is the first change in cigarette warning labels in the U.S. in 25 years.

Starting in September of 2012, the new labels will be required to cover the top half of both the front and rear of cigarette packages. There are nine different images total, selected from an initial group of 35. They feature messages such as “WARNING: Cigarettes can cause cancer” and “WARNING: Tobacco smoke can harm your children.” By October 22, 2012 cigarette manufacturers will no longer be permitted to distribute cigarettes for sale in the U.S. without the warning labels.


U.S. Will Be Smoke Free by 2020 If Trend Continues, CDC Says

Remember the days when you’d walk in a restaurant and they’d ask you whether you’d like to sit in the smoking or non-smoking section? Or when you’d come out from having a drink at happy hour just reeking of cigarette smoke? Seems weird to us now since the effects of second-hand smoke have become so well known, and many businesses (or municipalities) have gone smoke-free, but it used to be commonplace to have your meal — or to sit at your office desk — alongside a smoker. In fact, it’s only been in the last 10 years that the majority of Americans have been able to breathe smoke-free in public.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), little by little over the past decade the smoke-free trend has grown, changing the way we think about smoking, along with saving lives and money spent in health care costs annually. From 2000 to 2010, 25 states and the District of Columbia enacted state-wide smoke-free laws. Additionally, a number of states are considering doing the same or are planning to strengthen its existing smoke-free laws to better protect its citizens from second-hand smoke. If this smoke-free national trend continues at its current pace, this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report by the CDC reports that all U.S. states will be smoke-free by 2020. That’s less than nine years away!


Colorado and Washington, D.C. the Least Obese Places in the U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released its 2009 data on obesity in the United States, and the results are quite startling. In fact, during the past 20 years that the CDC has tracked it, there has been a dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity with only Colorado and the District of Columbia coming in at a total population obesity rate of less than 20 percent.

Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater, which is calculated based on a person’s weight and height. Although BMI can be misleading for those who are highly athletic or muscular, the CDC uses this number because it provides a reasonable and generalized indicator of body fatness and weight categories that may lead to health problems. It is well documented that obesity is a major risk factor for a number of health issues, including cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes.


Prediabetes on the Rise in US, but Hard to Detect

Diabetes Blood TestThe U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released statistics this year showing that not only is the number of people suffering from diabetes on the rise, but so is the number of cases of prediabetes, which is much harder to detect. The figures show that the number of cases of diabetes has grown from 23.6 million in 2008 to 26 million in 2010. In the same two years, the number of adults with pre-diabetic conditions has jumped from 57 million to 79 million. The large jump may in part be attributed to better detection technology in the form of the new hemoglobin A1c test, but the rise is also indicative of the problems with the way the vast majority of Americans eat.

One of the difficulties of the prediabetic condition, which is typified by high blood sugar levels, is that the condition is not associated with many symptoms. Most people don’t know if they are prediabetic until they get a blood test.


No Soda for Food Stamp Users?

UPDATE [8/24/2011]: The USDA has rejected the proposal to ban soda purchases made with food stamps.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has asked federal officials to ban the use of food stamps to purchase soda and other sugary beverages. The agency in question is the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates food stamps. The request would affect the 1.7 million recipients of food stamps in New York City. The state of New York has also signed onto the request.

The request is part of the mayor’s anti-obesity push. The initiative has placed stricter rules on school cafeteria lunches and launched a public education ad campaign. Bloomberg and Dr. Thomas Frieden, the current director of the CDC, unsuccessfully lobbied to place a tax on soda.