Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

July 26, 2007


Host: Richard Ruelas

Baby Boomer Advice


  • From retirement planning to sex to guns, it's all covered in a new book called "Alive and Kicking: Legal AdviceÖ..for Boomers." Kenney Hegland, a U of A Law Professor and one of the authors of the book, will tell us more about his book.
Guests:
  • Dr. Art Mollen. - Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Cheri Olf - Program Director, American Council on Renewable Energy
  • Kenney Hegland - Author and law professor, University of Arizona


View Transcript
>>Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on Horizon, obesity continues to be a larger problem. A local doctor talks about obesity and its ill effects. Arizona State University hosts a conference on renewable energy that attracts top-notch students from all over the country. And as baby boomers retire, they'll be entering a whole new world and a University of Arizona law professor has written a book of advice to help with that transition. All that's next on Horizon.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS Station. Thank you.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Good evening, I'm Richard Ruelas. Welcome to Horizon. All week we have been telling about diseases that are increasing in scope in our four-part series. Tonight we wrap up the health epidemic series by examining an issue that makes individuals larger as it increases in scope. We are talking about obesity. In the United States obesity has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. In 1991, only four states had an obesity rate of 15 to 19 percent. In no state was the obesity rate over 20 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those numbers have flipped. In 2005, the C.D.C. reports only four states had obesity rates of less than 20 percent. Children are getting fatter as well. The Institute of Medicine reports that rates of obesity in pre-school children have doubled. With increasing obesity rates comes an increase in diseases such as diabetes and heart attacks. I will talk to Dr. Art Mollen about obesity, but first Mike Sauceda tells us about prevention.

>>Mike Sauceda:
In 2004, 654,000 people died from heart disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2005, the C.D.C. says nearly 73,000 people died from diabetes and in 2004, nearly 23,000 people died because of high blood pressure. Dr. Art Mollen is a Phoenix doctor whose focus is prevention of disease.



>>Art Mollen:
The interesting thing is that about 95 percent of disease entities could actually be prevented if people had lifestyle changes. Those lifestyle changes include diet, exercise and a positive mental attitude. If people can change some of those aspects of their life, they can potentially live for 100 years in the absence of many of the diseases that modern civilization knows such as diabetes, such as heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Mollen says despite our advanced medical technology, people's
lifestyles create disease.

>>Art Mollen:
No question about it. As technologically advanced as medicine is today, there's still a simplistic way to prevent so many of these diseases, simple as two plus two equals four. It's pragmatic but most people don't want to pay the price that it takes to prevent these diseases. It's much simpler for them to take a pill or if they have to, even have surgical intervention.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Dr. Mollen has a simple prescription to prevent disease.

>>Art Mollen:
I always suggest for people if they want to start an exercise program first of all they need to have a complete physical examination. Make sure you don't have any underlying heart disease or high blood pressure, or potential for stroke. Have a stress electrocardiogram to discern if there's any underlying disease. Then have a basic blood test. Make sure there are no anemias or liver enzymes elevated, determine what your cholesterol is from the get go so we can decide what you need to do. From a basic standpoint, people ought to just start a walking program. If people were to walk one mile a day and they did that every day over the next year they would lose 10 to 12 pounds without any dietary changes at all. From the dietary standpoint I'd suggest minimizing amount of animal protein. No more than one animal protein meal a day. If you have eggs for breakfast that's your animal protein meal. Chicken for lunch or fish for dinner, but no more than one animal protein meal a day.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And here to tell us a little more about the problem of obesity and the diseases it brings on is Dr. Art Mollen, a doctor of osteopathy.
It's great to have you here this evening.

>>Art Mollen:
It's great to be here. It's interesting because the New England Journal of Medicine just yesterday actually came out with an article, and it suggested that actually peer pressure could change what people are eating and that was one of the contributory factors towards obesity. So perhaps picking the right friends may be a way to change your eating habits. The relationship between social ties and what people are doing out there just like smoking and drinking and drugs and everything else, that the peer pressure and the people that you are involved with can often influence so many habits and obesity happens to be one more habit that's added to the mix there.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Do you think it might be that people will flip it and use it as a rationalization for why they are obese rather than trying to change it?

>>Art Mollen:
That's a great excuse.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I'm doing it now.

>>Art Mollen:
It's a great excuse that I'm overweight because I have overweight friends. But on the other side of the coin, I think there's a very eloquent message to be delivered from this particular study and that is that people can change some of the people that they have dinner with and people that they spend time with, and changing that social network, there is the potential to actually get a little healthier. Go out with people who like to go to the gym. Go out with people who want to exercise every day and don't want to eat fried foods and would prefer to eat salads, fruits and vegetables and have fish instead of large pieces of red meat. I think there are some ways to change it.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Or maybe be the change agent among your own friends.

>>Art Mollen:
Absolutely.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Outside of societal changes it seems another thing we hear a lot about is genetic. How much of our obesity epidemic and I assume you agree there is one, is caused by genetics, people with a thyroid condition?

>>Art Mollen:
Yeah, I think there's a genetic component to it. A lot of people like to blame it on an under-active thyroid but actually only 1 percent of the population that's overweight actually has an under-active thyroid, so that's a very small percentage. But genetics can be a contributory factor. A larger-boned person and people like that, they may have that propensity to have a greater amount of weight than others.

>>Richard Ruelas:
But that wouldn't explain --

>>Art Mollen:
That doesn't explain the epidemic. That does not explain what's going on. Because we are inundated with information about what the schools are feeding our children, and basically projecting that out to the public. I think that people need to be aware of what their children are eating at school, the messages obviously that are being propagated through television, as well. That sends a certain message out to children. And I think that parents need to be exemplary. They need to conduct themselves in a certain way as far as their eating habits and their exercise patterns and that's going to change the number of children that are obese in the future. It's been suggested that two-thirds of Americans are overweight at present. By the year 2015, three-fourths of Americans will be obese.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Yet parents are saying my child really likes chicken fingers. How do you wean a child on to vegetable, fruits, fish?

>>Art Mollen:
I think again by being exemplary. You have to change the eating patterns in a very slow, predictable way and if it's once a week they can have that particular meal and whatever they want to eat that's fine. But that's the one time of the week. The rest of the week they are going to follow your instructions and follow your lead.

>>Richard Ruelas:
You talked about, in the piece you talked about eating protein once a day. That seems to be difficult when we are bombarded - this might be the only show that doesn't have a commercial for all-you-can-eat-ribs or a breakfast sandwich - how do we combat that media saturation?

>>Art Mollen:
I think people can fill up with more fiber. Fill up with more fruits and salads and vegetables and that's going to decrease your necessity to eat all the protein. And basically one animal protein meal a day really is the best type of diet. So if you have eggs for breakfast, that's the animal protein meal of the day. Chicken for lunch, that's your animal protein. Or fish for dinner. Get away from the red meats. I think they are potentially dangerous to your health.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Speaking of this, this isn't just an appearance thing. Diabetes, I mean, how linked are these, is obesity to these diseases? Heart disease and diabetes?

>>Art Mollen:
All of these diseases, the major diseases of which people contract, which is diabetes and heart disease, I mean, these are really serious diseases that are directly linked to obesity. If people can reduce the amount of excess weight that they have, Body Mass Index is a simple way to determine how much overweight you are. The average American should be in the range of 20 percent body fat. Most people are closer to 30 percent body fat. It's a little higher for women than it is for men. I think there's simple changes that can be made.

>>Richard Ruelas:
You interviewed for Surgeon General.

>>Art Mollen:
I was nominated for Surgeon General of the United States.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Will it take someone in a national position to push this?

>> Art Mollen:
Absolutely. I think it's going to take someone who is a proponent, who is basically going to proselytize the message of health and fitness to the country. It's easier for people to make those specific changes themselves. Everyone is looking for the silver bullet, to take a pill like this Alli pill that came out recently that's supposedly an over-the-counter pill for weight loss. Everyone is looking for that silver bullet and I think it's not there. Or they go to their doctor, wanting him to help them lose the weight. But unless they make those changes, and if I could paraphrase a quotation from one of our late Presidents, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, ask not what your physician can do for your health but what you can do for yourself.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Dr. Art Mollen, whose fourth book, "Dr. Art Mollen's Anti-aging Program" is in the bookstores. You have made me change my dinner plans now. Thank you.

>>Art Mollen:
You're welcome.

>>Richard Ruelas:
More than two dozen top-notch students from around the country are taking part in a week-long fellowship at Arizona State University regarding renewable energy. The students, some of whom plan a career in renewable energy listened to speakers from the energy field and took field trips to local facilities that produce renewable energy. Mike Sauceda went along with the students to a field trip at a local hydroelectric plant.



>>Mike Sauceda:
Twenty-nine college students from all over the country take part in a tour at Arizona Falls, the historic recreational area in east Phoenix. But these students aren't here to recreate. What draws them to the picturesque site is a hydroelectric generator at the falls that provides power for about 150 nearby homes. Students are taking part in a one-week sustainable energy fellowship sponsored by Salt River Project and put on by Arizona State University's School of Sustainability, in conjunction with Duke, Michigan, and Cornell universities.

>>Jay Golden:
This is part of a multiple field trip. We have 29 students from around the country, the best and brightest students. We had a tremendous amount of applicants and they are permanently focused in engineering, life sciences, biosciences and business. And we are exposing them to conventional energy, to renewable energy sources, and to materials and technologies that reduce energy demand. This is supplemented by, today we have the President of the Americas for Shell flying in to speak to students. We have the Vice President for Ford Motor Company speaking to the students today. So we're trying to get a very broad picture and holistic picture. Students that are participating here are going to be students that not only invent the next generation of materials for generation and reduction, but also those that run organizations and invest in organizations.

>>Mike Sauceda:
One of the participating students is Kellan Dickens, who just graduated from Duke with a degree in mechanical engineering.

>>Kellan Dickens:
It's been a very intensive couple days so far. We visited a number of different facilities including a solar facility, a natural gas facility, the methane facility run by Salt River Project and then this hydroelectric plant. At each facility we've seen this kind of up close and personal inner workings of how they produce this different type of energy.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Hayley Fink is a senior at Harvard and is majoring in earth and planetary sciences. She's learned a lot from the field trips.

>>Hayley Fink:
You can hear about the technologies and lectures and you can like read about it but when you actually see it, it really makes so much more sense and you get the opportunity to talk to the experts, people that actually are working there on the ground on a day to day basis and really get a grasp of the problems they are dealing with, what the benefits of the technologies are.

>>Mike Sauceda:
She says the conference has covered more than just the technical end of renewable energy.

>>Hayley Fink:
I am so psyched to be here. When I found out I got in to the program I was so excited. My professor sent out a little blurb about it and I was like, oh, that's interesting. I went to the Web site and looked at their program and it was amazing because it really looks at the problems of sustainability from so many different aspects, you know, economics, politics, the technologies, the cutting edge research they are doing, business sector. So I just, I mean, I'm so interested in this topic and I know I definitely want to make a career out of it.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And joining me to talk about renewable energy is Cheri Olf, the program director of the American Council on Renewable Energy from Washington, D.C. You're also a presenter at the fellowship. Thanks for joining us this evening.

>>Cheri Olf:
Thank you for having me.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Seems like there's a lot of progress being made just by having these students spending this time here. Tell us a little bit about what they are learning while they are visiting us here.

>>Cheri Olf:
Absolutely. This, it's momentous. We have this group of students representing the four of ACORE's member schools. In the fellowship they had to compete for positions in this fellowship program and our congratulations go out to the students that did achieve this. And we are thrilled to have them here this week learning about sustainable energy and how they might further their career.

>>Richard Ruelas:
It seems like with, you know, as society seems to be embracing the idea more, what do you attribute to people, I guess these students might be telling their friends and telling their parents, it seems like society is embracing the idea of renewable energy a little more.

>>Cheri Olf:
Yes, it's happening. The films and the documentaries that have been out in the last few years have definitely helped that. And I think that people just feel it's the right thing to do.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Gas prices, too?

>>Cheri Olf:
Gas prices are definitely an influence, for sure. Especially in the purchase of hybrid cars.

>>Richard Ruelas:
What are some of the barriers? You'd think if there's a demand out there the market would fill it. But what are some of the barriers to the marketplace just suddenly providing us with renewable sources?

>>Cheri Olf:
Well, the issues that the market are facing right now are not all negative. They are positive but some of the challenges that we have right now are cost, as always, with a new technology. There are issues of cost of the technology and as we absorb or recoup the cost of the research and development phases of these technologies that will start to subside a bit, the cost. And the second thing that we really need to help the renewables be adopted and to help industries that are producing the technology, to provide us this renewable power is, we really need some stabilization of public policy to occur.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Arizona just passed a mandate that the electric companies here will provide, I believe it's 20 percent, of their energy from solar power. Is that the kind of thing you are talking about?

>>Cheri Olf:
Yes. We are talking about it on the federal level. Congress has been long supportive of old technologies, fossil fuel technologies. And yet on the new technology side, the renewable energy, we have these limits. Sunset clauses, for instance, which hinder companies from bringing projects to market on the time frames that are best for the industry and for America. They have to follow these time frames that the policies have dictated.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Meaning if you want to build, say a solar plant in Arizona, the government's giving you a window in which to do so?

>>Cheri Olf:
Exactly, for production tax credit. So these companies are having to lobby to get these credits extended and so, basically, what we are looking for, with ACORE, is to educate the industries and young people like this so that we can have these technologies ready when Congress comes up to speed and helps us by making these credits more readily available.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I guess that's part of it with young people we saw in that piece. There's going to be thoughts in their heads that down the line maybe they figure out the better way to produce hydrogen cell or solar cell? Is that part of the thought process?

>>Cheri Olf:
Yes, exactly. On the positive side, there's no negatives to renewable energy. People are flocking to the industry. There are thousands, if not millions of jobs that will be available in the renewable fields within the next five years. So these students are seeing that and they want to be ahead of the curve. And so the time is now, if we wait 20 years, it's, you know, there is no opportunity.

>>Richard Ruelas:
You're in from D.C. this week. Are you holding things like this in different cities?

>>Cheri Olf:
This is a pilot program.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Oh.

>>Cheri Olf:
And we owe a lot of thanks to the Salt River Project for helping us fund this and prestigious faculty from A.S.U., Dr. Jay Golden, and Duke, Cornell and University of Michigan have helped us run this pilot program. We hope to take it nationally and run it in the different regions with different ACORE members and member schools and have it in different parts of the country.

>>Richard Ruelas:
We're glad it worked well here during your time here. Cheri Olf, thanks for joining us.

>>Cheri Olf:
Thank you, Richard.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Next year the first baby boomers will start collecting social security checks. As the boomer generation ages it will encounter all the problems and dilemmas encountered by previous generations and maybe some new ones. Two lawyers have joined forces to write a book on legal advice for boomers entitled ĎAlive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers.' It has a lot more than legal advice. Earlier I talked to Kenney Hegland, one of the authors and a University of Arizona law professor about his book. Dr. Hegland, thanks for joining us tonight. Tell us your motivation for writing your book.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Well, I'm a teacher and I've just been learning a lot about the issues of Elder Law and when I learn something I always want to say, who can I tell this to? There's a lot of very interesting information I came across and there's a lot of good news. Elderly people when they survey them tend to be happier than younger people. A lot of people get better health wise when they get older. There are a lot of problems that can come up and I just wanted to kind of share the information that I think everyone should at least have an idea about some of the legal problems that might come up, how to avoid them, If they can't avoid them, how can they deal with them?

>>Richard Ruelas:
Looking through the Table of Contents, looks like any one of the parts of the book could be a book on its own. You seem to have compressed a lot of varied information into this volume here.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Yeah. We wanted to give an overview, sort of educate people. This is not a book like there's a whole series of dummy books, this is not for dummies. The audience we look for is the fairly intelligent, educated audience that wants to learn things and to learn about the various options. For example, in estate planning, people think that there are wills, but then there's trusts and joint ownership and we talk about all of those to give people an idea of the options. This is not a self-help book in the sense of filling out forms. It's a how to think about it book.

>>Richard Ruelas:
It also seems to be filled with a lot of good humor. It's written from a very, I guess, conversational perspective.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Yeah. And part of the thing is, when you have to write it, you want to entertain yourself as you are going along. I think that the real problem is to get people, law oftentimes is pretty boring and technical stuff, so we try to make it fairly light. I have a co-author who practiced Elder Law for 30 years. He really knows a lot of the substance. But we really want people to read the book and if it's not readable, if it's not funny, we have some poetry in there, we have some existential angst in there. We want people to come away thinking I've actually learned something.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Yeah. But outside of the legal stuff, you seem, like you mention, some of the existential angst. You talk about suicide, depression. You make a Dick Cheney joke referencing guns. Why did you choose topics outside your specialty?

>>Kenney Hegland:
Well, I think there's a misconception that lawyers just do law. What lawyers do is to counsel people and you may have, if you are a lawyer dealing with older people, or anybody, you may have people who are suicidal and you've got to help them deal with that. You are not experts but to be aware of that. Basically what we want to do is alert people to the problems that might arise and depression is one of them. Suicide is one of them. Dying without a will is another one. And so it's kind of encyclopedic in that sense.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And the title "Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers," even that implies that you think, or does it seem that this generation as they age will be more alive and kicking than previous ones?

>> Kenney Hegland:
I think so. And I think a lot of people now don't look at retirement as just playing golf. They want to be involved and they want to continue to work and do things. And we have some suggestions. But also when you start, there's a lot of scams that arise, where people are asked to invest something to start their own business. Like franchises are notoriously bad for people to get involved in. We talk about some expert advice if you're going to do that. George Bernard Shaw has a great quote that we use in the book that when he dies he wants to be used up. I think probably a lot of baby boomers want to be used up as well.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Again, on some of the sort of non-legal topics, you have three pages on driving and three pages on sex.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Yes. We don't recommend them to go together. [laughter]

>>Richard Ruelas:
Tell us about, I mean because again, sex might not be something that's thought of in today's society. But maybe as the baby boom gets into that area it's going to be more.

>>Kenney Hegland:
It's kind of like a punch line to a Woody Allen question in a way. I mean, sex continues. One of the things we want to tell people is, you know, if you have a relative that's going into a nursing home, you maybe want to talk to the people in the nursing home. How do they handle that? A lot of people think that's wonderful if your grandfather or grandmother is still engaging in sex. But you may get in situations where it's not consensual, so it's an issue we want people to know about so that they can be prepared to think about it and the main thing I think about the book is we want people talking about things that they, that are uncomfortable, you know. Most people when they get older the main thing they're worried about is becoming dependent on their kids and becoming a burden. And most families don't talk about things like that. We could have called this book "The Elephant in the Room." And we try to encourage throughout the book and we have some suggestions on how to start conversations about really things that matter. And we have found that once people get beyond the heartache of talking about it or the uncomfortableness of talking about it they have great conversations and people start talking about their history and when they were kids and there's a lot of laughter.

>>Richard Ruelas:
As you mention, even discussing something like a living will is difficult. What age to do you think people should start talking about it?

>>Kenney Hegland:
We have a chapter on living wills. And we suggest that you have your family read it and sign off. And it's much more detailed than the form where you check things off at the hospital. It talks about what you want to do like organ donations and things like that. But we say, have your family read it and check it off and that will facilitate a question. If you ask your kids, I want you to look at my living will and see if you think it's ok, it's much easier than to say come on over here, I want to talk about my death. It's a good conduit to get into things that matter.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Better than the conversation at an emergency room, I guess.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Exactly right. There are a lot of things that if you don't deal with you got to deal with them. If it's better to deal with them now than later on.

>>Richard Ruelas:
"Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers," is available on Amazon?


>>Kenney Hegland:
Amazon, and hopefully in all good bookstores.

>>Richard Ruelas:
If they ask for it.

>>Kenney Hegland:
If they ask for it, yes.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Thank you for joining us this evening.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Thank you very much.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And thank you for joining us this Thursday evening on Horizon.

Health Epidemics? Obesity


  • As more Americans become obese, more are diagnosed with the diseases that follow. Osteopath Dr. Art Mollen talks about obesity and the conditions to which itís linked, including diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure.
Guests:
  • Dr. Art Mollen. - Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Cheri Olf - Program Director, American Council on Renewable Energy
  • Kenney Hegland - Author and law professor, University of Arizona
Category: Medical/Health

View Transcript
>>Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on Horizon, obesity continues to be a larger problem. A local doctor talks about obesity and its ill effects. Arizona State University hosts a conference on renewable energy that attracts top-notch students from all over the country. And as baby boomers retire, they'll be entering a whole new world and a University of Arizona law professor has written a book of advice to help with that transition. All that's next on Horizon.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS Station. Thank you.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Good evening, I'm Richard Ruelas. Welcome to Horizon. All week we have been telling about diseases that are increasing in scope in our four-part series. Tonight we wrap up the health epidemic series by examining an issue that makes individuals larger as it increases in scope. We are talking about obesity. In the United States obesity has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. In 1991, only four states had an obesity rate of 15 to 19 percent. In no state was the obesity rate over 20 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those numbers have flipped. In 2005, the C.D.C. reports only four states had obesity rates of less than 20 percent. Children are getting fatter as well. The Institute of Medicine reports that rates of obesity in pre-school children have doubled. With increasing obesity rates comes an increase in diseases such as diabetes and heart attacks. I will talk to Dr. Art Mollen about obesity, but first Mike Sauceda tells us about prevention.

>>Mike Sauceda:
In 2004, 654,000 people died from heart disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2005, the C.D.C. says nearly 73,000 people died from diabetes and in 2004, nearly 23,000 people died because of high blood pressure. Dr. Art Mollen is a Phoenix doctor whose focus is prevention of disease.



>>Art Mollen:
The interesting thing is that about 95 percent of disease entities could actually be prevented if people had lifestyle changes. Those lifestyle changes include diet, exercise and a positive mental attitude. If people can change some of those aspects of their life, they can potentially live for 100 years in the absence of many of the diseases that modern civilization knows such as diabetes, such as heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Mollen says despite our advanced medical technology, people's
lifestyles create disease.

>>Art Mollen:
No question about it. As technologically advanced as medicine is today, there's still a simplistic way to prevent so many of these diseases, simple as two plus two equals four. It's pragmatic but most people don't want to pay the price that it takes to prevent these diseases. It's much simpler for them to take a pill or if they have to, even have surgical intervention.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Dr. Mollen has a simple prescription to prevent disease.

>>Art Mollen:
I always suggest for people if they want to start an exercise program first of all they need to have a complete physical examination. Make sure you don't have any underlying heart disease or high blood pressure, or potential for stroke. Have a stress electrocardiogram to discern if there's any underlying disease. Then have a basic blood test. Make sure there are no anemias or liver enzymes elevated, determine what your cholesterol is from the get go so we can decide what you need to do. From a basic standpoint, people ought to just start a walking program. If people were to walk one mile a day and they did that every day over the next year they would lose 10 to 12 pounds without any dietary changes at all. From the dietary standpoint I'd suggest minimizing amount of animal protein. No more than one animal protein meal a day. If you have eggs for breakfast that's your animal protein meal. Chicken for lunch or fish for dinner, but no more than one animal protein meal a day.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And here to tell us a little more about the problem of obesity and the diseases it brings on is Dr. Art Mollen, a doctor of osteopathy.
It's great to have you here this evening.

>>Art Mollen:
It's great to be here. It's interesting because the New England Journal of Medicine just yesterday actually came out with an article, and it suggested that actually peer pressure could change what people are eating and that was one of the contributory factors towards obesity. So perhaps picking the right friends may be a way to change your eating habits. The relationship between social ties and what people are doing out there just like smoking and drinking and drugs and everything else, that the peer pressure and the people that you are involved with can often influence so many habits and obesity happens to be one more habit that's added to the mix there.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Do you think it might be that people will flip it and use it as a rationalization for why they are obese rather than trying to change it?

>>Art Mollen:
That's a great excuse.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I'm doing it now.

>>Art Mollen:
It's a great excuse that I'm overweight because I have overweight friends. But on the other side of the coin, I think there's a very eloquent message to be delivered from this particular study and that is that people can change some of the people that they have dinner with and people that they spend time with, and changing that social network, there is the potential to actually get a little healthier. Go out with people who like to go to the gym. Go out with people who want to exercise every day and don't want to eat fried foods and would prefer to eat salads, fruits and vegetables and have fish instead of large pieces of red meat. I think there are some ways to change it.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Or maybe be the change agent among your own friends.

>>Art Mollen:
Absolutely.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Outside of societal changes it seems another thing we hear a lot about is genetic. How much of our obesity epidemic and I assume you agree there is one, is caused by genetics, people with a thyroid condition?

>>Art Mollen:
Yeah, I think there's a genetic component to it. A lot of people like to blame it on an under-active thyroid but actually only 1 percent of the population that's overweight actually has an under-active thyroid, so that's a very small percentage. But genetics can be a contributory factor. A larger-boned person and people like that, they may have that propensity to have a greater amount of weight than others.

>>Richard Ruelas:
But that wouldn't explain --

>>Art Mollen:
That doesn't explain the epidemic. That does not explain what's going on. Because we are inundated with information about what the schools are feeding our children, and basically projecting that out to the public. I think that people need to be aware of what their children are eating at school, the messages obviously that are being propagated through television, as well. That sends a certain message out to children. And I think that parents need to be exemplary. They need to conduct themselves in a certain way as far as their eating habits and their exercise patterns and that's going to change the number of children that are obese in the future. It's been suggested that two-thirds of Americans are overweight at present. By the year 2015, three-fourths of Americans will be obese.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Yet parents are saying my child really likes chicken fingers. How do you wean a child on to vegetable, fruits, fish?

>>Art Mollen:
I think again by being exemplary. You have to change the eating patterns in a very slow, predictable way and if it's once a week they can have that particular meal and whatever they want to eat that's fine. But that's the one time of the week. The rest of the week they are going to follow your instructions and follow your lead.

>>Richard Ruelas:
You talked about, in the piece you talked about eating protein once a day. That seems to be difficult when we are bombarded - this might be the only show that doesn't have a commercial for all-you-can-eat-ribs or a breakfast sandwich - how do we combat that media saturation?

>>Art Mollen:
I think people can fill up with more fiber. Fill up with more fruits and salads and vegetables and that's going to decrease your necessity to eat all the protein. And basically one animal protein meal a day really is the best type of diet. So if you have eggs for breakfast, that's the animal protein meal of the day. Chicken for lunch, that's your animal protein. Or fish for dinner. Get away from the red meats. I think they are potentially dangerous to your health.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Speaking of this, this isn't just an appearance thing. Diabetes, I mean, how linked are these, is obesity to these diseases? Heart disease and diabetes?

>>Art Mollen:
All of these diseases, the major diseases of which people contract, which is diabetes and heart disease, I mean, these are really serious diseases that are directly linked to obesity. If people can reduce the amount of excess weight that they have, Body Mass Index is a simple way to determine how much overweight you are. The average American should be in the range of 20 percent body fat. Most people are closer to 30 percent body fat. It's a little higher for women than it is for men. I think there's simple changes that can be made.

>>Richard Ruelas:
You interviewed for Surgeon General.

>>Art Mollen:
I was nominated for Surgeon General of the United States.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Will it take someone in a national position to push this?

>> Art Mollen:
Absolutely. I think it's going to take someone who is a proponent, who is basically going to proselytize the message of health and fitness to the country. It's easier for people to make those specific changes themselves. Everyone is looking for the silver bullet, to take a pill like this Alli pill that came out recently that's supposedly an over-the-counter pill for weight loss. Everyone is looking for that silver bullet and I think it's not there. Or they go to their doctor, wanting him to help them lose the weight. But unless they make those changes, and if I could paraphrase a quotation from one of our late Presidents, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, ask not what your physician can do for your health but what you can do for yourself.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Dr. Art Mollen, whose fourth book, "Dr. Art Mollen's Anti-aging Program" is in the bookstores. You have made me change my dinner plans now. Thank you.

>>Art Mollen:
You're welcome.

>>Richard Ruelas:
More than two dozen top-notch students from around the country are taking part in a week-long fellowship at Arizona State University regarding renewable energy. The students, some of whom plan a career in renewable energy listened to speakers from the energy field and took field trips to local facilities that produce renewable energy. Mike Sauceda went along with the students to a field trip at a local hydroelectric plant.



>>Mike Sauceda:
Twenty-nine college students from all over the country take part in a tour at Arizona Falls, the historic recreational area in east Phoenix. But these students aren't here to recreate. What draws them to the picturesque site is a hydroelectric generator at the falls that provides power for about 150 nearby homes. Students are taking part in a one-week sustainable energy fellowship sponsored by Salt River Project and put on by Arizona State University's School of Sustainability, in conjunction with Duke, Michigan, and Cornell universities.

>>Jay Golden:
This is part of a multiple field trip. We have 29 students from around the country, the best and brightest students. We had a tremendous amount of applicants and they are permanently focused in engineering, life sciences, biosciences and business. And we are exposing them to conventional energy, to renewable energy sources, and to materials and technologies that reduce energy demand. This is supplemented by, today we have the President of the Americas for Shell flying in to speak to students. We have the Vice President for Ford Motor Company speaking to the students today. So we're trying to get a very broad picture and holistic picture. Students that are participating here are going to be students that not only invent the next generation of materials for generation and reduction, but also those that run organizations and invest in organizations.

>>Mike Sauceda:
One of the participating students is Kellan Dickens, who just graduated from Duke with a degree in mechanical engineering.

>>Kellan Dickens:
It's been a very intensive couple days so far. We visited a number of different facilities including a solar facility, a natural gas facility, the methane facility run by Salt River Project and then this hydroelectric plant. At each facility we've seen this kind of up close and personal inner workings of how they produce this different type of energy.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Hayley Fink is a senior at Harvard and is majoring in earth and planetary sciences. She's learned a lot from the field trips.

>>Hayley Fink:
You can hear about the technologies and lectures and you can like read about it but when you actually see it, it really makes so much more sense and you get the opportunity to talk to the experts, people that actually are working there on the ground on a day to day basis and really get a grasp of the problems they are dealing with, what the benefits of the technologies are.

>>Mike Sauceda:
She says the conference has covered more than just the technical end of renewable energy.

>>Hayley Fink:
I am so psyched to be here. When I found out I got in to the program I was so excited. My professor sent out a little blurb about it and I was like, oh, that's interesting. I went to the Web site and looked at their program and it was amazing because it really looks at the problems of sustainability from so many different aspects, you know, economics, politics, the technologies, the cutting edge research they are doing, business sector. So I just, I mean, I'm so interested in this topic and I know I definitely want to make a career out of it.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And joining me to talk about renewable energy is Cheri Olf, the program director of the American Council on Renewable Energy from Washington, D.C. You're also a presenter at the fellowship. Thanks for joining us this evening.

>>Cheri Olf:
Thank you for having me.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Seems like there's a lot of progress being made just by having these students spending this time here. Tell us a little bit about what they are learning while they are visiting us here.

>>Cheri Olf:
Absolutely. This, it's momentous. We have this group of students representing the four of ACORE's member schools. In the fellowship they had to compete for positions in this fellowship program and our congratulations go out to the students that did achieve this. And we are thrilled to have them here this week learning about sustainable energy and how they might further their career.

>>Richard Ruelas:
It seems like with, you know, as society seems to be embracing the idea more, what do you attribute to people, I guess these students might be telling their friends and telling their parents, it seems like society is embracing the idea of renewable energy a little more.

>>Cheri Olf:
Yes, it's happening. The films and the documentaries that have been out in the last few years have definitely helped that. And I think that people just feel it's the right thing to do.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Gas prices, too?

>>Cheri Olf:
Gas prices are definitely an influence, for sure. Especially in the purchase of hybrid cars.

>>Richard Ruelas:
What are some of the barriers? You'd think if there's a demand out there the market would fill it. But what are some of the barriers to the marketplace just suddenly providing us with renewable sources?

>>Cheri Olf:
Well, the issues that the market are facing right now are not all negative. They are positive but some of the challenges that we have right now are cost, as always, with a new technology. There are issues of cost of the technology and as we absorb or recoup the cost of the research and development phases of these technologies that will start to subside a bit, the cost. And the second thing that we really need to help the renewables be adopted and to help industries that are producing the technology, to provide us this renewable power is, we really need some stabilization of public policy to occur.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Arizona just passed a mandate that the electric companies here will provide, I believe it's 20 percent, of their energy from solar power. Is that the kind of thing you are talking about?

>>Cheri Olf:
Yes. We are talking about it on the federal level. Congress has been long supportive of old technologies, fossil fuel technologies. And yet on the new technology side, the renewable energy, we have these limits. Sunset clauses, for instance, which hinder companies from bringing projects to market on the time frames that are best for the industry and for America. They have to follow these time frames that the policies have dictated.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Meaning if you want to build, say a solar plant in Arizona, the government's giving you a window in which to do so?

>>Cheri Olf:
Exactly, for production tax credit. So these companies are having to lobby to get these credits extended and so, basically, what we are looking for, with ACORE, is to educate the industries and young people like this so that we can have these technologies ready when Congress comes up to speed and helps us by making these credits more readily available.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I guess that's part of it with young people we saw in that piece. There's going to be thoughts in their heads that down the line maybe they figure out the better way to produce hydrogen cell or solar cell? Is that part of the thought process?

>>Cheri Olf:
Yes, exactly. On the positive side, there's no negatives to renewable energy. People are flocking to the industry. There are thousands, if not millions of jobs that will be available in the renewable fields within the next five years. So these students are seeing that and they want to be ahead of the curve. And so the time is now, if we wait 20 years, it's, you know, there is no opportunity.

>>Richard Ruelas:
You're in from D.C. this week. Are you holding things like this in different cities?

>>Cheri Olf:
This is a pilot program.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Oh.

>>Cheri Olf:
And we owe a lot of thanks to the Salt River Project for helping us fund this and prestigious faculty from A.S.U., Dr. Jay Golden, and Duke, Cornell and University of Michigan have helped us run this pilot program. We hope to take it nationally and run it in the different regions with different ACORE members and member schools and have it in different parts of the country.

>>Richard Ruelas:
We're glad it worked well here during your time here. Cheri Olf, thanks for joining us.

>>Cheri Olf:
Thank you, Richard.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Next year the first baby boomers will start collecting social security checks. As the boomer generation ages it will encounter all the problems and dilemmas encountered by previous generations and maybe some new ones. Two lawyers have joined forces to write a book on legal advice for boomers entitled ĎAlive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers.' It has a lot more than legal advice. Earlier I talked to Kenney Hegland, one of the authors and a University of Arizona law professor about his book. Dr. Hegland, thanks for joining us tonight. Tell us your motivation for writing your book.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Well, I'm a teacher and I've just been learning a lot about the issues of Elder Law and when I learn something I always want to say, who can I tell this to? There's a lot of very interesting information I came across and there's a lot of good news. Elderly people when they survey them tend to be happier than younger people. A lot of people get better health wise when they get older. There are a lot of problems that can come up and I just wanted to kind of share the information that I think everyone should at least have an idea about some of the legal problems that might come up, how to avoid them, If they can't avoid them, how can they deal with them?

>>Richard Ruelas:
Looking through the Table of Contents, looks like any one of the parts of the book could be a book on its own. You seem to have compressed a lot of varied information into this volume here.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Yeah. We wanted to give an overview, sort of educate people. This is not a book like there's a whole series of dummy books, this is not for dummies. The audience we look for is the fairly intelligent, educated audience that wants to learn things and to learn about the various options. For example, in estate planning, people think that there are wills, but then there's trusts and joint ownership and we talk about all of those to give people an idea of the options. This is not a self-help book in the sense of filling out forms. It's a how to think about it book.

>>Richard Ruelas:
It also seems to be filled with a lot of good humor. It's written from a very, I guess, conversational perspective.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Yeah. And part of the thing is, when you have to write it, you want to entertain yourself as you are going along. I think that the real problem is to get people, law oftentimes is pretty boring and technical stuff, so we try to make it fairly light. I have a co-author who practiced Elder Law for 30 years. He really knows a lot of the substance. But we really want people to read the book and if it's not readable, if it's not funny, we have some poetry in there, we have some existential angst in there. We want people to come away thinking I've actually learned something.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Yeah. But outside of the legal stuff, you seem, like you mention, some of the existential angst. You talk about suicide, depression. You make a Dick Cheney joke referencing guns. Why did you choose topics outside your specialty?

>>Kenney Hegland:
Well, I think there's a misconception that lawyers just do law. What lawyers do is to counsel people and you may have, if you are a lawyer dealing with older people, or anybody, you may have people who are suicidal and you've got to help them deal with that. You are not experts but to be aware of that. Basically what we want to do is alert people to the problems that might arise and depression is one of them. Suicide is one of them. Dying without a will is another one. And so it's kind of encyclopedic in that sense.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And the title "Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers," even that implies that you think, or does it seem that this generation as they age will be more alive and kicking than previous ones?

>> Kenney Hegland:
I think so. And I think a lot of people now don't look at retirement as just playing golf. They want to be involved and they want to continue to work and do things. And we have some suggestions. But also when you start, there's a lot of scams that arise, where people are asked to invest something to start their own business. Like franchises are notoriously bad for people to get involved in. We talk about some expert advice if you're going to do that. George Bernard Shaw has a great quote that we use in the book that when he dies he wants to be used up. I think probably a lot of baby boomers want to be used up as well.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Again, on some of the sort of non-legal topics, you have three pages on driving and three pages on sex.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Yes. We don't recommend them to go together. [laughter]

>>Richard Ruelas:
Tell us about, I mean because again, sex might not be something that's thought of in today's society. But maybe as the baby boom gets into that area it's going to be more.

>>Kenney Hegland:
It's kind of like a punch line to a Woody Allen question in a way. I mean, sex continues. One of the things we want to tell people is, you know, if you have a relative that's going into a nursing home, you maybe want to talk to the people in the nursing home. How do they handle that? A lot of people think that's wonderful if your grandfather or grandmother is still engaging in sex. But you may get in situations where it's not consensual, so it's an issue we want people to know about so that they can be prepared to think about it and the main thing I think about the book is we want people talking about things that they, that are uncomfortable, you know. Most people when they get older the main thing they're worried about is becoming dependent on their kids and becoming a burden. And most families don't talk about things like that. We could have called this book "The Elephant in the Room." And we try to encourage throughout the book and we have some suggestions on how to start conversations about really things that matter. And we have found that once people get beyond the heartache of talking about it or the uncomfortableness of talking about it they have great conversations and people start talking about their history and when they were kids and there's a lot of laughter.

>>Richard Ruelas:
As you mention, even discussing something like a living will is difficult. What age to do you think people should start talking about it?

>>Kenney Hegland:
We have a chapter on living wills. And we suggest that you have your family read it and sign off. And it's much more detailed than the form where you check things off at the hospital. It talks about what you want to do like organ donations and things like that. But we say, have your family read it and check it off and that will facilitate a question. If you ask your kids, I want you to look at my living will and see if you think it's ok, it's much easier than to say come on over here, I want to talk about my death. It's a good conduit to get into things that matter.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Better than the conversation at an emergency room, I guess.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Exactly right. There are a lot of things that if you don't deal with you got to deal with them. If it's better to deal with them now than later on.

>>Richard Ruelas:
"Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers," is available on Amazon?


>>Kenney Hegland:
Amazon, and hopefully in all good bookstores.

>>Richard Ruelas:
If they ask for it.

>>Kenney Hegland:
If they ask for it, yes.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Thank you for joining us this evening.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Thank you very much.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And thank you for joining us this Thursday evening on Horizon.

Renewable Energy


  • Arizona State University is hosting a renewable energy conference this week. Cheri Faso of the American Council On Renewable Energy in Washington DC is taking part in the conference, and will appear on Horizon to talk about it. Find out more. Visit the Acore Web site.
Guests:
  • Dr. Art Mollen. - Doctor of Osteopathy
  • Cheri Olf - Program Director, American Council on Renewable Energy
  • Kenney Hegland - Author and law professor, University of Arizona
Category: Energy

View Transcript
>>Richard Ruelas:
Tonight on Horizon, obesity continues to be a larger problem. A local doctor talks about obesity and its ill effects. Arizona State University hosts a conference on renewable energy that attracts top-notch students from all over the country. And as baby boomers retire, they'll be entering a whole new world and a University of Arizona law professor has written a book of advice to help with that transition. All that's next on Horizon.

>>Announcer:
Horizon is made possible by contributions from the Friends of Eight, members of your Arizona PBS Station. Thank you.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Good evening, I'm Richard Ruelas. Welcome to Horizon. All week we have been telling about diseases that are increasing in scope in our four-part series. Tonight we wrap up the health epidemic series by examining an issue that makes individuals larger as it increases in scope. We are talking about obesity. In the United States obesity has increased dramatically over the past 20 years. In 1991, only four states had an obesity rate of 15 to 19 percent. In no state was the obesity rate over 20 percent. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those numbers have flipped. In 2005, the C.D.C. reports only four states had obesity rates of less than 20 percent. Children are getting fatter as well. The Institute of Medicine reports that rates of obesity in pre-school children have doubled. With increasing obesity rates comes an increase in diseases such as diabetes and heart attacks. I will talk to Dr. Art Mollen about obesity, but first Mike Sauceda tells us about prevention.

>>Mike Sauceda:
In 2004, 654,000 people died from heart disease according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2005, the C.D.C. says nearly 73,000 people died from diabetes and in 2004, nearly 23,000 people died because of high blood pressure. Dr. Art Mollen is a Phoenix doctor whose focus is prevention of disease.



>>Art Mollen:
The interesting thing is that about 95 percent of disease entities could actually be prevented if people had lifestyle changes. Those lifestyle changes include diet, exercise and a positive mental attitude. If people can change some of those aspects of their life, they can potentially live for 100 years in the absence of many of the diseases that modern civilization knows such as diabetes, such as heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and even cancer.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Mollen says despite our advanced medical technology, people's
lifestyles create disease.

>>Art Mollen:
No question about it. As technologically advanced as medicine is today, there's still a simplistic way to prevent so many of these diseases, simple as two plus two equals four. It's pragmatic but most people don't want to pay the price that it takes to prevent these diseases. It's much simpler for them to take a pill or if they have to, even have surgical intervention.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Dr. Mollen has a simple prescription to prevent disease.

>>Art Mollen:
I always suggest for people if they want to start an exercise program first of all they need to have a complete physical examination. Make sure you don't have any underlying heart disease or high blood pressure, or potential for stroke. Have a stress electrocardiogram to discern if there's any underlying disease. Then have a basic blood test. Make sure there are no anemias or liver enzymes elevated, determine what your cholesterol is from the get go so we can decide what you need to do. From a basic standpoint, people ought to just start a walking program. If people were to walk one mile a day and they did that every day over the next year they would lose 10 to 12 pounds without any dietary changes at all. From the dietary standpoint I'd suggest minimizing amount of animal protein. No more than one animal protein meal a day. If you have eggs for breakfast that's your animal protein meal. Chicken for lunch or fish for dinner, but no more than one animal protein meal a day.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And here to tell us a little more about the problem of obesity and the diseases it brings on is Dr. Art Mollen, a doctor of osteopathy.
It's great to have you here this evening.

>>Art Mollen:
It's great to be here. It's interesting because the New England Journal of Medicine just yesterday actually came out with an article, and it suggested that actually peer pressure could change what people are eating and that was one of the contributory factors towards obesity. So perhaps picking the right friends may be a way to change your eating habits. The relationship between social ties and what people are doing out there just like smoking and drinking and drugs and everything else, that the peer pressure and the people that you are involved with can often influence so many habits and obesity happens to be one more habit that's added to the mix there.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Do you think it might be that people will flip it and use it as a rationalization for why they are obese rather than trying to change it?

>>Art Mollen:
That's a great excuse.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I'm doing it now.

>>Art Mollen:
It's a great excuse that I'm overweight because I have overweight friends. But on the other side of the coin, I think there's a very eloquent message to be delivered from this particular study and that is that people can change some of the people that they have dinner with and people that they spend time with, and changing that social network, there is the potential to actually get a little healthier. Go out with people who like to go to the gym. Go out with people who want to exercise every day and don't want to eat fried foods and would prefer to eat salads, fruits and vegetables and have fish instead of large pieces of red meat. I think there are some ways to change it.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Or maybe be the change agent among your own friends.

>>Art Mollen:
Absolutely.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Outside of societal changes it seems another thing we hear a lot about is genetic. How much of our obesity epidemic and I assume you agree there is one, is caused by genetics, people with a thyroid condition?

>>Art Mollen:
Yeah, I think there's a genetic component to it. A lot of people like to blame it on an under-active thyroid but actually only 1 percent of the population that's overweight actually has an under-active thyroid, so that's a very small percentage. But genetics can be a contributory factor. A larger-boned person and people like that, they may have that propensity to have a greater amount of weight than others.

>>Richard Ruelas:
But that wouldn't explain --

>>Art Mollen:
That doesn't explain the epidemic. That does not explain what's going on. Because we are inundated with information about what the schools are feeding our children, and basically projecting that out to the public. I think that people need to be aware of what their children are eating at school, the messages obviously that are being propagated through television, as well. That sends a certain message out to children. And I think that parents need to be exemplary. They need to conduct themselves in a certain way as far as their eating habits and their exercise patterns and that's going to change the number of children that are obese in the future. It's been suggested that two-thirds of Americans are overweight at present. By the year 2015, three-fourths of Americans will be obese.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Yet parents are saying my child really likes chicken fingers. How do you wean a child on to vegetable, fruits, fish?

>>Art Mollen:
I think again by being exemplary. You have to change the eating patterns in a very slow, predictable way and if it's once a week they can have that particular meal and whatever they want to eat that's fine. But that's the one time of the week. The rest of the week they are going to follow your instructions and follow your lead.

>>Richard Ruelas:
You talked about, in the piece you talked about eating protein once a day. That seems to be difficult when we are bombarded - this might be the only show that doesn't have a commercial for all-you-can-eat-ribs or a breakfast sandwich - how do we combat that media saturation?

>>Art Mollen:
I think people can fill up with more fiber. Fill up with more fruits and salads and vegetables and that's going to decrease your necessity to eat all the protein. And basically one animal protein meal a day really is the best type of diet. So if you have eggs for breakfast, that's the animal protein meal of the day. Chicken for lunch, that's your animal protein. Or fish for dinner. Get away from the red meats. I think they are potentially dangerous to your health.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Speaking of this, this isn't just an appearance thing. Diabetes, I mean, how linked are these, is obesity to these diseases? Heart disease and diabetes?

>>Art Mollen:
All of these diseases, the major diseases of which people contract, which is diabetes and heart disease, I mean, these are really serious diseases that are directly linked to obesity. If people can reduce the amount of excess weight that they have, Body Mass Index is a simple way to determine how much overweight you are. The average American should be in the range of 20 percent body fat. Most people are closer to 30 percent body fat. It's a little higher for women than it is for men. I think there's simple changes that can be made.

>>Richard Ruelas:
You interviewed for Surgeon General.

>>Art Mollen:
I was nominated for Surgeon General of the United States.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Will it take someone in a national position to push this?

>> Art Mollen:
Absolutely. I think it's going to take someone who is a proponent, who is basically going to proselytize the message of health and fitness to the country. It's easier for people to make those specific changes themselves. Everyone is looking for the silver bullet, to take a pill like this Alli pill that came out recently that's supposedly an over-the-counter pill for weight loss. Everyone is looking for that silver bullet and I think it's not there. Or they go to their doctor, wanting him to help them lose the weight. But unless they make those changes, and if I could paraphrase a quotation from one of our late Presidents, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, ask not what your physician can do for your health but what you can do for yourself.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Dr. Art Mollen, whose fourth book, "Dr. Art Mollen's Anti-aging Program" is in the bookstores. You have made me change my dinner plans now. Thank you.

>>Art Mollen:
You're welcome.

>>Richard Ruelas:
More than two dozen top-notch students from around the country are taking part in a week-long fellowship at Arizona State University regarding renewable energy. The students, some of whom plan a career in renewable energy listened to speakers from the energy field and took field trips to local facilities that produce renewable energy. Mike Sauceda went along with the students to a field trip at a local hydroelectric plant.



>>Mike Sauceda:
Twenty-nine college students from all over the country take part in a tour at Arizona Falls, the historic recreational area in east Phoenix. But these students aren't here to recreate. What draws them to the picturesque site is a hydroelectric generator at the falls that provides power for about 150 nearby homes. Students are taking part in a one-week sustainable energy fellowship sponsored by Salt River Project and put on by Arizona State University's School of Sustainability, in conjunction with Duke, Michigan, and Cornell universities.

>>Jay Golden:
This is part of a multiple field trip. We have 29 students from around the country, the best and brightest students. We had a tremendous amount of applicants and they are permanently focused in engineering, life sciences, biosciences and business. And we are exposing them to conventional energy, to renewable energy sources, and to materials and technologies that reduce energy demand. This is supplemented by, today we have the President of the Americas for Shell flying in to speak to students. We have the Vice President for Ford Motor Company speaking to the students today. So we're trying to get a very broad picture and holistic picture. Students that are participating here are going to be students that not only invent the next generation of materials for generation and reduction, but also those that run organizations and invest in organizations.

>>Mike Sauceda:
One of the participating students is Kellan Dickens, who just graduated from Duke with a degree in mechanical engineering.

>>Kellan Dickens:
It's been a very intensive couple days so far. We visited a number of different facilities including a solar facility, a natural gas facility, the methane facility run by Salt River Project and then this hydroelectric plant. At each facility we've seen this kind of up close and personal inner workings of how they produce this different type of energy.

>>Mike Sauceda:
Hayley Fink is a senior at Harvard and is majoring in earth and planetary sciences. She's learned a lot from the field trips.

>>Hayley Fink:
You can hear about the technologies and lectures and you can like read about it but when you actually see it, it really makes so much more sense and you get the opportunity to talk to the experts, people that actually are working there on the ground on a day to day basis and really get a grasp of the problems they are dealing with, what the benefits of the technologies are.

>>Mike Sauceda:
She says the conference has covered more than just the technical end of renewable energy.

>>Hayley Fink:
I am so psyched to be here. When I found out I got in to the program I was so excited. My professor sent out a little blurb about it and I was like, oh, that's interesting. I went to the Web site and looked at their program and it was amazing because it really looks at the problems of sustainability from so many different aspects, you know, economics, politics, the technologies, the cutting edge research they are doing, business sector. So I just, I mean, I'm so interested in this topic and I know I definitely want to make a career out of it.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And joining me to talk about renewable energy is Cheri Olf, the program director of the American Council on Renewable Energy from Washington, D.C. You're also a presenter at the fellowship. Thanks for joining us this evening.

>>Cheri Olf:
Thank you for having me.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Seems like there's a lot of progress being made just by having these students spending this time here. Tell us a little bit about what they are learning while they are visiting us here.

>>Cheri Olf:
Absolutely. This, it's momentous. We have this group of students representing the four of ACORE's member schools. In the fellowship they had to compete for positions in this fellowship program and our congratulations go out to the students that did achieve this. And we are thrilled to have them here this week learning about sustainable energy and how they might further their career.

>>Richard Ruelas:
It seems like with, you know, as society seems to be embracing the idea more, what do you attribute to people, I guess these students might be telling their friends and telling their parents, it seems like society is embracing the idea of renewable energy a little more.

>>Cheri Olf:
Yes, it's happening. The films and the documentaries that have been out in the last few years have definitely helped that. And I think that people just feel it's the right thing to do.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Gas prices, too?

>>Cheri Olf:
Gas prices are definitely an influence, for sure. Especially in the purchase of hybrid cars.

>>Richard Ruelas:
What are some of the barriers? You'd think if there's a demand out there the market would fill it. But what are some of the barriers to the marketplace just suddenly providing us with renewable sources?

>>Cheri Olf:
Well, the issues that the market are facing right now are not all negative. They are positive but some of the challenges that we have right now are cost, as always, with a new technology. There are issues of cost of the technology and as we absorb or recoup the cost of the research and development phases of these technologies that will start to subside a bit, the cost. And the second thing that we really need to help the renewables be adopted and to help industries that are producing the technology, to provide us this renewable power is, we really need some stabilization of public policy to occur.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Arizona just passed a mandate that the electric companies here will provide, I believe it's 20 percent, of their energy from solar power. Is that the kind of thing you are talking about?

>>Cheri Olf:
Yes. We are talking about it on the federal level. Congress has been long supportive of old technologies, fossil fuel technologies. And yet on the new technology side, the renewable energy, we have these limits. Sunset clauses, for instance, which hinder companies from bringing projects to market on the time frames that are best for the industry and for America. They have to follow these time frames that the policies have dictated.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Meaning if you want to build, say a solar plant in Arizona, the government's giving you a window in which to do so?

>>Cheri Olf:
Exactly, for production tax credit. So these companies are having to lobby to get these credits extended and so, basically, what we are looking for, with ACORE, is to educate the industries and young people like this so that we can have these technologies ready when Congress comes up to speed and helps us by making these credits more readily available.

>>Richard Ruelas:
I guess that's part of it with young people we saw in that piece. There's going to be thoughts in their heads that down the line maybe they figure out the better way to produce hydrogen cell or solar cell? Is that part of the thought process?

>>Cheri Olf:
Yes, exactly. On the positive side, there's no negatives to renewable energy. People are flocking to the industry. There are thousands, if not millions of jobs that will be available in the renewable fields within the next five years. So these students are seeing that and they want to be ahead of the curve. And so the time is now, if we wait 20 years, it's, you know, there is no opportunity.

>>Richard Ruelas:
You're in from D.C. this week. Are you holding things like this in different cities?

>>Cheri Olf:
This is a pilot program.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Oh.

>>Cheri Olf:
And we owe a lot of thanks to the Salt River Project for helping us fund this and prestigious faculty from A.S.U., Dr. Jay Golden, and Duke, Cornell and University of Michigan have helped us run this pilot program. We hope to take it nationally and run it in the different regions with different ACORE members and member schools and have it in different parts of the country.

>>Richard Ruelas:
We're glad it worked well here during your time here. Cheri Olf, thanks for joining us.

>>Cheri Olf:
Thank you, Richard.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Next year the first baby boomers will start collecting social security checks. As the boomer generation ages it will encounter all the problems and dilemmas encountered by previous generations and maybe some new ones. Two lawyers have joined forces to write a book on legal advice for boomers entitled ĎAlive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers.' It has a lot more than legal advice. Earlier I talked to Kenney Hegland, one of the authors and a University of Arizona law professor about his book. Dr. Hegland, thanks for joining us tonight. Tell us your motivation for writing your book.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Well, I'm a teacher and I've just been learning a lot about the issues of Elder Law and when I learn something I always want to say, who can I tell this to? There's a lot of very interesting information I came across and there's a lot of good news. Elderly people when they survey them tend to be happier than younger people. A lot of people get better health wise when they get older. There are a lot of problems that can come up and I just wanted to kind of share the information that I think everyone should at least have an idea about some of the legal problems that might come up, how to avoid them, If they can't avoid them, how can they deal with them?

>>Richard Ruelas:
Looking through the Table of Contents, looks like any one of the parts of the book could be a book on its own. You seem to have compressed a lot of varied information into this volume here.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Yeah. We wanted to give an overview, sort of educate people. This is not a book like there's a whole series of dummy books, this is not for dummies. The audience we look for is the fairly intelligent, educated audience that wants to learn things and to learn about the various options. For example, in estate planning, people think that there are wills, but then there's trusts and joint ownership and we talk about all of those to give people an idea of the options. This is not a self-help book in the sense of filling out forms. It's a how to think about it book.

>>Richard Ruelas:
It also seems to be filled with a lot of good humor. It's written from a very, I guess, conversational perspective.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Yeah. And part of the thing is, when you have to write it, you want to entertain yourself as you are going along. I think that the real problem is to get people, law oftentimes is pretty boring and technical stuff, so we try to make it fairly light. I have a co-author who practiced Elder Law for 30 years. He really knows a lot of the substance. But we really want people to read the book and if it's not readable, if it's not funny, we have some poetry in there, we have some existential angst in there. We want people to come away thinking I've actually learned something.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Yeah. But outside of the legal stuff, you seem, like you mention, some of the existential angst. You talk about suicide, depression. You make a Dick Cheney joke referencing guns. Why did you choose topics outside your specialty?

>>Kenney Hegland:
Well, I think there's a misconception that lawyers just do law. What lawyers do is to counsel people and you may have, if you are a lawyer dealing with older people, or anybody, you may have people who are suicidal and you've got to help them deal with that. You are not experts but to be aware of that. Basically what we want to do is alert people to the problems that might arise and depression is one of them. Suicide is one of them. Dying without a will is another one. And so it's kind of encyclopedic in that sense.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And the title "Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers," even that implies that you think, or does it seem that this generation as they age will be more alive and kicking than previous ones?

>> Kenney Hegland:
I think so. And I think a lot of people now don't look at retirement as just playing golf. They want to be involved and they want to continue to work and do things. And we have some suggestions. But also when you start, there's a lot of scams that arise, where people are asked to invest something to start their own business. Like franchises are notoriously bad for people to get involved in. We talk about some expert advice if you're going to do that. George Bernard Shaw has a great quote that we use in the book that when he dies he wants to be used up. I think probably a lot of baby boomers want to be used up as well.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Again, on some of the sort of non-legal topics, you have three pages on driving and three pages on sex.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Yes. We don't recommend them to go together. [laughter]

>>Richard Ruelas:
Tell us about, I mean because again, sex might not be something that's thought of in today's society. But maybe as the baby boom gets into that area it's going to be more.

>>Kenney Hegland:
It's kind of like a punch line to a Woody Allen question in a way. I mean, sex continues. One of the things we want to tell people is, you know, if you have a relative that's going into a nursing home, you maybe want to talk to the people in the nursing home. How do they handle that? A lot of people think that's wonderful if your grandfather or grandmother is still engaging in sex. But you may get in situations where it's not consensual, so it's an issue we want people to know about so that they can be prepared to think about it and the main thing I think about the book is we want people talking about things that they, that are uncomfortable, you know. Most people when they get older the main thing they're worried about is becoming dependent on their kids and becoming a burden. And most families don't talk about things like that. We could have called this book "The Elephant in the Room." And we try to encourage throughout the book and we have some suggestions on how to start conversations about really things that matter. And we have found that once people get beyond the heartache of talking about it or the uncomfortableness of talking about it they have great conversations and people start talking about their history and when they were kids and there's a lot of laughter.

>>Richard Ruelas:
As you mention, even discussing something like a living will is difficult. What age to do you think people should start talking about it?

>>Kenney Hegland:
We have a chapter on living wills. And we suggest that you have your family read it and sign off. And it's much more detailed than the form where you check things off at the hospital. It talks about what you want to do like organ donations and things like that. But we say, have your family read it and check it off and that will facilitate a question. If you ask your kids, I want you to look at my living will and see if you think it's ok, it's much easier than to say come on over here, I want to talk about my death. It's a good conduit to get into things that matter.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Better than the conversation at an emergency room, I guess.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Exactly right. There are a lot of things that if you don't deal with you got to deal with them. If it's better to deal with them now than later on.

>>Richard Ruelas:
"Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice for Boomers," is available on Amazon?


>>Kenney Hegland:
Amazon, and hopefully in all good bookstores.

>>Richard Ruelas:
If they ask for it.

>>Kenney Hegland:
If they ask for it, yes.

>>Richard Ruelas:
Thank you for joining us this evening.

>>Kenney Hegland:
Thank you very much.

>>Richard Ruelas:
And thank you for joining us this Thursday evening on Horizon.

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