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Your Health In the News

Posted Apr 19 2009 11:02pm

Radiant Fitness welcomes guest blogger, Carrie Harper of Houston. Carrie, a personal fitness trainer and weight management consultant, is expecting a baby in June. I know she's ready because she also has another "baby" out--her first prenatal/postnatal exercise video. Check it out at:

Here's . . . Carrie!

Your Health In the News

Not much surprises me. I read research articles and on a regular basis. I try to stay on the pulse of modern health so that I can educate others. And, of course, I get the occasional “Hey, did you hear about the?….” It’s my business to know and to usher a response. These very small stories that barely made headlines are worth a read-over. If nothing else, we need to give them attention and sometimes a little anger. I’ve discovered over the years that no one is protecting your health but you, and if you are in charge of your own information, you are empowered to make better decisions for yourself and your family.

Exercise Etc. ( is a professional organization that supplies continuing education for fitness and health professionals like myself. I go to their events and always read their newsletters. The March newsletter made me stop and take notice. In lab animals, fried potatoes in the form of French fries or potato chips are toxic. It seems that in the process of frying potatoes, they create acrylamide, which is a known toxic substance. The Canadian government is disturbed enough by this evidence to consider banning fried potato products. The United States has not made a statement about the findings.

Also in March, Parade Magazine published a little article about soda drinkers. It seems that people who consume two or more sodas a day are twice as likely as lesser or nondrinkers to develop kidney disease. The article did not state the kind of sodas, if it was even released in the data. The question remains whether it is the sugary and caffeinated sodas causing the problem, or the chemicals in many sodas such as benzoate that are the problem. Benzoate when combined with vitamin C (found in many sodas) form Benzene, a carcinogen.

I happened upon an article in Fitness magazine about arsenic being fed to or injected into chickens. My mouth dropped open. I immediately researched it and found the original article from the New York Times back in April of 2006! I was shocked that this is not on the mainstream news. Arsenic is an obvious poison. Why on earth would any of us knowingly put this in our bodies? And yet, it is perfectly legal. Apparently, chicken farmers have been using arsenic in chickens since the industrial revolution. It supposedly keeps parasites out and acts as a growth hormone for chicken. In the 1950’s, the federal government put a limit on arsenic allowed in chicken to 500 ppb (parts per billion). The fact that this was acceptable seems absolutely insane. What is more insane is that people eat approximately three times the amount of chicken now in comparison to people in the 1950’s. Therefore, people are walking around with large amounts of poison in their bodies, and the government has not revisited this issue in fifty years. To make sure you and your family are arsenic free, check for organic chicken. In 2006, the list of arsenic-free chickens also included Tyson, Bill and Evans, and Eberly. Because there are no labeling laws on arsenic, it is very hard to discern which other chickens may or may not have arsenic.

In the end, these and other health issues are our business. The FDA seems to spend its time protecting business rather than our health, so we have to do the research ourselves. Exercise Etc. ( keeps track of current health research, as does the American council on Exercise ( It is worth our time to browse the research articles every month to make sure we are doing what we can to protect our families, and that we do politically what we can to ensure safer products in the marketplace. The pocketbook is a powerful tool in a capitalist environment, so try to support the businesses that take precautions for your health.

Carrie Harper
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
ACE Certified Weight Management Consultant
Owner, Carriefit
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