Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Creating Good Eating Habits from a Young Age

Good eating habits from an early age can help prevent eating disorders writes Rachel Browne. Teaching children to have a healthy relationship with food from a young age can reduce the likelihood of them developing eating disorders.

This means teaching them that food is fuel for the body, rather than a reward or punishment, says Christine Morgan, chief executive of the eating disorders support group, The Butterfly Foundation.

Ms Morgan has noticed an increase in the number of children diagnosed with early-onset eating disorders, which can start from as young as eight, in the past few years. You need to teach children to eat when they are physically hungry. We use food in a number of ways which aren't related to hunger. Food can be used as a reward; treats can be removed as punishment. Children build up these complex emotional links with food. We need to get back to the idea that food is fuel which gives you energy.

If you are active as a parent your child is much more likely to be active. If you make healthy food decisions your child is much more likely to do it. And if you do it as a family then they're much less likely to have any other problems in terms of eating disorders.

The Sun-Herald's Healthy Habits campaign about childhood obesity supported by the Children's Hospital, will cover critical topics and shows families practical steps to become more active and make better food choices. www.smh.com.au/national/obesity

Friday, February 10, 2012

Insurance for the Stay-at-Home Parent

Stay-at-home parents put in an estimated 94.4 hours of domestic duty each week 1. They're the child carer, support teacher, house cleaner, laundromat executive, school project manager, taxi driver, the gardener and so much more! If illness or injury were to strike a stay-at-home parent to the point where they could no longer perform their domestic duties, how would your family cope???

According to a study released by Salary.com, a stay-at-home parent would earn nearly $124,000 a year if they were to be paid in cash for their roles at home. For the stay-at-home parent to be adequately covered, they need to ensure their insurance will cover the costs of outside help. For example;

Meal service for four people - $570 per week 2
Nanny - (based on 5 x 9 hour days) $1,125 per week 2
House cleaner - (based on 6 hours per week) $150 per week 3

I can provide families with peace of mind through a range of insurance options for stay-at-home parents.

Life Cover
A cost effective way to protect the running of the family in the event of death or terminal illness.

Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Cover
Pays a lump sum if the client suffers from total and permanent disability, such as multiple sclerosis or loss of limb.

Trauma Cover
Provides a lump sum if diagnosed with certain medical conditions such as heart disease or cancer.

Income Care Plus Benefit
Income Care Plus pays the working parent a monthly benefit if they are unable to earn an income due to illness or injury.

I can also introduce a domestic help benefit to the Income Care Plus product. If the life insureds spouse or defacto (who is a home maker or not working more than 20 hours per week) is disabled due to an accident, you will get help to pay child minding and housekeeping costs for up to three months.

1 The eighth annual survey of mothers' market value, by Salary.com
2 As quoted on www.liteneasy.com.au
3 As quoted by dial-an-angel

Source: Update Magazine

Monday, February 6, 2012

Bowel Cancer Act Now!

With one in 24 Australian women expected to develop bowel cancer, there's no room to cut corners when screening for the disease, write Professor Kerryn Phelps.

Bowel cancer us one of the most common cancers faced by women. Its symptoms, such as blood or mucus in faeces, persistant change of bowel habit, general discomfort or cramps in the abdomen and bloating, a feeling of fullness and tiredness, usually appear when the disease is well advanced, so it can be difficult to treat. Diagnosis at an early stage, there's a 90 per cent cure rate.

Who is at risk?
  • Bowel caner is the second most common cancer in Australia among men and women.
  • At least one in 22 Australians will develop bowel cancer during their lifetime
  • Australia has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world, with more than 13,000 new cases each year
  • About 80 Australians die each week from bowel caner
  • Bowel caner becomes more common as people get older and mainly affects people over the age of 50
  • Regular colonoscopies or, if not available, FOBTs
  • A high-fibre, low-fat diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Maintain healthy weight and waist circumference
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid excessive alcohol
  • Limit fatty foods, fried foods, red meat and processed meat
  • Ensure an adequate intake of vitamin D, as people with higher levels of this vitamin have been found to have a 50 per cent reduced risk of developing colorectal caner. Meanwhile, patients with higher vitamin D levels before a diagnosis of colorectal cancer have significantly higher survival rates.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What Happens To Your Body When you Sleep

A good night's sleep is vital not only for your mood. It also helps reduce the risk of heart attack and obesity.

The Brain - Sleep is vital to give the cerebral cortex (the brain's 'thinking' part) a rest. The brain's plasticity, which helps us learn and process, is maintained by sleep. A lack of sleep makes us feel we are working on autopilot. We feel irritable, less flexible in out thinking and less able to cope with the unexpected.

The Eyes - As we more into deep sleep, rapid eye movement (or REM) occurs, with eyes moving quickly for up to 30 minutes at a time, repeating every 90 minutes. Much of our dreaming happens during REM and despite our eyes moving intensely, our bodies are extremely relaxed - which helps us stay asleep.

The Mouth - During the course of the night, saliva flow is reduced. This results in a dry mouth in the morning. One in 10 adults unconsciously grind their teeth at night, which is known as bruxism. This reaction is thought to be triggered by stress.

Heart and Blood - While sleeping, your heart rate and blood pressure fall by about 10 per cent. People who sleep seven to eight hours a night have the lowest rates of heart disease. a Norwegian study found insomniacs had a 45 per cent higher risk of heart attack.

Hormones - Sleep releases growth hormones, which boost muscle mass and repair cells and tissues. Lack of sleep can lead to obesity because of an imbalance in the hormones that regulate appetite. A good sleep lowers levels of ghrelin, which triggers appetite, and raises the levels of leptin, which tells your body it's full.

Immune System - A lack of quality sleep can disturb the ability of the immune system to fight infection, leaving the body vulnerable to viruses that cause colds and flu. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University found having less than seven hours' sleep depletes the body's ability to produce antibodies.

Skin - The fresh face we see after a good night's sleep is sometimes only temporary, and may be caused by water accumulating under the skin. Water flattens out wrinkles, but drains away an hour after we get up, making wrinkles reappear. Sleep also gives the skin a chance to be repaired by nocturnal growth hormones.