Arey­oub­inge­ing on­foodor­al­co­hol?

Lethbridge Herald - - TUNES ENTERTAINMENT -

If you’re binge watch­ing all 12 episodes of “Home­land,” 13 of “Un­break­able Kimmy Sch­midt” or 10 of “Mozart in the Jun­gle,” you’re not alone. About 58 per cent of Amer­i­cans have binge watched a show. But binge­ing isn’t just for couch pota­toes in train­ing. Amer­i­cans are su­per-bingers of al­co­hol and food, too.

One in six U.S. adults binge drinks. That’s de­fined as hav­ing four or more drinks if a woman and five or more if a man, within two hours. But when the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion re­cently ex­am­ined data on 400,000 adults, they dis­cov­ered that the av­er­age binge drinker does so 53 times an­nu­ally, down­ing seven drinks each time!

The toll is pro­found: Health risks in­clude car crashes, falls, burns and al­co­hol poi­son­ing; vi­o­lence, in­clud­ing homi­cide, sui­cide and do­mes­tic as­sault; STDs; high blood pres­sure, stroke, heart at­tack and liver dis­ease; and can­cer of the breast, throat, liver and colon.

And binge eat­ing — overeat­ing com­pul­sively, of­ten in se­cret and when not hun­gry — is also more com­mon than pre­vi­ously re­al­ized. It af­fects 2.8 mil­lion peo­ple in the U.S. The health risks are obe­sity (two-thirds of bingers are obese), as well as arthri­tis, sleep ap­nea, some can­cers, heart dis­ease, high blood pres­sure and Type 2 di­a­betes (much the same as binge drink­ing).

For binge drink­ing and binge eat­ing, seek coun­selling and 12-step pro­grams, work with your doc­tor to im­prove your health, and learn mind­ful med­i­ta­tion to ease de­pres­sion or anx­i­ety. If you’re binge watch­ing TV, get up and move around ev­ery 30 min­utes, or only binge watch while on a tread­mill or ex­er­cise bike. Then, you’ll be the star!

IM­PROV­ING OUT­COMES FOR STROKE SUR­VIVORS

When Tiger Woods tied for fifth place at Bay Hill last month, it showed that his twoyear-long re­cov­ery from knee and back surg­eries was pay­ing off. Now Tiger fans ex­pect fewer strokes ev­ery time he plays.

That same prin­ci­ple of stroke re­cov­ery ap­plies to the seven mil­lion Amer­i­cans who are stroke sur­vivors. But far too many aren’t get­ting back in their game be­cause they’ve missed es­sen­tial post-stroke re­cov­ery steps.

Ac­cord­ing to the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion, fewer than one in 100 stroke sur­vivors is fol­low­ing all the re­cov­ery guide­lines. They in­clude: not smok­ing, get­ting reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, eat­ing a healthy diet, plus achiev­ing nor­mal body mass in­dex, blood pres­sure, glu­cose lev­els and to­tal choles­terol. And we’d add two more: Learn­ing how to man­age stress and get­ting post-stroke re­hab.

Re­hab — done as early as pos­si­ble — boosts qual­ity of life. It in­volves putting to­gether a team of doc­tors, fam­ily, care­givers, phys­i­cal and oc­cu­pa­tional ther­a­pists, nu­tri­tion­ists and oth­ers. To help fig­ure this out, check out

Search for “Choos­ing the Right Stroke Re­hab Fa­cil­ity.”

BLOCK OUT LIGHT AT NIGHT

Chances are you’ve spent more than one night toss­ing and turn­ing. Up to 70 mil­lion U.S. adults have a sleep dis­or­der. But if you’re rap­per Eminem and a tour means you’re not in the same time zone for more than a night or two, get­ting a good night’s sleep is an ex­tra chal­lenge. His so­lu­tion (odd, but the right im­pulse) is to put tin­foil on his ho­tel room win­dows to make sure not a ray of light gets through.

Stud­ies con­firm that dark­ness is linked to bet­ter sleep qual­ity, and to a hap­pier out­look. But in the United States and Eu­rope, 99 per cent of the pub­lic can’t ex­pe­ri­ence a nat­u­ral dark night! So, whether you have in­som­nia or not, you may want to adopt Eminem’s strat­egy of light-block­ing (but use some­thing more per­ma­nent than tin­foil).

For a study pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Epi­demi­ol­ogy, re­searchers mea­sured the bed­room light of over 800 older Ja­panese peo­ple. Par­tic­i­pants kept sleep diaries and were fol­lowed for two years. At the end of that time, peo­ple who were ex­posed to more than five lux of light (a 100-watt light­bulb gives off 60 lux) when try­ing to sleep at night were more likely to have symp­toms of de­pres­sion than those who slept in to­tal dark­ness.

Why? Light at night might in­ter­fere with your body’s in­ter­nal clock and re­lease of the sleep hor­mone mela­tonin, throw­ing off your brain chem­istry.

TURN OVER A NEW LEAF: LEAFY GREENS CAN IM­PROVE YOUR HEALTH

Ever won­dered why a dish pre­pared with spinach is said to be “Floren­tine?” Well, it’s be­cause Cather­ine de Medici, who was from Flo­rence, was a su­per fan of this su­per green. She liked it so much that in 1533, af­ter she had mar­ried Henry II and be­come queen of France, she de­creed that ev­ery meal in the palace be served with spinach.

In the 1500s, any­one who sur­vived child­hood (around 40 per cent did not) might live to be 50 or even 60. But clever Cather­ine lived to the age of 70 — and you can bet the spinach helped!

Re­cent re­search pub­lished in Neu­rol­ogy re­veals that eat­ing a serv­ing of leafy greens a day is as­so­ci­ated with a sharper mem­ory and a slower rate of cog­ni­tive de­cline. The other ben­e­fits are equally im­pres­sive: Greens like spinach are rich in fi­bre, which is linked to a lower risk of coro­nary heart dis­ease. They also help fight cer­tain can­cers. In a study that tested eight com­mon veg­eta­bles for their anti-can­cer prop­er­ties, a nu­tri­ent found in leafy greens was the strong­est when it came to in­hibit­ing hu­man can­cer cell pro­lif­er­a­tion. A diet rich in col­lards, kale and other greens also is as­so­ci­ated with a re­duced risk for Type 2 di­a­betes. Plus, those leafy pow­er­houses are low-cal, but keep you feel­ing full.

THE AU­THEN­TIC RISKS OF FAKE POT

ProCon.org says that 1,246,170 peo­ple are card­car­ry­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana users. A 2017 Ya­hoo News/Marist poll found that 52 per cent of Amer­i­cans over 18 have tried mar­i­juana. Fur­ther­more, 44 per cent of those who tried it once still use it to­day.

So, it shouldn’t come as a sur­prise that with the cost of one ounce of le­gal pot in Colorado go­ing for around $160, syn­thetic weed cost­ing around $30 an ounce is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar.

Un­for­tu­nately, we don’t know ex­actly what’s in ar­ti­fi­cial pot (the toxic “get you high” chem­i­cals put on ran­dom vege­ta­tion change all the time) — and noth­ing proves that more than the re­cent rash of med­i­cal emer­gen­cies in Illi­nois, in­clud­ing bleed­ing from the eyes and ears, and deaths that are as­so­ci­ated with smok­ing a batch of the syn­thetic stuff.

Add to that a Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion re­port that says kids who use syn­thetic mar­i­juana are far more likely to in­flict or be­come vic­tims of vi­o­lence, en­gage in risky sex and have men­tal-health is­sues than kids who use just mar­i­juana or nei­ther. And if teens vape the fake weed, they also may have three times more ev­i­dence of toxic chem­i­cals like acry­loni­trile, acrolein, propy­lene ox­ide and cro­ton­alde­hyde in their sys­tem than nonusers.

If adults are go­ing to make mar­i­juana le­gal, they must take re­spon­si­bil­ity for ed­u­cat­ing chil­dren about the health risks as­so­ci­ated with syn­thetic (and real) pot and va­p­ing.

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