HELP YOUR CHILDREN GROW AND LEARN

A healthy, nutritious diet helps children grow and learn. It also helps prevent weight-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. Children need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. They need to eat three meals daily and have healthy snacks in between. The more active your child is, the more calories he or she needs. Here are some ways to encourage your child to follow a nutritious diet:

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SODIUM AND YOUR HEALTH

Sodium is an essential mineral for life. It is regulated in the body by the kidneys. It helps control the body’s fluid balance, affects muscle function and helps send nerve impulses. An Australian study showed the brain responds to sodium in the same way it responds to substances such as cocaine and heroin, which may explain why we tend to overindulge in high-sodium foods.

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HEALTHY EATING TIPS

A balanced healthy diet should contain a variety of nutritious foods and sufficient vitamins and minerals. Such a diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk of many diet-related problems, such type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It’s recommended men have around 2,500 calories a day and women 2,000 calories a day. Studies indicate eating a typical Western diet filled with packaged meals, takeout foods, processed meats and sugary snacks may lead to stress, high rates of depression....

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Sources and Resources:


•  American Cancer Society (2016). Learn About Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer.

•  Oral Cancer Foundation (2017).

Oral cancer is often thought of as a disease that strikes older people or heavy smokers. But it is shocking for many people to learn nonsmoking young adults are the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients. This is largely due to the rise in human Papillomavirus HPV-16 diagnoses among this group. According to the American Cancer Society, men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women, and men who are over age 50 face the greatest risk. It is estimated that over 40,000 people in the United States have received a diagnosis of oral cancer.


Cigarette, cigar or pipe smokers are six times more likely than non-smokers to develop oral cancers. Smokeless tobacco users, along with those who use dip, snuff or chewing tobacco products, are 50 times more likely to develop cancers of the cheek, gums and lining of the lips. All these are addictive disorders and as a result often draw the attention of mental health and addictive disorder specialists. Still, it is important to note that over 25 percent of all oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol occasionally.


More than 600,000 cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancer are diagnosed each year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, more than 48,000 individuals will be diagnosed with this debilitating, disfiguring disease this year with 9,570 deaths, roughly one person an hour each day.

ORAL CANCER NEEDS YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION

Cancer is defined as the uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage to surrounding tissue. Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away. It can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses and pharynx.


It is important to be aware of the most common symptoms of oral cancer. These include any swellings, lumps or rough spots on the lips, gums or other areas inside the mouth. There may be velvety white, red or speckled patches in the mouth. Other symptoms are unexplained numbness, loss of feeling or pain and tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck. Also be aware of any indications of soreness; a feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat; ear pain; or difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue. Finally, if you notice unexplained hoarseness, have a chronic sore throat, a change in your voice or unexplained bleeding in the mouth, see your dentist immediately.

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