Revolution Mother

Revolution Mother

November 2017 archive

Reading the Label Will Save Your Life

Do You Know What You are Putting into Your Body?

Food manufacturers and packers have obligations to provide certain information on their labels. But it is up to us to read it.

We’ve all been there. You get back from work with a thumping headache and a million things to do around the house. Open the kitchen cupboard, grab a couple of pain killers, slosh them down with a glass of water and wait for them to kick in so that you can do what you need to do.

So what was that you just ingested? The astonishing answer is that only three in ten of us have the vaguest idea about what we are putting into our bodies in these kinds of circumstances, even though the information is there for everyone to see on the printed labels. You don’t even need to delve into that little information sheet that everyone throws straight into the recycling.

The survey

A survey of 45 subjects was carried out by NPR, an American broadcaster that is well aware of the old adage that if you ask a silly question, you get a silly answer. A few months ago, they brought us the news that seven percent of adult Americans genuinely believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

On this occasion, though, it is really no laughing matter. Tylenol is far and away the most popular painkiller in the USA. About 50 million Americans use it every week. Yet the majority have no idea what is in it.

A mere 31 percent knew that the active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen. The majority of those surveyed thought it contained either ibuprofen or aspirin.

A similar study was carried out as part of a community survey by a pharmacist in Pennsylvania. This elicited identical findings, along with the even more alarming fact that less than 50 percent were able to identify the correct maximum daily dose of 4,000 mg.

Does it matter?

If consumers neither know nor care about what they are taking and the potential consequences, the results can prove deadly. Sadly, this is demonstrated in the Tylenol example, where almost half of all liver failures in the US are related to acetaminophen overdose.

Always read the label

The phrase itself sounds like something so obvious you should be telling it to your five year old, yet while it is easy to bash our friends from across the pond, intuitively, we know that if 70 percent of Americans know next to nothing about what they are putting into their bodies, the statistics for the UK are going to be there or thereabouts.

The food safety and labeling industries are putting more and more effort into providing meaningful and useful information, not just on over the counter drugs, but also on everything from chocolate bars to breakfast cereals and from smoothies to bottles of beer.

One thing they can’t do, however, is stand over us and make us read what is there. It behooves us all to be better informed about exactly what we are putting into ourselves and our children.

A Great Time Together: Ways to Plan a Successful Family Vacation

 

A family trip is a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together and enjoy each other’s company, but there are a few things you might need to do when planning your vacation so that the time away is a great success.

Here are some tips to help you improve your chances of enjoying an amazing vacation that everyone will remember for all the right reasons, including why it helps to talk about your plans, a good mix and match strategy, plus a sensible idea to give everyone some space.

Get the kids involved

Unless you have very young children it is always a good idea to involve your children in the planning of your family trip.

There are various good reasons why that is a sensible strategy. When kids feel included in the planning stage of the trip they will have a much better understanding and appreciation of what’s involved and they get a chance to say what they would like to do while you are away.

The sense of anticipation and the chance to talk together about your plans can be the start of the bonding process that will continue into the holiday itself and by getting everyone involved you can quickly identify any potential issues before you finalize your plans.

Balancing everyone’s needs

A family trip has to be just that, a vacation that doesn’t just suit the interests and needs of one person but an adventure that manages to find a suitable balance between what everyone might want individually.

If you line up a holiday that doesn’t offer much for the kids in terms of entertainment and facilities that would not be a smart move, but equally, arranging a vacation that is solely focused on keeping the kids entertained is going to leave you as the parents feeling underwhelmed by the experience and wanting more.

Talk about all aspects of the trip as a family and if you are booking accommodation, like the Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott, for example, and making plans for sightseeing trips while you are in the area, share the excitement and the anticipation with each other.

Leave some time in the day

Despite the fact that you are all going on a family trip you don’t have to spend every minute of the day with each other, especially if you have some different things you would like to do for part of the day.

If mom likes the idea of a relaxing morning spent at the hotel without rushing out of the door then there is no reason why you couldn’t schedule an adventure with dad taking the kids somewhere for the part of the day and then meeting up later.

As well as giving everyone a chance to get a bit of a mini-break you don’t have to feel that every part of the day has to be planned, or you could end up returning from the trip feeling like you haven’t rested at all.