Special Sub-Topic: Ten Tips to Take Charge of Your Health
|This tip should be obvious. Fill in the blank for this important way to take charge of your own health (same word in both blanks):
If you _____, quit. If you don't _____, don't start.
smoke. For decades, public health officials as well as the public have known that smoking is the number one preventable cause of premature death and disability in the United States (and other countries). In the U.S. alone smoking-related illnesses account for more than 700,000 deaths annually as the decade of the 2000s nears an end. Death occurs primarily through heart disorders and cancer. There has been much progress in reducing smoking, and renewed hope for even greater progress. Nicotine is highly addictive, so if you haven't started, don't. If you do smoke, take advantage of both behavioral and pharmacological approaches to quitting, if appropriate.
|Tip #2 is "Eat a variety of foods, none to excess." Which of the following statements is NOT consistent with this tip?
Your diet must not include shellfish or red meat.. What you eat does matter, very much. Here are a few excerpts from Dr. Fineberg's dietary tips. In general, eat lots of green and yellow vegetables. Decrease saturated fat and eliminate trans fats. Taste your food before applying salt; for most people in the U.S. lowering salt intake levels could help control blood pressure. Do not allow yourself to be "super-sized" if you eat at restaurants (or in the home). That is, control portion sizes. And although it may not immediately spring to mind when you think of health and foods, you should practice hygiene in preparing foods: wash hands before and after preparing and eating food. And don't cut anything else on the same cutting board that you used for raw meats such as chicken.
|The third tip can help you maintain a healthy body weight. What is this tip?|
Make exercise a routine part of your day.. Yes, Tip #3 is "Make exercise a routine part of your day." Most public health organizations recommend between 30 and 60 minutes of physical activity each day. The IOM recommends 60 minutes, but that includes counting normal physical activities such as cleaning your home. Some of Dr. Fineberg's suggestions:
"If you take public transportation to work, get out a stop or two ahead, and walk. Use your bike. Get out of the elevator a floor or two below yours and walk up.... Walk if you have to go one or two flights up or down."
He adds that using an inexpensive pedometer could help you set and monitor goals for walking, and may give a boost to your motivation. Remember that the second tip and this third tip "together help you achieve and maintain a healthful body weight." Now there's a definite motivation.
|To maintain optimal health, the average person should not drink alcohol.|
f. It is certainly okay to never or rarely drink alcohol. However, alcohol does have a certain amount of beneficial effect on blood lipids, and at low levels (e.g., 1 to 2 drinks per day) those effects offset alcohol's toxic properties.
Tip #4 is "Drink alcohol in moderation, if you drink, and avoid addictive drugs."
The most immediate and important aspect of this tip is that one should never drink and drive. Not only is it illegal in many or most places and very dangerous, but as Dr. Fineberg points out, it can be "the source of lifelong regret." And of course, excessive drinking can lead to serious social consequences and major medical problems in the long term.
Addictive drugs, whether illicit or prescribed, have enormous downsides. If they are being used in a valid prescribed fashion, one still has to avoid over reliance and addiction. And illicit drugs, from methamphetamines to cocaine and heroin, remain a problem in many countries.
|Tip #5 relates to motor vehicles. What is one of the most important things you can do when driving or riding in a motor vehicle?|
Wear your seatbelt.. Tip #5, "Wear your seatbelt whenever you are in a moving vehicle," is not only an extremely important safety tip but also the law in many jurisdictions. Motor vehicle injuries are a leading cause of death, particularly for younger people. In the United states, no matter what your age, motor vehicles account for the largest number of deaths from injury. Pay attention to laws or recommendations about whether, and how, to have your child in a properly installed child restraint seat. Type of restraint and recommended positioning depend on the age of the child. Remember, "airbags are not a substitute for seatbelts; seatbelts and airbags together provide the best protection."
And of course, you should always drive at a safe speed, taking account of road conditions, and be sure your car is safe (tires inflated properly, windshields cleared, no visual obstructions, mechanically sound, etc.).
|Vaccination is only for children.
f. Clearly false. Immunization for adults depends on age and health status, but can include vaccination against such diseases as influenza and pneumococcal pneumonia. Other vaccines can be important for adults under specific circumstances, such as when traveling to other parts of the world.
The rationale for and effects of childhood immunizations are dramatic. The reduction of childhood infection through immunization is one of health's success stories and has been a significant factor in life expectancy gains in the 20th century. Childhood immunizations now protect children against more than a dozen infectious diseases.
Summarizing Tip #6, "immunize your children against preventable diseases and take recommended vaccines for yourself."
|Which of these is a major cause of death among people traveling?|
Automobile injury. The largest cause of death among travelers is indeed automobile injury. This is particularly important to keep in mind when traveling in certain countries. For example, in the late 2000s, the the per passenger-mile death rate in Viet Nam was 10,000 times that for the U.S., and the total number of traffic deaths worldwide was about 1.2 million people.
However, Tip #7 is broader than simply auto travel: "Protect yourself when you travel." There are other things to keep in mind when traveling, especially when illness is concerned. Be sure to get recommended immunizations before traveling. Take malaria prophylaxis if needed. Always try to drink bottled water or purified water in developing countries and remember that the ice in your drink may be local water. Depending on your location, a good rule of thumb is: "If it hasn't been boiled, or you haven't peeled it, think twice before you put it in your mouth."
|Tip #8 deals with screening tests for diseases you may have or be developing without being aware of it. Fill in the missing word in this common term for some of these symptom-less diseases: "_____ killers."|
silent. Tip #8 is "Get screening tests for silent, treatable conditions and risk factors that threaten your health." You're almost certainly aware of many of the screening procedures you should think about, depending on your age, gender, and other risk factors. Some common, important screening tests are blood pressure testing for hypertension, mammography for breast cancer, PAP smears for cervical cancer, and colonoscopy for colon cancer. Other examples are glaucoma screening and diabetes screening for fasting blood sugar. If you've already suffered a heart attack, be sure to maintain your regimen of "secondary prevention" treatment (e.g., blood pressure control, Beta-blockers).
|Fire alarms are a key element of a family's emergency preparedness planning. Which of these is the least important aspect of such alarms?|
Brand of alarms. Ideally, individual families, and you personally, should have a plan for disasters and other emergencies. Tip #11 is "Devise a personal and family disaster preparedness plan." You can find guidance on such plans at trusted internet sources.
Fire in a home is always a danger. In addition to taking steps to prevent it, you should be prepared with home fire extinguishers in your kitchen, garage, and workshop. Your home should have an adequate number of fire alarms, which should be positioned properly. Check and replace batteries as needed. Develop and practice a fire escape plan, with alternatives. Be sure to have a meeting place outside of your home. Also important are carbon monoxide alarms, especially near your garage (if any). Stock up on emergency food, water, and medical supplies including needed medications. As the Tip says: "Are you prepared to stay at home, if necessary, for two weeks?" Do not overlook the importance of having primary and alternate means of communicating with your family members in case of disruptions in normal channels.
|Tip #12 is to rely on trustworthy sources of health information. Which of the following is not a good source of reliable information?|
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. As much as I like "The Daily Show," it certainly is not a good source of health information. Perhaps that was obvious. As a general rule, you can feel confidence in major government websites devoted to consumer-oriented health information. Among the prominent U.S. agencies would be the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), the Food and Drug Administration (www.fda.gov), and the National Institutes of Health (www.nih.gov). The U.S. has a central consumer-oriented website that brings together an amazing amount of information: Healthfinder.gov. Non-governmental sources include publications and websites such as WebMD, the Institute of Medicine (www.iom.edu), Consumer Reports on Health, the Harvard Health Letter, UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, and the Mayo Clinic Health Letter. When in doubt, look for independent rankings or evaluations of health-oriented websites and also to the reputation of the organizations behind them. There is a lot of misinformation about health floating around the web, so relying on good information is critical.
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