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Healthy Blogger Archives

Note: Information provided herein is not intended to treat or diagnose any health condition.  As always, consult your healthcare provider with any questions or health concerns.

Keeping It Real For The Holidays
By Maureen McDonnell
December 16, 2013

After the winter holiday-whirlwind passes, typically comprised of frenzied shopping, feasting and excessive partying, did you ever find yourself wishing you could have navigated through the jolliest of seasons a little differently? Read more

The FDA Steps Up And Bans Trans Fats
By Maureen McDonnell, RN
11-13-13

It is difficult for me to heap praise on the FDA, considering their less than-stellar-history of approving drugs for the market only to later have them removed due to their toxic or in some cases  fatal affects (Viox for instance).   However, praise is in order in view of the FDAs recent announcement to ban trans fats from foods by 2015.  Read more

Apps For Halloween Safety
By Jennifer Cerbasi
10/30/13

The sun sets earlier, the air is colder, and in a few days, we'll send our kids out to walk the streets and ask strangers for candy. When it seems the odds for a safe and enjoyable outing are stacked against you, there are a few precautions you can take to help your family have a pleasant Halloween this fall. Read more

Raising Happy Healthy Kids In A Toxic World (Part 1)
By Maureen H. McDonnell, BS, RN
10-31-13

I don’t usually pull the “age card” (especially in our youth-oriented society), but I’m going to just put it out there and tell you that I am a grandmother of 7 kids (2 are in the photo) and I have been a pediatric registered nurse for 36 years!   Now, neither of these admissions alone, or in combination, makes me a wise old sage who has all the answers.  However, the fact that I was working as a pediatric nurse in the 1970s when the autism rate was 2 per 10,000 (and it is now: 1 in 50), and over that same period of time I witnessed a 300% increase in childhood asthma and a tripling of childhood obesity, makes me someone who should be asking “What the heck is going on?”  Read more

Climate Change: The Impact On Children's Health
By Lawrence Rosen, MD
October 23, 2013

 We have reached a point where there is global scientific consensus that climate change is real.  While some will debate the degree of human contribution as a cause, there is no doubt that climate change is already having a major impact on our health.  Read more

Chicken Nuggets: Head, Shoulders, Knees And Toes
By Dr. Barnard, PCRM
October 10, 2013

Researchers in Mississippi dissected chicken nuggets from two national fast-food chains and have come to some unappetizing—yet unsurprising—conclusions. Chicken nuggets are a mixture of blood vessels, nerves, muscle, cartilage, fat, and pieces of bone. Read more

Facts, Not Fear Should Guide Our Decisions About The HPV Vaccine
By Maureen H. McDonnell, BS, RN
September 19, 2013
With a new school year starting, parents are under pressure to get their children vaccinated against HPV and other infections.  Additionally, the CDC is about to launch a new PR campaign aimed at convincing the public that the HPV vaccine is necessary, should be given to young children and will protect against cancer.   But facts, not fear must guide our decisions. Read more
Germs In School: Are You Too Worried
By Dr. Rosen For KIWI Magazine
September 5. 2013

Question: I’m always worried about the germs my daughter comes into contact with—especially as she starts school. Help!
Answer: Say it with me now: “Not all germs are evil!”
Read more

Back To School List For Special Needs Families
By Jennifer Cerbasi
August 19, 2013
Prepping your child to go back to school includes a list of necessities; from backpacks to binders and smocks to snacks, the list is long. Beyond the basics, there other factors to consider when getting ready for a new school year. As a parent of a child with special needs, both you and your child may feel apprehensive about the upcoming year and the changes it may bring. Read more
Meat Or No Meat
By Maureen McDonnell, BS, RN
July, 1, 2013
I’d like to start this discussion with my favorite quote by Vaclav Havel:  Follow those who seek the truth-Run from those who say they’ve found it”.   In my younger years, when arrogance dominated most of my discussions about health, I might have offered a strong opinion and given what I deemed “the right answer” to this nutritional dilemma.  But thankfully with older age, comes a little wisdom, and the truth is - I don’t have the answer as to whether or not being a vegan (avoiding all foods from animal origin), some version of a vegetarian, or eating meat is right for you. Read more
We Are The Earth And The Earth Is Us
By Dr. Rosen For KIWI Magazine
April 22, 2013
There is a road in the hearts of all of us, hidden and seldom traveled, which leads to an unknown, secret place. The old people came literally to love the soil, and they sat or reclined on the ground with a feeling of being close to a mothering power. Read more
Spring Break For Families Of Children With Autism
By Jennifer Cerbasi
April 22, 2013
Spring break means sun, warmth, and freedom, but for families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, it could mean unstructured time, regression of skills, and an increase in undesirable behaviors. If you're the parent of a child with autism, you know that the "break" in Spring break can be misleading; it's more like overtime for you. Read more
What Do Cigarettes, Sugar and Childhood Vaccines Have In Common?
By Maureen McDonnell, BS, RN
April 5, 2013

v  In 1958 the Center for Disease Control (undoubtedly influenced by Big Tobacco) announced: 

“Smoking does not cause lung cancer”

v  In the 1970’s, the Sugar Industry began its well-funded PR campaign to shift public opinion away from the health destroying effects of sugar.  Documents have recently been unearthed from the archives at Colorado University’s library (1) revealing the strategy the industry took to make this happen.  By financially supporting (pre-determined outcome) studies, manipulating the data (as well as the media’s reporting of the research), and influencing the nomination of scientists to dietary guideline advisory committees, the sugar industry successfully “neutralized” public concern regarding sugar as a direct cause of chronic illness.  Read more

Peer Models For Children With Autism
By Jennifer Cerbasi
April 3, 2013
Reading social cues is a difficult skill for many children with autism. As a teacher of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I often collaborated with parents to develop goals and objectives that would foster the development of social skills in these young children. Many times, parents shared with me a common goal for each of their children: "I want him to have a friend." Read more
Honey: Nature's Magical Medical Cure
By Dr. Lawrence Rosen For KIWI Magazine
March 28, 2013

Winnie-the-Pooh had it figured out—it’s all about the honey. People over many centuries have gathered this tasty, sticky delight to treat everything from coughs to sore throats to skin infections. Read more

Happy, Healthy Aging
By Maureen McDonnell
February 25, 2013
Although we don’t see these 3 words (happy, healthy and aging) together too often, the phrase has become my mantra!   Since most of us now understand and accept the concept that our thoughts and attitudes determine a great deal about our reality, I’ve decided that the typical negative belief system regarding aging (namely physical and mental decline) is no longer a part of my mindset.  “Isn’t that just being naïve?” you might ask.   Not really…I am keenly aware of the indisputable fact that:  no one gets out of this life- alive!  However, studies are now showing that individuals who live long, healthy lives are typically ones who have a positive view on aging, have worked at minimizing stress, eat and live close to nature and make a conscious decision to be happy! Read more
Man's Best Friend Comforts Children, Too
By Jennifer Cerbasi
2-15-13

Gone are the days of class pets; with the rise in allergies in young children, most schools have banned all furry friends from the classroom. The class pet was meant to teach children about responsibility but today animals are helping in different ways.

 

Therapy dogs are used in a variety of settings to bring joy and comfort to sick children. General requirements call for dogs to be at least one year of age, be in good health, respond to general obedience commands, walk on a leash without pulling, engage well with other dogs, and remain calm in the presence of novel people and settings, for example refrain from jumping, licking, or becoming overly excited. Training, registration, or certification depends on the organization with which the dog and handler are involved. Read more

The EPA's ACE3 Report: The Good, The Bad and The Way Forward
By Dr. Lawrence Rosen, MD
February 19, 2013
For the third time and the first time in 10 years, the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) released a comprehensive report regarding children’s environmental health.  The stated purpose of America’s Children and the Environment (3rd edition), or ACE3, “is to compile information, and make it available to a broad audience, that can help identify areas that warrant additional attention, potential issues of concern, and persistent problems.” Read more
Drama Therapy For Children After Trauma
By Jennifer Cerbasi
February 4, 2013

Witnessing or being a victim of domestic violence, rape, or incest leaves a scar on a child's heart and mind. Each year, over 3 million children witness domestic violence against their mothers, including physical or verbal abuse or even murder. 15% of sexual assault victims are children. 93% of those victims know their attacker. Read more

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"Healthy Environments Across Generations": New Interactive Resource Published By CHE
By Dr. Lawrence Rosen, MD
January 14, 2013<

A remarkable new e-book has been published by the Collaborative on Health and the Environment (CHE).  Titled “Healthy Environments Across Generations,” this multimedia, free resource builds on the work initiated at the same-named June 2012 gathering at the New York Academy of Medicine.  This event, coordinated by Elise Miller and colleagues at CHE, was co-sponsored by over 60 organizations committed to environmental health and sustainability across the lifespan. Read more
Stop The Insanity! The "Over-Drugging" Of A Nation
By Maureen McDonnell, RN
January 21, 2013

When a patient experiences mental or physical pain, it is the desire of those of us in the healing professions to effectively treat their discomfort.   Ideally, the pharmaceutical industry was to be our ally in this noble task. However, we have arrived at a place in our culture where our so- called treatments may be more damaging than the condition itself.  Additionally, we “pathologize” all sorts of previously normal conditions from childhood through adulthood, and rather than address and treat their underlying causes, we reach for the “magic bullet” and take medications that are often toxic and carry short and long term negative consequences for ourselves and our children. Read more
Flu Prevention In The Classroom
By Jennifer Cerbasi
January 14, 2013

Some may think the teacher's job is only to teach, yet our jobs have grown to entail so much more. Our responsibility is to monitor our students' general well-being, which includes their emotional and physical health, as well as their academic performance. We want our students to be healthy because we care and because we want them in school, ready to learn.

 

Talk of the flu is everywhere. On websites, in news reports, and among parents at after-school pickup, people are discussing ways to prevent the flu but unfortunately, also sharing stories of high fevers, aches and pains, and a cough that just won't quit. With 20 children dead from complications from the flu in the US, this is no laughing matter.  Read more

Music Therapy For Special Needs
By Jennifer Cerbasi
1-1-13

Music moves everyone, young and old, of all nationalities, and all abilities. Children with special needs are no exception; they, too, love creating and listening to music.

As the number of children with disabilities in the United States rises, parents and teachers look to new solutions to diminish challenging behaviors and increase expression, opportunities for social interaction, and joyful experiences in these children. Music therapy continues to gain popularity in many communities and classrooms around the country.  Read more

Chew On The Fats Of  Life(Part 2)
By Maureen McDonnell
1-2-13

In the hugely popular health website http://www.mercola.com/, Dr. Joseph Mercola, MD, discusses a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition (3) that emphasizes the importance of avoiding processed carbohydrates (not good fats) in order to minimize one’s risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease.   Dr. Mercola states:  “When you replace saturated fat with a higher carbohydrate intake, particularly refined carbohydrate, you exacerbate insulin resistance and obesity, increase triglycerides and small LDL particles, and reduce beneficial HDL cholesterol. The authors state that dietary efforts to improve your cardiovascular disease risk should primarily emphasize the limitation of refined carbohydrate intake, and weight reduction.”  Read more

Chew On The Fats Of Life (Part 1)
By Maureen McDonnell
12-6-12

Since I proclaim to be an advocate of eating a healthy diet to prevent and treat many chronic illnesses, you might ask “why would I devote an entire article to fat?   Well, before you dismiss the topic or label me a nutritional heretic, hear me out:  I’m not talking about packing on the pounds or eating the wrong kinds of fats. I’m referring to my new found reverence for the good fats and the role they play in optimizing our health.  Read more

AAP Issues New Policy On Pesticide Exposure In Children
By Dr, Lawrence Rosen
12-5-12

In November, the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health published a landmark policy statement on Pesticide Exposure in Children in the AAP’s flagship journal, Pediatrics.  The statement, the first official one on the subject from the U.S’s. largest professional membership organization of pediatricians, calls for greater awareness regarding the multitude of health threats from these chemicals “intended to kill unwanted insects, plants, molds, and rodents.”  Read more

"I'm From Jersey": A Pediatricians Reflections On Sandy
By Dr. Lawrence Rosen
November 17, 2012

Understand, I was born and raised in New Jersey, and I have lived my entire life here with the exception of college and medical school. N.J. is not just where I live; it is a part of who I am, as much as it is for the families I care for in my pediatric practice. I am deeply embedded, consciously, within my community. And now, I am feeling its pain, and I'm struggling to find a way to help my patients. Read more

Using Math In The Kitchen
By Jeenifer Cerbasi
November 15, 2012

There are many academic benefits to sharing your kitchen with your child. Math skills abound when creating a recipe, incorporating everything from basic number sense and measuring to reasoning and problem solving skills. In addition to applying skills to hands-on experiences, the emotional bonding that takes place among families who cook and share a meal together is enormous. Read more

Healthy Alternatives for Halloween Fun
By Jennifer Cerbasi
10-17-12

The highlight of Halloween is always the candy. From super-sweet chocolate to fruity, chewy treats, candy is not the ideal snack for a number of reasons. Most candies are made with dyes, additives, and preservatives, which we know are not good for our bodies. Short-term, the effect of a high intake of sugar usually results in hyperactivity, which sometimes fosters poor behavior in children and then extreme exhaustion once the energy has faded. As a parent and a teacher, you can encourage healthy alternatives to the typically too-sweet celebration of Halloween. Read more

Throwing A Healthy Party
By Maureen McDonnell
October 11, 2012

Partying is in my bones….and growing up in a working class Irish-Catholic family is where it all started!  Despite their financial struggles, my parents loved to throw a party.  I have pretty vivid memories of my dad arm in arm with my uncles singing Irish songs and raising their glasses of beer as they toasted the good times the post-war 1950’s offered them.­   I’m not saying the food my mom served back then was the healthiest ( potato salad, canned baked beans, cold cuts and white rolls), but the atmosphere of fun and festiveness cultivated a love in me for gathering good friends and celebrating life! Read more

Wanted: Increased Focus on Pediatric CAM Research
By Dr. Lawrence Rosen
October 9, 2012
Pediatrics is this month’s featured topic for NCCAM (National Center for Complementary and Alternatives Medicine), the United States’ “lead agency for scientific research on the diverse medical and health care systems, practices, and products that are not generally considered part of conventional medicine.”  As Chair of the AAP’s Section on Integrative Medicine, I recently joined NCCAM’s Dr. Wendy Weber to co-lead a “Twitter Chat” on the use of CAM therapies for children. Read more
Is Gym Class Enough Exercise For Your Child?
By Jennifer Cerbasi
October 3, 2012

The gym class of old- complete with dodgeball, rope climbing, and square dancing- is long gone. Replaced with activities like yoga, frisbee, and bocce ball, this isn't your father's Phys. Ed.

 In the past, gym class was purely about physical fitness. Now, schools have expanded the focus to include mental and emotional components of health, including teamwork, problem solving, and healthy lifestyle choices. These are all great goals for our children, but are the parameters of today's physical education curriculum enough exercise for our children?

Read more
Diabetes And The Environment
By Dr. Lawrence Rosen MD
September 5, 2012

Diabetes and obesity are two of the most common and most costly health problems today.  12% of U.S. adults have diabetes, and if current trends continue, more than 50% will have diabetes or pre-diabetes by 2020.  Annual U.S. spending on diabetes is $194 billion (2010) and could reach $500 billion by 2020. Read more

 

Baby Steps To Going Green
By Dr. Rosen For Kiwi Magazine
9-25-12

I love what I do.  One of my favorite things about being a pediatrician is developing relationships with families and children over the years.  These connections are what keep me going and make me happy to go to work each day.  What a privilege it is to earn the trust of parents and, especially, of children – many of whom have had experiences which have severely tested their trust in the medical system. Read more

The Importance of Natural Skin Care
By Maureen McDonnell, BS, RN
August 8, 2012
Over the past 35 years, it’s been wonderful to watch as many people have embraced the idea that what we put in our bodies affects our health.   Believe it or not, back in the 70’s, when I began my fascination with nutrition; the general understanding of the critical role diet played in our health was not quite where it is today.  In those days, no one was discussing the pro-inflammatory effects of sugar, or the fact that eating foods high in antioxidants were anti-inflammatory. Read more
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Autism
By Jennifer Cerbasi
July 15, 2012

Talk to any parent of a child with autism and she will list all the treatments, therapies, and diets she has researched and implemented in an effort to reduce maladaptive behaviors or increase communication in her child. With no known cause or definitive treatment for autism, parents are exploring all their options. Read more

Triclosan and Parobens Linked To Children's Allergies
Dr. Lawrence Rosen
June 28, 2012
Two chemicals commonly found in everyday cosmetic and personal care products have now been linked to allergies in children.  An early release (in-press) article for the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology documents the association between higher levels of urinary triclosan and parabens and allergic sensitization. Read more
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The Dairy Product Industry Needs to Stop Milking School Lunches
By Neil Barnard
July 24, 2012

The dairy product industry has been milking school lunches for profit since the National School Lunch Program was introduced more than a half century ago. The federal government spends more money on dairy products than any other food item in the school lunch program. But it’s time to get milk out of school lunches. Abundant research shows milk does not improve bone health and is the biggest source of saturated (“bad”) fat in the diet—the very fat that Dietary Guidelines push us to avoid. Read more

Cosmetic Companies Need To Come Clean About Animal Testing
By Dr. Barnard
June 21, 2012

There’s an ugly truth behind many cosmetics: animal testing. Thousands of rabbits, guinea pigs, mice, and rats suffer in toxicology tests—like skin irritation tests—for personal care products and their ingredients each year. Read more

Why Consider A Gluten Free Diet?
Maureen McDonnell
June 1, 2012

Let’s start by identifying exactly what gluten is:  According to Lisa Lewis, PhD, author of Special Diets for Special Kids and coauthor of The Encyclopedia of Dietary interventions for Autism and Related Disorders, gluten is a protein found in members of the grass family including wheat, spelt, barley, rye and triticale.  In their pure form oats do not contain gluten, but commercial oats are almost always contaminated with wheat.  Gluten can also be found in products derived from these grains such as malt, soy sauce, grain alcohol and some fillers found in vitamins and medications. Read more

Hunger Awareness In Our Communities
By Jennifer Cerbasi
June 1, 2012

There was a bumper sticker that became popular years back. It read "It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber." The sentiment- that our country has focused time, energy, and money to causes other than obvious ones here at home- resonates this time of year as many organizations observe hunger awareness days and gear up their fundraising and donation efforts.  Read more

The Nutrition and Breast Cancer Link
By Rebecca Hirsch, MS, RD
May 30, 2012

  It is widely known that healthy eating and exercise are critical to reducing breast cancer risk and helping with breast cancer treatment. However, questions remain for many women: What is “healthy eating”? How often is one expected to be physically active? With the likelihood of one in eight women developing breast cancer, are these factors really a way to reduce the risk of developing this disease? Read more