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Friday, April 24, 2009

Wonder Drug Discovered!

Here's a quiz for you. What is good for your heart, delays dementia, prevents arthritis, helps prevent the common cold and the flu, lowers the risk of diabetes and throat cancer, and helps you loose weight and sleep.

Announcing the wonder drug - WINE!

The May 31 issue of Wine Spectator features an article on the scientifically backed health benefits of drinking wine. The article even states, “Some studies have indicated that not only can pregnant women safely drink a glass or two of wine per week, but that their children may perform better three years after birth when compared to children of women who did drink at all.”

So we have chocolate and wine on the “Good for You” list.
Now all I need is for a study to tell us that eating a nice Ribeye steak a day in healthy.

Then life for be nearly perfect.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Obama Administration Reaches out to Ethnic Media

One of the key tenets of public relations is to reach the right audience with your message. The best way to reach your audience is to frame your message and communicate it appropriately. For example, when we reach out to ethnic media we make sure we have spokespersons available who speak that particular language.

I'm happy to see the Obama administration has got this figured out. Last week Dan Restrepo, the White House's senior adviser on Latin America, addressed the Hispanic-media in Spanish during a press briefing on America's changing Cuba policy. According to the Huffington Post, it's believed Restrepo is the first person to speak Spanish during a White House briefing.

While I don't think it's necessary to have a Spanish interpreter for all official functions, I think it's a smart move on the administration's part, or any organization for that matter, to take a simple and highly effective step to communicate with its audience more effectively.

~ Nicole

Thursday, April 9, 2009

It's Time to Take a Step Toward Solving the Obesity Crisis

We’re facing an out-of-control-obesity epidemic and all anyone can do is point fingers and blame the individual for eating too much or not exercising enough. While people do need to take some level of responsibility it’s impossible to change your behavior if you’re surrounded by fast food restaurants, limited amounts of healthy food and live in unsafe neighborhoods that make walking and biking a high-risk activity. The obesity epidemic is such a huge problem that policymakers, public health advocates and individuals alike are often paralyzed about where to start. According to, “Ounces of Prevention – The Public Policy Case for Taxes on Sugared Beverages,” in the current issue of The New England Journal of Medicine, a tax on sugared beverages is as good a place as any.

The authors, Dr. Brownell and Dr. Frieden, state that drinking sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks and energy drinks is associated with increased body weight and poor nutrition and leads to an increased risk of obesity and diabetes. (My favorite part of the article? “Studies that do not support a relationship between consumption of sugared beverages and health outcomes tend to be conducted by authors supported by the beverage industry.”) They suggest levying a tax of these types of drinks will help stem the gluttonous consumption. Dr. Brownell’s Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity estimated that “for every 10 percent increase in price, consumption decreases by 7.8 percent.” This and similar studies suggest that if people have to pay more for their sugary drinks, they’ll switch to more healthful beverages, reducing their caloric intake and weight gain.

Some people will argue that it’s not fair to single out sugared beverages as the root cause of the obesity epidemic. I agree that it’s not the only reason people are busting out of their belts, but it sure has contributed to the problem and it’s an easy place to turning things around. New York and Maine have proposed a “soda tax” and California should too.

What do you think?

~ Nicole
Photo credit: The Art of Manliness

Let's All Change Our Names to Betty Brown

I just read an article about a North Texas legislator who suggested Asian-descent voters should adopt names that are “easier for Americans to deal with.”

“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Betty Brown said.

Brown adds: “Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”

Apparently, Ms. Betty Brown thinks it's too difficult to say Asian names, especially those of Chinese, Korean and Japanese background and her hands are tied to create a system that's not going to screw up her voting identification program. We all run into situations where names are difficult to pronounce but the thought of blatantly disrespecting other cultures, to ask that they disown the name they were given at birth takes us backwards as Americans. As an Asian American, it saddens me that ignorance like this continue to exist. Ms. Brown desperately needs media training in multicultural communications.

Link to the article: