Insight News

Thursday
Oct 23rd

Health

An evening to talk about it

An evening to talk about itIt can be hard to sponsor lasting health initiatives in the community with the economy in current disarray, but that has yet to be the case for the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Let’s Talk About It initiative. With community organizations—Community Fitness Today, Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Kofi Services, NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, Open Cities Health Center, Q Health Services, Shiloh Temple International Ministries, and Vision Church—ACS has held 119 sessions  educating  over 2027 individuals on the effects of colorectal and prostate cancer.
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Early parenthood may lead to unhealthy adult life: U of M Study

University of Minnesota’s Project EAT (Eating and Activity in Teens and Young Adults) has recently taken a study that links early parenthood to poor diet and low physical activity, specifically especially mothers. University of Minnesota physician Jerica Berge, Ph.D. said that parents used for the study were children they had followed to adulthood through the program Project EAT for the past ten years.
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Cities kick off 2011 Step To It Challenge

Four years and more than a billion steps later, the four-week Step To It Challenge promises to be bigger than ever when it launches, May 9, in 22 Hennepin County communities.

Over 3000 residents in 18 communities participated in the physical activity competition last year, with Plymouth walking away with the Most Active City Award after reporting 96 million steps. Hopkins claimed the Most Active Residents Award with the highest average steps per participant.
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HIV-positive former inmates face new obstacles in society

Life isn't easy for African American men and women re-entering society after incarceration, but the prevalence of HIV in the Black community creates a new set of challenges.  Many former inmates may find themselves at an increased risk of contracting HIV once they leave prison, and those who are already infected often have difficulty finding sufficient medical and emotional resources on the outside.
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Formaldehyde in hair-smoothing products

Officials from the Minnesota Department of Health are warning hair salon owners and their customers about certain hair-smoothing products—sometimes referred to as keratin treatments—that may contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde can present a health hazard if workers or customers are exposed. It can irritate the eyes, nose, and skin; increase the risk of asthma and/or allergic reactions; and is linked to an increased risk of some types of cancer.
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Avoid temporary tattoos with ‘black henna’ or ‘pre-mixed henna’

Avoid temporary tattoos with ‘black henna’ or ‘pre-mixed henna’Dear EarthTalk: My daughter loves those press-on tattoos, and they’re frequently given out at birthday parties and other events. But I’ve noticed the labels say they’re only for ages three and up. Are they safe? If not, are there alternatives?  -- Debra Jones, Lansing, MI

For the most part, so-called temporary tattoos are safe for kids and grown-ups alike, even if they do contain a long list of scary sounding ingredients including resins, polymers, varnishes and dyes. But if they are sold legitimately in the U.S., their ingredients have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FSA) as cosmetics, meaning the agency has found them to be safe for “direct dermal contact.” The FDA has received reports of minor skin irritation including redness and swelling, but such cases have been deemed “child specific” and were not widespread enough to warrant general warnings to the public. 


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Our broken global food system

Our broken global food systemDear EarthTalk: I understand a recent government report concluded that our global food system is in deep trouble, that roughly two billion people are hungry or undernourished while another billion are over consuming to the point of obesity. What’s going on?     -- Ellie Francoeur, Baton Rouge, LA

The report in question, the Global Farming & Futures Report, synthesized findings collected from more than 400 scientists spanning 34 countries, and was published in January 2011 by the British government’s Department for Business Innovation & Skills. Its troubling bottom line conclusion is that the world’s existing food system is failing half of the people on the planet.
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