eating disorders

In Contraceptive Culture, Women Can Never Rest | NCR Blogs

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In Contraceptive Culture, Women Can Never Rest |NCR Blogs

 

Another great article from Jennifer Fulwiler.

“In other words, women are now expected to be sexy from the cradle to the grave. And the message is clear: If men are not lusting after you, you are “invisible.”

We have contraception to thank for this.

For better or worse, a woman’s physical appearance has always been an important factor in the way she’s perceived by others and the way she perceives herself. But before the widespread acceptance of contraception, there was more of an emphasis on being beautiful than being sexy.”

What a sad, sad truth.

Thoughts on “Ranks of hungry children swell, worrying doctors – The Boston Globe” [ALSO: Ending Childhood Hunger]

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Ranks of hungry children swell, worrying doctors – The Boston Globe.

“The emergency room survey found a similarly striking increase in the percentage of families with children who reported they did not have enough food each month, from 18 percent in 2007 to 28 percent in 2010.

BMC has also seen a 58 percent increase, from 24 in 2005 to 38 in 2010, in the number of severely underweight babies under the age of 1 who were referred by family physicians to its Grow Clinic, where doctors provide intensive nutritional, medical, and other services to boost babies’ growth. Such malnourishment is similar to what is more typically seen in developing countries, Sandel said.

While the nation’s spotlight has been trained on the other end of the spectrum, the problem of childhood obesity, Pérez-Escamilla and other researchers report evidence that early hunger may be linked to later obesity. […] Some studies have found that young children who grow up with not enough to eat can become overweight or obese adolescents and adults, though the link is not firmly established.”

A tragic story.  It is not just the unemployed that are hit by the recession, it is their children, too ….

There is a huge Presidential initiative to end childhood hunger in America, the National Anti-Hunger Organization (NAHO), which, in itself is a worthy ambition, but after reading the key suggested points for doing so (their projected goal is ending childhood hunger by 2015 [pdf]), this is no real solution.

The main points of this plan are nine, some of which I agree with:

1) Create economic growth that provides opportunity for all

Yep.

2) Increase the minimum wage.

Nope. The minimum wage is established state-to-state based on what they know they can afford; not every state is bankrupt like the federal government.  The minimum wage is a starting point, an entry level pay bracket that is not meant to sustain a certain lifestyle or an entire family for an extended period of time.  The personal initiative of moving out of this pay bracket is what should prompt an increased lifestyle of living, not an increased minimum wage.

3) Establish a tax system that helps families thrive. (i.e. Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit).

Yep.

4) Improve key supports to help families with children meet their basic needs (affordable housing, strengthen Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, low-wage child care programs, unemployment insurance, protecting families with a disabled member)

Well, look at this .  More spending….?  How is that going to sustain familial support in a long-run scenario?  This is a great right-now, temporary fix, but my hesitation in approving this stems from its precedents; it won’t be temporary, nor do I feel it is intended to be.  So, unless a ‘temporary’ clause, with a solid exit “weaning” strategy comes along, I have to say ‘Nope’.

5) Ensure access to affordable, quality healthcare

Yep. Stipulation: It should not be provided by the federal government. More federal spending =/= Sustainable economy

6) Increase access to and participation in the federal nutrition program

Nope. I really think I’m sounding like a broken record here, but there is just no way increasing federal spending and familial dependence on the funds released is going to produce any lasting results.  The permanent answer to childhood hunger is not increasing food assistance programs.  It is the first point; economic growth that provides opportunity for all.

7) Expand federal nutrition program eligibility to reach all food-insecure children

Nope. …….. How is expanding a federal assistance program going to stimulate the economy so parents can provide for their children?  How is expanding the horizons of federal spending going to help ANYONE? The temporary result may be that a child does not go hungry, but the lasting result is a failed economy and as a result a failed government; we face a collapsed nation and a scenario where no one can help anyone else, because our country does not exist anymore.

8.) Ensure that children have not only enough food but enough nutritious food

YES. Yes.  Other suggestions; American farming initiatives and incentives to grow healthy food by Americans that will stay in America…. not too familiar with the farming industry to be able to fully comment on what’s in place now and what can be changed, but I do know enough to know that we import way too much of our food…. we need to stop processing and start growing.

9) Provide the leadership required to reach the 2015 goal

This is just a shameless campaign plug for Obama. I don’t agree with the major points of this initiative and therefore don’t agree with the administration that suggested it, though I do believe the cause is a worthy one.  They have just gone about it in a way that will provide immediate results that will not stand the test of time and will ultimately cause more problems than they have solved …. this initiative has the right motive, but their method is wrong.  I think a federal initative is the wrong move.  The economy is the key to everything.  More jobs = more employment = less childhood hunger.  A simple solution, a much more difficult implementation.

Side note …… “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” takes on a totally different meaning when the government is the one doing the feeding …. socialist state, anyone?

I do have a point to all of this.  I do know where I’m going and what I want to ultimately say …. which is that Public funding will never be able to care for the sick and ailing like private charity can.  Look at the current federal financial crisis.  How is that going to get any better by spending more money???  It is unfortunate, but families cannot depend on government assistance forever.  For a time, sure.  That’s what it’s there for.  I can understand that, I think anyone can.  But it has gotten to the point that unfortunately, families that truly need it cannot depend on it much, or at all, because the system has been exploited for so long and is about to go bankrupt with the rest of the country.  What is the answer? Private charity.

WHAT WE CAN DO TO HELP

  • The St. Vincent de Paul Society is founded on the initiative of feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, and clothing the naked, three of the Seven Corporal Works of Mercy as taught in the Catholic Church. There is a SVDP chapter in every major city and they are always in need of volunteers and donations and financial assistance.
  • Visit Share Our Strength’s website, for ideas on getting involved in the food bank in your community, as well as other initiatives that can help parents who are struggling to feed their children well.

Childhood Obesity: A Call for Parents to Lose Custody – ABC News

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Childhood Obesity: A Call for Parents to Lose Custody – ABC News.

A very controversial suggestion.

I suppose it is in the best interest of the government to ensure that they have an upcoming population of citizens, sure, but with that line of logic, they need to take a long hard look at the abortion practices in this country first.

You could also say that it is no business of the state what the health status of it’s minor citizens are, but when some of these parents choose to leave their children’s health up to doctors or other medical professionals, having a state mandate makes it easier for the government to cut it’s losses….(I hate that phrase, ‘state mandated health’.  It doesn’t sit well with me.)

BUT WAIT.  His suggestion that they go into the foster system??? How totally inadequate! How in the WORLD is that going to help them get healthy?

If they were to get taken away, the only logical place to take them I could even imagine is a fitness boot camp, where it is a temporary place for children to go and live with other children in their situation but be surrounded by adults with good HEALTHY health habits.  There’s no need to go from one extreme to the other and end up with an epidemic of bulimia or anorexia. (see my recent post on ‘Manorexia’)

That would never fly, though.  It costs too much, in manpower and in funding.

The only way to cure child obesity in this country is to cure adult obesity; how are children going to learn to be healthy when their parents are the worst examples?  The only way adult obesity will ever end is if people get up and do something about it for their own lives, and set the example for their children.

There are so many cheap, easy ways to start working on being fit now:

(copied from jezebel.com)

1. Try running. It’s not as hard as you think it is. If you’re not a runner and don’t think you can do it, try a Couch to 5K or Couch to 10K program that has you running in small doses and then walking, gradually increasing the length of time you run and decreasing the amount of time you walk. Go as slow or as fast as you want. People who see you run are not judging you, and even if they are, who cares what they think?

If you find running by yourself terribly boring, join a running club. A lot of athletic specialty stores have informal groups of runners who take off from the store at prescribed times during the week. If you don’t want to join a club, ask one of your friends who drinks the running Kool Aid to be your running buddy, because if there’s one thing that runners like, it’s indoctrinating non-runners to how awesome running is.

2. If you straight up hate running or want to play on a team, consider joining a league organized by your city’s park district. Fees to join are often minimal, and it’s a good way to get to know people in your neighborhood. You don’t have to be an expert athlete, either; many park district leagues have teams for people of all skill levels.

3. More than one tipster informed me of the gloriousness sparkletude that is Dance Dance Party Party., which is an all women, no booze, no judgment dance party that costs like $5. It’s exactly like what you’d do in your skivvies in the privacy of your home, but in a big group and in a warehouse type setting and there are lights and there are beats and it just sounds like a great time, like giggly, all girl raves sans drugs. Check out their website to see if there’s one near you, or to learn how to form your own chapter.

4. Make your own gym. Buy or borrow or barter for your own basic gym supplies and a yoga mat and work out at home. Most people don’t need much- a couple of sets of dumbbells at a manageable weight, maybe a resistance band or an exercise ball. If you are Tom Hanks and you are stranded on a dessert island with only water bottles, fill some water bottles with sand and use those as weights. Several readers boasted of almost five-finger-discount cheap used exercise equipment they found on Craigslist or at yard sales. One reader stayed active after her baby was born by buying a step and soothing her baby to sleep while stepping up and down on the piece of equipment. Be creative! Your home is your castle and your castle has an amazing gym!

5. Use the internet as a resource. Several readers remarked that there are great exercise videos to be found on YouTube and Netflix. We seem to have many bodyrock.tv devotees among our readership. Others have found that OnDemand boasts some semi-cheesy but ultimately effective workout programs.

6. The library isn’t just for microfiche and posters featuring portraits of celebrities awkwardly holding James Joyce novels; the library can also be a resource to people looking to get fit. Check out the workout DVDs available for cardholders to borrow. You might discover an exercise you like among the shelves.

7. Volunteer. You’ll work on your karmic fitness as well as your physical fitness. I volunteer at an animal shelter here in Chicago, and we always need people to run and play with some of our more active dogs. Bonus: no one will mess with you when you’re running with a Doberman, even if the Doberman isn’t yours and doesn’t quite understand what’s going on. Consider volunteering to help coach a kids’ sports team, or working in a community garden. Manual labor can make you strong, like those hunky construction workers in Diet Coke commercials in 1994.

8. Use alternate ways to get to work, if you can. Consider biking or walking, even if it takes more time. I’m not suggesting the following as a realistic option, but I grew up in a really rural area and our weird gym teacher used to cross country ski or rollerblade to school because he was always in training for the Birkebeiner ski race. If he could do it without being embarrassed, then you can ride your bike.

9. If you prefer to work out in a more traditional gymnasium like environment, check out local high schools and colleges’ athletic facilities Many of them will have cheap memberships available, or open gym nights. Some hotels will allow non-guests to use their swimming facilities for a small fee, so ask around. And be on the lookout for local dance studios, gyms, or yoga studios offering free trials, and take advantage of those offers.

10. One reader was struggling financially post-divorce and ended up becoming a fitness instructor, which is brilliant for someone who wants to get paid while working out.

Things I would add to the list:

  • Give yourself a time limit for watching TV / playing video games / things-that-are-normally-stationary without doing something physical. The more you want to watch, the more you have to do…. leave the dumbbells by the TV so you can do some arm curls while you watch Grey’s Anatomy.
  • Do laundry.  Really, have you ever noticed how heavy a laundry bag or basket can be when it’s full of clothes? Set it on the floor when you iron or fold so that when you get clothes out of it you have to move more.
  • Challenge yourself to find a new way to wait for the microwave to beep. Jumping jacks? balancing on one leg? The more creative you are, the more you feel like you can eat what’s actually in the microwave.

The only way child obesity is going to end is if adult obesity ends.

‘Manorexia’ on the rise | Mail Online

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‘Manorexia’ on the rise | Mail Online.

“NHS figures have shown a 66 per cent increase in hospital admissions in England for male eating disorders over the last decade.”

 

Sad, and interesting at the same time.  I would be interested to see what the American numbers are in comparison. I feel like American men love food more than British men, and British men are more obsessed with the way society perceives them.  That’s my off-hand thought on this, but I really would be interested to see some statistics ….