I assume that she had to wear it. I was tempted to ask, but I didn't want to waste her time because there was a long line. It made me furious on her behalf. If your policy is that employees should act friendly, I suppose there's nothing I can do about that, but I really don't like requiring employees to wear buttons that invite the customer to police their behavior (behavior that has nothing to do with whether they're doing the work of cashiering correctly).
The lead-in to the comment section says:
Americans are getting bigger. And it's not just changing our health, but our nation's infrastructure, spending habits, economy and state of mind. What changes have you noticed to the way we live? Tell us here. Your response will help shape a national reporting project on obesity.Here are the comments I left them.
What conversations do you have - or avoid having - about weight?
( Read more... )
"Mortgage defaults are causing health problems in people over 50" by Annalee Newitz
The study was led by University of Maryland epidemiologist Dawn E. Alley, who said:Well, I'm glad research like this sometimes sees the light of day.More than a quarter of people in mortgage default or foreclosure are over 50. For an older person with chronic conditions like diabetes or hypertension, the types of health problems we saw are short term consequences of falling behind on a mortgage that could have long-run implications for that person's health....
While this information may seem like common sense, this study is one of the only examples where such "common sense" has actually been confirmed scientifically.
It's annoying that they are being all gender-essentialist about it, but if they're going to be that way, it's good that they are acknowledging that women feel more pain, because usually women's pain is downplayed and ignored.
But then they manage to downplay it anyway. "Let's treat the emotions." Let's get a woman living with pain to say "it's all about just not caring whether you have pain." And not once is it mentioned that maybe we should believe women who have pain, and give them pain medicines to manage their pain.
"Pain different for women, men"
ATLANTA, Aug. 13 (UPI)
(Full article quoted. Emphasis mine.)
Chronic pain is more intense and
lasts longer for women than men and a higher proportion of women
suffer from diseases that bring such pain, doctors say.
Jennifer Kelly of the Atlanta Center for Behavioral Medicine
in Georgia says women have more recurrent pain and more disabilities
from pain-causing illnesses such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid
arthritis and irritable bowel syndrome, CNN reported Friday.
Hormones could be one reason women bear this burden of pain,
Kelly said, noting the menstrual cycle can be associated with
changes in discomfort among women with chronic pain.
Pain also can have long-lasting consequences, studies show.
Women who suffer menstrual cramps have significant brain structure
changes compared with women who don't, one study found, while other
studies have revealed abnormal brain structure changes in people
with disorders such as chronic back pain and irritable bowel
Women tend to focus on pain on an emotional level, worrying
about how it will affect their responsibilities, whereas men focus
on the sensory aspect, Kelly said, urging doctors to help women deal
with negative thoughts that can make a painful situation worse.
One woman who suffers from arthritic conditions agrees
patients with chronic pain need help changing their mind-set about
"Part of what helped me was switching out the model in which
I had to be pain free to be happy," Melanie Thernstrom says.
"Realizing I can have some pain, just like it can be raining outside
and I can be happy -- it's all a matter of what level the pain is
Why the fuck does SL care about my gender identity???
NPR, All Things Considered, November 22, 2002:
Despite its possibly deadly side effects, the diet aid [Metabolife 356] has racked up $1 billion in sales and remains a popular supplement for those looking for an energy boost or trying to lose weight.
November 5, 2007: http://justice.gov/usao/cas/press/cas71
In connection with the guilty plea, Ellis’ attorney told the Court that in February 1999, Ellis and his
corporation – through a retained law firm – sent a letter to the FDA stating that Metabolife had a “claims free
history.” Ellis was aware at the time, however, that this statement was false. He also knew that the FDA
would likely rely on Metabolife’s statements regarding its consumer complaint history in the FDA’s
proceedings concerning regulation of ephedra-based supplements.
In 2002, Metabolife turned over to the FDA and then to the Department of Justice reports of more
than 10,000 ephedra-related adverse events that the company had previously withheld.
From Wikipedia's page on ephedra, based on Los Angeles Times article, 2003:
Senators Orrin Hatch and Tom Harkin, authors of the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act, questioned the scientific basis for the FDA's proposed labeling changes and suggested that the number of problems reported were insufficient to warrant regulatory action. At the time, Hatch's son was working for a firm hired to lobby Congress and the FDA on behalf of ephedra manufacturers.
Today, the Metabolife home page has the following slogan on it: "Staying between you and your fat pants."
If I were dictator I know what punishment I would give this guy.
One of the state's largest health insurers set goals and paid bonuses based in part on how many individual policyholders were dropped and how much money was saved.
Woodland Hills-based Health Net Inc. avoided paying $35.5 million in medical expenses by rescinding about 1,600 policies between 2000 and 2006. During that period, it paid its senior analyst in charge of cancellations more than $20,000 in bonuses based in part on her meeting or exceeding annual targets for revoking policies, documents disclosed Thursday showed.
Thorn and I have become so outraged by all the stories we’re hearing about fat people’s encounters with asshole health professionals, we’ve decided to start a blog devoted to collecting them all in one place.Here's a roundup of some of the stories that people submitted. It has a link to the original post that inspired all the comments (which is heartbreaking).
if you have a story to share ... please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(I took Latin class with Jeffrey Eugenides, who is now a famous author. Teachers rather like Miss Ferguson appear briefly in his books The Virgin Suicides and Middlesex.)
When students got a little too rambunctious in her class, Miss Ferguson would stand up very straight and snap
It always worked to get our attention—I think the slight absurdity of that word allowed it to slide right in and strike our self-consciousness centers.
I wish I could sic Miss Ferguson on alt.poly right now.
Friends keep saying stuff like that where I can see it, and I've been feeling it for a while now too. One said it really well in a friends-locked post:
It's been hard for the last some-odd months, with my age catching up to me, not to feel that I've been a continual failure in school, work, and my personal life. ...It was a revelation to read this, especially the part about "as bad as it ever was in the worst years of my adolescence," because that's exactly what bugs me about the similar feelings I have—"WTF? I thought I was DONE with these feelings of self-consciousness. No one told me they would come back, dammit! I thought 'mid-life crisis' just meant you went out and got your virtual red sports car and had done with it."
I've been trying so hard to hide from my friends -- most of them not very close, even if they were before -- the fact that I'm not in their league in any sense of the word. ...
Come to think of it, I don't do yard work because I'm afraid of being looked at/judged by passersby. I don't do artwork because I'm afraid of ill-judgment and meaningless or worthless praise. This has gotten as bad as it ever was in the worst years of my adolescence. Worse, because I don't have the energy or the twenty years ahead of me to think I have plenty of time yet to pull myself out of it.
When a whole bunch of my friends and acquaintances are having similar uncomfortable feelings, and especially when each one is having these feelings privately and feeling shame about it because it seems like no one else has them, I ask myself whether there's some kind of cultural pressure going on, and I ask myself whether maybe we would do better examining these tendencies and pressures together, so we can figure out where we stand, and which of the beliefs and tendencies to embrace, and which to say pbtpbtpbtpbt!!!! to.
I wonder how that could be accomplished.
Do you have those feelings? Could you use a way to talk about those feelings with other folks who struggle with them?
But if—as is reported in the latest junkfoodscience post—"Jocks tend to be better students than couch potatoes," I can only imagine how much smarter I would have been if I'd had more enforced physical activity as a schoolkid (in the name of preventing obesity of course). Not only would I have been skinny, but I would have been so smart that I probably would have invented some superweapon and the Earth would now be a ring of ashes orbiting Venus.
Especially check out the part of the article that discusses the "activity pyramid." It has "schoolwork, homework, reading, computer games, TV, videos, eating, resting, and sleeping" in a tiny triangle at the top, the same triangle that contains "fats" on the food pyramid.
They are asking people to support a California bill, CA A.B. 1634, that imposes a $500 fine on people who don't spay or neuter their pet dogs and cats by the age of 4 months. There will be some "intact permits" available for a fee.
There are a lot of different claims about what this bill means, so I went to the source. Here's my summary:
Intact permits will be available only for
(1) licensed breeders
(2) owners of purebred cats and dogs ("recognized by an approved registry or association") that are currently being "used to show or compete" under the auspieces of such an organization
(3) working dogs for "law enforcement, fire agencies, or legitimate professional or volunteer private sector working dog organizations"
(4) animals that have a letter from "a California licensed veterinarian stating that due to age, poor health, or illness, it is unsafe to spay or neuter the cat or dog. This letter shall include the veterinarian's license number and shall, if this information is available, include the duration of the condition of the dog or cat, and the date by which the dog or cat may be safely spayed or neutered"
(5) "guide dogs, signal dogs, or service dogs".
I think altering your pet cats and dogs is a good idea. I think there are too many unwanted animals. I think puppy mills are bad. (They are already against the law...commercial breeding requires a license.) I have no problem with individual businesses and organizations having rules that require spay/neuter before they'll provide you with an animal.
I also think that it's legitimate to pay a small extra fee if you want to have an intact animal. In San Mateo County the annual fees are $30 for an unaltered dog and $12 for an altered dog. But $500 is too much.
I am really uncomfortable with the idea that only "certified" purebred animals that are currently being shown or worked can be legitimately bred. Mixed-breed pets are just as valuable and useful as purebred ones, and there are lots of organizings sponsoring competitions and training for mixed-breed pets. This bill would legitimize only associations that restrict membership to purebred animals.
I think that purebred cats and dogs are often inbred and not as genetically sound as mixed-breed cats and dogs (I volunteer at an animal shelter, and the purebred animals that come in are on average less healthy than the mixed breed ones). Because of inbreeding, a certain number of purebred puppies and kittens will have genetic disorders that may cause them suffering. So I object to a law that limits breeding only to purebreds.
I think laws should be made with the assumption that people are basically going to do the right thing and should focus on punishing people who do harm, rather than trying to prevent harm by imposing restrictions on everybody. Of course I think some restrictions are legitimate—for example, I think the law that you need to stop at a red light even if the streets seem empty is legitimate even though it's a restriction—but responsibly breeding your non-purebred cat or dog should not be one of them.
As far as PETA is concerned, I know why they are supporting this bill: They would like there to be no pets and no pet ownership at all. I have heard that PETA euthanizes healthy adoptable animals that they received from people who believed they would find homes for the animals. So I think they will support anything that imposes restrictions on pet ownership and on breeding.
I'm not a parent and I'm not a fat child any more so why should I care? Because I imagine how much more terrified my parents would have been over my size (I was plump despite their sustained and intense efforts to make me thin) if they believed they could have had their child taken away, instead of "just" being shamed and pressured about having a fat child. Because I imagine what kind of life a fat child taken away from their family and raised in some kind of institution would have.
Although this is just some random doctor sounding off in a random news outlet, and there's no official legislation along these lines as yet, such government sanctioned kidnappings have been happening fairly regularly in the US. As a member of several fat acceptance organizations I hear about one every few months (when the parents seek help from the organization. I wonder how many parents don't seek help from the organization?). Sometimes I find out the outcome and sometimes not.