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Ever since the very first fast-food restaurant – White Castle – opened its doors in 1920, Americans have had an unhealthy obsession with fast food.

According to the CDC, more than one third of all Americans eat at a fast-food restaurant daily. And with more than 200,000 fast-food options, it is becoming more and more difficult to give up those tasty treats.

While experts have been speaking for years about the unnecessary dangers of fast-food consumption, new studies have shown that a regular diet of fast-food items is even more harmful than ever and is causing harm to parts of your body that you may not have thought of with each delicious bite.

So, what happens if you give up fast food? 

Experts say that you will be at lower risk for heart disease and diabetes. And you are also at lower risk for Alzheimer’s Disease. 

Studies show that the hallmark Alzheimer’s protein – beta amyloid is higher in those with higher junk food diets. And with less blood sugar, experts say that you will not just lose weight, your mood will also improve. 

A fast-food diet can damage neurons and even cause depression. 

So, the best way to cut your unhealthy obsession with fast-food? Experts say, start small. If you attempt to cut these foods out “cold turkey,” they you may experience symptoms of withdrawal – like mood swings, depression, and irritability.

Planning for hurricane season can be extremely stressful for those living in areas that are prone to being struck by these natural disasters. This year can be especially difficult in planning and preparing, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, many places are still closed and/or have different guidelines in place that may not have been in place before. 

But if you take the time to go over some important family preparedness steps with your family, friends, loved ones and neighbors, then things do not have to be as stressful on you. 

Public health and emergency response professionals offer the following advice when it comes to helping you prepare, sheltering in place during a natural disaster, and safely evacuate if that is something that you need to do.

  • Give yourself plenty of time to prepare your food, water and emergency medicine supplies, for you and your pets. Because supplies may be in demand in some areas, you may have a hard time finding the items you need.
  • Pay attention to local guidance regarding evacuations and sheltering in place for you and your pets. Again, things may have changed even since last year and you do not want to find out that your evacuation route is no longer the route when the weather is already changing.
  • Find out if your local public shelter is open.
  • Follow every day preventative measures if you do need to shelter with family or in a public place. Respect everyone’s personal space, wash your hands regularly and cough/sneeze into your arm to prevent the spread of illness.
  • Follow safety precautions when evacuating and be sure to follow all signage as posted.

Whether you are an avid fitness guru or just your “Average Joe” you have no doubt at some point in your life heard that the key to being healthy is getting in your “10,000 steps” daily.

But have you ever wondered why 10,000 steps? And is it working? Or is it just causing us unnecessary stress?

Here is what the experts say…

Back in 1965, when the Summer Olympics was held in Tokyo, Japan, a local professor was working on coming up with the best way to fight obesity and heart disease. He calculated that walking 10,000 steps a day – or the equivalent of 5 miles – would translate into a 20% increase in calories burned for the average person.

The professor, Yoshiro Hatano, then came up with a pedometer-like device called the Manpo-kei, to encourage people to get up and moving during the Olympics when fitness was on everyone’s mind.

The popularity of the pedometer and taking 10,000 steps continued in Japan and has since spread to the U.S. and other countries, becoming the standard that World Health Organization (WHO), the American Heart Association (AHA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) still follow today.

While 10,000 steps a day might be an achievable goal for some, experts note that everyone’s fitness ability is different and their steps per day should be adjusted accordingly.

One way to figure out the number of steps that would work for you is to track how many steps you normally take in any given day, then set an achievable goal based on your baseline steps. If you are a person who typically gets in 5,000 steps a day, then shoot for 7,500. Already reaching 10,000 a day? Why not try for 12,500? Even though this theory has been around for decades, there is no need to stress yourself out about reaching this daily goal. Just take it one step at a time.

Every summer, families from all over visit petting zoos, zoos, aquariums, animal farms and summer camps that have animal exhibits. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), many people will get sick after visiting one of these animal attractions.

Wherever you visit, it is important to remember these tips to keep you and your families safe when enjoying animals:

  • Wash your hands regularly. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t prevelant.
  • Keep food and animals separate.
  • Always supervise children around animals.
  • Don’t take sippy cups and/or pacifiers inside an animal exhibit.
  • Remind children to keep their hands out of their mouths after touching animals and before washing their hands.

Any way you look at it the statistics regarding obesity are unbelievable…

 

In the U.S., 55% of adults are overweight, nearly 25% are obese. 

Each year there are approximately 280,000 deaths in the U.S. that can be attributed to obesity. 

There is no longer any doubt that the most widespread and the largest threat to our health is being overweight or obese. 

And while these statistics are shocking to most, there are still as many as 80 million people in the United States dealing with obesity. 

What experts are trying to get across to these millions of people who are dealing daily with this disease is that obesity is not going to cure itself overnight.   There is not a magic pill that someone can take that will reverse the toll we have taken on our bodies over the years.

There is not a magic pill that someone can take that will reverse the toll we have taken on our bodies over the years.

We, as a society, need to learn that losing weight and keeping that weight off is a commitment – a lifelong commitment – and something that won’t come easy to many people. 

Weight loss is not a short-term goal.  Instead it is a long-term lifestyle change that you must be ready to take on before you start any type of diet or fitness regimen. 

Keep in mind there are plenty of support groups out there that will help you get you where you need to be as far as diet and fitness goals and most importantly: don’t give up!