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Ask Dr. Gott 2/2
Nutritious lunch of granola, cheese and fruit nothing to worry about
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: Please settle a very old argument I am having with several of my family members and in-laws.
    I am 52 years old, married with two daughters ages 25 and 19. I have a desk job, so during the day I am not very active. I enjoy most sports, but with a busy schedule don't play much of anything anymore. Most of my physical activity comes from yardwork and golfing (which I almost always walk).
    The argument is about what I eat for lunch while at work. I usually carry-in four days a week and go out one day. When I bring lunch, it usually is seasonal fruits, cheese and nuts or granola. I drink water most days, but I occasionally have a Pepsi. Breakfast generally consists of hot oatmeal or cold cereal. For dinner, my wife cooks an "old fashioned" traditional evening meal four or five days a week. The rest of the week we eat out, usually similar foods to what we have at home but occasionally pizza or other treats.
    My family claims that my lunches do not provide proper nourishment during the day and insists that I need to eat a ham or other meat-based sandwich during the day in addition to what I already eat. Can you advise me whether my lunches will adversely affect my long-term health? I am 6 feet 1 inch and weigh 195 pounds. I get a full physical every five years (treadmill, EKG, blood work, etc.). My family doctor has not noticed anything about my physical health over the past 20 years.
    DEAR READER: You diet appears to be healthful, balanced and nutritious. You do not need to make ham or other meats a regular lunchtime addition.
    I have two recommendations.
    First, because you are over 50, you should have a routine colonoscopy, which needs to be repeated every five to 10 years in normal people.
    Second, you should have a physical and blood work done every year. The EKG and treadmill can remain at five-year intervals. As we age, our health can change more rapidly, and to keep on top of any ailments and even to prevent them, yearly observation is the key.
    Keep up with your lunches and show my response to your family. Perhaps they will take a page out of your book and start similar practices. Thanks for writing.

    DEAR DR. GOTT: I am 45 and in good health and physical shape. I have great muscle tone, but I'm very unhappy with how my leg skin is starting to sag. What causes this, and can anything be done to help slow it down?
    DEAR READER: As we age, our skins often become dry and wrinkled due to a loss of elasticity and collagen.
    I recommend that you apply moisturizing lotion that contains collagen enhancers every day. This may help to slow the dehydration of the skin and return some suppleness.
    To my knowledge, there is no permanent, safe option to fix sagging skin. Some people choose to have excess skin removed, but I don't recommend this due to the risk of tearing (if the skin is pulled too much during the healing process), scarring and infection. It is a major surgery and shouldn't be considered for cosmetic purposes only.
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