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Category Archives: Diet And Food

New Findings on the Role of Diet and Gut Bacteria in People with Lupus – Lupus Foundation of America

Posted: November 19, 2021 at 2:01 am

According to new research, a certain type of dietary fiber known as resistant starch may have an impact on lupus disease activity by affecting ones gut microbiome the naturally occurring community of bacteria and other microscopic organisms within the gastrointestinal tract. Resistant starch is a type of fiber that resists digestion in the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine, acting as a prebiotic, meaning it feeds the good kind of bacteria there. Some of these good gut bacteria, in turn, have been linked to immune system benefits and reduced disease activity in lupus and lupus-related antiphospholipid syndrome (APS, a condition that can cause blood clots and other health problems).

In the latest study, researchers looked at people with lupus and lupus-related APS and analyzed how much resistant starch they ate per day as well as their gut bacteria makeup. Although none of the study participants consumed a diet considered high in resistant starch (more than 15 grams per day), even moderate resistant starch consumption (2.5 to 15 grams daily) was associated with larger quantities of the good bacteria Bifidobacterium, which has known immune system benefits. Additionally, people with APS who ate moderate amounts of resistant starch had smaller amounts of bad bacteria that have been linked to the disease.

Dietary sources of resistant starch include:

While much remains unknown about the connection between diet and lupus, eating a nutritious, well-balanced and varied diet is recommended. Learn more about diet and nutrition with lupus.

Read the Study

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VOX POPULI: Diet should be as transparent with funds as this 1947 lottery winner | The Asahi Shimbun: Breaking News, Japan News and Analysis – Asahi…

Posted: November 19, 2021 at 2:01 am

In 1947, two years after the end of World War II, runaway inflation tormented Japanese citizens.

Water charges had risen eight-fold since the end of the war, postal rates had grown by 12 times and the price of white rice had soared 25 times higher.

People who owned no land to grow food sold their clothing and household goods to farmers in exchange for food.

At the end of that year, a takarakuji lottery with the top prize of 1 million yen ($8,770 at the current exchange rate) was introduced for the first time.

People were asked how they would spend it if they won. Here are some of their answers: Ill get smashed on black market sake. I want to provide warm homes to orphans. Ill buy a house and get married.

That year, the salary of Diet members was raised to 5,500 yen per month, sharply up from 3,500 yen. Other perks were also introduced: a monthly allowance of 125 yen for communication expenses and 40 yen per day for miscellaneous accommodation expenses.

Telegraphs were indispensable to political activities back then, and the office buildings for Diet members in Tokyo did not yet exist.

The two types of allowances were later consolidated, entitling Diet members to a payment of 1 million yen per month.

Now, these allowances are coming under review following an outcry over what is dubbed the 1 million yen a day issue.

Those who won their first Lower House seats in the Oct. 31 election, as well as former lawmakers who returned to the chamber after losing in the previous poll, were paid the full monthly allowance for being in office for just one day.

The Diet has dragged its feet on disclosing how members are spending these allowances, but they are funded by taxpayers money.

How can taxpayers be sure their money is not being splurged on nights out at Ginza clubs or handed out to buy votes at election time without their knowledge?

If lawmakers are open and aboveboard and have nothing to hide, the Diet has no reason not to disclose how the allowances were used, together with receipts.

The 1 million yen lottery of 1947 went to a boy from Fukushima Prefecture, who told the media without the slightest hesitation: Im depositing half in a postal savings account, and the rest will be spent on my younger brothers education.

His face graced newspapers with his big, sunny smile.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 19

* * *

Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that takes up a wide range of topics, including culture, arts and social trends and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column provides useful perspectives on and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.

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VOX POPULI: Diet should be as transparent with funds as this 1947 lottery winner | The Asahi Shimbun: Breaking News, Japan News and Analysis - Asahi...

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Cornell grad and lecturer touts benefits of plant-based diet – ithaca.com

Posted: November 6, 2021 at 1:55 am

If there is one piece of advice that 87-year-old Dr. T. Colin Campbell would give to those looking to age well and stay healthier longer, it would be to change your diet to a plant based, whole food approach.

The idea of plant based eating has gained popularity in recent years, but it was first coined by Campbell back in 1978. The bestselling coauthor of The China Study (published in 2006) said it has been exciting to see it gain traction in the last several years.

Its interesting because the idea of a plant based diet possibly being the best and the way of the future is just beginning to take hold in the mainstream public, Campbell said.

His recommendation that most everyone can adopt a plant based diet and have it benefit their lives hinges on a discovery he made early in his career: that people do not need to eat animal protein in order for their bodies to get the protein they need.

For the son of a dairy farmer, this flew in the face of what he had believed growing up but the evidence that a plant based diet can prevent and, in the vast majority of cases, even reverse common American ailments like diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease was so strong that he dedicated his career to researching it and publicly sharing his findings. He has also worked to shape public policy around health and nutrition and was the liaison to Congress for the medical research community in 1980 and 1981.

Campbell wasnt always interested in studying nutrition. He was completing his first year of veterinary school when he received a telegram from a well known Cornell Professor offering him a scholarship and research opportunity, which led him to complete his education at Cornell University and MIT in the field of nutrition, biochemistry and toxicology. During his time at Cornell, around 1965, he was tasked with coordinating an effort to aid malnourished children in the Philippines. It was believed at the time that the children needed more animal protein to be healthy, but what Campbell found instead was that the few children who came from families who were able to consume more animal protein had a higher rate of liver cancer than their peers.

I couldt quite believe what I was seeing, Campbell said. I had many students work in the lab on this question and over the years found that there is no need to consume animal food to get that protein. That is totally false.

Campbell spent a decade on the faculty of Virginia Techs Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, then returned to Cornell in 1975, where he currently holds his endowed chair as a professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.

In recent years Campbell founded a non-profit organization on online learning in nutrition which recently developed, under the direction of Campbells daughter LeAnne Campbell, the program Plant Forward, which holds online workshops.

The workshops teach a simple philosophy that can be difficult to put into practice at first but pays great dividends if the individual can stick with it for a month or two, Campbell said.

The people who stay with it are often people who have a serious health problem or have a motivation, he said. Sometimes the effects are almost immediate.

People can see their blood sugar drop precipitously in one day, he said. Its amazing.

The key is to go all-in on the new diet. He likened it to quitting smoking just cutting down to one or two cigarettes per day or smoking on some days but not on others is not likely to lead to success in the longterm. But soon, Campbell said, this new kind of eating will become second nature and even enjoyable.

Youll all of a sudden discover you crave a salad, he said. Just eat vegetables, grains, nuts, and avocados for the oil and fat.

As much as possible, stay away from added oils and refined carbs, he added.

The effects of adopting a whole plant-based diet are striking, he said.

We can turn experimental liver cancer genes on with animal based protein and turn it off by eating a plant based diet, he said.

Campbells own father died of a heart attack when he was 70, and his wifes mother died of colon cancer when she was just 51. That motivated us to think about changing our diet, so we did, he said. His wife is 80 years old, and both are largely medication free other than a short period Campbell spent on medication to control his blood pressure.

Campbells first book, The China Study, came out of a partnership in the 1980s with researchers at Oxford University and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine and sold nearly four million copies worldwide. Campbell followed that up with his second book, Whole, in 2013, which is focused on the science behind plant based eating.

In 2020 he published The Future of Nutrition: An Insiders Look at the Science, Why We Keep Getting it Wrong, and How to Start Getting It Right.

He still gives lectures and is involved with the online Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate in Partnership with eCornell. His research is the cornerstone of the 2011 documentary film Forks Over Knives, and his oldest son, Nelson Campbell, made another popular documentary on the topic called Plant Pure Nation.

Some advice that he received from his father that has guided him throughout his life: Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is a philosophy that allowed him to question his original assumption that eating animals must be good for health.

The key is to be honest with yourself and check your own biases, he said. Thats really critical.

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‘Diets of Rochester’ – PostBulletin.com

Posted: November 6, 2021 at 1:55 am

But Shane was much more than a mere 1940s novelty store proprietor. He was a visionary. Shane proposed the first gas station mini-mart, was first to license the Slinky patent, and introduced the first diet frozen dinner.

Long before there were healthy choices and lean cuisines, there were Diets of Rochester.

In 1954, the year Swanson introduced the iconic TV Dinner, more than 25 million frozen dinners were sold.

Company president Leroy Shane.

About that same time, another craze was sweeping the nation: dieting. Thats when Shane saw an opportunity in the convergence of the two. The Minneapolis Star newspaper reported that a man with a weight problem has converted his difficulty into a growing business. After a trip through Mayo Clinic, they wrote, he was referred to the Diet Kitchen for a diet of 1,000 calories a day. Leroy Shane came up with the idea of packaging low-calorie frozen foods.

An ad from the Minneapolis Star in 1957.

In 1956, Shane started a $10,000 test market program with Marshall Fields in Chicago, and Diets of Rochesterthe very first frozen diet dinner company in the nationwas born.

In October of 1957, eight 275-calorie Dream Diets were created by Colette Heise, who was a dietitian at Methodist Hospital. Each dinner consisted of hot and cold portions in revolutionary packaging (one side heated, the other defrosted) and included a vegetable, salad, dessert, and one of either broiled chicken, pork tenderloin, Swiss steak, breaded veal, roast beef, breaded haddock, macaroni scallopine, or diced beef in gravy.

The dinners were manufactured by Tony Downs Foods in St. James, near Mankato. First Brokerage Co., of Minneapolis, handled distribution.

The company was headed by Sam S. Badali, one of the Midwests pioneer frozen food processors. Shane was vice president and Heise the head dietitian. The launch included several full-page ads in Twin Cities newspapers.

Advertising magazine Tide reported that Shanes promotional budget for the launch of the competitively-priced 79 dinners was $500,000, about $4.7 million in todays dollars!

Preparation of the Dream Diet meals was simple. In fact, that was their attraction. Warming simply required the entre and vegetable pouch boil in water for 15 minutes to cook.

Colette Heise, a dietitian at Methodist Hospital who helped create the meals.

Included with each Dream Diet were suggestions for various sensible breakfasts. Adhering to a 1,000-calorie diet simply required two of the frozen meals and one of the breakfasts described on the product package.

Shane created a jingle and the meals were heavily promoted by legendary pitchman Aaron Cushman, who had previously represented institutions like Century 21, Keebler Cookies, and for a time, The Three Stooges.

Newspapers from Reading, Penn. to Oxnard, Calif. and from Mason City, Iowa to St. Petersburg, Fla. cited the introduction of these culinary wonders.

Locally, the lunchroom of Shanes novelty manufacturing facility on North Broadway was transformed into an ad hoc test kitchen.

Erika Austin worked for Shane in those days and recalled that the lounge was always stocked with the dinners.

They tasted good, Austin said, for diet food.

The following year, Diets of Rochester appointed Bruce C. Hartman as executive sales manager. Hartman came from dinner giant Holloway House Frozen Food and prepared to expand distribution to the Milwaukee area, but there is no evidence that actually happened.

Unfortunately, Diets of Rochester never gained traction. The company faded away. The business name was revoked in June of 1959.

That there were some allegations the dinners traded on the Mayo Clinic name or that of the similarly titled Rochester Diet Kitchen played no part.

Shane was simply ahead of his time.

It would be nearly 30 yearsin 1985 with the introduction of ConAgras Healthy Choicebefore the industry fully embraced the diet frozen dinners Shane pioneered.

Today, nutrition-themed frozen dinners are ubiquitouswe chill-out with more than one and a half billion of them each year. But there was a time when they were a novelty. And an innovation. And it all started in Rochester, Minn.

"Leroy Shane: The Shepherd of the Sand Hills and The Life of the Party" by Chris Miksanek

Chris Miksanek is a longtime Rochester resident and local history buff (and the MedCity Movie Guy). He's previously written about Dr. Thomas D. Moore, the Mayo Clinic urologist who built the Graceland mansion Elvis famously called home in Memphis, Tenn. This story is excerpted from his current book, Leroy Shane: The Shepherd of the Sand Hills and The Life of the Party. If you want to read about Shane's other exploitslike the first gas station mini-mart or the Slinky patentyou can buy the book at facebook.com/BamberBooks.

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Five-day post Diwali diet to shed those festive kilos – Economic Times

Posted: November 6, 2021 at 1:55 am

What are Diwali festivities without those extra bites of sweets shared with everyone, making delightful memories? The festival brings flavoursome confectioneries and fat-drenched savouries to the fore, and most of us don't have the will power to resist.

Yet, we have to be mindful to shred those lip-smacking dishes from the eventful days of Diwali!

Here's a detailed diet plan to help you shed extra kilos in five days, allowing you to savour your sweetmeats and indulge in celebratory days guilt-free!

In essence, detox is all about eating a diet that supports and improves the functioning of our liver. Unlike popular belief, detoxification is not about weight loss alone. It's mainly about helping and supporting your body to get rid of all the waste through proper dietary choices. It is beneficial for one and all.

Consuming Natural Detox Water, i.e. overnight Cinnamon/tulsi/ orange-infused water, salads, smoothies, and cold-pressed green juices certainly aid detoxification sooner which in turn is needed to stimulate the overall wellbeing of the digestive system to accept weight-loss targeted foods.

Foods recommended for speeding weight loss

Our traditional herbs and spices like cinnamon, cumin, ajwain, etc., really help to boost the metabolism. With zero side effects, they stimulate weight loss.

Probiotics

Reduce sugar intake, please! While the days of the festivities will be loaded with fried snacks and scrumptious desi sweets, it is advised to reduce the intake of many guilt foods which hinder the weight loss journey.

We need to remove sugar from the diet in the form of sucrose, bread, refined flour, sugar and flour-laden western desserts, etc.

Detailed diet plan to reduce weight in 5 days: There are plenty of diets that one can follow to regulate their weight during Diwali. Here's a simple diet plan that can help one deal with binge-eating and stimulate weight loss:

Every morning it is recommended to drink a glass of water including Cinnamon (th tsp) + Methi ( tsp) + mint (3-4 leaves) that are soaked overnight.

Breakfast can include a range of meals like: * Skimmed milk + oats + 5 soaked almonds * Oats cheela + buttermilk + 5 almonds, 2 walnuts * Poha + buttermilk + 5 almonds, 2 walnuts * Banana oats smoothie (1 banana, 75ml milk, 5 almonds) * Besan dhokla (5 pcs) + buttermilk + 5 almonds * Suji Upma + buttermilk + 5 almonds.

In the afternoon, one can have any 1 seasonal fruit like an apple/ papaya.

Lunch can have combinations for each day like* 1 tsp Psyllium husk with a glass of water + 2 Chapattis (made combining bran+ atta) + Dal (1 bowl) + Curd (1 bowl, made from skimmed milk)* 1 tsp Psyllium husk + 2 veg stuff chapati with plain curd * 1 tsp Psyllium husk + 1 bowl oats porridge + curd * 4 idlis + sambhar + mint chutney * Green moong dal chaat (1 bowl) with buttermilk * Veg Poha (1/2 poha 1/2 veggies) + curd. * 1 bowl of salad during lunch is recommended.

Teatime can include Tea (1 cup with no sugar) + biscuit (1-2) or dry puffed rice chaat or 1 bowl of makhana.

Before dinner, a bowl of Vegetable Clear Soup or Chicken stock is recommended.

Dinner too includes a range of foods that one can select from over the 5 days. They include:* 1 tsp Psyllium husk with a glass of water + Sauteed Veg (1 bowl including capsicum, broccoli, mushrooms, and onion) or Sauted Chicken in olive oil (1-2 tsp)* 2 Oats cheela with mint chutney * Blackchana chaat* 1 Bowl steamed veggies + 1 bowl oats porridge* 2 bowls moong dal with 1 katori dry vegetables 4 slices of thin-crust pizza * Veg pasta (1/4th pasta and rest veggies in red sauce)* A concoction of curry leaves wherein a few curry leaves being boiled in a cup of water stimulates weight loss better post-dinner.

5 Superfoods for the win While dieting can be difficult with hunger pangs kicking in now and then, to keep you filled and on track of your weight loss journey, it is best to stick to some hunger-satiating superfoods.

Proteins, fibre, and natural sugar (fruits) help to combat hunger pangs and avoid eating junk foods at the same time. Most importantly having enough sleep does the trick as people who get more sleep experience less hunger during the day. They hardly experience a desire for sweet and salty foods.

One can rely on Pumpkin Seeds, Millets like Bajra and Amaranth, Chia Seeds and Darkh Chocolate which are energy-packed foods containing a lot of nutrients like proteins, manganese, zinc, iron, niacin, coppern phosphorous, flavanols and antioxidants keeping one's mood and energy levels up throughout the day.

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10 dietary tips to reduce heart disease and stroke risk, according to new research – Fox News

Posted: November 6, 2021 at 1:55 am

The American Heart Association (AHA) on Tuesday outlined 10 key features of a heart-healthy eating pattern.

The organization's new scientific statement, titled "2021 Dietary Guidance to Improve Cardiovascular Health" and published in the journal Circulation, emphasizes the importance of overall dietary pattern, rather than individual foods or nutrients, as well as underscores the critical role of nutrition.

HEART HEALTH KEY TO TYPE 2 DIABETES PREVENTION: RESEARCHERS

The features listed, the AHA said, can be adapted to accommodate certain factors including cultural traditions, food likes and dislikes and whether most meals are consumed at home or "on-the-go."

According to the group, the statement reflects that a poor diet is strongly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

The importance of a total dietary pattern rather than "good" or "bad" foods or nutrients is emphasized, as well as the role of nutrition education.

The AHA emphasizes the importance of a total dietary pattern (iStock)

Eating healthy early in life and maintaining healthy habits are also underscored.

"We can all benefit from a heart-healthy dietary pattern regardless of stage of life, and it is possible to design one that is consistent with personal preferences, lifestyles and cultural customs," Alice Lichtenstein, chair of the scientific statement writing group, said in a statement. "It does not need to be complicated, time-consuming, expensive or unappealing."

BEHAVIORS THAT COULD CAUSE A HEART ATTACK

In addition, for the first time, the AHA summarizes evidence that addresses sustainability and enumerates several challenges that make it more difficult to adopt and maintain a heart-healthy eating pattern.

Commonly consumed animal products, like red meat, contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions that warm the Earth's atmosphere and have the largest environmental impact in terms of water and land usage. However, the AHA highlights that not all sustainable diets are heart-healthy.

The association said that public health actions and policy changes are required to address societal challenges and barriers to adopting or maintaining a heart-healthy diet.

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Some of those challenges include widespread dietary misinformation, a lack of nutrition education in schools, food and nutrition insecurity, structural racism and neighborhood segregation and targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and beverages to people from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds.

"Creating an environment that promotes and supports adherence to heart-healthy dietary patterns among all individuals is a public health imperative," the statement said.

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Ten dietary tips to reduce heart disease and stroke risk – New York Post

Posted: November 6, 2021 at 1:54 am

The American Heart Association (AHA) on Tuesday outlined 10 key features of aheart-healthyeating pattern.

The organizations new scientific statement, titled 2021 Dietary Guidance to Improve Cardiovascular Health and published in the journal Circulation, emphasizes the importance of overall dietary pattern, rather than individualfoodsor nutrients, as well as underscores the critical role of nutrition.

The features listed,the AHA said, can be adapted to accommodate certain factors including cultural traditions, food likes and dislikes and whether most meals are consumed at home or on-the-go.

According to the group,the statementreflects that a poor diet is strongly associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death.

The importance of a total dietary pattern rather than good or bad foods or nutrients is emphasized, as well as the role of nutrition education.

Eating healthy early in life and maintaining healthy habits are also underscored.

We can all benefit from a heart-healthy dietary pattern regardless of stage of life, and it is possible to design one that is consistent with personal preferences, lifestyles and cultural customs, Alice Lichtenstein, chair of the scientific statement writing group, said in a statement. It does not need to be complicated, time-consuming, expensive or unappealing.

In addition, for the first time, the AHA summarizes evidence that addresses sustainability and enumerates several challenges that make it more difficult to adopt and maintain a heart-healthy eating pattern.

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Ten dietary tips to reduce heart disease and stroke risk - New York Post

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Matt James Is Running the New York City Marathon This Weekend – GQ Magazine

Posted: November 6, 2021 at 1:54 am

Whats for lunch?

I typically run the same smoothie back because I know I have a run later on in the day. I can't eat before I run or drink a lot of liquid. So Ill do a little less milk, less peanut butter, sometimes Ill cut it out altogether depending on how the run is.

How has your training been going?

So far, I havent run more than 10 miles. I have more to do in terms of long runs, at least 15 or 17. The thing is, Im just moving my body in so many ways all of the time, kind of taking my training in a different direction than whats typical. But my body feels good, and I trust that. For my first marathon in Chicago 2019, I never ran more than 12 miles. Not because I didn't feel like I needed to, but I just didn't know what I was doing.

This time around, I had goals for the marathon in terms of times I wanted to break and places I wanted to be, but then Dancing With the Stars happened. So now Im just being realistic with my body and my training. I've tempered my expectations. My biggest priority is to remain healthy.

So to confirm: You dont eat whole foods until after your evening run?

Some days, yeah. I dont snack, either. Snacking is usually a sign of boredom for me. For dinner, I go bigeither a grain bowl or what I call a super salad. Last night, I went to Mendocino Farms and I had this avocado salad with kale, quinoa, roasted chicken, beans, and red peppers. I'll load that up. It feels like a cheat meal because everything else is so regimented that I love to go crazy on a salad or a bowl. I also love going to Erewhon, where they have a Whole Foods-style hot bar, and Ill get straight veggies. Sweet potatoes, brussels, broccolithough if they have salmon Ill get salmon that day.

Are you mostly plant-based?

I definitely try to keep it veggie heavy. My body just responds best to that with all the training that I'm doing. I have found replacements for the protein. It's paid off. I feel like I'm getting better sleep. I'm focused. It keeps me in line for not snacking and eating unhealthy. Plus, I love sweets. I love ice cream. But when you eat healthy for a number of weeks, I find that I stop craving to have those things. Instead of having them now, Ill think like, hey, Im just going to chug a coconut water and call it a night. That gives me a little sweetness and isnt something like a cookie or dessert.

Ive seen your Instagram. I know that you like to indulge. Talk about how regularly youre actually going ham on things like burgers and meals out?

Ill say this: I feel like this way of eating has been really important considering the goals I have at the moment. However, if I wasnt out there training and dancing, my breakfast smoothie would stay the same. If Im in New York for lunch, I love some sort of sandwich, burrito, or a burger. I love Whitmans in the East Village, Faiccos in the West Village. And Im good on a big lunch because I know Ill be burning calories throughout the day, and then I kind of temper it back for dinner. I do like ice cream occasionally too. Jennys gooey butter cake when in California, or anything from Van Leeuwen when Im in New York.

Post-marathon ideal meal?

The biggest breakfast ever. I want homemade pancakes, eggs, bacon, wafflesI don't ever eat those things. Then I'll go right to bed.

The veteran actor talked to GQ about sleeping a lot, the importance of avoiding the junk zone," and the workout advice he got from Chris Pratt.

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How Do You Weigh Animals at the Zoo? – Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

Posted: November 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

Weigh-ins can help keepers understand if an animal is feeling OK or has access to too little or too much food. Each animal has a diet designed specifically for their needsso,to keep things balanced, the reward for stepping on the scale often comes directly from their favored items in that diet. Zoo nutritionists can pair weights with visual or hands-on exams to monitor body condition, and to make sure animals are developing normally or maintaining the proper amount of weight. And if an animal needs medicine, veterinarians use weight to calculate the correct dosage.

With their knowledge of an animals natural history, personality and food preferences, keepers have developed many creative ways to weigh different animals. They can gain a wealth of information from the simple number on a scale, and use it to help provide the best care for all the animals at the Smithsonians National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

This article appears in the November 2021 issue of National Zoo News.

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‘Faecal matter’ found on door handles of Fulwood care home as residents weight loss goes unnoticed by staff – Lancashire Post

Posted: November 6, 2021 at 1:53 am

Elderly residents at a Fulwood care home were at risk of becoming malnourished because of an unmonitored diet, a report by a health watchdog has concluded.

And walls and door handles were found 'stained with faecal matter'.

The home is now under special measures, following complaints from both relatives and staff.

An unannounced inspection, carried out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) at Banksfield Nursing Home in Fulwood, made worrying findings that residents were 'not safe and at risk of avoidable harm'.

Lasting three days last month, health chiefs found the diet and fluid intake of residents was 'not consistently monitored and nutritional risk assessments were not always carried out.'

This put elderly residents at risk of becoming malnourished.

Staff did not notice that one person even lost 1.4 kilos of weight over the 15 day period.

Another resident, who was under the care of dietician, had not been weighed for three months.

And others, with dementia, could have choked as staff did not always to supervise them during mealtimes.

Inspectors said: "One person's fluids intake records showed they had only taken 20mls of fluids between midnight and 11.30am, we observed this person alone in their bedroom with two jugs of untouched fluids, staff told us at 11.30am they had not assisted the person with personal care or breakfast.

"We observed people who lived on the dementia nursing unit receive poor mealtime experiences.

"People were not sufficiently supported or prompted to eat and drink. People were also placed at risk of choking because staff did not always supervise them when sat near foods which they were unable to safely eat.

"Staff demonstrated little knowledge about people's dietary risk and nutritional needs.

"Systems and management oversight were not robust enough to consistently ensure people's nutrition and hydration needs were met. This placed people at risk of harm."

Such findings were found to be a breach of regulation 14 of the Health and Social Care Act.

Inspectors also found that cleanliness standards had slipped, with 'dried food and faecel matter' lining the door handles and corridors.

Two elderly residents were also harmed in an incident that was unwitnessed by staff and the record was not reviewed by the manager in line with the home's policy.

Inspectors added: "There was a failure to continuously risk assess or carry out risk assessment strategies.

"Staff did not always know the needs of people they supported and therefore did not always sufficiently protect them from harm.

"Two people who lived with dementia had expired foods in their personal bedroom fridge. This placed them at significant risk of avoidable harm because they were unable to identify that the food had expired and was fermented."

The service relied on agency staff to administer people's medicines, but many were unaware of how to identify when someone who was unable to reliably communicate they were in pain, distressed or constipated.

It added that environment safety including fire safety checks were not always carried out in line with the related policy and procedures.

Having deteriorated from the last inspection in March with a rating of 'Requires Improvement', to now 'Inadequate', the care home which provides personal and nursing care to 31 people aged 65 and over is now under review and will be re-inspected in the next six months where the CQC will decide if further action is required.

However, staff told inspectors they felt the service had 'stabilised' after previous manager had exited the business.

Staff also said they 'felt able to raise ideas and involved in the running of the service.'

Other relatives of residents agreed they felt confident to 'raise concerns' however others commented that action was delayed by the home after the complaints were made.

The CQC has now requested an action plan for the provider to give details on how it aims to improve its standards.

A follow-up inspection will be carried within the next six months.

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