Monthly Archives: June 2011

Ewwww, that’s gross! A New Era in U.S. Cigarette Labeling

By Thomas J. Glynn, PhD

OK, admit it – you have no idea what current cigarette packs in the U.S. have to say about the dangers of tobacco use. I’ve been working in this field for nearly 30 years and I’m not really sure, either. And we’re not alone – very few of us remember that they say things like “Quitting Smoking Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your Health” in very tiny letters and are virtually hidden on one side of the pack. [more]

But the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just announced that the era of small, wordy, nearly invisible cigarette pack warnings is over. Beginning in September 2012, cigarette packs in the U.S. will be required to cover the top 50% of the front and back of every pack with graphic depictions of the consequences of tobacco use and warnings, in large letters, that say things such as “Cigarettes Cause Cancer” and “Smoking Can Kill You.”

You can go here to see all nine of the images and warnings that will be on the packs starting next year. But beware – tobacco industry opponents of the new warnings have called them things like “ghoulish,” “grisly,” and “ghastly,” and for once, they’re not entirely wrong.… Continue reading →

Surviving and Thriving!

By Kevin D. Stein, PhD

National Cancer Survivor’s Day was this past Sunday (June 5).  What better time to share some of the many tips cancer survivors say they’ve used to improve their quality of life and empower themselves during and after their fight against cancer.

There are nearly 12 million cancer survivors in the United States. “Survivor” can have different meanings to people with cancer. Some people use the word to refer to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. For example, someone living with cancer may be considered a survivor. Some people use the term when referring to someone who has completed cancer treatment. And still others call a person a survivor if he or she has lived several years past a cancer diagnosis. The American Cancer Society believes that each individual has the right to define his or her own experience with cancer and considers a cancer survivor to be anyone who defines himself or herself this way, from the time of diagnosis throughout the balance of his or her life.  

But no matter where someone is in their cancer experience, the following tips may empower survivors and improve their quality of life. [more]

1.  Stop and smell the roses:  Many cancer survivors actually report positive outcomes of the cancer experience.… Continue reading →

From the Pyramid to the Plate

By Colleen Doyle, MS, RD

Today, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) unveiled a new graphic, a new icon designed to help make it easier for all of us to eat a healthier diet.  Called “MyPlate,” this icon replaces the Food Guide Pyramid that, in one form or another, has been around since 1992. And it is a huge improvement. Especially because we eat off plates, not pyramids. [more]

MyPlate is designed to be an easy-to-understand tool to help consumers put into action the key recommendations of the 2010 Federal Dietary Guidelines. This tool, along with other resources developed in support of the Guidelines, collectively strive to help all of us do these things:

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less
  • Avoid oversized portions
  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables
  • Switch to fat-free or 1% milk
  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals, and choose the foods with lower numbers
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.

And why are these recommendations so important? Because right now, 63% of adults in this country are overweight, including 27% who are obese; 17% of children and adolescents are obese; and our poor diets (and physically inactive lifestyles) contribute to 4 out of the 7 leading causes of death in this country, including cancer.… Continue reading →