A new campaign launched in New York City aims to boost the self-esteem of young girls and help avoid unhealthy body image problems.
NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is helping to spearhead the campaign, called NYC Girls Project, in an effort to let girls as young as 6 or 7 know that they don’t have to look like what they see in the magazines or on television to be considered beautiful.
The $330,000 initiative mostly consists of bus and subway ads featuring young girls of all shapes and sizes saying great things about themselves, with the unifying message that reads, “I’m beautiful the way I am.”
One ad features 12-year-old DeVoray Wigfall of the Bronx with the quote, “I’m a girl. I’m funny, playful, daring, strong, curious, smart, brave, healthy, friendly and caring.”
In addition to the ads around the city, the campaign will also consist of physical fitness classes for girls, a program addressing self-esteem issues for girls at 75 afterschool programs, and an active Twitter account.
Samantha Levine, a 38-year-old aide to Mayor Bloomberg, first thought of the idea. She is currently the deputy press secretary for the mayor, as well as a project director, and says she was moved to take action after hearing stories of young girls getting plastic surgery to alter their appearance.
“I think being a woman in this society,” said Levine, “it’s sort of impossible to not be aware of the pressures there are around appearance, around weight, around trying to always look a certain way.”
The campaign sets out to be the opposite of what many other campaigns are doing to try and end obesity. Instead of “fat shaming,” they say, they are trying to encourage healthy lifestyle choices while make sure girls know that they don’t have to be stick thin in order to be beautiful.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) claims that calling for stricter gun laws in the wake of the shooting at the Washington Navy Yard is like banning spoons to fight obesity.
In an interview with Newsmax’s John Bachman on Tuesday, Gohmert said Congress should be talking about Americat’s mental health crisis, instead of gun control.
“Mental health seems to be playing into the Newtown shooting, the Colorado shooting,” he told Newsmax. “It obviously has an effect, and it’s interesting that these people seem to have a common tie with extremely violent video games. And if they have mental health issues and play extremely violent video games, they seem to have trouble distinguishing between what is reality and what isn’t.”
Gohmert’s position echoes that of Fox News host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, who said “the left” is trying to use the Navy Yard shooting as an argument for more “gun control” measures, when what we really need is to monitor video game purchases and the amount of time spent playing them.
“I’d be all for everybody keeping their sidearms if they’re in the military and on a military installation,” Gohmert added.
“I see a lot of problems here, and blaming this on guns is like saying the big problem with obesity is we’ve got too many spoons,” he said. “It’s not the spoons, it’s not the guns. It’s the people who have them. There’s a lot of things that need to be done, but one of them is to deal with the mental health of people who have guns.”
A new study is trying to settle the ongoing on whether a person can be both overweight and also perfectly health.
There is such a thing as “fat but fit,” says a study published “The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.”
German scientists say that identifying “metabolically healthy obesity” would allow healthcare professionals to stop giving expensive treatment to a population that’s not at risk.
“Results from several prospective studies show that only obese, unfit individuals, but not obese, fit individuals, are at higher mortality risk than are normal weight fit individuals,” the study said.
Lead author, Professor Matthias Schulze from the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Nuthetal, said doctors should not be focused solely on BMI.
BMI or body mass index is calculated by dividing one’s weight by the square of their height, indentifying health, overweight, and obese categories.
“It’s obvious that just BMI is insufficient to classify risk,” Schulze said. “That’s nothing new but it’s not received as much attention as it should. There should be a more complex assessment of risk factors.”
He said public health experts need to define this “fat but fit” category to keep them from getting expensive, unnecessary treatments like bariatric surgery.
“In view of the magnitude of the obesity epidemic, stratification of obese individuals, in terms of their risk for obesity-related metabolic diseases, becomes more important for prevention and treatment purposes,” he said.
Schulze warned that obese people should still try to lose the pounds.
“It would be false reassurance to think you’re obese but you feel fine and until now you don’t have high blood pressure,” he said.
Making overweight or obese people feel bad about their bodies does anything but make it easier to drop the pounds. In fact, the narcissistic practice of fat shaming may be making people gain more weight.
A new study from Florida State University College of Medicine found that people who experience body-shaming were more likely to either become or stay obese.
“Participants who experienced weight discrimination were approximately 2.5 times more likely to become obese by follow-up,” said the four-year study, published this week in PLoS ONE.
“The present research demonstrates that, in addition to poorer mental health outcomes, weight discrimination has implications for obesity. Rather than motivating individuals to lose weight, weight discrimination increases risk for obesity."
"Stigma and discrimination are really stressors, and, unfortunately, for many people, they're chronic stressors,” said Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. "And we know that eating is a common reaction to stress and anxiety — that people often engage in more food consumption or more binge eating in response to stressors."
In America, about 70 percent of adults are overweight and more than one third are obese. Last month, the American Medical Associations decided to label obesity a “disease.”
According to the study, internalizing weight-based stereotypes, teasing and other stigmatizing experiences are linked to depression and binge eating. Stress, including heightened public awareness, is also linked to weight gain.
“Weight discrimination, in addition to being hurtful and demeaning, has real consequences for the individual’s physical health,” said study author Angelina Sutin, a psychologist and assistant professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine in Tallahassee, Fla.
“And we know that eating is a common reaction to stress and anxiety -- that people often engage in more food consumption or more binge eating in response to stressors, so there is a logical connection here in terms of some of the maladaptive coping strategies to try to deal with the stress of being stigmatized," Sutin said.
Climbing up those ivory towers may be a lot tougher for obese applicants. Or, at least, this is according to a study done at Bowling Green State University. The study, which followed the applications of 97 students, suggests the admissions process depends on BMI as well as GPA.
These 97 applicants applied to over 950 schools combined. The study found that the obese candidates were less likely to be accepted after being interviewed in-person. Even when letters of recommendation, test scores, and GPA were held equal the heavier of the academic heavyweights were less likely to receive admission.
“The success rate for people who had had no interview or a phone interview was pretty much equal,” says Ph.D. candidate, Jacob Burmeister, “but when in-person interviews were involved, there was quite a bit of difference, even when applicants started out on equal footing with their grades, test scores and letters of recommendation.”
The results also suggest that weight bias is slightly stronger for female applicants.
The research team was not surprised by these findings. They conducted the study in the first place to look for this correlation.
The matter most salient to the study is whether weight discrimination is permissible. To the extent that obesity is a choice, one may argue that such discrimination is acceptable. A university can justify its discrimination on the basis that since it can legally discriminate on the basis of athletic ability, intelligence, and moral character, why not obesity. To the extent that obesity is not a choice, applicants may charge that weight discrimination is as bad as racial discrimination. The matter really comes down to whether obesity is more like a disease or more like a lifestyle.
In the middle of a medical emergency, the amount of time it takes for a patient to be transported to the hospital can be a matter of life and death. With the help of an emergency medical helicopter, a patient has a 33 percent greater chance of surviving than they would if a ground ambulance transported them. However, some patients are simply too large to fly—just about 5,000 each year, according to NBC News.
“Increasingly, America’s growing girth is grounding patients who need emergency help by air,” according to the report. “An estimated 5,000 super-sized patients a year — or about 1 percent of more than 500,000 medical air flights annually in the U.S. — are denied transport because they exceed weight and size limits or because they can’t fit through the aircraft doors.”
It continues, “Experts say the nation’s plus-size proportions — at least two-thirds of adults are overweight or obese — are now forcing emergency medical providers to bolster their fleets, buying bigger helicopters and fixed-wing planes, or risk leaving critically ill and injured clients behind.”
“It’s an issue for sure,” said Craig Yale, vice president of corporate development for Air Methods, one of the nation’s biggest air medical transport providers, to NBC News. “We can get to a scene and find that the patient is too heavy to be able to go.”
According to the report: “Size limits for patients can vary widely depending on the medical transport operators, the types of aircraft, even the day’s weather. At Airlift Northwest near Seattle, crews start to worry about any patient who is heavier than 250 pounds and wider than 26 inches across, said Brenda Nelson, the firm’s chief flight nurse.”
“But other transport firms routinely handle patients who weigh 350 or 400 pounds, or more. At the Duke University Health System, officials with the Life Flight program recently bought two new EC-145 helicopters at a price of between $8 million and $10 million, partly so they could handle patients up to 650 pounds.”
Source: NBC News
Obese Boy Scouts are being screened out from competing at the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.
Held every four years, the jamboree is a 10-day gathering of thousands of scouts who camp, utilize their skills and go on adventure activities together in the great outdoors. The 2013 Jamboree will be held on 10,000 acres in the New River Gorge region of West Virginia.
Organizers have warned that activities will be particularly rough in this landscape. They will be unable to use buses and other personal vehicles. Most things will be done “on foot.”
For the first time, Scouts with a body mass index in the obese range are not allowed to participate. BMI is a measurement of height and weight used to indicate the “body fatness for most people,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2010, the CDC reported that one-third of American kids are overweight.
A BMI of 30 or more indicates obesity, the Boy Scouts said. Any child with a BMI of 30 or more will have to get a doctor’s recommendation for clearance. Any child with a BMI of 40 or more will be excluded from the 2013 Jamboree.
“It is essential that all participants and staff are prepared for their Summit jamboree experience,” said Boy Scouts of America on its website. “Our goal is to prevent any serious health-related event from occurring, and ensuring that all of our participants and staff are ‘physically strong.’”
Organizers have planned activities like mountain biking, climbing, rappelling, rafting and skateboarding, which they fear obese Scouts would not be able to do.
Boy Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said that leaders and scouts who did not fit the requirement did not apply to the Jamboree, and he is unaware of how many were affected by the new health rules.
A shocking statement from the Department of Agriculture reveals that 22% of residents in Mississippi are on food stamps. This compares to a rate of 1 in 6 Americans, rising 2.8% as of April this year. Mississippi, ironically, is also the most obese state, claiming as a high a rate as 32.5% of adults with a BMI over 30% and 7 out 10 adults are overweight.
Public expenditure on food stamps, unlike much of the rest of the post-recession economy, is not healing. In all, 47.5 million Americans, or 15% of the total population, are enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or S.N.A.P. Luckily, however, ten states dipped in their enrollment. Arizona, Idaho, Maine, Alaska, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Utah all decreased in number of residents on food stamps. However, the rate was as high as 20% for Oregon, New Mexico, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia and Kentucky.
Recipients receive $150 a week for a family of four. “This program is a supplemental program,” says John Davis, director of the SNAP program in Mississippi. “It was never intended to fully fund the families in need for food."
For lawmakers, this issue strikes close to home. Washington D.C., a district that does not count as a state, had a higher percentage of food stamp enrollment than any other state at a shocking 23%. The high rate of enrollment has led many to criticize eligibility qualifications, illegal trading, and fraud issues associated with the program.
The West Virginia Supreme Court ruled Mardi Gras Casino isn’t guilty of discrimination after it fired a 540-lbs. blackjack dealer for being physically unable to wear his uniform in accordance with the casino’s dress code and lingering in public areas during breaks. The dealer, identified only as “Andrew O.,” said he’s been struggling with his weight since he was 12 years old, and has a thyroid condition that’s contributed to his obesity.
According to The Charleston Daily Mail, “When the casino was unable to find a shirt to fit Andrew O., he found one online in a size 7X and a Mardi Gras seamstress altered it even more to fit. However, he was still unable to get it tucked in or button the cuffs,” which were mandatory parts of his uniform.
The report continued, “Also because of his weight, he was unable to walk to the employee break area in the 25 minutes allotted without "wearing out." He was then provided an alternate break area. His weight also made standing for long periods difficult and he was given a wheelchair-accessible blackjack table so he could sit down.”
The circuit court that heard the case ruled in favor of the casino, and the Supreme Court did too, holding that the West Virginia Human Rights Act doesn’t give specific protection to obese men and women.
Employment Law Daily agreed with the verdict, explaining, “The lower court correctly found these reasons wholly unrelated to the employee’s obesity, particularly given that the hirer and firer were the same individual, and the termination came within a relatively short period of time after the initial hire. Under these circumstances, the law allows for a strong inference that discrimination was not a determining factor in the adverse action. Because that inference applied here, summary judgment for the casino was affirmed.”
ByPost, makers of the smartphone app that lets users make postcards out of their digital photos, posted a body-shaming tweet on Monday that said, “During this heatwave, please kindly dress according to the body you have rather than the one you aspire to. And send lots of postcards.”
The post was promptly deleted, but it did not go unnoticed. It has elicited everything from disappointed sighs to all-out disgust.
“Well, @bypost certainly win today's ‘Ill advised corporate tweet of the day’ award,” said @itf.
“During this heatwave, don't tweet like a douchebag you abhorent, vacuous toad,” @arcardia_eg0 responded.
But it gets stranger. Instead of apologizing, ByPost began retweeting the critical responses they received.
They even retweeted a reply from @stavvers reading “scum scum scum body fascist scum.”
“Sort of revelling in it. They are making it worse,” said @janeruffino.
“I'm confused by @bypost deleting a body shaming tweet, but then retweeting the angry responses they've received,” @carla_burns said.
"I got your app, but I've had bilateral mastectomies and don't look great in a swimsuit,
wrote @GregortheMendel. "Any advice since you're dispensing?"
ByPost has yet to apologize, but admitted, “It was a foolish tweet.”