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Better Living Through Well Being

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“If you take care of the birds, you take care of most of the big environmental problems in the world,” or so says Thomas E. Lovejoy, tropical conservation biologist and National Geographic Fellow. Marking 2018 as “the year of the bird,” National Geographic, National Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and more than 100 organizations have joined forces for 12 months of storytelling and science to examine how our changing environment is impacting birds around the globe. This year also marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918, considered the most powerful and important bird protection law ever passed. This year’s campaign is an effort to heighten public awareness of birds, their importance to our ecosystem, and their current plight. It includes simple but meaningful actions that anyone can take for a healthy planet filled with the beauty of birds.


Although 43 states have some form of state law that preempts local governments’ ability to regulate the use of pesticides, local grassroots organizations in the other seven states effectively mobilized and enacted legislation against the use of lawn pesticides in local jurisdictions where they are now banned. They were able to do so armed with the knowledge of the hazards and the viability of management practices that, without pesticides, focus on building a soil environment rich in microbiology that will produce strong, healthy turf that is able to withstand many of the stresses that affect turf grass. State preemption laws effectively deny local residents and decision makers their democratic right to better protection when a community decides that minimum standards set by state and federal law are insufficient. The seven states that do not preempt local authorities’ ability to restrict the use of pesticides on any land within their jurisdiction are Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, Utah and Vermont.


A novel study in January’s special issue of Clinical Chemistry provides compelling evidence in support of the theory that processed carbohydrates are the major culprit in factors contributing to the obesity epidemic. Until recently, health officials were hindered in implementing a successful strategy to curb obesity by their uncertainty of what dietary factors were fueling the epidemic. In the preamble to the journal report “Obesity: Innovative Approaches to Overcome Obstacles,” editors and obesity experts state, “Few topics are of greater concern for public health than obesity and its myriad complications.” The report states “for most of the past 40 years high dietary fat was considered a primary cause of obesity. Recently, attention has focused instead on foods with a high glycemic load, including fast-digesting carbohydrates like refined grains, potato products, and added sugars.”

Findings also support the carbohydrate-insulin model of weight regulation, which postulates that diets high in glycemic load promote weight gain through the anabolic effects of increased insulin secretion. It is hoped this current research will inform strategies for addressing the obesity problem and influence future public health policies.


Other articles of interest in this Winter 2018 TMIS eNewsletter:

* New report exposes deceptive marketing in $9 billion-dollar snack bar industry.

* National survey finds majority of Americans want a clean planet, believe climate change is occurring and want to take steps to reduce their environmental impact.

* Citizens of Belize pass Offshore Zone Moratorium to prevent offshore oil drilling and protect the largest barrier reef in the Americas.

* Research studies show naturopathic medicine is safe and effective for common chronic conditions.

* Report looks at likelihood of moving brain-computer interfaces from the lab into clinical and consumer applications.

* Advances being made by adult stem cell research companies address significant unmet medical needs in degenerative conditions such as stroke and heart failure.

* Grant-funded partnership between Memorial Hermann Community Benefits Corp., Target and national nonprofit Wholesome Waves gives patients in need access to free produce.

* Increase in insurance claims for health issues related to pet obesity over the last seven years highlights the need for diet management and regular exercise routines.


I am grateful to be in a collaborative business with many talented and skilled professionals. Additional feedback and recommendations for our products and services at TM Information Services are always welcome.

- Mary Michele McLaughlin

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