How extreme heat threatens health and safety

A visitor to Stone Lake in La Porte, Ind. on Tuesday, June 18, 2024 wades through the lake with her dog. (AP)
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Updated 20 June 2024

How extreme heat threatens health and safety

  • The more serious version is heatstroke, when the body’s core temperature goes above 40.6 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit)

LONDON: With extreme heat gripping much of the Northern Hemisphere this week, authorities and public health experts have issued heat warnings to help keep people safe.
Parts of China, India, the Middle East, southern Europe and the United States are bracing for the possibility of new record highs.

Heat affects health in several ways.
Heat exhaustion, which can include dizziness, headaches, shaking and thirst, can affect anyone, and is not usually serious, providing the person cools down within 30 minutes.
The more serious version is heatstroke, when the body’s core temperature goes above 40.6 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit). It is a medical emergency and can lead to long-term organ damage and death. Symptoms include rapid breathing, confusion or seizures, and nausea.
As climate change continues to drive temperatures upward in coming years, the danger of humidity is also expected to rise. Warmer air can hold more moisture. And more moisture in the air makes it harder for people to sweat to cool down.

Some people are more vulnerable, including young babies and older people, as well as people who must stay active or are more exposed, such as homeless people.
Existing conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, as well as diabetes, can also heighten risk — and be exacerbated by heat.
Many countries do not record heat as a specific cause of death, which means we do not have statistics to gauge this risk on communities.
However, a 2021 study in The Lancet estimated that just under a half-million deaths can be attributed to excess heat every year — a conservative count that lacks data from many low-income countries.
Many in Europe fear a repeat of the 2022 summer, during which heatwaves killed an estimated 61,000 people, scientists said.
The risks will continue to rise as climate change pushes global temperatures even higher in coming decades.
Apart from testing a body’s internal thermostat, extreme heat can pose a host of other, secondary risks.
Warmer temperatures encourage the growth of bacteria and algae. So heatwaves can raise the risk of water being contaminated with diseases like cholera, or of water bodies becoming choked with toxic algae.
Heat can also damage crops, adding to concerns about food security.
Starting from 2030, experts expect that global death tolls will increase by 250,000 per year as a result of four climate-related health risks: heat stress, malnutrition associated with food insecurity, malaria, and diarrhea, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Wildfires fueled by dried-out trees or shrubs can lead to dangerous levels of air pollution, which can cause lung inflammation and tissue damage.
Studies have also suggested that both extreme heat as well as exposure to wildfire smoke could also be linked with low birthweight and premature births.
Heat stress can also contribute to poorer mental health. Rising night-time temperatures can disrupt people’s sleep patterns, worsening mental health outcomes.

Experts say more deaths occur earlier in the summer when people’s bodies have not had a chance to acclimatize to the season.
Location matters, too; people are at higher risk in places where they are not used to such heat, including parts of Europe.
As outdoor work becomes dangerous amid high temperatures, some countries and communities have shuttered schools or forced a shortening of daytime work hours for businesses.

Public health agencies from India to the United States have issued advice on keeping cool, including avoiding exertion where possible and staying hydrated.
Authorities often aim to help by setting up cooling centers, distributing extra water or providing free access to air-conditioned public transport.
Workers should think about having more breaks and changing their clothing too, scientists said.
It is important to check in on the vulnerable, including older and isolated people, they said.
Heatstroke is a medical emergency and requires immediate professional attention.


Where We Are Going Today: Emmy Squared Pizza

Updated 13 July 2024

Where We Are Going Today: Emmy Squared Pizza

JEDDAH: If you are craving comfort food or looking for a cheat-day indulgence, Emmy Squared Pizza at Jeddah Yacht Club is your go-to destination. Nestled alongside the tranquil waters of the Red Sea, the restaurant offers a serene sea view.

Emmy Squared has brought Detroit-style pizza to New York and now to Jeddah. Their pizzas, traditionally baked in square steel pans, offer a classic dish with a contemporary twist. Their signature square pizzas has a “frico” cheese crust and signature saucy stripes.

You may like to try their EURO Cup specials, including the Euro Cup Tray and cheesecake. The tray, enough for three people, offers crispy chicken crunchers, onion rings, mozzarella sticks, a mini Emily beef burger, a mini Jeddah chicken sandwich, waffle fries, and a key lime-baked cheesecake. The order comes with three different sauces: Emmy’s special sauce, fresh tomato sauce, and ranch sauce.

You might also try their festive Burger Tower, which is also under the EURO Cup specials and consists of four different burgers arranged on a steel stick — the Emily Burger, Le Matt Burger, Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, and Jeddah Chicken Sandwich. This order is perfect for the whole family, with tender chicken and super-fresh beef.

They offer three flavors of milkshakes that you can order along with the Euro Cup offer — Brooklyn, Nashville, and Charlotte Shake — in chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla.

You will love their signature mocktails, including the Aperitivo Italiano, a refreshing mix of grapefruit, lemon and peach, and the Passion’tini, which comes with tropical mango, tangy lemon and passionfruit flavors.

Or try the kale salad, which features delicious ingredients such as artichoke, sunflower seeds, dried tomato and green olives. However, you might find the sauce a bit too spicy for a salad.

As you step into the restaurant, you will feel the family’s fun vibe. They offer a magician show on Fridays and face-painting activities for children.

They also offer SR200 vouchers for a challenge between diners who dare to eat their spiciest chicken burger. Plus, you can enjoy watching your Euro Cup game while savoring your meal.

For more information, visit the Instagram @emmy squaredpizza_sa


Where We Are Going Today: Qaf Coffee Roasters in Alkhobar

Updated 11 July 2024

Where We Are Going Today: Qaf Coffee Roasters in Alkhobar

Alkhobar’s Qaf Coffee Roasters is one of the first Saudi-owned cafes to launch in the Eastern Province.

The brand opened its first location in the Kingdom in 2016. The branch, in the Olaya district, is located on a quiet corner street just a short drive from the ever-busy Dhahran Mall.

Customers can try the iced cappuccino for SR17 ($4), roasted with Ethiopian beans. They will also enjoy the lemon cake with sugary frosting.

The location is suitable for small groups or solo customers.

Customers often visit Qaf for a caffeine fix on a work break, or to use the cafe as a workspace.

There are plenty of discreet outlets to charge your devices. There are also window-facing spaces with good natural light, as well as seating away from the sun. Real plants line the edges of the cafe, breathing life into the space. Fresh flowers are on every table.

Many visitors have long associated Qaf with elegant seating and good quality beans — with a distinctly Saudi feel. The cafe’s logo is the letter Qaf in Arabic, the same letter that the word “qahwa” starts with, which translates to “coffee.”

Over the years, Qaf has served customers at its original branch, as well as two others in the Alkhobar area. Now, the brand has two more locations in Riyadh with plans to expand.

The breakfast and brunch menu includes avocado toast, pancakes and other favorites, offered between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Qaf also serves savory and sweet pastries, and several dessert options, including brownies and beverages.

Drip coffee packets are available for customers to make coffee at home.

To find Qaf’s opening hours and locations, visit Instagram @QafCoffee.

Where We Are Going Today: Density Coffee Roasters in Alkhobar

AN photo
Updated 07 July 2024

Where We Are Going Today: Density Coffee Roasters in Alkhobar

  • Popular offerings this summer include waffle sticks for SR22 ($5) which provide a fun way to eat waffles without the need for a knife and fork

A short walk from the Villaggio Restaurants Village’s dancing foundation is Alkhobar’s own brand of cafes, Density Coffee Roasters.

The brand’s two outlets are both in Alkhobar — the Villaggio branch opened five years ago and the second location, at Roofz on the corniche, opened about two years ago.

We tried their latte, which gave us the option to choose from regular, coconut, almond or lactose-free milk. It hit the spot.

Popular offerings this summer include waffle sticks for SR22 ($5) which provide a fun way to eat waffles without the need for a knife and fork.

The tiramisu bowl is also quite popular, going for SR30. For savory lovers, the cafes offer flaky cheesy or zataar croissants for about SR11, as well as a brioche sandwich for SR18.

We opted for the acai bowl. We devoured the neatly stacked banana circles sprinkled with chia seeds, scattered bits of pomegranate, lush and vibrant berries including blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and raspberries. They were all atop a glistening layer of peanut butter, granola and acai at the very bottom. One could swap out the peanut butter for yogurt. Each goes for SR36.

There is also fresh orange juice, mint lemonade, passion fruit and chocolate shakes on offer, among other items.

The cafes are open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight from Sunday to Wednesday, 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. on Thursdays, noon until 1 a.m. on Fridays, and 7 a.m. until midnight on Saturdays.

Delivery is via the usual apps, mainly Jahez and Hunger Station.

For more information and to see a full menu, visit them on Instagram @DensityCoffee.


Diabetes drugs like Ozempic lower cancer risks: study

Updated 05 July 2024

Diabetes drugs like Ozempic lower cancer risks: study

  • The researchers found that the patients who received GLP-1 agonists had a significantly lower risk of developing 10 out of 13 cancers studied

WASHINGTON: A class of diabetes medications, which include the best-selling drug Ozempic, are associated with a reduced risk of certain obesity-related cancers, according to a study released Friday.
Published in the journal JAMA, the study compared patients with Type 2 diabetes who were treated with insulin versus patients who were given a class of drug known as GLP-1 agonists, like Ozempic, between 2005 and 2018.
The researchers found that the patients who received GLP-1 agonists had a significantly lower risk of developing 10 out of 13 cancers studied, including kidney, pancreatic, esophageal, ovarian, liver and colorectal cancer.
Among the cancers which saw no significant change in risk were thyroid cancer and breast cancer in postmenopausal women.
“Obesity is well known to be associated with at least 13 cancer types,” study author Rong Xu said in an email to AFP.
“Our study provides evidence that GLP-1RAs hold promise in breaking the link between obesity and cancer,” Xu said.
Among the drugs studied were semaglutide — commercially sold as Ozempic — as well as liraglutide and others. Ozempic was approved in the United States in 2017.
GLP-1 agonists have been around for about 20 years, but a new generation of these drugs, among them Ozempic, has been popularized for their more significant weight loss effects.
Xu suggested that the protective benefits demonstrated in the study may encourage doctors to prescribe GLP-1 treatments for diabetes patients instead of other medicines like insulin.

Where We Are Going Today: Luff donuts

Updated 04 July 2024

Where We Are Going Today: Luff donuts

If you are looking for a delicious and satisfying treat, Luff’s donuts are a must-try.

Luff is a Saudi brand offering donuts stuffed with a variety of sweet and savory fillings. 

Try their lavender cream, zaatar chocolate, or cinnamon and cheese frosting donuts. You will love the cinnamon, which is perfectly spiced and complements the fluffy dough.

Whether you prefer traditional flavors or more unique ones, Luff’s menu features an array of options inspired by sweets from around the globe. 

Some of the highlights include salted caramel, lotus, chocolate caramel, lemon curd, cheese berry, tiramisu, zaatar cheese, pistachio, brownie, peanut butter tiramisu, and pecan cardamom.

Luff offers donuts in boxes of four, nine, and 16 buns, making them perfect for gatherings and group breakfasts. It also provides a selection of hot and cold coffees to pair with the delightful donuts.

Its packaging comes in beautiful shades of purple and is seasonally updated for special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, national celebrations, and Eid.

Luff is available on various food delivery applications such as The Chefz, ToYou, Jahiz, and Hungerstation, serving customers in Jeddah, Makkah, Taif, Madinah, Riyadh, and Dammam. 

For more information, visit Luff’s Instagram page @luffdonuts.