Halloween candy and children: dispelling the myths

halloween

With Halloween just around the corner, kids of all ages are more than ready to trick or treat and bring home a large variety of colorful and sweet stuff – after all, candy has long been an integral part of Halloween.

And while a lot of adults may easily justify their children’s unlimited indulgence in what seems to be several month’s supply of colorful sugary treats (”oh, come on, let kids be kids!”) – you really should know better, because this practice is not as harmless as you  may think – and the way you handle this today may have a huge impact on their health and development in the future.

Halloween is surrounded by myths, superstitions and misconceptions.  But today we are not going to talk about the typical urban legends, like razor blades in candy, or Bloody Mary.  Today we will be talking about other myths – the myths around Halloween candy – which are probably no less scary, when you know and understand the details.

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Why you cannot lose weight

cannot lose weight

Let me start with some bad news – you cannot lose weight by following most of today’s conventional advice around what makes the best exercise to lose weight.

Most exercise tips to lose weight these days focus on aerobics (often referred to as “cardio”) as the best way to tackle the problem.  They suggest that you should try walking to lose weight, endless running or any combination of demanding fitness activities that will have you sweating buckets and panting like a dog on a hot day.

The reality, however, is that – despite following that advice and engaging into endless jogging, elliptical machine training, Zumba and other “fun” activities – the majority of people cannot lose weight and keep it off.  You too might have tried some semi-esoteric “fat burning exercises” found in many glossy magazines or sweating buckets trying various DVD aerobic workouts – all to no avail.  But that’s not your fault – what you have been told so far might have all been very wrong – the reason why you cannot lose weight is because the best exercise to lose weight is not aerobic training.  This article will explain why – and will also teach you how to spend significantly LESS time exercising and get MORE results.

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The ban on triclosan (and on being too clean)

Triclosan in hand sanitizer

Triclosan – what you need to know

On September 9, 2016, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned triclosan – a chemical originally registered as a pesticide in 1969 and used since early 1970s in a very wide variety of anti-bacterial products – including, but not limited to soaps, shampoos, mouthwashes, toothpastes, deodorants, as well as household cleaning products, clothing, toys, bedding, trash bags and others.

In its statement, FDA notes that “…companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections…” Moreover, as noted further, “…some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.
(Triclosan, by the way, is not the only anti-bacterial agent used in consumer products, but FDA has deferred rulemaking for one year on three additional ingredients used in consumer wash products – benzalkonium chloride, benzethonium chloride and chloroxylenol (PCMX), so antibacterial products containing these ingredients continue to be marketed).

As good as this triclosan ban sounds, many people feel that it’s a little too late – we are talking about a chemical, the use of which has been so widespread over a number of years that some studies (like this study of expecting mothers from Brooklyn, NY, done by Arizona State University) have demonstrated its presence in 100% of urine samples and 51% of cord blood samples of the population tested). Because triclosan is used a lot In healthcare (in surgical scrubs and hand washes, as coating in surgical sutures and as a method of decolonization of patients whose skin carries methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA), doctors and nurses have blood and urine levels of triclosan several orders of magnitude higher than other people.

Triclosan is the chemical which, because of such widespread use, ends up in municipal water supplies, where it cannot be sufficiently degraded and removed to the extent necessary and, thus, can be potentially re-introduced into your drinking water.

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