Watercooler Stories

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International  |  April 23, 2004 at 7:22 AM
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ACNielsen says more than 17 percent of U.S. households include someone who currently is on a low-carbohydrate diet.

The market research firm adds, however, 19.2 percent say someone in their household was once on a low-carb diet, but is no longer, CNN/Money reports.

"The number of people who have tried a low-carb diet and are no longer on it is compelling," says Todd Hale, ACNielsen analyst and senior vice president. "The jury is still out as to whether the low-carb diet has staying power."

Burt Flickinger, a consultant with the Strategic Resources Group, says Americans are work-stressed and time-stressed -- and sugar and fat are tasty and give immediate gratification, which is something most consumers will have a hard time giving up no matter what diet they are following.


The New York City Health Department estimates its free nicotine patch program has resulted in 5 percent of the city's smokers quitting.

Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden says more than 11,000 New Yorkers quit smoking through the program that offered 35,000 residents a free six-week supply of the patches.

Those receiving patches received follow-up phone calls and short counseling sessions from Department of Health workers, the New York Daily News reports.

"There's no single program the department did last year that saved anything like this number of lives," Frieden says.


Almost 90 percent of Americans honor Mom in some way on Mother's Day, but the definition of mother has expanded.

A survey by the gift company Lenox finds 61 percent of mothers are recognized, but 23 percent honor grandmothers, 23 percent honor favorite aunts, while 29 percent of "others" are honored.

In fact, dispelling the stereotype of the overbearing mother-in-law, 32 percent of those surveyed honor them as well.

More than half of all men acknowledge their wives on Mother's Day -- a bit of a surprise since many of the 1,000 adults surveyed may not have children.


Teaching in the United States remains a largely a female profession, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Of the 6.2 million teachers nationwide, 71 percent are women and 98 percent of the preschool and kindergarten teachers are female.

The national average annual salary for public elementary and secondary teachers is $44,700.

Teachers in California make the highest average annual salary of $54,300, while teachers in South Dakota make the lowest average salary at $31,300.

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