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May 2012

Below, find some possible story ideas for media.

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May 2012

3 Tips for Healthier Grilling

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and that means it’s grilling season.

Denise Cole, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, has several recommendations for healthier grilling options.

  • Swap out the beef for fish – salmon burgers, swordfish or tuna.
  • Try other kinds of burgers – all-white turkey burgers, black bean burgers or veggie burgers. If you’re looking for texture, a mushroom burger will most resemble a beef burger to your taste buds.
  • Before buying hot dogs check the label. Look for an all-beef hot dog or turkey dog that is low in saturated fat.
  • Grill fruit for side dishes or to make fruit kabobs; wrap veggies in foil and create a grilled vegetable medley.

For an interview with Denise Cole, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

Race Day Running Tips

When the day finally comes for the race you’ve been preparing weeks or months for, remember to remain consistent.

Dr. Laura Goldberg, a sports health expert at Cleveland Clinic, says that includes maintaining your diet in the days and hours before the race.

“Try to stick with some of the foods that you’ve had before,” says Dr. Goldberg. “Not super-fatty foods that are going to sit in your stomach or shellfish that could more easily upset your stomach.”

Dr. Goldberg also advises runners not to drink too much water on race day, which can dilute your body.

Having a well-rounded diet weeks prior to the race and drinking the correct amount of water will benefit you and your body during training and during the big race.

For an interview with Dr. Goldberg, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

When to Talk to the Pediatrician about Your Child’s Weight

Are you paying close attention to your child’s weight?

Dr. Leslie Heinberg, a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Bariatric and Metabolic Institute, says if you’re unsure if your child is overweight, talk to your pediatrician.

“Moms just can’t eyeball their kids, look at them and know if they are average or if they are overweight and they really need to be having those kinds of conversations with their pediatrician,” says Dr. Heinberg.


All parents should be looking at their child’s growth chart, which is kept by their pediatrician. If your child’s weight is consistently high, it should be discussed.

“Clearly, when you’re thinking about toddlers, we should never be thinking about putting them on a diet,” says Dr. Heinberg. “We should never think about helping them lose weight, but we may want to help them slow down the weight gain over time, so that they can grow into their weight a bit better.”

For an interview with Dr. Heinberg, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

Battery-Related ER Visits on the Rise

A new report finds the number of emergency room visits for button battery ingestions has doubled over the past 20 years.

“Button batteries are tiny; they look like a great toy, and they look fun to swallow,” said Dr. Ellen Rome of Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. “It turns out they burn holes in your esophagus or in your intestines and they can be really, really dangerous or life-threatening.”

Researchers say there were 66,000 battery-related emergency room visits by children under 18 in the United States between 1990 and 2009.

Dr. Rome says parents need to be vigilant and keep car key openers and other gadgets that contain button batteries out of children’s hands.

For an interview with Dr. Rome, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

How to Identify Cancerous Moles

How can you tell the difference between an ordinary mole and one that should be checked by a physician?

Dr. Jennifer Lucas, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic, says remember your ABCs. The following are important signs of moles that could be cancerous. If a mole displays any of the signs listed below, have it checked immediately by a dermatologist:

  • Asymmetry — One half of the mole does not match the other half.
  • Border — The border or edges of the mole are ragged, blurred, or irregular.
  • Color — The color of the mole is not the same throughout or has shades of tan, brown, black, blue, white, or red.

Dr. Lucas says it’s important to understand that even abnormal moles can be harmless.

“We can all have moles that look abnormal or look unusual,” says Dr. Lucas. “It does not mean you have melanoma. But you’re not going to know that unless you come in to (see) someone who has a trained eye.”

For an interview with Dr. Lucas, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

Tips for Making Shots Easier for Kids

Most kids don’t like going to the doctor because of the chance they’re going to need a shot. But there are some things you can do to make vaccinations a little more tolerable.

Try having your child “cough it out,” says Dr. Allison Brindle of Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital. A 2010 study showed coughing once before and during vaccinations helped reduce pain among children ages 4-5 and 11-12.

You can also turn to technology to help you out.

“There’s a better-than-average chance that a parent, or older sibling, or someone in that room has a smart phone or has some piece of technology that has video streaming, music streaming, photo streaming, and sure use what’s available to you,” says Dr. Brindle. “And if that helps distract the child during the vaccine, I think it’s fine to try it.”

For an interview with Dr. Brindle, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

3 Ways to Get the Most from Your Juice

Juicing fruits and vegetables is becoming a popular way for people to get their daily nutrients. While juicing fruits and vegetables can be tasty and fun, it's not a replacement for eating whole fruits and vegetables, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, a Cleveland Clinic registered dietitian.

Juice retains the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals of whole fruits and vegetables, but loses much of the fiber.

To get the most out of juicing, keep these tips in mind:

  • Mix fruits and vegetables in your juice. This will cut down on the sugar content of the fruit.
  • Try to keep as much of the pulp in the finished product as possible. This increases the fiber content of the juice. If your juicer removes all the skin and pulp from your finished juice, save it and add to muffins or mix in oatmeal.
  • Use juicing as an opportunity to consume green vegetables. Mix pears, grapes, kale and spinach together into a juice. The sweetness of the pears and grapes is all you'll taste – and you'll get the nutritional benefits of kale and spinach! This is especially good for kids who normally won't eat green vegetables.

For an interview with Kristin Kirkpartrick, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

What You Should Know about Melanoma

Summertime is around the corner, and that means more time in the sun for activities like swimming, biking and having fun at the playground.

It’s also important to take time to protect yourself against from the sun. Studies have shown that sun exposure is responsible for the development of nearly two-thirds of all melanomas. Melanoma causes most skin cancer-related deaths, but it’s often curable if detected early.

“It’s the things that we do to ourselves – mostly sun exposure and tanning beds – that increase our risk of melanoma and other skin cancers, so it’s something you really can protect yourself from,” says Dr. Jennifer Lucas, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic.

It’s estimated that 80 percent of a person’s lifetime sun damage occurs before age 18.

Dr. Lucas says sunburn is typically the result of applying less than 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.

For an interview with Dr. Lucas, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

Healthier Yogurts – Know How to Spot Them?

Not all yogurts are created equal. Tara Harwood, a registered dietitian at Cleveland Clinic, gives the following tips for making the healthiest yogurt choice:

  • Choose plain yogurts or those that are low in sugar (some contain as much as 30 grams of sugar).
  • Choose Greek yogurts, which are typically lower in sugar and higher in protein.
  • Choose a low-fat yogurt and mix it with granola and fresh fruit.
  • Avoid yogurts with high fructose corn syrup near the top of the ingredients list – it’s just added sugar.

For an interview with Tara Harwood, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

Does Your Pantry Need a Makeover?

Is your pantry is full of refined grains? Not sure? Take a look at your bread labels. If they lack a percentage of 100 or the word "whole,” you may be eating white bread in disguise. Refined grains have had the germ and bran layers removed, taking with it 25 percent of the protein, almost all of the dietary fiber, and a number of vitamins and minerals.

Kristin Kirkpatrick, a Cleveland Clinic registered dietitian, says getting the refined grains out of your pantry and the 100 percent whole grain high fiber ones in can make a huge difference.

High-fiber foods will keep you fuller longer which means fewer calories and greater weight loss. As an added benefit, whole grains will also help reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke and colon cancer.

For an interview with Kristin Kirkpartrick, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

5 Tips for Getting a Bike Helmet on Your Child

“Yes, you must wear your helmet!” How many times have you had to tell your child that as she hops on her bike?

Dr. Allison Brindle, of Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital, says keep it up. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 51,000 people were injured in 2010 because of failure to wear a helmet while riding a bike. May 7 kicks off Bike Helmet Safety Awareness Week and Dr. Brindle has these bike helmet tips to share:

  • The helmet should sit low on the forehead, resting just above the eyebrows. Once on your child’s head, make sure the protective inside pads are touching the front, back, sides and top of your child’s head.
  • You don’t want the helmet to be too loose or too snug, so once the helmet is in place on your child’s head and the straps are fastened snuggly under her chin, move the helmet around to ensure it isn’t sliding. Try to slip a finger between your child’s head and the helmet to make sure it’s not too tight.
  • When securing the strap below the chin, the side straps should meet just below the ear. Test your child to see if vision or hearing is impaired.
  • Make sure the helmet is certified. On the inside of the helmet, look for CSA, ASTM, SPSC or SNELL labels.
  • It’s not always easy to persuade your child to wear a helmet, but when parents model proper safety, it goes a long way in encouraging children to do the same. Remember to wear a helmet while biking, roller skating or skateboarding.

For an interview with Dr. Brindle, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.

May is Stroke Awareness Month

To remember the symptoms of a stroke, Dr. Javier Provencio, a Cleveland Clinic neurologist, says to think of the word “fast.”

“F” stands for face. A drooping face is a stroke symptom.

“A” stands for arm. Stroke victims often experience weakness or a loss of sensation in an arm or leg.

“S” is for speech. A person having a stroke may have trouble speaking.

And “T” stands for time. You should seek medical attention for someone with these symptoms as quickly as possible.

For an interview with Dr. Provencio, please contact Joe Milicia,, 216.636.5873.