Friday, February 24, 2006

Don't drink the McWater

Enter Jasmine Roberts, a 15 year old high school student in Tampa, Florida. Clearly an inquisitive young woman, she hypothesized that the ice machines in fast food restaurants would be great homes for bacteria.

So what she did was collect ice from 5 different fast food restaurants and plated the melted liquid on agar (bacteria food).

Here's where you get to smile. For a comparison group, she used toilet water from those same restaurants.

The results?

In Jasmine's words, "I never thought the toilet water would be cleaner"

Don't drink the McWater...or at the very least, don't have the McIce.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cafeteria Big Brother

Parents in Houston now have a new tool in their battle against childhood obesity - Cybersoft Primero ParentOnline (warning PDF) allows parents to restrict the choices their children make in the school cafeteria. If you don't want little Billy to have dessert, simply don't allow it in his profile. As well, parents will be able to track their child's choices.

While this indeed may be helpful, it does seem a bit overlordish to me.

At the end of the day, the best way to treat your children is to focus on yourselves. If you take the time to make healthier dietary choices, control your own portions, limit desserts, and make exercise a part of your daily lives, guess what, your children will learn from you. If instead exercise consists of picking up the remote control, food is hurried, dessert is frequent, that's going to be what your children learn.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Gatorade vs. Pedialyte - Who ya got?

Good news for parents with kids with vomiting and diarrhea. As we all know products like Pedialyte are very expensive and actually have expiry dates that make us feel guilty if we have them on hand. A study done in India randomly divided 61 kids into either getting Gatorade or a commercial pediatric electrolyte solution. The results? No differences.

I'd be recommending 3/4 strength gatorade any way you can get it into your kid. Remember, chugging may well lead to vomiting so a tablespoon every 5 minutes or in the form of a popsicle are probably the better ways to go.