Treatment with helminths (roundworms), once considered gross, is actually proving effective.If you can get over the “ick factor” of putting worms in your body, you might take a new look at what many patients are finding: helminths (roundworms) can cure some diseases other treatments can’t. Here’s the bottom line of an article from Medical Xpress:“The risk-benefit ratio is so skewed to the benefit side,” O’Hara said. “Helminths are much safer than any medication I’ve ever put any child on, or any adult. I really do think that this is something more and more physicians need to consider.”Helminth therapy (the preferred term, since “worms” grosses people out) has proven effective for severe food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease. It’s given some patients a new life.Of scientific interest is whether helminths should be classed as parasites. That link is “controversial” the article says, because while some truly do cause harm, there are other helminth species that cause no harm and bring only benefits. What’s the difference in living with other internal organisms, like gut bacteria, that help us digest our food?For creationists, this relatively recent change of opinion may be instructive about original ecology. Instead of classing organisms into simplistic good-and-bad categories, maybe we should take a look at some things as potentially good under the right circumstances. Certainly the Genesis 3 curse caused pain and suffering in many cases, but we shouldn’t assume that some organisms we have been conditioned to consider bad are in fact bad. Another case is maggots, now being used for cleaning wounds. That’s something Hugh Glass knew about and benefited from (to be shown in the upcoming movie, The Revenant, opening Christmas 2015). Don’t rush to get bit by a rattlesnake or stung by a scorpion, but keep an open mind about yucky things in nature. Grasshoppers are good sources of protein, for instance. Each case needs its own evidence. (Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Three years ago, one of Ohio State University Extension’s community nutrition programs started making a special effort to expand its reach to children and teens.By any measure, the effort has been a wild success.Known as SNAP-Ed, it’s the nutrition education program for recipients of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, and for other low-income Ohioans. Ohio SNAP-Ed has always had a youth component, but in 2012, before the expansion began, it reached just 18,443 children and teens, said Pat Bebo, director of Community Nutrition for OSU Extension.Compare that to the number reached during the 2015 federal fiscal year that ended Sept. 30: 171,229. That’s an increase of 927% over 2012. The program grew primarily by expanding its involvement with schools with a significant low-income population — those that have 50% or more students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.“For the most part, schools are very receptive. They’re very interested in providing this information for their students,” said Bebo, who is also interim assistant director in charge of OSU Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences program.SNAP-Ed also works with libraries, preschools, childcare centers and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program — “anywhere children are” — to provide nutrition programming, she said. Helping young people make healthy food choices can have a long-lasting benefit and generate a ripple effect for the entire family, Bebo said.“Prior to coming to Ohio, when I was in Massachusetts, we did an evaluation of parents of children who participated in our SNAP-Ed programs,” Bebo said. “It showed that children were change agents for the family.“When children come home and say, ‘Let’s have water with dinner because soda is not the best choice,’ or ‘Let’s have vegetables with each meal,’ parents pay attention. If children say they want a healthier cereal with whole grains instead of the cereal with high sugar content, parents will buy that healthier cereal.“Often what it takes is educating the child on what the difference is, and why certain options are better for them. And they’ll choose it. It’s a simple thing. They’re willing to learn anything.“Children really can help the whole family change behaviors, which is one of the reasons why we really put an emphasis on reaching them.”Bebo provides leadership for Extension’s county-based community nutrition programs, which include SNAP-Ed and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Designed for low-income consumers, the federally funded programs focus on helping people choose higher quality, nutritionally dense foods and include other aspects of healthy living, including food safety and physical activity.In 2015, SNAP-Ed, which is offered in 69 Ohio counties, also reached 40,766 adult participants. In addition, EFNEP, which is offered in 19 Ohio counties and is specifically geared for low-income families with children, reached 3,767 adults and 10,766 youths.“These are probably the best-evaluated nutrition education programs around,” Bebo said. “Year after year, we see that people who participate increase their intake of fruits and vegetables and increase their food safety behaviors. It’s significant.”Bebo related a story from Scioto County, where SNAP-Ed program assistants included taste-testing of mangoes in both their adult and school programs in September as a way to encourage eating a wider variety of produce.The result? The produce manager at the local grocery store had trouble keeping mangoes in stock.“He wasn’t sure what was going on,” Bebo said. “This speaks to the impact of children learning what different fruits and vegetables taste like, and then turning around and influencing the family.Despite the nutrition programs’ positive impact on participants, the issue of hunger is more complex than many people realize. But it’s something Bebo considers daily.According to a USDA report released in September, 7.5% of Ohio households experienced “very low food security” from 2012 to 2014. That was an increase from Ohio’s 6.4% average from 2009 to 2011. And it’s worse than every state but Arkansas, Missouri and Maine. Nationwide, the prevalence of very low food security has held steady over the last few years at 5.6%.“Food insecurity” is the term used for households that face uncertainty or limited ability to provide enough food. As part of a team working on a special project for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the national organization of nutrition professionals, Bebo examined how registered dietitians could get engaged in community initiatives designed to help fight hunger.“We have all these supports,” Bebo said, including community gardens, food banks and food pantries, “healthy corner store” programs, farmers market programs that help stretch SNAP benefit dollars, and educational programs such as those Bebo oversees.“But even with all these programs, individual food insecurity isn’t getting better,” Bebo said. “When a family goes to a food pantry, we’re plugging a hole.“It helps — significantly — but it doesn’t get to the reason why people are food insecure.” What’s needed, Bebo said, is additional research on the underlying issues of food insecurity.Bebo believes substantive behavior changes take place when messages are reinforced in many different ways.“We can’t solve these issues in a silo,” she said.When children hear a nutrition message in a SNAP-Ed program, are presented with healthier choices in school meals, and see more whole-grain breakfast cereals advertised on television, the combination makes a difference.“When you put messages in front of people in different ways, you will influence them to change.”OSU Extension’s Community Nutrition programs are continually improving, Bebo said, trying new ways to reach target audiences. They are part of the larger support system addressing food insecurity, but Bebo wants to continue to work on the underlying issues that remain elusive.“There absolutely has to be that safety net. It’s critically important for people to have that support and have ways they can provide nutritious food for their families,” she said.“But what are we not following through on? Are we missing something that would make a foundational difference?“I think the conversation we need to have has to be oriented around policy and culture, and we have to tease out the sociological and psychological components. It’s a very complicated issue and we need to learn to understand it so we can target interventions that truly will address a family’s food security.”
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