by Chris Huckins Google+ Email 


Health & Wellness

30 May 2014

More American Teens Fail Fitness Test Than Before

Posted in Health & Wellness

More American Teens Fail Fitness Test Than Before

Technology has improved by leaps and bounds since 1999-2000, but as for American teens, well, they haven't done much leaping or bounding according to the National Youth Fitness Survey. 

In 1999-2000, 52% of American teens passed the NNYFS* with "adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness". 

Most recently the test was taken in 2012 and only 42% passed.

*The extra "N" in NNYFS, in case anyone noticed, stands for NHNES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), which began working in conjunction with "NYFS" in 2011, when the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) allotted additional funds to implement and consolidate the tests. 

While it seemed like exercise to read that last sentence, the actual physical exam is pretty straightforward. 

The exercise survey studied children's physical activity by cardiovascular fitness (running), upper body strength (the dreaded pull-ups!), and hand grip strength (for Xbox controller endurance). To achieve adequate level of fitness in one category, for example: boys age 12 must achieve 7 or fewer pull-ups. Girls age 12 must achieve at least 4. 

Regardless of the children's race or family income, the results were the same. For boys: of age 12-15, about half had adequate levels of cardiorespiratory fitness and of girls age 12-15, one-third had adequate levels.

In regards to the second half of the test, the health and nutrition survey, results showed 1 out of 3 children is overweight or obese. Of kids age 12-15, half are average weight, 30% are overweight, and 20% are obese. 

That's double the obesity rate for children and quadruple for adolescents in the past 30 years. 

Similar findings by the Centers of Disease Control show 1 in 8 preschoolers in the US is obese.  

But there's hope at the end of the tunnel. Just don't hold your breath (for wishes or physical exams). 

In 19 out of 43 studied states, the obesity level dropped in low-income preschoolers since 2011. 

There's so much work and work-outs to do! Why are you still sitting and reading this? Get out and play (recommended 60 minutes of exercise, 3-5 days a week)!

23 May 2014

Does Obamacare Really Mandate Microchip Implants?

Posted in Health & Wellness

Does Obamacare Really Mandate Microchip Implants?

If you're willing to accept evidence that proves the Obamacare microchip myth is false please review the following facts. If not, conspiracy theorists can enjoy X-Files on Netflix.

No, Obamacare does not mandate microchips be implanted in Americans. Here's why:

Since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010, rumors began in the form of chain emails that foretold everyone would get a RFID (radio frequency identification) microchip implanted in them due to Obamacare.

In 2012, one message specifically warned the implantation would occur on March 23, 2013.

It's easy to stop right there and ask, "Did YOU get a microchip implanted in you last year?" No? Then the Obamacare microchip hoax is debunked.

Some people aren't so easily convinced.

The microchip myth is rooted in 2 misinterpreted documents which are often cited in conspiracy theorists' blogs.

One is an early draft of the Affordable Care Act, which stated the government would form a registry of implantable medical devices, such as: artificial heart valves, hip replacements, and pacemakers.

The chain emails cited only one section of the early draft of the bill to support the Obamacare microchip myth:

"The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the ‘registry’) to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device that—‘‘(A) is or has been used in or on a patient; and ‘‘(B) is a class III device; or ‘‘(ii) a class II device that is implantable."

The emails claimed microchips would likely be implanted in children and most people who opt for public insurance, but failed to provide text to back up the claim. It's beside the point, because the medical device registry provision wasn't included in the final bill that became law. Search and you'll see no "microchip" in the text either.

The second misunderstood text used to back up conspiracy theorists is an FDA document in 2004 that outlined how to regulate an Implantable Radio Frequency Transponder System, ie, a database of medical history for new technology, including microchips and other implantable medical devices.

Even in 2009, prior to Obamacare, over 80 hospitals used a system to identify voluntarily-implanted microchips in patients that showed their medical history in case they were found unconscious.

Despite the last 4 years of myth-busting, just one month ago readers of one Obamacare myth article believed in Obamacare microchip ties to an NBC news segment concerning microchips in 2017 and commented hastily their concerns. 

The segment is only entertaining guesswork highlighting the possibilities in 10 years and doesn't even mention the president, the government, or Obamacare. The Youtube comment section of the video was disabled, but the About section still links to websites purporting the Obamacare microchip myth as valid.

Time heals all wounds, including the scar left from the imaginary microchip implanted in everyone on March 23, 2013. Maybe the scar was just an emotional one when conspiracy theorists were proven wrong. 

17 January 2014

Gay Smokers in Los Angeles Top Heterosexuals

Posted in Health & Wellness

Gay Smokers in Los Angeles Top Heterosexuals

The second-largest American tobacco company called them scum. Now, gay men, lesbians, and bisexuals smoke 50% more than heterosexuals according to a new report by the California Department of Health.

Project “S.C.U.M” or “Subculture Urban Marketing”, was a poorly-named marketing campaign for the growing base of smokers in 1990’s San Francisco. “Street-people” (the homeless), “alternative lifestyle” (homosexuals), and “rebellious" (Generation X) consumers as they were labeled in original documents available online, were the target market.

Project S.C.U.M, although a nomenclature faux pas, was widely successful. But like Alanis Morrisette, its popularity dropped in the new millennium.

Fast-forward to 2014, the gay community and allies alike are fighting back addiction with a healthy combination of state government and sex.

Visit West Hollywood bars and you might stumble upon Los Angeles county health department’s “Breakup Squad”. Their names are: Courtney, Jesse, Corey G, and Corey K just to name a few. They aren’t girls either. They’re gay men. Take pictures with them, post online using the hashtag #DoneWithYou, and you might find yourself on their anti-smoking website: LastDragLA. And no, it’s not just head shots of retired drag queens.  Well, maybe a few.

It gets better. While you spend money on two-for-one drinks, dial 1-800-NO BUTTS for a free 4-week supply of nicotine patches. Like most hookups in West Hollywood, they come with no-strings attached.

If internet recognition, free swag, and attention from cute guerilla marketers don’t change your mind, maybe this statistic will: deaths from smoking-related diseases top deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol, suicides, murders, and auto accidents combined. Truth hurts like LA lungs.

27 August 2013

Why Water Is Good For You But Not Everyone

Posted in Health & Wellness

Why Water Is Good For You But Not Everyone

   Water is good for the human body, unless you suffer from hydrophobia. Speaking of preexisting conditions, which are covered under the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare requires we get health insurance and drink water starting January 1st, 2014. 

Americans laughed at this guy for drinking water. It must be bad for him, right?

   Why is water so good for the human body, which is made of 65% water? The world, which is made up of over 70% water, may never know. 

    Oh wait, here's why: water aides in the lubrication of food and excrement, balances the body's PH levels and temperature, and educates children in The Magic School Bus as either the guest star ("Wet All Over": featuring the water cycle) or cameo (the water fountain).

   Humans aren't the only life form who get wet for water. Plants use water when they photosynthesize: a technique similar to the Spirt Bomb but not really. Cell membranes convert sunlight into usable energy, separating the oxygen in water and expelling it into our atmosphere for human consumption.

  Whatever's good for sunflowers is good for me. After all, nature - even just pictures of nature - reduces stress, making office plants and waterfall desktop backgrounds even more beneficial to humans. Too much real water, however, could be deadly.

    While some plants share the names of Batman villains, including: poison ivy, the harlequin flower, and "Bane"delions, others play the hero part, like the Yellow Poplar, which scientists use to absorb mercury in water. At a time when the government's MCLG (maximum containment level goals) of mercury in drinking water is 0.002&, it's no wonder poplars are popular.

   Still unsure if water is good or bad? Talk it over with a friend, preferably at a neutral setting: like an ice bar. And always remember: if you're on the subway and see something about water, say something about water... to the homeless guy who needs a shower. 

28 March 2013

Even Pictures of Nature Reduce Stress in Los Angeles

Posted in Health & Wellness

Even Pictures of Nature Reduce Stress in Los Angeles

    Need health insurance in Los Angeles but feel overwhelmed by the process let alone the looming Obamacare premiums? New studies published by the Psychological Science journal show just stepping outside and walking amongst nature relaxes the mind to focus on daunting tasks.

   Joggers who use exercise instead of health insurance as peace of mind especially rejoiced after a University of Michigan study showed walks in green spaces reduced stress and exercised the brain. So when on Groundhog’s Day 2013, Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow: a sign that spring was around the corner, it seemed like an open invitation to get outside. As human meteorologists predicted snowstorms the first weekend of Phil's prediction, however, the park-dwelling gopher shied from anxious joggers who badgered him over his faulty clairvoyance.

    The results of a University of Michigan study showed: “After an interaction with natural environments, one is able to perform better on tasks that depend on directed-attention abilities. Unlike natural environments, urban environments contain bottom-up stimulation (e.g., car horns) that captures attention dramatically and additionally requires directed attention to overcome that stimulation (e.g., avoiding traffic, ignoring advertising, etc.), making urban environments less restorative." Basically if you live around nature, your brain will have an easier time focusing on a task and retaining information than if you look out your window and see Los Angeles' 405 freeway.

    To reach this conclusion, 38 adults assessed their moods based on various questions and a scale of 1 to 5 (1: very slightly stressed; 5: extremely stressed). Participants were asked to memorize lengthy numbers in a short period of time, then complete 144 trials intended to suppress their short-term memory. Afterwards, each participant was given a map that leads them Dora-the-Explorer style through either a local historic park lined with trees, classy statues, and songbirds or a traffic-ridden street surrounded by office high rises, sketchy alleyways, and bum fights. Can you say "cognitive rehabilitation"?! Great job!

   Also accompanying each participant: a GPS to ensure they stayed en route. They walked approximately 3 miles and returned to the lab to read the long number backwards. Participants repeated this study a week later on opposite routes.

    The results revealed performance on recalling lengthy numbers improved when participants walked through nature. Furthermore, there was no direct affect on the walking order, i.e. first the park, then the street or vice versa. Participants didn’t simply improve memory by taking a walk in the park. A second experiment was conducted to prove nature – in all its glory –alleviated brain fatigue too.

    The second experiment included 12 adults and 288 trials, some of which are used to test ADHD in children. These trials were intended to measure the attention level of all participants and included memorizing a lengthy number as in Experiment 1. Following the trials, participants viewed either 50 pictures of nature or 50 of urban areas, each for 7 seconds, and were asked to rate each picture to show they’re paying attention. They later attempted to recall the lengthy number backwards and returned to the lab a week later to repeat the experiment with the alternative set of pictures.

    Researchers concluded that only participants who saw nature pictures recalled the lengthy numbers backwards more successfully than those who viewed urban pictures. They even noted that the office setting in which the tests took place didn't matter to nature picture viewers. They stayed zen and focused in comparison to their urban counterparts.

     A picture says a thousand words. A picture helps you memorize a thousand digits. Feeling overwhelmed while hearing a thousand different talking points about Obamacare? Just want health insurance in Los Angeles to give you peace of mind? We'll find what's best for your budget, your mind, and your health. Call us at 818.251.5000 or click below to sign up today!