Drink up!

Summer is almost here, and the weather is heating up.  Are you drinking enough water? Many kids aren’t, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study’s lead author, Erica Kenney, a scientist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, originally planned to look into the amount of sugary drinks kids were consuming in schools. However, during her research she found that many kids were simply not drinking enough water.

Kenney and her team examined data from a group of 4,000 children, ages 6 to19, between the years of 2009 and 2012. The data was taken from the National Health and Nutrition Survey, a study on the health of children in the United States conducted each year by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

While looking through the survey results, she noticed that more than half of the kids who participated were dehydrated. Of that group, boys were 76% more likely than girls to not have enough water in their system. Nearly one quarter of the kids in the survey reported drinking no plain water at all.

“These findings are significant because they highlight a potential health issue that

Big Backpacks Equal Big Problems

Like little turtles with limbs poking out from their shells, kids shuffle their way to school every day wearing giant backpacks. Even high school students have to bend forward to lug their heavy books and binders to and from school. It’s frustrating and looks a little silly, but is it dangerous?

Yes, say many experts. “Kids are saying ‘My back hurts, my neck and my shoulders hurt,’” says Dr. Karen Jacobs, a clinical professor at Boston University. “A heavy backpack can also contribute to headaches and problems concentrating at school.”

Jacobs is also a spokesperson for the American Occupational Therapy Association, which sponsors a national school backpack awareness day on September 16. She says crowded schools and less locker space may be making backpacks bigger. “Since at least 1998, we’ve noticed backpacks getting bigger and heavier, and not in proportion to the kids’ sizes,” Jacobs says.

Reporting Back Pain

A 2010 study from the University of California, San Diego, concluded, “backpack loads are responsible for a significant amount of back pain in children.” The same study says a full third of kids ages 11 to 14 report back pain. Other research from 2011 came to a

Healthier School Meals

September is National Childhood Obesity Month, a major topic for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The agency’s program HealthierUS School Challenge: Smarter Lunchrooms (HUSSC: SL) takes aim against childhood obesity by helping more students across the country gain access to fresh, wholesome foods. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says the USDA is especially focused on children living in food insecure homes, or households that can’t afford to provide enough food for all members of the family every day.

SUSAN WALSH—AP
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

“Unfortunately, many students don’t get adequate nutrition due to family circumstances or situations,” Vilsack told TFK. “Seventeen million children in school today are living in food insecure homes.”

According to the Food Research and Action Center, low-income neighborhoods typically lack access to full-service grocery stores and farmers’ markets where a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables are sold. Additionally, fresh foods tend to be more expensive. Households with tight budgets may buy cheaper food products, which tend to be processed and less healthy. Without steady access to nutritious food options, kids can develop health issues.

“Youngsters can get chronic diseases such as diabetes or heart issues,” Vilsack says. He adds that

Why Sun Exposure Is Harmful To More Than Just Skin

We all know extended exposure to the sun is harmful to our skin, but did you also know it detrimentally affects veins too? When exposed to the sun, the elastic layer of your veins becomes vulnerable. The addition of heat on varicose veins causes them to widen and can cause further discoloration. By limiting sun exposure, this is just one of the preventative and alternative vein treatment options for varicose veins.

Some outdoor activities are also harmful to people’s veins. While exercises that help increase total body circulation are recommended, those that tend to leave people in stagnant positions for extended periods of time are not. Canoeing, kayaking, hunting, fishing, and other activities where a person’s leg movement is compromised is recommended only if a period of 30 minutes of leg elevation or 30 minutes of walking, post-activity, can be performed. If experiencing any swelling during this time, ice can also be applied during the elevation process.

Most important though, whether indoors or outdoors, if ever experiencing any pain in your veins, it is best to immediately seek out the care of a medical professional. Sometimes extreme pain, swelling, or vein enlargement can indicate a serious medical problem, so vein health

Why More Women Are Choosing Naturopathic Healthcare

As life becoming more increasingly demanding, more and more women are facing issues with managing stress, controlling depression and anxiety, and sometimes debilitating migraine headaches. Often combined with these conditions, women can also be dealing with the effects of PMS, peri-menopause, or menopause. When menopause eventually comes, bone health and strength also becomes a concern due to the increased risk of fracture. Fortunately, naturopathic healthcare providers understand the physiological changes women experience making naturopathic care for women’s health needs an ideal solution available to all aged-women: pre-, current, or post-menopausal.

In addition to assisting with these conditions, naturopathic doctors can help women with other aspects of the aging process. They are experts in aesthetics and utilize a variety of natural procedures to help stimulate collagen synthesis. When this happens, skin is restored to a more youthful appearance making fine lines and wrinkles disappear. Natural aesthetics can also treat women with other common skin conditions including the reduction of acne scarring, stretch marks, and sun-damaged skin.

If looking for a safe alternative to traditional drug therapies, plastic surgery procedures, or other invasive techniques, arranging for a consultation with a naturopathic doctor will introduce patients to holistic medicine where they can learn more

The One Basic Thing Every Commercial Driver Must Know

Working as a driver, you must have experienced what makes the job irritating at the first place. Manning a vehicle for hours should be an overbearing task so much so that you probably consider giving it up. Not to mention the monotony; the route you will take in day to day basis will severely wear you down. It is only a matter of time before all those playlists you have composed become painful to go through and there is nothing else you can do but compensating with eating—eating junk food. And before long, not only will you threaten the stability of your working experience, you might also risk of losing it.

So, what to do, then? Is there any reasonable solution for this case you perhaps are facing at the moment? Is it possible to be able to be all excited about the job without having to torture yourself with the same, repeated playlist? You can consider taking commercial driver medical examiner training. With this kind of training, you might be able to have a chance at improving some skills needed in making your driving job less overbearing. There are a lot of

More Chores, Fewer Allergies

Nobody likes doing the dishes, but it turns out that doing this mundane task might pay off in an unexpected way. According to a new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, washing dishes by hand instead of using a dishwasher might prevent the development of allergies.

Researchers in Sweden surveyed the parents of 1,029 children ages 7 and 8. They discovered that children whose families hand-washed the dishes instead of using a machine were less likely to have allergies.

A Little Bit of Dirt

Earlier research has shown that dishes washed by machine are cleaner than those washed by hand. So why would kids who eat off of slightly dirtier plates be better off when it comes to preventing allergies? One explanation is based on a theory known as the “hygiene hypothesis,” which says the reason kids develop allergies is because their surroundings are actually too clean.

Your immune system keeps you healthy by fighting germs like bacteria and viruses. But when you have allergies, it overreacts and tries to fight ordinary things like pollen or certain foods.

Being exposed to germs, especially early in life, is good training for the immune system, says the lead author

Sneezing into Spring

The World Health Organization is advising people around the world to cut down on the amount of sugar they consume each day.

While sweet treats can be hard to resist, the World Health Organization (WHO) has set new dietary guidelines for people around the world. The guidelines, released on Wednesday, advise that both adults and children cut back on their sugar intake to stay healthy.

In a statement, Francesco Branca, director of the WHO’s nutrition department, said there is “solid evidence” that reducing daily sugar intake “reduces the risk of overweight, obesity, and tooth decay.”

Keep it Fresh

The guidelines do not apply to the sugars in fresh fruits and vegetables or those that are naturally present in milk. According to the WHO, there is no reported evidence of negative effects of consuming those sugars. Instead, the new guidelines focus on “added” or “free” sugars. These include sugars that are added to processed foods and drinks such as donuts, cookies, candy, and soft drinks.

Added sugars are sometimes described as “hidden” sugars because they exist in foods we might not think of as sweets, such as honey and ketchup. Health experts