Health Points: Monday
- Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times reports smoking and obesity up the potential of erectile dysfunction:
Smoking increases the risk of erectile dysfunction by 50 percent, and obesity nearly doubles the risk, new research suggests. Researchers tracked the diet and health of more than 22,000 male health professionals from all 50 states from 1986 through 2000.
At the start of the study, after controlling for other factors, they found that men with good or very good erectile function had a lower prevalence of smoking, a lower body mass index, and less hypertension, heart disease and diabetes than those who reported fair, poor or very poor function.
Among men who started with good or very good function, those who expended energy equivalent to running 1.5 hours a week reduced their risk of future erectile dysfunction by 30 percent compared with the group that exercised least.
Pfizer is having a good year thanks to cholesterol lowering drugs. At the same time, insurance companies are experimenting with the "pay for performance" model. One of those experiments involves rewarding doctors for keeping their patients' cholesterol levels below defined guidelines. Cholesterol is an easy benchmark to measure and to collect, but the guidelines themselves are not without controversy. Rumor has it that some doctors with a large populations of cholesterol-targeted patients, such as cardiologists, are receiving bonuses in the 5-figure range. At least one news account appears to confirm this.
That's a hefty incentive to get those cholesterol numbers down as low as possible. How do you suppose they achieve the goals? By educating and encouraging lifestyle modification - i.e. diet and exercise? Not likely.
Even the natural sugar alcohol called Xylitol is now being made from corn sources. You may need to bring a small magnifier to read these ingredients and then look out for the hidden sources of sugar.
Sugar is a major enemy to the health of young people and those already losing limbs, eyesight and suffering immune problems. Those schools removing their vending machines are finding fewer discipline problems, more focused students and their parents are not filling prescriptions for Ritalin. Over active children do not need mega doses of processed sugar—they are usually very active without any chemical additives.
- According to USA Today many Americans are handicapping their weight-loss efforts by not exercising. Nanci Hellmich reports:
Weight-loss experts have long said calorie control and physical activity are both necessary for weight control.
Yet of participants in a government study who say they are working on their weight, only 23% are monitoring their calorie intake and doing an average of 60 minutes of physical activity a day on most days, the amount some experts say is needed to prevent weight gain.
While the doctor was supervising, she commented to the patient "She often talks to herself." I hadn't realized that I was talking myself through the steps. Partly, I was doing it to let the patient know what I was about to do for each step.
I don't know about you ladies, but I like to know what's coming along.. It's just polite that way.
I told the doctor that I do talk to myself and the crazy part is that sometimes I actually listen! She knows that I LOVE to talk so she gives me all of her talkative patients so that she can focus on the harder ones.
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