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TomPuppy2

My brother-in-law and sister had to put their beloved dog to sleep a few months ago. Needless to say, this was a sad time for them. Tom (my brother-in-law) recently shared an observation about his weight during this time. When . they had to put their dog, Chippy to sleep, his average weight was 199. He noticed a weight gain of 9-10 pounds after this time. Since they brought home a new puppy, Chummy, his weight has dropped by 5 pounds!

What does this have to do with your health? According to the American Heart Association, owning a pet – a dog, in particular, can be good for your heart health.  This article supports the findings that my brother-in-law recently shared with me. The CDC also reports that having a pet can decrease your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides levels and decrease your feelings of loneliness.

These factors may contribute to his recent weight loss:

  • Taking a walk at least twice a day with Chummy
  • Enjoying the social interaction with the new puppy
  • Spending time with the puppy which makes it easier to avoid snacking

If you can’t have or don’t want a pet, what can you do to improve your heart health? Go back to the basics:

Enjoy physical activity most days of the week for at least 30 minutes. It is fine to break up the 30 minutes into three 10-minute sessions. Adults should aim for 150 minutes per week.

Eat a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. Enjoy a wide variety of nutrient rich veggies & fruits. Be creative with the way you add them to your day. Start the day with a fruit or veggie for breakfast (think smoothie, veggies added to eggs, or a piece of fresh fruit).

Need more help? Visit MyPlate’s SuperTracker to customize your food and activity plan. It is free and easy and will help you on your wellness journey.

While you are enjoying the health benefits from you new (or old) pet, don’t forget basic cleanliness habits to keep you and your family from becoming ill. One reminder from CDC is to wash your hands after handling your pet, pet food or treats or if you pick up their stools.  Not sure how to wash your hands? Here are the basics on handwashing from CDC:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Do you need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them

Are these good reasons to get a pet? Yes! Remember that if you are ready for a new furry family member, it just might help your health!

Sources:

http://heartinsight.heart.org/Fall-2017/Is-Owning-a-Pet-Good-for-You/

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/dogs.html

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html

https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/resources/pet-food-tips_8x11_508.pdf

https://www.supertracker.usda.gov/myplan.aspx

Writer: Michelle Treber, OSU Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Pickaway County, Heart of Ohio EERA, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe, OSU Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Franklin County, Heart of Ohio EERA, rabe.9@osu.edu

 

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Handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness to others. Despite the importance of how people should wash hands many young and old forget. Germs are tiny microorganisms that exist all around us and are invisible to the human eye.

They are different types of germs and how long they can live on the surfaces. These germs are on handles, door, keyboards, cell phones, shopping carts and most things we touch daily. Touching one of these contaminated surfaces then touching your eyes, nose, mouth, a cut, or other opening in the body, can lead to an infectious disease.

Some germs live in body fluids like mucus, pus, and stool. Even the invisible drops released when people talk, cough, sneeze can carry germs. Some germs spread through the air when some one coughs or sneezes they can release germs. When harmful germs are inhaled, they can cause illness.

Communicable diseases are ones that we can spread from one person to another. Handwashing is like a “do-it-yourself” vaccine—it involves five simple and effective steps (think Wet, Lather, Scrub, Rinse, Dry) you can take to reduce the spread of diarrhea and respiratory illness so you can stay healthy. Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. There are many vaccines to help us prevent many of these infectious diseases but for other illnesses the number one way to for prevention is HANDWASHING!

Start with Healthy Preventative Habits:

  • Wash Hands often. Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available. Rub hands together to make lather and scrub all surfaces. Continue rubbing hands for 15-20 seconds. Rinse hands well under running water. Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet. hands
  • Wash hands after using bathroom, playing with pets, being outside
  • Clean and disinfect commonly used surfaces
  • Cough and sneeze into your sleeve- don’t cough into the air or on your hands
  • Handle and prepare food safely
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Don’t share personal items … like drinking from the same cup.

 Get Immunized: A process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination. Protect yourself, your family, and friends.

Remember Handwashing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness to others. Reducing illness increases productivity, less time at doctor appointments and more time at work or school. Protect yourself today get immunized and wash your hands!

Writer: Marie Economos, Ohio State University Extension, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Educator, Western Reserve EERA, economos.2@osu.edu.

Reviewer: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Ross County.

Resources:

Center for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/

Ohio Department of Health: http://www.odh.ohio.gov/features/odhfeatures/handwashing.aspx

 

 

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It’s flu season!   Best protection is handwashing.  Regular soap?   Or antibacterial soap?  Does antibacterial provide extra protection against getting sick?  soap on hands

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isn’t sure antibacterial really makes any difference.  In fact, the FDA is proposing companies need to provide more evidence antibacterial soaps are more effective, than just washing with plain soap and water in preventing illnesses.  The FDA also wants more data on the safety of using antibacterial soaps.

Some of the chemical ingredients in antibacterial soaps are associated with risks that may outweigh any benefits.  Some ingredients may increase the bacterial resistance to antibiotics and cause hormonal changes in our bodies.

Many liquid soaps contain the chemical triclosan.  Although this chemical is not known to harm humans, it may change the way hormones work in our bodies, according to some animal studies.  Laboratory studies have shown concern with triclosan causing bacteria resistance to antibiotics.  One positive way triclosan is effective is in preventing gingivitis, when it has been added to toothpaste.  Thus, the FDA would like more studies and evidence triclosan is safe and effective.  The Environmental Protection Agency also has some concerns with triclosan and is collaborating with the FDA.

Adding to this concern is recent data indicates we are exposed to these chemical ingredients more than previously thought.  Thus, increasing our risks with regular use over time.

How do you Drug label on soapknow if your soap is antibacterial?  Most products are labeled with the word “antibacterial.” Look for a Drug Facts Label which is required on antibacterial soap or body wash.   You can also check the ingredients.   Cosmetics do not have to carry a Drug Facts Label, so you will need to check the ingredients.

Regular soap or antibacterial soap?  Try regular soap and remember to use warm water, rub hands together for at least 20 seconds, rinse well and dry.  Handwashing is a key to staying healthy.

Writer:  Pat Brinkman, Extension Educator Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

Reviewer:  Beth Stefura, M Ed, RD, LD, Extension Educator, Family & Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension

References:

United States Food and Drug Administration, [2013].  FDA Taking Closer Look at ‘Antibacterial’ Soap, FDA Consumer Health Information, Available at http://www.fda.gov/consumer

WebMD, [2013].  Triclosan: What Consumers Should Know, WebMD, Available at http://www.webmd.com/fda/triclosan-what-consumers-should-know

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A man bastes meat on a barbecue grillWith fall sports comes food and tailgating.  What are the game rules for food safety?

1.       Wash your hands.  And everything else that will touch the food including dishes and utensils.  This is the most important part of your event.  Harmful microorganisms can be easily transferred from your hands to food and cause foodborne illness to occur.

2.       Bring along a food thermometer.  Cook foods thoroughly.  The color of the meat is not enough to know if it is done.  The only safe way to know if your food is done is to use a food thermometer.  Cooking food to proper temperatures ensure that harmful bacteria will be destroyed.

Food Item

Internal  Temperature

All poultry

165° F

Ground meats (except poultry)

160° F

Steaks and Chops

145° F

Hotdogs and Brats

165° F

Ribs

160° F

3.       Pack several coolers.  Raw food should be stored separate from ready to eat food.  And, ice used for beverages should always be kept in a separate cooler.  Keep it cold – below 40° F.

4.       Have disposable or extra plates and utensils available so that you don’t have to reuse utensils for raw versus cooked foods.  Don’t cross-contaminate.  Raw juices from uncooked food can transfer bacteria onto cooked food if you use the same plate or utensils without cleaning them.

5.       Don’t forget to pack containers or wrap for leftovers.  Food needs to stay hot at 140° F or stay cold at 40° F to be safe.  When you are finished eating, safely package leftovers away at the proper temperatures to be safe.  Food should not set out at unsafe temperatures for longer than 2 hours.

Source:  University of Minnesota Extension, Tailgating Food Safety, http://www1.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/safe-meals/tailgating-tips/tailgating-food-safety-fact-sheet/

FDA Consumer Healthy Information, Keeping Bacteria at Bay, www.fda.gov/consumer

Author:  Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Food Safety, Selection and Management, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, goard.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Marilyn Rabe, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County.

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