Health Tips: Help your son have a healthier life

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In “Batman V Superman,” Henry Cavill plays the Man of Steel. But the super-fit actor wasn’t always in good shape. He says that in boarding school, “they used to call me Fat Cavill. I actually had rolls of fat on me.” 

He’s lucky he shed his excess adolescent weight. As a new study in the journal JAMA Pediatrics points out, most adolescents with obesity carry it into adulthood and are then at increased risk for insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, elevated lousy cholesterol and high blood pressure, as well as some cancers. And another recent study found that men with obesity in their late teens are twice as likely to have a blood clot in their lungs or legs as they get older than those who were a healthy weight. 

Unfortunately, these days in the U.S., 20% of boys 12 to 19 have obesity. So what’s the most effective way to help your teenage son achieve a healthier weight? The JAMA study found it takes a combo approach: 

-- Family involvement is key to supporting and sustaining weight loss. That means Mom and Dad. 

-- Results are enhanced if you work with a registered dietitian, exercise physiologist and psychologist who can support and direct your child’s efforts.

-- You want to establish a diet plan your child can follow: Explore the Traffic Light Diet that lists go-food, caution-food and no-go-food. Search for “What should I eat often when following the Traffic Light eating style?” and “What should I eat rarely when following the Traffic Light eating style?” on Sharecare.com.

Is your phone dialing up disease?

You probably know that if you download a strange app or open attachments from emails or texts from an unknown sender, your phone may end up with a bug -- malicious malware that disrupts all kinds of functions. But are you aware that your phone can download a bug on to you? 

Current research suggests that smartphones harbor a potentially harmful cocktail of bacteria, fungi and viruses. The analysis, published in Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, looked at 56 studies from 24 countries. It found nearly all of them identified potential invaders on phones, while 16 reported the presence of fungi and others identified RNA viruses and bacteria such as S. aureus (it can cause staph infections) and E. coli. In fact, the lead researcher says phones are a “five-star hotels with premium heated spas [and a] free buffet for microbes to thrive on.” 

Although there was no research aimed at detecting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, on phones, we know from other sources that the bug can live on plastic for up to three days! No wonder the researchers suggest you consider your phone a “third hand” and you sanitize it regularly. 

We say it’s smart to clean it with hand sanitizer or a sanitizing wipe after you use it outdoors or in the car; then wash your hands. Also, clean it after you put it down on any surface outside your home. Home all day? Clean it once a day. Then you’ll have the kind of phone reception you want -- all clear.

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