The Foundation for Health Smart Consumers
175 Morristown Road, Suite 201
Basking Ridge, NJ 07920
Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug? Try Exercise
June 20, 2016 │ New York Times │ by Aaron E. Carroll
After I wrote last year that diet, not exercise, was the key to weight loss, I was troubled by how some readers took this to mean that exercise therefore had no value.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Of all the things we as physicians can recommend for health, few provide as much benefit as physical activity.
In 2015, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges put out a report calling exercise a “miracle cure.” This isn’t a conclusion based simply on some cohort or case-control studies. There are many, many randomized controlled trials. A huge meta-analysis examined the effect of exercise therapy on outcomes in people with chronic diseases.
Let’s start with musculoskeletal diseases. Researchers found 32 trials looking specifically at the effect of exercise on pain and function of patients with osteoarthritis of the knee alone. That’s incredibly specific, and it’s impressive that so much research has focused on one topic.
Exercise improved those outcomes. Ten more studies showed, over all, that exercise therapy increases aerobic capacity and muscle strength in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Other studies proved its benefits in other musculoskeletal conditions, like ankylosing spondylitis, and even some types of back pain…
No Such Thing as a Healthy Smoker
June 20, 2016 | The New York Times | By Jane E. Brody
Smokers who think they are escaping the lung-damaging effects of inhaled tobacco smoke may have to think again, according to the findings of two major new studies, one of which the author originally titled “Myth of the Healthy Smoker.”
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or C.O.P.D., may be among the best known dangers of smoking, and current and former smokers can be checked for that with a test called spirometry that measures how much air they can inhale and how much and how quickly they can exhale. Unfortunately, this simple test is often skipped during routine medical checkups of people with a history of smoking. But more important, even when spirometry is done, the new studies prove that the test often fails to detect serious lung abnormalities that cause chronic cough and sputum production and compromise a person’s breathing, energy level, risk of serious infections and quality of life.
“Current or former smokers without airflow obstruction may assume that they are disease-free,” but that’s not necessarily the case, one of the research teams pointed out. These researchers projected that there are 35 million current or former smokers older than 55 in the United States with unrecognized smoking-caused lung disease or impairments. Many, if not most, of these people could get worse with time, even if they have quit smoking. They are also unlikely to be referred for pulmonary rehabilitation, a treatment that can head off encroaching disability…
FDA Updates Nutrition Facts Panel
May 20, 2016 | Drug Facts News | By MICHAEL JOHNSEN
In the first major overhaul of the Nutrition Facts Panel since 1993, the Food and Drug Administration announced Friday changes that will be made to the Panel over the next two to three years.
“The new Panel better reflects serving size, nutrients and ingredients that people should focus on, and it updates current percent of Daily Values,” noted Lori Zanini, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “While fully understanding the Nutrition Fact Panel can be confusing, many grocery stores now have registered dietitian nutritionists on staff to help their customers understand how to read labels and select the right foods for their customers’ healthy eating plans.”
“For more than 20 years, Americans have relied on the Nutrition Facts label as a leading source of information regarding calories, fat and other nutrients to help them understand more about the foods they eat in a day,” stated Robert Califf, FDA commissioner. “The updated label makes improvements to this valuable resource so consumers can make more informed food choices – one of the most important steps a person can take to reduce the risk of heart disease and obesity.”
The new Nutrition Facts label will include the following…
Ending DECISION FATIGUE WITH ANTICIPATORY DESIGN
April 15, 2015 | HUGE | Aaron Shapiro, CEO
Choice is overrated.
Recently, I decided to buy Monopoly to play with my son. What I was sure would be a quick decision on Amazon turned into a learning experience for both of us. Did you know there are 2,767 versions of Monopoly on the market and that the original version is not the easiest to find? My attempt at an impulsive purchase turned into a draining, in-depth research and decision-making exercise.
It’s undebatable that technology has made our lives more convenient, but it has also subjected us to a tyranny of choice. Thanks to the Internet, I can have anything I want delivered to my door for dinner. The same goes for shopping, finding information, playing games, or choosing a movie to watch. The Internet has given us an abundance of choice and an abundance of information to inform those choices. The end result is that our lives are burdened with approximately 35,000 decisions a day.
'Sweatworking': Why you should turn your next meeting into a workout
September 2, 2015 | TODAY | Jordi Lippe-McGraw
Fitting a workout in between work and family is no easy task. You may have every intention of getting in that early morning run, but your kid gets sick and you need those precious few hours for some extra sleep. Or, you plan to hit the gym after wrapping up at work, but have to take a client out. Many of us are left having to decide between getting ahead or getting in shape, making the ever popular happy hour part of our daily lives. But, as more and more people are eager to make their health a priority, there's been a shift from cocktails to cardio to get business done. The growing practice of connecting with a colleague or client over a walk, run or fitness class — aka "sweatworking" — is elbowing networking out of bars and restaurants and into fitness experiences for travelers on the road. Now, group biking or hotel running paths have become the new nine holes of golf rather than a three-martini lunch for