Monday, March 11, 2002

Fit Bits

Ways to stay active and healthy

Compiled by Peggy O'Farrell


        Healthy eating: Eating habits learned in childhood persist into adolescence and may help contribute to chronic disease, says a study in this month's issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

        A study conducted by Youfa Wang, an associate professor of human nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and researchers from the University of North Carolina and the Institute of Nutrition and Food Hygiene of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine in Beijing, reviewed data for 984 Chinese children collected from 1991 to 1997.

        The children, ages 6 to 13, came from eight provinces and fell into six dietary profiles: high fat, high carbohydrate, high energy, high fruit and vegetable, low fruit and vegetable and high meat.

        About half those children followed the same eating patterns six years after their data was collected, researchers found. Differences in environment (urban or rural), family income and the mother's education level were important in predicting children's eating patterns. Children from urban and high-income families tended to eat more meat and fat.

        The findings are consistent with previous smaller studies linking chronic disease to childhood dietary habits.

Just in

        Heart smart: The American Heart Association and the American College of Sports Medicine are urging fitness clubs to install automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and train staff to use them.

        An AED analyzes the heart's rhythm and tells bystanders responding in an emergency whether to deliver an electrical shock to a victim of cardiac arrest. The shock helps restore the heart's normal rhythm.

        The joint recommendation issued by the heart association and sports medicine organization points out that many Americans have undiagnosed heart disease and more older Americans are joining gyms. Installing AEDs is one more important step in the ""chain of survival” for people who suffer cardiac arrest, including CPR, calling emergency services and advanced cardiac care.

        Experts recommend AEDS be installed in facilities with memberships of 2,500 or more, those with special programs for the elderly or people with special health needs and those where the local emergency medical services response time is likely to be more than five minutes.


        Seminar: Exercise physiologist Renee Jeffreys will lead a free seminar on exercise during pregnancy at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Newbody's Personal Training Studio in Blue Ash. Preregistration required. (859) 291-4354 or

        Registration open: The Cincinnati Rowing Club is registering participants for its “Learn to Row” program, which begins April 23. Cost is $400. Registration is limited. Information:

Shelf Help

        Baby fat: Outsmarting the Female Fat Cell — After Pregnancy (Hyperion; $22.95) by Debra Waterhouse focuses on the special concerns of women trying to lose the extra pounds they gained during pregnancy. The author's advice: Give your body six weeks to recover from childbirth, then ease into a sensible program of sound nutrition and regular exercise.

        Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone: 768-8510; fax: 768-8330; e-mail:


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