Focused On Fitness - April 27, 2007

   With the summer driving season at hand, it is appropriate to start planning ahead and thinking about the featured article, the "Best and Worst Gas Station Cuisine". Since many of us tend to indulge when we are traveling, why not arm ourselves with knowledge so we can make intelligent choices. This subject was also going to be a good theme for the newsletter - until I read one item in another article entitled, "Test Your Junk Food IQ". Did you know that McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are just 16 percent meat and that there are actually 38 ingredients in McNuggets? Having two home business means that I don't travel much (at most 3 - 5 miles a day) and never far from home, since I ship 7 days a week (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's, I had one day off last year and commuted back and forth three times in 24 hours to a hotel 20 miles away). I do however, pass a McDonald's every day in my travels and I am always curious to know why people are lined up five or six cars deep at the drive through at 4:00 in the afternoon and what they are getting to eat.
   My curiosity notwithstanding, life is all about choices and it is not for me to judge what people might be buying to eat. Perhaps they are, since it is now possible to make better fast food choices, making intelligent and "nutritious" choices. If you remember all of those "silly" cliches that our mothers used to tell us, which I do, then if "we are what we eat" has any merit, those of you who eat Chicken McNuggets are getting just 16 percent of what you thought you were getting. That makes you 84 percent something else that you don't know - without even knowing that you made that choice!

Featured Articles 
   Best and Worst Gas Station Cuisine - Sure, we all try to make the best eating choices, but sometimes events conspire against us and our options are limited. Maybe the supermarket's closed, or you're on a road trip with no civilization or Whole Foods in sight for miles, or you're late for work and breakfast is going to be what you can grab from the mini-mart while your car's gas tank is being filled. While we'd never recommend your local gas station, liquor store, or convenience mart as someplace you could get a square meal, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. At least if you're armed with some information, you can mitigate the damage. Continued...
   4 Reasons to Nibble Nuts - Looking for something to nosh on? Sure, you're drawn to Slim Jims and candy bars, but resist. There's another option available anywhere from the most basic gas station shop to the most upscale health food market, nuts, specifically, unsalted or better yet unsalted raw nuts. They've gotten a bad rap in the past because of their fat content, but more and more studies are discovering that even their fat can be good for you. Continued...
   9 Foods Not to Give Your Kids - If you've followed the news on childhood obesity lately, you know that the state of affairs is pretty grim. Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past two decades and most signs point to the next generation being the first whose life expectancy will be shorter than their parents. Much of the blame for this has deservedly been laid at the feet of the producers and marketers of unhealthy food aimed at our youngest consumers. They've created an uphill battle for parents trying to compete with superheroes and cartoon animals for their children's palates and stomachs. Continued...
   Test Your Junk Food IQ! - Do you know what the biggest selling restaurant foods is or what costs more to produce in a can of soda, the can or the soda? Continued...

Health News Headlines 
    Expert panel urges junk food ban in schools - Sugary drinks, fatty chips and gooey snack cakes should be banned from U.S. schools in the face of rising childhood obesity fueled by these junk foods, an expert panel said on Wednesday in a report requested by Congress.
    TV ads double obese children's food intake - Overweight children who watch television advertisements for food are likely to double their intake and the fattest children are most likely to choose the least healthy foods, a study published on Tuesday showed.
    U.S. has huge appetite for organic food - U.S. farmers are having a hard time keeping up with Americans' voracious appetite for organic foods, say industry leaders, who want federal officials to boost spending on crop research and market development.
    Omega-3 may fight Alzheimer brain changes - A fatty acid found in fish may help thwart the buildup of brain proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease, a study in mice suggests.
    Obese workers cost employers more, study finds - Obese workers may cost their employers more, filing more workers' compensation claims for injuries on the job, and then more frequently going on to become disabled, according to two reports published on Monday.
    Workplace cancers cause 200,000 deaths a year - At least 200,000 people die every year from cancers related to their workplaces, mainly from inhaling asbestos fibers and second-hand tobacco smoke, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday.
    Most U.S. doctors take drug company freebies - Virtually all U.S. doctors take freebies from drug companies, and a third take money for lecturing, signing patients up for trials or going to meetings, according to a survey published on Wednesday.
    Posing as pals, drug reps sway doctors' choices - As much as doctors would like to deny it, subtle attention from friendly drug sales representatives can have a big impact on what drugs they prescribe, according to two U.S. studies published on Monday.
    Obesity rising in Europe, especially in children - The number of overweight people in Europe is rising and there is an especially worrying trend of increasing childhood obesity and in the number of people who are grossly obese, according to recent studies. Europe is facing major health and social burdens and the rise in obesity is reaching "epidemic" proportions.
    Exercise may lower diabetes risk in older adults - Resistance training may not only help to build muscle in older people, it may also be warding off type 2 diabetes, a new study demonstrates. "The idea that you could actually improve your glucose tolerance by about 25 percent to 30 percent with 12 weeks of strength exercise without having any weight loss, which is a typical therapy for this, is very encouraging," Dr. Wayne W. Campbell of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana told Reuters Health.


On The Homefront 
   Okay, now I know that it sounds like I am a quitter, and I had some pangs of conscience yesterday when I realized how easy it was to take care of the girls and how much fun it was, but being a work at home dad with two little ones is something that is fleeting. Grace, and soon Carly, will both want to be playing more, especially with warming weather, so in the long run, Christy doing our second home business with me will be the best for everyone.
   After I read a blog by the CEO of the company that we work for entitled, "Do It With Me", I created a website for our home business and you can visit it at www.do-it-with-me.com. Not only will the kids benefit, but as a couple, we already seem closer and now we will have an income to replace Christy's teaching income.
   If you are a stay at home mom or dad, working part time or just looking for a change, and you want to do something really fun and beneficial to others and to yourself, I highly recommend the path that we are taking with Million Dollar Body. The more you learn about the company, the more you will realize what a great opportunity it really is.

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Have a healthy weekend everyone,
    Richard Dafter