Magen David Adom, Israel’s first-aid, blood supply and ambulance service, has
launched its official smartphone application aimed at saving lives in various
Users can immediately access – in Hebrew – urgent
medical information written in simple language, detailed animations, safety
advice, training videos and tips. It also enables people to call MDA immediately
and get emergency assistance over the phone and even alert the organization
asking for immediate help.
The advantage, says MDA, is that the app is
available to people without an Internet connection.
If someone has been
hurt away from home in Israel, during a flight or while broad, information can
The application can be downloaded via Apple’s App Store and
from the Play Store for Android smartphones. Keywords for searching include
“first aid,” “Magen David Adom,” “lifesaving” and “first aid guide.” The
International Red Cross has launched in other languages a similar app in Canada,
Mexico, Australia, China, Ireland, Sweden, the Czech Republic and
Although much emergency information is provided, MDA nevertheless
recommends that people participate in person in its first-aid and resuscitation
courses; more information is available at
SCHOOL FOOD AND TV LINKED TO OBESITY
children, the behaviors most often linked with obesity are what they eat for
lunch at school and how many hours of TV they watch daily, according to an
article published recently by University of Michigan Medical School researchers
in the journal Pediatrics.
While some habits were the same for all
overweight and obese children, the study found some gender differences in the
habits influencing body weight.
Data from 1,714 sixth grade students
enrolled in Michigan’s Project Healthy Schools showed girls who drank two
glasses of milk daily were less likely to be obese, and boys who played on a
sports team were also at a healthier weight.
“Additional work is needed
to help us understand the beneficial impact of improving school lunches and
decreasing screen time,” said cardiologist and senior study author Prof.
“Presumably playing video games or watching TV
replaces physical activity.”
Sixth graders aged around 11 years old and
attending any of 20 state schools participated in the study. Obese boys and
girls had poor cardiovascular profiles with lower HDL-cholesterol and higher
triglycerides, blood pressure and heart rate recovery – indicating a lower level
of fitness – compared to normal- weight kids.
doesn’t just start in adulthood, and there may be factors that could help us
identify during youth or adolescence who might be at increased risk for
developing health problems later on,” Jackson said.
Other studies have
linked eating school lunch with obesity, but a major issue with such studies,
Jackson says, is the influence of socioeconomic status. Poor children eligible
for free or reduced school lunch may already be overweight, considering the link
between obesity and lower socioeconomic status.
“Although we were not
able to examine the specific nutritional content of school lunches, previous
research suggests school lunches include nutrient- poor and calorie-rich foods,”
Milk consumption seemed to protect girls from obesity,
but made no difference for boys. A possible explanation would be a reduction in
sugary drinks, which girls replaced with milk. In the study, 61 percent of obese
boys and 63% of obese girls reported watching TV for two or more hours a day.
The assumption is watching television mediates physical activity, but there were
gender differences in how children spent their time in front of the
When asked, obese girls were more likely than any other group to
use a computer.
Obese boys reported playing video games more often than
normal weight boys, although the association was not as strong as in other
If Popeye were to age naturally like the rest of
us, he would need more than just big muscles to stay independent during his
senior years. When it comes to muscles and aging, the important thing is
quality, not quantity, as shown by the findings of a study by Dr. Mylène
Aubertin- Leheudre, a researcher at the Research Center of the University of
Montreal’s Geriatric Institute.
Published in the Journal of the American
Medical Directors Association, the study looked at the relationship between
functional independence and muscle mass and quality in 1,219 healthy women aged
75 and older, but the researchers said the results were applicable to men’s
health as well. Physical functions were measured with the chair stand test and
gait speed test (usual and fast). Participants also had to indicate whether they
experienced difficulty performing functional tasks. Independently of muscle
mass, participants with high muscle quality had low risks of functional
impairment, whereas people with high muscle mass but low muscle quality had high
risks of impairment.
The analysis showed that women who maintained better
muscle quality (the ratio of strength to muscle mass) also had better functional
reserves, which help people maintain independence.
Women with lower
muscle quality had a three-to-six times higher risk of developing functional
impairments, such as difficulty walking, getting up from a chair or climbing
stairs.“These results contradict what has been believed for a long time about
muscles and aging.
Many seniors, whom we often perceive as frail and
fragile, can surprise us by their muscle strength.” normal process called
sarcopenia) should no longer be seen as a sign of weakness,” she
She hopes that these findings will give healthcare
professionals tools to better identify seniors at risk of functional decline and
to design physical activity programs that would specifically target resistance
and power and not simply a gain in muscle mass.