Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama:
JEH JEH LIVE - UA Theatre & Dance takes a bite out of the Big Apple. Director Seth Panitch and his band of merry men are making their way to the city that never sleeps with Here I Sit Brokenhearted: A Bathroom Odyssey at the Samuel Beckett Theatre located at Theatre Row in New York City. The production is a part of Panitch's Bridge Project in conjunction with The University of Alabama that creates an opportunity for theatre student to be able to cut their teeth in the professional acting world that began in 2006. Here I Sit Brokenhearted will have you laughing down the aisles of the theatre, but will also warm your heart as you will witness the present and future of acting in this production. Pay what you can previews will take place June 14th-16th at the Allen Bales Theatre at 7:30 PM each night. Visit www.theatre.ua.edu for more information.
BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin joined us to explain a new FDA proposal for a voluntary sodium reduction. If you've ever tried to cut the sodium in your diet, you know how challenging it is. Why is it so tough? Most of the sodium in our diets isn't from us shaking the salt shaker. It's from processed foods like canned soups, frozen pizzas, rice mixes, fast foods, frozen dinners, cheese, and processed meat and many, many more. In other words, if you want to lower your sodium unless you're cooking everything from scratch, you're going to have a rough time. The average American gets about 3400 mg of sodium a day – but the recommended limit is 2300 mg. If you don't have high blood pressure – then that level of sodium is probably not going to hurt. But about 1/3 of all Americans do have high blood pressure. If you just look at African-Americans, the risk is even higher – 1 in every 2 has high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of stroke and heart disease – two leading causes of death in the U.S. And too much sodium pushes up blood pressure. Beth showed us a couple of food labels to see just how hard it is to cut back on sodium. Keep in mind, our goal is to limit sodium to 2300 mg a day. You get almost 1000 mg from just one slice of this pizza – and who eats just one slice? Canned soups are loaded with sodium. If you eat 1 cup - half a can- of this lentil soup, you get over 800 mg of sodium. Double that if you eat the whole can. So now the FDA is asking the food industry to voluntarily make modest reductions in the amount of sodium in their products. The FDA has listed the highest sodium foods and then provided the food industry with short term and long range sodium goals for those foods. The two and ten-year targets will help Americans drop their sodium to less than 3,000 mg at the two-year mark and then down to 2300 mg by the ten-year mark.
Here are a couple of examples:
• Cream cheese has an average of 400 mg in a serving. The two-year goal is to drop it to 380 mg with the ten-year goal dropping it down to 340 mg.
• For one hot dog, the average sodium is a little over 500 mg. The two-year goal is 450 mg and the 10-year goal is 360 mg.
Now those may not seem like huge drops in sodium. And you probably won't notice much of a difference in taste – particularly with the gradual drop because your taste buds will adjust. But the idea here is that if all of the foods drop the sodium a modest amount, then your total sodium will drop quite dramatically! A big question many consumers have is "will this make my taste bland?". The drops in sodium are modest – so you will probably not notice a big difference. They drop in sodium is also gradual. Your taste buds adapt. Anyone who's ever cut down on salt in their diet can tell you that high salt foods taste too salty after a while! Keep in mind, this is not a done deal. The FDA has just proposed its plan on June 1 and is now taking comments. Also, it will be voluntary – but hopefully, most food companies will pitch into the effort. Scientists estimate that down the road, it could save 500,000 lives over a decade and cut $100 billion in healthcare costs!
MONEY TUESDAY - Stewart Welch joined us with advice on "making college pay." Does it really make sense to spend four to five years and tens of thousands of dollars attending and graduating from college only to find out there are no jobs or very low paying jobs in the course of study you've chosen?
However, it is Stewart's experience that many students give very little consideration to the long-term impact of choosing a particular major. Parents are often just as guilty in that they provide very little guidance.
Kiplinger Magazine published an article that focused on the ten best and worst majors and the results are worth noting.
Ten best college majors: Computer science; information management systems; software engineer; economics; finance; physics; statistics; civil engineering; actuarial mathematics and nursing. For the most part, the common theme here is math, science and computers. This group experienced many more job opportunities with starting wages in the $50,000 to $60,000 range.
Ten worst college majors: Culinary arts; music; child & family studies; animal science; media - radio, TV newspaper; interior design; drama; art; education; and graphic design. A strong theme here is creative arts. This group will often struggle to find jobs and starting pay will be nearly half that of those who graduate with a top ten major.
Stewart understands that money is not the most important thing in the world and there are lots of things that are more important, but having enough money to pay your bills and save for retirement is immensely important. He's watched way too many families struggle their entire adult lives because they didn't earn enough money. Understand that students entering college don't have the perspective of not earning enough money because, in many cases, their parents have provided for most, if not all, of their needs. Many see college as a fun adventure and give little thought as to 'what happens next' after they graduate. They choose a major because it sounds fun. The result is often the frightening realization that there are no jobs for which their major has prepared them and they are forced to accept a low paying job and, too often, return home to live! If you're a student, before you choose your major, research what the job prospects are as well as the long-range opportunities for advancement. If you're a parent, do your best to steer your children during their primary education and early secondary education towards academic areas where they'll have the best opportunity to succeed financially. If you choose this path, do so knowingly and prepare yourself to become a master of managing your money. The bottom line is that your choices make a big difference in the trajectory of your life so be thoughtful and deliberate.
NEW TECHNOLOGY - Forget the neckties and coffee mugs—give your dad the high-tech gifts he really wants! Mike talked with the non-profit Consumer Technology Association's Digital Answer Man Jim Barry for a look at the latest tech products that make great gifts! He showed us items including
o HTC Healthbox, the world's first connected fitness system
o Fizzics, personalized beer system that delivers expertly poured draft beer
o House of Marley portable Bluetooth audio system
o Seek Thermal, a portable thermal imaging camera that plugs into your smartphone
KIRK FRANKLIN - Kirk Franklin's "20 Years in One Night Tour" comes to Birmingham's Alabama Theatre tonight! The 20 Years in One Night Tour is a retrospective of Kirk Franklin's impressive, 20-plus year body of work, which has garnered 10 GRAMMY Awards, over 40 Stellar Awards and 16 GMA Dove Awards. Ten-time GRAMMY® Award-winning artist, songwriter, producer and music icon Kirk Franklin, also garners a second #1 hit with his latest single "123 Victory," which hits #1 on the Mediabase Gospel radio chart. The second hit single off of his chart-topping eleventh studio album, LOSING MY RELIGION )Fo Yo Soul Recordings / RCA Records), "123 Victory" follows on the heels of Franklin's record-breaking #1 single "Wanna Be Happy?".
MAX GREENFIELD - You know Max Greenfield as "Schmidt" on the sitcom "New Girl." Now he stars with Sally Field in the new flick "Hello, My Name is Doris." She plays an extreme late-bloomer who pursues Greenfield's character - her younger, hipster, co-worker. This funny and heartwarming comedy comes out on DVD today. It is rated R.