Wait Time for Introducing New Food to Babies may be too Long

September 2nd, 2020

Jar of baby food with a picture of carrots on the jarCurrent guidelines on introducing solid food to infants may hamper efforts to prevent food allergies, researchers say.

New Study Questions Guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend introducing one, single-ingredient food at a time, then watching for food allergies for three to five days before introducing another food. The wait may be too long because an allergy is apparent within minutes to hours of eating a problematic food.

According to the lead author of the study, there is now evidence that food diversity helps to lower the development of allergic diseases in infants.

Researchers surveyed 563 pediatricians. Nearly two-thirds recommended waiting fewer than three days and only half felt that waiting longer was helpful. More than half said there is a need for more training on solid food introduction.

The study was published August 17 in the journal “JAMA Network Open.”

Children and Allergies

By the time a child is seven or eight months old, they can eat a variety of foods from different food groups. These foods include infant cereals, meat or other proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, yogurts, cheeses, and more.

The eight most common allergenic foods are milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Generally, you do not need to delay introducing these foods to your child.

The America Academy of Pediatrics says that for most children, you do not need to give foods in a certain order.

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Kids’ Fast Food Consumption Back up After Decline

August 26th, 2020

Burger and friesA new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that children and adolescents got 13.8 percent of their daily calories from fast-food in 2015 to 2018, up from 12.4 percent in 2011 to 2012.

Children’s Fast Food Intake on the Rise

The new findings released in an August 14 data brief, are based on responses to an ongoing federal health survey. Every couple of years, it asks a nationally representative sample of Americans about their health and lifestyle habits.

The report found that between 2015 and 2018, more than 36 percent of all two to 19 year olds consumed fast-food, with teens being bigger consumers than younger kids.

The study by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) did not go into underlying reasons. But other research could give some clues as to what is behind the reversal.

One possibility is that social media and digital marketing have a role. A study found that 70 percent of teens “engaged with” food and beverage brands on social media.

In recent years, fast -food companies have been promoting “healthy” side order and drink options for kids. In the study, most parents intended to buy fast -food more often because of this. But there was no evidence parents were actually buying more of these healthy options in 2016 versus 2010. 

The report only included data through 2018 and therefore did not touch on how kids and families are eating during the pandemic, but it is speculated that it has exacerbated the problem.

Help Your Child Make Healthy Choices

Obesity affects an estimated 18.4 percent of children in the United States, ages six to 11 and 20.9 percent of adolescents ages 12 to 14, according to the CDC.

Think about these simple steps to help your child and the whole family—live a healthier, fitter, lifestyle:

  1. Get the rest of your family on board: Instead of singling out your child, have a conversation with the whole family about how you would like to make healthy changes for everyone, including yourself.
  2. Start small: Don’t try to overhaul your family’s diet all at once. Instead, try to make a few changes at a time.
  3. Eat meals together: When you sit down as a family, you will encourage healthier habits.
  4. Get moving: Experts say kids need 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  5. Reduce sedentary time: Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit the amount of time children watch television, play video games or surf the web to no more than two hours a day.
  6. Ensure adequate sleep: Too little sleep is associated with obesity, partly because inadequate sleep makes us eat more and be less physically active.

Of course making sure your child’s diet contains lots of fruits and vegetables is important too!

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America knows that while fast -food may be convenient; it is not the best option for your family. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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National Immunization Awareness Month

August 19th, 2020

 Clip board with the word checkup on itAugust is National Immunization Awareness Month—a great time for adults and children to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Vaccinations at Work

Immunizations, or vaccines as they are also known, safely and effectively use a small amount of a weakened or killed virus or bacteria or bits of lab-made protein that imitate the virus in order to prevent infection by that same virus or bacteria.

When you get an immunization this triggers your body’s immune response, causing it to either produce antibodies to that particular ailment or induce other processes that enhance immunity. 

Some vaccinations need to be given only once; others require updates or “boosters” to maintain successful immunization and continued protection against disease. Adults need to keep their vaccinations up-to-date because immunity from childhood vaccines can wear off over time.

During the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommend keeping up with immunizations.  Ensuring immunization services are maintained or reinitiated is essential for protecting individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks.

Immunization Reactions

Most of the recommended vaccines are 90 to 100 percent effective according to the CDC. Even in cases where a vaccine has not given your child 100 percent immunity, the symptoms will still usually be milder than if he or she had not been immunized at all.

The most common minor reactions to an immunization are:

  • Low grade fever
  • Soreness or redness at the injection site

Side effects usually disappear in a few days.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America is there for you when you’re sick, but wants to help keep you healthy. That is why IAA is encouraging everyone to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

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Botox May Help Depression

August 12th, 2020

Brain with words that are symtpoms of depression insideBotox injections may alleviate depression, a new study confirms.

Botox and Depression

Botox is a drug made from a toxin produced by bacterium clostridium botulinum. It works by weakening or paralyzing specific muscles or by blocking certain nerves. 

Not only does Botox smooth out frown lines, but it is used to treat health problems such as:

  • Chronic migraines
  • Neurological disorders that can cause muscle contractions and pain in the neck and shoulders
  • Overactive bladders
  • Severe sweating
  • Uncontrollable blinking

Now researchers are adding depression to that list.

Prior studies over the last 15 years have found that the drug might have antidepressant affects. Researchers analyzed more than 45,000 reports of adverse events resulting from Botox from the Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System.

Scientists divided patients into eight groups corresponding with medical symptoms most frequently treated with Botox. These were:

1.       Cosmetic use

2.       Migraine

3.       Limb spasm

4.       Neck pain

5.       Involuntary blinking or spasms of eyelids

6.       Excessive sweating

7.       Excessive drooling

8.       Neurological and urinary bladder disorders

Each cohort was separated into two groups, in which one group received Botox for their conditions and the other did not.

Patients who received Botox injections to treat excessive sweating, facial wrinkles, migraine, spasticity, and spasms, reported depression 40 percent to 88 percent less often than people who underwent different treatments for the same condition.

One theory is that Botox might go to areas of the central nervous system involved in mood and emotions. Or since it is often used to treat chronic conditions that can trigger depression, improved mood may be a welcome side effect of curing the underlying condition.   

The study was published July 30 in the journal “Scientific Reports.”

Signs of Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.

Although depression may occur only once in a person’s life, people typically have multiple episodes. During these episodes, symptoms may occur most of the day, nearly every day and can include:

  • Angry outbursts, irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Anxiety, agitation or restlessness
  • Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, emptiness or hopelessness
  • Feelings of worthlessness and guilt
  • Frequent or recurrent thoughts of death
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain
  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or too much sleep
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Tiredness and lack of energy
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
  • Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headache

It is not known exactly what causes depression. As with many mental health disorders, a variety of factors may be involved.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America is here to bring you updates on the world of health.  Just think of IAA as your third party health monitor, here to keep you in the know!

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here!

Certain Vaccines May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

August 7th, 2020

ShotThe flu and pneumonia shot may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in the future, according to two separate abstracts presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference.

Vaccinations Could Help Reduce Development of Alzheimer’s

The first study presented examined a large American health record data set of more than 9,000 patients over age 60. Researchers found that that having one flu vaccination was associated with a 17 percent reduction in Alzheimer’s incidence. Those who were vaccinated more than once over the years saw an additional reduction.

The second abstract examined the association between pneumococcal vaccine, with and without an accompanying flu shot, and the risk of Alzheimer’s. The study analyzed over 5,000 people over 65 years of age who were participating in the Cardiovascular Health Study, a long-term government funded look at risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Some of these participants had a known genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s: the rs2075650 G-allele on the TOMM40 gene. 

Researchers found that getting a pneumococcal vaccine between the ages of 65-75 reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s by 25 to 30 percent after adjusting for sex, race, education, smoking, and genetic risk factors.  However, the largest reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s (up to 40 percent)—was seen among people vaccinated against pneumonia who didn’t have a gene.

Experts say more studies are needed to pin down the relationship between getting those vaccines and the reduced risk.

What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away and die. It is the most common form of dementia, a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that disrupts a person’s ability to function independently.

Brain changes associated with Alzheimer’s leads to growing trouble with:

  1. Memory: People with Alzheimer’s may repeat statements and questions over and over. They may also get lost in familiar places.
  2. Thinking and reasoning: Alzheimer’s disease causes difficulty concentrating and thinking, especially about abstract concepts.
  3. Making judgments and decisions: The ability to make reasonable decisions and judgments in everyday situations will decline.
  4. Planning and performing familiar tasks
  5. Changes   in personality and behavior

Paying attention to certain lifestyle factors—including getting proper sleep, nutrition and exercise may influence a person’s individual risk.

What IAA has to Say

It is still early to tell if these vaccinations can make a difference. It is however a step in the right direction. Insurance Administrator of America is here to bring you updates on the world of health.Just think of IAA as your third party health monitor, here to keep you in the know!

Interested in reading more on this topic? Click here!