Tag Archives: public health

Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Food Scrutinized

sugar beets

Monsanto, the company behind the development of the growth hormone rBGH (more commonly known as Bovine Growth Hormone) is in the news again. The company has been referred to as the most hated corporation for unfair business practices and is currently the focus of a U.S. District Court Judge. A recent ruling directed that the USDA has to begin regulating the company’s genetically engineered sugar beets.

Monsanto originally developed rBGH and marketed it for years before selling it in 2008. They have insisted that the use of the hormone is perfectly safe. This, despite the reality that Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and all 27 nations of the European Union have outlawed its use due to studies that have shown that the use of rBGH has caused elevated markers of IGF-1 in milk. The burning questions is, are elevated levels of IGF-1 in milk unsafe? (more…)

South Carolina to Cover 100 Employees’ Weight Loss Surgeries

Starting in January, 100 obese South Carolina government workers will have a chance to get their weight loss surgery completely paid for.

Yahoo News reports that under the pilot program, South Carolina’s state employee insurance plan will cover weight loss surgery for 100 workers on a first come, first serve basis.

The test program was put in the 2010-11 budget to address the state’s growing obesity problem. The obesity rate in South Carolina has doubled since 1990, with an alarming 30 percent of adults classified as obese. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly two out three adults in South Carolina are overweight or obese. (more…)

Obese Take More Sick Days

A new study is providing more evidence that everyone has a stake in the health of our citizens, including employers. According to this study, obese people take more sick days off from work than their healthier counterparts.

In the British study, the obese workers took nine days off from work on average every year as compared to those at a healthy weight who took off an average of five.

While it is well-known that obesity causes long-term health problems such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, there are short-term problems as well. This may include longer recovery times from the flu.


The Dangers of Fluoride in Water

For years, Americans have been told that fluoride is a powerful defense against the development of dental cavities. But there are many health professionals and non-professionals who don’t share the same belief, particularly when it comes to fluoridated municipal water supplies. And now, recent findings in India are casting doubts about the safety of fluoride.

In certain regions of rural India, there have been an unusual number of cases of skeletal fluorosis, a crippling bone condition that is the result of excess fluoride content in drinking water. Recently, The Times of India reported that the “high fluoride content in water and vitamin A deficiencies is ruining the lives of children” in this specific area.

According to Dr. Mercola, a controversial alternative health practitioner, as of 1999, 17 of India’s 32 states and territories were known to have high concentrations of fluoride in water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), with concentrations as high as 48 mg/liter reported. For comparison, WHO has capped the upper limit of fluoride in drinking water at 1.5 mg/liter.


BPA Compound in Food Cans May Cause Health Problems

The more I learn about what is involved with our food supply, the more I want to make an effort to buy locally grown foods

BPA, or bisphenol A, is a chemical inside some plastics and most canned foods you eat. What’s the problem with that? The chemical can slowly leach into water or food over time, which creates potential health problems like cancer, disruption to thyroid function, and obesity.

“It’s particularly concerning when it’s lining infant formula cans,” said Shanna Swan, a professor and researcher at the University of Rochester in New York.

BPA is used to keep food fresher longer and prevents it from interacting with metal and altering the taste.


It’s Food Allergy Awareness Week

In 1991, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) was started. Its mission is to raise public awareness, provide advocacy and education, and advance research on behalf of all those affected by food allergies and anaphylaxis. With over 25,000 members worldwide, FAAN has become a link between patients and others by providing information about this important and growing topic.


It’s National Public Health Week!

Did you know that this is National Public Health Week? With the tagline of A Healthier America: One Community at a Time, the nationwide initiative that encourages everyone to promote healthier choices one-by-one seems like a no-brainer. One person, one change – the incremental amounts of positive effort that each of us makes can turn into big changes in the world around us.

In a study commissioned by the American Public Health Association, entitled A Healthy America Study, 21 percent of subjects responded that they were interested in making changes to their lifestyle in order to become more healthy. Tops on the list of changes that intrigued them? Changes to dietary habits.


America’s Healthiest and Unhealthiest States

This Wednesday the United Health Foundation, together with the American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Partnership for Prevention, released the 15th annual report ranking our states’ health. The number one healthiest state this year goes to Vermont, followed by Hawaii, then New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Utah completes the top five. Filling in the bottom five spots are, sadly, my state of Florida at #45, followed by Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, and finally Louisiana as #50, meaning the least healthiest state.

This year’s report reveals a 17.5 percent improvement in America’s overall health during the past 15 years. However, the rate of improvement, unfortunately, is slowing significantly due to a combination of personal, community and public health issues. (more…)