Fast Food Getting Even More Unhealthy

Watch what you eat. Especially fast food.

Last month, we asked: Is U.S. Food Safe? Today, we note fast food getting even more unhealthy. That’s somewhat hard to grasp because: (1) Fast food has always been high in calories and less-than-optimal ingredients. (2) There has been such a push in recent years for healthier food. (3) There are many critics of fast food.

New Research Shows Fast Food Getting Even More Unhealthy

Amazingly, Niall McCarthy reports for Statista that:

“Across the United States, 93.3 million people were obese in 2015-2016. While 36.6 percent of the country’s adults consumed fast food on a given day according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has now found that the size of calorie account of fast food has been increasing steadily since the mid-1980s.”

 
“The researchers studied 1,787 mains, sides, and desserts at 10 popular fast food chains from 1986 to 2016. The restaurants involved were Arby’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr., Dairy Queen, Hardee’s, Jack in the Box, KFC, Long John Silver’s, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s.”

Check out the study highlights in the following Statista infographic.

Fast Food Getting Even More Unhealthy

 

Inspiration Through Videos

Over the past few months, I have been writing pieces that appear on Thrive Global. That site was founded by Huff Post’s Ariana Huffington. Today, let’s highlight the importance of inspiration through videos. 

While you’re at it take a look at this post: Feeling Fortunate – Not Sorry for Oneself

Keep in Mind the Inspiration Through Videos

Here are some excerpts from my Thrive Global post on inspiration:

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, inspiration is “something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create. Thus, it is a force or influence that inspires someone.”

Today, I’d like to look at the power of inspirational video through three examples involving those who motivate us. Even in their absence due to cancer: Jim Valvano, Steve Jobs, and Randy Pausch.

For me, the most inspirational video comes from a speech by former champion basketball coach Jim Valvano. He gave the speech at an ESPN ESPY award ceremony shortly before his death. As noted on YouTube: “The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded by ESPN and legendary basketball coach Jim Valvano with one goal in mind: to achieve victory over cancer. Since its start in 1993, the V Foundation has awarded over $170 million in cancer research grants nationwide. What stands out and inspires me every day is this Valvano quote from that speech: “To me there are three things everyone should do every day. Number one is laugh. Number two is think – spend some time in thought. And Number three, you should have your emotions move you to tears. If you laugh, think, and cry, that’s a heck of a day.” Here’s the YouTube link: https://youtu.be/HuoVM9nm42E

Also, check out the inspirational speeches by Jobs (https://youtu.be/UF8uR6Z6KLc) and Pausch (https://youtu.be/ji5_MqicxSo).

To read more, click on the image.

The Importance of Inspiration

 

AI and Medical Innovation

Informative discussion and video

As we noted yesterday, artificial intelligence (AI) is entering the medical diagnosis field in a big way. Now, let’s look further.

Recently, Garbuio and Lin published an article in California Management Review, “Artificial Intelligence as a Growth Engine for Health Care Startups”:

“The future of health care may change dramatically as entrepreneurs offer solutions that change how we prevent, diagnose, and cure health conditions, using artificial intelligence (AI). This article provides a timely and critical analysis of AI-driven health care startups and identifies emerging business model archetypes that entrepreneurs from around the world are using to bring AI solutions to the marketplace. It identifies areas of value creation for the application of AI in health care and proposes an approach to designing business models for AI health care startups.”

Learn more from this YouTube video.

 

AI and Medical Diagnosis

Improving the accuracy of medical diagnosis

As we reported late last year, artificial intelligence (AI) is aiding drug operations. Today, we take a look at medical diagnosis.

AI and Medical Diagnosis

As Cade Metz reports for the NY Times:

“Each year, millions of Americans walk out of a doctor’s office with a misdiagnosis. Physicians try to be systematic when identifying illness and disease, but bias creeps in. Alternatives are overlooked. Now a group of researchers in the United States and China has tested a potential remedy for all-too-human frailties: artificial intelligence.

“In a paper published in Nature Medicine, the scientists reported that they had built a system that automatically diagnoses common childhood conditions — from influenza to meningitis — after processing the patient’s symptoms, history, lab results, and other clinical data.”

Click the image to read a lot more.

AI and Medical Diagnosis
Doctors competed against A.I. computers to recognize illnesses on magnetic resonance images of a human brain during a competition in Beijing last year. The human doctors lost. Credit: Mark Schiefelbein/Associated Press

 

Be Careful with OTC Drugs

OTC drugs are not risk-free!

For many people, there is a misconception that over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are always safer than prescription drugs. And that simply is not true.

Consider these observations from AARP:

“If the good news is that over-the-counter pain killers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen won’t put you at risk for addiction issues like prescription opioids or narcotics can, the less good news is that no pain pill comes without the potential for problems, says Nitin Sekhri, medical director of pain management at Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, N.Y.”

“Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is considered the safest option by many, and yet, Sekhri notes, it’s still to blame for about 50 percent of acute liver failures in the U.S. Acetaminophen also is the leading reason behind calls to poison control and to blame for more than 50,000 emergency room visits a year.”

“Often problems arise from people not realizing they’ve taken as much acetaminophen as they have. The over-the-counter painkiller isn’t just in Tylenol: It shows up in remedies meant to fight allergies, colds, flu, coughs, and sleeplessness. It’s also an ingredient in prescription painkillers such as Vicodin and Percocet.”

Click the image to read a lot more.

Be Careful with OTC Drugs

 

Social Interactions and Our Health

How others affect our health

Jo Bibby, reporting for the UK’s Our Health, asked “How do our family, friends and community influence our health?”

“Going beyond the simple premise that human interactions are good for us and necessary to our wellbeing, this infographic shows how these relationships provide the foundations necessary for a healthy life.”

* “Feeling supported by others – and how this makes us feel about ourselves, our sense of agency and what we believe is possible – is evidently essential for our wellbeing. And it isn’t simply about having people who care for us. Just as important for our self-esteem is our own opportunity to care for and support others.”

* “Beyond our immediate relationships, our connections within and across the communities we are part of – where we live, where we learn, where we work – are all critical to feeling included and valued. Studies have shown that feelings of belonging and trust in others were the strongest predictor of mental wellbeing after controlling for physical health problems.

* “Acting on these feelings of inclusion – coming together with others in our communities to volunteer or participate in collective activities – enhances our sense of purpose and shared identity. It also improves our coping ability during times of stress.”

* “From community participation comes community empowerment. A flourishing society requires people to feel a sense of control and collective voice that can enable them to influence positive change. Community empowerment is increasingly being shown to be a route to addressing health inequalities.”

Social Interactions and Our Health
 

Giving Back to Whom?

Picking the best nonprofits!

If you want to do volunteer work or donate money, how do you determine which organizations are excellent? And which should we avoid?

One objective source for information on nonprofits is Charity Navigator:

“Founded in 2001, Charity Navigator has become the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In our quest to help donors, our team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of nonprofit financial documents. We’ve used this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 9,000 of America’s best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.”

“Specifically, Charity Navigator’s rating system examines two broad areas of a charity’s performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Our ratings show givers how efficiently we believe a charity will use their support today, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information.”

Here is an example of a Charity Navigator review, the Lustgarten Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research. Click the chart to see the full rating of Lustgarten.

Giving Back to Whom?