Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The American Diet

A nation of bad dietary choices. That's the U.S.A. We hear about our national obesity epidemic that has especially hit children who should be active, trim, and fit. Often we get some focus on type 2 diabetes, atherosclerosis and managing cholesterol and triglycerides. There are concerns about high blood pressure and excessive sodium intake. 

What about the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)? What is its role in keeping our diets healthful. Not its concern, I'd say.

Above we see a Bacon Cheddar Double-Burger. Alone it has 1,770 calories, a full day's allotment for some people. The sodium load is 2,380 milligrams, more than twice a healthy daily amount.

Of course, the sweet potato fries add calories, sodium, and fats. And the milk shake? That one has a slice of apple pie blended into it. Can we get any crazier with food preparation?

How interesting that the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) [referenceexists to educate us about topics the government is unwilling to address properly.

The CSPI is an entity not beholding to the corporations and businesses that support unhealthy living choices. Its Website offers many facets for improving our lives.

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

Monday, January 07, 2013

The Silent Killer

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is at the top of the list for poisoning deaths in the U.S. Like most atmospheric gases it is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. Carbon monoxide, when inhaled, binds to the hemoglobin of our red blood cells. Its affinity for hemoglobin is 200 times stronger than that for oxygen. Our circulating blood cannot sustain life when carbon monoxide has replaced the oxygen molecules that red blood cells normally carry.

We must, by new lawful mandate, have a CO Monitor/Alarm installed in our mobile home. Our son and daughter-in-law had recently got one due to adoption agency requirement. The battery operated Kidde was available to them at Sam's Club for $25. Today they had already sold out.

WalMart had a Kidde for $18. Our son's model has a digital display; thus, the higher cost. All that is necessary is monitor and alarm.

Placement of the unit is important. Close proximity to gas-fueled appliances must be avoided. Our hallway, near the heater/cooler thermostat, seemed to be a good place. It is near the two bedrooms.

Of course, the three "AA" batteries will get changed out at Daylight Saving Time cycles. The unit has a 7-year service life. Either an internal clock or electrical potential of the monitoring component functions with initial battery application. After the usage period the alarm will emit 2 beeps every thirty seconds. Nonetheless, I have made a calendar notification entry for January of 2020.

Carbon monoxide is called the silent killer because its presence in the air we breath does not cause any irritation. In fact, CO gas is tasteless, odorless, and colorless. The air we breath normally has just less than 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. Trace gasses in our atmosphere include helium and hydrogen; albeit, light enough to be better concentrated in our upper atmosphere.

So, we now have this additional degree of protection beyond our three smoke alarms. We should have had CO monitoring over past years. From this time forward we do.

It took a new law to get my attention about the issue. Those who have yet to decide on CO monitoring can now find low prices for these devices. Perhaps I will sleep more soundly tonight. We shall see…