THE PHYSICIAN AND SPORTSMEDICINE - VOL 25 - NO. 8 - AUGUST 97
- America's 28 major league baseball parks have a good batting average at offering healthful foods alongside stadium classics such as hot dogs and pizza, according to a survey by the American Dietetic Association (ADA) in Chicago. A sampling of low-fat snacks found at parks included fresh fruit, salads, grilled or baked chicken sandwiches, garden or veggie burgers, frozen yogurt, Italian ice, and pretzels. The ADA advises baseball fans to take a walk around the park to scope out healthy choices. If only a Polish sausage or buttery popcorn can satisfy a ballpark craving, the ADA suggests enjoying the treat, then balancing the rest of the day's meals with fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods.
- Licking golf balls clean can have dangerous health effects, according to a report in the May 1997 issue of Gut. The authors describe the case of a patient in Ireland who developed hepatitis after playing golf every day and licking golf balls clean to increase their speed. His physicians determined that he probably reacted to 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, a weed killer in use at the patient's golf course. The patient's liver function test returned to normal and he now carries a damp cloth to wipe off his golf balls.
- The number of positive drug tests declined in the 1995-96 college sports season after the all-time high recorded for the 1994-95 season, according to a report in the June 9 issue of The NCAA News. The record high percentage of positives was 1.5% in 1994-95; the figure dropped to 1.2% in 1995-96. Most positive tests involved anabolic steroids or masking agents. Student-athletes who fail the tests are ineligible for at least 1 year after testing positive.
- Rule changes designed to make high school track and field events safer were recently approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations in Kansas City, Missouri. They include padding or removing all hard surfaces behind and to the sides of the high jump landing pad and allowing cross-country runners to consume liquid during competition. Outdoor track and field is the second most popular sport among boys and girls, according to a federation survey; cross-country rates fifth among girls and sixth among boys.
- Nine white-water rafters developed leptospirosis after floating down flooded rivers in Costa Rica in September 1996, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in the June 27 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Six of the 9 patients were treated with antibiotics; 2 were hospitalized. All recovered. Leptospira organisms, endemic to the tropics, are excreted in the urine of wild and domestic animals, and flooding facilitates their spread to humans. Common symptoms include fever, chills, headache, myalgia, nausea, diarrhea, and conjunctivitis. The most reliable diagnostic test for diagnosing leptospirosis is the microscopic agglutination test. It is available from the CDC. The CDC cautions people who participate in recreational water activities in areas where leptospirosis is endemic to be aware of flood conditions, wear protective clothing (eg, wet suits, gloves, rain gear), and minimize contact with contaminated water.
- The US Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington, DC, is recalling certain lacrosse stick handles that reportedly crack or break and contribute to lacerations to the neck, arms, and hands. The recall involves only older model Titanium Plus lacrosse handles that were sold through lacrosse catalogs, specialty stores, and lacrosse camps between January 1994 and July 1996. The manufacturer is STX, Inc, of Baltimore. People who own the recalled models should call STX toll-free at (800) 848-2152.
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