HEALTH

Football legend Jerry Rice teaches healthy habits with Lysol

BY Michael Johnsen

PARSIPPANY, N.J. — In his second year as the Lysol Healthy Habits Coach, football legend Jerry Rice is challenging a group of promising high school student athletes from across the nation to be part of "America's Healthiest Team." After embarking on a special summer training program, each student will be put to the ultimate test on Wednesday in New York as Rice plays alongside them in their own sport, whether it's basketball, track and field, volleyball or soccer. 
 
The reason behind the challenge? Millions of school days are missed each year due to common illnesses like cold and flu, which means that American students are missing millions of hours in the classroom and on the field. That's why Lysol, a Reckitt Benckiser brand, is striving to reduce those hours missed by encouraging healthy habits – simple behaviors like regular hand washing and surface disinfection. The summer training program emphasized the importance of practicing healthy habits to help set up students for success.
 
"The only way to bring your best game – every time – is by practicing healthy habits," said Rice. "Prioritizing my health and avoiding germs helped me set NFL records and play more than 300 games in my career. I am excited to share this knowledge with kids to help them stay healthy and achieve their own personal best."
 
The unconventional 10-week, healthy habits-infused training program focused on incorporating simple healthy behaviors – like regular hand washing and disinfecting surfaces – into daily routines to help prevent the spread of illness-causing germs. During the workshop in New York, each student will have a chance to play one-on-one alongside Rice and show how healthy habits helped them improve their athletic personal best. As these student athletes head back to high school, they'll serve as Healthy Habits Ambassadors, passing the importance of germ prevention along to their teammates and peers.
 
"As part of the Lysol mission, we are committed to sharing information and products with students, parents and teachers that help keep both schools and homes healthy," said Conor O'Brien, marketing director, Lysol. "With products like Lysol Disinfecting Wipes and Lysol Disinfectant Spray, you're armed with the ability to kill 99.9 percent of germs on commonly touched surfaces, like doorknobs and tabletops. This is especially important in public environments like schools."  
 
The Lysol Healthy Habits Program, now in its third year, was developed in collaboration with the National Parent Teacher Association and the National Education Association. The program, which was created with the goals of helping children establish a foundation of healthy habits and setting them up for success inside and outside the classroom, has reached more than 78,000 elementary schools, 2 million teachers and 55 million students to date. 
 
The cornerstone of the program is the Lysol Healthy Habits Bus, an interactive science museum on wheels that travels to schools across the U.S., educating elementary students about germs and proper hygiene. Students and families across the country can join the movement by celebrating the third annual Healthy Habits Week, which kicks off on September 21, 2015. During this week, Lysol, PTA and NEA encourage teachers, parents and students to dedicate time to learning about and practicing healthy habits, and have created engaging educational materials, such as lesson plans, posters, literature and activity guides that can be downloaded online at Lysol.com/HealthyHabits
 
 

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Google’s Flu Trends closes public access

BY Michael Johnsen

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google's Flu Trends model will no longer be publicly available, the company announced last week, though the data will still be available to institutions including Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza Division. 
 
“Since its launch, Google Flu Trends has provided useful insights and served as one of the early examples for ‘nowcasting’ based on search trends, which is increasingly used in health, economics and other fields,” the team wrote in a blog post. “Instead of maintaining our own website going forward, we’re now going to empower institutions who specialize in infectious disease research to use the data to build their own models.”
 
The ability for “nowcasting” to effectively help manage the spread of communicable diseases like the flu is still in its early stages, the Google team noted.

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Research: Long-term use of low-dose aspirin may reduce colon cancer risk

BY Michael Johnsen

PHILADELPHIA — Long-term, continuous use of low-dose aspirin and nonaspirin nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can decrease the risk of colorectal cancer, according to research recently published in Annals of Internal Medicine and released by the American College of Physicians.
 
Researchers reviewed data on drug use, comorbid conditions and history of colonoscopy from prescription and patient registries in Northern Denmark. Based on prescriptions filled, taking 75 mg to 150 mg of aspirin continuously for five years or longer was associated with a 27% reduced risk for colorectal cancer and five or more years of continuous nonaspirin NSAID use was associated with a 30% to 45% reduction in colorectal cancer risk. Nonaspirin NSAIDS with the highest COX-2 selectivity were associated with the largest risk reductions.
 
The authors caution that patients with the highest adherence comprised only about 2% to 3% of all low-dose aspirin users in the study population, and these persons may have a risk profile for colorectal cancer that differs from that of the general population. 
 
Other lifestyle factors were not measured.
 
Colorectal cancer is the third most common non-skin cancer in the world. Colorectal neoplasms have a long progression, making colorectal cancer an obvious target for preventive interventions. Studies have suggested that regular aspirin and other NSAID use can reduce colorectal cancer risk, but a recent comprehensive review concluded that more research is needed to determine the optimal use of aspirin for cancer prevention.
 

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