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Sunday, January 25, 2015         

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The year 2014 included important health-related discoveries that challenged health-promotion dogma. Some of these breakthroughs represent new twists on things, and others reflect the maturing of a significant body of research that cannot be ignored.

We were lucky to get another interview with Santa this year. The "jolly old soul" had some recommendations for promoting good cheer throughout the year and gave them to us as suggested New Year's resolutions.

This column is a request for all present and future parents to help their children strive for a healthy body, but not at the expense of their self-esteem. An increasing number of young adults are dissatisfied with their bodies.

Sharing, especially great food and drink, is a major pleasure of the holidays. Normally it’s all good, but there are a few key ways to keep the holidays happy, safe and healthful.

The holiday season is just around the corner, and for too many people that means 5 to 10 pounds of weight gain that will inevitably lead to a New Year's resolution to crash-diet. Wouldn't it make more sense to start those health and fitness resolutions at the beginning of the holidays instead of at the end?

One of the more impressive ways to look scary for Halloween is to wear some crazy decorative contact lenses. But be careful. They might sound harmless, but serious eye damage can occur if they are not used correctly.

The push to eat only "pure, clean and healthy foods" is everywhere. The message implies that to do anything else is harmful to your health and even to the environment. As these concepts infiltrate national dietary guidelines, some experts are questioning this rather elitist approach to nutrition and health.

By now you probably saw headlines about a new study that links artificial sweeteners with promoting obesity, disrupting blood-sugar control and increasing the risk of developing diabetes.

People have a lot of food fears. MSG, aspartame, sugar, trans fats and GMO foods are just a few that are high on many peoples' lists of concerns. Some popular food fears are quite legitimate and deserving of careful attention.

The equation for good health includes variables we can control, and others, not so much. With diet and exercise, we can make choices to enhance health. But when it comes to the everyday stresses in life, the triggers may be primarily out of our control. Life happens!


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