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Giving weight too much weight

first_imgPrograms to fight obesity can exacerbate eating disorders if they put too much emphasis on weight rather than exercise and healthy eating, said experts in a panel discussion at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.The conundrum highlights the complexity of addressing eating disorders such as bulimia, anorexia, and binge eating at time when recognition is low, screening inadequate, insurance coverage sketchy, and fighting obesity has become a public health priority, the panelists said.“Some obesity programs are backfiring because of their focus on weight and on the scale,” said Claire Mysko, chief executive officer of the National Eating Disorders Association. “These [eating disorders] are serious public health issues, woefully misunderstood, underfunded, and often untreated.”Some 30 million Americans have diagnosed eating disorders and many more are undiagnosed, said Alison Field, chair of epidemiology at Brown University and head of the Growing Up Today study, which follows 17,000 boys and girls age 9 to 14.The weight-obsessed teenage girl of stereotype is just the tip of the iceberg, Field said. Eating disorders are also an issue with boys, though the details can differ — an obsession with low body fat, the perfect physique, and washboard abs. Eating disorders affect people of all ages, walks of life, and ethnic and racial groups.Joining Field and Mysko for “Eating Disorders, Mental Health, and Body Image,” were S. Bryn Austin, a professor of social and behavioral sciences at the Harvard Chan School and director of the Strategic Training Initiative for Prevention of Eating Disorders, and Thomas Weigel, an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and associate medical director for McLean Hospital’s Klarman Eating Disorders Center. The event was moderated by Carol Hills, senior producer and reporter for PRI’s “The World.”Eating disorders fall into three main categories. In anorexia, the patient eats very little; bulimia involves binge eating followed by a compensating behavior such as vomiting; and a binge eating disorder — the most common of the three — includes binge eating without the compensating behavior.There are many people who may not precisely fit those criteria but for whom thoughts about food and body weight are disruptive, Mysko said. Education on the subject is poor enough that people often call the National Eating Disorders Association helpline and say, “I don’t know if I qualify,” she said.A disposition for an eating disorder can be inherited, the panelists said. Those suffering from eating disorders are often experiencing social stresses such as family conflicts or have in their history childhood trauma or sexual abuse. Many are also dealing with issues related to depression or addiction.A media culture that bombards us with pictures and videos of ultra-thin women and “ripped” men is another key contributor, Mysko said.The disorders take a heavy toll. People can lose hair and suffer constipation. Becoming malnourished can affect heart health, weakening the heart muscle and creating electrolyte imbalances, Weigel said. Malnourishment can stunt bone growth and cause osteoporosis and fractures in young patients.Recovery includes individual and sometimes family therapy, as well as fostering healthy eating habits.While panelists agreed that recognition of eating disorders is still too low, they also said there has been an international push to address the issue in the modeling industry, by standardizing certain health criteria for models. In the United States, advocates have begun to lobby the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop guidelines for the modeling industry. Some retailers, including American Eagle, have lately made an effort to feature models with a more realistic physique.Panelists offered a suite of recommendations to address the problem, including early screening for eating disorders, encouraging pediatricians to ask patients about binging and purging, restoring monitoring of eating disorders by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, getting states to ban the sale of diet pills and muscle-building supplements to minors, and closing loopholes that let insurance companies deny coverage.last_img read more


Africana Studies bulletin board vandalized

first_imgAn Africana Studies department bulletin board displaying quotes by political commentator Ann Coulter was defaced with red paint over Easter weekend.University spokesman Dennis Brown said Notre Dame Security Police (NDSP) was investigating the incident as an act of vandalism.The bulletin board, which remains outside the office on the third floor of O’Shaughnessey Hall, contains several of Coulter’s comments on issues such as race, gender and religion, displayed under the heading “Freedom of Speech, Freedom to Hate: There is a difference.” Gayle Wilson, the administrative assistant and office coordinator for the Africana Studies department, said an unknown person painted messages responding to specific pieces of the board and painting messages such as “What exactly is PC?” and “Don’t be bullied by the ‘Happy Police.’” Wilson said the board, which two student office employees made, was put up the day before Coulter’s April 10 talk. She said the defacement occurred by the time a coworker walked by the display April 21. Wilson learned of the vandalism the following day and called NDSP. In a statement to The Observer, Rev. Hugh Page, chair of the Africana Studies department, said he was “deeply saddened” by the incident. “Such action is clearly inconsistent with the values we espouse as a community of faith and learning,” he said. “I want to congratulate the students and staff whose creative energies are reflected in the board, which seeks to raise awareness. … Their work is resonant with a long and honored tradition of social engagement among Africana artists.”  Emily McConville | The Observer The Africana Studies bulletin board, which was vandalized over Easter weekend, will remain on display until the end of the year.Africana Studies Club president Alex Rice said she was disappointed with the perpetrator’s unwillingness to participate in reasoned dialogue about the issues the bulletin board raised. “I wasn’t angry, I would say. I was more disappointed than anything because the Africana Studies department really prides itself on trying to start dialogue,” Rice said. “What happened — an obvious act of vandalism — it wasn’t trying to start dialogue or hear the other side. “It was really, we don’t agree with you; we’re going to say so in a very disrespectful manner.” Alex Coccia, student body president emeritus and Africana Studies major, said the discipline is “an inherently socially and politically active experience.”“Given this reality within Africana Studies, it is unfortunate that the display was vandalized,” he said. “We have to be willing to see the world as it was, because our current environment is a product of that world. We cannot ignore these facts when we engage in discussions about rhetoric and how it utilizes historically volatile connotations.“Speaking more loudly than other voices, the verbal equivalent of painting over the Africana Studies display, does nothing to further constructive dialogue,” Coccia said. “There is nothing wrong with engaging in a heated debate, in fact, heated debates are more powerful than cold, calculated analytics, because they evoke the passions of a community. … But even in disagreement, we cannot disparage or disrespect.” Rice said the incident was a topic at this month’s Finally Friday, a monthly discussion series hosted by the Africana Studies Club.She said the group, which included students and faculty, discussed ways to improve the quality of dialogue about race and speech on campus and increase the amount of discussions with people on multiple sides of an issue. She said the consensus among the attendees was that the board should remain on display until the end of the year.  Tags: Africana Studies, Ann Coulter, Free speech, vandalismlast_img read more


Dog found to have ‘low level’ of coronavirus in Hong Kong

first_imgTopics : If confirmed, the dog would be the first case of a pet catching the coronavirus amid a global outbreak that’s now infected more than 82,000 people and claimed more than 2,800 lives.The dog is being quarantined at an animal facility, the Hong Kong government said. The department strongly advised that pets of confirmed virus patients also be put under quarantine. The pet dog of a coronavirus patient in Hong Kong has been found to have a “low level” of the virus, the Hong Kong government said early Friday.The dog tested “weak positive” for the coronavirus, the city’s agricultural and fisheries department said in a statement, without giving further details. Officials will carry out further tests to confirm whether the dog has really been infected with the disease, or if it was a result of environmental contamination of its mouth and nose.Much is still not known about the virus that is spreading around the world after emerging in central China late last year. It is thought to have transferred to humans from bats and has been shown to spread in a number of ways, but the Hong Kong agricultural department said it doesn’t have evidence that pet animals can be infected, or be a source of infection to people.last_img read more


Stop playing of degrading music on airwaves – Speaker urges

first_imgIn presenting two reports to the National Assembly on Wednesday, the Women and Gender Equality Commission (WGEC) was urged to do more to stop systemic misogyny in Guyana and prevent the public airing of certain types of music that degrade women in general.Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Barton Scotland said he believed that the Commission could find more creative ways of doing this and encouraged the members to take this recommendation into serious consideration so that corrective action could be taken soon.Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Barton Scotland being presented with the 5th and 6th Annual Reports of the Women and Gender Equality Commission by its Chairperson Indra Chanderpaul“I am happy to see that it is a continuing concern about the preference … a section of our citizenry … continue to have about certain types of music and certain lyrics which offend people…I am saying that, because I don’t think it’s only women who are annoyed or upset by it, but it needs to be put into the mainstream of concerns, because it is something that ought not to happen,” he explained.According to the Speaker, while people have the right to play these kinds of music at their homes or at a private party, he stressed that they should not regale the community with it. “There is nothing wrong with us being creative enough to put something, to do something…” he added.While recognising that this may take some time to materialise, Dr Scotland encouraged the WGEC to begin working now and that would lead to other stages that would hopefully lead to the ultimate goal.Domestic violenceMeanwhile, he said the issue of domestic violence and women rights in the home have now become commonplace in Guyana, especially since many people have certain views that were being nurtured.“We could also look at how law enforcement can help and whether you are satisfied that resources available in terms of training whether those need to be constantly brought to the fore.”The Speaker also used the opportunity to congratulate the WGEC for its work and said he remained hopeful that the routine handing over of these important reports could advance to other stages.WGEC Chairperson Indra Chandarpal said while it was a statutory requirement to submit these reports, she also agreed with the Speaker that work should continue beyond just submitting the reports.Chandarpal recalled that she had, through the Parliamentary Management Committee, proposed that the Parliament reviewed its standing orders with the view of making changes on how to proceed after a report was submitted.“All these reports I believe are important, because a lot of valuable work is done and when you present it and lay it and that’s all you do. But we need to take it a step further,” she emphasised.It was further recognised that the Commission has never taken a vote to come to a decision even though it was diverse. “This is to show that there is that will within that commission to work around the issues to have consensus,” Chandarpal said, stating that the body has done a good job despite the difficulty and challenges it has faced over the years.Chandarpal also singled out Commissioner Nicole Cole, who she said had exposed the degrading music being played on local airwaves. Cole also represents the WGEC on the Mash Secretariat and has been advocating for less degrading music to be played during those celebrations.“There is that concern that we have been expressing. And I believe that it will take a little while to make changes, but at least the process has started not only by the Commission but other organisations.”The WGEC Chair said some 22 recommendations were made to the National Assembly for serious consideration, including the possible enactment of legislation and policy on sexual harassment in the workplace; delivery of comprehensive sexual and reproduction age-appropriate health and rights education in school, and promoting parenting skills training in pre- and postnatal clinics in all health centres.The Fifth and Sixth Annual Reports of the WGEC were handed over to the Speaker in the presence of all Commissioners, Parliament staff and other women rights advocates.last_img read more