Vital Statistics

A roundup of some interesting studies making news. As always, a mention here doesn’t mean an endorsement.

Are packed lunches unsafe for children?

A new study finds that many packed lunches may reach dangerous temperatures by the time a child eats at daycare, even when packed in an insulated container with ice packs. The study revealed that more than 90 percent of perishable items were at an unsafe temperature an hour and a half before lunch time.

The research team examined lunches of nine central Texas day care centers for children between the ages of 3 and 5, and tested the temperature of individual perishable items from 705 lunches an hour and a half before the scheduled lunch time.

About 39 percent of the packed lunches did not have an ice pack, while 45 percent had just one ice pack. More than 88 percent of the lunches were at room temperature and just 1.6 percent of perishable items were kept in the USDA recommended temperature zone. Food-borne illness is of particular concern for children under the age of 5.

Survey: Americans are losing respect for smokers

Twenty years ago, between 14 and 17 percent of Americans reported having less respect for smokers. However, a new Gallup survey of 1,016 adults reports that number has now jumped to 25 percent. Gallup points out this trend may be influenced by the shrinking smoking population, which has dropped from 27 percent in 1991 to 22 percent today.

It was found that nonsmokers are the primary source of this view, with 30 percent saying they have less respect for smokers. The survey revealed only 5 percent of smokers share this point of view. When surveyed about obesity, 12 percent said they had less respect for those who are overweight or obese, down from 16 percent in 2003. Meanwhile, more than four in five adults said their respect for a person was not influenced by the individual’s weight.

Does a friendly work environment lead to a longer life?

New research from Tel Aviv University finds that positive social interactions in the workplace may be associated with a lower risk of death. In a study of 820 adults from various fields, those who felt that they had little or no emotional support in the workplace were 2.4 times more likely to die during the course of the study.

Although a direct relationship cannot be determined, a risk factor appeared to be one’s perceived level of control. Men who reported more control in the work environment were associated with a lower risk of dying; however, the opposite was found to be true for women. The risk of death for women who reported more control rose by 70 percent. The study authors point out this may be related to the changing gender roles in the work environment over the course of the past two decades.

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One Response to Vital Statistics

  1. child obesity cures…

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