Friday Links: Ulcer Bug, Prenatal Peanuts and Asthma Risk; New Pollution Forecast Site; Money and U.S. Healthcare
H. Pylori Stomach Bacteria Prevents Asthma?
Kids who tested positive for this very common bug (thought to play a role in ulcers and stomach cancer later in life) were 59% less likely to have asthma. As the thinking goes, the rise in asthma in recent decades could be a result of over-cleanliness and early antibiotic use’s cleaning out H. pylori and thus making kids more susceptible to asthma. Incredibly, the research suggests a possible future treatment, i.e. introducing it into kids and then later using antibiotics to get rid of it.
Lots of Peanuts or Peanut Butter During Pregnancy Appears to Up Asthma Risk
File this one under *Don’t blame the asthma on the parents,* as per usual. But if you’re planning on having a baby, just be aware that daily consumption–that’s daily, not a couple times a week–could increase your baby’s risk of contracting asthma as high as 50% and for the next eight years.
New Site Offers 4-Day Forecast for Asthma Sufferers
This is Azma.com from the same people who run Pollen.com, and it works pretty much the same way. Check out your area’s levels for ground-level ozone, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. I don’t know accurate this new site is, so I’m just going to assume it’s on par with Pollen.com, which claims 96%.
Americans Spend More $, Get Crappier Health Care
Check out this math: the U.S. spends the most money in the world on health care, but the quality of that care falls to last place among all industrialized nations. Anyone else notice the imbalance here? Now, no one’s saying we have abysmal health care, especially compared to some developing countries where healthcare is practically non-existent, but that the quality doesn’t match up with what we spend.
According to this NY Times story about the Commonwealth Fund study:
The study, which assesses the United States on 37 health care measures, finds little improvement since the last report, as the cost of health care continues to rise steadily and more people â even those with insurance â struggle to pay their medical bills.
So where does the blame lie? Lack of centralization due to antiquated technology and the regulatory obligations of 50 states, among other problems.
Check Out this Idiot.
If you don’t know who Michael Savage is, count yourself lucky and just stay away. Media Matters reports that on July 16, Savage declared the following on his conservative radio show:
Now, you want me to tell you my opinion on autism, since I’m not talking about autism? A fraud, a racket. For a long while, we were hearing that every minority child had asthma. Why did they sudden — why was there an asthma epidemic amongst minority children? Because I’ll tell you why: The children got extra welfare if they were disabled, and they got extra help in school. It was a money racket. Everyone went in and was told [fake cough], “When the nurse looks at you, you go [fake cough], ‘I don’t know, the dust got me.’ ” See, everyone had asthma from the minority community. That was number one.
It gets even better, as he also claims autism is a result of “sensitivity training” and absentee fathers. He says, “I’ll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it’s a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out.”
Green Industries = Good for Job Market, Good for the Environment
It’s just about the only good job/economy news I’ve read lately–green jobs are actually increasing as others decrease.
WalkScore.com, Another Tool to Help You Move
This one calculates the walkability of U.S., Canada, and U.K. neighborhoods but as the site itself admits, nothing can beat actually visiting a neighborhood to determine its walkability for yourself. My community scored a big, fat zero, and that’s a pretty accurate score, but the larger city to my west scored an 88 out of 100, which isn’t. Barely anyone walks there because it does not feature many safe, accessible sidewalks and its public transportation system is lacking.
Still, a good starting point. And related, the 10 Most Walkable U.S. Cities.
Hey, I’m Puerto Rican. It’s in my blood. I know I shouldn’t like them, but I really, really do.
(Previous post with food lists here.