Health and Wellness

Statewide, there are 4.18 fast-food joints and convenience
stores for every supermarket and produce stand, but in Santa
Barbara County, there are only three times as many. That’s
according to a recent study by the California Center for Public
Health Advocacy (CCPHA), which contends that the proliferation of
fast food and convenience stores undermines healthy eating
choices
. In Santa Barbara County, the study found half of
all food outlets qualified as fast food, another 25 percent
qualified as convenience stores, farmers’ markets and produce
outlets each accounted for 4 percent, and 17 percent comprised
supermarkets.

Frank Griswold, who until his retirement last November was the
presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church of the United States, will
speak on February 24 at Trinity Episcopal Church to kick off the
season of Lent with an address about
prayer during difficult times. Griswold is
familiar with the topic, having led the American church during one
of its most turbulent eras – specifically, the 2003 consecration of
a gay minister, V. Gene Robinson, as Bishop of New Hampshire, which
provoked a deep rift within the church.

Inogen, Inc., a Santa Barbara-based designer
and manufacturer of devices that help people suffering from
respiratory illnesses, announced on February 16
that it had secured $22 million from the venture capital arm of the
Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk to apply toward research
and development of new devices. According to Inogen, the money will
help popularize the Inogen One, a portable, 10-pound respiratory
aid the company says could replace the bulkier models currently
used by those who have difficulty breathing.

The computers at Santa Barbara public libraries
are now equipped to serve the blind and visually
impaired
. Thanks to a grant from the Santa Barbara
Foundation, a program called ZoomText has been installed which not
only can magnify documents up to 36 times their original size but
also read them aloud using the NeoSpeech voice synthesizer. In
addition, another text-to-speech software program called
Jaws – whose use is taught at the Braille Institute and in public
schools – is available on one computer in the Central Library in
downtown Santa Barbara.

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