Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Calorie Counts on Menus May Be Trimming Americans’ Waistlines

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Calorie Counts on Menus May Be Trimming Americans’ Waistlines

fastfood

With roughly 40 percent of Americans now obese, new research finds that one strategy may be helping Americans stay slim: calorie counts on restaurant menus.

Following the passage of the Affordable Care Act of 2010, chain restaurants with 20 or more franchises must now list a meal’s calorie count on their menus and order boards.

And some cities and states — including New York City, Philadelphia and Seattle, and all of California, Massachusetts and Oregon — have gone a step further, imposing broad calorie label mandates in full-service restaurants.

Now, a snapshot of the ordering habits in two full-service, sit-down restaurants suggests the legislative moves are having an impact.

“We conducted an experiment with over 5,500 diners in real-world restaurants and found that calorie labels led customers to order 3 percent fewer calories,” said study author John Cawley. The drop amounted to about 45 fewer calories consumed per meal.

“This was due to reductions in calories ordered as appetizers and entrees,” he added, with little change seen in the calorie count of either drinks or desserts.

That second finding struck Cawley, a professor in the departments of policy analysis and management, and economics at Cornell University, as surprising.

“Before we started, I expected that people would reduce calories in desserts, but they didn’t,” he said.

Why?

“In interpreting that, it’s important to remember that people will change their behavior when the information is new or surprising,” he explained. “People may have already known that desserts are high-calorie and not cut back, but been surprised by the number of calories in appetizers and entrees, and so reduced calories there.”

Cawley calculated that over a three-year period, the calorie cut would lead to weight loss in the range of one pound.

“Not large,” he acknowledged, “but it’s also a cheap policy, and philosophically it’s attractive to allow people to make informed decisions.”

What’s more, “the vast majority of people support having calorie labels on menus, and those who were exposed to them expressed even higher support,” he added.

The findings were published recently as a report issued by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a private nonprofit research organization.

Both restaurants in the study were located on a university campus.

Dining parties were randomly given a menu with or without calorie-count labels. About 43 percent of the study participants were men. The average age was 34, and about two-thirds were white.

Appetizers contained between 200 to 910 calories, entrees contained 580 to 1,840 calories, and desserts contained 420 to 1,150 calories. Drinks ranged from 100 to 370 calories.

Beyond the 3 percent calorie drop linked to the labeling, the researchers also found that consumer support for labeling went up by almost 10 percent among patrons who were given labeled menus.

And restaurant revenue did not seem to be affected by the type of menu offered, despite long-voiced industry concerns that calorie counts might undermine a food establishment’s bottom line.

Lona Sandon is an associate professor in the department of clinical nutrition with the school of health professions at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She said the study makes it “apparent that some people at least pay attention” to labels.

But the move is just “one piece in the big puzzle of addressing the public health problem of obesity,” she said.

“I do not see a drastic change in overweight and obesity rates anytime soon as a result of the menu labeling,” Sandon added.

“On the positive side, it is making people more aware. It may also be making restaurant owners and chefs more aware, which could lead to them putting more healthier options on the menu,” she said. “Between the labeling and changes in recipes, we could get more impact.”

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Contagious?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) Contagious?

UTI

 

The answer depends upon what microbe is infecting the urinary tract. The urinary tract consists of the urethra, bladder, ureters, and kidneys, each of which can become infected with different microbes. Urinary tract infections usually arise from organisms that are normally present in (colonizing) the person’s gut and/or urethral opening. These organisms (for example, bacteria such as E. coli or Pseudomonas infect the urinary tract by relocating against the flow of urine (retrograde) toward the kidneys.

Lower urinary tract infections do not involve the kidneys while upper urinary tract infections involve the kidneys and are typically more severe. These types of infections of the urinary tract are almost never contagious to other individuals. This article will not consider STDs and the organisms that cause STDs as urinary tract infections as they are discussed in other articles. However, STDs are often contagious and are transferred to others during intercourse, while UTIs are not usually transmitted by intercourse, so UTIs are rarely contagious to a partner. In addition, women who are sexually active and those individuals (males and females) who have anal intercourse have an increased chance to develop a UTI.

It is unlikely for anyone to get a UTI or STD from a toilet seat, as the urethra in males and females typically wouldn’t touch the toilet seat. It is theoretically possible to transfer infectious organisms from a toilet seat to a buttock or thigh cut or sore and then have the organisms spread to the urethra or genitals. Nevertheless, such transmission of UTIs and/or STDs are highly unlikely.

How long before I know I have an infection of the urinary tract?

The incubation period (time of exposure to time symptoms begin) varies with the microbe. In general, common urinary tract infections with colonizing bacteria, like E. coli, varies from about three to eight days.

How are urinary tract infections spread?

Bacterial infections of the urinary tract are almost never spread to others if the infecting organisms originate from the bacteria normally colonizing the individual (for example, E. coli).

 

When should I seek medical care for a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

 

For symptoms of itching and/or burning on urination or discomfort with urination, people should seek help within 24 hours. Individuals who may develop an upper urinary tract infection (kidney involvement with flank pain, for example) should seek medical help immediately.

When are urinary tract infections no longer contagious?

Simple lower and upper urinary tract infections caused by bacteria residing in the patient are not considered to be contagious. Clinicians suggest people are cleared of lower urinary tract infections after about three to seven days of antibiotic treatment and upper urinary tract (kidneys) infections by about 10-14 days after treatment. Some individuals with kidney infection may benefit from an initial IV dose of antibiotics followed by oral antibiotics.

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Household Chemicals Tied to Kidney Problems

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Household Chemicals Tied to Kidney Problems

kidney4141.jpg

 

“Because so many people are exposed to these PFAS chemicals, and to the newer, increasingly produced alternative PFAS agents such as GenX, it is critical to understand if and how these chemicals may contribute to kidney disease,” Stanifer said.

Analyzing 74 studies on PFAS, the researchers found the chemicals are associated with poorer kidney function and other kidney problems. They said it’s particularly concerning that children have greater exposure to these chemicals than adults.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says PFAS can be found in food packaging; stain- and water-repellent fabrics; nonstick cookware; polishes, waxes, paints and cleaning products; and firefighting foams. In fish, animals and humans, PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.

The study appears in the Sept. 13 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

“By searching all the known studies published on the topic, we concluded that there are several potential ways in which these chemicals can cause kidney damage,” Stanifer said in a journal news release.

“Further, we discovered that there have already been multiple reports suggesting that these chemicals are associated with worse kidney outcomes,” he added.

“Because so many people are exposed to these PFAS chemicals, and to the newer, increasingly produced alternative PFAS agents such as GenX, it is critical to understand if and how these chemicals may contribute to kidney disease,” Stanifer said.

Analyzing 74 studies on PFAS, the researchers found the chemicals are associated with poorer kidney function and other kidney problems. They said it’s particularly concerning that children have greater exposure to these chemicals than adults.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says PFAS can be found in food packaging; stain- and water-repellent fabrics; nonstick cookware; polishes, waxes, paints and cleaning products; and firefighting foams. In fish, animals and humans, PFAS have the ability to build up and persist over time.

The study appears in the Sept. 13 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

“By searching all the known studies published on the topic, we concluded that there are several potential ways in which these chemicals can cause kidney damage,” Stanifer said in a journal news release.

“Further, we discovered that there have already been multiple reports suggesting that these chemicals are associated with worse kidney outcomes,” he added.

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