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Vision Care
Section Newsletter
Spring 2009

Chair Column

Dear members of the Vision Care Section,

 

The year 2009 has been flying by.  I don’t know if it is an indication of aging or it is related to the fact that so many exciting things are taking place.  First, the program for the next APHA Annual Meeting is set.  There is an exciting array of presentations.  We look forward to a great turnout.  We are also rearranging our business meeting.  We are looking to address a majority of the nuts and bolts business in the morning before the Opening Session.  The Vision Care Section will reconvene after the Opening Session to provide an opportunity for the Section as a whole to discuss the proposed resolutions in order for the Section Councilors to bring our comments to the floor of the hearings. 

 

Other exciting activities include the development of the Vision Objectives for the Healthy People 2020.  It is exciting to think that we are looking forward to Vision potentially being in a chapter on its own.  Please make sure that you take a moment to comments on the objectives.

 

I am certain you are all aware that there is a focus on the health care system by the president.  APHA is working on an advocacy agenda for health reform.  Please monitor the APHA Web site under Health Care Reform to see what activities are currently under way.

 

Recently, an inaugural meeting of the U.S. committee of Vision 2020 met.  Dr. Frick was present and will share his impression of the meeting and where the United States is headed to address Vision2020. 

 

As a reminder, the mid year meeting will be taking place on Wednesday, June 24, 1-4 in the Gaylord.  We look forward to your attendance.

 

Have a good summer,

Sandy Block

Open Your Eyes to Healthy Eating Habits

Millions of Americans Can Protect Against Eye Diseases by Eating Healthier

 

 ST. LOUIS, MO, Feb. 26, 2009 ― In honor of March’s Save Your Vision Month, the American Optometric Association (AOA) reminds Americans that caring for eyes includes paying attention to nutrition.

 

Approximately 43 million Americans suffer from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts, the two leading causes of vision loss and blindness.  Based on research from multiple studies, there is a strong correlation between good nutrition and the prevention of these age-related eye diseases.  By eating foods rich in six nutrients ― the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, essential fatty acids, vitamins C and E and the mineral zinc ― you can help protect your eyesight and vision.

 

Research shows that 30 million (or one out of four) Americans age 40 and older suffer from some level of vision loss.  According to the AOA’s 2008 American Eye-Q® survey, which assesses public knowledge and understanding of a wide range of issues related to eye and visual health, only 29 percent of Americans are coping with vision loss or other eye problems by increasing nutrients for healthy eyes.

 

“Basic and clinical research has shown that nutrients in eye-healthy foods can slow vision loss,” said Dr. Stuart Richer, optometrist and AOA’s Vision and Nutrition Expert.  “Indeed, in some cases, these foods can even improve vision, while providing additional health benefits to the patient.”

 

Healthy Fruits and Vegetables

Together, the AOA and registered dietician Elizabeth Somer recommend eating a diet with a variety of foods loaded with key nutrients for maintaining and improving eye health, such as lutein (LOO-teen) and zeaxanthin.

 

The American Eye-Q® survey showed that nearly half of all Americans (48 percent) still believe carrots are the best food for eye health.  While carrots do contain nutritional value by supplying the provitamin A beta-carotene, which is essential for night vision, spinach and other dark, leafy greens prove to be the healthiest foods for eyes because they naturally contain large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin.

 

The AOA, along with nutritional ingredient manufacturers Kemin and DSM, recommend the following foods containing the key nutrients for eye health:

  • Lutein and zeaxanthin:  Colorful fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, green beans, peas, oranges and tangerines
  • Essential fatty acids:  Flax or fleshy fish like tuna, salmon, or herring, whole grain foods, lean meats and eggs
  • Vitamin C:  Fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, green peppers and tomatoes
  • Vitamin E:  Vegetable oils, such as safflower or corn oil, almonds, pecans, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds
  • Zinc:  Red meat, poultry, liver, shellfish, milk, baked beans, and whole grains  

“Nutrition is a component of health for the entire body, including the eyes,” said Somer, a registered dietician and nutrition research expert. “I suggest incorporating nutritious ingredients into daily menus. There are some great, quick and simple recipes that promote healthy eyesight and vision.”

 

One example of a quick and easy eye-healthy recipe includes:

 

Whole-Wheat Penne with Spinach and Gorgonzola

 

Ingredients:

10 oz. uncooked whole-wheat penne pasta

Olive oil cooking spray

1 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced (~1 medium onion)

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup chicken broth

3 Roma tomatoes, chopped (~2 cups)

1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach

1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil

salt and pepper to taste

2/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese [or substitute ½ cup low-fat freshly-grated parmesan cheese]

1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)

 

Directions:

·         Cook pasta according to package directions, without salting water.

·         While pasta is cooking, spray a large, non-stick frying pan with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, then stir and cook until slightly transparent, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook for another minute. Add broth and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, toss, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add spinach and basil, cook and stir for approximately 2 minutes, or until leaves wilt. Remove from heat and salt/pepper to taste.

·         Drain pasta and add to spinach mixture. Thoroughly toss. Serve on a platter and top with gorgonzola (or parmesan) cheese and pine nuts. Makes 6 servings.

 

Nutritional Information (per serving): 300 Calories; 25% fat (8.3 g total, 2.8 g saturated), 57% carbohydrate (43 g), 18% protein (13.5 g), 8 mg cholesterol, 8.6 g fiber, 27 mg vitamin C, 1.33 mg vitamin E, 20.4 mg lutein/zeaxanthin, 271 mg sodium.

 

Did You Know?

·         Eating spinach can reduce your risk of getting certain eye diseases like AMD because it contains a large amount of lutein, an important eye nutrient.  In order to maintain healthy eyes, add 10 mg of lutein to your diet each day or eat one cup of cooked spinach four times a week.

·         More than 50 percent of Americans do not take in the recommended dosage of Vitamin C per day. Vitamin C has been linked, in approved amounts, to minimize or reduce the risk of cataracts and AMD.

·         One cup (8 fl oz) of orange juice per day contains 81.6 mg/serving of Vitamin C, more than enough to help offset some eye diseases.

 

To find an optometrist in your area, or for additional information on nutrition and eye-healthy recipes as well as other issues concerning eye health, please visit www.aoa.org

 

About the survey:

The third annual American Eye-Q® survey was created and commissioned in conjunction with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates (PSB).  From May 17-19, 2008, using an online methodology, PSB interviewed 1,001 Americans 18 years and older who embodied a nationally representative sample of U.S. general population.  (Margin of error at 95 percent confidence level.)

 

About the American Optometric Association (AOA):

The American Optometric Association represents approximately 36,000 doctors of optometry, optometry students and paraoptometric assistants and technicians. Optometrists serve patients in nearly 6,500 communities across the country, and in 3,500 of those communities are the only eye doctors.  Doctors of optometry provide two-thirds of all primary eye care in the United States.

 

American Optometric Association doctors of optometry are highly qualified, trained doctors on the frontline of eye and vision care who examine, diagnose, treat and manage diseases and disorders of the eye. In addition to providing eye and vision care, optometrists play a major role in a patient’s overall health and well-being by detecting systemic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

 

Prior to optometry school, optometrists typically complete four years of undergraduate study, culminating in a bachelor’s degree. Required undergraduate coursework for pre-optometry students is extensive and covers a wide variety of advanced health, science and mathematics. Optometry school consists of four years of post-graduate, doctoral study concentrating on both the eye and systemic health. In addition to their formal training, doctors of optometry must undergo annual continuing education to stay current on the latest standards of care. For more information, visit www.aoa.org.

 

New Book on Disability Studies

"Disability and Public Health," published by APHA, is now available. The publication is an important and overdue contribution to the core curriculum of disability studies in public health education. It is a particularly timely book because, as our nation ages, disability is an increasingly significant interdisciplinary area of study and service domain in public health. Visit the APHA online bookstore at www.aphabookstore.org/. APHA members can also take advantage of a 30 percent member discount whether ordering online or via our toll-free number, (888) 320-2742.

Help Make America the Healthiest Nation in One Generation

Let’s face it – as a nation we’re not nearly as healthy as we should be. Compared to other developed nations, we’re lagging far behind. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With your help, we can make America the healthiest nation in just one generation.

As a central component of this year’s National Public Health Week (NPHW) observance, APHA launched an exciting, new viral video campaign. The Healthiest Nation in One Generation video tells the story of the many ways that public health touches our lives. Nearly 25,000 people have already viewed the video online, and the numbers continue to grow each day. If you haven’t checked out the video, watch it today and be sure to share it with your colleagues, family and friends. And stay informed by visiting www.generationpublichealth.org – NPHW 2009 is over, but our campaign to make America the healthiest nation in one generation is just beginning…

 We all have to do our part. What will you do?

Public Health Career Mart

Public Health Career Mart  -- More Than 1,000 Jobs Listed!

 

APHA has created the Public Health CareerMart to be the online career resource center in the field of public health.  Here, you’ll find only qualified, industry professionals.

 

Job seekers, instead of searching through hundreds of sites looking for the perfect jobs in public health, you will find it all at the Public Health CareerMart Career Development Center at www.apha.org/about/careers.

 

Employers, instead of being inundated with stacks of unrelated, irrelevant resumes, you’re much more likely to find the candidates with the skills and experience you’re looking for — and spend less time doing it!  After all, where better to find the best public health professionals than the association that represents them? 

 

Public Health CareerMart  is a member of the National Healthcare Career Network.

Fun Run

Physical Activity SPIG Announces 5K Fun Run/Walk

 

While in Philadelphia for the 2009 APHA Annual Meeting, join your colleagues for the Second Annual 5K Fun Run/Walk on the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 10. The 5K (3.1-mile) route will feature views of the Schuylkill River and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the steps of which were made famous in the movie Rocky. More information about this activity, including a course map, will be published in the Fall newsletters of the Physical Activity SPIG and other Sections and SPIGs and will be made available at the Annual Meeting. In the meantime, please contact Genevieve Dunton (dunton@usc.edu) or Jim Konopack (jkonopac@monmouth.edu) with any questions. We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia!

Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention Manual

APHA is proud to annouce the release of "Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention: A Guide for Public Health Practitioners." This manual provides public health professionals with information, skills and tools needed to conduct screening and brief intervention (SBI) to help at-risk drinkers reduce their alcohol use.  Download the manual for free: 

http://www.apha.org/programs/additional/progaddNHTSI.htm 

APHA Meeting

From Nov. 7-11, 2009, thousands of public health professionals will convene in Philadelphia for the APHA 137th Annual Meeting and Exposition. More than 1,000 cutting-edge scientific sessions will be presented by public health researchers, academicians, policy-makers and practitioners on the most current public health issues facing the nation today. To ensure that no public health professional misses this opportunity, this year’s Annual Meeting will be more affordable than ever. Hotel rates have been slashed so that no rates are higher than $195. Eleven of the 15 contracted hotels are offering rates between $149 and $179. Registration and Housing are now open . Save up to $115 on registration by registering before August 28. Take advantage of these discounts and join your colleagues in a meeting you won’t want to miss. For more information about the Annual Meeting and the role your Section will play in its success visit www.apha.org/meetings !

 

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