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Training Cuts Student Medics ‘Anti-Fat’ Prejudice April 16, 2010

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Students training to enter the health service need better teaching in order to prevent discrimination against obese patients, a study suggests.

Researchers said previous work had found high levels of “anti-fat prejudice” among health professionals.

But a trial of 159 students, reported in the Obesity journal, found this prejudice could easily be lowered with appropriate teaching about the effect of genes and the environment on obesity.

Over the past decade, prejudice among the public towards overweight people has increased by 66%, the international team of researchers said.

Some studies have shown that among those working in the health professions, including doctors and nurses, the rate of prejudice is even higher than in the general population.

Study leader Dr Kerry O’Brien, a lecturer at the University of Manchester, said being taught solely about diet and exercise implied that obese people were just lazy and gluttonous, but to a large extent weight status is inherited and health professionals needed to be aware of other influences.

He said “blaming the individual” was not always obvious but could mean doctors or nurses spent less time with obese patients or did not take their problems as seriously.

“The key is not to be stigmatising these patients.

“Making people feel bad about their condition is not going to help.”

More here.


Type O Negative Frontman Dies April 16, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Health, Music.
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Pete Steele, the lead singer of gothic metal band, Type O Negative, has died of heart failure.  He was forty eight.

If you’ve ever dabbled in black lipstick, fishnets and stargazer white foundation, chances are you’ll be familiar with Type O Negative.  The American band, most known for their albums ‘Bloody Kisses’ and ‘October Rust’, originally formed in 1991.  Many of their songs – though appearing serious – were tongue-in-cheek, covering topics such as threesomes and menstrual cycles.  Trust us, they rocked.

Steele’s death was validated by Type O keyboardist Josh Silver.

RIP Pete.  You will be missed.

Just Got Out of Prison? Here, Have Some Drugs April 9, 2010

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Few would disagree that trying to overcome a drug addiction is hard.

Now imagine trying to overcome it in prison, where a flow of drugs is often rife.

Seems pretty impossible, doesn’t it?  But some prisoners do manage to beat their demons.  And imagine those drug-free prisoners, upon their return to society, being given methadone (a heroin substitute), by the very people who helped them get clean in the first place.

Such is the situation with English prisons over the past five years.

The process, called “retoxification”, is allegedly designed to boost the tolerance of former addicts who are deemed likely to start using drugs on their release, to minimise the risk of them taking an overdose.

But critics of the treatment have accused prison doctors, acting under Department of Health guidelines, of “state-sponsored” drug dealing and “giving up on tackling” the problem.

Kathy Gyngell, of the Centre for Policy Studies, said: “It gives the impression the Government is giving up on tackling drug addiction.

“This doesn’t get people off drugs – but captures them in the grip of methadone instead.”

It is claimed that retoxification is used at 33 prisons in England, and can be offered to former addicts even if the length of their sentences mean they have been free of drugs for some time.

Health Department spokesperson said: “The Department of Health does not have a central programme of retoxification of prisoners.

“In exceptional circumstances, qualified doctors can decide whether to use this treatment and the clinical guidance is clear that they should only do so when there is a serious risk of the prisoner reusing drugs immediately on release and therefore putting themselves at risk of death from an accidental drugs overdose if they don’t get it.

“Other drug treatment techniques should always be used first.”

What do you think, BWT readers?  Does the Health Department have a point?

The Owl That’s Scared of Heights April 9, 2010

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We feel a little bit sorry for this little guy… But at the same time, we can’t help but feel that this story is INSANELY CUTE!

Troy the Tawny Owl fell from his nest when he was just a baby.  Fortunately for him, he was found by a passer-by and reared by the Hawk Conservancy Trust.

But being brought up by humans has given him an unexpected phobia – of flying.

Ashley Smith, chief executive of the Trust said: “It’s extremely rare but he’s simply scared of heights.

“He’s been in captivity for as long as he can remember and has never been higher than his handler can lift him.

“Now we’re working on letting Troy realise he’s a bird, and that he should be flying as high as he wants.”

His handler has taken to climbing trees with the owl to help him see the world from an owl’s perspective and become more ambitious when it comes to heights.

So far it’s been slow progress, as Troy has to be carried down, as he refuses to fly.

…. BWT fears we may explode with warm squishy feelings.

Disneyland Paris Rocked By Suicides April 5, 2010

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Many say that Disneyland is the happiest land on earth.  But when it comes to Disneyland Paris, clearly this is not the case – with three members of staff having committed suicide since the beginning of this year.

Now the resort’s staff is threatening strike action to improve working conditions.

Guy-Bruno Mboe, leader of a Disneyland union, has blamed the latest two deaths on “brutal” working conditions. “It’s all about profit, profit, profit,” said Mboe. “The combination of fewer staff and demands for more productivity just pushed this poor man over the edge.”

The directors of the resort denied that the suicide of an employee in his home on March 26 had anything to do with his working conditions. They complained of a union attempt to exploit the tragedy.

Yikes!  Whoever is right, BWT thinks this matter is definately worth investigating.  Three suicides in just over three months?  That’s just not normal…

Dyson Vacuum Cleaner Electric Shock Warning March 30, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Health, Tech / Science.
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Do you own a Dyson DCO5 Motorhead vacuum cleaner?  Best to check if there’s a crack in the handle, after the company warned that six people have suffered mild electric shocks from the fault.

In an official safety notice Dyson says: ‘In rare instances the clip on DCO5 Motorhead wand handles has been found to crack and this can cause the hose to become detached resulting in electrical connections being exposed.’ Users risk electrical shock or a burn ‘if these connections are touched while the machine is plugged in’.

Dyson is issuing anyone who owns this vacuum cleaner model a simple reinforcing cuff to protect and strengthen the handle.

… BWT doesn’t own the particular model stated above.  But still!  You can never be too careful.  So we declare no house work for at least a week. Y’know – until we get over the trauma.

Air Pollution Shortens Lives by Nine Years March 29, 2010

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Serious YIKES!

The House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee has just released findings that people living in air pollution ‘hotspots’ could find their average life expectancy shortened by NINE YEARS.

Tiny particles of sulphate, carbon and dust are the most damaging to health, but nitrogen oxides and ozone also have an effect. The UK is in breach of European regulations for all of these, and could face fines of up to £300 million. Road transport is the main culprit. Power plants also churn out damaging particles but mostly away from cities.

Only a radical shift in transport policy will allow the UK to meet its targets, the report concludes. “But such a shift is unlikely to occur in the next 10 years, unless the government starts taking sustainable transport seriously,” says Paul Firmin of the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds, UK.

Eat Chocolate, Stay Healthy! March 25, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Food, Health.
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May we just say, we’re LOVING the sound of this.

An East Lancashire businessman believes he can help people to stay healthy – by eating chocolate!

Gary Bailey is the man behind Choco-Vit, a ‘superfood’ packed with antioxidants, vitamins and essential minerals.

The 48-year-old claims his combination of dark chocolate and acai berry, which contains 27 calories per piece, can be used as an aid to healthy eating, weight loss and mood enhancement.

Priced at £14.99 a box, acai choc (the first product in the Choco-Vit range) contains 30 squares of chocolate, each of which contains 500mg of acai berry, a superfruit from Brazil rich in omega three, six and nine, 19 different amino acids, plus vitamins B1, B2, B3, C and E and minerals including potassium, calcium, copper, magnesium and zinc.

Bailey said: “This is a superfood that uses chocolate as a means of delivering all the vitamins, essential minerals and anti-oxidants that health conscious individuals should take every day.”

We’re health conscious!  We’re health conscious!  VERY health conscious.  Which means we would need to eat at least five bars a day.  Because, y’know, we’re that dedicated to being healthy.

We suppose we should mention that some stupid dietician person from some stupid Primary Care Trust called the product an impractical marketing gimmick, but WHAT DOES SHE KNOW?  … Okay, quite a lot.  But still!

Don’t shatter our dreams!

Male. Female. Other. March 17, 2010

Posted by bitchwantstea in Health, Sex / Relationships.
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Meet Norrie May-Welby, the world’s first genderless person.

Originally born a man, but then choosing to undergo a sex change operation at the age of 28, May-Welby has now decided to become a “neuter”.

May-Welby said: “The concepts of man or woman don’t fit me. The simplest solution is not to have any sex identification.”

The UK’s Gender Trust welcomed the case. A spokesman said: “Many people like the idea of being genderless.”

What do you think, BWT readers?  We find it pretty bewildering from a purely logistical sense – not just for the amount of paperwork May-Welby has to amend!  Bank accounts, gym memberships, car insurance…  Think of the amount of times you’ve had to state your sex.  Will this mean they’ll be a third option in the gender category to accommodate genderless people in future?  Watch this space…

Women Who Drink ‘Less Likely To Gain Weight’ March 10, 2010

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It’s like Christmas has come early.  One week we’re told there’s a real possibility of hangover-free alcohol, and the next we’re told that a bit of booze can keep you slim!

US researchers in Archives of Internal Medicine followed over 19,000 women over 13 years.

Women who drank red wine put on the least weight over the period of time, followed by a lesser extent by those who drank other wines, beers and spirits.

But not only that – teetotallers were the ones who put on the most weight, even though alcohol contains ’empty’ calories.

Even after accounting for lifestyle, dietary factors and things like smoking and exercise, the study found those who drank the least gained the most weight.

But before you go out and paint the town red, it’s worth noting that all of the drinkers drank ‘moderate’ amounts – classified as around two small glasses of wine a day.

The women in the study who drank appeared to substitute alcohol for other food, meaning their overall calorie intake did not go up that much.

Happy Wednesday!

More info here.