Tag Archives: Harvard School of Public Health

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Even Know How To Eat Healthy?

We’re still in New Year’s resolutions mode! Previously we introduced you to why you exercise and we discussed how to start. Today’s Straight, No Chaser is about your diet. So many times we hear “Eat Healthy,” as if we actually know what that means. Well today you’ll learn. Of course, whether you choose to do it is up to you!

Healthy eating Diet

For many years, pyramids were the way nutritionists would communicate about healthy eating. In case you weren’t aware, there has been a paradigm shift, and plates are in. Of course it seems rather obvious that it’s easier to communicate these things in a way representing how we eat. For the definitive source, I return to the Harvard School of Public Health. See the picture below. (Go Crimson!)

I’m going to make this very simple (or should that have been “digestible”) and simply discuss the contents of your plate.

HEPApr2013

Here’s your Healthy Eating Plate blueprint for a typical meal:

  1. Fill half of your plate with produce—that means fruits and vegetables. The broader the variety, the better. Sorry, but potatoes and French fries don’t count as vegetables!
  2. Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains. Whole grain foods help lower the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. The sure way to know you’re choosing a whole grain food is simply in the name. When you’re grocery shopping, the product will actually say “whole grain.” This is not the same as multigrain.
  3. Fill the rest of your plate with a healthy source of protein such as fish, poultry, beans or nuts.
  4. You may have noticed a glass bottle in the picture. This is meant to represent a reminder to use healthy oils—such as olive and canola—when cooking, on salad, and at the table. You’ll notice the absence of butter and fatty salad dressings on the plate.
  5. Regarding beverages, do yourself a favor. Try to drink water, and rediscover how refreshing it is. You don’t have to pay for another beverage just because you’re used to doing so. Tea or coffee is healthy options if you use little or no sugar. Milk and other dairy products should be limited to one to two servings a day.

healthy eating

In a subsequent post, we provide a series of healthy eating and dieting tips to get you through your days. I hope you take the time to integrate this basic scheme into your eating habits. If you do, you will be well on your way to a sustainable lifestyle change that should have been the basis of any diet-related New Year’s resolution!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under General Health and Wellness, Diet and Nutrition

Straight, No Chaser: Police Killings are a Public Health Epidemic

police

Consider the following statement, ripped from the headlines: “Harvard Study: Police Kill More People Than Pneumonia, Influenza, Measles – Should be Treated as a Public Health Epidemic.”

Pause.

Public health is oblivious to your politics. It views any threat to your health and existence as a problem needing to be quantified and addressed. A statement that police killings are a public health epidemic truly is a measure of how far gone we are as a society, whether you view these killings as justified or not (don’t fool yourself, they’re not, particularly when you can note that African-Americans remain 3 times more likely to be killed by police officers than the general population).

police killingblacklivesmatter

In its review, the Harvard School of Public Health (Go, Crimson!) study notes that as of September 19, 2015, the 842 people killed by police exceeded the total death due to pneumonia and influenza (585), measles (188), malaria (786 cases), and mumps (436 cases), and approached the number of cases of Hepatitis A (890 cases). The toll reached 1000 on November 16, 2015.

Besides acknowledging the massive number of deaths, the point is relatively simple. While simultaneous efforts are made on the political spectrum to demand change, systematic review must occur to quantify the problem as a means of most effectively attacking it. This can lead to better understanding of the areas at highest risk, the most appropriate allocation of resources, and the development of educational tools and disincentives meant to reduce the killings. Here’s a few questions that would be answered by such a review:

  • Are there actually this many crimes that require use of deadly force? If so, why? What are the root causes, and how can they be addressed?
  • Are police really unable to control suspects and perpetrators of crimes without use of deadly force? If not, why not?
  • What explains the disproportionate use of deadly force against African-Americans?
  • What additional institutional measures need to be implemented to support appropriate police activity and curtail inappropriate police activity?

gun-with-police-badge-and-handcuffs-on-us-flag

You may be surprised to know that currently, although the deaths of police officers are counted, there is no reliable source of accounting for the killing of civilians by the police. In this most recent example, researchers actually had to turn to a British newspaper, The Guardian, which had been maintaining an actual tally (it is beyond irony that the tally was double the FBI estimate). Local police departments have not been required to provide such data to the government in the past. The US Attorney General has just announced the intention to change this fact.

It is true that killings of police officers and by police officers bring angst to communities. Regardless of cause, it’s time to acknowledge and own the fact that the rate of occurrence between the two is nowhere near equivalent. It’s past time to put in place appropriate measures to track killings and address those that occur in a criminal manner. The benefit of the doubt law enforcement has historically enjoyed has been lost, and as a public health consideration, it’s time to objectify the conversation. Such measures will protect the innocent civilians and policeman while ensuring otherwise appropriate action is maintained. Two crimes don’t make a right.

gun epidemic

This post references the following: “Police killings and police deaths are public health data and can be counted,” Nancy Krieger, Jarvis T. Chen, Pamela D. Waterman, Mathew V. Kiang, and Justin Feldman, PLOS Medicine, December 8, 2015, doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001915.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Police Killings are a Public Health Epidemic

Filed under Public Health, General Health and Wellness, Trauma

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Even Know How To Eat Healthy?

We’re still in New Year’s resolutions mode! Previously we introduced you to why you exercise and we discussed how to start. Today’s Straight, No Chaser is about your diet. So many times we hear “Eat Healthy,” as if we actually know what that means. Well today you’ll learn. Of course, whether you choose to do it is up to you!

Healthy eating Diet

For many years, pyramids were the way nutritionists would communicate about healthy eating. In case you weren’t aware, there has been a paradigm shift, and plates are in. Of course it seems rather obvious that it’s easier to communicate these things in a way representing how we eat. For the definitive source, I return to the Harvard School of Public Health. See the picture below. (Go Crimson!)

I’m going to make this very simple (or should that have been “digestible”) and simply discuss the contents of your plate.

HEPApr2013

Here’s your Healthy Eating Plate blueprint for a typical meal:

  1. Fill half of your plate with produce—that means fruits and vegetables. The broader the variety, the better. Sorry, but potatoes and French fries don’t count as vegetables!
  2. Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains. Whole grain foods help lower the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. The sure way to know you’re choosing a whole grain food is simply in the name. When you’re grocery shopping, the product will actually say “whole grain.” This is not the same as multigrain.
  3. Fill the rest of your plate with a healthy source of protein such as fish, poultry, beans or nuts.
  4. You may have noticed a glass bottle in the picture. This is meant to represent a reminder to use healthy oils—such as olive and canola—when cooking, on salad, and at the table. You’ll notice the absence of butter and fatty salad dressings on the plate.
  5. Regarding beverages, do yourself a favor. Try to drink water, and rediscover how refreshing it is. You don’t have to pay for another beverage just because you’re used to doing so. Tea or coffee is healthy options if you use little or no sugar. Milk and other dairy products should be limited to one to two servings a day.

healthy eating

In a subsequent post, we provide a series of healthy eating and dieting tips to get you through your days. I hope you take the time to integrate this basic scheme into your eating habits. If you do, you will be well on your way to a sustainable lifestyle change that should have been the basis of any diet-related New Year’s resolution!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Copyright © 2008. For more information about The Healthy Eating Pyramid, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, www.thenutritionsource.org, and Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, by Walter C. Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett (2005), Free Press/Simon & Schuster Inc.

2 Comments

Filed under General Health and Wellness, Diet and Nutrition

Straight, No Chaser: Do You Even Know How To Eat Healthy?

We’re still in New Year’s resolutions mode! Previously we introduced you to why you exercise and we discussed how to start. Today’s Straight, No Chaser is about your diet. So many times we hear “Eat Healthy,” as if we actually know what that means. Well today you’ll learn. Of course, whether you choose to do it is up to you!

Healthy eating Diet

For many years, pyramids were the way nutritionists would communicate about healthy eating. In case you weren’t aware, there has been a paradigm shift, and plates are in. Of course it seems rather obvious that it’s easier to communicate these things in a way representing how we eat. For the definitive source, I return to the Harvard School of Public Health. See the picture below. (Go Crimson!)

I’m going to make this very simple (or should that have been “digestible”) and simply discuss the contents of your plate.

HEPApr2013

Here’s your Healthy Eating Plate blueprint for a typical meal:

  1. Fill half of your plate with produce—that means fruits and vegetables. The broader the variety, the better. Sorry, but potatoes and French fries don’t count as vegetables!
  2. Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains. Whole grain foods help lower the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes. The sure way to know you’re choosing a whole grain food is simply in the name. When you’re grocery shopping, the product will actually say “whole grain.” This is not the same as multigrain.
  3. Fill the rest of your plate with a healthy source of protein such as fish, poultry, beans or nuts.
  4. You may have noticed a glass bottle in the picture. This is meant to represent a reminder to use healthy oils—such as olive and canola—when cooking, on salad, and at the table. You’ll notice the absence of butter and fatty salad dressings on the plate.
  5. Regarding beverages, do yourself a favor. Try to drink water, and rediscover how refreshing it is. You don’t have to pay for another beverage just because you’re used to doing so. Tea or coffee are healthy options if you use little or no sugar. Milk and other dairy products should be limited to one to two servings a day.

healthy eating

In a subsequent post, we provide a series of healthy eating and dieting tips to get you through your days. I hope you take the time to integrate this basic scheme into your eating habits. If you do, you will be well on your way to a sustainable lifestyle change that should have been the basis of any diet-related New Year’s resolution!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you have on this topic.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Copyright © 2008. For more information about The Healthy Eating Pyramid, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, www.thenutritionsource.org, and Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, by Walter C. Willett, M.D., and Patrick J. Skerrett (2005), Free Press/Simon & Schuster Inc.

2 Comments

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, General Health and Wellness

Straight, No Chaser: The Intersection of Health and Happiness, aka Merry Christmas!

 healthhappiness

Today is Christmas, and we want to celebrate the best parts of you! Even better, do that for yourself and allow that to translate into better health. We have previously discussed your bad habits and how they negatively impact your health. Click here for that discussion. The literature on negative energy and health is well documented and robust. In short, avoid negativity and those that bring it to you! That said, we’re following our own advice and going positive today. That’s the other half of the “health and emotions” equation:

STATE OF MIND = STATE OF BODY.

So here we go.

Research from the Harvard School of Public Health (Go, Crimson!) led by Laura Kubzansky, Associate Profession of Society, Human Development and Health, identified personal attributes that actually do translate into better health. Specifically these personality traits have been shown to help avoid or healthfully manage depression, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and other diseases.

Her landmark 2007 study followed over 6,000 men and women for over 20 years, discovering that a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement in life and the ability to face life’s stresses with emotional balance appears to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Her studies have also demonstrated that children with a positive outlook and ability to focus on a task at age seven are in better health with fewer illnesses 30 years later. An additional finding of hers is that optimism cuts the risk of coronary heart disease in half.

This isn’t that hard. It just requires a rewiring of some of our outlook on life. Make a change today. Become a more positive person; become a healthier person! Incorporate these mental lifestyle changes and reap the benefits.

  • Emotional vitality: a sense of enthusiasm, hopefulness, engagement
  • Optimism: the perspective that good things will happen and that one’s actions account for the good things that occur in life
  • Supportive networks of family and friends
  • Good “self-regulation,” i.e., bouncing back from stressful challenges and knowing that things will eventually look up again
  • Healthy behaviors such as physical activity and eating well
  • Avoidance of risky behaviors such as unsafe sex, drinking alcohol to excess, and regular overeating

xmashealth

Speaking of Christmas, the Straight, No Chaser team greatly appreciates your readership, support and feedback. In a matter of a few months, over 3,000 of you both follow us and like us on Facebook. We’ve had readers in over 105 countries around the world. Most of all you’ve helped us successfully launch www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA). We’ll continue to give you information to make a difference in your lives. Please continue to share your stories. It is very fulfilling and fascinating to hear how these efforts have made a difference in your lives. Feel free to continue to send us topic requests. We generally find a way to work them into the schedule.

Thank you so much, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, peace and blessings throughout the holiday season.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant if you have any questions on this post.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

 

1 Comment

Filed under Mental Health

Straight, No Chaser: The Risks and Benefits of Coffee

pros-and-cons-of-coffee-consumption-infographic

Today, I come to praise coffee, not to bury it—and I don’t even drink it. Here’s the point: Coffee is a reasonably healthy beverage choice. The problem with coffee appears to be what you do to it! More about that in a moment. I’d like to review recent findings from a massive study on coffee and health from the Harvard School of Public Health. (Go Crimson!)

Those of you who’ve made a big deal of reducing your coffee intake as a means of improving your health would be much better off focusing on better eating and exercise habits, and on smoking and alcohol cessation. Regarding coffee specifically, it’s important to state that any discussion of the risks and benefits of coffee are in reference to black coffee. If you’re guzzling high calorie coffee products with lots of sugar, whipped cream, caramel and other additives that increase calories and fat, you’ve migrated to an entirely different conversation, and that one isn’t so pleasant.

Coffee has beneficial health effects, including the following:

  • It may protect against Type 2 diabetes.
  • It may protect against Parkinson’s disease.
  • It may protect against liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
  • People who regularly drink coffee actually have a somewhat lower risk of death from heart disease than those who rarely drink coffee.

The “problem with coffee” is more about what you do while you’re drinking coffee.

  • Drinking coffee often occurs while smoking cigarettes, and if you’re a smoker you’re not getting any health benefits from pretty much anything associated with that activity.
  • People who drink coffee are less likely to exercise and use dietary supplements, and they tend to have a less healthy diet.
  • The weight of evidence on whether coffee increases the risk of heart disease or certain cancers is clearly leaning toward suggesting the negative ramifications are associated with the other habits of coffee drinkers and not the coffee consumption itself.
  • As mentioned earlier and to further the last point, adding syrups, sugars and milks can increase the caloric intake high enough that regular consumption may lead to weight gain and increase your risk for Type 2 diabetes.

What about tea? Chinese data is different than US data. US research has not shown the type of benefits of tea that Chinese research has. It is thought that this is likely due to US tea drinkers consuming weaker varieties of tea, and they tend to drink less of it. (The Chinese studies feature approximately a liter a day of Oolong tea.)

Here are some bottom line considerations:

  • Drinking as much as up to six cups a day of black coffee is not associated with increased risk of death from any cause, including death from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
  • If you are a pregnant female, have difficulty controlling diabetes or high blood pressure, or if coffee gives you tremors or palpitations, you may wish to avoid it.
  • You should brew coffee with a paper filter, to remove a substance that causes increases in LDL cholesterol.
  • Coffee likely has health benefits, but more research needs to be done to definitively state the extent of those benefits.
  • The health benefits of coffee are likely neutralized or overrun by unhealthy substances added to coffee and associated unhealthy habits of coffee drinkers.

Maybe coffee is another of those instances in which Straight, No Chaser is best!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

2 Comments

Filed under Diet and Nutrition, General Health and Wellness