Sargent College Clinical Associate Professor Terry Ellis is working to further develop Every Victory Counts, in conjunction with the Davis Phinney Foundation, helping patients with Parkinson’s Disease live better for longer. Terry’s research is focusing on observing Parkinson’s patients to better understand how their lives change as the disease progresses and what treatments sustain or help eliminate symptoms. Here’s a bit more on Every Victory Counts:
With flu season upon us, BU Now caught up with Michelle George, Wellness Coordinator at BU’s Student Health Services, to get the scoop on all things flu-related, including the flu shot, the “Flu Buddy” program, and tips for staying healthy this fall and winter.
It’s October and while that crisp autumn air is a refreshing change from the dog days of summer, fall also means the days are growing shorter and shorter. With decreased daylight, many people start to feel the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). For more info about SAD and how to combat it, check out the video below with Dr. Sanford Auerbach, Director of the Sleep Disorders Center and Associate Professor of Neurology, Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center.
Today, September 15th, marks the 10th Anniversary of National Backpack Awareness Day sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) . Professor Karen Jacobs of Sargent College is commemorating this occasion with a family style initiative from 12:30-2 PM, at St. Mary of the Assumption Rectory School, in Brookline. There, along with 49 BU entry-level occupational therapy students, Jacobs will host educational programs and outreach activities geared toward backpack safety for the entire family. Professor Karen Jacobs is available for comment on the topic of backpack safety and can be reached at (617) 353-7516 or at email@example.com.
Joan Salge Blake and Hardin Coleman talk about health & nutrition education and healthy school lunches
Registered Dietitian and Sargent Clinical Associate Professor Joan Salge Blake and School of Education Dean Hardin Coleman joined us this morning on UStream for a live chat about the importance of healthy school lunches. They also talked about the importance of health and nutrition education. You can view the full chat below:
The heat is certainly on in much of the country this summer. For information about heat exhaustion and tips for staying healthy during hot, humid weather, BU Now spoke with Dr. Jonathan Olshaker, Chief of Emergency Medicine at Boston Medical Center and Professor and Chairman of Emergency Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.
In hopes of slowing the growing scourge of killer bacteria, the Food and Drug Administration has released a policy document that says agricultural uses of antibiotics should be limited to assuring animal health. But the FDA again stopped short of banning antibiotics in feed given cattle, chickens and pigs — as European regulators already have. School of Public Health associate Professor Wendy Heiger-Bernays, in a BU Today interview, says until a major food-related illness alerts Americans to the dangers of the industrialized food suply, it’s a battle that agribusiness will continue to win.
“If the public wakes up and looks at where their food is coming from, I suspect there’ll be a significant push … But I don’t think we’re going to see something significant until we have numbers of cases of illness in the human population traced back to factory farms.”
Contact Wendy Heiger-Bernays, 617-638-4620, firstname.lastname@example.org
A new study from Yale University published in the journal Pediatrics has found that popular cartoon and other characters can influence children’s food choices, and even preference, for the taste of a food. According to the research, “children significantly prefer the taste of junk foods branded with licensed cartoon characters on the packaging, compared with the same foods without characters.”
Joan Salge Blake, Clinical Associate Professor of Nutrition at BU’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, says these findings support recent moves to limit or restrict the use of licensed characters on children’s snacks:
“In this study involving 40 children, ages 4 to 6 years old, researchers asked each child to taste, and then rate, identical packages of pairs of graham crackers, gummy fruit snacks, and carrots. The only difference between the pairs of snack items was that one of packages had a sticker of a licensed character stuck on the front of the label. The results showed that the kiddies significantly preferred the snack with the cartoon character on the label, as compared to the same food without the sticker. The stickers also had an influence over the perceived taste of the food, as the children were significantly more likely to rate the taste of the graham crackers and gummy fruit snacks with the licensed character higher than the exact same, paired equivalent.”
“Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that these influential licensed characters should be restricted on unhealthy junk foods marketed to kids.”
“Ironically, last month, the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity made a similar suggestion in their Report to the President. The Task Force recommended that all media companies limit the licensing of these child-friendly characters to only healthy foods and beverages.”
“Could licensed characters help improve children’s diets? We only have to look to the very successful, Got Milk? Campaign to see how Hollywood influences consumer choices. When the dairy industry noted a decline in milk consumption among Americans in the 1990’s, they painted milk mustaches on celebrities and milk sales increased. If licensed characters were removed from the less healthy foods, and only plastered on Mother Nature’s finest in the produce aisle, perhaps kiddies would be screaming for Pooh Bear bananas. It would be music to America’s ears. It’s worth a shot as long as the consumer doesn’t have to pay extra for the sticker.”
BU researchers are exploring why certain families produce members who live well past their eighties. The Long Life Family Study, made up of investigators from other universities and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, will try to determine which environmental, behavioral and genetic factors contribute to longevity. Boston University Associate Professor Dr. Thomas Perls, one of the lead investigators, is also the director of the New England Centenarian Study. In a TIME Magazine Special Report: How to Live 100 Years, Perls says:
“When it comes to rare genetic variations that contribute to longevity, family (analysis) is particularly powerful. But just because something occurs in a family doesn’t mean it is necessarily genetic. There are lots of behaviors and traditions that happen in families that play a role in longer life expectancies. We want to use these families to ferret out what these factors are.”
Dr. Perls can be reached at 617-638-6688.
In response to a recent article in AdAge magazine reporting that the Spanish government is planning to ban some diet and beauty TV Ads before 10 PM:
“This is a terrific first step in easing the constant visual reminders of the unrealistic, body weight often portrayed in the media and viewed by young, vulnerable individuals who feel pressured to be ‘thin at all health costs.’ Continued monitoring and viligence of these unhealthy media messages needs to continue to avoid a shift from television advertising to Internet advertising, especially on popular social media websites that are heavily used by this age group.”