Tag Archives: health

Norovirus: Facts and Preventative Solutions


Quick Facts: 

  • 20 million people get sick from norovirus each year, most from close contact with infected people or by eating contaminated food
  • Norovirus is the leading cause of disease outbreaks from contaminated food in the US
  • Infected food workers cause about 70% of reported norovirus outbreaks from contaminated food

(CDC

What is Norovirus?

It is a virus that can make you miserable for 1-3 days and is thought to be the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis, which causes diarrhea and vomiting.

“Noroviruses are sometimes called food poisoning, because they can be transmitted through food that’s been contaminated with the virus. They aren’t always the result of food contamination, though” (WebMD).

People can become infected when they eat or drink contaminated foods and beverages. Other foods related to outbreaks are raw or undercooked oysters and raw fruits and vegetables. WebMD further states that, “you can get infected if you touch an object or surface that has been infected with the virus and then touch your nose, mouth, or eyes”.

Ways to Prevent Norovirus

According to FDA model Food Code and CDC Guidelines, all food service workers should follow the following guidelines:

  • Stay home when sick — for at least 48 hours after symptoms stop
  • Wear gloves — wearing single-use gloves avoids touching food with bare hands and possible contamination
  • Wash your hands — wash thoroughly, and wash often!
  • Rinse fruits and vegetables
  • Clean and sanitize all surfaces and utensils — sanitizing regularly with chlorine-based product or other sanitizers approved by the Environmental Protection Agency has been approved for use against norovirus
  • Cook food, especially shellfish, thoroughly — 140 degrees F is considered undercooked; avoid serving undercooked oysters and other shellfish

 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/norovirus/index.html

http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/food-poisoning/norovirus-symptoms-and-treatment

https://www.cdc.gov/norovirus/food-handlers/work-with-food.html

 

Save Hide And Seek For The Playground: Why Kids Should See Their Veggies

When my daughter turned 1, a routine toe prick revealed that her iron levels were low. Because our family doesn’t eat much iron-rich red meat, the pediatrician advised that we feed our daughter spinach. Every. Single. Day. This was bad. My daughter had just entered a picky eating phase and leafy greens were “yuck.”

Things were going poorly until I made popsicles. These frozen treats were chock full of blended spinach, peanut butter, yogurt, carrots, other miscellaneous healthy stuff, and blueberries, which conveniently turned the entire concoction purple. My daughter devoured the pops.

Yes! Parenting win!

Hmm, says Gillian Harris, among the world’s foremost experts on picky eating in children and a consultant and clinical psychologist at the University of Birmingham in the UK, when I describe my pops to her over the phone. “You want the child to look at the vegetable, taste the vegetable, get used to the vegetable and eat that vegetable when they’re 7 or 8,” she says.

In other words, getting your kid to eat veggies through subterfuge — whether via awesome pops or in those now ubiquitous pouches that let children squeeze a mix of fruits and kale/carrot/parsnip/other vegetable into their mouths through a makeshift straw sets the bar too low. Your child must actually learn to like veggies, weird textures and all.

With research showing that low vegetable consumption early in life tracks to low consumption later, and with poor diet correlated with a host of diseases later in life, including weight problems, cardiovascular disease and cancer, getting kids to eat unadulterated veggies has far-reaching public health implications. Yet research suggests that a whopping 93 percent of U.S. children between the ages of 1 and 18 do not meet current recommendations for vegetable intake.

To continue reading the article from NPR, click here.

Osteoporosis: Nutrition and Children


When you hear osteoporosis, you often think of aging adults and their bone health. “Osteoporosis is a major cause of morbidity and economic burden around the world. By the year 2020, it is estimated that half of Americans 50 years of age or older will be at risk for osteoporotic fractures,” according to researchers from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Osteoporosis Quick Facts:

  • Osteoporosis causes more than 8.9 million fractures annually (that’s a fracture every 3 seconds)
  • It is estimated that osteoporosis affects 75 million people in Europe, USA and Japan
  • By 2025, the estimated number of hip fractures occurring worldwide in men will be similar to that observed in women in 1990
  • Smoking can lead to a lower bone density and a higher risk of fracture
  • Childhood and adolescence are particularly valuable times to improve bone mass through exercise

The foundation for this condition is rooted in childhood and adolescence, when preventative measures can be taken.

Nutrition in Childhood

The primary source of nutrition for infants should be human milk (or instant formula, if human milk is not attainable). After this stage of life, dietary calcium comes from milk and other dairy products, which will account for 70-80% of calcium intake.

“Based on their report, the researchers recommend that pediatricians advise children and adolescents to increase daily consumption of calcium and foods and beverages containing vitamin D, which includes nonfat milk and low-fat yogurts” (Medical News Today).

Medical News Today also says that, “as part of their report, they say routine calcium supplementation is not advised for healthy children but that increased dietary intake is strongly encouraged.

To learn more about milk and it’s alternatives, here is a helpful article.

Sources:

Medical News Today — http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/283174.php?sr

International Osteoporosis Foundation — https://www.iofbonehealth.org/facts-statistics#category-23