|by Rick Moore|
|Well, okay, this is the last CAMP Rehoboth article for the rest of the year. So, what I wanted to do was get as much new information in this article as I couldsome old, much new.
You all, no doubt, know about the Bird Flu by now. I wrote about this threat nearly a year ago. And now our government has finally woken up and is about to do something. But alas, it may be too late for many. Because the administration waited and ignored the threat to us here, it seems that only 10% of the US population will be getting any vaccine to combat the Bird Flu. All I can say to the other 90% is "good luck" because, while cases of humans contracting the disease are relatively few, doctors fear the disease could mutate into a highly infectious strain against which humans have little resistance.
Adding to the concern for a vaccine to combat the Bird Flu, a recent story emerged that demand has soared for the fruit used in the Bird Flu drug. From China comes word that "To Bajiao," the Chinese word for star anise (the coin-sized fruit used in everything from Asian soup to French alcoholic drinks), has jumped 40% in demand. Prices for the acid extracted from star anise, and used in the manufacture of the drug, has jumped ten fold to $600 per kilogram over the past month. The heightened interest follows the recent outbreak of avian flu, which has spread from Asia to Europe. The acid in star anise is the basic building block in making Tamiflu.
I remind everyone to read the label whenever purchasing any food or drug items! It truly does educate the consumer. Starting next year, believe it or not, McDonald's will be providing you with reading material on their product packaging. Starting in February, McDonald's will print the calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates and sodium contained in some of its most popular menu items on wrappers and boxes. All this data will be posted in all of the roughly 13,600 McDonald's restaurants (Oh mah gawd!) in the US during the first half of 2006, and in their 20,000 restaurants worldwide by year's end. The first products to be served up with the nutritional details are Big Macs, premium chicken sandwiches, french fries, and salads.
So when you buy a Big Mac at Mickey D's you can read that it has 560 calories and 30 grams of fat; a Filet o' Fish sandwich has 400 calories and 18 grams of fat; 6 chicken McNuggets have 250 calories and 15 grams of fat; the fruit and nut salad has 310 calories and 13 grams of fat; and the Bacon, Egg & Cheese McGriddle has 450 calories and 21 grams of fat. Yikes! For now, if you want to know nutritional breakdown you have to go to the McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Wendy's, or Hardees web sites to see their posted data. The restaurants see this nutrition move as very good for business. I see it as very good for consumers as well.
A disturbing trend among employers at our US Corporations and companies is the cutback, or even elimination, of healthcare benefits. Healthcare costs are still soaring, rising 15% a year since 2002. Big companies are spending huge amounts on healthcare costs and the US worker has to absorb these increases. Another disturbing trend is to discourage unhealthy people from applying for jobs. A memo from Wal-Mart stores stated that the retailer cut its healthcare costs by not hiring people with existing health conditions. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a smoking habitif you're not perfectwell, you are out of luck. Overweight? Ain't gonna hire ya! Wal-Mart isn't the only one, Northwest Airlines and Union Pacific are also guilty of the hiring discrimination. And isn't that what it is? Gee, if we could only live in that perfect world, everything would be OK and health insurance companies would be happy, too.
Here's a recent article I found in the newspaper. Seems a protein rich diet may make exercises more effective in women. Get thisa high protein diet coupled with regular exercise saw women lose body fat and build muscle. Doesn't this sound like the Adkins Diet? It's out of favor right now, since the South Beach Diet took off like gangbusters. The study was largely funded by beef and dairy intereststhere's a shocker, eh? Maybe there's a lot of the Adkins products left in the marketplace, and you can't blame them for trying. To me, this isn't "new" news, this is old news. Duh.
By the time you read this, Nick and I will have traveled to Las Vegas for our Butch Bear photo shoot. Four days in Vegas! Wow! We're slated to do a Leather and Bear calendar for next year. I've got a feeling many of my friends will be getting a special present this year for Christmas.
And lastly, to one and all, have a great Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and New Year. Don't overeat and drink. Research shows that many of us will gain 5 to 10 pounds over the holidays. Be aware of your diet and keep exercising. Be good, be safe, and be careful. Nick and I wish you all a great year. We will be back in February.
Rick Moore is a personal trainer certified by the American Fitness Professionals & Associates. Visit him at www.ricksfitness.net.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 15 November 23, 2005