Better Living Through Well Being
A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that antibiotic resistance poses a serious threat to public health that is undermining our ability to treat infectious diseases and health care acquired infections. The report notes that the use of antibiotics is the single most important factor leading to antibiotic resistance around the world, and up to half of all antibiotics prescribed by doctors each year are either given unnecessarily or used improperly. An estimated 23,000 Americans die annually as a direct result of antibiotic resistant infections, mostly due to health care acquired infections.
According to Consumer Reports’ policy and advocacy arm, Consumers Union, this growing antibiotic resistance requires a multi-prong response that includes a more judicious use of antibiotics by doctors, a drastic reduction in the routine use of antibiotics in healthy livestock and more effective action by hospitals to protect patients from dangerous superbugs. Furthermore, the widespread use and abuse of antibiotics is making these critical medications less effective for treating infectious diseases. Failing to curb the unnecessary use of antibiotics will result in catastrophic consequences for public health. Also, some 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are not used on humans but on animals, mostly livestock that are not even sick. The Consumers Union believes that to preserve antibiotics for treatment of disease in people, they should only be used on those animals that are sick. The Consumers Union has long urged the USFDA and Congress to prohibit antibiotic use except for treatment of sick animals.
The use of antibiotics in animal rearing is strictly prohibited in organic production. Instead, organic producers provide living conditions and health care practices that help prevent illness and promote health of the animals. New statistics from the Food and Drug Administration show that animal production uses over 29 million pounds of antibiotics annually. A new slogan used on the USDA Organic label states, “If everyone chose just one organic product out of every 10 items they purchased, we could eliminate over 2.5 million pounds of antibiotics used in livestock each year.”
American adults believe today’s children have fewer prospects and opportunities, though teens remain optimistic abut the future, according to the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll. The poll digs into the increased concerns about the country’s political direction and the economy. American adults say that opportunities for a quality education, access to health care, fair treatment, adequate play time, and sufficient love and attention are accessible to some, but they are not guaranteed for the average American child. In other words, this poll reflects a noticeable chilling of the national mood and fears that the operative definition of the American dream, that each generation will live better than its predecessor, will no longer be true. The majority of today’s teenagers, however, still consider college a worthwhile investment, and more than half of those polled say its better to be a teenager today than it was when their parents were growing up.
Other articles of interest in the Fall 2013 TMIS eNewsletter:
* The recent annual Farm Aid fundraising event became a platform for speaking out against the health threat of antibiotic resistance created by factory farms.
* Data from the World Alzheimer Report 2013 predicts the number of older adults with care needs will increase to 277 million by 2050 and that half of all older people who need personal care have dementia.
* A new film, “The Cause is the Cure,” tells the true stories of people who have successfully overcome cancer diagnoses without chemotherapy or radiation.
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From the Front Page of TMIS News
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Report calls out health threat from antibiotic overuse in livestock
Pointing out that every year more than two million people in the United States get infections resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die as a result, a new report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls for phasing out the routine use of antibiotics in industrial livestock production that has been linked to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The use of antibiotics in animal rearing is strictly prohibited in organic production. Instead, organic producers provide living conditions and health care practices that help prevent illness and to promote health of the animals.
"Up to half of antibiotic use in humans and much of antibiotic use in animals is unnecessary," CDC declared, citing that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently proposed guidance for using these drugs in food-producing animals only when medically necessary and targeting their use to only address diseases and health problems.
"This report is confirmation of warnings issued years ago by scientists about the use of antibiotics in livestock and the development of resistant strains as a consequence of their use," said Warren Porter, professor of zoology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and member of The Organic Center's Science Advisory Board. He added, "The problem is all the more serious now because of emerging evidence of subtle immune suppression in the human population as evidenced by the rise of diseases related to reduced immune competence."
"By choosing meat and dairy products bearing the organic label, consumers can avoid contributing to antibiotic-resistant bacteria," said Jessica Shade, Ph.D., Director of Science Programs for The Organic Center. "Several studies have also found fewer antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria on organic foods. If you're worried about dietary exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, choosing organic is a good idea."
New Poll: Parents Remain Gloomy About America's Future While Teens Feel Confident
New data from the quarterly Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll shows an American public that overwhelmingly believes childhood and parenthood were better for earlier generations, with 79 percent of poll respondents saying it was better to have been a child when they were young.
The most recent Heartland Monitor shows that Americans are deeply uncertain about the prospects for today's children. A majority (68 percent) of respondents believe that when today's children are adults, they'll have less financial security, with a poorer chance of holding a steady job and owning a home without too much debt. Almost the same percentage (62 percent) believes their children will have less opportunity to achieve a comfortable retirement. Overall, Heartland XVIII delivers a downbeat vision from parents and non-parents alike, who believe that today's children will display less patriotism, work ethic, and civic responsibility than today's adults.
Yet, in the face of this intense pessimism on the part of adults, teenagers are much more optimistic and clearly feel the older generations have it wrong. For the first time, the Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll also surveyed high school teenagers ages 13-18, and found an optimistic view of the economy: More than half of the teens surveyed (54 percent) say they believe it's better to be a teenager today than it was when their parents were growing up. A plurality (45 percent) believe that when they are their parents' age, they will have more opportunity to get ahead than the previous generation. Just 24 percent of teens say they will have less opportunity.
"The world looks to America as a beacon of hope to realize one's dreams. While we see pessimism in this poll, the younger generation feels a sense of optimism about the future," said Sanjay Gupta, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of Allstate. "These findings reinforce a challenging backdrop, but the optimism of the younger generation gives us hope in the enduring American dream."
Farm Aid: CDC Antibiotic Resistance Report Confirms Health Threat From Factory Farms
Saratoga Springs, New York
In response to the first-ever Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report on antibiotic resistance, Farm Aid issued a statement from the site of its annual benefit concert on Sept. 21, calling for further investigation of factory farm-related health issues and an immediate curtailing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of non-therapeutic antibiotic use in food-producing animals, as recommended by the CDC.
The new CDC report, "Antibiotic resistance threats in the United States, 2013," affirms that the factory farm approach to food production puts our health in danger. For years, Farm Aid has worked alongside family farmers to bring attention to the risks associated with taking animals off the land and confining them together in massive production facilities. We have already seen some of the consequences of factory farming, including diminished air and water quality and the loss of family farms and communities across the country. Now we have confirmation that this unsafe system is seriously threatening the health of all Americans. The overuse and misuse of antibiotics in industrial animal production is causing the spread of deadly drug-resistant pathogens in humans, including Campylobacter and Salmonella, collectively, the source of more than 400,000 infections per year.
The costs of factory farming are too dire to ignore. We can't afford an industrial food system that produces cheap food, propped up by dangerous practices that make people sick. Farm Aid urges the FDA to immediately act in the interest of the public by using its authority to enforce the CDC recommendations to limit antibiotic use in industrial farms. This should be the first step in a stronger move to research and report the health threats from factory farms, both to animals and humans. Farm Aid encourages everyone who eats to stand with family farmers by holding the government accountable for creating policies and enforcing regulations that ensure a safe and healthy food system for all.
2013 World Alzheimer Report Reveals Global Alzheimer's Epidemic Creating Shortage of Caregivers, Lack of Support for Family Members
As the world population ages, the traditional system of informal care by family, friends and community will come under increasing strain. Data from the World Alzheimer Report 2013 predicts the number of dependent older people will rise from 101 million in 2010 to 277 million in 2050, an almost threefold increase. Conservative estimates show that at least 36 million people currently live with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and that number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years.
In response to the global Alzheimer's epidemic, Alzheimer's Disease International (ADI) and Home Instead Senior Care have joined together to host the Living with Alzheimer's: A Journey of Caring roundtable to discuss the World Alzheimer Report 2013 and the state of caregiving in North America. ADI and Bupa commissioned a team of researchers, led by Professor Martin Prince from King's College London, to produce the report. The development of the report was supported by a grant from Bupa. The events, held in three international capitals, address the global impact of the disease during World Alzheimer's Month. The first event occurred on Sept. 19 in Washington, D.C. The other events are in London on Sept. 20 and Beijing on Sept. 26.
The authoritative report on the global Alzheimer's epidemic, World Alzheimer Report 2013 focuses on the changing nature of long-term care due to changing family and societal dynamics, smaller families, increased urbanization, workforce mobility and the changing role of women. It also addresses the impact on caregivers for people with dementia, which often includes decreased earnings and deteriorating physical and mental health. "Ability to care for those with Alzheimer's is an emerging threat," said Marc Wortmann, executive director, ADI. "That's why we've joined with Home Instead Senior Care to address the challenges of care until there's a cure. Every day our organizations see the impact of Alzheimer's on families and their struggles to provide support while juggling children, jobs and other responsibilities. Focus on care for those with Alzheimer's and dementia is critical."
The report examines the global impact of the disease and provides a comprehensive view of the impact the disease has on society. A particular focus this year was the impact of Alzheimer's and dementias on those who provide care. The report concludes that there is need for additional support in order to lessen the burden on the individual as well as the global infrastructure.
Film Reveals How To Defeat Cancer Without Conventional Medical Therapies
A trailer for the new short film, "The Cause is the Cure," has been released by Maximized Living, a multinational network of wellness doctors. The short film, which tells the true stories of people who have successfully overcome cancer diagnoses without chemotherapy or radiation, will premiere October 5 at more than 450 Maximized Living locations throughout the United States and Canada.
In the film, real patients who had been blindsided by their cancer diagnoses explain their fears, decisions and other experiences while fighting the notorious disease, including why they chose to refuse conventional medical therapies. "I was given one year to live if I didn't choose to do chemotherapy or radiation," said Andrea Thompson, founder of Moving Beyond Ministries and cervical cancer survivor. "After learning the principles of Maximized Living, I knew I was in the right place."
The principles of Maximized Living are its 5 Essentials, which specifically address stress, nutrition, fitness, nerve supply and toxicity. Instead of demanding a drastic lifestyle overhaul, the 5 Essentials empower people to make subtle and sustainable lifestyle changes that have an immense positive impact on their health, both short- and long-term.
Food From Family Farms Stars at Farm Aid 2013
Saratoga Springs, New York
Farm Aid 2013 at Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) on Sept. 21 brought together an all-star lineup and more than 25,000 fans to shine a spotlight on the need for good food that family farms provide us all. From interactive, hands-on workshops in the Homegrown Village to family farm food served at all concessions stands through Farm Aid's Homegrown Concessions.
Upstate New York farmers, businesses and nonprofit organizations are pitching in to make sure this year's Farm Aid benefit concert provides concertgoers with family farm experiences that are distinctly New York. Local farmers and companies will help Farm Aid bring family farm-sourced ingredients to Homegrown Concessions. Local and regional farm groups will present interactive exhibits in the Homegrown Village, engaging concertgoers in the work family farmers do to protect our communities, our environment and our health. Concertgoers can pitch in too, by supporting a food drive at Farm Aid 2013 to support those in need.
American Humane Association Announces Major Victories At Inaugural 'Be Humane' Summit
The American Humane Association, the first national humane organization, has announced a number of important victories in the humane movement, most notably the protection of nearly 1 billion farm animals in the United States. The only charity dedicated to the protection of both children and animals is holding its inaugural Be Humane summit, a convening of the top scientists and experts dedicated to the study of the human-animal bond and the welfare, wellness and well-being of children and animals.
American Humane Association's American Humane Certified program now certifies the humane treatment of almost 10 percent of all farm animals raised for food production in this country. An agreement with a soon-to-be announced major producer has ensured that America's oldest farm animal welfare certification program will continue to be not only the largest, but the fastest-growing effort of its kind in the world.
"Every year, 10 billion animals are raised for food on America's farms and ranches, and all animals deserve to be treated humanely," said Dr. Robin Ganzert, American Humane Association's president and CEO. "Yet 90 percent of them still do not live under scientifically-based welfare standards in independently-verified living conditions. We are proud to now certify the welfare of nearly 1 billion of these animals, and we will continue to work hard to educate producers, retailers and consumers about the benefits of third-party welfare audits."
Physicians Practice Finds 40% of Doctors Would Choose Different Career in Face of Reform, Regulations
With the Affordable Care Act's full effect looming in 2014, U.S. physicians remain optimistic about healthcare and their role in keeping patients healthy, according to the 2013 Physicians Practice Great American Physician Survey. Now in its fifth year, the Great American Physician Survey gauges physicians' opinions on everything from politics to work-life balance, and measures their career satisfaction. This year's survey of 1,172 physicians was taken online during a four-month period beginning in January.
As they did in 2012, survey respondents ranked their overall happiness as an eight on a scale from 1 to 10 (10 being happiest), and the vast majority of physicians are still satisfied with their career choice. Sixty percent said given the chance to go back in time and choose again, they would still become a physician. When looking into the future, 46 percent of physicians said in the next five years, they will continue to practice the same way they do today. Fourteen percent plan on retiring in that same time frame.
Still content with medicine and providing quality patient care, physicians did note key areas of frustration they face on a daily basis. Of the 40 percent who said they would not become a physician again given the chance to rethink their career path, 32 percent felt there was too much third-party interference in their practice operations. When asked to indicate the largest barrier to good healthcare for their patients, 37 percent of physicians identified a lack of adequate insurance coverage and 19 percent said they don't have enough time to adequately educate patients on better health strategies.
Physicians Practice App Helps Physicians Prepare for Effects of Affordable Care Act
Physicians Practice, the award-winning practice management resource for physicians and medical office staff, has released the third digital issue of its free iPad application. This issue includes a multitude of tips from peers and practice management experts to help practices prepare for changes in the delivery of healthcare, resulting from the January 2014 implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
According to UBM Medica's 2013 Great American Physician Survey, sponsered by Kareo, six in ten physicians rated health reform as "extremely important" in their lives. Yet the same study revealed that nearly 60 percent of those surveyed had done nothing to prepare for the changes that are expected to take effect in just a few months. In an effort to help physicians and their staff take steps to prepare for any potential effects of the ACA, the latest digital issue of the Physicians Practice tablet app includes a "Healthcare Reform Toolkit" with tips on ACA-related topics such as bundled payments, Medicare and Medicaid, Accountable Care Organizations, Health Insurance Exchanges, and Patient-Centered Medical Homes.
The third issue also contains exclusive data from the aforementioned Great American Physician Survey that delves into physicians' opinions on everything from health reform and politics, to their personal and professional lives. Other features of the September 2013 issue include:
* Tips to help practices increase their revenue by avoiding common coding mistakes and speeding up the collections process.
* A comparison guide to help physicians choose the best tablet for use in their practice.
* Multi-media features such as videos, podcasts and infographics that allow readers to further explore topics of interest.
Introducing Obamacare -- The Game
Politics has never been so much fun! A Louisville entrepreneur has turned headlines into happy times with his whimsical creation, Obamacare, The Game.
"Whatever your politics, you'll love the creative insanity that only a government bureaucracy can cobble together. It's fun, educational and a little scary, all at the same time," mused game creator Jack LeFeber. With wry humor, LeFeber has taken the staggering complexity of the more than 10,000-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and transformed it into a satirical board game that perfectly skewers legislative absurdity and partisan infighting.
Obamacare, The Game features a colorful layout, creative action cards, and a style of play that humorously points out the impact the health care overhaul will have on the American middle class. Players can choose to be Democrats, Republicans, Tea Party, Green Party or Occupy Wall Street members, as well as an added player with a distinct advantage, The IRS. You don't have to know all the details of the bill to enjoy the game. Each player starts out as a small business owner (except the Occupy Wall Streeters, who are unemployed). Along the way, you are taxed, troubled, hospitalized, or may even fall victim to a Death Panel as you make your way across the board.
Joslin Diabetes Center And Clinton Foundation Join For Diabetes Innovation And Year-Round Support For Healthier Communitiest
Harvard Medical School-affiliated Joslin Diabetes Center, the world's largest provider of diabetes-focused clinical care, research and education and the producer of Diabetes Innovation 2013, has joined the Clinton Foundation to boost efforts to prevent diabetes and to improve treatment quality and reduce costs for those with the disease and its related conditions and complications.
Joslin will lead diabetes-focused efforts organized by the Clinton Foundation's Clinton Health Matters Initiative (CHMI) and its many innovative "commitment makers" by developing, integrating and administering a Diabetes Prevention and Treatment program as part of CHMI's chronic disease prevention platform within its national commitment portfolio.
Established by President Bill Clinton, CHMI works to improve the health and well-being of people across the United States by activating individuals, communities, and organizations to make meaningful contributions to the health of others. The goals of CHMI are to reduce the prevalence of preventable health outcomes, close health inequity and disparity gaps, and reduce health care costs by improving access to key contributors of health for all people.
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