PlaneTalk masthead, cleaned, 12-10
February 2015
Eating Disorders Awareness

Logo for ED Awareness Week     Binge eating. Anorexia nervosa. Bulimia. All eating disorders (EDs) are very serious mental illnesses, with major repercussions for an individual's emotional, physical, and social well-being. Early diagnosis and treatment increase the odds of recovery.

     Because early intervention is so important, recognizing the signs of disordered eating is vital for both the public and health professionals. An online screening tool is available if you are concerned that you or a loved one may have ED.

     Eating Disorders Awareness Week, sponsored annually by the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), falls on February 22 to 28 this year. Local events include two free public talks and an essay contest:

  • On Thursday evening, February 26 in Palo Alto, a program focused on recovery will be presented by Stanford Children's Health.

  • On Saturday, February 28 in Los Gatos, the Eating Disorders Resource Center (EDRC) will host a workshop for parents of children with EDs.

  • EDRC will award cash prizes to middle and high school students for essays written on the theme "Every Body's Beautiful." The deadline for submission is March 27.

News You Can Use

Easy-Peasy Meals
     If you want to eat healthfully and inexpensively, home-cooking is your best bet. But who has time and energy for all the menu planning, shopping, cooking, and cleaning up? 
     You do! 
 Paper bag full of groceries    This plan for a week of delicious meals uses ordinary ingredients and basic kitchen equipment to make fast, simple recipes. Collectively, each day's breakfast, lunch and dinner will cost less than $10 per person and take little more than an hour to prepare. Written for the single person, the recipes work as well for a couple - just double the amounts. A ready-to-print shopping list for your one trip to the grocery includes options for vegetarians.
     If you follow the plan, please let us know how you liked your week of home-cooked meals.

Helps the Medicine Go Down
     When you try to take a capsule or tablet, does it tend to stay in your mouth? It's a common problem. Researchers who tried to figure out the best techniques for successful pill swallowing have two suggestions.


Approaching Deadlines
     If you want to get health insurance for 2015 and avoid paying penalties next year, you will need to sign up with Covered California by February 15. Consumer Reports has information and links to calculators to help you determine your family's penalty and your eligibility for a subsidy.
     Tax season is also approaching. If you did not have qualifying health insurance coverage last year, you may need to pay a penalty when with your 2014 tax return. Here are information, tools, and forms.


Toddler and Preschooler Safety
     Do you keep drugs, vitamins, or nutritional supplements on a countertop or table, perhaps in a pill dispenser? In your purse, briefcase, or a handy drawer? Every day, four schoolbus-loads of kids - over 60,000 per year - go to the emergency room for medication poisoning. Most had easy access to medicine in one of those locations. For 38% of them, the medicine belonged to a grandparent. Keep little hands and mouths from the drugs you take by employing these tips for parents and for grandparents.
     An enterprising toddler climbing furniture, a little kid after a toy or remote on top of the TV - these can be lethal scenarios. If you have a large television or piece of furniture that a child could possibly climb on and topple, anchor it so it cannot fall. This video shows ways to reduce the hazards. Your local hardware store can help with ideas and materials.
     And with the recent spate of gun accidents involving toddlers and loaded guns, we urge you redouble your safety precautions if you own a gun. Please make absolutely certain the safety is on and the weapon is never within a child's reach. These suggestions will help you keep your child safe from firearm accidents.

Risk Reduction, NNT, and NNH
       We do not often refer readers to information about the statistical underpinnings of medical practice. However, this 7-minute video engagingly presents several critical concepts. Understanding them will help you appreciate complexities related to screening and treatment recommendations. (The information is presented rather quickly. Use the pause button to give yourself time to process one idea before the speaker moves on to another.)
     Read these recent New York Times articles with illustrative examples and graphics if you would like to learn more about "number needed to treat" (NNT) and "number needed to harm" (NNH).


"Lose Weight Fast!"
     Are you tempted by supplement ads promising to melt away unwanted pounds quickly, safely, and effortlessly? Here's the skinny.


Daily Aspirin
     Lots of folks take a "baby" aspirin every day to prevent heart attacks and strokes. For people who are at high risk, doing so appears to have clear benefits. However, if your cardiovascular risk is low - less than 6 or 10 percent over the next ten years - the potential harm of taking aspirin daily may outweigh the benefits.

     If you know your cholesterol numbers and typical blood pressure, you can calculate your risk. Then talk to your doctor if you think adding or subtracting aspirin to your daily regime might be appropriate.

In This Issue
News You Can Use
Thank You!
Miniature amphora
    The talented volunteer miniaturists who put on the Showcase of Miniatures every October had a great show again last fall. We so appreciate their dedication and hard work, which has enabled them to donate $15,000 to PlaneTree Health Library.
    If you are curious about the amazing worlds created by miniaturists, please check out the Showcase's blog and new Facebook page.        




Drop of water on a leaf
    All events are open to the public; pre-registration may be required.
* Fee for participation
^ Scroll down the linked page

Sex & intimacy in menopause
Mountain View - Mon., Feb. 9

Types of psychotherapy
San Jose - Tues., Feb. 10

Neck pain & surgery
Los Gatos - Tues., Feb. 10

Mediterranean diet for heart health
Mountain View - Tues., Feb. 10


Blood pressure & cholesterol guidelines
Palo Alto - Tues., Feb. 10

Mindful eating
Mountain View - Tues., Feb. 10

Covered California
Milpitas - Wed., Feb. 11

Living well with diabetes & pre-diabetes*
Mountain View - 2-session classes; multiple start dates


Sleep apnea
Palo Alto - Thurs., Feb. 12 


Infant massage*
Mountain View - 4-week class begins Thurs., Feb. 12

Stroke recovery, for family & friends
Menlo Park - Thurs., Feb 12

Weight-loss surgery
Mountain View - Tues., Feb. 17 (repeats on Tues., Mar. 17)

Mountain View - Tues., Feb. 17

Palo Alto - 4-session workshop begins Tues., Feb. 17


Palo Alto - Thurs., Feb. 19

Menlo Park - Thurs., Feb. 19

Couples facing cancer (scroll to p. 9)
Mountain View - Sat., Feb. 21

Parenting an adult child with developmental disabilities*
San Jose - Sat., Feb. 21

Biting, hitting & aggression in young kids
Santa Clara - Sun., Feb., 22


Women & heart disease
Santa Clara - Tues., Feb. 24

Social skills for kids age 1-5 with ASD, ADD, or Nonverbal Learning Disorder
San Jose - Tues., Feb. 24

Driving with autism*
Santa Clara - Thurs., Feb. 26

Disciplining boys ages 1-8
Mountain View - Thurs., Feb. 26


Heart disease prevention & treatment
Mountain View - Sat., Feb. 28

Mental health issues & addiction in teens*
Menlo Park - Sat., Feb. 28

Creating happiness^
Palo Alto - Thurs., Mar. 5

FODMAP diet for IBS*
San Carlos - 2-session class begins Fri., Mar. 6

Diabetes self-care^ (scroll to bottom of p. 5)
Sunnyvale - 6-week class begins Fri., Mar. 6

Preparing a child for a new sibling*
Mountain View - Sat., March 7 

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