March-April 2019 | Volume 100, Number 2
BY: FRANCINE BLINTEN, MS, MBA, CCN, CNS
Dr. Laura Gottlieb once diagnosed abdominal pain in a patient when the real problem was hunger. "I confused social issues with medical problems in other patients, too," she wrote in a well-known 2010 opinion piece published in the San Francisco Chronicle
BY: DAVID LEWELLEN
Every culture's stories begin with water and center around water. The river Jordan, the Nile, the Ganges, the Rhine, the mighty Mississippi, the Tiber — water has cultural meaning. But it is also indispensable to life. And it has no substitute.
BY: ROB CASALOU
It's no secret that chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease are on the rise, with obesity affecting roughly 93 million U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In addition to causing premature and preventable death, the annual medical cost of these diseases is driving health care spending to 18 percent of the gross domestic product in the U.S. This kind of rise is unsustainable.
BY: JANICE L. RAYMOND, MS, RDN, CSG
As the body ages there are changes that occur that affect our nutritional needs and our ability to eat and enjoy foods. These changes, like aging itself, are very individual in how and when they appear. One of the most noticeable changes is a decrease in metabolic rate and as that occurs less energy, in the form of calories, is needed. This is attributed, at least in part, to the decrease in muscle seen as we age. A decrease in muscle mass can be somewhat prevented by exercise and diet, specifically by eating enough protein. Loss of muscle means loss of strength and mobility, the two factors most associated with becoming debilitated.
BY: SARA SHIPLEY HILES, MA
It's not news to Midwestern farmers that the weather is getting weird. Last spring was more like winter through the end of April, as late snow delayed planting by several weeks, followed by a blazing hot May. It was dry during the growing season, when farmers would have liked rain, and wet again through a cold fall that delayed the harvest. Some farmers couldn't bring in their crops until mid-December, weeks behind schedule.
BY: SUSAN BRIDLE-FITZPATRICK, PhD
An ever-increasing body of research demonstrates that social and environmental determinants of health — factors such as income, employment, safe housing, healthy food, clean water and air, education and neighborhood conditions — exert a powerful influence on health.
BY: SUNNY SCHAEFER, MEd
We live in a country of abundance and prosperity. Yet, we also live in a country of poverty and disparity. There is enough food produced in the United States to feed every man, woman and child. Yet every day 40 million people live with chronic food insecurity. Of those 40 million people, 12.5 million are children.
BY: KEELER FINA
The pervasive use of lead in homes, water lines and consumer products has resulted in extensive environmental contamination, human exposure and public health problems. Work is ongoing to counteract the devastating effects of lead poisoning in Flint, Michi-gan, where a switch to the public water supply from April 2014 to Oct. 2015 resulted in wide exposure to unsafe lead levels. Lead exposure remains a problem in other communities around the nation, though community collaborations and proposed legislative changes show promise in fighting the current problem and in greater efforts to prevent it.
BY: JON MAGNUSON, MDiv, MSW
Years ago, in the high desert country of Oregon, I was invited to participate in a ceremony on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. Several of us, Roman Catholic and Lutheran clergy, were present as guests, part of a cross-cultural conference on spirituality and environment. We gathered in a circle with a tribal elder who gently lifted up a bowl of water. Sounds of a hand drum echoed across the room. We paused, then after a period of silence she lifted up a song of thanks for water in a language I couldn't understand.
BY: CAMILLE GRIPPON, MA
It is never possible to forget the gaze of a child who is hungry or the desperation of a mother trying to secure her child's next meal. The need for food to sustain one's life is primal yet the ability to do so depends on many complex factors beyond oneself.