• Decrease font size
  • Return font size to normal
  • Increase font size
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

For Consumers

  • Print
  • Share
  • E-mail

FDA and You Issue #5 - Winter 2005

PDF Printer Version


Graphic of a bottle of milk and cookies Got Milk? Make Sure It’s Pasteurized

Pasteurization, since its adoption in the early 1900s, has been credited with dramatically reducing illness and death caused by contaminated milk. But today, some people are passing up pasteurized milk for what they claim is tastier and healthier "raw milk."

Public health officials couldn't disagree more.

Drinking raw (untreated) milk or eating raw milk products is "like playing Russian roulette with your health," says John Sheehan, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Division of Dairy and Egg Safety. "We see a number of cases of foodborne illness every year related to the consumption of raw milk."

More than 300 people in the United States got sick from drinking raw milk or eating cheese made from raw milk in 2001, and nearly 200 became ill from these products in 2002, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Raw milk may harbor a host of disease-causing organisms (pathogens), such as the bacteria campylobacter, escherichia, listeria, salmonella, yersinia, and brucella. Common symptoms of foodborne illness from many of these types of bacteria include diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headache, vomiting, and exhaustion.

Most healthy people recover from foodborne illness within a short period of time, but others may have symptoms that are chronic, severe, or life-threatening.

People with weakened immune systems, such as elderly people, children, and those with certain diseases or conditions, are most at risk for severe infections from pathogens that may be present in raw milk. In pregnant women, Listeria monocytogenes-caused illness can result in miscarriage, fetal death, or the illness or death of a newborn infant. And Escherichia coli infection has been linked to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that can cause kidney failure and death.

Some of the diseases that pasteurization can prevent are tuberculosis, diphtheria, polio, salmonellosis, strep throat, scarlet fever, and typhoid fever.

Pasteurization and Contamination

The pasteurization process uses heat to destroy harmful bacteria without significantly changing milk's nutritional value or flavor. In addition to killing disease-causing bacteria, pasteurization destroys bacteria that cause spoilage, extending the shelf life of milk.

Milk can become contaminated on the farm when animals shed bacteria into the milk. Cows, goats, and sheep carry bacteria in their intestines that do not make them sick but can cause illness in people who consume their untreated milk or milk products.

But pathogens that are shed from animals aren't the only means of contamination, says Tom Szalkucki, assistant director of the Wisconsin Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Cows can pick up pathogens from the environment just by lying down--giving germs the opportunity to collect on the udder. "Think about how many times a cow lays down in a field or the barn," says Szalkucki. "Even if the barn is cleaned thoroughly and regularly, it's not steamed. Contamination can take place because it's not a sterile environment."

The Health Hype

Raw milk advocates claim that unprocessed milk is healthier because pasteurization destroys nutrients and the enzymes necessary to absorb calcium. They also claim it kills beneficial bacteria and is associated with allergies, arthritis, and other diseases.

This is simply not the case, says Sheehan. Research has shown that there is no significant difference in the nutritional value of pasteurized and unpasteurized milk, he says. The caseins, the major family of milk proteins, are largely unaffected, and any modification in whey protein that might occur is barely perceptible.

"Milk is a good source of the vitamins thiamine, folate, B-12, and riboflavin," adds Sheehan, "and pasteurization results in losses of anywhere from zero to 10 percent for each of these, which most would consider only a marginal reduction."

While the major nutrients are left unchanged by pasteurization, vitamin D, which enhances the body's absorption of calcium, is added to processed milk. Vitamin D is not found in significant levels in raw milk.

"Pasteurization will destroy some enzymes," says Barbara Ingham, Ph.D., associate professor and extension food scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "But the enzymes that are naturally present in milk are bovine enzymes. Our bodies don't use animal enzymes to help metabolize calcium and other nutrients."

"Enzymes in the food that we eat and drink are broken down in the human gastrointestinal tract," adds Ingham. "Human bodies rely on our own native enzymes to digest and metabolize food."

"Most of the native enzymes of milk survive pasteurization largely intact," says Sheehan, "including those thought to have natural antimicrobial properties and those that contribute to prolonging milk's shelf life." Other enzymes that survive are thought to play a role in cheese ripening.

Ingham says that pasteurization will destroy some bacteria that may be helpful in the fermentation of milk into products such as cheese and yogurt, "but the benefit of destroying the harmful bacteria vastly outweighs the supposed benefits of retaining those helpful microorganisms. Plus, by adding the microorganisms that we need for fermentation, we can assure a consistently high quality product."

Science has not shown a connection between drinking raw milk and disease prevention. "The small quantities of anti- bodies in milk are not absorbed in the human intestinal tract," says Ingham. "And there is no scientific evidence that raw milk contains an anti-arthritis factor or that it enhances resistance to other diseases."

Fans of raw milk often cite its creamy rich taste, says Szalkucki, who adds that it may be creamier because it is not made according to the standards for processed milk. "If you go to a grocery store and buy fluid milk, it's been standardized for a certain percentage of fat, such as 2 percent," he says. "Raw milk is potentially creamier because it has not been standardized and it has a higher fat content."

The Law

It is a violation of federal law enforced by the FDA to sell raw milk packaged for consumer use across state lines (interstate commerce). But each state regulates the sale of raw milk within the state (intrastate), and some states allow it to be sold. This means that in some states dairy operations may sell it to local retail food stores, or to consumers directly from the farm or at agricultural fairs or other community events, depending on the state law.

In states that prohibit intrastate sales of raw milk, some people have tried to get around the law by " cow sharing," or "cow leasing." They pay a fee to a farmer to lease or purchase part of a cow in exchange for raw milk, claiming that they are not actually buying the milk since they are part-owners of the cow. Wisconsin banned cow-leasing programs after 75 people became infected with Campylobacter jejuni bacteria in 2001 from drinking unpasteurized milk obtained through such a program.

Raw Milk Cheeses

The FDA allows the manufacture and interstate sale of raw milk cheeses that are aged for at least 60 days at a temperature not less than 35 degrees Fahrenheit. "However, recent research calls into question the effectiveness of 60-day aging as a means of pathogen reduction," says Sheehan.

The FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) is currently examining the safety of raw milk cheeses and plans to develop a risk profile for these cheeses. This information will help FDA risk managers make future decisions regarding the regulation of these products to protect public health.

Ensuring Milk Safety

The FDA provides oversight for the processing of raw milk into pasteurized milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, and sour cream under the National Conference on Interstate Milk Shipments’ "Grade A" milk program. This cooperative program between the FDA, the 50 states and Puerto Rico helps to ensure the uniformity of milk regulations and the safety of milk and milk products. The program is based on standards described in the FDA's Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO), a model code of regulations that can be adopted by the states in their own regulations.

Under the Grade A program, state personnel conduct inspections and assign ratings and FDA regional milk specialists audit these ratings, says Richard Eubanks, M.P.H., a senior milk sanitation officer on CFSAN's Milk Safety Team. "It's a rigorous process of inspection and auditing," he says, and "it covers from cow to carton," starting with the dairy farm and continuing through the processing and packaging of products at milk plants. Products that pass inspection may be labeled "Grade A."

The FDA Grade A milk program includes pasteurized milk from cows, goats, sheep, and horses. Raw milk and raw milk cheeses cannot be labeled Grade A, since they are not pasteurized and not covered under the program.

A Sampling of Raw Milk Incidents

  • July 2004--The Indiana Public Health Department advised consumers to check their refrigerators and freezers for raw milk cheese that may have been contaminated with salmonella. Routine product sampling found the bacteria in lot number 139 of "Natural Raw Milk Cheese" made by Meadow Valley Farm after the cheese was distributed to farmers' markets and specialty food stores in parts of Indiana and Wisconsin.
  • 2002-2003--Two children were hospitalized in Ohio for infection with Salmonella enterica serotype Typhimurium. These children and 60 other people in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee developed bloody diarrhea, cramps, fever, chills, and vomiting from S. Typhimurium tracked to consuming raw milk. The milk producer voluntarily surrendered its license for selling raw milk upon recommendation of the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
  • 2000-2001--In North Carolina, 12 adults were infected with Listeria monocytogenes linked to homemade, Mexican-style fresh soft cheese produced from contaminated raw milk sold by a local dairy farm. Ten of the 12 victims were pregnant women, and infection with the bacterium resulted in five stillbirths, three premature births, and two infected newborns.
  • 1998--In Massachusetts, 66 people received injections to protect against potential exposure to rabies after drinking unpasteurized milk from a local dairy. A cow that died at the dairy was found to be infected with rabies. Transmission of the rabies virus through unpasteurized milk, although not the common route of infection, is theoretically possible, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Back to Table of Contents


Picture of laser pointers and the caption 'laser pointers come in different styles'. Laser Pointers: Use With Care

You may be aware of recent reports in the press of lasers being used to illuminate aircraft. Misuse of a laser pointer is not considered a harmless prank. This activity is dangerous and illegal, and is being taken very seriously by FDA and other Federal agencies. This article reaffirms information FDA released in 1997 regarding the appropriate and responsible use of laser pointers.

Laser pointers are generally safe when used by a teacher or lecturer to highlight areas on a chart or screen. Lasers are also used in CD and DVD players, in medical devices, industrial tools, and in light shows at special events and theme parks. However, advances in technology and price reductions have made brighter laser products readily available. FDA is concerned about the irresponsible use of hand-held laser pointers, as well as the promotion of lasers for use as toys for children and pets.

Laser pointers are not toys. They are useful tools for adults that should only be used by children under careful adult supervision. Lasers should never be directed at the eyes. Misuse of a laser can result in temporary blindness or more serious eye injury.

Text of graphic says: Danger - Laser Radiatioin - Avoice Direct Ee Exposure. Maximum output , 5 mW, laser diode 630-680 nm Class IIIa Laser ProductLight energy from a laser pointer aimed into the eye can be more damaging than staring directly into the sun. This is why Federal law requires warning labels on laser products about the danger of exposing the eyes to laser radiation. Momentary exposure, as from an unintentional sweep of laser light across a person's eyes, causes only temporary flash blindness. Flash blindness is a temporary loss of vision that occurs when the eye is suddenly exposed to intense light. This effect can last for several seconds to several minutes. But even this can be dangerous to someone who is driving or performing some other activity for which vision is critical.

Back to Table of Contents


picture of an eye Learn About it Online: LASIK Eye Surgery

FDA’s LASIK Eye Surgery website provides information about LASIK surgery. LASIK is a surgical procedure intended to reduce a person's dependency on glasses or contact lenses.

LASIK stands for Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis and is a procedure that permanently changes the shape of the cornea, the clear covering of the front of the eye, using an excimer laser. A knife, called a microkeratome, is used to cut a flap in the cornea. A hinge is left at one end of this flap. The flap is folded back revealing the stroma, the middlesection of the cornea. There are other techniques and many new terms related to LASIK.

The website includes:

• What is LASIK?
• When is LASIK not for me?
• What are the risks and how can I find the right doctor for me?
• What should I expect before, during, and after surgery?
• LASIK Checklist
• FDA-approved lasers
• Glossary of Terms
• Frequently Asked Questions
• Other resources

VISIT:
http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/LASIK to learn more

Back to Table of Contents


 The Over-the-Counter Drug Facts Label – Take a Look!

Picture of people looking at labels on bottles in a storeAlways Read the Drug Facts Label

Reading the Drug Facts label is the most important part of taking care of yourself or your family when using over-the-counter (OTC) medicines (available without a prescription).

This is especially true because many OTC medicines are taken without seeing a doctor. The OTC Drug Facts label has always contained important usage and safety information for consumers, but now that information is even easier to read and understand.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a regulation to make sure the labels on all OTC medicines, from a tube of fluoride toothpaste to a bottle of cough syrup, have information listed in the same order; are arranged in a simpler eye-catching, consistent style; and contain easier to understand words.

While the Drug Facts labels are already on a majority of OTC medicine products, all OTC medicines must comply with the regulation by May 16, 2005.

If you read the OTC Drug Facts label and still have questions about the product, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional.

What's On The Drug Facts Label

All nonprescription, over-the-counter (OTC) Drug Facts labels have detailed use and warning information so consumers can properly choose and use the products.

An example of the OTC Drug Facts labelAn example of the OTC Drug Facts label:

  • Active Ingredient. Therapeutic substance in the product; amount of active ingredient per unit.
  • Uses. Symptoms or diseases the product will treat or prevent.
  • Warnings. When not to use the product; conditions that may require advice from a doctor before taking the product; possible interactions or side effects; when to stop taking the product and when to contact a doctor; if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, seek guidance from a health care professional; keep product out of children's reach.
  • Inactive Ingredients. Substances such as colors or flavors.
  • Purpose. Product action or category (such as antihistamine, antacid, or cough suppressant.)
  • Directions. Specific age categories, how much to take, how to take, and how often and how long to take.
  • Other Information. How to store the product properly and required information about certain ingredients (such as the amount of calcium, potassium, or sodium the product contains)

(The Drug Facts labeling requirements do not apply to dietary supplements, which are regulated as food products, and are labeled with a Supplement Facts panel.)

Reading the Drug Facts Label: The Key to Proper Medicine Use

The label tells you what a medicine is supposed to do, who should or should not take it, and how to use it. But efforts to provide good labeling can't help unless you read and use the information. It's up to you to be informed and to use OTC drug products wisely and responsibly.

The manufacturers of OTC medicines sometimes make changes to their products or labeling (new ingredients, dosages, or warnings.) Make sure to read the label each time you use the product. Always look for special "flags" or "banners" on the front product label alerting you to such changes. If you read the label and still have questions, ask your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional for advice.

The Drug Facts Label Also Tells You

  • The expiration date, when applicable (date after which you should not use the product).
  • Lot or batch code (manufacturer information to help identify the product).
  • Name and address of manufacturer, packer, or distributor.
  • Net quantity of contents (how much of the product is in each package).
  • What to do if an overdose occurs.

Many OTC medicines are sold in containers with child safety closures. Use them properly. Remember - keep all medicines out of the sight and reach of children (and pets).

 

Back to Table of Contents


medication bottle with a child-proof cap Protect Yourself Against Tampering

  • Read the label. Be alert to the tamper-evident features on the package before you open it. These features are described on the label.
  • Inspect the outer packaging for signs of tampering before you buy a product.
  • Examine the medicine itself before taking it. Check for capsules or tablets that differ from the others that are enclosed. Do not use medicine from packages with tears, cuts, or other imperfections.
  • Never take medicine in the dark.
  • Examine the label and the medicine every time you take it or give it to someone else.
  • Tell somebody if the product doesn’t look right. Do not buy or use medicine that looks suspicious. Always tell the store manager about questionable products so that they can be removed.

Before buying any medicine, you should stop and take a look. Before taking it, you should look again.

Back to Table of Contents


Cartoon of person sneezing Stopping Germs at Home, Work and School

 

Illnesses like colds and flu are often spread is from person to person in respiratory droplets of coughs and sneezes. This is called "droplet spread." This can happen when droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person move through the air and are deposited on the mouth or nose of people nearby. Germs can also be spread when a person touches respiratory droplets from another person on a surface like a desk and then touches his or her own eyes, mouth or nose before washing their hands. We know that some viruses and bacteria can live 2 hours or longer on surfaces like cafeteria tables, doorknobs, and desks.

How to Stop the Spread of Germs

• Cover your mouth and nose
• Clean your hands often
• Remind children to practice healthy habits

Cover Your Mouth and Nose When Coughing or Sneezing

Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

The "Happy Birthday" Song Helps Keep Your Hands Clean

Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 15 to 20 seconds. That's about the same time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice.

Alcohol-Based Hand Wipes and Gel Sanitizers Work Too

When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

Everyone should practice healthy habits, because germs spread, especially at school. The flu has caused high rates of absenteeism among students and staff in U.S. schools. Influenza is not the only respiratory infection of concern in schools -- nearly 22 million school days are lost each year to the common cold alone. However, when children practice healthy habits, they miss fewer days of school.

Good Health Habits That Can Help Prevent Colds and Flu

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
  • Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Antiviral medications may be used to prevent the flu. Check with your doctor before taking any medication.

Back to Table of Contents


 Cold or Flu?

Cold or Flu?

With flu season still upon us, many people will likely wonder if the onset of aches and runny noses might mean they are coming down with the flu. Or is it just a cold?

Both conditions have their own signature symptoms, which the Department of Health and Human Services has sorted out into a handy online checklist. For example, fever is rare with a cold, but common with the flu; sore throat is common with a cold, but less common with the flu.

Check out the whole list at http://www.hhs.gov/flu/cold_or_flu.html

The single best way to prevent the flu is for individuals, especially people at high risk for serious complications, to get a vaccination each fall. FDA is responsible for ensuring that all of their products, including the flu vaccine, are safe and effective. More information related to FDA's role can be found at: http://www.fda.gov/cber/flu/flu.htm

Back to Table of Contents


 Asthma Basics

Graphic of a person using an inhaler

About 17 million Americans have asthma. Nearly five million of them are children. Many children outgrow asthma in their teen years. Each year, 5000 people die from asthma.

Asthma is a disease of the lung airways. The airways get swollen and inflamed. They react easily to certain things, like viruses, smoke, or pollen. When the inflamed airways react, they get narrow. This makes it hard to breathe.

There is no known cure for asthma. But you can control it.

How do I know if I have asthma?

Contact your doctor if you think you may have asthma. Symptoms of asthma may include:

  • coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing
  • chest tightness

When these symptoms get worse, it's called an "asthma attack."

Why are some people more likely to have asthma?

  • Some people are more at risk due to their family history. And you are more likely to have asthma symptoms if you live where the air quality is bad.

Many things may start or worsen an asthma attack including:

  • Being exposed to allergens (dust mites, cockroaches, etc)
  • Viral infections of the lungs and airways
  • Tobacco smoke and certain outside pollutants (chemicals or dirt in the air)
  • Exercise

At what age do people get asthma?

•Many older adults have asthma. Some people develop it later in life. Others get asthma as children. The asthma may or may not go away as they grow up.

I think I have asthma. What tests might my doctor order to diagnose me?

  • Chest x-ray
  • Blood test
  • Tests to measure how open your airways are
  • Tests that show whether or not you have heart disease

How can asthma be treated?

There are many drugs used to treat asthma. There are both prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs. Talk with your doctor about the best medicine for you.

How do I keep my asthma under control?

  • Talk with your doctor.
  • Ask your doctor for a treatment plan. Then be sure to follow it.
  • Watch for early signs and respond fast.
  • Stay away from things that make your asthma worse.
  • See your doctor at least every 6 months.

What should I do if someone is having an asthma attack?

  • Know the signs of trouble:
    - The person has stopped playing or working and can't start again.
    - They're struggling to breathe.
    - They have trouble walking or talking.
  • Stay calm and relaxed.
  • Remove the person from whatever brought on the attack (the allergy trigger) if you can identify it.
  • Find the person's inhaler.
  • Call 911 if the person is having trouble breathing or if their lips or fingernails are blue.

To learn more visit:
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Information Center
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov

American Lung Association
http://www.lungusa.org

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
http://www.aafa.org

 

For information on specific drugs used to treat asthma visit FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Consumer Drug Information page at http://www.fda.gov/cder/consumerinfo


For more information or to check if a new schedule has been issued, talk to your pediatrician or visit the National Immunization Program web site at www.cdc.gov/nip. You can also call the National Immunization Hotline at (800) 232-2522 (English) or (800) 232-0233 (Spanish).

Back to Table of Contents


Picture of a beaker Science and Our Food Supply: Serving Up Lessons in Food Safety

Every year 76 million Americans experience a foodborne illness; 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response to this public health concern, the FDA and the National Science Teachers Association teamed up to create a first-of-its-kind science program to teach teenagers about food safety.

The program, Science and Our Food Supply, is offered free to science educators and is the largest public education program developed to teach middle and high school students about food safety and food science careers. It can be incorporated into biology, life sciences, and other science classes. Teaching guides for middle level and high school educators each contain 16 hands-on experiments and activities presented in five modules:

  • Understanding Bacteria
  • Farm, Processing and Transportation
  • Retail and Home
  • Outbreak
  • Future Technology

The modules offer lessons on bacterial growth and how pathogens pose a risk of causing illness; how practices on the farm, such as safe composting, can lead to safer crops; how food processing technologies such as ultra high temperature pasteurization are leading to new products; and how safe food handling practices in restaurants and at home can reduce foodborne illness.

Science and Our Food Supply includes:

  • hands-on activities based on good scientific methods and laboratory practices
  • a 46-minute video called Dr. X and the Quest for Food Safety
  • Food Safety A to Z Reference Guide with frequently asked questions, fun facts, and tips.

Professional development workshops are available to middle level and high school science educators on how to incorporate Science and Our Food Supply into the curriculum. Teachers also have opportunities to tour FDA research facilities and work with FDA scientists to learn the latest on food science research. Applications for this program are being accepted until March 18, 2005. More information and an application form are available on the NSTA Website at http://www.nsta.org/fda/.

To receive a copy of the Science and Our Food Supply program, teachers can complete a request form on the NSTA Web site at http://www.nsta.org/professionalinfo/ or mail requests to NSTA, Science and Our Food Supply, 1840 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22201-3000, or fax to 1-888-433-0526.

Back to Table of Contents


Picture of people eating healthy foods New Dietary Guidelines Will Help Americans Make Better Food Choices, Live Healthier Lives

HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman announced the release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, the federal government's science-based advice to promote health and reduce risk of chronic diseases through nutrition and physical activity.

Visit http://www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines/ for more information.

Back to Table of Contents


 Science in the News: New Study on Teens and Fast-food

Picture of Fast Foods, french fries and fried chickenTeens that frequently eat fast-food gain more weight and have a greater increase in insulin resistance in early middle age, according to a large study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

After 15 years, those who ate fast-food more than twice each week, compared to less than once a week, had gained an extra ten pounds and had a greater increase in insulin resistance, a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease.

"Obesity and diabetes are on the rise in this country and this important study highlights the value of healthy eating habits," NHLBI Acting Director Barbara Alving, M.D. said. Fast-food consumption has increased in the U.S. over the past three decades. "It's extremely difficult to eat in a healthy way at a fast-food restaurant. Despite some of their recent healthful offerings, the menus still tend to include foods high in fat, sugar and calories and low in fiber and nutrients," lead author Mark Pereira, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Minnesota said.

One reason for the weight gain may be that a single meal of fast-food often contains enough calories to satisfy a person's caloric requirement for an entire day.

Participants were asked during the physical examinations given as part of the study how often they ate breakfast, lunch or dinner at fast-food restaurants. Researchers found that the adverse impact on participants' weight and insulin resistance was seen in both blacks and whites who often ate fast-food, even after adjustment for other lifestyle habits.

Study participants included 3,031 young black and white adults who were between the ages of 18 and 30 in 1985-1986. The participants, who were part of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, received dietary assessments over a 15-year period.

"It is important to watch carefully what you eat, especially at a fast-food restaurant. Knowing the nutritional content is important. Consumers may want to ask for this information," NHLBI's Gina Wei, M.D., project officer for CARDIA said. Keep portion sizes small, and ask that high-fat sauces and condiments, such as salad dressing and mayonnaise, be "on the side" and use them sparingly to reduce calories, Wei said.

For more information and tips on maintaining weight visit:

Aim for a Healthy Weight: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/obesity/lose_wt/patmats.htm

Portion Distortion: http://hin.nhlbi.nih.gov/portion.

Back to Table of Contents


 FDA & YOU Crossword

Crossword Puzzle

ACROSS

5 A disease of the lung airways.
6 A process that uses heat to destroy harmful bacteria.
8 You should wash your hands for as long as it takes you to sing this song (2 words).
9 Lists important drug safety and usage information (3 words).
11 Information about these products sometimes changes, so reading the label before every use is important.
14 A risk factor for type 2 diabetes (2 words).
15 A surgical procedure that can help reduce a person's dependency on glasses.
16 A surgical knife used in LASIK surgery.
17 Many illnesses are transmitted this way (2 words).

DOWN

1 It cannot legally be sold across state lines (2 words).
2 Added to processed milk to enhance the body's absorption of calcium (2 words).
3 Caused by momentary exposure to laser light across the eyes (2 words).
4 A reaction that can occur when a person with asthma is exposed to allergens or outside pollutants (2 words).
7 If aimed at the eyes, they can be more damaging than staring directly into sun (2 words).
10 A new study suggests that eating too much of this as a teenager can lead to more weight gain in early middle age (2 words).
12 Causes high rates of absenteeism in U.S. schools.
13 Pasteurization can help prevent this disease.

Back to Table of Contents


 Calendar of National Health Events

January

February

March

  • March 8 - 12
    National School Breakfast Week
    American School Food Service Association
    700 S. Washington St., Suite 300
    Alexandria, VA 22314-4287
    (703) 739-3900
    servicecenter@asfsa.org

Back to Table of Contents


Picture of a healthy heartShow some love for your Heart!
February is American Heart Month

Visit FDA’s Heart Health Online at http://www.fda.gov/hearthealth

Reliable information about the products used to prevent, diagnose, and treat cardiovascular disease.


Crossword Answers

Across:

5 Asthma, 6 Pasteurization, 8 Happy Birthday, 9 Drug Facts Label,
11 OTC Medicines, 14 Insulin Resistance, 15 LASIK, 16 Microkeratome, 7 Droplet Spread,

Down:

1 Raw Milk, 2 Vitamin D, 3 Flash Blindedness, 4 Asthma Attack, 7 Laser Pointers,
10 Fast Food, 12 Flu, 13 Polio

 

 Word Find 

M U G V E A L P T A O E L P O
H I F E M C O A H I X C A Z I
P F L H R A T S G R N N S J J
I L T K I M C T I E L E E G J
W S G B S R S E E T V I R W X
A T V X D A W U W C M C P A H
L A B E L S N R Y A H S O S T
V I B B J T C I H B I D I H P
X B C K M Z Z Z T E B O N H P
E S M I C Y C A L A C O T A M
C D S K C X J T A X T F E N H
M K P J H O R I E W Y I R D R
N Y D A U J L O H P X Z O S C
H E A R T M O N T H E Q J N I
D A E R P S T E L P O R D R T


  • ASTHMA
  • BACTERIA
  • DROPLET SPREAD
  • FOOD SCIENCE
  • GERMS
  • HEALTHY WEIGHT
  • HEART MONTH
  • LABELS
  • LASER POINTER
  • MILK SANITATION
  • OTC
  • PASTEURIZATION
  • WASH HANDS

 

About FDA & You

FDA & You is an FDA publication to inform and encourage health educators and students to learn about the latest FDA medical device and health news.

The publication's contents may be freely reproduced. Comments should be sent to the Editor.

Editor: Alicia Witters
Assistant Editor: Edie Seligson
Researcher: Carol Clayton

Email: FDAandyou@cdrh.fda.gov
Read us online at:
http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/fdaandyou.html

Department of Health and Human Services
Food and Drug Administration
Center for Devices and Radiological Health
Rockville, MD 20850

Special thanks to: CDER, CDRH, CFSAN, OSB, and FDA Consumer for contributing to this issue.