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By Jim Gerland and Mark Winer

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Your guide to health and nutrition
October 31, 1995

With the holiday season fast approaching, many of us look forward to family dinners and festive parties. If you're like us, that may lead to overeating and one too many fruity drinks. Then the calendar turns to January 1st and we decide to make our New Year's resolution of renewed dieting and fitness. So before you ask for seconds at the Thanksgiving Day table, we decided to give you some tips for finding information about health, dieting and fitness on the internet.

A good place to start for general health news and information is CNN's Food and Health site (http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/index.html). Much like their headline news cable channel, this site offers timely headlines about health and diet issues. One recent article detailed the pros and cons of taking vitamins to supplement your diet. In addition to all the great information at this site, their are also links to numerous health related sites on the Internet. One link goes to the American Medical Association (http://www.ama-assn.org/). This site offers a comprehensive collection of medical information, and not just for medical professionals. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is available on-line for users to browse through current articles.

For those interested in health trends and statistics, the federal government provides detailed information for just about everything. Check out these health related government sites: the Food & Drug Administration (http://www.fda.gov/), National Institutes of Health (http://www.nih.gov), Centers for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (http://www.os.dhhs.gov/). The information available at these sites ranges from technical reports for physicians and other medical professionals to reports and regulations that are important to all individuals.

Here's something to think about before you finish your second piece of holiday pie: approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer heart attacks annually and unbelievably almost 500,000 die from them. We learned this at the American Heart Association (http://www.amhrt.org/) site. Take the Heart Quiz (http://www.amhrt.org/infot/hquiz/hquiz.htm) to test your knowledge or find out your risk of a heart attack (http://www.amhrt.org/infot/urisk.htm). Since hearts attacks claim more lives than any other single cause, this is probably an important site for all of us to visit.

If you're inspired to tackle a diet before the holidays, check out the American Heart Association Diet (http://www.reg.uci.edu/UCI/CARDIOLOGY/PREVENTIVE/DIET/). This is a detailed plan for improving your nutritional habits while cutting down on all the things we're not supposed to eat.

Starting early on that New Year's resolution to get fit is also a great idea. Visit Yahoo's Health Fitness index (www.yahoo.com/Health/Fitness/) for starting points. Here you can get ideas on anything from aerobics to weightlifting. Besides general discussions on different activities, you can also retrieve product information from a host of companies. One excellent site is Planet Reebok (http://planetreebok.com).

While we can't promise you that we'll stick to our diets this holiday season, we do know where to find information on what we should be doing. We hope you find some of these health and fitness sites discussed here useful, though we're sure you'll find even more in your own surfing adventures. And of course, while it is good to educate yourself about all the new things in the health and medical fields, your doctor is still the best source of information regarding your health.

Remember, we'd like to make this column interesting and useful for you. Feel free to contact us and let us know how we're doing. You can email us, edge@edgeglobal.com , or fax us, (716) 853-1350 and let us know what's happening on the Internet in WNY or any computing related activities you're involved with.