Trendy Cleanses for Kids Alarm Doctors

(NEW YORK) — Joanne Heyman and her 17-year-old daughter Emmy are part of a growing trend — sharing a love of organic cleanses that come in flavors like lemon cayenne agave and cashew vanilla cinnamon.

The mother-daughter pair from Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., are on a five-day cleansing program because dad was out of town. They say it’s all about health benefits and not diet, though both say they are looking forward to losing a few pounds. They have chosen the toughest cleanse with green juices — “Excavation.”

“I think of it more as a personal challenge to see if I can go through with it,” Emmy told ABC’s Good Morning America. “I feel a little weak and I’m a little tired, but I’m not hungry.”

“Today, I was on a field trip and people had baked goods and I didn’t have one,” said Emmy, who has been intrigued with cleansing since she was younger.

Heyman, 51, said she wouldn’t let her daughter do it if there were health risks.

“It’s five days,” she told GMA. “We eat an incredibly healthy diet normally. For five days it’s an experiment, not a life event.”

And Emmy isn’t the only child into cleansing.

Just this week, the New York Post reported that “cherub-cheeked” children as young as 6 were reaching for their mommies’ green-and-purple juices with names like “Fountain of Youth” and “Glo.” One little girl drinks three a day.

“I get upset — they’re expensive, up to $80 a day,” Sandra Davella, a 44-year-old mother and banker, told The Post. “I have to buy extra because I know she’s going to take it. …She’s not a French fry kid.”

Some mothers brag that using these organic, designer drinks as a replacement for ordinary snacks are “complete nutrition.”

Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are good for kids, but experts say no child should replace the real thing with colorful, expensive juice and fruit drinks. And doctors warn that this raw juice cleansing trend — so popular among women into fitness and trim physiques — can be dangerous for children.

Some say the cleansing with over-the-counter products could lead to anorexia, which is as much a public health concern as obesity.

“Any of these could be harmful for a variety of reasons,” said Dr. Stephen Cook, of Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center. “First, you never really know what is in them and they are probably also lacking in key nutrients, vitamins and minerals.”

“This trend is outrageous and a real concern,” said Keith Ayoob, associate clinical professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “Kids don’t need a cleanse, they need good food. A cleanse usually means they’re also excluding necessary food groups and nutrients.”

He said it’s not a good idea for teens trying to lose weight either, as any pounds dropped are “temporary.”

“If you are losing 10 pounds in 10 days, then you’re mostly losing water and muscle mass, and that’s not good for children,” he said. “As meal replacements, this does nothing to train children to have good eating habits for the long-term. Of course, they learn what they’re seeing, so their parents may need to be better role models, as well. This is ridiculously expensive nutrition. Good nutrition can be and is much more economical. A perfect example of how complicated doesn’t mean better.”

What would Ayoob tell parents about this new trend? “The digestive tract already is a juicer — it just works more slowly. But that’s fine and how it was meant to work. Besides, everyone — kids included — needs fiber and eating whole fruits and vegetables will give you that fullness and fiber, along with nutrients that won’t necessarily make it into the juice,” he said.

Posted On 03 Apr 2014

“Big Bang Theory” Celebrating “Star Wars” Day

(LOS ANGELES) — CBS’ The Big Bang Theory will be celebrating “Star Wars Day” with a special episode timed for the week of May 4.

That holiday, observed by special screenings of the film series, events, and of course, Star Wars fans greeting each other with, “May the Fourth Be with You,” will be observed on the sitcom in a May 1 installment called “The Proton Transmogrification.”

The Hollywood Reporter notes Lucasfilm reached out to the sitcom to do something for Star Wars Day and advised producers on the construction of a replica of Dagobah, Yoda’s swampy home in exile as seen in The Empire Strikes Back.

The episode shadows Luke Skywalker’s journey there: Jim Parsons’ Sheldon will be summoned to visit by a vision of his former mentor and childhood hero Professor Proton, who will be played again by Emmy winner Bob Newhart.

Showrunner Steve Molaro said Newhart will be a Jedi master, but won’t reveal which one — though Luke’s first teacher Obi-Wan Kenobi seems the logical choice.

“Bob is going to be swinging a lightsaber around and they sent us a real one to use,” the producer told the trade. “It’s an amazing crossover for us.”

Posted On 03 Apr 2014

Fort Hood Shooter Was Being Treated for ‘Mental Issues’

(KILLEEN, Texas) — The soldier accused of opening fire at Fort Hood, killing three people and wounding 16, was an Iraq war veteran who was battling an array of mental health issues and taking medications, military officials said Thursday.

Spc. Ivan Lopez, a 34-year-old soldier in the Army, was “undergoing a variety of treatments and diagnoses of mental health issues ranging from depression to anxiety to sleep disturbance,” Army Secretary John McHugh said Thursday.

He had not been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder but was undergoing a diagnostic process to determine if he had it, officials said. Lopez’s mental health has become a focus of the investigation into why he opened fire on the base Wednesday afternoon.

According to authorities, Lopez brought onto the base a semi-automatic, .45 caliber Smith & Wesson handgun he recently purchased but had not registered with the Army.

Around 4 p.m., he walked into a command building and opened fire, then left, got in his car and began driving while still firing shots. He got out of his car and walked into another building, still shooting.

Three individuals were killed and 16 were injured in the rampage, officials said. All were members of the military. Three people are still in critical condition, with injuries to the neck, spine, and abdomen, respectively, while the others are stable.

Once inside the second building, Lopez was confronted by an armed military policewoman. He briefly put his hands in the air, but then reached for his gun and shot himself, according to Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, senior officer at the base.

Milley praised the officer who confronted Lopez.

“It was clearly heroic, what she did at that moment in time,” Milley said.

Authorities are investigating whether an argument on or near the Texas base might have sparked the mayhem, sources tell ABC News.

McHugh said Thursday that Lopez was a native of Puerto Rico, where had served in the National Guard for nine years before enlisting in the Army in 2008. He had served in Sinai with the National Guard and then as a truck driver when he was deployed to Iraq, where he replaced another soldier and finished out that soldier’s deployment for four months.

Lopez is married and lived with his wife, also a native of Puerto Rico, and young daughter off base.

Xanderia Morris, who lives near the Lopez family in Killeen, said Lopez’s wife walked outside, looking distraught as news of the shooting spread.

“She told me that she hasn’t talked to [her husband] since 3 o’clock and was hysterical,” Morris said. “She was shaking and crying.”

The shooting details were especially surprising for Morris because, she said, Lopez seemed normal, a devoted husband and father.

“He was always smiling and waving whenever I saw him, so I didn’t think anything strange or unusual,” she said.

A senior military official told ABC News that Lopez reported to the military last summer that he was suffering from a traumatic brain injury and was having trouble sleeping.

He had been seeing a psychiatrist as recently as last month, McHugh said, but Lopez had not shown any signs of likely violence toward himself or others. He had not been suicidal. The psychiatrist had planned to continue monitoring and treating him. The only medication that officials said publicly that he was prescribed was the sleep aid Ambien.

Wednesday’s violence brought back sharp memories of November 2009, when Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan opened fire inside Fort Hood, killing 13 people. He was convicted and sentenced to death in August.

“Obviously, this reopens the pain of what happened at Fort Hood five years ago,” President Obama said during an impromptu appearance before reporters inside the Chicago Cut Steakhouse.

“We know these families. We know their incredible service to our country and the sacrifices that they make,” he said. “Obviously, our thoughts and prayers are with the entire community, and we are going to do everything we can to make sure the community of Fort Hood has what it needs to deal with a tough situation, but also any potential aftermath.”

Gen. Ray Odierno said on Thursday that the procedures put in place after the 2009 shoot “did help us yesterday,” and cited the alert procedures, the response and the training of response forces as preventing Wednesday’s shooting from “something that have could have been much worse.”


Posted On 03 Apr 2014

Nassau cop not charged in Hofstra shooting

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4 dead in Fort Hood shooting


At least four people are dead after a gunman opened fire at Fort Hood in Texas.

Lieutenant General Mark Milley says the shooter was a soldier at the base who had seen active duty in Iraq and was known to have mental health issues.  Milley says the shooter died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.  Milley says he was undergoing a diagnosis process to see if he was suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The three victims who were killed and the 16 others who were wounded in the shooting were all military.

Alive and guilty

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The Massapequa man who faked his own death in an insurance scam faces prison time in a different case.

Raymond Roth was accused of impersonating a police officer in an attempt to kidnap a woman walking in Freeport.   He’s guilty of attempted burglary, attempted unlawful imprisonment charges, and two counts of criminal impersonation.

He faces four years in prison, the same amount of time he faces in his insurance scam case.

MacArthur Airport flights could continue to DC

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American Airlines wants to fly from MacArthur Airport to Washington D.C. and they’ve filed an application with the federal Department of Transportation in an effort to make that a reality.

Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand issued a statement in favor of American Airline’s application with Schumer saying “Direct service between Long Island MacArthur Airport and our nation’s capital would benefit Long Island commuters, businesses and travelers.”

US Airways had planned to end direct flights in July but now that they’ve merged, American sees an opportunity to keep those direct flights going.

Season pass for Nassau vets


Nassau County is showing its appreciation for active duty military members and veterans who live in the area.

County Executive Ed Mangano says Nassau veterans are now eligible for a 25-dollar lifetime leisure passport that provides discounts to pools, skating rinks, golf courses, tennis courts beaches, marinas and cabanas run by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Museums. He says active duty military members, along with their spouse and children, can enjoy free access to county pools and all the benefits of a Leisure Pass with proof of valid military identification.

“High Octane” heroin ring busted


A Long Island couple is among more than a dozen arrested for a “high octane” heroin ring.

Suffolk County D.A. Tom Spota today announced the grand jury indictment of Kelly Mullen and Aaron Smith.  The husband and wife from Holtsville, along with Miguel Vicente of Brooklyn, face numerous charges for allegedly supplying the potent drug to dealers across Suffolk County.

Detailing charges today, Spota displayed tens of thousands of packets of heroin bearing the “High Octane” name- plus 37-thousand in cash seized from the suspects.