Reminder: Halloween Can Be A Time for Healthy “Treats”; The Holiday Is NOT “Must-Give-Out Candy Day!”

Just a quick reminder that tonight you do not have to give out candy to make kids happy this Halloween.

Rather, as I cheerfully pointed out on WTNH-TV in New Haven, Connecticut this past Sunday morning, you can give all kinds of really fun "treats" that don’t trick these poor kids into SUGAR SHOCK!

You can give party favors galore that will bring a smile or even a giggle to children’s faces — things like festive glow-in-the-dark fingers, little frisbees adorned with smiley faces or lip-shaped kazoos.

Check out the glee I took with the lip-shaped kazoo by seeing video for the TV segment for which I was interviewed.

Hey, if I, as an adult, am having a blast with the toys, just think of the kick kids will get if you pass out these fun objects! Besides, these gizmos and doodads are easy to find — just visit 99 cents or $1 stores, as well as party stores..

I invite you to join the fun!  See the video here for my WTNH-TV interview in which I suggested that you "Don’t Spook Kids By Giving Nutrient-Lacking Candy This Halloween."

You also can read my article here on the WTNH-TV website, in which I offer a list if all kinds of fun, healthy things you can give out for Halloween.

Hurrah to the American Diabetes Association for Applauding New York City’s Proposal to Ban Trans Fats in Restaurants — Join Us At Rally Today to Demonstrate Support

Hurrah to the American Diabetes Association!

While on the ADA site looking for another press release, I found this wonderful announcement to the media in which the hard-working organization applauds New York City Health Department’s proposal to eliminate artificial trans fats in all New York City restaurants and make calorie content for foods served in eateries publicly available on menus and menu boards.

It was thrilling or me to see the ADA take such an important stand by stating, "Trans fats are linked to heart disease and this proposal is especially releveant to people with diabetes who are at risk for heart attack and stroke."

The ADA press release continued, noting that heart heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths and that adults with diabetes have heart disease death rates about 2 to 4 times higher than those who don’t have diabetes.

If enacted, this new trans fat ban could help 700,000 New York City adults diagnosed with diabetes, the ADA explains, especially when you consider that many adults (and their kids, of course) eat out several times a week.

I’m also excited that the ADA even went so far as to say that, if enacted into law, New York City’s proposal could "hopefully serve as a model for other cities to consider."

Remember: Those of you who live or work in New York, join us a little later today at this exciting rally to support this important proposal. Get details here. I’ll be downtown, near Thomas Paine Park, at around 10 to 11 a.m. this morning passing out flyers or doing whatever other things Jenn, the coordinator, wants me to do. If you see me, say hi!

People Who Get Diabetes in Middle Age Develop More Serious Health Problems Later in Life

If you get diabetes in middle age (aged 40 to 64), you’ll get more serious health problems later in life than if you develop the disease in your old age, suggests compelling new research from Johns Hopkins University in the November issue of Diabetes Care.

WebMD.com reports about these fascinating findings.

"Our study reinforces the need to help adults who are middle-aged take steps to prevent diabetes, and suggests that seniors with diabetes should not be treated as a single group," researcher Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said in a press release from the American Diabetes Association.

Dr. Selvin also said the study shows that different treatment guidelines may be needed for people diagnosed with diabetes in their 40s, 50s and 60s, WebMD.com explains. 

Of course, this new research just emphasizes what experts keep telling those of us who are at risk for type 2 diabetes: Take care of yourself NOW so that you 1) won’t ever get the disease or 2) can put the diease off as long as possible.

Of course, I’m not discounting the role genetics can play, but as doctors keep insisting, if you watch your diet, exercise, lose weight, cut out or cut back on those culprit carbs, etc. now, your health will be better later on.

So what were some of these health problems that plague people who get diabetes earler in life (middle age) rather than later (the golden years)? Well, these folks developed or had:

  • More cases of retinopathy, an eye condition related to diabetes that affects the tiny blood vessels of the eye.
  • Worse blood sugar control. (Yikes, "nearly 60% of the elderly with middle age-diagnosed diabetes had poor blood sugar control, compared with 42% of those with later-onset diabetes," WebMD explains.)

Both groups had problems with high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Again, as WebMD explains, the lesson to be learned here is this: Helping at-risk people delay getting diabetes as long as possible may significantly reduce diabetes-related health problems as they grow older.

New Yorkers: Join Us Monday at Outdoor Rally to Help Make The Big Apple Trans Fat Free

As I mentioned before, I’ve been volunteering my time to an important event that could help to pave the way for the city of New York to become trans fat free. As I’ve said previously, thousands of people are unnecessarily dying at an early age because of dangerous trans fats. Anyhow, tomorrow’s the big day for an important rally to show our support for this very worthwhile endeavor. Because I believe so strongly in this, I’m running an item here from the coordinator for the program.

Make New York City Trans Fat Free

By Jenn Breckenridge
Trans Fat Free NYC Coordinator

Please pass this on to people you care about.

Many of New York’s restaurants and street vendors serve foods loaded with artificial trans fat, the cause of over 30,000 premature coronary heart disease deaths each year in the US. The New York City Department of Health is holding public hearings to consider banning trans fat from restaurants.

On Monday, October 30th, from 10am-1pm, at 125 Worth Street, New Yorkers will have the opportunity to show politicians and the restaurant industry that we want to rid our restaurants of these hidden manmade toxins. For directions and details for the hearing, go to www.transfatfreenyc.org.

Trans Fat Free NYC will be holding a public outdoor event to coincide with the hearing. The event will take place in picturesque Thomas Paine Park, directly across from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, from 12pm-2pm on Monday, October 30th.

Trans Fat Free NYC will bring together exciting speakers to educate the public on the dangers of trans fat, as well as the benefits of eating a natural diet. Speakers include:

  • NYC Councilmember Peter Vallone, Jr., Chair of the Public Safety Committee
  • Walter Willett, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health
  • Anna Lappe, cofounder of Small Planet Institute and the author of Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet
  • Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest
  • Earl Ellis, CEO of trans fat free oil company Whole Harvest
  • David Shea, Chef-Owner of Applewood restaurant
  • Joshua Rosenthal, Founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Trans Fat Free NYC

Trans Fat Free NYC will present a Trans Freestyle Circle including dancers from New York City’s finest b-girl crew Fox Force Five, as well as some of the city’s most dynamic house dancers, with phenomenal music by the legendary DP One of the Turntable Annihilists crew.

Trans Fat Free NYC will be also be giving away delicious trans fat free treats from some of the city’s finest purveyors to prove once and for all:  trans fat free tastes just as good. For more details on enjoying a lunch hour of education, demonstration, and celebration, please see TransFatFreeNyc.org.

If you would like to take a very brief moment to let the Board of Health know your thoughts regarding the proposal to limit trans fat (§81.08) or the proposal to have calorie information for fast food restaurants posted on menu boards (§81.50), have Trans Fat Free NYC send a letter for you, just go
to www.transfatfreenyc.org.

Make the heart of New York a healthy one.

Please pass this on those you care about.

Note from Connie: You can reach Jenn here. And to volunteer at the last minute, which I heartily recommend, click here.

What a Blast! Gave Tips for Fun, Healthy, Non-Edible Treats for Halloween on WTNH-TV in New Haven, Connecticut This Morning

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Early this morning, at 7:25 a.m. exactly, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Chris Velardi of the WTNH-TV in New Haven, Connecticut on "Good Morning Connecticut Weekend."

Can you guess what Chris interviewed me about? Well, given that I’m a sugar expert and author of the upcoming book, SUGAR SHOCK!, I offered tips for really fun, non-edible treats that you can give trick-or-treaters for Halloween Tuesday night.

Chris is a smart, savvy anchor/reporter, who asked some insightful questions and made some astute observations. He even quizzed me about my history as a sugar addict, and I even laughingly admitted that I only reluctantly gave up sweets, but that doing so made all 44 of my ailments disappear.

More importantly, Chris helped me stress that playful party favors — kazoos, glow-in-the-dark fingers, stickers, etc. — will be a hit with at least half of the kids ringing your doorbells, as a Yale University study showed.

By the way, I just came back home from New Haven and checked the TV station’s website and happily learned that my segment was among top videos being played today. Just click here to watch the interview here.

You also can read an article by me here on WTNH-TV’s website, which, incidentally, was awarded best website by the CT Associated Press Broadcasters Association. (Impressive, eh?)

Thanks to all the nice people at WTNH-TV for making this experience so pleasant, especially Chris,  assignment editor Rachel Guerra, and producer Cara Rinkoff.