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Category Archives: Health

EWTBW: Do calorie counts on fast-food menus really impact a person’s decision-making?

Posting calorie counts on fast food and restaurant chains may somewhat impact a person’s food choices at these establishments, potentially contributing to improved health outcomes.

Let’s be honest – fast food has become ubiquitous in the United States. In other words, it’s here to stay. From large cities to small rural towns, fast food has invaded and infiltrated into every corner from sea to shining sea. However, as a registered dietitian, I strongly advise against frequent consumption of fast food. I’m not saying I’m totally against eating at these establishments and occasionally, I do. But, I work with patients with diabetes and heart disease – serious medical conditions – who need to be informed of more nourishing, nutrient-dense foods that supports and not harms their health.

Fast food establishments often provide menu items packed with excessive calories, unhealthy fats, and high levels of sodium and sugar. In contrast, I collaborate and work with patients to select nourishing, healthy, nutrient-dense foods that are rich in essential nutrients, fostering improved overall health outcomes. That’s my job.

Yet, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, over one-third (36.6 percent) of American adults indulge in fast food about 1-3 times a week. That’s approximately 84.8 million adults opting for fast food daily! These statistics shed light on the widespread consumption of fast food, urging us to consider healthier eating habits.

In today’s fast-paced world, the allure of quick and convenient fast-food meals often overshadows concerns about their nutritional content. However, recent research shows how a seemingly minor detail – calorie counts on menus – can nudge consumers towards healthier choices.

Osage County Senior Center: Spring brings many May activities

Hello from the Osage County Senior Center and Osage County Public Transportation.

Our breakfast club will be going to the Big Biscuit for breakfast May 10; we will leave at 8:30 a.m. Riders must sign up at the Osage County Senior Center. Lunch bunch will be going to Olive Garden for lunch May 24; leaving at 10:30 a.m.

Herm’s foot care will be here at 9 a.m. May 14; clients need to make an appointment with them at 316-260-4110.

We will be having a Mother’s Day Tea 2 p.m. May 10 at the center.

We are having the Orphan Train exhibit here from May13 to June1. We will have a reception at 2 p.m. May 19, with speakers and refreshments. Anyone who has family or memorabilia about the Orphan Train is asked to please feel free to bring it.

Jay and Tammy Roy will be here to entertain us at 10:30 a.m. May 21, with a spaghetti feed to follow for a freewill donation. They are very good entertainers and you won’t want to miss this one.

The K-State nutritionist will be here on May 29 with great information for us. Please come and join us in this wonderful presentation for our health.

We are playing Mahjong at 2:30 Tuesday afternoons. The ceramics class is $5 per class, all supplies furnished, and we have lots of bisque for you to choose from. We have a sewing group that meets on Wednesdays – all are welcome to join. High Rollers is on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 2. Maria from Home Town Health Care is here to call quarter bingo at 10 a.m. Tuesdays.

Shopping trips are on the first and third Thursdays of the month, going to Topeka Walmart, Sam’s and Aldi’s. Call the transportation department to make reservations

The Meals on Wheels program is collecting prescription bottle caps from Auburn Pharmacy, and they donate 25 cents per cap to the program. Drop them off at the senior center.

I am open to all suggestions for activities and or outings.

For more information, contact the senior center office at 785-528-1170, or Osage County Public Transportation at 785-528-4906, or stop by the center at 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

Come and enjoy the fun and activities with us!

Thanks, Franny
Franny Deters, Osage County Senior Center director

Registration opens for youth tractor safety courses

Young tractor driver in a past Lyndon Fourth of July parade. File photo.

Registration is now open until May 20, 2024, for an upcoming Hazardous Occupation Training class. The class, hosted by the Marias des Cygnes and Frontier Extension districts, is required for 14 and 15-year-old youth who want to operate farm tractors on farms other than for their parents.

Only 14 to 15-year-olds who work for their parents on the family farm are exempt from the HOT training requirement. The training is still required, however, if the family farm is a partnership, incorporated, or the youth is working on a grandparent’s farm. This training is also required for youth planning to use a lawn mower or tractor larger than 20 horsepower.

This year’s training will be different than in the past, as participants are required to complete an online course from Penn State University called the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program. The online course costs $10, and covers the book portion of the tractor and machinery safety material, and accounts for about 16 hours of training.

Participants are also asked to watch five safety videos and write three to four sentences about what they learned from the videos. Once the book portion has been completed with a passing grade, Penn State provides a printable certificate, which is submitted with the video descriptions to the Extension office by June 12.

Saturday, June 15, will be an eight-hour day of in-person safety training that will end with a tractor driving test. Participants that pass the driving test will earn a certificate of training. The in-person training will be at the Pomona Community Building, 219 Jefferson St., Pomona, Kan., before traveling to a farm for the driving test.

To register for the hazardous occupation class, contact the local Extension office or sign up at https://kstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8dz41qSIsdIjqyW. Once registered, a confirmation email will be sent with the Tractor Safety Manual, a website address to create an account and sign up for the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program, a list of videos to choose to watch, and a consent form for use on June 15.

Participants will be transported by instructors to a local farm and back to the Pomona Community Center for the driving portion of the day on June 15. Lunch and snacks for the day will be provided.

For more information, contact Extension agents Rod Schaub, 785-828-4438, Ryan Schaub, 785-448-6826, or Katelyn Barthol, 913-294-4306.

Health fair April 25 to focus on seniors

Hello from the Osage County Senior Center and Osage County Public Transportation.

We have some things to look forward to this month: The health fair is 10 a.m.-2 p.m. April 25; we will have door prizes and you do not have to be present to win. The casino trip leaves at 9 a.m. April 23, you must sign up in advance to get free play. Lunch Bunch will be going to the Hay’s House for lunch 10:30 a.m. April 26. Herms foot care will be here April 30. Don’t forget that we always have our potluck on the first Wednesday of the month at noon with a band to follow.

Mahjong is played 2:30 Tuesday afternoons; the lessons are going great. Line dance 2 p.m. every Friday. Ceramics class is $5 per class, all supplies are furnished, lots of bisque to choose from. Sewing group meets Wednesdays ; all are welcome to join. High Rollers is 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maria from Home Town Health Care is here to call quarter bingo at 10 a.m. every Tuesday.

Shopping trips on the first and third Thursdays of the month, going to Topeka Walmart, Sam’s and Aldi’s; reservations required.

The nutrition program is collecting bottle caps from Auburn Pharmacy, which dontaes 25 cents per cap; just drop them off at the senior center.

I am open to all suggestions for activities and or outings.

Come and enjoy the fun and activities with us!

Thanks, Franny
Franny Deters, Osage County Senior Center director

For more information, contact the senior center at 785-528-1170, Osage County Public Transportation at 785-528-4906, or stop by the center at 604 Market St., Osage City, Kan.

KDHE deems Quenemo’s water system no longer at risk of contamination

Update: April 16, 2024: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for the city of Quenemo public water supply system located in Osage County. The advisory was issued April 8 because of a line break resulting in a loss of pressure in the system. Laboratory testing samples collected at Quenemo indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.

Local library presentations to discuss human trafficking in Kansas and U.S.

Human trafficking happens here in Kansas. The Osage City Library will host the first of four presentations at local libraries that will describe human trafficking in the United States and Kansas, and how communities can reduce the vulnerabilities that allow people to be exploited. Dr. Sharon L. Sullivan’s first presentation will be 6 p.m. Thursday, April 18, 2024, at Osage City Library, and she will discuss how human trafficking is happening in rural and urban communities to neighbors and families.

Following presentations will be 6 p.m. April 19, at Lyndon Carnegie Library, 127 E. Sixth St., Lyndon; 6 p.m. April 23, at Burlingame Public Library, 122 W. Santa Fe, Burlingame; and 11:30 a.m. April 24 at Carbondale City Library, 234 Main St., Carbondale.

Sullivan is executive director of the International Public Policy Institute and professor emerita at Washburn University, and has provided education and training to communities and professionals for over 20 years. Her research and activism focus on violence against women and children, including sexual and domestic violence, and human trafficking.

The federal government estimates 1.5 million U.S. citizens are exploited by sex and labor trafficking.

This event is cosponsored by Osage County Drug Free and the host libraries. For more information, contact the Osage City Library at 785-528-3727, or any of the host libraries.

Quenemo: KDHE rescinds boil water advisory

Update March 22, 2024: KDHE has rescinded the boil water advisory for Quenemo, Kan., effective today. The advisory has been in effect since March 15, 2024, when a utility contractor broke a water line.

Utility contractor breaks line; Quenemo under boil water advisory again

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has issued a boil water advisory for the city of Quenemo public water supply system as of March 5, 2024, due to a utility contractor accidentally breaking a water line, resulting in low pressure in the distribution system.

The advisory will remain in effect until the conditions that placed the system at risk of bacterial contamination are resolved. KDHE officials issued the advisory because failure to maintain adequate pressure may put the system at risk for bacterial contamination.

Customers should observe the following precautions until further notice:

  • Boil water for one minute prior to drinking or food preparation or use bottled water.
  • Dispose of ice cubes and do not use ice from a household automatic icemaker.
  • If your tap water appears dirty, flush the water lines by letting the water run until it clears.
  • Disinfect dishes and other food contact surfaces by immersion for at least one minute in clean tap water that contains one teaspoon of unscented household bleach per gallon of water.

Water used for bathing does not generally need to be boiled. Supervision of children is necessary while bathing so that water is not ingested. Persons with cuts or severe rashes may wish to consult their physicians.

KDHE will rescind the order following testing at a certified laboratory.

For more information, contact the water system at 785-759-3315 or KDHE at 785-296-5514. For consumer information see kdhe.ks.gov/waterdisruption.

Impacted businesses can contact the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s food safety and lodging program at kda.fsl@ks.gov or call 785-564-6767 for more information.

OCEM issues burn ban for Sunday, March 3, 2024

NWS issues red flag warning

Osage County Emergency Management has issued a burn ban today for the entire county, and the National Weather Service at Topeka has implemented a red flag warning in effect from this morning, Sunday, March 3, 2024, through 6 p.m. for much of northeast and northcentral Kansas.

Osage County’s burn ban is in place until 8 a.m. tomorrow, March 4. During the burn ban, no outside burning is allowed and all county burn permits are suspended. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will soon. Forecast high winds coupled with relative humidity as low as 11 percent and warm temperatures creates conditions for extreme fire behavior.

The NWS red flag warning in effect from 11 a.m. this morning to 6 p.m. this evening due to low relative humidity, gusty winds, and dry fuels. Winds are forecast to be southwest and shifting to the west 15 to 25 mph, with gusts of 30 to 40 mph. Relative humidity is expected to be 11 to 16 percent in the afternoon. The temperature is predicted to be near 80 degrees this afternoon.

Under conditions of extreme fire danger, fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious. All outdoor burning should be avoided in areas with extreme fire danger.

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323 or the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at 785-828-3121.

Eat Well to Be Well: Boost your breakfast – sneak in more veggies to start your day

Eating more vegetables for breakfast is easier than you may think!

Are you a breakfast person? If so, I have a tip for improving your health – remember to sneak in veggies for a healthier start to your day.

I know it’s easy to stick to the usual breakfast foods like eggs, cereal, or pancakes, but adding some vegetables to the mix can be a game-changer. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but they can also add some fun and creativity to your morning meal and have a powerful influence on your health.

Vegetables’ powerful influence on our health

In a world where most of us struggle to meet our daily vegetable intake, incorporating them into breakfast can be a game-changer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a staggering 90 percent of Americans fall short of the recommended daily intake of vegetables, which should ideally be around 2 to 3 cups per day. By adding veggies to your morning meal, you’re not only boosting your nutritional intake, but also diversifying the spectrum of essential nutrients your body receives.

It’s essential to stress that consuming various vegetables, often called “eating the rainbow,” is vital as different colors signify the presence of distinct phytonutrients and antioxidant vitamins.

Research agrees that meeting the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of various diseases, such as heart disease and cancer.

KDHE rescinds boil water advisory for Quenemo water supply

Update: TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for the city of Quenemo public water supply system, effective today, March 1, 2024. The advisory was issued Feb. 28 because of a line break that resulted in a loss of pressure in the system. Laboratory testing samples collected from the city of Quenemo indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination, and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.


OCEM issues Leap Day burn ban in Osage County

NWS issues red flag warning

Osage County Emergency Management has issued a burn ban today, Feb. 29, 2024, for the entire county, and the National Weather Service at Topeka has implemented a red flag warning in effect from this morning through 8 p.m. for much of northeast and northcentral Kansas.

Osage County’s burn ban is in place until 8 a.m. tomorrow, March 1. During the burn ban, no outside burning is allowed and all county burn permits are suspended. A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will soon. High winds coupled with relative humidity as low as 20 percent and warm temperatures creates conditions for extreme fire behavior.

Under conditions of extreme fire danger, fires start quickly, spread furiously and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious. All outdoor burning should be avoided in areas with extreme fire danger.

See related story: NWS issues red flag fire weather warning for Thursday in northeast Kansas

For more information about the burn ban, contact Osage County Emergency Management at 785-828-3323 or the Osage County Sheriff’s Office at 785-828-3121.

Boil water advisory rescinded for Quenemo water users

Update: TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has rescinded a boil water advisory for the city of Quenemo public water supply system, effective today Feb. 8, 2024. The advisory was issued Feb. 6 because of a line break that resulted in a loss of pressure in the system. Laboratory testing samples collected from the city of Quenemo indicate no evidence of bacteriological contamination, and all other conditions that placed the system at risk of contamination are deemed by KDHE officials to be resolved.


Boil water advisory rescinded for the city of Quenemo, Osage County

Update: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced Jan. 9, 2024, it has rescinded a boil water advisory for the city of Quenemo public water supply system located in Osage County. The advisory was issued because of a maintenance issue causing low pressure in the distribution system.

Kansas state parks to offer New Year’s Day hikes

Hikers are invited to celebrate the New Year with fun, fresh air, and scenic views by participating in a First Day Hike at a Kansas state park. The self-led and guided hikes are organized annually by parks staff to encourage individuals and families to start the year on the right foot, by getting outside and connecting with nature.

This year, more than 1,000 hikes will be available in state parks around the United States, including 33 First Day Hike events hosted by Kansas State Parks. While the distance and rigor of the hikes will vary at each state park, all aim to create a fun experience for all. Savor the beauty of the natural, cultural, and historical resources state parks offer, and be inspired to continue taking advantage of these local treasures throughout calendar year 2024.

“This will be our 13th year to offer First Day Hikes in Kansas’ state parks and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Linda Lanterman, Kansas State Parks director. “Each year, these events grow more and more popular because they’re a fun and healthy way to start the New Year, they’re a great cure for cabin fever, and they’re held in some of the prettiest parts of our state.”

Locally, hikes are available at Pomona State Park and on the Flint Hills Nature Trail.

  • Pomona State Park will offer a mixed route with a one-mile hike and a four-mile hike. Hikers should meet at 10 a.m. Jan. 1 at the park office. The one-mile hike will be good for young family groups and those not wanting a strenuous hike. The four-mile hike will be medium in difficulty due to the terrain. Hikers could see cedar waxwings, eagles, foxes, woodpeckers, owls, pelicans and other wildlife. Contact Pomona State Park at 785-828-4933.
  • The Flint Hills Nature Trail hike will begin at 9 a.m. Jan. 1, 2024, from the Council Grove trailhead at Seventh and Walnut streets in Council Grove. The trail is described as easy in difficulty, with participants encouraged to bring a bike to ride the trail. For more information, contact Flint Hills Trail State Park at 785-448-2627.

Kansas state parks’ staff recommend being prepared for the hike and consider bringing the following, if possible: Water, snacks, weather appropriate clothing such as hat, gloves, heavy coat, suitable shoes for hiking, binoculars, hiking stick, and camera

With limited availability, First Day Hike T-shirts will be offered to participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Depending on the park, a vehicle permit could be required; contact the state park for details.

MdCV sixth-graders DARE to resist drugs, alcohol, tobacco

On Friday, Dec. 15, 2023, Marais des Cygnes Valley Junior High School sixth graders graduated from the 10-week DARE program with MdCV’s school resource officer, Jackie Beatty. DARE is a drug abuse prevention education program intended to give elementary school children skills to resist peer pressure to use tobacco, drugs, and alcohol. Celebrating their graduation from the program are, front from left, Andrew Dickey, Braxtyon Sturgeon-Bean, Ryne Cormode, Lilly Stephens, and Danny Goddard, back, Beatty, Collin Saffle, Braylee Patterson, Adrian Zentz, Hailey Fine, Katie Cummings, and Maddie Morgan; not pictured, Lona Freeman and Freddy Wiley. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Eat Well to Be Well: 18 Christmas gifts to promote health and wellness all year long

Discover Christmas gift ideas that inspire and motivate loved ones to lead a healthier lifestyle in 2024.

The holiday season is upon us, and if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for your loved one, I’ve got you covered with some great ideas. This list is not about mundane items like socks, underwear, or ties; instead, it focuses on thoughtful gifts showing you care about their health and well-being. Whether for someone trying to make healthier lifestyle choices or for someone already a health enthusiast, this list won’t disappoint those receiving your gift!

The gift of good health is truly invaluable. It reminds us that happiness and well-being are the greatest treasures in life.

Check out these health gifts that are both practical and thoughtful. Your friends and family will love them, and you’ll feel great knowing you’re giving them something that promotes their well-being.

1. Pedometer

Get them moving – one step at a time. This can be an excellent gift for the person who always says they know they should exercise but never finds time. Keeping track of the number of steps taken each day can be a fun motivator and a real eye-opener.

Regular physical activity has numerous health advantages besides helping to reach a healthy body weight. Other health benefits include more restful sleep, more robust immune functioning, improved nutritional health, improved body composition, stronger bones, enhanced resistance to colds and other infectious diseases, stronger circulation and lung function, lower risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, reduced risk of gallbladder disease, lower incidences and severity of anxiety and depression, higher quality of life in later years, and last (but not least), improved self-esteem. (1)

2. High-quality olive oil

Most people have olive oil, but we’re discussing splurging on the good stuff. Many of us don’t buy quality extra virgin olive oil, so getting it for someone who likes to use it can be an exceptional treat. Another consideration is to give an “oil of the month” subscription to the true connoisseur who likes their taste buds tantalized year-round.

I always recommend extra virgin olive oil. Rich in healthy monounsaturated fat, extra virgin olive is well-known for protecting you from heart disease by helping lower inflammation, lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol, improving the lining of your blood vessels, and possibly helping prevent blood clotting. (2)

3. Air-popped popcorn popper

This is a must for anyone who loves popcorn but knows they must cut back on the oil or butter. Air-popped popcorn is one of the healthiest snacks and is always a welcome whole grain anytime.

Eat Well to Be Well: Pomegranates – Protector of your health

Pomegranates’ seeds and natural juice are a wealth of nutrients beneficial for your health.

Right about now, you may be overlooking an extraordinarily nutritious fruit. And it’s not the usual apples, oranges, or bananas. While all fruits are good for us, the “jewel of the winter,” better known as pomegranates, protects your health. Usually in season from October through February, pomegranates have an outstanding nutritional portfolio, making them a true nutritional gem, and are one of the world’s most popular fruits.

Overview of pomegranates

Pomegranates have a lengthy and rich history dating back to biblical times, with even a mention in the Old Testament, and were often used for medicinal purposes. Believed to have originated in Iran, pomegranate trees do well in hot, dry climates such as California, Afghanistan, India, Israel, Spain, and Mediterranean. The name pomegranate comes from the Latin words ‘pomum” (apple) and “granatum” (seeded), literally meaning “seeded apple.” Pomegranates have a botanical name, “Punica Granatum,” which translates as “apple with many seeds.” The average pomegranate contains about 600 seeds, known as arils. Arils are the only edible part of a pomegranate, along with pomegranate juice, obtained by squeezing the whole fruit.

Nutritional profile of pomegranates

If you’ve never eaten the arils of a pomegranate, you really must try them. The tart yet sweet taste is an enjoyable combination, and with their unique blend of phytochemicals, pomegranates should be a fruit eaten frequently.  

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