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For September 25, 2017

  • Some Kids See Smoking as Diet Aid
    Some Kids See Smoking as Diet Aid

    Children Unhappy With Their Appearance are Most Affected

    (MSNBC Health, October 4th 1999) � Some young people think cigarette smoking will help them to shed unwanted pounds, according to a study of more than 16,000 children published Monday.

    AMONG both boys and girls, youngsters who were contemplating taking up the habit were more likely to believe they were overweight, even when they were not, said the report from Brigham and Women�s Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health. Also, such children were more likely to be unhappy with their appearance, the researchers said.

    Those who had actually experimented with cigarettes were likely to have dieted and exercised to keep their weight under control, the study added. �It is important for both pediatricians and comprehensive school health programs to address healthy methods of weight maintenance and to dispel the notion of tobacco use as a method of weight control,� the researchers wrote in �Pediatrics,� the monthly journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    The study looked at approximately 15,000 children aged 9 to 14. About 6 percent were thinking about smoking, and 9 percent had smoked. Girls who were unhappy with their appearance were twice as likely to think about using tobacco. Boys who exercised daily to lose weight were 90 percent more likely to have experimented with cigarettes than those who did not.

    The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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  • Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise
    Cosmetic Surgery on the Rise

    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - The number of cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the US more than doubled between 1992 and 1998, according to the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons. The report shows that cosmetic surgery is still more common among women -- approximately 10 times more women than men underwent cosmetic surgery in 1998.

    Liposuction is the most common cosmetic procedure requested by both sexes, and the number of liposuction procedures increased by 264%. The next four most common cosmetic procedures requested by women are breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, facelifts and chemical peels. The next most common procedures performed in men after liposuction are eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, breast reduction and facelift.

    The number of men having facelifts has more than doubled and the number having liposuction has tripled since 1992. The Society's annual report also shows that over the last 6 years:

    • Breast reduction surgery rates increased by 77%.
    • 84% of women who had breast implants removed had them replaced with newer versions of implants.
    • The percentage of persons over 65 opting for cosmetic surgery increased from 6% in 1992 to 9% in 1998.
    • The percentage of cosmetic procedures performed on those aged 31-50 remained at 41% over the past 6 years.
    • Cosmetic procedures in teens dropped from 4% of all procedures performed in 1992 to 2% in 1998.
    • The number of chemical peels in women increased 243% over the past 6 years.

    The report also shows that tumor removal is still the most common reconstructive procedure performed. Breast reconstruction surgery has increased 135% since 1992, with 39% of the procedures performed at the same time as mastectomy.

    Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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  • The Cold, Hard Truth About Cellulite
    The Cold, Hard Truth About Cellulite

    (From Prevention Magazine, August 1999) - Are there any proven methods for getting rid of cellulite? Many people lose weight but the dimples won't go away. Do cellulite creams really work?

    In reality, money spent on cellulite creams would be better spent on a set of dumbbells or a health club membership.

    The active ingredient in cellulite creams is usually an asthma drug called aminophylline or theophylline. The theory is that these chemicals break fat molecules down into fatty acids, which are then excreted through the bloodstream. But, according to dermatologist Zoe D. Draelos, MD of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, "What works in a lab dish hasn't been proven to work on women's legs (or anywhere else on her body)."

    Also, human skin is effectively designed to keep things out; it would be very difficult to get the active ingredients in these thigh creams to reach the fat cells just by rubbing them in.

    Exercise and a healthy, low-fat diet are the best ways of combating cellulite. Losing weight can help too, but only if you're doing it healthfully -- no crash dieting. That may actually make cellulite look worse, because crash dieting can cause you to lose muscle tone. If you aren't exercising, start now, and make sure you include strength training exercise like weight lifting to shape and tone your muscles. That will help those trouble spots start looking better.

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  • Tips to Ease Back Pain
    Tips to Ease Back Pain

    Simple Advice for Preventing and Reducing Back Pain

    (Prevention, September 1999) � Women and men suffer from about the same amount of back pain, but while men most often get long-lasting back pain from lifting too much, women often ache from sitting too much. "The second highest incidence of back pain is reported by sedentary workers, most of whom are women who sit at desks -- often in front of computers all day," says Sheila Reid, P.T., coordinator of rehabilitation services at The Spine Institute of New England in Williston, Vermont. Here are some simple tips for reducing back pain:

    Adjust your work station. "A good chair should be fully adjustable and fit the person who sits in it as well as the tasks that he or she performs," says Annie Pivarski, ergonomics and injury prevention program supervisor at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco. To get the best back support, your feet should be flat on the floor and your lower back supported by the back of the chair. Your knees should be slightly lower than your hips or level with them, and you shouldn't have to crane to see your computer, says Reid.

    Move around. Every half hour, move around to keep your muscles and spine from stiffening.

    Try a lumbar pillow. Buy one at a medical supply store or just roll up a towel behind your waist for greater lower-back support while you sit at your desk.

    Wear low heels. Low-heeled shoes can sometimes help with arch support, but more than 1 1/2 inches will misalign the curvature of your back, which can lead to back pain. If you must wear heels, save them for special occasions.

    Lift first, turn second. It seems natural: You grab a bag of groceries and turn to load them into the car in one quick movement. Don't do it, say experts. Over time, twisting can lead to herniated disks. Instead, lift your load, hold it close to your abdomen, and then turn, using your feet to get you where you want to go instead of swiveling your hips.

    Stay close to your loads. Think about it: The closer you stand to whatever you're picking up--be it a child, a bag of groceries or a box of office supplies--the less strain you put on your muscles. Here's the right technique:

    Beginning in a standing position, squat from your knees rather than bending from the waist to pick up the load. Plant your feet firmly in front of you, one foot slightly ahead. Once you have your arms around it, keep the load as close to your abdomen as possible while lifting and lowering. And use both hands so that you lift symmetrically.

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  • Wrap it Up: Delicious Ways to Save Time and Cut Calories
    Wrap it Up: Delicious Ways to Save Time and Cut Calories

    Meal Makeover

    (Prevention, September 1999) � Wraps are the latest sandwich sensation -- all thanks to health-conscious Californians, who have turned eating on the go into an art form. So, next time you go for a boring, condiment-heavy sandwich for lunch, reach for a wrap instead.

    The availability now of a variety of soft flatbreads such as tortillas, lavosh (or lavash), naan and others is key. These unleavened breads are often made with whole grains and are turning up in savory flavors like spinach, sun-dried tomato, chipotle chili and garden herb. With fewer calories than two pieces of traditional sandwich bread, tortillas are thin and pliable. For the recipes that follow, we've used large wrappers (about 10 inches for the tortillas) to make one sandwich per serving. If you prefer, you can use smaller wrappers and make two apiece.

    Use these recipes as starting points for your own creations. Once you master the art of wrapping, you'll appreciate how ideal these fast-fix sandwiches are for satisfying meals in a snap.

    Here is one example of a great wrap recipie:

    Sunshine Burritos

    Frozen potatoes, jarred salsa, and jalapenos make this a super-easy breakfast dish. For variety, spread prepared guacamole on the tortillas in place of the salsa or add some sliced avocado when assembling the wraps. Fat-free liquid egg substitute works fine for the filling; use about 1 cup and eliminate the milk.

    2 c frozen Potatoes O'Brien
    2 eggs
    2 egg whites
    2 tbsp skim milk
    1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
    1/4 tsp pepper
    1/2 c prepared salsa
    2 lg whole wheat tortillas
    2 Boston lettuce leaves
    1/2 c chopped tomatoes
    2 tbsp pickled jalapeno pepper slices

    1. Coat an 8-in. nonstick frying pan with vegetable cooking spray. Add 1 c potatoes and saute until lightly browned.

    2. In a sm bowl, beat together eggs, egg whites, and milk. Stir in cilantro, pepper, and 1/4 c salsa. Pour half of the mixture over the potatoes. Cook over med-high heat until eggs are set; use a spatula to let any uncooked egg reach the bottom of the pan.

    3. Spread 1 tortilla with 2 tbsp of remaining salsa. Slide eggs onto tortilla. Top with half of the lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers. Roll tightly and serve immediately.

    4. Repeat to make a second burrito. Serves 2.

    Diet Exchanges: Milk 0.1; Vegetable 0.4; Fruit 0; Bread 3.3; Meat 1.4

    Nutritional info: Cal 314; Fat 8.2 g (23% of cal); Sat fat 1.6 g; Chol 213 mg; Fiber 9.8 g; Pro 16.9 g; Carb 53.1 g; Sodium 770 mg

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  • How to Make Exercise Automatic - Part 1 of 2
    How to Make Exercise Automatic - Part 1 of 2

    (Prevention, August 1999) - Part 1.

    Truth is, people who stay faithful to their exercise plans don't actually have willpower. They don't need it. What they have is a habit. A routine. Exercise for them is like brushing their teeth. They don't spend a single brain cell making decisions about it. They just get up and do it.

    And they feel great about it.

    "It's been said that if you could put the benefits of exercise in a pill, it would be the single most prescribed medication in the world," says Kerry Courneya, Ph.D., assistant professor at the University of Calgary, Alberta, and author of numerous studies on what makes people stick to an exercise routine. No small part of those benefits is the effect of exercise on weight loss. Studies show that when people have lost weight and acquired an exercise habit, they're more likely to stay trim than are people who try to keep the pounds off through dietary changes alone.

    Turning an exercise routine -- and all its benefits -- into a permanent resident in your life is a matter of housecleaning your priorities, setting up a schedule and toning up your motivation (until you're hooked, that is). Here's the five step plan:

    Step one: Make exercise a priority

    Take a look at the agenda that's behind tomorrow's agenda. That is, take a look at the priorities that are driving your calendar. Put exercise on that priority list. High on that list. Next to working and bill paying and watching Dan Rather. "If exercise is my third priority and it's your fifteenth, you're not going to find the time to exercise, and I am," says Dr. Courneya.

    Where people run into trouble is in making something like "getting fit" a priority but then not making the tasks required to get there a priority, too. "I often say if you want to get to the top of the stairs, you must negotiate the steps," says time-management consultant Virginia Bass, who teaches people to organize their lives through Day Timers, Inc. "If you continue to put a lower priority on the task or activities required to reach your goal (exercising in the evenings, for instance) than on the goal itself (improving health, for example), then you're not going to make it."

    Step two: Find the time

    Waiting for exercise to fit into your life "when I have the time" is like waiting to win the lottery when you haven't bought a ticket. You have to find the time. Try this: For about a week, write down where you've spent your time, as if minutes are checks that you're entering in your checkbook. This gives you a picture of how you're spending your time, says Virginia Bass.

    Chances are, there are points that can be nipped and tucked to free a bit of time every day. Maybe you're on the telephone with a neighbor when you could both be walking around the neighborhood together. Maybe your CNN addiction could be sated from the seat of a stationary bike.

    If reshuffling this time inventory still hasn't yielded a full 30 minutes for exercise, wipe your schedule clean, reach for your priority list and highlight those activities of highest importance (including exercise) on your daily calendar. Then let the rest of your life flow around those immovable time commitments.

    Part 2 will run tomorrow....

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