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The Road-Ready HealthWire for January 23, 2003
“Bits and Bobs*”
to Keep You Sane, Safe, and Healthy on the Go
Marlene R. Fedin, The Wellness Concierge®
Care After the Super Bowl;
Anti-Smoking Law Set for 2004;
Not Prevent DVT;
Reject DVT Suits While Aussies Green Light Flyer Claims;
OKd in New York City, Dallas, Boston;
'Face' of Air Rage;
Pushes for Immediate Fines, Prosecution for Abusive Flyers;
Rises from Flu, RSV Respiratory Virus;
Disabilities Have $$$ to Spend With Helpful Vendors;
Airport Workers Test Positive for TB; Don't Get Needled and Drive;
Alert for Those With Smallpox Vaccinations
pairs champagne, chicken breasts, and discipline
to stay fit on
How many miles
do you walk when you fly?
Cold-Fighting Food Options; Eat (Meat) Less and Win Big;
Portions to Avoid Super-Sizing Your Weight;
Chains Deliver More Than You Asked For
(Note: May require
registration or a fee to access. Some links may be moved by publications
after initial posting.)
Post-Super Bowl Car Crashes Rise: A University of Toronto study
reveals that "Fatal
and non-fatal crashes increase after the game..." by an
estimated 40 percent. Researchers speculate that "drinking during
the game, driver fatigue because of the late hour, and distraction and
disappointment..." may be partially responsible. The biggest increase,
unsurprisingly, was registered in the losing team’s locale.
Italy Passes Anti-Smoking Law: If you’re an Italophile who has
had to curtail your outings because of smoke-filled venues, take heart.
The Italian Senate
passed a law in late December that would ban smoking virtually
everywhere (except private homes and in designated smoking areas). That
includes movie theaters, offices, buses, trains, bars, restaurants, and
airports. The ban is scheduled to go into effect in 2004. Given the
(an estimated 58 million are smokers)
and other Europeans' love of lighting up, it's hard to imagine that even escalating
fines will discourage die-hard puffers.
Aspirin No Deterrent to DVT: A study of 1,000 people by the
New Zealand Medical Research Institute found that taking
aspirin may not prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in long-haul
flyers. Want to learn more about DVT research and get
Read Jane E. Brody's New York Times article and Michael Conlon's "Economy
Class Syndrome Update" for Reuters.
U.K. Courts Reject DVT Suits While Aussies Green Light Flyer Claims:
Apparently location counts when it comes to filing a lawsuit over
DVT. In late December, a few days before Christmas, a
London court dashed the hopes of some 56 people seeking compensation
from airlines for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) contracted during
flights on major carriers. The court "upheld the airlines' claim that
the circumstances in which passengers developed DVT, commonly dubbed
"economy class syndrome", fell outside the terms of the 1929 Warsaw
Convention." Claimants have until January 28 to file an appeal.
At almost the same time, an
Australian court ruled against Qantas and BA and allowed a
lawsuit against them to proceed. The carriers have until February to
appeal the decision.
Smoking Bans Surface Throughout U.S.: As someone who's very
allergic to smoke, I'm always thrilled to learn that local laws are
being enacted to protect my and others' lungs. In recent weeks a number
of major cities such as
New York and
have passed smoking bans. (Dallas
passed its new ordinance on Wednesday, January 22.) Now
is also considering a statewide ban, as is
'Face' of Air Rage: Passengers' bad behavior generally gets
the press coverage but The Wall Street Journal turned the tables
air rage as demonstrated by flight attendants. From the included
comments, it's pretty clear that some FAs may want to rethink their
which cited the poor behavior of many passengers as contributing to FA
stress, included suggestions on how to improve the in-flight situation.
Surprisingly, no one suggested the obvious: Expert training in stress
And speaking of
New Zealand Herald reports that Australia is contemplating
taking more more serious and immediate action against abusive
passengers. Flyers will face "hefty instant fines
and a higher chance of being prosecuted for assault" under a law change
due this year.
Flu Death Toll Higher Than Earlier Estimates: A January report
in the Journal of the American Medical Association says that some
47,000 Americans are dying each year from the flu and a common
respiratory virus called RSV. That's a significant increase when
compared to the CDC's data, which shows an average of 36,000 deaths
annually in the 1990s.
Although the study says that 90 percent of those who die are aged 65
and older, medical professionals caution that individuals with chronic
illnesses such as diabetes or asthma (or people who interact with others
who have such illnesses) consider getting a flu shot, regardless of
Sarasota-Bradenton Intl. Airport Employees Test Positive for
Tuberculosis: After two skycaps test
positive, almost 300 other employees are tested with 13 (or about
6 percent) also showing positive skin results, indicating exposure to
the highly contagious disease.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal details how the airport is
addressing the issue and educating staffers.
Travelers With Disabilities Would Up Spending—If Travel
Vendors Offered Improvements: If the airlines (and hotels) are
looking to woo some new business, they should take a long and close look
study released in mid-January by the Open Doors Organization, the
Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), and the Society for
Accessible Travel (SATH). A Harris interactive poll of over 1,000 people
with disabilities indicates that these travelers are spending serious
money, and are willing to spend even more provided travel vendors do
more to accommodate their needs.
In 2002, the study says people with disabilities
spent "$13.6 billion
on 31.7 million trips" and "could increase expenditures by 100 percent
DON’T GET NEEDLED AND DRIVE: If you’ve never had an acupuncture
session, you can’t imagine how relaxed you may feel afterwards.
Apparently, some folks get so mellow after a treatment that
they’re not fit to get behind the wheel. British scientists are
cautioning motorists that acupuncture treatments may induce relaxation
and drowsiness to the point that it could impair their ability to drive
VACCINATION ALERT: If you’ve received (or are scheduled to
receive) the smallpox vaccination, take note. The Food and Drug
Administration is advising that you should not donate blood for at
least three weeks after the shot (or until the scab at the injection
site has fallen off).
Delta’s Sky magazine
profiles Mario Garcia, the high-flying man who redesigned The
Wall Street Journal. A frequent flyer, he shares his on-the-road
fitness regimen, which consists of "...the very same thing as always
for dinner: a fruit salad, a broiled chicken breast and a glass of Moët
& Chandon champagne." Thumbs Up for his discipline—but fitness
experts caution that you shouldn’t exercise for several hours before
Author David Bailey notes
that "Over the years, Garcia has learned that feeling good about
yourself as a business traveler requires a systematic approach, a lot of
self-discipline and maybe even some personal redesign."
Movement Is Not
Exercise: Because they’re often so physically exhausted at the end
of the day, a lot of travelers equate the act of navigating car
parks, airports, flying, and driving with movement and exercise.
Although there’s no question that life on the road is physically
challenging, unless you’re regularly jogging across concourses, you’re
not getting any kind of real workout. Hurling yourself through
locations, though fatiguing, even dragging and lifting heavy luggage,
are no substitute for a cardio or weights workout.
Before you can up your activity level, however, you need
a realistic idea of how much you’re actually moving around when you’re
traveling. (Fitness experts are advising that we all get
a minimum of 10,000 steps a day.) If you don't already own a
pedometer, pick up a compact model and wear it. You’ll be amazed at what
you do—or don’t—log in terms of
Need help selecting a
pedometer? About.com’s walking expert, Wendy Baumgardner links you
reviews of select models while bodytrends.com offers a
COLD- AND FLU-FIGHTING
FOODS Prevention magazine pinpoints
healthy food options to boost your immune system and up your
resistance to debilitating colds, flus. "Poor diet is the biggest
cause of a weakened immune system in healthy individuals," observes
William Boisvert, PhD, a nutrition and immunity expert. Meal lovers take
note: lean beef tops the list.
GO MEATLESS, WIN BIG: I
have to say, I like the idea of throwing out cash to motivate serious
change in lifestyle habits—or reward healthy choices—so I was intrigued
by the "challenge yourself to make a change" promotion by the
Boca Burger folks. The creators of the tasty meatless burgers
favored by many of us who’ve deleted red meat from our menus, are giving
away some big bucks.
Meatless" contest features a $100,000 check for the lucky winner
while the "Go Meatless on Mondays"
Challenge Sweepstakes (Enter weekly from 12/31/2002 to
4/28/2003) is offering prizes that include: a 4-day trip for 2 to Canyon
Ranch Spa in Tucson, Arizona; home-gym equipment; a personal chef for
one year (up to $5,000); one weekly first prize of $500 and a year’s
supply of BOCA® products and 10 weekly second prizes of a year’s supply
of Boca® products.
Tell the Boca folks (in 100 words or less) about a "change you want to
make in your life and how BOCA® Meatless products will help achieve that
goal." (You’ll also need a UPC code from any Boca product.)
And in a nice twist, they’ve included a Writer’s Block
section with some ideas to get you going and a detail of the judging
criteria so you’re not flying blind. You can also enter more than once
(up to once a day) but you’ll need a new written entry each time.
The promo folks are working overtime: They’ll e-mail you recipes on
Friday for the weekly sweepstakes.
Mail-in entries must be received by May 8, 2003; online entries must
be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on April 28, 2003.
DOWNSIZE PORTIONS TO AVOID SUPER-SIZING YOURSELF:
A number of nutritionists have been cautioning for years that it isn't
always just what we eat, but how much we're eating. In the land of
super-size cars, it any wonder that we have
Whether or not
you’re concerned about your weight, you may want to pay more
attention to portion sizes (See
"Getting More Than You Expected") to avoid packing on
study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill just
published in The Journal of the American Medical Association
showed that portion sizes for a lot of favorites (hamburgers, pizza,
Mexican food, salty snacks, french fries, and soft drinks) increased
dramatically. Even worse, the increases apply to foods eaten at home as
well those inhaled at fast-food restaurants.
Want to learn more about portion sizes?
Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss (Howard M.
Portion Savvy: The 30-Day Smart Plan for Eating Well (Carrie
GETTING MORE THAN YOU EXPECTED—OR WANT: Just when you thought
you’d found a low-calorie option on a fast-food menu, seems like
you’re still getting more calories (and fat) than you’ve budgeted
for. It’s hard to imagine that fast-food purveyors would give more
than promised, but a Good Housekeeping Institute review of some 60
chains in six states, uncovered a "bonus" that’s anything but
good for your health. Surveyed items—including Taco Bell’s Chicken
Fiesta burrito and Wendy’s chili weighed in above stated calories
and portion size. (A serving of McDonald’s small fries was anywhere
from 28 to 130 percent larger! No, you should not be cheering that
you’ve gotten so many more fries for "free." You’re waistline,
and health, is paying
is compiled from medical and scientific journals and related
professional publications, which have vetted the research data that they
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Marlene R. Fedin
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travel-health information, resources, and inspiration to ease the
stress and strain of life on the road and encourage
healthier life choices.
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