What Men Should Know & Do About the Flu

Spring is on the horizon, and you may be thinking that flu season is a thing of the past. But, the truth is flu viruses can circulate as late as May. As of February 21, CDC data shows flu activity remains elevated nationally but is decreasing. Young and middle-aged adults, including those with chronic conditions and those who are otherwise healthy, have been among the hardest hit by flu this season. However, there is good news to share about the flu vaccine this season – it is providing solid protection to people of all ages. In fact, new information released on February 20 finds that the flu vaccine reduced a vaccinated person’s risk of having to go to the doctor for flu illness by about 61% across all ages. CDC recommends that everyone age 6 months and older receive an annual flu vaccination. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet this flu season, CDC urges you to do so now.

[Read more…]

Getting Enough Exercise? Bet You’re Not

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 2 ½ hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like walking) every week or 1 hour 15 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (like jobbing). CDC. Also recommends that adults work on building strong muscles, too—something for all major muscle groups at least twice […]

Child Safety, Part I: Unfortunately, Accidents Happen–A Lot More Often Than We Think

When it comes to child safety, those mechanical horsies outside the grocery store couldn’t be dangerous, could they? How ‘bout those inflatable bouncy castles? Or backyard trampolines? Or even your stairs? According to a number of recent studies, the world of play could be a lot more dangerous than we think (but probably not dangerous enough to get parents and grandparents to stop using them completely, but hopefully enough to get us to pay a little more attention to basic safety).
[Read more…]

Texting while Parenting? Almost as Bad as Texting while Driving.

A few weeks ago, I did a post on the dangers of texting while driving. Thousands of people are killed every year by distracted drivers (Research shows that using a cell phone while driving has about the same effect on  the driver’s  ability to focus and react as having a few beers).

But texters can do plenty of damage to themselves and others without getting behind the wheel. In fact, texting–or checking email or even talking on the phone–while doing just about anything else is dangerous.  According to Beth Ebel and her colleagues at the University of Washington, 30 percent of pedestrians are distracted in some way ( observed more than 1,000 pedestrians crossing busy streets at a variety of randomly chosen times. Thirty percent of pedestrians were distracted in some way–listening to music, texting or talking on the phone. How distracted were they? According to Ebel and her team, people whose head is buried in their phone cross the street more slowly than those without phones (about two seconds longer), are less likely to look left and right before stepping into the street, and are more likely to jaywalk. And the results can be horrific.

[Read more…]

Fathers Play a Big Role in Reducing Teen Pregnancy and STDs

Listen up, Dads. The closeness of your relationship with your teen and your attitudes about teen sex have a huge influence over their sexual behavior. Kids who are emotionally close to their dads tend to start having sex later than those with more strained relationships. And dads who approved of early adolescent sexual activity had kids who started sex younger than dads who thought teens should wait before having sex.

[Read more…]

A healthier, longer life: maybe the best argument for sending the kids to college

There’s been a lot written about how people with college degrees outearn those with only a high-school diploma, and how high-school grads outearn those who didn’t finish school. But did you know that educated Americans are less likely to be obese and suffer from chronic illnesses than those who have less education? The evidence is pretty darn compelling–compelling enough to get me to stop complaining quite so much about how much my kids’ college tuition is.

The study, produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed the role that socioeconomic status plays in our health. Here are a few fascinating highlights:

  • In 2006, the average 25-year-old man without a high school diploma had a life expectancy 9.3 years less than men with a Bachelor’s degree or higher. Women without a high school diploma had a life expectancy 8.6 years less than those with a Bachelor’s degree or higher.