World Leaders commit to Pledge for Nature, Environmental Recovery

Worldwide, the natural environment is straining under the weight of a myriad of threats, and time is quickly running out to stem the damage before it becomes irreversible. The urgency of the situation prompted leaders from 64 countries around the world to sign a Pledge for Nature on Sept. 28, committing to work together to put ecosystems—land, ocean, and freshwater—on a path toward sustainability. The group released the pledge ahead of the Sept. 30 United Nations Summit on Biodiversity, which will bring together heads of state and other government representatives under the theme of “Urgent action on biodiversity for sustainable development.”

Can you guess which “advanced” nation hasn’t yet decided if it should sign on to such a radical proposal?

Texas residents warned of brain-eating microbe in drinking water

Texas officials have warned residents of some communities near Houston to stop using tap water because it might be tainted with a deadly brain-eating microbe.

The commission issued an advisory warning people not to use tap water for any reason except to flush toilets in Lake Jackson, Freeport, Angleton, Brazoria, Richwood, Oyster Creek, Clute and Rosenberg.

Those communities are home to about 120,000 people. Also affected are the Dow Chemical works in Freeport, which has 4,200 employees, and the Clemens and Wayne Scott state prison units, which have 2,345 inmates and 655 employees.

Some think that folks in Texas are never surprised when they receive warnings like this.

Pandemic in the Solid South

…So far, about one in 10 deaths in the United States from COVID-19 has occurred in the four-state arc of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, according to data assembled by the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer collaboration incubated at The Atlantic. New Orleans is on pace to become the next global epicenter of the pandemic. The virus has a foothold in southwestern Georgia, and threatens to overwhelm hospitals in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The coronavirus is advancing quickly across the American South. And in the American South, significant numbers of younger people are battling health conditions that make coronavirus outbreaks more perilous…

All data in this stage of the pandemic are provisional and incomplete, and all conclusions are subject to change. But a review of the international evidence shows that, as far as we know, the outbreaks currently expanding in the American South are unique—and mainly because of how many people in their working prime are dying…

…In each state, older people are the majority of the people considered to be at risk of complications. But the Deep South and mid-South form a solid bloc of states where younger adults are much more at risk. In Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, relatively young people make up more than a quarter of the vulnerable population. Compare that with the coronavirus’s beachhead in Washington State, where younger adults make up only about 19 percent of the risk group.

You can read on, examine the discussion, cause and effect…education, healthcare, cultural backwardness. Say they’ll learn from experience? They voted for George Wallace, and they voted for Richard Nixon and they voted for Shit-for-Brains-Trump! Ignorance breeds ill-health and all the rest. Frankly, the folks in charge of the Solid South work best and hardest at not improving at anything.

Some Americans getting more physically fit, some growing more obese


The exercise part of the story

❝ It may seem like a contradiction, but more adults in the U.S. say they are exercising at the same time more of them are becoming obese.

About 24 percent of adults last year said they exercise enough each week to meet government recommendations for both muscle strengthening and aerobic exercise, according to a large annual health survey. That was up from 21 percent in 2015.

The same survey says 31 percent of adults indicated they were obese last year, up slightly. Another, more rigorous government study has also found adult obesity is inching up.

❝ In a report…released Thursday, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at survey responses from 2010 through 2015 and found that level of leisure-time exercise was more common in some states than others.

Nearly a third of non-elderly adults in Colorado, Idaho, and New Hampshire met exercise guidelines. Only about one-seventh in Mississippi, Kentucky and South Carolina did.

Higher levels of exercise were more common in people who were working than those who weren’t, the study also found.

❝ Of course, unhealthy eating has a lot to do with obesity. Research indicates that “a change in diet is needed to see any dent or reduction in obesity,” said the CDC’s Tainya Clarke…

RTFA. Better yet, get off your butt and go for a walk. There are more than graphic reasons for reports like this to be called a dumbbell curve.

One egg a day could help babies grow bigger and taller


Click to enlargethereallygoodlife.com

❝ We may be lucky enough not to think about it in much of the United States, but worldwide there are tens of millions of children with stunted growth. Most of those kids are impoverished and often live in areas where access to nutritious food is limited. The World Health Organization has tried to ameliorate this problem by supplying fortified food products to underserved areas. The trouble is that those products are fairly expensive—potentially too expensive for poor families to afford — and distribution may not even reach more remote areas of the world. That’s where eggs come in.

❝ Eggs are cheap. They’re relatively easy to come by in many low-income areas, because people in those parts of the world often raise chickens and other poultry. They’re also high in protein, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and choline, plus they have significant amounts of a ton of other vitamins and minerals. And for a little baby, they can offer over 50 percent of critical daily nutrients. Eggs are an incredible, edible supplement to an impoverished kid’s diet.

❝ So a team of public health researchers from all over the U.S. and Ecuador decided to see just how much of an impact an egg a day could have. They just published their results…in the journal Pediatrics. The group traveled to a poor province in Ecuador, gathered up mother-infant pairs, and split them into two groups. One group gave their babies (aged six to nine months) an egg each day, while the other group gave no eggs. Researchers showed up at their houses to provide the eggs every week and used that visit to gather information about how the babies were doing. They took their weight and height, plus asked about any other medical problems the infants might be having. At the end of six months, they found the kids who ate eggs were significantly taller and larger. An eggy diet appeared to reduce stunting by 47 percent, and babies fed on the incredible edibles were 74 percent less likely to be underweight.

RTFA. Makes sense, nutritionally [obvious] and economically. Might not seem that way to Grocery-fodder giants selling overpriced supposedly supplemented wonder-foods. No tears from here.

Salty Snacks Sinking Along A Predictable Rich-Poor Divide

❝ Consumers are buying less salty packaged food, although still too much by some standards, according to a longitudinal study of more than 170,000 households that used barcode scanners to record all packaged food purchases for a year as part of the Nielsen Homescan Consumer Panel.

❝ Total sodium from packaged food purchases decreased significantly between 2000 and 2014 (by 396 mg/d per capita). Sodium content of packaged foods also dropped overall by 12% over that 15-year period, which extended to all of the most salty foods, particularly condiments, sauces, and dips.

Still, the researchers noted in the paper in JAMA Internal Medicine that there is room for further reduction as more than 98% of households had packaged food purchases containing more than “optimal” levels of sodium…

❝ Two analyses in JAMA Cardiology of National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data from the past 10 and 15 years, respectively, showed that income still matters for cardiovascular risk factors.

One showed that predicted cardiovascular event risk, smoking rates, and blood pressure improved in high-income groups but not among people at or below the federal poverty level. The other showed persistent gaps between the lowest and highest income groups for diabetes, dyslipidemia, and obesity as well as a widening gap in prevalence of hypertension and in smoking.

Anyone surprised when cultural and income differences reinforce poor choices?