The Telangana Science Journal, September 2000

Contents:
Child Care Centers
Unclean New Yorkers
Steer Clear Of Laetrile
Diet To Stave Off Cancer
Healthy Eating Leads to Healthy Living
Exercise Fights Depression
Vacation
High Cholesterol (Hypercholesterolemia)
Saucy Red Beans With Rice

Child Care Centers

Sampling Streptococcus pneumoniae ("strep" bacteria) from day care attendees, Dr. Ron Dagan of Ben-Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel, and colleagues found that antibiotic treatment rapidly induced resistant-antibiotic traits among these bacteria in the noses and throats of children in the day care environment. According to Dr. Dagana child care centers act as microenvironments that facilitate and promote selection, spread and transmission of antibiotic-resistant respiratory tract organisms in the community and should be seen as major targets for intervention.
 

Unclean New Yorkers

A new survey of public restroom habits in five U.S. cities finds New York commuters are least likely to clean their hands after using the john.  Four years ago, the the American Society for Microbiology sponsored a study to see how often people take time for soap and water in restrooms. Researchers stood around, endlessly combing their hair or putting on makeup, while watching what people did.  They found that about one-third of Americans skipped washing. So the society sponsored a ``clean hands campaign'' to educate folks about the importance of hand washing in stopping the spread of colds, diarrhea and other infectious diseases.  This month, they did the survey again to find that not much has changed or it became worse--Four years ago, 60 percent of folks using the rest rooms at Grand Central and Penn stations washed up afterward. This time, it was just 49 percent.

Besides the New York train stations, the observers peeked at bathroom habits at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the Navy Pier in Chicago, a Braves game in Atlanta and a casino in New Orleans to find that overall, 67 percent of people washed with soap and water and then dried their hands, the cleanest people were in Chicago (I am glad!), where 83 percent washed, followed by 80 percent in San Francisco and 64 percent in New Orleans and Atlanta, women were generally more likely than men to wash, the dirtiest guys of all were at the Atlanta ball game-just one-third stopped to wash. In a random telephone survey conducted at the same time, 95 percent of Americans claimed they wash their hands after using public restrooms!

Steer Clear Of Laetrile

Buyer beware.  That's a message the Food and Drug Administration is trying to send Internet users
regarding a so-called cancer cure being marketed online.  The "cure" is a substance called laetrile, which is made from apricot seeds.  It was outlawed in the United States 20 years ago, after a National Cancer Institute study determined that not only did laetrile not fight cancer, it actually could cause cyanide poisoning, The Associated Press reports.  The new FDA warnings come after a Florida judge's ruling that temporarily halts laetrile sales online by World Without Cancer, Inc., Health World International, Inc.  and Health Genesis Corp., the AP says.
Similar court cases occurred earlier this year in New York and Ohio.  The FDA warns that laetrile may be sold under the names "amygdalin" or "vitamin B17."
 

Diet To Stave Off Cancer

The American Institute for Cancer Research launched a major consumer-education campaign:
-Americans eat 148 more calories a day today than they did 20 years ago, contributing to the nation's obesity problem. Learn what a proper portion size is by spending one day measuring certain foods. Fill a measuring cup with cereal and remember how much room it takes up in your breakfast bowl. A cup of pasta the size of your fist could save 300 calories over a 3-cup plate. If you're used to eating 3 cups, eat a little less each day to inch down to proper serving sizes.
-Make sure at least two-thirds of your plate is filled with fruits, vegetables, grains and beans and don't feel obligated to eat the expensive meat.
-Look for trade-offs. Opt for a regular-size burger instead of the quarter-pound version and save 160 calories right there.
-Sneak in servings of fruits and vegetables. Buy pre-washed, precut carrots and other vegetables at grocery store salad bars - throw them in a stir fry or bring them to work as snacks. Slice a banana onto cereal. Ask for extra tomatoes and greens on a deli sandwich. Instead of a cookie, keep a bowl of berries on hand.
 

Healthy Eating Leads to Healthy Living

Strokes, America's third leading cause of death, afflict men and women equally but are more likely to be fatal in women.  Researchers report in the latest Journal of the American Medical Association that women who eat lots of whole-grain foods can significantly reduce their risk of strokes. Those who ate the most whole grains were 30 percent to 40 percent less likely to have an ischemic stroke.  The findings are based on data on 75,521 American participants in Harvard University's Nurses Health Study.
 

Exercise Fights Depression

Scientists at Duke University Medical Center tested exercise against Zoloft and found exercise seemed to do a better job of keeping symptoms from coming back after the depression lifted.  The October issue of the Journal Psychosomatic Medicine reports that a modest exercise program is an effective, robust treatment for patients with major depression.  The patients in this study had been diagnosed with major depressive disorder. The severity of their symptoms was generally mild to moderate to severe.  The exercise primarily consisted of brisk walking, stationary bike riding, or jogging for 30 minutes, plus a 10-minute warmup and 5-minute cooldown, 3 times a week.

Vacation

Researchers at the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh analyzed data from a nine-year study of more than 12,000 men at high risk for coronary heart disease.  Those with regular annual vacations had a lower risk of death during the study period relative to those skipping their vacations. Their results held even when the researchers took the study participantsí socioeconomic status (SES) into account. Vacations may protect health by reducing stress, a known risk factor for many diseases. Vacations were more protective against death from coronary heart disease known to be influenced by stress. The researchers report their findings in the September/October issue of the Journal Psychosomatic Medicine.
 

High Cholesterol (Hypercholesterolemia)

Saucy Red Beans With Rice


Serves 4
Ingredients:
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped zucchini
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 (16-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained
1/8 teaspoon red pepper
2 cups cooked unsalted rice

Preparation:
Spray skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add celery and onion. Cook, covered, over medium-low heat until tender, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini, garlic powder, oregano and thyme. Cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, kidney beans and red pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Serve over 1/2-cup portions of rice. Exchanges: Bread 2 1/2; Vegetables 1 1/2.
Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: Calories, 264; Protein, 10 grams; Carbohydrates, 54 grams; Total Fat, 1 gram (3 percent of calories from fat); Cholesterol, 0 milligrams; Fiber, 9 grams; Sodium, 563 grams.  "Help Yourself Cookbook," Arthritis Foundation

Sreenivasrao Vepachedu, September 30, 2000
 

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