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Archive for the ‘Consumer Health’ Category

March is National Nutrition Month

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Untitled by Isidor Emanuel is licensed under CC0.

salad

Are you putting your best fork forward this month? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is encouraging you to! National Nutrition Month is a campaign hosted annually by the Academy focusing on the importance of informed food choices and healthy eating and physical activity habits to in turn help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

This year’s National Nutrition Month theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward” reminding everyone that making just small changes in your diet habits can add up over time. Some easy recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans are eating:

  • Lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk products
  • Lean meats, poultry and fish
  • Foods low or without saturated fats, trans fats and added sugar.

To begin partaking in a healthier diet, one of the most important things to do is ensure you understand nutrition labels; the Academy has written an article that explains just that as well as shares what daily value is considered low or high.

To get children interested in nutrition, check out these games from ADNA by visiting “National Nutrition Month Games.”

To read more about National Nutrition Month, please visit the Academy’s website.

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Outreach Librarians receive training in connecting with the Aging Community

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Executive Director Lisa Smith kicks off the 2017 Annual Outreach Librarian training session.

Lisa speaking at training

The NNLM SCR was excited to host its annual Outreach Librarian training session at the UNT Health Science Center campus in February. Outreach Librarians from the eighteen (18) Resource Libraries within the NNLM SCR participated in the two day training session. Practitioners in the field of Geriatrics and Community Outreach shared information with the group to increase librarian awareness of issues facing the elderly community. Educational sessions included practical tools and suggestions for providing programming to the Aging community. Dr. Jennifer Severance, Assistant Professor, Center for Geriatrics and Program Administrative Director for the Workforce Enhancements in Health Aging and Independent Living Program (WE HAIL) assembled the team of experts and coordinated the training program. An expert panel was also convened to describe services offered by several community based agencies and the United Way.

Insights shared by our presenters included an overview of trends in aging demographics. The increased number of the U.S. population that will be age 65 or older by 2050 (1 in 5 individuals) and the rapid increase in the growth of individuals that are 85 or older were highlighted as trends that will shape the face of healthcare in the coming years. Additionally, the role caregivers play to support their loved ones and the support that may be provided to this community were explored. An introduction to the Aging Network was provided to encourage partnerships between libraries and these agencies. National, State and local agencies were featured including the Area Agency on Aging, Sixty & Better, Alzheimer’s Association, and the North Central Texas Chapter and Meals on Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County. Featured services and programs that were discussed included: benefits counseling, Medicare training, nutrition education, legal services, transportation, respite care and home meal delivery.

Presentations were provided by:

Dr. Janice Knebl, DO, MBA, the Director for the UNTHSC Center for Geriatrics, HRSA GWEP WE HAIL PI, provided training in trends and issues facing the aging patient and trends in the field of geriatrics.

Don Smith, Director, Tarrant County Area Agency on Aging, VP Community Development Health Initiatives United Way of Tarrant County

Christina Bartha, Director of Programs for Sixty and Better (formerly Senior Citizens Services, Inc.)

Susanna Luk-Jones, Director of Programs and Services, Alzheimer’s Association – North Central Texas Chapter

Sherry Simon, Vice President of Nutrition and Health Programs, Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County

The NNLM SCR Staff would like to extend a special thanks to the practitioners and agencies who shared their time and expertise with our Outreach team!

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Arkansas Sees Tickborne Diseases

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Untitled by PublicDomainPictures is licensed under CC0.

red hands

Recently, the Arkansas Department of Health announced it had discovered two diagnosed cases of tickborne diseases, which meet the surveillance definition for Lyme disease–this is the first time the state has had cases that meet this definition in 10 years.

Arkansas is generally considered a low-incidence state for Lyme disease, but several other tickborne diseases are more prevalent in the state, including tularemia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichia, all of which can be fatal.

Lyme disease is a bacterial infection transmitted to humans by infected blacklegged ticks. The symptoms are similar to flu and include fever, headache, and fatigue as well as a bullseye rash. If you observe any of these symptoms and have recently had a tick bite, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control encourages you to visit a doctor.

To prevent tick bites and in turn tickborne diseases, avoid wooded, brushy, or high-grass areas, use trails, and use repellents that contain 20 to 30 percent DEET.

To read more about Lyme disease in Arkansas, please visit “Tickborne Diseases in Arkansas.”

To read more general information about Lyme disease, please visit the CDC’s website.

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More Fruits and Veggies Will Lead You to a Long Life

Monday, February 27th, 2017

Untitled by Luke Michael is licensed under CC0.

red hands

Currently, many health agencies recommend about five servings of fruits and vegetable per day, but a new analysis suggests eating 10 servings per day could add years to a person’s life.

The analysis found that more servings of fruits and vegetables lead to decreased rates of heart attacks, stroke, cancer and early death. Researchers even went so far as to estimate that if everyone at 10 servings per day, 7.8 million premature deaths would be avoided every year.

Researchers did note that there is no direct cause-and-effect link between eating more fruits and vegetables and a longer life.

“Most likely it is the whole package of beneficial nutrients you obtain by eating fruits and vegetables that is crucial in health,” said Dagfinn Aune, study author.

Aune stressed the importance of eating whole plant foods as opposed to taking vitamin or antioxidant supplements.

To read more about the study, please visit “10 Daily Servings of Fruits, Veggies a Recipe for Longevity.”

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Arkansas Sees Flu Cases Rise

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

Flu Vaccination Grippe by Daniel Paquet is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

marshall islands

In the midst of flu season, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has announced the flu has become “widespread” in the state, meaning the disease has been reported in all areas of the state. As of Feb. 17, 19 people had died from flu-related illnesses, 11 more than the 2015-2016 flu season.

ADH is urging those who have not already gotten this season’s flu vaccine to get it–it is not too late. The vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older, particularly those with higher risk for complications like young children or adults over the age of 65.

To find out where the closest location to get a flu vaccine is to you, please visit healthy.arkansas.gov.

To learn more about this season’s flu, including what the current vaccine protects against and symptoms of the illness, please visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

To learn more about the flu in Arkansas, please visit “Flu Cases on the Rise.”

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All of Us Research Program Funding Opportunity for Community Groups

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

The All of Us Research Program is a large part of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) from the NIH. While many of the research and engagement grants have already been awarded, a new funding opportunity have been opened for community groups to assist with outreach efforts. This opportunity allows nonprofits, other community- and faith-based organizations, minority-serving institutions and school districts, and local governments to apply for funding to create community engagement activities and provide feedback to the research program about community needs and perspectives.

This grassroots engagement could make a huge difference in recruiting populations that have traditionally been excluded from biomedical research. Additionally, priority will be given to applications that reach into geographic target areas. The geographic priority areas include our entire SCR region. Priority 1 geographic areas include Houston, TX; Louisiana; and New Mexico. Priority 2 geographic areas include Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Applications are due on March 24, 2017.

For the full NIH press release please go here: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/all-us-research-program-announces-funding-opportunity-community-partners

For the funding announcement please go here: http://go.usa.gov/x9seA

Note: The informational webinar about the opportunity is Feb 10th. Register here

Observe American Heart Month this February

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Untitled by Tim Marshall is licensed under CC0.

red hands

A heart means more than just love this February—this month, the United States recognizes American Heart Month, shedding light on heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.; heart disease affects 1 in 4 Americans, and 1 in 3 American women.

The New Mexico Department of Health is just one organization that hopes it can raise awareness for the disease and the risks associated with it. In New Mexico, 4,000 people die annually from heart disease or stroke.

What’s important to know about heart disease is that it can be prevented. Well-known risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, low physical activity, a poor diet, and obesity, among others. Additionally, heart disease risk increases with age, specifically if you’re over the age of 45, or if you have a family history of it.

To kick off American Heart Month, you can wear red tomorrow, Feb. 3 in honor National Wear Red Day.

To read more about American Hearth Month, please visit healthfinder.gov.

To read more about New Mexico’s initiatives for American Heart Month, please visit “New Mexicans Encouraged to Listen to Their Heart.”

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Don’t Fat Shame: You’re Doing More Harm Than Good

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

“Scale” by mojzagrebinfo is licensed under CC0.

measuring tape and a scale

Making fun of a person’s weight, often called “fat shaming,” is probably not going to motivate a person to lose weight. In fact, it will most likely raise their risk of heart disease and other health problems.

Rebecca Pearl, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and study leader, said that the more self-blame and devaluation a person feels when stigmatized, the more likely they are to have health issues.

Previous research has linked weight stigmatization with weight gain and emotional stress but this study found weight stigmatization can go much deeper.

The study looked at 159 obese adults and found out how much they blamed and devalued themselves for their weight. They also looked at how many of them had been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors that are linked with higher risks of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and more health problems.

The study found that those who felt the most devaluation and self-blame were three times more likely to have metabolic syndrome than the those with the lowest.

Dr. Rebecca Puhl, deputy director at the University of Connecticut Center for Food Policy & Obesity who co-wrote a commentary that accompanied the study, said to try to avoid self-blame as well as try to avoid blaming friends and family for struggling with weight.

To read more about the study, please visit “The Shame of ‘Fat Shaming.’

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New Research Shows Breast Cancer Precursor Treatment Causes Women to Live Longer

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

“Breast Cancer Awareness” by ~Pawsitive~Candie_N is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

pink ballonsDuctal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer and is non-life-threatening. However, DCIS can actually be a precursor to worse breast cancer later on. It can increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer; patients are at a higher risk of developing a new breast cancer than a patient who has never had any breast cancer before.

The study, conducted in the Netherland on more than 10,000 women for an average of 10 years, found that those who were treated for DCIS had a 10 percent less chance of dying from any cause than the general population. That may sound confusing—if you were treated for DCIS, you are 10 percent more likely to live a longer life than someone who never had DCIS, and therefore never received treatment for DCIS.

Specifically, researchers found that women who were treated were much less likely to die from digestive, respiratory, and circulatory diseases, and other types of cancer. This study is particularly important because DCIS treatment includes radiotherapy, which can cause damage to nearby organs

More and more people are becoming aware they have DCIS because it is something that shows up in breast cancer screenings—so more women are able to get treated if they have this form of cancer.

For more information on the study, please visit “Women treated for precursor of breast cancer can expect to live as long as other women.”

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NNLM SCR Introduces Our Consumer Health Coordinator: Debbie Montenegro

Monday, January 30th, 2017

debbie-montenegro

The NNLM SCR is pleased to welcome Debbie Montenegro to the RML. Debbie will serve as the Consumer Health Coordinator and liaison to the State of Texas.

Prior to this position, Debbie worked as a Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Analyst for Baylor Scott & White Health, Library Manager for a nursing school, and Chemistry teacher. Debbie also worked at a public library while obtaining her Master of Science in Information Science degree at UNT, with a Health Informatics Specialization. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from SMU. Debbie has been published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology: Cardiovascular Imaging and in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.

She is excited to join the NNLM SCR. Please feel free to contact her for projects to bring health related information to your patrons.

Contact Debbie at Debbie.Montenegro@unthsc.edu or 817-735-2469

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