Limit exposure to plastics
A number of researchers have linked plastic food and beverage containers to cancer and reproductive anomalies. In response, many people turned to BPA-free plastics, which are supposed to be safer. But are they really? A 2011 study in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal says no plastic is safe.
Researchers found even BPA-free plastics release chemicals linked to health issues, including increased risk of breast, ovarian, testicular and prostate cancer; early puberty in females; obesity and altered reproductive functions.
So what can you use instead?
Pura Stainless, a California-based company, sells safe drinking containers for children and adults. Their bottles, according to a news release, “are crafted from food service grade, electro-polished stainless steel. Our bottles are 100 percent BPA-free, do not leach harmful chemicals like plastic bottles, nor do they require funky chemical linings like aluminum bottles.” Even the lids are stainless steel.
The company makes a line of steel baby bottles, called Pura Kiki. “In Kiki bottles, breast milk is protected from exposure to light, preventing the breakdown of important proteins and nutrients,” according to promotional materials. “Pura nipples are also well vented to reduce the amount of air the baby swallows and prevent colic.”
Prices range from about $5 to $28. To learn more, go to www.purastainless.com.
The Oklahoma State Board of Health has elected officers for its 2012-13 term.
Dr. R. Murali Krishna was elected president. Krishna is president and chief operating officer of Integris Mental Health and is president, chief operating officer and a co-founder of the Integris Health James L. Hall Jr. Center for Mind, Body and Spirit. Appointed to the board in 2008, he represents Logan, Oklahoma, Cleveland, McClain, Garvin, Murray and Payne counties.
Dr. Ronald Woodson was elected vice president. An interventional cardiologist practicing in Lawton since 1982, he is co-founder and president of The Heart and Vascular Center of Lawton. Appointed in 2010, he represents Blaine, Kingfisher, Canadian, Caddo, Grady, Comanche, Jefferson, Stephens and Cotton counties.
Martha A. Burger was elected secretary-treasurer. Senior vice president for human and corporate resources at Chesapeake Energy, she was appointed in 2011 and represents the state at large.
The board has nine members appointed by the governor with senate confirmation.
Paid for pounds
Losing weight can be lucrative. A number of companies, supported by corporate and government entities, are paying rewards to people who successfully diet.
HealthyWage.com is among those companies. It pays bounties to dieters who lose 10 percent of their body weight, slim down to a “normal” body mass index or team up with friends to compete against other dieters. The cost to join the 10 percent challenge is $100; if you're successful, you double your money and get $200. Other challenges pay even more money — up to $10,000.
Sounds good, right? The trouble is that some sites aren't legit. HealthyWage says to watch for these red flags:
• Lack of weight verification. If you're winning money or prizes for weight loss, someone has to confirm that you're losing pounds. If there's no verification or audit process from a third party, odds are you're being scammed.
• Requirement to purchase a third-party product. If you have to buy pills, food, clothing or other products, odds are you're being rooked.
• Inaccessible service or support. You should be able to reach someone by phone or email. If you can't, investigate or go elsewhere.
• No social media following. These days, legitimate businesses have a Facebook or Twitter presence. Poll your online friends to see if they've ever done business with the company.
• Little or no search results. Again, if a company is paying out cash for pounds, people will be talking about it.
• No coverage in popular media. Real companies get mentioned in legitimate news sources, such as newspapers, magazines and TV.
Keep active on vacation
Vacations call to mind a secluded beach, a good book and a tropical drink — but don't forget about exercise.
Life Fitness, a manufacturer of gym quality exercise equipment, offers these tips for staying active while you're off work:
• Take a staycation. There's no better time to begin a new fitness regimen than when you're at home with time on your hands. Try rollerblading, bicycling or attending a fitness class. You may find an activity you really enjoy.
• Plan an adventure vacation. Swim in the ocean, go white-water rafting, go for a hike, ride a horse, explore ruins or jog on the beach.
• Visit a spa. If you need to unwind from work stress while on vacation, consider a fitness-focused spa visit. Try yoga and meditation. Eat healthy foods. Try to relax.
• Stay active at your usual vacation destination. Do you have a time-share or a family cabin you visit each vacation? If so, try to make your stay a little more unusual. Climb a tree, swing from vines, play in the water, go snorkeling or take long walks.
Compiled by Ken Raymond, Staff Writer