The best Halloween Tip ever, and this week’s Health News for You

Here’s the best Halloween tip that I’ve ever heard. Anyone with kids knows that the worst thing about Halloween is the candy. The kids get instantly addicted to it and don’t stop asking for it for weeks after Halloween. A couple of years ago, a patient shared this idea with me.

After the trick-or-treating is done, let the kids pick out a few pieces of candy. Then take the rest and put it in a bog for the kid to leave on the porch for the “Halloween Goblin.” The Goblin will come in the night and take the candy, leaving behind a toy for the each kid.

We’ve been doing this for 3 years and it works great. One year they traded so much candy that the Goblin took it to the local fire station, where the firefighters were happy to give it a good home. Anyway, have a safe and happy Halloween.

This week’s Health News For You:

Mental Attitude: Friendships & Anxiety. Anxious, solitary kids are more emotionally sensitive and more likely to be excluded and victimized by their peers. They’re also less likely to have friends, and when they do, to have fewer than their peers and to lose friendships over time. Look for ways to socialize kids who don’t like to play with others. Child Development, Sept 2011

Health Alert: Obesity Costs! States spend up to $15 billion a year in medical expenses related to obesity. Estimates in dollars range from $203 million in Wyoming to $15.2 billion in California. National costs of obesity are $147 billion. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Sept 2011

Diet: Wine & Dementia Risk. Moderate wine drinkers are 23% less likely to develop dementia and/or Alzheimer’s disease (note- yay!). Resveratrol, found in fairly high levels in wine, is a naturally occurring antioxidant that decreases the stickiness of blood platelets and helps blood vessels remain open and flexible. It also inhibits enzymes that can stimulate cancer cell growth and suppress immune response. (Wine is also less fattening than beer.) Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center

Exercise: More Good Reasons. Exercise decreases the rate of joint degeneration in people with osteoarthritis, lowers your resting heart rate, helps to boost creativity and reduces circulating levels of triglycerides. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, 1996

Active Release: Tennis Elbow. Tennis elbow is a painful irritation and inflammation of the area on the outside of the elbow known as the lateral epicondyle. Anyone who grasps things- like a tennis racket, power tools, barbells, etc, is at risk. Ice and rest can help, but often Active Release Techniques is needed to break up the scar tissue in the tendon and related muscles. This condition can take longer than others to heal, so if your elbow is bothering you, call us sooner rather than later.  American Journal of Public Health, August 2011

Quote: “Security is mostly a superstition. It doesn’t exist in nature.” ~ Helen Keller