Flu Shots Protecting the Community and Poor Nutrition of Pregnant Women named Best/Worst Prevention Ideas of the Week
Posted Mar 16 2010 12:55pm
The study showing that giving flu shots to children protects a whole community from disease was named the “Best Prevention Idea of the Week,” while pregnant women skimping on fruit and vegetables and gaining too much weight has been named the “Worst Prevention Idea of the Week.”
The “Best/Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. Nominees are submitted by Partnership staff as well as the general public, and are voted on by the staff. Partnership for Prevention is a nonpartisan organization of business, nonprofit and government leaders who are working to make evidence-based disease prevention and health promotion a national priority. More information is available at http://www.prevent.org/ .
An unusual study done in 49 remote Hutterite farming colonies in western Canada has provided the surest proof yet that giving flu shots to schoolchildren protects a whole community from the disease. Although previous studies have demonstrated what scientists call “herd immunity,” none have been so incontrovertible, because they were done in less isolated places with more sources of flu passing through. Also, only one other study, done 42 years ago, immunized over 80 percent of a community’s children, as this one did. Success repeated in many separate communities with very high vaccination rates implies that the shots themselves — rather than luck, viral mutations, hand-washing or any other factor — were the crucial protective element.
Pregnant women are skimping on fruit and vegetables and gaining too much weight, according to a new Australian study. The research, in the journal Nutrition & Dietetics published by Wiley-Blackwell, found that expectant mothers are eating less than half the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables. And at least one in three put on more than the recommended weight gain for pregnancy.