What makes local residents meet up to take a walk together in several Sacramento parks each week? To hear them tell it, it’s the fun that comes from a shared activity with neighbors, and, for as long as supplies hold out, free fruit and vegetables at the end of the trek.
Author: Fran Kritz
Since Jan. 1, thousands more kids in California have had improved access to breakfast and lunch at school for little or no cost. That’s when a new law took effect requiring schools that serve subsidized federally funded meals and post the application forms online to have those applications available in multiple languages. The new law will make it easier for non-English speaking parents to apply for meals for eligible kids.
On the second Sunday of each month, the Orange County Great Park in Irvine looks like a county fair. Balloons and banners; families with kids in strollers; mobile trucks holding eye catching displays with greeters inviting families in.
As always, Nadia Atef, an immigrant from Morocco now living in San Diego with her husband and two young daughters, made special foods for the holidays this year. But while she usually prepares holiday dishes from her country, this year she added a new one, spinach soup, an Egyptian delicacy. What’s more, the version Atef brought to the holiday table had been specially revamped by a group of home cooks Atef is a part of, to make the dish healthier than traditional recipes.
Carol Jenkins Hill has been unable to walk since breaking her ankle two years ago. Her mobility was poor even before that, and despite physical therapy it’s almost impossible for the 73-year old to put weight on her legs. That keeps Hill, who lives in San Francisco, from doing many of the things she enjoys, like getting out to see friends. But, more significantly, it keeps her from doing the things she must do, like regular checkups at the doctor.
Mallie Odle, 69, keeps a list on the refrigerator in the kitchen of her San Diego home of the things she enjoys doing in her rare spare time. Recently she checked off lunch with a pal, and she has plans to make a bigger dent on that to-do list, including some exercise classes she hasn’t attended for a while.
More than 100,000 older Californians are on the leading edge of precision medicine, a trend that could transform modern health care. The Californians, all age 60 or older and patients of Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, agreed to answer survey questions and allow their medical history and DNA to be used to form a database that has been used for several studies published in the journal Genetics.
Hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s measles outbreak in California, public health officials have launched a campaign reminding doctors to consider the highly contagious virus as a possible diagnosis when patients or parents call or come in with a fever and rash.
A study by researchers at Brigham Young and Cornell University offers a recommendation for getting kids at school to eat more fruits and vegetables: schedule recess before lunch.
A new study by researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University shows portion sizes of fast foods did not change much between 1996 and 2013. The USDA researchers analyzed the calorie, sodium, saturated fat and trans fat content of cheeseburgers, french fries, cola beverages and grilled chicken sandwiches at three national fast-food chains between 1996 and 2013. They found that average calories, sodium, and saturated fat stayed fairly constant—and high, except for declines in the trans fat content of fresh fries since about 2006.