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The Minnesota State Fair: Where food, fun and exercise (yes, exercise) collide!

Photo: yuan2003/cc 2.0/

The Minnesota State Fair is off and running, bringing with it the symbolic end to summer and the beginning of fall and the school year. The Minnesota State Fair is best known for its shows, rides, livestock and other animals, family fun and of course – the food!

From corn dogs, cheese curds, cookies and basically anything you could possibly imagine deep-fried and/or on a stick, the Minnesota State Fair has something for everyone to enjoy.

Now, at Health Talk, we won’t try to lecture you as to what foods you should and should not eat at the State Fair because we know, honestly, that it wouldn’t be realistic. The old adage, “everything in moderation” still applies, but we can offer you some small and simple ways you can still splurge a little on your culinary favorites AND get some exercise while you’re at it.

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Educational activities to replace bird exhibitions at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair

Photo: flickr user, Lee Cannon, CC,

Earlier this Spring, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) hit Minnesota affecting more than 100 farms and more than 9 million poultry and birds across the state were killed. Animal health officials decided to close poultry exhibits at a variety of events including the 2015 Minnesota State Fair, leaving fair-goers and 4H members disappointed, but the decision will minimize the risk of spreading the virus further.  

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Could sports mouthguards improve athletic performance?

Photo: CC, Jim Larrison,

Want to throw a football more accurately? Wear a mouthguard.

Emerging evidence shows these gummy, plastic-like appliances are linked to a host of benefits, like better reaction time, less lactic acid buildup, enhanced power outputimproved breathing and superior marksmanship.

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UMN doctor awarded collaborative grant to study newborn hearing screening and CMV screening in Minnesota

Photo: Flickr user David Clow, CC,

A new grant will enable the collaboration between the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Medical Center. The research will allow further evaluation of newborn infants failing hearing screenings for cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Typically asymptomatic, CMV is the most common congenital infection among children and is responsible for 30 percent of childhood hearing loss cases.

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Pharmacists play a prominent role in your pet’s care

Photo: Flickr user Robe, CC,

While pharmacists are well known for helping people with their medications, it’s often overlooked that they play a primary role in animal healthcare. While veterinarians prescribe animal medications, pharmacists have had an increased role in preparing and dispensing them.

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How to prepare your cat for a trip to the vet

Photo Credit: Erin McHenry

Like many pets, cats need regular examinations to maintain a good weight, test for parasites and infectious diseases, look for dental problems and to receive vaccines.

Veterinarians can often detect conditions before they become significant, painful and costly, but unfortunately, many cats go unchecked. This Saturday is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day, and the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center is encouraging cat owners to take their cats to the vet so they can live long and healthy lives.

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