Health Watch: Mississippi remains most obese state

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Colorado named slimmest in U.S.

According to a new government survey, more than 30 percent of adults in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are considered obese.

Colorado was the least obese, with about 19 percent fitting that category in a random telephone survey done last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 2007 findings are similar to results from the same survey the three previous years. Mississippi has had the highest obesity rate every year since 2004.

The South has had high death rates from heart disease and stroke. In part, experts blame Southern eating habits, poverty and demographic groups that have higher obesity rates. And why is Colorado so thin? It's a state with a reputation for exercise, with many outdoor activities.

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Oxygen therapy could ease headaches

Two types of oxygen therapy could offer some relief to adults who suffer from disabling migraine and cluster headaches, according to a new research review from Australia.

Physicians commonly rely on a number of drug therapies to both treat and prevent migraine and cluster headaches, but some also prescribe oxygen therapy.

The reviewers concluded that hyperbaric treatment might give some relief for migraine headache and that normobaric therapy might provide similar relief for cluster headache, but there is no evidence that these therapies will prevent future attacks.

Normobaric therapy consists of patients inhaling pure oxygen at normal room pressure, and hyperbaric therapy involves patients breathing oxygen at higher pressure in a specially designed chamber.

Health Tip

The Federal Government recommends American adults get at least 30 minutes of exercise five times a week. But that doesn't necessarily mean you have to head down to the gym:

- Most employers offer an hour long lunch break and two 15-minute breaks throughout the day. If you work in a tall building with lots of floors, use your break time to go up and down the stairs. If stair climbing is not an option, walk around the building at a brisk pace a couple of times a day, stopping occasionally to stretch.

2. If you're a stay-at-home mom or dad, turn the baby stroller into workout equipment. Head on down to the park or just around the block with baby once or twice a day. You can jog behind the stroller, incorporate walking lunges and use bands for resistance training.

3. Take up sports hula hooping. Ten minutes worth of vigorously wiggling your hips with a weighted sports hoop can burn off 110 calories. It also promotes correct body alignment from the circular motions and proper posture in the upper body.

-- ARAcontent

Number to Know: 88.5

A survey of 289 Alcoholics Anonymous members showed that 88.5 percent drank coffee. Of that number, 33 percent drank more than four cups a day. -- Vanderbilt University

Children’s Health

Tips for parents on caring for your children’s cuts and scrapes:

- Any time there is a break in the skin, there is danger of infection, so make sure to wash your hands properly before caring for the wound.

- Once the bleeding has stopped, clean the wound using lukewarm, running water to wash away surface particles and dirt.

- Most minor cuts and scrapes will heal just fine without antibiotic ointment, but applying a product can speed healing and has been shown to be effective against MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant organisms.

- Although some people may say to let the wound "breathe," the most current medical advice is to cover it up with an adhesive bandage.

- Finally, be sure to cleanse the wound and change the bandage at least daily or whenever it becomes wet or dirty.

-- ARAcontent

Senior Health

Older adults can decrease their risk of disability and increase their likelihood of maintaining independence by 41 percent by participating in a walking exercise program, according to a new University of Georgia study.

The study also found that walking program participants increased their peak aerobic capacity by 19 percent when compared to a control group and increased their physical function by 25 percent.

Researchers noted that walking doesn’t require any special equipment other than a pair of comfortable shoes, which makes it a simple and low-cost way for people to become active. – University of Georgia

GateHouse News Service