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Randy Jackson
Type 2 Diabetes
Jennie Finch Nutritious Options Cheerleading Safety Tips
Enhance Fitness Improve Strength Care For Caregivers Preventing
Head Lice
Iron Deficiency Your Options

LASIK Surgery
Quality Of Life

Taking Diabetes to Heart: Randy Jackson Partners with Merck to Challenge People Living with Type 2 Diabetes to Join Him in Committing to Living a Diabetes-Friendly Lifestyle

pic(NAPSI)—Did you know that GRAMMY® Award−winning music producer and American Idol judge Randy Jackson is one of the nearly 26 million Americans in the United States living with diabetes?

In 2003, Jackson was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Now he is sharing his story to “drum up” awareness of serious complications, including heart disease — a leading cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes. In fact, adults with type 2 diabetes are 2 to 4 times more likely to die from heart disease than adults without diabetes.

Jackson is working with Merck on the Taking Diabetes to Heart program, to help educate people with type 2 diabetes about the importance of early and effective management of the ABCs of diabetes – A1C, or blood sugar, Blood pressure, and Cholesterol – as part of their treatment plan, which can help reduce the risk of serious complications, including heart disease.

“When I was diagnosed with diabetes, my doctors told me that people with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease and stroke,” recalls Jackson. “This was all I needed to know to take my diabetes to heart. I made changes to my lifestyle and worked with my doctors to set goals for my ABCs.”

To help “set the stage” for others living with type 2 diabetes to commit to a diabetes-friendly lifestyle, Jackson is encouraging patients to visit to learn how they can take their diabetes to heart and make a pledge to help better manage their disease. Those who make the pledge will have access to Jackson’s personal tips and example questions to ask their doctors about ways to help manage diabetes.

Some of Randy’s favorite tips include:

• “Hit Your Notes” — Work with a doctor to come up with a personalized treatment plan and set individualized goals for the ABCs.

• “Tune Up” Your Diet — Eat smaller portions, fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables, and keep track of carbs.

• Drop a Few Pounds — Losing weight isn’t always easy but even a small amount of weight loss can help reduce health risks.

• “Move to Your Own Groove” — It’s not always easy to get to the gym but there are simple, everyday activities that can help.

• Gather Your Fans — Involve family and friends — a little support goes a long way.

• Know When to Quit — People who smoke and have diabetes have an even higher risk of heart attack or stroke. QUIT.

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A Nutritious Start Can Turn Kids Into Champions

pic(NAPSI)—For many parents, getting their kids off to school with food that’s both tasty and good for them can be a challenge. Fortunately, finding foods kids love to eat for their breakfast, lunch and snacks may be easier-and more fun—than parents realize.

Mom of two, softball’s Olympic Gold Medalist Jennie Finch knows how busy school days can be and what it means to work hard and keep everyone happy and healthy at home. No stranger to healthy diets and exercise, Jennie has some helpful tips for helping kids eat right during a busy school-year schedule.

Finch suggests:

• Make it Look Fun—If it looks good—it tastes good! Think about presentation when it comes to packing lunches to make it just as fun to eat. Bring color into the mix with snacks like cherry tomatoes, carrots and various types of fruits and berries. A sandwich can be made more appealing by using cookie cutters to create fun shapes for kids to show off at the lunch table. To get them to look forward to lunchtime, include a few surprises to brighten your child’s day. Let him or her find a new pencil, key chain or a special note to keep things fresh.

• Nutritious Options for Anytime—Like many parents, I’m always on the go. So I look for nutritious options for my sons that I can grab and serve anytime to keep them at their best. Wholesome Chobani Champions Greek yogurt is both nutritious and delicious and perfect for breakfast, lunch or snack time. Chobani Champions authentic strained Greek yogurt is made just for kids and comes in delicious flavors my sons love such as Vanilla Chocolate Chunk, Orange Vanilla, VerryBerry and Honey-Nana. It is a good source of protein, vitamin D and bone-building calcium.

• Making Healthy Eating a Family Activity—Get your kids to participate in all the things that make going back to school exciting and fun! Try packing lunch with your children, guiding them in making the right food choices, and they’ll look forward to eating the meal they created. Print out a chart and come up with a variety of sandwiches, fruits, healthy snacks and some sweet treats to have them choose what they want for lunch.

• Don’t Forget the Team Snack—Healthy eating can continue on the field after school. I love to pack a cooler of Greek yogurt for my son’s baseball practices since it provides a balance of protein and carbohydrates that helps the whole team recover after practice. This is perfect for soccer, football and field hockey moms too!

For more tips for kids’ healthy diets, information about Chobani Champions and Jennie Finch, visit

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Helpful Hints For Cheerleading Safety


(NAPSI)—The popularity of cheerleading continues to rise as record numbers of cheerleaders and cheer squads attend Universal Cheerleaders Association Championship events, up almost 10 percent from last year.

According to a survey conducted by Varsity, participating in athletics helps teen girls make new friends and gives them a built-in support system. Playing team sports generally makes teen girls happier, builds their overall confidence and helps relieve stress.

As in any physical activity, safety is of the utmost importance. Parents, coaches and cheerleaders need to learn where the greatest risks lie as well as the proper way to perform the techniques. To ensure the safest conditions, parents should take an active role in selecting the right cheer program for their kids and continue to stay involved.

“With the current explosion of participation in cheerleading at all levels, it is paramount that parents, coaches and cheerleading organizations continue to put safety at the forefront of the sport,” says Dr. Jeff Dugas, medical director of USA Cheer and fellowship director at the American Sports Medicine Institute.

What Parents Can Do

Parents should ask the following questions before their child starts a cheer program:

• Has the school/organization conducted the appropriate background checks on all coaches?

• Is the coach certified through the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators and adheres to AACCA practice and performance guidelines?

• Does the coach ensure that performance skills are taught in the proper sequence?

• Does the coach train all squad members in proper spotting methods?

• Does the coach properly balance practice time between skills training and spirit leadership instruction?

• Does the squad have an emergency plan in place?

What Cheerleaders Should Do

Cheerleaders should also be responsible for following at least six safety precautions:

1. Know the rules for your school, college or all-star division/level.

2. Ensure that your squad has an emergency action plan and has practiced it.

3. Perform stunts, tumbling and routines only on appropriate surfaces.

4. Warm up before stretching, jumping, tumbling, stunting and dancing.

5. Attempt new skills only in the presence of an experienced instructor.

6. Take the iCheerSafe pledge, which asks cheerleaders to commit to their responsibility to cheerleading safety.

By following these guidelines, cheerleaders will not only reduce their risk of injury, but improve their chances of success in training and competition.

Learn More

For further information, visit



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Simple Steps To Reduce Fall Risks


(NAPSI)—Every year, one in three adults over age 64 falls. But certain exercises and simple home modifications help reduce the risk.

“Half of falls occur in a person’s home. Falls are the main reason older people go to emergency departments,” says Steve Albert, Ph.D., co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Prevention Research Center (PRC).

The PRC is part of a nationwide network of 37 academic and community research partners funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find ways to keep people healthy. Several PRCs research ways to help older adults avoid falling. Dr. Albert is comparing the effectiveness of two fall-prevention programs, and health agencies will use findings in choosing which program to offer.

“Most falls involve changing location, such as while walking or moving from a bed or chair,” says Dr. Albert. “Sometimes, falls happen when someone carries laundry down stairs without a railing.”

“Stairs are a challenge for people with balance problems,” says Elizabeth Phelan, M.D., a University of Washington PRC researcher who runs a fall-prevention clinic in Seattle. Because evidence shows that people can reduce their fall risk by improving balance and strength, Dr. Phelan refers many patients to EnhanceFitness, an exercise class developed by the Washington PRC. Proven to improve balance and strength, EnhanceFitness is offered at 450 sites nationwide.

Older adults who fall are at risk for more falls, Dr. Phelan says. She is researching the feasibility of emergency medical technicians providing fall-prevention information when responding to fall-related 911 calls. Acting on such information may reduce callers’ risk of future falls.

“Falls rob people of their independence,” says Dr. Phelan. “Many older adults can no longer live on their own if they have suffered serious fall-related injuries.”

People should address fall hazards when they’re young so they can live at home as long as possible, says Marcia Ory, Ph.D., a Texas A&M Health Science Center PRC researcher.

Dr. Ory studies how to implement effective fall-prevention programs and policies. “Many states offer fall-prevention screening, referrals and programs, but more offerings are needed,” she says. “Older adults and their caregivers should ask their health care providers and public health agencies about these programs.” A list of effective programs is at

For more information about the CDC’s PRC Program, visit

Fall-Prevention Tips

• Improve balance and strength;

• Keep cords, shoes, papers, plants and boxes out of walkways;

• Add grab bars in and beside the tub/shower and next to the toilet;

• Use a nonslip mat or appliques in the tub/shower;

• Install railings in stairways;

• Improve lighting;

• Avoid or secure throw rugs.



Note to Editors: September is Fall Prevention Month



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Help You Can Trust


(NAPSI)—Charlotte Elliott of Georgia is a widow whose beloved husband of 40 years, Glen, passed away from brain cancer five years ago.

Living alone and with limited family in the area, Charlotte was looking for help that she could trust.

Fortunately, after receiving a piece of mail from Solutions for Caregivers, a benefit of Glen’s retirement package as a ranger chief for the Georgia Forestry Commission, Charlotte placed a call to the program and was immediately connected with Kris, a Solutions for Caregivers care coordinator. “Kris jumped right on my case. She spent time with me and helped me feel better about my situation. Kris identified caregiver resources in my area to help me with day-to-day living,” said Charlotte.

With assistance from Solutions for Caregivers, Charlotte was directed to “wonderful people” who have been able to more effectively address her needs as a diabetic and amputee. Solutions for Caregivers has provided “all kinds of diet guides and information that has put me on the right path. Eating better is getting my diabetes under control.” Charlotte adds, “It makes me feel good that someone cares about me and is willing to help. We need to get the word out about Solutions for Caregivers. There are other people who need caregiver help.”

Solutions for Caregivers provides care planning and care coordination services designed to support the overall well-being of the person receiving care and help alleviate stress for you and your family. Services are available in all 50 states and can be tailored to your needs. You can get the support you need today.

You can learn more at or by calling (877) 765-4473.


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Preventing Head Lice In The New School Year

pic(NAPSI)—With a new school year approaching, parents should take the time to learn the “facts of lice” and the natural measures that they can take to keep children lice free.

To help, here are some tips from Risa Barash, founder of Fairy Tales Hair Care:

• Teach children to never share hats, combs, pillows or helmets; doing so can transmit live lice. Remember, lice can survive off the human head for 24-36 hours.

• Keep long hair up in a braid or ponytail.

• Do not wash hair every day—lice attach themselves more easily to squeaky clean hair.

• Do weekly head checks to ensure early detection.

• Use hair care products designed to repel lice, such as Fairy Tales Hair Care’s Rosemary Repel collection. The all-natural formulas are infused with organic ingredients such as rosemary, tea tree and peppermint oils. They are free of nuts, soy, parabens, sulfate and gluten and are designed to be used by the whole family.

Those who order online can save 20 percent by entering the coupon code LICE20 at checkout.

To order, learn more or for a copy of “The Facts of Lice” booklet, visit Download the free “Facts of Lice” iPhone app to report and track local outbreaks.

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Getting The Iron You Need Without The Side Effects


(NAPSI)—According to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world, affecting up to a third of the population.

Iron is an essential mineral and is required to transport oxygen throughout your body. Exhaustion and fatigue set in when you’re low on iron, which can affect everything from brain function to your immune system.

Do You Need More Iron?

Your daily iron needs depend on a number of factors, including age, gender and overall health. While many people can get the iron they need from foods such as red meat, leafy greens and egg yolks, sometimes supplementation is needed. Initial symptoms of iron deficiency can include fatigue, general lack of energy and decreased ability to concentrate.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or think you’re not getting enough iron, ask your doctor if iron supplementation can help.

Iron Deficient? Research Your Options

Whether in your diet or a daily supplement, iron is a very difficult mineral for the body to absorb.

For example, menstruating women need to absorb only 2 mg of iron daily, yet most traditional iron supplements contain 50 to 65 mg. Of this, very little is absorbed. The result is excess iron, which can lead to uncomfortable side effects such as stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, constipation and other gastrointestinal problems.

To minimize the likelihood of such side effects, look for a low-dose supplement with a high absorption rate. This will let the body absorb the iron it needs without the excess.

Spatone pur-Absorb Iron has a clinically proven high absorption rate and is 100 percent natural. With only 5 mg of iron and a higher absorption rate than many conventional iron supplements, it delivers the right amount of absorbed iron in a lower, gentler dose.

Talk to your doctor. If you do need iron, remember: A lower-dose iron supplement with high absorption means side effects are less likely.

pur-Absorb can be found at CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. For more information, visit


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When Is LASIK A Smart Investment?

pic(NAPSI)—If you are looking into LASIK eye surgery but have been put off by the high price tag, here are some facts you may want to consider. Although the initial cost of LASIK may be significant, it could actually be a good investment and save you money in the long run once you realize you will be wearing, and paying for, glasses or contacts for the next 20 years or more.

It’s a smart idea to do the math and see if the procedure makes sense for you. The American Refractive Surgery Council notes that the investment in LASIK can benefit both your vision and your wallet. Consider these facts:

• If you wear contacts for at least $70 a box, a six-month supply would cost $280.

• If you pay for vision insurance, it may only cost you $10 a month, but it’s only worth it if you get money back on contacts or glasses. Regular checkups are usually free after LASIK surgery.

• If you get a new pair of glasses every year, they could cost you $150 a pair or more. If you need more than one (distance and reading), that could be $300.

• Contact lens supplies also add up—over 10 years, the expense of contact lens maintenance can be well over the cost of the LASIK procedure.

In addition to learning if the procedure is right for your vision, you can also research ways to pay for the procedure, with options that include financing through a health care financing company, financing through a LASIK surgeon or using a flexible spending account. Some financing plans give you up to five years to pay off the procedure.

The IRS considers LASIK to be a tax-deductible medical expense, and while your medical expenditures may have to exceed a certain percentage of your income, the procedure may help you reach that amount.

So don’t let financial considerations keep you from investing in your quality of life. LASIK can deliver great vision, making activities more enjoyable and eliminating the worry and frustration of losing glasses, as well as potential eye irritation and infections related to contact lens use.

You can find more information about considering LASIK and download a refractive surgery checklist by visiting the American Refractive Surgery Council at

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