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July-August 2011




  • Kid’s Corner -

    Eye health and Safety

    Mom’s Corner -

  • Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves”

  • Dad’s Corner -

    Simplify Your Life

  • Planet Earth -

    The Record July Heat Wave

  • News -                                                                                                        

    The Cost of Obesity



Welcome to the Doc Grubb newsletter for July and August 2010


This newsletter has a lot of important information in it, for example, how to protect your children’s eyesight; how to “let things go” and how the visible and invisible costs of obesity keeps getting bigger…and bigger…and bigger.


Probably what is on most people’s minds at this time is the overwhelming heat throughout most of the United States. Here are some “it’s so hot…” jokes for your enjoyment. I have to confess that I laughed out loud at some of them!

It’s so hot that…

  • I saw a dog chasing a cat and they were both walking.
  • You eat hot peppers to cool your mouth off.
  • You learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
  • You discover that it takes only 2 fingers to drive your car.
  • Cows are giving evaporated milk.
  • Even the sun was looking for some shade!
  • It's so hot the birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
  • I saw a funeral procession pull through a Dairy Queen!!
  • My thermometer scale goes up to "Are you kidding me?"!!

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Eye Health and Safety


Your parents and you have a vital role in taking care of your eyes. Did you know that vision problems impact one in 20 pre-schoolers and one in four school-aged children?

Your good eye health begins early in life, even before you are born because the food and medications your mother eats and drinks have a direct impact on your eyes. It is a good idea for your parents to have your eyes and vision examined by an eye care professional (optometrist or ophthalmologist) at least once a year. If you have a problem seeing the blackboard or trouble seeing pictures or the words in a book it makes it really hard to do well in school. When you see the eye doctor he will look for are conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid) and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism).

Eye safety is also important. Your parents can protect your eyes from the danger of eye injuries. For example, they can make sure that the toys you play with don’t have sharp, protruding parts. You parents and coaches can also help prevent your eyes getting hurt when you play rough sports like baseball, basketball, or hockey by wearing goggles such as "Rec-Specs," which are wonderful eye protectors. All sports eyewear can be made with your specific prescription. One of my son’s team mates on his neighborhood swim team has prescription swim goggles and now he can see the wall markers so much better. I don’t think he’s crashed his head into the wall at all since he’s got his new prescription goggles.

If you need to wear prescription glasses, your parents can make sure your glass have polycarbonate lenses because they are the safest and most durable lens material. Glass lenses can shatter into dangerous pieces if they are struck by a flying object; and plastic lenses - even with scratch coating - are not as durable.      


One thing most kids don’t think about is the damage the sun can do to your eyes. I always wear a baseball cap that shields my eyes from the sun. The ultraviolet rays (UV) from the sun can cause serious damage to your eyes. When you are in the sun, your eyes and skin are equally exposed to the sun but your eyesight is more delicate than an adult’s.

This means that you should always wear sun glasses both fitted and a hat to protect your eyes from the UV rays.


It is also very important to eat a healthy diet to keep good eyesight. I always recommend that kids eat foods that contain Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Vitamin A is in foods like yellow and green vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, whole milk and cheeses. When I was young I was told to “eat carrots,” which is true because they contain CAROTENE and come to think of it, I’ve never seen a rabbit wearing glasses.

Foods for Eye Health

1. Spinach-this is why Popeye the Sailor doesn’t wear glasses
2. Cabbage
3. Corn
4. Broccoli
5. Brussels sprout
6. Lettuce
7. Beans
8. Eggs
9. Avocado.

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Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves”

              In my psychiatric practice many of the patients I see are seem to be “stuck” with the past. I hear phrases like “Could have, would have, and should have” “If only I had….,” “I should have…” all the time. For many people the past seems to be an anchor which holds you back from moving into the future.

You might remember the wise old tortoise in “Kung Fu Panda” saying: "The past is history, the future is a mystery, and this moment is a gift. That is why 'this moment' is called 'the present'." I’m not sure who first said this quote, but it sums up what many philosophers have said over the years. To me this means that we need to stay in the present! There’s nothing we can do to change the past, and although we can make plans for the future concerning our career, education and financial goals, no one really knows what tomorrow will bring, so there is no reason to worry about it. Staying in the present means that we need to take each day as it comes, for what it is. Use today to its fullest, because you won’t have another chance.

              It’s important to remember that you only have a certain amount of emotional energy and that you need to use it wisely.  I like to use “The Psychic Bank Account” as a way to visualize emotional energy. The more checks you write on the account, for example, for your husband, wife or children, the less you will have for the expected stresses that show up, like problems at work. By staying in the moment, you are able to think about the checks you are writing and to not overspend your account. Staying in the moment means you are focused on the here and now and trust that the decisions you make will lead you into the future.


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                                             Simplify your life


              Kids are home for summer and you are probably spending more time with them than you have in a long time. This is a chance for you and your family to simplify your lives so that you have more time and energy to do the things you love.

              The following are good places to start in simplifying your life:

Self-sufficiency. Teach your kids to do things for themselves as they get older and more capable. Let them make themselves breakfast, shower and dress themselves, brush their teeth, and generally get themselves ready in the morning. They can help clean their rooms, wash dishes, vacuum, wash the car and work in the garden.

Use Just One Calendar. Use just one calendar for the entire family to enter activities and appointments. When you schedules activities or sports, immediately put everything on the calendar. A quick glance at the calendar each day is all you need to plan your day.

Storage Bins. have lots of bins where your kids can put toys when they’re done playing. Label the bins for certain toys and also have some general-purpose bins for things that don’t fit anywhere else.

Regular cleanups. Teach your children to clean up after themselves –stress that a project is not complete until everything is put away. It’s a good idea to have regular times during the day to cleanup, such as before bed or before dinner. Remember, many hands make lighter work. Picking things up frequently is key!

Don’t schedule too much. leave space between events, appointments or activities, so that your day moves along at a more leisurely pace. Leave yourself time to transition from one activity to another. Everyone benefits from a slower pace…you have more time for conversations, less stress in traffic and less stress at the dinner table.

Create weekly routines. it’s always a good idea to have a weekly routine that’s written out and posted where everyone can see it. A weekly routine might include regular practice times, house cleaning day, washing the car, yard work day, errands day, etc. This makes the schedule more predictable for everyone, and eliminates a lot of surprises.

Learn to say “No” There will always be many more worthy causes and important jobs to do than you have time to do them, so be more selective about the things you agree to do. Remember that when you stretch yourself too thin and take on too many commitments you end up unable to do your very best on each one.


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     How can it be so hot? On the 4th of July the earth is farther from the sun than on any other day this year. If it’s further away, shouldn’t it be cooler? Actually, only part of the earth is farther away because the orbits of all the planets in our solar system are not perfectly circular, but are an ellipse (a kind of squashed circle) which brings part of the earth closer to the sun. In addition to the elliptical orbit, earth's north-south axis is tilted by about 23.4 degrees, so during its orbit, the poles point in different directions from the sun. It's the tilt of the Earth and not our distance from the sun that primarily determines the seasons. Because of the tilt, during the summer months the Northern Hemisphere where I live has longer days and the sunlight hits the ground more directly, almost in a straight line. So, it’s hotter in July because of the tilt of the earth’s axis and its elliptical orbit.

     I updated this part of the newsletter on 22 July 2011 because the Washington, D.C. is experiencing an oppressive and potentially deadly mix of very hot temperatures and high humidity, pushing afternoon heat indexes in dozens of cities to dangerous levels. It’s felt that will likely be the most significant heat wave the region has experienced in at least the last five years. The National Weather Service posted excessive heat warnings for much of the country's midsection, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, as well as South and North Dakota, where forecasters predicted heat indexes could hit 115 degrees.

     I went outside for my daily walk this morning at 0900 and it was already over 90 degrees! You can be at risk for Heat Stroke in this extremely hot, sunny weather. Here are some great ideas to keep in mind. I got these from eHow, a great resource if you have questions about almost anything.

  • Limit the time you spend outdoors to the early morning and evening hours. The temperature is cooler and this is a good time to exercise or accomplish other outdoor tasks such as gardening.
  • Bump up your fluid intake. Prevent heat stroke by drinking even when you are not thirsty. You want to prepare your body for the heat, not wait until it gets the best of you. If exercising drink two to four glasses of cool water an hour. Replenish your body of the salt and minerals you lose while perspiring by drinking a sports beverage

 Steer clear from overly sugary drinks. These beverages can cause you to lose more body fluid. Also, pay attention to the temperature of drinks since very cool drinks can cause heat cramps in your stomach.

  • Stay inside as much as possible on hot days. Make use of the air conditioner. If you do not have an air-conditioned home, visit the mall or another public place for a few hours. This can help your body stay cool even when you go back to the warmer environment.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear loose-fitting, well-ventilated, thin clothing in light colors. A black shirt, or other dark color, can absorb the sun and raise your body temperature.

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The Medical Cost Of Obesity: $147 Billion in 2008


     The total economic cost of overweight and obesity in the United States is $270 billion per year while the cost in Canada is about $30 billion a year. The $300 billion total cost in the United States and Canada is the result of: increased need for medical care ($127 billion); loss of worker productivity due to higher rates of death ($49 billion); loss of productivity due to disability of active workers ($43 billion); and loss of productivity due to total disability ($72 billion). In 2011 there are 7% of employers who charge extra for medical insurance for people with health issues secondary to being overweight or obese. The number of employers who charge overweight employees more for their health insurance is expected to rise to 33% in the next few years. Obesity-related health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, liver and kidney disease, lung disease and orthopedic problems are a huge expense.

     Obesity is a huge financial burden for local, state and national governments and people who pay for their own medical care. The cost of treating illnesses related to obesity directly impacts all of us because it means the county, state and national governments don’t have the funds they need to provide the community the vital services we need such as schools, police and fire services, road repairs and too many other services for me to list. The cost of prescription drugs to treat obesity related medical conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes is a large part of this increased cost. The best example of a disease that is directly caused by or made worse by obesity is Diabetes Mellitus. Excess weight is the single greatest predictor of developing diabetes so if we can reduce the occurrence of obesity, the cost for treating Diabetes and other conditions caused by excess weight would be much lower.

     Many pediatricians are very concerned about the constantly increasing number of children who are seriously overweight and obese. Unfortunately, most health insurance plans won’t reimburse pediatricians if they spend extra time with families discussing how to avoid problems caused by obesity, such as diabetes. Health insurance plans usually won’t pay for children or families to see a dietician who can educate individuals and families how to make better choices on what and how much they eat.

      So how do we stop the increase and lower the costs for treating obesity related medical conditions? It’s always easier and much cheaper to PREVENT an illness than it is to TREAT an illness. It’s especially important to take steps to promote nutrition and physical activity for children while they are young and forming habits for exercise and nutrition they will have for the rest of their life.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has made a few recommendation of how to prevent obesity in children and adults:

  • Put schools within easy walking distance of residential areas. Most schools are now cutting bus services to children who live close enough to walk to school.
  • Improve access to outdoor recreational facilities. We need to have more safe parks, playgrounds and public pools.
  • Enhance traffic safety in areas where people could be physically active. Major highways now divide our neighborhoods, and speeding on residential streets is a major danger.
  • Enhance infrastructure that supports walking and biking. More bike and jogging paths. During a recent trip to Louisville, Kentucky three bicyclists were hit by cars and killed. One was run over by a drunk driver during a Triathlon.
  • Discourage consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks. Remember, soft drinks are “liquid candy.”
  • Make healthy food and beverages available to the communities at an affordable price. Put more supermarkets in underserved areas. Support local Farmer’s Markets.
  • Encourage physical activity or limit sedentary activity. Put mandatory gym classes back into schools.
  • Encourage communities to organize for change. Our voices must be heard.


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Our free newsletter “The Worm’s Eye View” is uploaded to the computer each month. Each issue includes valuable information for all members of the family as well as the inclusion of the most up-to-date information concerning medical research and treatments.

As a subscriber you will be sent announcements of my new books, CD, and seminars at reduced prices and fees. Sign-up now.

You should read my latest book, “Solving the Weight Loss Puzzle.” Please go to the order page and read part of the first chapter. You will learn a lot from this book why everyone has gained weight and the Three Secrets to normalize your weight.


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