C Force from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/c-force Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Mon, 27 Mar 2017 07:32:44 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss C Force from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/c-force-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/c-force a023216247c3e68a88761e240b40a2f8 Why We Can't Slack Off On Dealing With Obesity for 03/24/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/03/17/why-we-cant-slack-off-on-dealing-with-obesity Fri, 24 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p>As I mentioned last week, according to a recent study, although the percentage of American adults who are overweight or obese keeps climbing upward, the percentage of Americans who are attempting to lose weight is now on the decline. The reasons for this decline remains open to speculation, but recent news of the percentage of overweight and obese people who relapse following a dieting plan surely plays a role in creating both discouragement and a sense of resignation for those struggling with this issue. </p> <p>The highly publicized result of a recent study of contestants on the TV series "The Biggest Loser" is a case in point. Six years after dropping an average of 129 pounds over the course of a season, the study found that contestants had regained 70 percent of their lost weight since the show's finale. What is lost in this news is the fact that this pattern is not exclusive to those with serious weight issues. According to experts at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, as many as 95 percent of people who lose at least a tenth of their body weight tend to gain it back and then some within a year. </p> <p>Generally, when people go on a diet and voluntarily eat less food, most are able to lose at least some weight. What often happens is that, with the passage of time, for many people body weight creeps back up to the same level as before the dieting began. Experts have long believed body weight to be controlled or maintained by what they call a "set point"; that the amount of body fat and body weight we carry as adults is relatively stable.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 24, 2017</p> 72309efb2cfce2ec17c8b5451ead92e9 Health Takes Two Steps Forward And Two Steps Back for 03/17/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/03/17/health-takes-two-steps-forward-and-two-steps-back Fri, 17 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Diet and exercise &#8212; two things we think of as a foundation for healthy living. Just consider the findings of a recently published report in the International Journal of Epidemiology. As if any more proof were needed, it makes a clear connection between eating more of certain fruits and vegetables and living longer. According to a Meta study conducted by Imperial College London, it's estimated that if people ate 10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day, an estimated 7.8 million premature global deaths could be avoided each year. For the study, a portion was characterized as 800 grams (for context, consider that one medium apple constitutes around 182 grams).</p> <p>Those who consume up to 10 portions fruits and vegetables a day are said to be rewarded with a 24 percent lower risk of heart disease, a 33 percent lower risk of stroke, a 28 percent lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a 13 percent lower risk of cancer and a 31 percent lower risk of dying early when compared to not eating fruit or vegetables.<p>Updated: Fri Mar 17, 2017</p> a4c2a8132625fe51f293b898063fc3a0 Time For A Technology Reboot 2.0 for 03/10/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/03/17/time-for-a-technology-reboot-20 Fri, 10 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>I thought I was finished a couple of weeks ago making my point about our need to start relying less on technology and to start making more of an effort to escape its grasp. Then this news came in. A new study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health, published in the current edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, has found some serious flaws in the notion that postings and likes on social media help connect people. According to the study, spending more time on social media platforms, which limits in-person interactions, is linked to a higher likelihood of at least some people feeling socially isolated.</p> <p>Today, mental health problems and social isolation are at epidemic levels among young adults, lead study author Dr. Brian Primack says in the report. Spending time on social media may be fine for some, but increased social media use could also bring on negative health consequences for many young adults. <span class="column--highlighted-text">The study notes that social isolation, defined as a lack of a sense of belonging and true engagement with others, is linked to an increased risk of illness and even death.</span><p>Updated: Fri Mar 10, 2017</p> f1bdb4daec2c075d1099ce4051f50eca The Trouble With Food Labels for 03/03/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/03/17/the-trouble-with-food-labels Fri, 03 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Contrary to popular belief, foods don't "expire." And most foods you buy are in fact perfectly safe to eat well past the "sell by" date you see on the label. They obviously may not taste as good because of a lack of freshness, but the notion that they are not safe to eat is generally not true. The whole idea behind these warning labels is to encourage consumers to eat the product at its peak of freshness and flavor, thus protecting the reputation of that product. And this makes perfect sense. <span class="column--highlighted-text">As a food product passes its "expiration" date, it may get stale or go sour. But according to food safety experts, most spoiled foods aren't hazardous to a person's health if consumed.</span></p> <p>Though some states require expiration dates on meat or milk, such dates on food are not required under any federal law. Yet many consumers look at this largely arbitrary and unregulated practice as an absolute. As a result, each and every day, a lot of perfectly good food goes into the trash. This wasted food is a significant part of the staggering 130 billion pounds of food that goes to waste in this country every year. Recent research on why people waste food conducted by SSRS, a market and survey research firm, found that almost 70 percent of those surveyed threw items away after the package date expired, thinking it reduced the chance of getting sick from eating it (an outcome that may be unlikely).<p>Updated: Fri Mar 03, 2017</p> 406962c9d9f3ea8606aa7af948d95890 Health And Technology Need A Reboot for 02/24/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/02/17/health-and-technology-need-a-reboot Fri, 24 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Among the many weapons in today's battle of the bulge, probably none is more visible than wearable fitness devices. They're everywhere. According to leading statistic company Statista, the global wearables market is projected to reach $19 billion dollars in 2018, more than ten times what it was just five years ago. From 2010 to 2015, one leading company, Fitbit, has seen its revenue increase from just over $5 million to more than $1.8 billion, as the health and fitness wearable devices market continues its climb as one of the most promising segments of the wearable industry.</p> <p>Just how effective are these devices in helping the wearers lose weight? It's hard to say, as various study results have proved to be inconclusive. That is, except for one. Called the IDEA trial and conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, it involved more than 470 adults between the ages of 18 and 35. All of them were put on a low-calorie diet, had group counseling sessions and were advised to increase their physical activity. About half were also given wearable tech devices that monitored their activity and connected to a website to provide feedback as the experiment went along.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 24, 2017</p> 2b41f36d2396f43ce963170067282a9a Little Things Mean a Lot for 02/17/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/02/17/little-things-mean-a-lot Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Little things mean a lot. That there are lots of little things out there that we can do, adjustments we can make, that could prompt both immediate and long term benefits to our health.</p> <p>The finding of a small, preliminary study recently conducted by researchers at the University of Auckland presents but one example &#8212; follow the age-old advice you may have heard countless times from your mother to sit up straight. Come to find, according to the study's preliminary findings, people with symptoms of depression may see at least some temporary improvements by doing just that.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 17, 2017</p> ae181d085c0aa4cf0f0a76d3dbd1d362 Resetting The Sleep Clock for 02/10/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/02/17/resetting-the-sleep-clock Fri, 10 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>"To sleep, perchance to dream" is an age-old saying. Have you ever wondered what the ultimate purpose of sleep is? Rest assured, science has pondered and probed the question for a long time and has come up with lots of ideas. Some have said it's to save energy, while others suggest that it goes back to a primal need to lie still at night to hide from predators. Now, two studies published in the journal Science are forwarding a new notion. Their thesis is that we sleep in order to forget some of the things we learn each day. They contend that we are constantly storing new memories in our brains and the sheer noise of all of this information can bog down its circuitry. We sleep so our brains can pare back the brain's overload in order to allow the circuitry to operate more quickly and efficiently over the noise.</p> <p>While the debate over the fundamental purpose of sleep remains unsettled and is sure to keep researchers awake nights for years to come, the health consequences of a lack of sleep appears much clearer. The idea that lack of sleep can clog a person's thinking, spike their emotions and generally throw them off their game is commonly accepted. Multiple studies have shown that excessive sleepiness can hurt work performance, wreak havoc on relationships and lead to mood problems like anger and depression.</p> <p>As noted in a recent article by Jane Brody of the New York Times, regardless of the reason for sleeplessness, it can become a learned response. The more one frets about a sleep problem, the worse it can get. "Insomnia is like a thief in the night, robbing millions &#8212; especially those older than 60 &#8212; of much-needed restorative sleep," Brody writes. And, while the causes of insomnia are many, they can be expected to increase in number and severity with age. <p>Updated: Fri Feb 10, 2017</p> 3b9126c96da75753f13074c3f718e579 The Chemical Imbalance of U.S. Regulation for 02/03/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/02/17/the-chemical-imbalance-of-us-regulation Fri, 03 Feb 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>You know something's up when the two largest discount retailers in the United States &#8212; Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated and the Target Corporation &#8212; take it upon themselves to direct their suppliers to remove or restrict the use of certain hazardous chemicals from the products they produce. But that's exactly what has been going on in recent years.</p> <p>According to Reuters News, the Target Corporation said it is introducing a policy aimed at removing a number of harmful chemicals used in its personal care, beauty and textiles products. This action is on the heels of its move to abolish more than 1,000 chemicals from some of its products in 2015. The retailer also further plans to invest $5 million over the next five years in "green chemistry," a process which involves the reduction or elimination of hazardous substances in products.</p> <p>Target's announcement comes six months after Wal-Mart Stores Incorporated said it was pushing suppliers to remove or restrict the use of eight hazardous chemicals from some of the products it sells.<p>Updated: Fri Feb 03, 2017</p> 06a09b8a86614e1f091eeb87c0dde2e8 Friendship as a Prescription for Good Health for 01/27/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/01/17/friendship-as-a-prescription-for-good-health Fri, 27 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Last week I touched on the power of the mind in healing and the science behind unlocking the mechanism of the mind-body connection. A good example of this is the lack of scientific acknowledgement and research of the central role the bond of friendship can play in saving lives and promoting health. There is a net health benefit to these relationships as well.</p> <p>According to Census Bureau reports, nearly one fourth of all men and nearly 46 percent of women ages 75 or over live alone. Those who shut themselves off from the world are greatly susceptible to higher mortality rates, increased risk of depression, cognitive decline and illnesses. Multiple studies show a clear association with loneliness, higher blood pressure and dementia, as well as with risky health behaviors such as a sedentary lifestyle and smoking.</p> <p>Exactly why friendship has such a significant effect remains unclear to researchers. Still, you have to wonder why something shown to be a powerful weapon in fighting illness, depression, speeding recovery, slowing the aging process and prolonging life is not made more of a wellness priority. An old adage once put it this way: one person caring about another represents life's greatest value.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 27, 2017</p> 85f0c5b4e42b7469a9685eff73bc518c No New Drugs for Depression on the Horizon for 01/20/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/01/17/no-new-drugs-for-depression-on-the-horizon Fri, 20 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For some folks, I'm sure this will be anxiety-inducing news. According to a recently published analysis by the University of Oxford, it could be at least 10 years or more before any new generation of antidepressant medications comes to market.</p> <p>"I'd be very surprised if we were to see any new drugs for depression in the next decade," noted Guy Goodwin, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Oxford. "The pharmaceutical industry is simply not investing in the research because it can't make money from these drugs," he adds.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 20, 2017</p> 515d3bfb846d9e9a9ccd86c9ee2df075 I'll Have Mine with Cheese for 01/13/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/01/17/ill-have-mine-with-cheese Fri, 13 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>C FORCE</p> <p>BY CHUCK NORRIS</p> <p>RELEASE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2017<p>Updated: Fri Jan 13, 2017</p> 9b4eba61cd63cb6be2f7783d7a0300eb A Crowd of Loneliness for 01/06/2017 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/01/17/a-crowd-of-loneliness Fri, 06 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Last week, I touched on our fundamental human requirement for interconnectedness as something we far too often fail to see as a basic need. What David Allan, CNN editorial director of Health and Wellness, refers to as the importance of "the decency we exchange with those around us." What happens when we lose touch with this essential need for interconnectedness? What happens when we find ourselves alone?</p> <p>Numerous studies have shown that loneliness makes our bodies feel under attack. When that happens, physical and psychological stress responses are triggered. Loneliness can increase blood pressure and cholesterol. Unrelenting loneliness can suppress immune system function as well as significantly increase a person's risk of cardiovascular disease. According to a Psychology Today report, it can even cause a person's skin temperature to drop. Scientists believe that, given all the drastic ways in which loneliness impacts our bodies, it represents as great a risk for our long term health and longevity as cigarette smoking.</p> <p>It's likely that we all have experienced the ache of loneliness at some point in our lives. Experts place the percentage at well over 40 percent of us. Yet, though it is a widespread condition, we're generally unaware of the dramatic ways it affects our minds and bodies. If allowed to become a persistent condition, it can lead to an isolated and disconnected life. And with it comes significant threats to a person's mental and physical health, as well as their life expectancy.<p>Updated: Fri Jan 06, 2017</p> 83d9d38f5650e2c49f859980ab88c426 The Holidays for 12/30/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/12/16/the-holidays Fri, 30 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>As we near the close of a celebratory though hectic and emotional time of year, it's important to remember all the many people who don't get time off work to enjoy the season with their loved ones. For those in certain demanding, stress-inducing lines of work - particularly doctors, nurses, military personnel, police officers and firefighters - it has to be an extremely difficult period.</p> <p>I was reminded of this by a short essay written in 2013 by Dr. John Henning Schumann, the host of the radio show Tulsa's Medical Matters. The reprint is currently posted on NPR. In his essay, Dr. Schumann reflects on a young doctor's life during residency training with hospital shifts lasting from 16 to 28 hours with no holiday breaks; of how the holidays fall during a difficult midpoint in the year, characterized by high stress and sagging morale for new doctors in that final stretch toward certification. And of the added stress of knowing you've been assigned to your first shift working Christmas day, a day known for its influx in patient deaths from natural causes; what is known as the "Christmas effect."</p> <p>The Christmas holiday effect on mortality, though not fully clinically understood, has been statistically established in the United States for a number of years. People's ability to somehow modify their date of death based on dates of significance has been both confirmed and refuted in various studies.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 30, 2016</p> 6e7ef13584ac384e9eb6ff61e13b4151 Maintaining Optimism in a Time of Uncertainty for 12/23/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/12/16/maintaining-optimism-in-a-time-of-uncertainty Fri, 23 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>For generations, working-class families have steadied themselves in the struggle to get ahead by the notion that, in this country, a better life was possible if we just worked hard. For the most part, that has held true. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Research shows that during the past 50 years, a majority of children grew up to achieve the markers of what we identified as a better life; tending to earn more money, to live longer and enjoying higher living standards than their parents had achieved. That is, until now.</span></p> <p>According to a recent economic study released by Stanford University, the widening gap between rich and poor Americans has pushed the chances of children earning more money than their parents down to nearly 50 percent; a sharp fall from 1940, when 90 percent of kids were destined to move up the income ladder. <p>Updated: Fri Dec 23, 2016</p> c07a6d26ba8c9b16b2d1cb42655e1aae Doctors, Depression and the American Dream for 12/16/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/12/16/doctors-depression-and-the-american-dream Fri, 16 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>A report has revealed that, among the clinically depressed, doctors have far higher rates of depression than the average person. According to a recent study from Brigham and Women's Hospital as reported by Time magazine, medical students are also two to five times more likely to have depression than the general population.</p> <p>"It's kind of paradoxical, give that they should recognize the signs better than anyone," says study author Dr. Douglas Mata.</p> <p>Despite these alarming numbers, few doctors or medical students seek treatment for their condition. Sadly, it seems that mood disorders like depression are not taken seriously, even by physicians. As the Time investigative report revealed, the reasons that doctors have failed to seek treatment include many of the same factors that prevent so many who can afford care from receiving it. Included is the stigma attached to doing so. It is said that within the medical profession, issues of depression have long been viewed as "an open secret."<p>Updated: Fri Dec 16, 2016</p> 0165526737aabd740d4a83cb10e8b862 A Holiday Reflection for 12/09/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/12/16/a-holiday-reflection Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>As the saying goes, "'tis the season to be jolly." So why don't many folks today feel that way? Seems the holidays bring on a rollercoaster of emotions that can run the gamut; from joyous to painful. It's a time that arouses remembrance and reflections that can range from happy, to sad, to bittersweet. If separated from family members it can be an especially painful time. If suffering financial hardships, it can make a struggling family feel they are on the outside looking in. These feelings often lead to what is known as "the holiday blues," or worst yet, a clinical condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.</p> <p>According to the Mindful Living Network, an estimated six percent of Americans are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, a form of depression that can linger for several months or more. About 14 percent of American adults suffer from holiday blues. But I fear these estimates may be on the low side, especially when applied to this holiday season. In this moment where dissatisfaction seems to be our only unifying norm, with so much in a state of change, our resiliency and resolve to get into the "holiday spirit" may be tested as never before.<p>Updated: Fri Dec 09, 2016</p> a2bbb1fd15d9e94c87a6c568ed556349 In the Battle of the Holiday Bulge, Our Hormones Win for 12/02/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/12/16/in-the-battle-of-the-holiday-bulge-our-hormones-win Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>As we leave Thanksgiving behind and move into phase two of the holiday season, we should try to do so without that extra serving of guilt that sometimes comes during this holiday so aligned &#8212; if we are fortunate enough &#8212; with friends, family, football and food; lots of food. According to the Calorie Control Council, it's estimated that the average American could have consumed as many as 4,500 calories on Thanksgiving Day. But we should try not to think about that. Thinking about it may bring on stress and the stress brought on by weight anxiety is a predictor of later binge eating. </p> <p>And dieting? It also can act as a precursor to stress. According to neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, author of "Why Diets Make Us Fat: The Unintended Consequences of Our Obsession With Weight Loss," in addition to binge eating, calorie restriction produces stress hormones which act on fat cells to increase our amount of abdominal fat. It is her belief that based on current science, dieting is rarely effective in the long run in reliably improving health and shedding pounds. This conclusion is consistent with the findings published in the November issue of the science journal Nature. According to the study, as many as 95 percent of people who lose at least a tenth of their body weight gain it back within a year, along with a little extra weight.</p> <p>"People go on diets over and over again - and keep failing," says Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and an author of the study. "It's a very common problem."<p>Updated: Fri Dec 02, 2016</p> a800b63d4ee02f5d5a174ea142c06b43 What will it take for us to Do Right by Our Veterans? for 11/25/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/11/16/what-will-it-take-for-us-to-do-right-by-our-veterans Fri, 25 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Since its inception at the end of World War I, Veterans Day has served as our opportunity to honor those who have served, as well as those who continue to serve, in our country's armed forces. But such tributes represents only a part of the kind of reflection that this day is intended to bring on. <span class="column--highlighted-text">We also have the responsibility to ask ourselves whether we, as a nation, are doing right by them</span>; and if the answer to that question tips at all into the negative, to commit ourselves to ensuring that our military and political leaders put things right, without delay.</p> <p>That the system of health care provided by Department of Veterans Affairs needs to change seems a given (even within the institution itself). We hear often about issues of access, the need to speed up the timeliness of service, of the bureaucratic hurdles our veterans and their families must overcome, of shortages of the resources front-line clinicians need to perform their jobs. It's easy to forget the level of commitment that is there &#8212; and has always been there &#8212; from those providing the care; of their extraordinary level of compassion and skill these VA service providers represent. I was reminded of this important point by a recent University of Michigan's Health Lab blog post by Dr. Sanjay Saint, a research fellow and former practicing physician at four different VA hospitals.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 25, 2016</p> 731010228ba27b24be170b3336d9537b The Expanding Waistline and Thinning Ranks of Today's Military for 11/18/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/11/16/the-expanding-waistline-and-thinning-ranks-of-todays-military Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>On the eve of Veterans Day, a massive veterans spending bill died in congress and it hardly made a sound. It was aimed at expanding health care and education among a number of other benefits, and included calling for the acquisition of 27 new medical facilities. According to a USA Today report, a majority of senators felt it too big a budgetary bite. They also felt that its passage would further burden a Department of Veterans Affairs already struggling to keep up with existing promised benefits and programs.</p> <p>What troubles me most about this news item though, is that so few have taken notice. You have to ask yourself, could such a lack of interest be a direct result of the growing number of Americans less and less directly connected to military service; making such items seem less directly relatable and less newsworthy?</p> <p>According to a report from the Pew Research Center, while more than three-quarters of Americans today over the age of 50 reports an immediate family member who had served in the military; when looking at Americans ages 18 to 29, the share was reduced by two-thirds. We now find ourselves in a situation where a smaller share of Americans currently serves in the U.S. Armed Forces than at any other time since the era between World Wars I and II. There exists an expanding divide between people in uniform and the civilian population. And it represents but one problem facing today's military. <p>Updated: Fri Nov 18, 2016</p> 369ad374987cf2b186085bc9ca000b3f Veterans Day Breakthrough Needed for 11/11/2016 https://www.creators.com/read/c-force/11/16/veterans-day-breakthrough-needed Fri, 11 Nov 2016 00:00:00 -0800 <p>I am proud to say I am a former member of the United States Air Force. And, like many young men in America of my generation, this military experience played an important role in instilling in me a sense of character, discipline, camaraderie and respect that has served me my entire life. So, if you are reading this on Friday, November 11, I hope you will join me in saluting and recognizing the more than 21 million veterans of military service currently among us in this country. Let us use this occasion &#8212; Veterans Day 2016 &#8212; not merely to celebrate, but to maximize our commitment as a nation to ensure that service members, veterans and their families have full access to the opportunities, resources, and support they have so clearly earned. In exchange for their service and sacrifice, let us commit to also fulfilling the covenant this nation entered into with these men and women to heal, restore and reinstate them to their proper place in our society; to realign them with their fundamental and inalienable right to the pursuit of happiness. </p> <p>"We want to be sure that we're paying attention and that we're connected to our veterans; that they're connected to support services and health care," says Kathryn Power. Power is a regional administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, a little-known government agency (working under the federal Department of Health and Human Services) tasked with trying to fill the gap in veteran care by getting community agencies more attuned to the special support services and health care issues that can follow military service.</p> <p>Many military retirees and veterans don't live in locations where they can access military or VA treatment facilities. Among this group are approximately 500,000 men and women of the Reserve Components and National Guard, so many of whom served in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. These service members typically return to their previous sources of health care after being released from active duty assignments; never utilizing the services to which they are entitled. It has long ago been accepted that anyone who has been in combat will sustain the effects of that traumatic experience, whether they have visible physical injuries or not. Many of our neighbors are not getting the post-service care they need from health care providers simply because their providers don't know that they are veterans or how to optimally communicate with them once they do know.<p>Updated: Fri Nov 11, 2016</p>