Addicted to Fries - the CCPOA Benefit Trust Fund


Addicted to Fries - the CCPOA Benefit Trust Fund
CCPOA Benefit Trust Fund | Lighting The Darkness. Keeping You Covered.
In This Issue
ADDICTED TO FRIES........................... 1
Winter, 2015
Addicted to Fries
Highly processed foods linked to addictive eating
GOLD SHIELD ...................................... 2
ESTATE PLANNING.............................. 2
CHILDREN’S HEALTH.......................... 3
WORLD WIDE WEIRD.......................... 4
BUSTED................................................ 5
A BETTER VIEW................................... 6
DOCTORS GET IT WRONG................... 7
TIDBITS................................................. 8
Maybe it shouldn’t have taken a study to confirm what every body just knew – fast
food is addictive. All it takes is a quick look at the reality TV shows where a six hundred pound person stops at the drive
through window, getting a diet soda with
those chili-cheese fries. Science is now
confirming what has long been suspected: a new University of Michigan study
finds highly processed foods like chocolate, pizza and French fries are among
the most addictive.
Food addiction has become of growing interest to scientists and consumers
alike in the face of what can only be
called an “obesity epidemic”. This is one
of the first studies to examine specifically which foods may be prime culprits. (Hint: the
ones that taste the best!)
Visit the links on our home page.
CCPOA Benefit Trust Fund
Communications Department
2515 Venture Oaks Way, Ste. 200
Sacramento, CA 95833-4235
We present this issue of SearchLight for your
education and enjoyment. We produce this
publication three or four times a year, as the whim
strikes us. If you have any benefit questions,
please call the Trust. Don’t count on your buddy,
because he got his information from some guy in
a van parked outside the wall.
When the substance is food, an over-eating habit may indeed meet the criteria for
substance dependence. Previous studies in animals show that highly processed foods, or
foods with added fat or refined carbs (like white flour and sugar), are capable of triggering addictive-like eating behavior. Despite being highly tasty, it is unknown whether
these types of foods can actually elicit addiction-like responses in humans, nor is it
known which specific foods produce these responses.
Brown rice and salmon, for example, are unprocessed foods, with no added fat or
refined carbohydrates are not associated with addictive-like eating behavior.
Erica Schulte, a U-M psychology doctoral student and lead author of the study finds
the possible “rewarding” properties of these foods may be the trigger in people.
If some foods are associated with addictive eating, this may impact nutrition guidelines, as well as public policy initiatives. Marketing these foods to children is one area
that could be greatly impacted.
“This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which
can trigger this addictive response,” study co-author Nicole Avena, assistant professor
of pharmacology and systems therapeutics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
in New York City, said. “This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment.
It may not be a simple matter of ‘cutting back’ on certain foods, but rather, adopting
the same kinds of methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use.”
Future research to examine whether addictive foods are capable of triggering actual
changes in brain circuitry and behavior like drugs of abuse are next.
Ironically, knowing which exact foods and compounds trigger addictive eating will
basically ensure that food companies add extra helpings of them, while drug companies
will create pills to fight their effects.
In the mean time, cutting back is still your best choice.
Gold Shield
takes it up
a notch
Effective February 2015, the BTF
Board of Trustees voted to increase the
benefit package for all our members in
the Gold Shield Disability plan.
The changes affect the maximum payout for an approved claim filed through
Gold Shield by moving the top percentage paid out to a maximum of 67% (up
from 65%) or $6,000 (which is up from
Remember – Every claim is different.
This benefit increase does not affect current claims, nor does it mean everybody
will get the max payout. It does mean
that any new claim has the potential for a
larger payout under this higher cap.
Now that California is once again hiring new officers, we have seen over 1,000
new cadets graduate in the past year. To
give a hand to our newest members, any
new CO is eligible for a discounted price
on Gold Shield of $32.50/month for the
first year – if they enroll within 90 days
of graduation.
What if you’ve been around a little
longer than that, and still don’t have Gold
Shield? Well… why not? Enroll in Gold
Shield, and once you are approved you
will score one of our handsome signature
duffle bags. They are durable and classy.
Perfect as an overnight bag with lots of
To take advantage of these special
offers, visit our website and click the
“Earn Rewards” link in the lower left of
the home page.
Estate Planning:
Not Just for the Wealthy
Even if you think you don’t have an
“estate” or don’t have enough tangible
assets to need an estate plan, the fact
is that most people should have one.
Regardless of your net worth or how simple your financial affairs may be, having an estate plan in place will
ensure that your wishes
will be followed and that
your survivors will benefit
from you having gotten
your affairs in order.
The elements of an
estate plan will vary
according to each individual’s
financial and family goals, but
may include one or more of the
• A last will and testament
• A living will (also referred to as
medical power of attorney, medical
directive or health-care proxy)
• Durable Power of Attorney
• Revocable or irrevocable trusts
Your specific needs and circumstances,
as well as the laws of your particular
state, will ultimately dictate the final form
your estate plan may take, but in general,
there are several reasons why it’s so important to have such a plan:
An estate plan directs exactly how
your assets will be distributed. In addition
to specifying to whom your financial
assets and possessions will go, a will may
include the naming of a guardian for your
minor children. Making these critical
decisions now — and formalizing them
with a document — ensures that such
decisions will not be made without careful
Without an estate plan, decisions
may be determined by state law and the
courts. A well-prepared plan gives you
the power to make your own choices. In
the absence of an estate plan, the laws of
your state of residence and/or decisions
made by the courts must be followed, regardless of your heirs’ wishes.
You can designate the person who
will be the executor of your estate.
Another important aspect of
an estate plan is that
it lets you choose a
person you trust to be
your executor. An estate
executor is responsible
for protecting your
assets until becoming
legally available for
You will save your surviving family members probate costs. The probate process
that takes place upon your death
may include inventorying all of your
property and having it appraised, paying
any taxes or debts that may be due, and
disbursing any remaining assets according to state law. Without estate planning
documents in place, the fees for courts
and attorneys will come out of your estate
property, and your heirs may have to endure a long, drawn-out probate process.
Again, it’s important to remember that
property laws vary greatly from state
to state, but no matter where you live,
estate planning offers benefits to everyone. Thorough estate planning can often
be complex, so it should be done with the
assistance of a attorney. At U.S. Legal
Services, our Family Defender legal insurance plan includes estate planning services from one of our qualified Network
Attorneys in your area.
Learn more about all of the benefits
of our legal insurance plans for you and
your family at
Children’s Health From the Blue Shield Health Library
Antibiotics & Middle Ear Infection
• Antibiotics kill bacteria.
• Most antibiotics are given in pill
or liquid form.
Antibiotics often clear up a bacterial
ear infection. Amoxicillin is an antibiotic
often chosen for treating ear infections.
It works well and costs less than other
Doctors sometimes prescribe antibiotics to prevent infections in children
who are prone to repeated ear infections
(recurrent otitis media). But experts
disagree on how helpful this is.
Generic Name
Brand Name
Antibiotics are effective in most cases
of ear infections caused by bacteria. But
only 1 out of 5 children with ear infections needs antibiotics to clear an ear
infection. In 4 out of 5 children, ear
infections clear on their own.
A child with an ear infection should
feel better within 48 hours after taking
antibiotics. If your child doesn’t feel better, call your doctor. Your child may need
a different antibiotic.
Some doctors suggest antibiotics for
children who don’t have symptoms
but are prone to repeat ear infections.
Studies show that this preventive method doesn’t always work. Taking antibiotics when they may not be needed can
lead to new types of bacteria that can’t
be killed (antibiotic-resistant bacteria).
The Eustachian Tube
To work as it should, the middle ear must be at the
same pressure as the outside world. This is taken
care of by the eustachian tube, a small passage
that connects the middle ear to the back of the
throat behind the nose.
By letting air reach the middle ear, the eustachian
tube equalizes the air pressure in the middle ear to
the outside air pressure. (When your ears “pop”
while yawning or swallowing, the eustachian tubes
are adjusting the air pressure in your middle ears.)
The eustachian tube also allows for drainage of
mucus from the middle ear into the throat.
Sometimes, the eustachian tube may malfunction.
For example, when someone has a cold or an
allergy affecting the nasal passages, the eustachian
tube may become blocked by congestion in its
lining or by mucus within the tube. This blockage
will allow fluid to build up within the normally airfilled middle ear.
Bacteria or viruses that have entered the middle ear
through the eustachian tube also can get trapped
in this way. These germs can breed in the trapped
fluid, eventually leading to an ear infection.
This means that children may not respond to an antibiotic when they really
need it, such as if they get pneumonia.
Antibiotics may help with fluid behind
the eardrum that won’t go away (chronic
otitis media with effusion). But the fluid
may return.
Antibiotics will not be effective if
the ear infection is caused by a virus.
Waiting before starting an antibiotic can
keep your child from taking medicine
that he or she doesn’t need.
Use of antibiotics to treat ear infections increases the risk for antibioticresistant bacteria.
Medicine is one of the many tools
your doctor has to treat a health problem. Taking medicine as your doctor suggests will improve your health and may
prevent future problems. If you don’t
take your medicines properly, you may
be putting your health (and perhaps
your life) at risk.
There are many reasons why people
have trouble taking their medicine. But
in most cases, there is something you
can do. For suggestions on how to work
around common problems, see the topic
Taking Medicines as Prescribed.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or
planning to get pregnant, do not use any
medicines unless your doctor tells you
to. Some medicines can harm your baby.
This includes prescription and over-thecounter medicines, vitamins, herbs, and
supplements. And make sure that all
your doctors know that you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or planning to get
Follow-up care is a key part of your
treatment and safety. Be sure to make
and go to all appointments, and call
your doctor if you are having problems.
It’s also a good idea to know your test
results and keep a list of the medicines
you take.
Found online. That makes it true.
This Bizarre Looking Device Lets You
Draw How Your Eyes Actually See
If you see someone with their head
strapped into what looks like some sort
of medieval brain control device, holding
a pen it’s probably just Trevor or Ryan
Oakes, artists (and twins) who invented
a drawing tool that applies simple mathematics to produce a perfectly scaled drawing.
The twins came up
with the idea back in
2003. Called the concave
easel, the machine uses
a completely original
method of projecting an
image onto a plane using
no external optics.
The easel splits the
image you see, overlapping the pen
and strips of paper you’re using with
whatever scene you’re sketching. It allows
you to essentially just trace the outlines
of the real world as your eyes are seeing
it. The curved canvas allows your eye to
have an exact match between the canvas
and the way you interpret your
Into its third iteration, the first
two were all made with flimsy
wire and wood frames. It could
take a few hours to set up and
take down.
The brothers have done a total
of 25 drawing with the device so
far. Trevor and Ryan co-direct the
sketches by picking a location and
deciding what type of drawing style to
use, sometimes even passing the pen back
and forth. A single drawing usually takes
around three days of work, but somehow
ends up consuming a good solid month of
the brothers’ time.
12 years of the brother’s artwork is on
display at the Museum of Mathematics,
New York City. |
I Said “Hire Me”
The Cheerios Effect
In a series of experiments, researchers asked a group of
Chicago MBA students to develop a short pitch to a company for
which they would like to work. They wrote them out, then videotaped themselves reading the job pitch.
A separate group of evaluators judged the spoken pitches
either by watching the video, listening to the audio only, or reading a transcript alone.
The evaluators who heard the pitch rated the candidate as
more intelligent, thoughtful and competent than those who only
read the pitch. Watching the video pitch did not rate any differently than those who only heard the audio.
In fact, evaluators who heard the pitch reported liking the
candidate more and were significantly more likely to hire that
In another experiment, listening to trained actors read the
candidates’ written pitches aloud had the same effect – candidates seemed more intelligent, with a higher interest in being
hired. Even the professional recruiters
were more likely to hire the candidates whose pitches they could hear
than those whose pitches they read.
The conclusion: Submitting a
resume online just isn’t enough. Go
TALK to someone!
Once again, science to the rescue, answering the questions
nobody asked…like why your breakfast cereal tends to clump
together or cling to the sides of a bowl of milk. Dubbed the
Cheerios Effect, this clumping phenomenon applies to anything
that floats, including fizzy soda bubbles and hair particles in
water after a morning shave.
Turns out it has a lot to do with the geometry of the liquid surface. Surface tension makes the milk’s surface cave in
slightly in the middle of the bowl. This in turn causes the milk’s
surface to curve upward around the bowl’s edge. For this reason, pieces of the cereal near the edge float upward along this
curve, appearing as if they’re clinging to the edge.
Also because of surface tension, cereal floating in the middle
of your bowl dents the milk’s surface, creating a dip in it. When
two pieces of cereal touch, their two dents become one, which
basically makes a big dip and
TA-DA!, they stick
And all this time
I thought it was just
natures way of helping
me get more on each
Off-beat news stories
about crime and such...
Sorry Charlie
AR-15s Will Kill You
Dee Blyth’s living room, in Essex,
England was broken into by thieves looking for drugs. The thieves smashed down
the front door of Dee’s bungalow before
stealing two TVs, a video recorder, a hi-fi
and jewelry. And then they hit the jackpot – on her mantle was a jar marked
“Charlie”-the slang word for cocaine,
packed tight with powder in a plastic bag.
Investigators on the scene could see
how the thieves had opened the stash
laid out cocaine-style lines. That’s when
they busted down laughing. “Charlie” was
Dee’s dog, and the jar was his ashes.
“I’d love to see their faces when these
thieves realize,” said Dee. “It was horrible
knowing they were in my house, but the
idea of them trying to get high on a dead
dog certainly made me feel a bit better.
Investigators in Independence, Oregon
learned that the truck had been stolen
from a farm home, along with a rifle, a
shotgun and several other items.
Genaro Hernandez Mendoza must have
thought he had gotten away scott free,
but clearly he knew nothing about guns.
Seems the AR-15 rifle and the shotgun were both angled with their butts on
the floorboard and their barrels pointed
upward, toward the driver’s seat. Add in
a bumpy farm road and a bullet in the
chamber - what do you get?
An exit hole through the roof of the
truck, and no more Mr Hernandez.
A Hong Kong man was seen walking awkwardly at Fultan
Port in China. After setting off alarms, customs officials
found 94 iPhones taped to his body. Photo: Sina News
This Stinks
The Eyes Have It
Can you tell which apartment was being used as a grow
house, with over 500 plants?
Hint: They use heat lamps to help the pot grow.
Aleksander Robin Tomaszewski was
brought in by Eugene, Oregon police for
questioning on charges of stalking and
first-degree sexual abuse. This did not sit
well with the suspect who filed a complaint against the detectives for police
abuse, saying detectives assaulted him
and said he wanted to press charges. His
face was covered in bruises.
The suspect didn’t count on surveillance video in his jail cell, however, which
shows him pounding his own face more
than 40 times. When confronted with the
video that authorities released to the public Tuesday, Tomas­zewski told police he
thought the complaint might get him an
earlier release.
Instead, Tomas­zewski will have to
settle for both a bruised face and ego.
He was found guilty of initiating a false
police report last week and was sentenced
to 20 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Anneliese Young is 82-years-old and
couldn’t resist. She was at her local CVS
in Richmond, Georgia when the employee
saw her put something in her purse and
leave the store.
And what did this senior citizen shoplift? A bottle of “Sexiest Fantasies” which
promises to be “as addictive and seductive
as the woman who wears it.”
A Clean Bust
Susan Warren of Cleveland, Ohio cleans
houses for a living. And sometimes you
don’t even need to hire her.
Warren, 53, was driving by and “wanted something to do.” So she stopped the
car, broke in to the home, washed some
coffee cups, took out the trash, vacuumed
and dusted inside the house.
She then took a napkin and wrote a bill
out for $75. To make sure she got paid
she left her phone number as well.
Warren has complained that the homeowners overreacted to her services.
A Better View for
Early Detection
Most of us get our car serviced annually to make sure it runs
smoothly. We also visit a dentist regularly to get our teeth cleaned.
But how many of us get our eyes checked each year?
Many people don’t see an eye doctor until we notice a change in
our vision—a street sign looks blurry, or we have trouble reading
the words in our favorite book. But an annual eye exam can also
detect changes in your overall health.
In addition to detecting vision changes, regular eye exams can
also detect glaucoma, diabetes, and even life- threatening conditions
like a brain tumor.
That’s what Randy Lee, O.D., owner and lead optometrist at the
Optometric Center in Boise, Idaho, discovered in one patient during
a routine annual eye exam.
Supervisors Have
Double Vision
It’s true. CCPOA Supervisors have
two parts to their vision plan.
Every Supervisor gets their “Basic
Vision” plan from CalHR through
VSP. This coverage comes out of
your CoBen.
The state offers you a “Premier Plan”
for an additional deduction. Just say
“no thank you.”
Here’s where the Trust comes in.
We provide you with a “second pair
benefit” at no charge to you.
And because this is also through VSP
your eyecare is easy.
To get your coverage details contact
VSP at 800-877-7195 before your
next eye exam, and see how
“We’ve Got You Covered.”
“The patient came in for his annual eye exam and said he
couldn’t see as well in his left eye,” said Dr. Lee. “His right eye was
fine, but when I looked in his left eye the optic nerve was swollen.”
Dr. Lee tested the patient’s peripheral vision, and found it was
worse as well. “I decided to take a picture of his left eye using retinal photography,” Dr. Lee said. “I saw blurriness in the eye, which
was caused by the optic nerve swelling and damaging the patient’s
Realizing this could be a sign of a tumor, Dr. Lee referred the
patient to his primary care doctor. Additional tests found that the
patient had a benign brain tumor, which was removed.
“I’m so glad we caught the brain tumor in the early stages,” Dr.
Lee said. “Had it gotten worse, it would have caused major damage
to the patient’s vision, and other health problems.”
It’s important to have your eyecare provider and primary care
doctor work as a team to detect any health changes, Dr. Lee said.
“People should think of their vision as part of their overall
health,” he said. “You should use your optometrist, along with your
primary care doctor, to monitor overall health conditions.”
For his patient who had the brain tumor, Dr. Lee now checks his
optic nerve during his annual eye exam to make sure the tumor
hasn’t returned.
Dr. Lee also said it’s important to see the same eyecare provider
each year. “This lets the doctor get familiar with your visual history,
which can help him notice changes in your eyes more easily,” he said.
CCPOA Benefit Trust Fund | 1-800-In-Unit-6 |
All active CCPOA members are
automatically enrolled in an eye care plan
through VSP.
We urge you to take advantage of this
benefit for you and your family.
There are no forms to fill out, thousands
of participating VSP locations, and
coverage includes two pairs of frames
and lenses per person, per year!
6 Diseases Doctors Often Get Wrong
You’d hope a trip to the doctor would
solve your health woes when you experience strange pains, mysterious digestive
issues, or other unexplained symptoms.
Unfortunately, sometimes, doctors have
just as much trouble identifying certain
disorders and conditions as their patients.
According to David Fleming, MD, president
of the American College of Physicians and
a professor of medicine at the University
of Missouri, “A lot of symptoms are nonspecific and variable, depending on the
person. On top of that, many diagnostic
tests are expensive and aren’t done routinely, and even then they don’t always
give us a black and white answer.”
Pinning down the following conditions
are notoriously difficult to do…
Everybody these days is allergic to
gluten. Or are they? Celiac disease—an
immune reaction to gluten that triggers
inflammation in the small intestine— has
so much confusion surrounding it that it
takes the average patient six to 10 years
to be properly diagnosed. Celiac sufferers
would, in theory, have digestive problems
when eating gluten-containing foods like
wheat, barley, and rye, but in fact, only
about half of people diagnosed with the
disease have experienced diarrhea and
weight loss. Celiac disease can also cause
itchy skin, headaches, joint pain, and acid
reflux or heartburn, and it’s all too easy
to blame these symptoms on other things.
A blood test can diagnose celiac disease
no matter what symptoms are present,
but the doctor needs to think about
running the test first!
Unlike osteoarthritis (the “wear and
tear” kind that appears as people get
older), unexplained aches and pains
may also be caused by rheumatoid
arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disorder.
RA can occur at any age and causes
inflammation and painful swelling of
joints. “Early stages of RA can mimic
many other conditions—sometimes it’s
just a sense of aches or stiffness in the
joints, which could be caused by a lot of
different things,” says Dr. Fleming. Blood
tests can help detect the presence of
inflammation in the body, he says, but an
exact diagnosis of RA also must take into
account a patient’s medical history and a
doctor’s careful physical exam.
Another chronic inflammatory disease
– lupus – often displays a butterfly-shaped
rash across a patient’s cheeks, but not in
all cases. For those who don’t develop the
rash, diagnosis can be a long and difficult
process. Lupus can present in different
ways; it can affect the joints, kidneys,
skin, lungs, and brain, and can also mimic
many different issues. There is no one
way to diagnose lupus, but blood and
urine tests, along with a complete physical exam, are usually involved. Treatment
also depends on a patient’s individual
signs and symptoms, and medications and
dosages may need to be adjusted as the
disease flares and subsides.
You might think that an inflamed or
burst appendix should be easy to identify,
and often, it is: typical appendicitis symptoms include nausea, pain and tenderness
around the belly button, and possibly a
low-grade fever. But not always. “Some
people have an appendix that points
backward instead of forward in the body,
so the symptoms present in a different
location,” says Eugene Shapiro, MD, deputy director of the Investigative
Medicine Program at Yale
University. “And sometimes
people do have pain, but then
the appendix ruptures and
the pain is relieved so
they think they’re
Intestinal fluids can seep into the abdominal category and cause a potentially
life-threatening infection — but it can take
days or even weeks before these symptoms appear.
Intense throbbing or pulsing
accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or
sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines.
Nothing could be more obvious. But
some people may get migraines without
even knowing it, “Sometimes migraine
symptoms can be very severe, where the
patient can even develop paralysis, and
other times they can be very subtle,”
says Dr. Fleming. “Patients might feel
dizzy or light-headed or feel a vague
discomfort in their heads, and oftentimes
they’ll get treated with medication that
might not be appropriate for a true
migraine.” A neurologist should be able to
rule out other possibilities, and make the
proper diagnosis.
Before signs of diabetes develop, says
Dr. Fleming, adults can have diabetes for
years without knowing it. While it can
hide, Type 2 diabetes can’t stay hidden
forever. Left untreated, it can cause lifethreatening damage to the body’s major
organs. “There are a lot of people out
there with elevated blood sugar levels
who aren’t getting to the doctor regularly,
so they aren’t getting checked for it,” he
says. “They won’t realize it until it gets
severe enough that they start developing
side effects, like problems with their vision or numbness in their feet or hands.”
To avoid these problems, watch for earlier
symptoms like increased thirst or
hunger, frequent urination, sudden weight loss, and fatigue.
Information from
Hate going to the dentist?
Probably not as much as Ashik Gavai.
Doctors in Mumbai, India weren’t sure what they might
find, while 17-year-old Ashik Gavai spent seven hours sitting
in a dentist’s chair. All they knew for sure is he was suffering
from a rare, abnormal growth in his right jaw. As the surgery
progressed, they were astonished to learn the growth was
comprised of 232 other teeth,
reports the Times of India.
“[The teeth] were of varying
sizes, some as tiny as a grain
of mustard and some almost
the size of a marble.” Dr
Sunanda Dhivare-Palwankar,
the head of the dental
department at JJ Hospital,
where Gavai was treated,
told the paper. “The fact that
it was coming from a single
molar was very unique.”
It was 18 months ago when Gavai first noticed the growth,
but doctors in his local village couldn’t pinpoint the source of
the problem. When he started experiencing severe pain, he
and his family took a journey to Mumbai.
There, doctors diagnosed Gavai with a benign dental tumor,
which, though it isn’t life-threatening, can disfigure the face,
and make eating difficult
“I was worried that it [his condition] may turn out to be
cancer so I brought him to Mumbai,” said the boy’s father,
Suresh Gavai. The procedure, which normally would have
been prohibitively expensive for the family, was picked up by
State government health insurance.
Doctors expect the boy to make a full recovery.
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