STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.


Nearly 80 percent of the antibiotics sold in the United States are used in meat and poultry production. The vast majority are given to healthy animals to promote growth or prevent disease in unsanitary conditions. The meat and poultry production industries argue there is no harm in this practice and insist they are in compliance with that policy from the past century.


The critical question is whether antibiotic use in animals promotes the development of hard-to-treat antibiotic-resistant superbugs that make people sick. Could current usage in animals pose a serious threat to human health? The Consumers Union has concluded the threat to public health from the overuse of antibiotics in food animals is real and growing. Humans are at risk both due to the potential presence of superbugs in meat and poultry and to the general migration of

ANTIBIOTICS IN OUR FOOD

superbugs into the environment, where they can transmit their genetic immunity to antibiotics to bacteria for which there are currently no immune capabilities.


Several health organizations, including the American Medical Association, the American Public Health Association, the Infectious Disease Society of America and the World Health Organization, have called for significant reductions in the use of antibiotics for animal food production.


Sources and Resources


DR. THOMAS W. MILLER, PH.D, ABPP

Thomas W. Miller, Ph.D., ABPP, is a professor emeritus and senior research scientist, Center for Health, Intervention and Prevention, University of Connecticut; retired service chief from the VA Medical Center; and tenured professor in the Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky.

more articles by Dr thomas w. miller