Heartburn or GERD can Kill

Heartburn is a common annoyance. The busy lifestyle, quick meals, fatty or spicy foods all contribute to the occasional need of a chewable pain reliever. The acceptance of heartburn as an inconvenient, but natural, part of the daily grind can blind you to the warning that a severe heartburn symptom can bring.

Heartburn as a Disorder

Heartburn can be a symptom as well as a disorder. Simple heartburn or GERD can be controlled and dealt with. However, heartburn can signal the presence of a much more serious problem. If it’s heartburn, you will have a burning sensation in the chest usually after eating. There may be a spread of the burning to the throat, sometimes accompanied by a bad taste, difficulty in swallowing, belching, coughing, hoarseness and/or wheezing.

It can become worse by lying down or bending over or by eating. Relief can come from an antacid. While the more severe heartburn symptoms may be mistaken for a heart attack, simple heartburn is usually not made worse by exercise. If there is any concern that the pain may signal a heart attack, get help quickly.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Fast Food and Obesity Work Hand in Hand Towards a Bigger World

By Sarah Gardner

In an effort to prove that the fast food industry is responsible for the growing obesity rate in the United States, independent filmmaker Morgan Spurlock followed a 30-day diet modification program that consisted only consuming only food from the McDonalds menu.

The purpose of this exercise was to show the world the way the fast food industry continually promotes unhealthy eating with financial gain being it's main, if not only, interest. The global issues of the health and weight epidemic were focused on in the 2004 Academy Award nominated movie, Super Size Me which made every effort to prove that the fast food industry and obesity were working hand in hand towards creating a bigger world.

Obesity And Fast Food Provide Ground Rules For Documentary Film

During the 30 day period of diet plan Spurlock was allowed to consume 5000 calories each day from the McDonald's menu and as part of his three meals every day, he was required to eat each and every menu item at least once throughout the 30 days. Before starting the experiment, Spurlock was a healthy thirty two year old man of six feet two inches in height and weighed in at an average 185 pounds. The 30 day McDonald's diet plan saw him gain 24.5 pounds and his BMI (Body Mass Index) rose from 23.2 to 27.

Considering that a healthy BMI for someone of his age, height and weight is between 19 and 25, it was apparent that he had moved up to the overweight bracket whilst following the McDonald's diet plan for this short period of time. Spurlock's claim that fast food and obesity are related was proven to many by these facts alone. The first five days of the fast food diet plan saw him gain in the region of ten pounds in weight.

Fast Food and Obesity Experiment Results

The United States and other nations who had previously supported the McDonald's fast food industry were impressed by the movie, and even more so when the supersize option on the McDonald's menu was quickly phased out. Healthy salad options were added, although the fast food chain states that these changes had nothing to do with the movie.

Many of the healthy eating options consist of fried chicken and the salad dressings to go with them are simply full of fat. As a result, these choices actually contain more calories and grams of fat than the traditional McDonald's burger and fries. Nonetheless, McDonalds have never actually admitted that fast food and obesity are closely related; just as they have never agreed that their menu items are a direct recipe to obesity.

Regrettably, even though the McDonald's menu provides a healthy option to its many fat-filled fast food meals, the customer is not obliged in any way to choose the healthy food, simply because it's on the menu. Choices which are lower in fat can be ordered from the menu, but the majority of customers don?t bother to make such personal ordering modifications.

This would lead us to believe that training the customer to think about what they eat holds more importance than pointing the finger at big businesses. Subway have made a concerted effort to broadcast their healthy eating practices and the options available on their menu whilst McDonald's have continued to sell the products which have made them so well known, ignoring for the best part any health guidelines whatsoever. Therefore, it would appear to be the responsibility of the consumer to make the right decision about exactly what they eat.

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