White Mountain Health Center selected as Hannaford Cause Bag program beneficiary

CONWAY — White Mountain Community Health Center has been selected as a beneficiary of the Hannaford Cause Bag program for the month of April.

Hannaford created this program to support local nonprofits. For every Fight Hunger bag with the message "This bag has helped feed someone in need" purchased at the North Conway Hannaford, the health center will receive a $0.25 donation. This will help fulfill White Mountain Community Health Center's mission of providing comprehensive, high quality primary care services and health education on a sustainable basis to women, men and children in the Mount Washington Valley community regardless of ability to pay. The funds raised will benefit the health center's food pantry.

  • Category: Health

Diet Detective: Are You Wasting Your Time in the Gym?

By Charles Platkin

I was working out at the gym the other day — and granted, I'm no fitness guru, but I know enough to recognize when someone is not working out properly. I was surprised by what I saw, but experts say I shouldn't have been: "Roughly 85 to 90 percent of the people in the gym are NOT getting the maximum benefit from their workouts — they're basically window shopping," reports John Porcari, Ph.D., a professor in the department of exercise and sports science at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

The bottom line: Make the most of your gym experience by looking out for the six major mistakes that most people make when doing fitness training.


Many people seem to think that the best way to lose weight is to sweat it off, so they get on the bike, stair stepper, or treadmill and try to "work off the fat." While cardiovascular exercise is a very important component of fitness, it is not the most effective way, in and of itself, to lose unwanted pounds or to gain overall fitness and well-being.

"Strength training is a necessary part of a balanced workout — it increases your strength, balance, coordination, and calorie burning power. People don't realize that muscle mass drives your metabolism better than aerobic training. In fact, if you lose 10 pounds doing aerobic exercise alone, 30 percent of what you lose is much-needed muscle mass, not fat. But if you lose 10 pounds by using both cardio and strength training, you will only lose about 10 percent muscle mass — this keeps your metabolism moving at a fast pace," explains Dr. Porcari.


You hop on your favorite machine, magazine in hand, for 30 minutes — maybe even an hour — reading, listening to music, or watching TV along the way. It doesn't even feel like exercise — you're heart is not even pumping hard. Does it really matter?

The idea behind cardiovascular fitness is to get the heart pumping — and that occurs by exercising within your target heart rate zone for a minimum of 20 minutes. A person's target heart rate is the rate at which the heart should pump during exercise — experts say it should be between 60 and 80 percent of your maximum heart rate for optimal cardiovascular fitness. It is unlikely that you'll achieve this state if you're reading the paper or talking on the phone while exercising.


Another common fitness faux pas is leaning on the stair stepper, elliptical trainer or treadmill. Not only is this position hard on both the wrists and the back, but it can significantly lower the intensity and effectiveness of your workout. Moreover, studies have shown a decrease of as much as 25 percent of the energy utilized if you lean on the machine — which also means you're burning fewer calories.


Yes, strength training builds muscles, but if you don't exercise one of the most important muscles — the heart — you're short-changing yourself. Besides burning calories, aerobic exercise is critical in preventing heart disease, as well as helping ailments such as sleep disorders, diabetes, anxiety and depression.


I was at one of those famous, fancy gyms a few months ago, and I noticed a trainer with a client, chatting up a storm. The client was doing bicep curls — he was jerking the bar, using light weights, and was clearly more focused on the conversation than the task at hand.

The reality is that strength training requires incredible focus and concentration on all aspects of the exercise, including breathing, technique, repetitions, and amount of weight. If you ignore, it will certainly impede your progress.


In almost any gym, you can spot a person half-heartedly lifting weights without expending much effort. You need to constantly challenge your body. What amount of weight and how many repetitions do you need to "challenge the body"? Most experts recommend doing three sets of between eight and twelve repetitions with about 65 to 80 percent of your maximum resistance. (Your maximum resistance is the most weight you can lift in one repetition, while keeping perfect form.)

Doing the same routine month after month can lose its efficiency — sometimes your body needs a bit of a shock to keep it moving. Revise your routine at least every 8 weeks.

This might all sound a bit intimidating, but don't let it scare you — fitness books, online videos, or a good personal trainer (with ACE or American College of Sports Medicine credentials) are all excellent resources for helping you fine-tune your workout to obtain maximum effectiveness.

Charles Platkin, PhD is a nutrition and public health advocate and founder of DietDetective.com, and the Director of the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College. Copyright 2017 by Charles Platkin. All rights reserved. Sign up for the free Diet Detective newsletter at www .DietDetective.com


  • Category: Health

Brian Irwin: Hepatitis C screening


Hepatitis C screening

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, has levied recommendations for universal hepatitis C screening for select individuals. Hepatitis C is a viral infection that attacks the liver. It can be transmitted by blood or bodily fluid exposure. Sexual transmission, IV drug use and even the sharing of cocaine straws has all been linked to transmission. Because there is a statistical spike for certain age groups, the advice stands as outlined below.

Testing for hepatitis C is advised for all adults born between 1945 and 1965. A one-time screening test, which is a simple blood test, should be considered in this age group. This is because of the 3.2 million people affected by chronic hepatitis C, 75 percent were born during the baby boomer generation (between 1945 and 1965). Studies have shown that people born during this window are five times more likely to be infected with hepatitis C.

Hepatitis C is the leading cause of liver cancer.  Baby boomers account for 73 percent of all hepatitis C related deaths. Many people with hepatitis C do not know they’re infected. Not all patients with hepatitis C have symptoms, and some do indeed clear the virus from their bloodstream due to an active immune system. Alas not everyone clears this, and many patients with hepatitis C go on to develop cirrhosis. A significant percentage do go on to develop liver cancer. These cases are potentially preventable.

Treatment for hepatitis C used to be limited to interferon, an injection that worked, but had significant side effects, including depression and fatigue. Newer therapies have been developed now and are much more convenient. These options are oral in form of delivery and are in some cases up to 99 percent effective at curing, not just thwarting, hepatitis C. 

It’s estimated that one-time testing of baby boomers may identify as many as 800,000 infections.  If detected, and treated, it’s theorized that up to 120,000 deaths can be prevented, which according to the CDC, is estimated to save $1.5-$7.1 billion dollars in liver disease related medical expenses.

In addition to the one-time testing recommendations, more frequent testing is advised for other populations.  People who are currently injecting drugs should be screened annually. Even those who have not recently injected drugs should be tested. People on dialysis, patients with abnormal liver enzymes on blood test and those who have HIV should all be screened. Patients who have had a blood transfusion or organ transplant prior to 1992 should also be screened.

There are other specific circumstances where testing is advised. It’s worth discussing hepatitis C screening with your primary care provider. Given the curability of the newer agents, this condition carries a different prognosis than it used to.


  • Category: Health

Give blood with the Red Cross during National Volunteer Month

The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood during National Volunteer Month this April. Donating blood is a simple way to make a profound difference in the lives of patients.

Nearly 2.8 million generous people donated blood through the Red Cross last year. The Red Cross salutes these volunteer blood donors who helped fulfill its lifesaving mission and invites others to roll up a sleeve and join them.

Bill Parr has been donating blood for more than 30 years. "I think it's one of the most rewarding things you can do, knowing that such a simple act can have such a positive impact on another human being in a time of need," he said.

Volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those in need of transfusions. Donors of all blood types are needed this spring.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Carroll County include:

• April 10, 2-7 p.m., at Freedom Elementary School, 40 Loon Lake Road in Freedom.

• April 5, noon-5 p.m., at the Wolfeboro Inn, 90 N Main St., in Wolfeboro.

To download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org. Or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.


  • Category: Health