Friday, December 31, 2004

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Wish All of You A Happy & great Year 2005

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Gauging Disaster: How Scientists and Victims Watched Helplessly

The old Chinese saying of "Water Can Float & Sail A Ship, It Also Can Capsize A Ship".

On the issue of the oversight. It is shown in the Chinese History back to believe to be 200 B.C., the forecastor are watching the Astro Stars formations at night & also observe the behavour of animals, dogs, Cat, Flogs, Fish, Tortoise even meditation to formulate the pre-warning system.

I can recall that 15 days before the Bay Bridge incident in Oct 1989, I have the experience of the sensing for those 15 days prior to the even.

The other incident was the mid year 1986 the Penang Jetty incident. I have the similar experience just 18 hours before the Jetty collaped.

With the advance in Satellite & Computing & Internet Technology, the recent event is certainly can be avoided. Perhaps we shall employ those historical methode in devine the pre-warning systems so that to compliment the advance technology systems.

How Scientists and Victims Watched Helplessly

It was 7 p.m. Seattle time on Dec. 25 when Vasily V. Titov raced to his office, sat down at his computer and prepared to simulate an earthquake and tsunami that was already sweeping across the Indian Ocean.

He started from a blank screen and with the muted hope that just maybe he could warn officials across the globe about the magnitude of what was unfolding. But the obstacles were numerous.

Two hours had already passed since the quake, and there was no established model of what a tsunami might do in the Indian Ocean. Ninety percent of tsunamis occur in the Pacific, and that was where most research had been done.

Dr. Titov, a mathematician who works for a government marine laboratory, began to assemble his digital tools on his computer's hard drive: a three-dimensional map of the Indian Ocean seafloor and the seismic data showing the force, breadth and direction of the earthquake's punch to the sea.

As he set to work, Sumatra's shores were already a soup of human flotsam. Thailand to the east was awash. The pulse of energy transferred from seabed to water, traveling at jetliner speed, was already most of the way across the Bay of Bengal and approaching unsuspecting villagers and tourists, fishermen and bathers, from the eight-foot-high coral strands of the Maldives to the teeming shores of Sri Lanka and eastern India.

In the end, Dr. Titov could not get ahead of that wave with his numbers. He could not help avert the wreckage and death. But alone in his office, following his computer model of the real tsunami, he began to understand, as few others in the world did at that moment, that this was no local disaster.

With an eerie time lag, his data would reveal the dimensions of the catastrophe that was unfolding across eight brutal hours on Sunday, one that stole tens of thousands of lives and remade the coasts of the Asian subcontinent.

For those on the shores of the affected countries, the reckoning with the tsunami's power came all but out of the blue, and cost them their lives. It began near a corner of the island of Sumatra, and ended 3,000 miles away on the East African shore.

For the scientists in Hawaii, at the planet's main tsunami center, who managed to send out one of the rare formal warnings, there was intense frustration. They had useful information; they were trained to get word out; but they were stymied by limitations, including a lack of telephone numbers for counterparts in other countries.

For Colleen McGinn, a disaster relief worker in Melbourne, Australia, the developing crisis would send her off on an aid mission that she could not have comprehended and that United Nations officials have projected to be the greatest relief effort ever mounted.

For others like Phil Cummins, an Australian seismologist, what was happening made all too much sense. He had grasped the dangers a year earlier, and in 2004 had delivered a Powerpoint presentation to tsunami experts in Japan and Hawaii.

"It really seems strange now to see the title," Dr. Cummins recalled yesterday. "Tsunami in the Indian Ocean - Why should we care?"

Hawaii: Helpless Warners

He wore two beepers, in case one failed. Both chirped.

It was a languorous Christmas afternoon, with his girlfriend away and nothing to do, and Barry Hirshorn, 48, was asleep. As a geophysicist, he was used to having his rest interrupted. Almost daily, earthquakes announced themselves somewhere, usually modest nuisances, and off went his pagers.

It was just after 3 p.m. in Honolulu, nearly halfway around the globe from where the earth was trembling. Mr. Hirshorn worked at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, a stubby cinderblock structure set in a weedy plain in Ewa Beach. He was one of five staff scientists entrusted with the big task of alerting Pacific countries and the United States military to deadly tsunamis.

"I knew it wasn't tiny," he said. "Probably over a 6." The messages on his beepers indicated alerts from two far-apart seismic monitoring stations, meaning the quake had power.

Shrugging into a shirt, he hopped onto his "duty bike," and pedaled the several hundred yards to the center, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Stuart Weinstein, 43, was already at a terminal in the windowless operations room, staring at the thick blue seismic lines that signaled an "event." "This is a big earthquake," he recalled thinking. "Maybe a 7."

Dr. Weinstein began pinpointing the location. Sliding into the seat beside him, Mr. Hirshorn waited to calculate the magnitude. Within minutes, they concluded it was a quake of 8.0 magnitude.

More data arrived, and they reworked their calculations. But they stayed with 8.0.

At 3:14 p.m., 15 minutes after the earthquake struck, they issued a routine bulletin announcing an event off Sumatra with a magnitude of 8.0. It added, "There is no tsunami warning or watch in effect." This referred to the Pacific.

The bulletin alerted perhaps 26 countries, including Indonesia and Thailand, though it did not go to other coastal areas of the Indian Ocean, for they were not part of any warning system.

Next, the men tackled a slower but more precise means to measure an earthquake, using waves that pierce the earth's mantle rather than simply the initial waves. They got an 8.5, a marked difference in possible threat. "Uh oh," Dr. Weinstein said. Read More....
The New York Times > International > International Special > Gauging Disaster: How Scientists and Victims Watched Helplessly

From All Corners, a Rush to Get Clean Drinking Water to Survivors in Stricken Areas

The important of safe drinking water cannot be felt till situation like these. While in America, although we are not affected by these, but the heart pains is felt.

Maintening the safety of Drinking water cannot be overlook even during the normal days of life.

From All Corners, a Rush to Get Clean Drinking Water to Survivors in Stricken Areas

Tanker trucks, bottled water, pumps, disinfecting kits and clean jugs are being rushed to regions struck by the tsunami in hopes of providing what survivors most urgently need: safe drinking water.

Severe shortages exist in all the affected regions, but reports from health officials suggest that the situation may be the most dire in Indonesia and the Maldives.

"Nobody was prepared for a disaster of this magnitude," said Vanessa Tobin, chief of water and sanitation for Unicef.

She said millions of water-purification tablets were being sent to the affected countries.

Unicef already had large storage tanks for water in India and has moved some of them to affected areas in the south and east, said a Unicef spokesman, Alfred Ironside. The tanks can be set up in communities and then refilled by tanker trucks, he said. Families are then given clean jerry cans to carry their own supplies.

"In the early days, a family may have to walk a mile or two inland to where water systems were not affected by flood waters," Mr. Ironside said. "The jerry cans are good for that." But he added that the system was in place mainly in India and in Sri Lanka, not in Indonesia, the scene of much of the worst devastation.

Conditions vary, he said. In parts of Indonesia, for instance, the floodwaters surged as far as two miles inland. In Sri Lanka, the waves came inland between a few hundred yards and half a mile or so.

"Not much further inland, everything is functioning," he said. That means clean water is available nearby, but must be transported to the people who need it.

"A lot of homegrown solutions are happening," Mr. Ironside said. "Private donors of all kinds are driving in with bottled water, especially in Sri Lanka and India."

A team from an independent disaster-aid group, Medair, is expected to arrive today in the Ampara district in eastern Sri Lanka, across the island from the capital city, Colombo, said Robert Schofield, a spokesman for the group. The team was bringing medical supplies, chemicals for water purification, a doctor and a water and sanitation engineer.

"Around Ampara is one of the worst-affected areas," Mr. Schofield said in a telephone interview from the group's headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland. He added that 177,000 people, displaced by destruction along the coast, had fled about 12 miles inland and set up camps around Ampara, because it is the largest town in the vicinity. Medair reports that 120 camps have cropped up; the World Health Organization estimates the number at 500.

"We hope also to be able to chlorinate wells that have been contaminated," Mr. Schofield said.

One problem in Sri Lanka is that many wells - 1,000, according to Unicef - have been contaminated by salt water, which must be pumped out to let fresh water in.

"We're bringing in pumps to clean out the wells," Mr. Ironside said. He said that the government in Sri Lanka had requested several dozen pumps and that Unicef was shipping the dozen or so it already had on hand.

Mr. Schofield said Medair hoped to drill new wells, with a new technique that uses tubing and a high-pressure jet of water as the drill bit, to penetrate about 20 feet into the earth to find clean water. The technique works only in soft or sandy soil, not rock, and has worked well in Madagascar and Darfur.

"We hope we can hit a part of the water table that hasn't been affected by salt water," he said.

Contaminated water or sea water can be used for the drilling, and the same tubing that pumped it in can then be used to pump out the clean water.

"It's a simple technology," Mr. Schofield said. "It requires just simple tubes and a generator."

Portable desalting machines may also be used where salt water has contaminated wells, Mr. Ironside said. The machines are small enough to fit in the cargo holds of an airplane and to be transported by truck. The Maldives may need them most, he said.

"I think they have the most difficulty with fresh water sources to begin with," Mr. Ironside said. "They're small islands, in these atolls, and the wells are not so replenishable if they get salt water in them.

"The information is still somewhat anecdotal, but it appears that on 17 or 18 islands in the Maldives, there is literally no water at all. They are having to bring it in by ship." Read More...
The New York Times > International > International Special > From All Corners, a Rush to Get Clean Drinking Water to Survivors in Stricken Areas

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Health: Water Is Key to Averting Epidemics Along Coasts

Witnessing the after effects of Tsunami. People should be more comprehensive to the importance of Water & health. We are fortunate that we are not affected.

But this incident should call for the review of the forecast of the pre-warning & the supply of safe drinking water after the incident as well.

Water Is Key to Averting Epidemics Along Coasts

Tens of thousands of tsunami survivors are at risk from diseases spread by dirty water, mosquitoes and crowding, and the best medicine is large quantities of clean water, officials of the World Health Organization said yesterday.

While no epidemics have been confirmed in the vast coastal areas devastated by the tsunamis on Sunday, the officials said they were most worried about diarrheal diseases - cholera, typhoid fever and shigellosis - as well as liver diseases like hepatitis A and E. Those diseases are caused by bacteria or viruses in contaminated drinking water or food, in sewage and among people who lack clean water to wash their hands.

Health organizations like the W.H.O. and Unicef recommend that each person be given about five gallons of clean water a day. Dr. David Nabarro, the director of crisis operations for the W.H.O., said in a telephone interview from its headquarters in Geneva that water shortages had already occurred in the Maldives and Sri Lanka, and that tanker trucks would be needed to provide clean water.

In addition, water-purifying tablets are being rushed into the affected countries, along with medicines to treat the dehydration that can result from diarrhea.

Another hazard to drinking water is contamination of wells by salt water from the tsunamis. Martin Dawes, a regional spokesman for Unicef in Colombo, Sri Lanka, estimated that 1,000 drinking-water wells in the country's hard-hit eastern region had been contaminated and would have to be pumped out.

"At the moment," he said, "the water people don't have the right kind of pumps to rescue the wells." He added that his agency was seeking pumps or money to buy them.

Mr. Dawes said Unicef had also bought about 20 million gallons of drinking water in 1,500-gallon barrels, enough for 100,000 people, and was expecting them to be delivered to the affected areas on Thursday.

Dr. Nabarro also said there had been unconfirmed reports of measles in Sri Lanka. "That does give me cause for concern, because we would have expected a pretty high level of coverage by immunization in Sri Lanka," he said. The disease is caused by a virus that spreads through the air when patients cough, particularly in overcrowded conditions like shelters set up for people whose homes were destroyed.

Although influenza can also spread rapidly in such conditions, the areas hit by the tsunamis have not reported flu outbreaks, and are unlikely to experience them, officials said.

Among the diarrheal diseases, cholera, typhoid and shigellosis are caused by bacteria. In cholera, the bacterium produces a toxin that causes severe fluid loss and can kill quickly, and the key to treating it is to replace fluids. Typhoid can also be fatal and requires antibiotic treatment. Shigellosis causes severe dysentery but usually goes away in about a week.

Dr. Nabarro said relief workers would provide antibiotics to treat these infections, but he said the health organization recommended against using the drugs prophylactically, to prevent illness. Widespread use of the drugs in healthy people would contribute to the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Read More....
The New York Times > International > International Special > Health: Water Is Key to Averting Epidemics Along Coasts

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Three Michigan dairy farms dump waste in water, EPA says

I am sure if one see the problem of contaminations, one must understand that is not due to the over night, it is always due to the acunulated effect for generation.

The escalations of pollutions & contaminations on earth is mainly due to the industrializations. As well as the demand for the beef ..consumptions.

All waste that contaminate our environment must be check constantly. Especially for the drinking water standard must be maintain at high standard for our safety & great health.

Three Michigan dairy farms dump waste in water, EPA says
December 28, 2004, 12:02 AM

ELKTON, Mich. (AP) -- Three Michigan dairy farms, two in Huron County near the tip of the Thumb, have been cited by the Environmental Protection Agency on accusations of violating federal water quality laws by dumping animal waste in waterways.

The EPA says it found the violations during November inspections.

Zwemmer Dairy, with 2,400 cattle in Elkton, and TeVoortwis Dairy, with 1,250 cattle in Bad Axe, were cited in Huron County, EPA spokeswoman Phillippa Cannon told the Huron Daily Tribune of Bad Axe for a story Monday.

"The dairy operations, both classified as concentrated animal feeding operations, have to correct violations of the Clean Water Act by improving their facilities and management practices," Cannon said. "We have the option to fine them, but the first priority is to just get them into compliance, and it appears that both farms are doing so."

Zwemmer Dairy owner Jake Zwemmer has made some improvements since the inspection. He said it would cost about $10,000 to contain pollutants at his farm and keep them from entering the Pinnebog River. The newspaper said it was unable to reach TeVoortwis Dairy for comment.

The EPA said it also cited a farm in St. Louis in Gratiot County in the central LOwer Peninsula, as well as 13 farms in Indiana and Ohio in order to prevent them from allowing discharge from their farms into streams and creeks.

All 16 farms cited by the EPA were built by Vreba-Hoff Dairy Development of Wauseon, Ohio.

Ann Woiwode, director of the Sierra Club in Michigan, has said that concentrated animal feeding operations pose a serious threat to human health and the environment.

According to the official documents from the EPA, the citations report that both the TeVoortwis and Zwemmer dairy farms "have discharged or have the potential to discharge pollutants to ditches that drain to the Pinnebog River, which empties into Lake Huron."

"Manure and silage leachate are problems because they contain bacteria and nutrients that can lead to excessive algae growth, kill fish and cause infectious diseases in people," Cannon said. Read More....
Three Michigan dairy farms dump waste in water, EPA says

Boil your water, supplier advises

My late mom teach us that water must be boil before you drink. Then later, I have research into the effect of "Chi" & our body. It is said that the inner temperature of our body is normally higher than external.

Just like the earth surface is alway cooler than the centre of the inner earth. So, you see if the temperature of inner temperature is having conflict with the cold water that one consumed, then that would cause illness by the "Cold & Hot Chi".

In my opinion, the best thing to do to prevent illness is to boil water before drink & only drink warm water.

Boil your water, supplier advises
'Precaution' affects about 30,000 Salinas customers

By ZACHARY STAHL The Salinas Californian


The California Water Service Co. warns all customers in the area north of West Market Street, south of Augusta Drive (by the Salinas Golf and Country Club), and west of Hemingway Drive (by Everett Alvarez High School) to disinfect any tap water used for drinking or cooking until water quality tests are completed on Wednesday.


# Bring tap water to a rolling boil for at least one minute.

# Residents who don't have power available to boil water should use fresh liquid household bleach (unscented). Add 8 drops (or / teaspoon) of bleach per gallon of clear water, or 16 drops (Þ teaspoon) per gallon of cloudy water, mix thoroughly, and allow to stand for 30 minutes before using. A chlorine-like taste and odor will result from this procedure, and is an indication that adequate disinfection has taken place.

# Water purification tablets may also be used by following the manufacturer's instructions.

# Customers who choose to buy bottled water during the period the advisory is in force may save their receipts and will be reimbursed by California Water Service Co.

# INFORMATION: 757-3644 or visit for updates.

California Water Service Co. on Monday advised all customers in central and north Salinas to boil their water before use until water quality tests are completed Wednesday.

The order affects approximately 30,000 customers in the area north of West Market Street, south of Augusta Drive (by the Salinas Golf and Country Club) and west of Hemingway Drive (by Everett Alvarez High School).

Morning power outages in Salinas caused the water system's pressure to drop, and the company won't know whether water quality was affected until tests are completed.

Results are expected to be available by Wednesday, the company said.

Until the results are in, the company recommends that all tap water used for drinking or cooking be brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute before use or purified with chlorine bleach.

"It's just precautionary," Mike Jones, district manager for California Water Service said of the order.

Tap water is still safe for showering and other non-consumption purposes, Jones said.

He said restaurants and doctors' offices were given formal notification of the "boil water order," while households were informed through the media.

Outback Steakhouse at 1401 N. Davis Road boiled all water used in cooking and bought ice to use in beverages, said manager Carlos Morlet.

"I basically (had) to buy water," Morlet said.

California Water Service will reimburse customers for bottled water purchases during the advisory if they keep their receipts.

Ken Koontz, general manager of Hometown Buffet at 840 Northridge Shopping Center, said his restaurant stopped serving water and fountain soda Monday afternoon as a precaution.

"Basically, all we have is milk and coffee," Koontz said. Read More...
Boil your water, supplier advises - Local News -

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Melatonin - Study Casts Doubt On Its Effectiveness

My late Mom is fortunate to lear from her dad about the use of herbs for great health. I begin to research into the self help with herbs for great health when I am 32.

I have post my comments on the subject matter in my other sites

in respect of the food & drinks that do & don't.

here, I would like to share that the best thing to do is during 8 glass of Water a day, drink filtered water - warm not cold water to prevent the conflict of "Chi"

An hour before goes to bed you should stop drinking too much water.

Study Casts Doubt On Its Effectiveness
Remember back in the late 1990s, all the publicity about this new "wonder drug" called melatonin? It all started with the book "The Melatonin Miracle" by William Regelson, MD, and Walter Pierpaoli, MD.

At that time the claims were for everything from age reduction to increasing sexual prowess. It was said to be a sure cure for anything sleep related.

The truth? first, melatonin isn't a drug at all. It's a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pineal gland, a gland situated somewhere near the center of the brain. It does, to some extent, control our sleep patterns and there is a theory that it is related to anti-aging. Maybe because we age less if we're getting the proper rest. Sexual prowess? Very doubtful, unless it prevents us from dropping off to sleep at the wrong moment.

Melatonin can be purchased as a food supplement, and there is some evidence that it does help with certain sleep problems. However, according to a study test conducted by a University of Alberta research group, melatonin may not be as effective as once thought.

It may help people with primary sleep problems fall asleep a bit easier. This would include some types of insomnia. However, for secondary sleep disorders - those linked to underlying mental problems including psychoses, dementia, Parkinson's disease, etc., melatonin is of little or no help. Melatonin seemed to have little effect on those suffering from jet lag or on shift workers who had trouble sleeping.

Dr. Terry Klassen, who headed up the research group, said that further study would be needed to determine the effectiveness and safety of melatonin. Little is known about long serm side effects. However, he suggested, it might be more worthwhile to keep looking for other alternatives to treat sleep disorders. Read More...
Melatonin - Printer Friendly

Monday, December 27, 2004

Canadian mining company finds way to reduce arsenic waste

Although the news is about contamination of Arsenic in Canada. I still like to share these with all that concern. California especially the north have been populated with goldmines.

perhaps the cities water district should constanly monitoring those ex-site on the level of contamination, & make sure that it is safe for the resident's on their drinking water on arsenic & other contaminations.

Canadian mining company finds way to reduce arsenic waste
Last Updated Fri, 24 Dec 2004 13:05:07 EST

RED LAKE, ONT. - A Canadian mining company has developed a simple technique to prevent poisonous arsenic waste produced by gold mining from entering drinking water.

To produce gold, rock must be mined and chemically refined, a process that often leaves a toxic stew full of arsenic in tailing ponds.
Each bar of gold boullion is worth about $2.5 million US

The arsenic can devastate virtually everything living in waterways near the mines and contaminate the source of drinking water.

Now Canadian mining company Goldcorp has pioneered a new way to handle and reduce the arsenic in tailing ponds.

The simple process takes places in a bio-reactor facility at Red Lake, about 150 kilometres from Kenora in northern Ontario.

Millions of bacteria feed on molasses, become energized, and give off a gas which binds to the arsenic in the contaminated water. The arsenic then separates out.

"It was just simply an idea," said Randy Wepruk, an environmental manager at Goldcorp. "Taking the idea out of the lab and putting it into an industrial-size application ... that was the challenge."
Randy Wepruk

The process doesn't solve the larger arsenic problem in mining since it doesn't eliminate arsenic altogether. Still, it is a step in the right direction, according to one environmentalist.

"There's a real problem with arsenic in the water effluents," said Joan Kuyek of Mining Watch Canada. "So we can treat small amounts of those and probably more in the future." Read More...
CBC News - CBC News: Canadian mining company finds way to reduce arsenic waste

Polluted water, rotting bodies raise health fears

I was raised in Asia. I have experience those malaria & cholera in the late 50's & the 60's. I also witness many kids at my age have developed skin problem after that.

Then the health authority always use the DDT to spray on the drain & rivers, there is not any water filter system available then. Hence theose baby bloomers like me are the 1st line of experiencing the Drinking Water pollutions.

I am glad that, today there is so many organizations can be available to help in view of recent event. I am sure such kind of collabrations is a significant contributions to the suffering people.

Polluted water, rotting bodies raise health fears

The UN warned of epidemics within days unless health systems in southern Asia can cope after more than 14 000 people were killed and hundreds of thousands left homeless by a tsunami.

"This may be the worst national disaster in recent history because it is affecting so many heavily populated coastal areas ... so many vulnerable communities," the UN's Emergency Relief Co-ordinator Jan Egeland said.

"The longer term effects may be as devastating as the tsunami itself ... Many more people are now affected by polluted drinking water. We could have epidemics within a few days unless we get health systems up and running."

Experts said the top five issues to be addressed were water, sanitation, food, shelter and health.

"We've had reports already from the south of India of bodies rotting where they have fallen and that will immediately affect the water supply especially for the most impoverished people," said Christian Aid emergency officer Dominic Nutt.

Some affected areas have had communications cut. Others are so remote it is impossible to know the extent of the damage.

The Geneva-based International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said it was seeking an immediate $6.5 million for emergency aid funding.

"This is a preliminary appeal. It will be revised after exact needs are evaluated," said Simon Missiri, head of the federation's Asia Pacific department.

Earlier, the federation released $870 000 from its disaster relief emergency fund to get assistance moving to the region. read More...
Cape Argus - Polluted water, rotting bodies raise health fears

Diet Soda Could Soon Outsell Regular

During my childhood, I am always looking forward to season's holidays, especially New Year days. Where there would be Soda, Cola..serve to the friends. Off course we would drinks as well.

then my late mom always, stop us from drinking these bottled drinks. she said these high sugar or artificial sugar contents & gassy drinks is not good for one health.

Throughout years of research & now at 50, I found that her advise is out of love for her kids. You see there are so many Diabetics, pains...for the baby bloomer & X generations today. I urge you to Drink more filtered water instead for your great health.

Diet Soda Could Soon Outsell Regular
Tue Dec 21,10:40 PM ET
By J.M. HIRSCH, Associated Press Writer

Still think the cola wars are about Coke vs. Pepsi? These days the carbonated beverage battleground is diet vs. regular, and it's looking increasingly as though the lightweight could flatten its full-calorie cousin.

Though the highly competitive $64 billion soft drink industry still is dominated by regular soda, sales of diet are surging and some industry analysts say low-cal eventually could take the lead.

That's because while regular soda sales have sagged, diet's share of the market has grown steadily since the mid-1990s. Bottled water, tea, sports and fruits drinks also are up, further siphoning regular soda sales.

In an obese nation obsessed with calories and carbs, it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that people are switching to diet, and beverage companies are rushing to give them more choices.

In many ways the soft drink industry is better prepared than most others to capitalize on America's perpetual diet.

"There's no such thing as a no-calorie hamburger. There's no such thing as a no-calorie doughnut," said John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest. "But the soft drink industry already has these huge powerful brands" of diet drinks.

Last year, regular soda accounted for nearly 73 percent of sales, but that was down nearly 2 percent from the year before, Sicher said. Meanwhile, diet was up more than 6 percent from 2002.

Sicher thinks that trend will continue and even accelerate enough that in a decade diet could outsell regular. He also thinks diet sales will spur overall growth in the soda industry, which slumped at less than 1 percent last year.

In fact, John Craven, editor of online beverage industry newsletter, says soft drink consumption was down nearly 3 percent last year. If not for the growth in diet soda, that would have been closer to 10 percent.

Coca-Cola Co. spokesman Scott Williamson said Sicher makes sense assuming sales trends continue as they have. And last week Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., the world's largest bottler, told analysts that the diet category is one of the company's best chances for growth.

So what's behind diet's strong performance?

Calorie consciousness is a huge — and obvious — part of it. Prompted by a growing awareness of their growing waistlines, more people want low- and no-calorie soft drinks, said Sicher, who has followed the industry for 10 years.

That awareness also extends to retailers, who hope to attract dieters' business by giving more — and more prominent — space to low-cal beverages, said Dan Dillon, vice president of marketing for Coke's diet sodas.

Innovation has helped, too. Soda companies are churning out a stunning variety of new diet flavors. PepsiCo Inc. alone offers nearly a dozen low-calorie sodas, which account for more than a quarter of the company's business.

New sweeteners also have broadened the appeal — and definition — of diet sodas. Coke and Pepsi now offer soft drinks with a blend of sugar and no-calorie sweetener, claiming the taste is similar to regular but with half the calories.

Growth and greater appeal or not, not everyone is convinced diets will surpass regular. Harry Balzer of consumer research firm NPD Group says the numbers simply don't support that sort of abrupt turnaround.

Craven was uncertain, but noted that, "At the end of the day, the recession (of regular soda) can only go so far."

But even if the growth of diet soda doesn't go as far as Sicher predicts, at the moment it's the only segment of the soda industry that is growing, and that has forced companies to rethink how they handle it.

At Coke, Dillon says it has meant treating the diet varieties as separate entities. Gone is the model of diet beverages as knockoffs of regular flavors. Care for a Diet Coke with Lime? That's fine, but don't look for a regular version.

And consumers can expect plenty of new choices in the coming year, including the arrival of more reduced-calorie sugar-sweetener blend beverages, such as Coke's C2 and Pepsi Edge, Craven said.

For nutritionists, who continue to issue dire warnings about the obesity epidemic, a diet soda surge is good news. Though the soda industry discounts the link, a growing body of studies suggests soft drinks promote weight gain.

Last year, Americans drank 837 servings of soda, up from 645 in 1985, Sicher said. And those drinks account for 7 percent of their daily calories, said Barry Popkin, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What difference can diet make? Terrill Bravender, director of adolescent medicine at Duke University Medical Center, says a person who drinks two regular sodas a day could lose about a pound of fat in two weeks just by switching to diet.

The shift to diet is being felt across the industry, including by the many small regional soda companies. But even those that don't offer diet varieties expect to benefit from the segment's growth. Read More....
Yahoo! News - Diet Soda Could Soon Outsell Regular

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Holidays spark heartburn and heart attacks

The main cause of Heart Burn & heart attacks is due to one is not mindful of the Food & Drinks that we take.

From the day we are born, we are actually living toward death, those days that we stay in the mother womb, the waters & nutrient are filtered by the mother. therefore, the water & nutrients are the most pure one.

In both &, I have cover the relationship between the stomach & heart on these subject.

My advise is that don't drink high sugar contain drinks & high sodium soup as well as Alcohols & Wine...

Here, I would like to call upon you to drink more filtered water for your great health.

Holidays spark heartburn and heart attacks
The Associated Press
For the tens of millions of heartburn sufferers, navigating the gluttonous dinner table during the holiday season can be especially tricky.

Heartburn tends to occur more frequently during the holidays because people feast more than they normally would. And the types of food they eat are decked with more calories and fat, which can slow digestion.

Take eggnog, the rich, creamy, liquor-laced drink that is often a staple at every family gathering and office party. Couple it with well-marbled meats, side dishes drizzling with rich sauces and lots of alcohol and you have the recipe for heartburn.

That doesn't mean you should swear off your favorite foods on Christmas Eve.

"You can make trade-offs that let you have the best of both worlds," said Pat Baird, a registered dietitian in Greenwich, Conn.

If you know ahead of time the party you're attending will feature heartburn-triggering foods, snack beforehand and graze at the party, but avoid the fat platters. If there is a dessert buffet, choose a sliver of something sweet instead of trying them all.

Alcohol tends to worsen heartburn, so if you must drink, think about diluting your wine or beer with water or club soda, Baird said.

More than 60 million American adults suffer from heartburn at least once a month. An irritating chest pain that starts at the breastbone and charges up the throat, heartburn can cause people to accidentally inhale regurgitated stomach acid.

Severe heartburn symptoms are sometimes confused with heart attacks, another holiday risk.

A study published in the journal Circulation earlier this month found that heart attacks and heart disease-related deaths tend to peak on Christmas, the day after, and New Year's Day. Researchers at the University of California at San Diego attributed the increase of cardiac deaths to people delaying medical treatment during the holidays.

People should make sure they know the difference between heartburn and heart attack symptoms and not automatically assume their chest pain is from overindulgence from food, said Dr. David Peura, chairman of the National Heartburn Alliance, who was not connected with the study.

Heartburn usually occurs after a meal. A heart attack is often activity-related. But if patients are unsure and their chest pain lasts for more than a few minutes, they should seek immediate medical attention.

The most common heartburn treatments are over-the-counter and prescription heartburn drugs. Pharmacies report a spike in the number of customers buying acid-blocking medications around the holidays, according to the National Community Pharmacists Association, which represents 25,000 independent pharmacies.

Brian Pinga, a 22-year-old student at the University of Buffalo, has been suffering frequent heartburn for two years. His normal diet is "bland" — meaning no spicy foods and little alcohol, coffee or chocolate.

But Pinga admits it is tough staying true to his diet over the holidays when he is surrounded by family and friends indulging in all sorts of sinful foods. Last New Year's Eve, Pinga got carried away, drank too much and felt a "stabbing" feeling in his chest from heartburn.

"What people do during the holidays is a perfect set-up to provoking heartburn," said Dr. Mel Wilcox, a spokesman for the American Gastroenterological Association. Read More... - Holidays spark heartburn and heart attacks

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