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expert-perspectives

With summer break ahead, U of M expert shares what foods parents should keep in the fridge and pantry

Photo: USDA/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/pcsxSm

Summer break is just around the corner and many parents are hoping to keep the fridge stocked with healthy and convenient options – especially for kids.

Health Talk spoke with Jamie Stang, Ph.D., M.P.H, director of the Leadership Education and Training Program in Maternal and Child Health Nutrition and associate professor in the School of Public Health, to learn how parents can still provide healthy food options this summer even if they’re not at home.

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expert-perspectives

Be happy and lean; exercise green!

Photo: CC, Loren Kerns, https://flic.kr/p/nRSsD7

Exercise of any kind can be beneficial to our health and fitness, but exercise in nature, called ‘green exercise,’ can provide additional physical and mental health benefits. As we swarm the treadmills at the local gym, perhaps we should consider hitting the trails, the park or the lake, too.

“When you go outside, you have a more rich, holistic benefit to your exercise routine,” said Jean Larson, Ph.D., director of nature-based therapies at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality & Healing and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. “Green and traditional exercises are both beneficial, but there is a bump in the satisfaction and overall impact of the experience when you go outside.”

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expert-perspectives

Expert Perspective: Debunking indoor tanning myths

Photo: Whatsername? https://flic.kr/p/4Bn8di

If you’ve ever vacationed to a sunny beach spot, you’ve probably considered hitting the tanning salon to get a ‘base tan’ before leaving. In light of National Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Health Talk spoke to DeAnn Lazovich, M.P.H., Ph.D., from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota and the School of Public Health, who debunked four common tanning myths.

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expert-perspectives

Expert Perspective: U.S. lowers recommended fluoride in tap water

Photo: Steve Johnson, CC, https://flic.kr/p/aBotoC

The U.S. will lower nationwide recommendations for fluoride in tap water, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week. The pre-established range of 0.7-1.2 milligrams of fluoride per liter of water has been replaced with a national standard of 0.7 milligrams per liter.

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expert-perspectives

Use Of E-Cigarettes Triples Among U.S. Teens

A new national survey confirmed indications e-cigarettes are now more popular among teenage students than traditional cigarettes and other forms of tobacco.

The study was conducted by the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Youth Tobacco survey. Findings included the use of e-cigarettes has increased from 1.1 percent in 2013 to 3.9 percent in 2014 among middle school Children. The survey found the use among high school students almost tripled, from 4.5 percent to 13.4 percent. The numbers equivocate to 450,000 middle school users and 2 million high school stu

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expert-perspectives

Expert perspective: Who delivers babies in rural hospitals?

Photo: Shanna Riley/CC 2.0/https://flic.kr/p/4Nfnan

Since late January, when the story broke about the upcoming closure of the maternity ward at the Grand Marais hospital, I’ve been thinking a lot about pregnant women, clinicians, and hospital administrators in Grand Marais, and in other rural communities in Minnesota and beyond.  For pregnant women in rural areas and for all individuals seeking care, both access and patient safety are necessary components of effective health care systems. They are not negotiable. In order to better understand how to ensure both access and safety, we need to start with relevant information for understanding both capacity and need for care in rural communities.

Approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population lives in a rural area, but only about 10 percent of the nation’s physicians are practicing in rural areas. Of the 2,050 rural U.S. counties, 77 percent are designated as health professional shortage areas.  A report from the Minnesota Department of Health highlights the workforce challenges and clinician shortages in Greater Minnesota.  And this is important, because rural Americans suffer worse health outcomes than those in urban areas, having higher rates of death, disability and chronic disease.

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