Health Buzz: Fecal Matter Found in Many Public Pools

How to manage type 1 diabetes as you age; potatoes: an important white vegetable


Fifty-Eight Percent of Sample Filters from Metro-Atlanta Public Pools Contain E. Coli

It's as you may have feared about public swimming pools: Those hordes of children, carefree and a bit saggy in the trunks, may be making that water a little poopy. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report includes research of the microbes found in pool filters. During the summer 2012 swimming season, researchers collected 161 filter samples from metro-Atlanta public pools. In 93 of the samples, researchers detected fecal indicator, E. coli, which they believe came from swimmers when it was either washed off their bodies, or via solid bowel movements and diarrhea. E. coli in pools is not only gross, but a little dangerous, too. "The risk of pathogen transmission increases if swimmers introduce diarrheal feces," the report says. So how do we keep fecal matter out of swimming pools? The report suggests that swimmers bathe before swimming and sit out the pool trip if they're sick with diarrhea. The report also indicates the need for "[A]quatics staff to maintain disinfectant level and pH according to public health standards to inactivate pathogens, and state and local environmental health specialists to enforce such standards."

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  • How to Manage Type 1 Diabetes As You Age

    Growing up, Mary Elizabeth Renner Saalfeld was allowed desserts on only a few occasions: A piece of cake for her birthday and her father's birthday, pie for Thanksgiving and fruitcake for Christmas.

    She was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 68 years ago. Now 77 and retired in Springfield, Va., Saalfeld, who goes by Liz, is an avid quilter, loves watching sports on TV, arranges flowers for her church and has traveled the world – from China to Italy and Hawaii.

    "It's my life," she concludes about having diabetes. "I think I've had a very successful life. A very full life." She worked as a medical technologist and stay-at-home mom and ran a career center for a secondary school for 22 years. Though she has undergone a triple bypass as a result of her diabetes, she says no other part of her health is affected. [Read more: How to Manage Type 1 Diabetes As You Age]

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    • Potatoes: An Important White Vegetable

      We've been told that the more color a fruit or vegetable displays, the more nutrients you'll find within, writes U.S. News blogger Bonnie Taub-Dix. Although this may be true for some produce, "White Vegetables: A Forgotten Source of Nutrients" – published this month in the American Society for Nutrition's journal Advances in Nutrition – reminds us that when it comes to veggies, we ought to pay attention to white.

      The new research shows that there is not as strong a relationship between color and the vegetable's nutrient and polyphenol composition as previously believed. Even colorless or white veggies, like potatoes, onions, turnips, parsnips, cauliflower and mushrooms, make a generous contribution to the many essential nutrients we lack in our diets – particularly fiber, potassium and magnesium. These also help improve overall veggie intake among children, teens and adults.

      The potassium content of a potato is especially attractive, since 97 percent of Americans don't get enough of this important nutrient, which plays a key role in managing blood pressure. We often rely on the banana's reputation as the potassium king, but actually, a small, plain baked potato with skin (138 grams) provides 738 milligrams of potassium and only 128 calories. A large banana (136 grams) provides a similar number of calories, but considerably less potassium: 487 milligrams. [Read more: Potatoes: An Important White Vegetable]

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