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Health Myths and Facts for the Month of August 2016

Week of August 3, 2016 Immunization
  • Myth: If I “opt out” of vaccines, I am only affecting my own health.
  • Fact: No! The trouble with this myth is that vaccines work best when whole populations receive them. If most people are immune to a disease, then those who can’t be vaccinated or are at especially high risk for a disease will still get some protection — because the people around them won’t get sick. Case in point: When young people get flu shots, older people in their community are less likely to get the flu. That matters, because older individuals are more susceptible to the worst symptoms of the flu.
  • Source: Cleveland Clinic
Week of August 11, 2016 Obesity
  • Myth: Eating more fruits and vegetables will result in weight loss regardless of any other changes to one’s behavior or environment
  • Fact: It goes without saying that eating fresher, whole foods has wonderful health benefits. However, when no other accompanying change exists, weight gain may still occur. Still, it is great to eat more fruits and veggies! If it grows naturally from the earth, typically you have almost free reign in terms of how much you’re allowed to eat (bonus points if it’s leafy and green). But don’t expect that to be the silver bullet to your future skinny jeans. Make complementary changes like walking or biking to work, drinking less soda products, and getting more rest. You will be sure to see positive results.
  • Source: New England Journal of Medicine
Week of August 24, 2016
  • Myth: In our sedentary office situation, if we are able to perform at least 10 minutes of physical exercise every day, that shall suffice to offset the risk of major clinical conditions associated to lack of exercise. 
  • Fact: Ten minutes a day  is…ok but…NOT enough. A new study recommends that people who work in a sedentary, office situation should get an hour of "brisk exercise" every day to offset the risk of early death. 
    The recommendations were published in the journal Lancet, which also reported that heart disease, diabetes and some cancers caused by a sedentary lifestyle cost the global economy $67.5 billion every year.
    Lack of activity is also linked to some 5.3 million deaths each year, even more than smoking.
    This message is a positive one: it is possible to reduce - or even eliminate - these risks if we are active enough, even without having to take up sports or go to the gym. 
    The Lancet / The Emergency Email & Wireless Network