Entries for the ‘Media headlines’ Category

Why is belly fat bad for your health?

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

March 17, 2011

I guess we would have to be living under a rock not to have heard health messages about belly fat. What I remember hearing the most is something like, “Belly fat is bad for you.” or “You want to concentrate on that belly fat.”  And what I really got out of the messages had to do more with how we look–that belly fat is not attractive–than how it relates to health. I had seen a number of programs addressing how to get rid of belly fat [ http://www.meandjorge.com/] but never really made a connection with why in terms of health. Until the other day…

I can’t even say what program was on as I was making a meal but I heard them say that belly fat is especially harmful for our health because it is fat that works it way between and around our organs. That it literally does harm by wrapping our kidneys, liver, and intestines in fat… that was a rather horrifying image. The program went on to say that one cannot have belly fat liposuctioned away…because it is wrapping and twisting its way through our insides. The fat that can be liposuctioned away is just beneath the skin… [see this for a discussion,   http://blog.healia.com/00488/belly-fat-damages-blood-vessels-could-cause-cardiovascular-problems]

To me, this is an example of one of those messages that needs to be clearer. I especially think that men are being shown as at risk for having belly fat…but the emphasis is too often placed on how the men look and not on what is really happening inside their bodies when the pounds add up around their middles…

Or will it be Pennsylvania trout that will be the canary in the mine for Marcellus shale?

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

February 22, 2011

There appears to be no shortage of articles about concerns relating to the environment and Marcellus shale drilling in Pennsylvania[e.g.,  http://blogs.wvgazette.com/watchdog/2011/02/16/is-the-marcellus-boom-a-good-idea/]. Fewer concrete examples exist of action in this area. One exception is the organization, Trout Unlimited. The organization is partnering with the State, where loss of funding and the economy has contributed to challenges in efforts to collect data regarding water quality in the State’s streams [http://www.tu.org/conservation/eastern-conservation/marcellus-shale-project].

Volunteers will be trained to collect water samples. That is an important first step. It is less clear what happens next. Where will the samples be evaluated? How will data be stored? It is important to plan for consistency and to identify now any problems related to evaluating the water samples. If we fail to plan now, then the findings will be suspect later. So certification of the folks collecting the water samples is important. But we don’t want their hard work and training to be lost in warehouses where samples stockpile with no one to evaluate and track them. We also don’t want results to be discounted because the assessment of samples isn’t consistent or valid…

What’s in an egg?

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

February 9, 2011

I heard it on the morning news. I heard it on the evening news. … Eggs are healthier. Remember the days when eggs were responsible for clogging our arteries and leading to high cholesterol levels? Well, the soundbites suggested that things are much improved… I was happy, as I like eggs. Boiled eggs. Scrambled eggs. Omelettes… French toast. One of my fondest memories is having brunch at home on a lazy day…with an omelette as the main course. But with high cholesterol in the family, I have avoided eggs. 

And then I listened closely. And the story said, “cholesterol in eggs has been reduced 14%…” Hmm, that didn’t sound like much. And then, “so if you eat two in one day, you are still over your daily recommended level for cholesterol.”

Well, there it is again. A headline. And the news story. They don’t exactly contradict each other. But close. So, sigh. I still won’t be eating many eggs…

Does wearing a mini-skirt affect female reproductive health?

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

copy-of-ij-women8-bridgeApril 25, 2010

Media reports often ask a provocative question to get our attention. Sorting through all the endless media clutter makes efforts to get our attention all the more challenging. And if it is a provocative question that got our attention in the first place, well–we’ve all played or heard of the old ‘telephone’ game where a statement that reaches the last person in the party usually is quite different from the statement made by the first person. Shorter. Interpreted through the lens of all the ‘hearers’/listeners along the way to the end…  So, do we repeat the provocative question to others and even give it a bit of a twist to make it, well, even more provocative?

As best, I can tell, the question posed in the title of this post emerged from an article that appeared in a Russian news story. Here is the link to the story I found: http://english.pravda.ru/society/family/10-11-2009/110401-mini_skirt-0.

In a nutshell, the article–which has been translated into English so it may include some translation biases–asserts that “Mini-skirts should be worn sensibly.” The physician interviewed in the article says she herself has experience wearing min-skirts and has never experienced health problems as a result. She also goes on to note that mini-skirts can increase the risk for some conditions due to exposure to metal benches, stone steps, or cold weather. Near the end of the article, it is noted that women wearing min-skirts without wearing stockings should not sit down when using mass transportation in order to avoid infections. The article includes the statement that, “In rare cases such carelessness may lead to infertility.” So there is the seed.

In sum, as with using public toilets and any other situation in which we might encounter an infection, taking care to avoid infection is the best path to avoiding illness. In terms of talking about health, track down the source of surprising statements like the question posed here and see what the message might be that could promote our health…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...