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The invisible workload of modern mothers, damaging their mental health

They say a mother’s work is never done. 

Scientists agree – and they warn the insurmountable pressure of taking care of the house, kids, their partner, and themselves inflicts an enormous toll on their health.  

According to a new study of hundreds of mothers, most heterosexual, married women still carry the bulk of responsibility for the household – even if they are employed and share many responsibilities with their husbands.

That ‘invisible labor’, they found, leaves women less satisfied with their lives and relationships, and more prone to distress and stress-related diseases. 

‘Even though women may be physically doing fewer loads of laundry, they continue to hold the responsibility for making sure the detergent does not run out, all the dirty clothes make it into the wash and that there are always clean towels available,’ first author Dr Lucia Ciciolla, assistant professor of psychology at Oklahoma State University, said.

‘Women are beginning to recognize they still hold the mental burden of the household even if others share in the physical work, and that this mental burden can take a toll.’

A study of hundreds of mothers found most carry the bulk of responsibility for the house, even if they are employed and share many chores with their husbands. That affects their health, experts say

A study of hundreds of mothers found most carry the bulk of responsibility for the house, even if they are employed and share many chores with their husbands. That affects their health, experts say

Senior author Professor Suniya Luthar, of Arizona State University, said: ‘Until recently, no one stopped to think about mom herself.

‘We need to attend to the well-being of moms if we want children to do well, and also for their own sakes.’

It’s widely recognized that, while gender dynamics have shifted, a deep-rooted status quo remains. 

Though men participate in housework and childcare more today than in the past, researchers have consistently found that women still manage the household, regardless of whether they work more or less than their husband.

To investigate how this impacts women’s health, researchers at ASU and OSU decided to interview women to find out how their responsibilities were divided and how it affected them, for a study published today in the journal Sex Roles.  

The team surveyed 393 women with children under age 18 who were married or in a committed partnership.

Most of the women were from middle-upper class homes and were highly educated – more than 70 percent had at least a college education.

The team measured the division of household labor by asking questions about who was in charge of three sets of tasks: organizing the family’s schedules, fostering children’s well-being, and making major financial decisions.

Separately, the researchers spoke to the women about their satisfaction with spouses or partners and their satisfaction with life overall, and how this related to housework.

The team also looked how invisible labor was linked to feelings of being overwhelmed and feelings of emptiness in their everyday lives. 

Sixty-five percent of the women were stay-at-home moms, while the rest worked full-time. And yet, 90 percent of women said they felt solely responsible for organizing schedules of the family.

At least seven in 10 women said they were also responsible for other areas of family routines such as maintaining standards for routines and assigning household chores.

Those in charge of the household felt overwhelmed with their role as parents, had little time for themselves and felt exhausted, according to the findings published in the journal Sex Roles.

Dr Luthar said: ‘Sole responsibility for household management showed links with moms’ distress levels, but with the almost 90 percent of women feeling solely responsible, there was not enough variability in the data to detect whether this association was statistically significant.

‘At the same time, there’s no question that constant juggling and multi-tasking at home negatively affects mental health.’

A large percentage of the women also felt that it was mostly them who were responsible for monitoring their children’s well-being and emotional states – something Dr Luthar said ‘clearly predicted’ feelings of emptiness in women.

Almost 80 percent said they were the one who knew the children’s school teachers, and two-thirds felt they were the most attentive to the children’s emotional needs. 

‘Research in developmental science indicates that mothers are first responders to kids’ distress,’ Dr Luthar said.

‘That is a very weighty job; it can be terrifying that you’re making decisions, flying solo, that might actually worsen rather than improve things for your children’s happiness.’ 

The one things that women felt their partners did help with was when it came to instilling values in children – a stereotypically fatherly role, further cementing the old-fashioned gender dynamics.

Only a quarter of women said they were solely responsible, and 72 percent said that it was generally shared equally with partners.

Financial decisions were also listed as shared responsibilities, with just over half of the women saying they made decisions about investments, holidays, major home improvements and buying a car together with their partner.

The researchers suspected that having an equal say, or more say, in determining finances could be empowering, and therefore positive. 

However, they found the pressure of organizing finances on top of everything else was too much. 

Experts on resilience in children agree that the most important protection for kids under stress is the well-being of the primary caregiver in the family, which is most commonly the mother.

But the researchers said that mothers must also feel nurtured and cared for if they are to have good mental health and be a positive parent.

When women feel overly responsible for the ‘invisible labor’ of running a household and raising children, researchers said it can have a bad impact on their overall well-being.

Dr Ciciolla said: ‘When mothers feel supported, they can have the emotional resources to cope well with the demands they faced.

‘Being able to address inequalities in invisible labor can allow women and families to create households that are more functional and less burdensome, and can also spare women mental gymnastics to find the space and time to care for themselves.’

Dr Luthar said clinical trials have shown that regular support groups with mothers in the workplace led to reductions in distress, burnout at work and the stress hormone cortisol.

She added: ‘Resilience rests, fundamentally, on relationships. As this is true for children, it is true for mothers who tend them.’ 

Article source: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6619433/The-invisible-workload-modern-mothers-damaging-mental-health.html

Pelosi Works Her Health Care Strategy From Ground Up

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is laying out her strategy on health care and first up is improvements to “Obamacare” and legislation to lower prescription drug costs. “Medicare for all” will get hearings.

Pelosi and President Donald Trump have been sounding similar themes about the need to address the high drug costs. But her plans to broaden financial help for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act are unlikely to find takers among Republicans.

Either way, Democrats believe voters gave them a mandate on health care in the midterm elections that returned the House to their control.

Pushing her agenda, Pelosi is working from the ground up through major House committees. Her relationships with powerful chairmen and subcommittee chairs stretch back years. She’s “playing chess on three boards at once,” said Jim McDermott, a former Democratic congressman from Washington state, who predicts Pelosi’s most difficult challenge will be “herding new members” impatient for sweeping changes.

Responding to written questions from The Associated Press, Pelosi called the ACA “a pillar of health and financial security,” comparing it to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

“Democrats have the opportunity not only to reverse the years of Republicans’ health care sabotage,” she said, “but to update and improve the Affordable Care Act to further lower families’ premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and expand coverage.”

Legislation from Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., and Workforce and Education Chairman Bobby Scott, D-Va., would broaden the number of people who can get financial assistance with their premiums under the Obama health law, and undo the “family glitch” that prevents some from qualifying for subsidies. It would also restore the HealthCare.gov advertising budget slashed by Trump and block some of his administration’s health insurance alternatives.

Those issues are separate from legal questions raised by ongoing Republican litigation to overturn the health law. The Democratic-led House has voted to intervene in the court case to defend the law.

The 2010 health law belonged as much to Pelosi as to former President Barack Obama, said McDermott. “She’s taking `Obamacare’ and very carefully figuring out where you have to support it,” he said.

The House ACA package has little chance as a stand-alone bill. But parts of it could become bargaining chips when Congress considers major budget legislation.

On prescription drugs, Trump and the Democrats are occupying some of the same rhetorical territory, an unusual circumstance that could bring about unexpected results.

Both say Americans shouldn’t have to keep paying more for medications than consumers in other economically advanced countries where governments regulate prices.

The Trump administration has designed an experiment to apply international pricing to Medicare “Part B” drugs administered in doctors’ offices.

Pelosi wants to expand price relief to retail pharmacy drugs that seniors purchase through Medicare’s “Part D” prescription drug benefit, a much bigger move. A bill introduced by leading Democrats would authorize Medicare to negotiate directly with drug companies using international prices as a fallback.

“President Trump said he’d `negotiate like crazy’ to bring down Medicare prescription drug prices, and since the midterm election he’s spoken about working with Democrats,” Pelosi wrote to AP. “We have an opportunity to enact the tough legislative negotiating authority needed to actually lower prescription drug prices for consumers.”

One of the top Senate Republicans on health care says he’s not inclined to do that. Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa says having private insurers negotiate with drug companies has worked.

“Part D is the only federal program I’ve been involved with that has come in under budget,” said Grassley. “If it’s working, don’t mess with it.”

Nonetheless, former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt, a Republican, said Medicare is “a good example of places where the administration might surprise.”

“Prescription drug pricing is in a category where both the president and the Democrats have made a commitment,” Leavitt added. “There will be a lot of division, but in the end there is a very good chance they will find a way that they can both claim victory.”

But the biggest health care idea among Democrats is “Medicare for all,” and on that, Pelosi is cautious. To those on the left, “M4A” means a government-run health care system that would cover every American. That would require major tax increases and a big expansion of government.

Pelosi has tapped two committees, Budget and Rules, to handle “Medicare for all.” Health care legislation doesn’t usually originate in either of them.

Says Pelosi: “We’re going to have hearings.”

Article source: https://www.voanews.com/a/pelosi-works-her-health-care-strategy-from-ground-up/4753967.html

Canada’s revamped Food Guide has finally caught up with scientific evidence

Three years ago, when the federal government asked Canadians about their needs and expectations for their national food guide, I offered a wish list of changes in my column. Turns out, my wishes were granted this week when Health Canada revealed its overhauled Canada’s Food Guide.

This version has caught up with scientific evidence on diet and health. Here’s why.

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Easy to understand. The guide’s dietary recommendations aren’t complicated. Eat a variety of healthy foods each day. Have plenty of fruits and vegetables. Eat protein foods. Choose whole-grain foods. Make water your drink of choice.

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The picture on the front of the guide, a photograph of real food on a plate (not illustrated foods on a rainbow) is also effective. The message is pretty simple: Fill half of your plate with vegetables and fruits, one-quarter with protein and one-quarter with whole grains.

Whole foods, not nutrients. The Food Guide now directs people to whole foods, and has done away with recommending a certain number of daily food-group servings to meet nutrient needs (e.g., calcium from dairy, iron from meat).

Eating the right foods instead of fussing over individual nutrients is the way to go, because if you base your diet on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and lentils, fish, lean meat, yogurt and so on, you’re going to be consuming plenty of nutrients.

Since 2007, nutrition research has taught us that it’s the overall pattern of our diet that matters when it comes to health.

No more focus on meat. The decision to replace nutrient-based food groups with groupings of foods (e.g., protein foods versus “Meat and Alternatives”) has removed the emphasis on meat.

Lean meat is included as one of the guide’s protein foods (along with fish, eggs, dairy, beans, lentils and nuts), but it’s no longer the main attraction. And that’s a good thing.

High intakes of red meat have been tied to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. Eating more protein from plants compared to meat, on the other hand, has been associated with a lower risk of premature death from cardiovascular disease.

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Downsizing the importance of meat in the diet also reflects findings from environmental research on optimal food choices.

Advice on highly processed foods. The revised guide recommends that we don’t eat processed or prepared foods and beverages on a regular basis, to avoid consuming too much added sugar, sodium and saturated fat.

That’s important advice since our increasing reliance on ready-to-eat, ready-to-drink and ready-to-heat highly processed foods has been correlated with higher obesity rates, metabolic syndrome and unhealthy blood-cholesterol levels.

Thanks to their high content of unhealthy fats, sugars, salt and other additives, highly processed foods are intensely palatable, which can make them habit-forming. Plus, they’re low in or lacking fibre, protective phytochemicals and vitamins and minerals that whole foods contain.

Includes advice on how to eat. Over the past several decades, the way we purchase and prepare foods has dramatically changed. We eat more meals away from home, we spend less time cooking and we eat too many processed, packaged foods.

The implications: unhealthy diets, missed opportunities for kids to gain cooking skills and knowledge, and the decline of family meals, which have been associated with nutritional and psychosocial benefits for children.

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For the first time, Canada’s Food Guide strongly makes the important point that “healthy eating is more than the foods you eat.” It’s also about the context in which we eat.

Advice to “be mindful of your eating habits,” “cook more often,” “enjoy your food,” “eat meals with others,” “use food labels” and “be aware of food marketing” encourage food skills that support healthy eating.

Health Canada has committed to stay on top of the evidence to ensure that our food guidance is continually relevant. We shouldn’t have to wait another 12 years for an update.

Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based private practice dietitian, is director of food and nutrition at Medcan.

Live your best. We have a daily Life Arts newsletter, providing you with our latest stories on health, travel, food and culture. Sign up today.

Article source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/article-canadas-revamped-food-guide-has-finally-caught-up-with-scientific/

Ideal CV Health Components Linked to Dose-Dependent Reduced Risk for Diabetes

Lower risk for diabetes seen for those with normal fasting glucose, not impaired fasting glucose.

HealthDay News — For individuals with normal fasting glucose but not those with impaired fasting glucose (IFG), a higher number of ideal cardiovascular health (CVH) components correlates with a lower risk for diabetes, according to a study published online Jan. 15 in Diabetologia.

Joshua J. Joseph, M.D., from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, and colleagues conducted a secondary data analysis in the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke study. Incident diabetes was assessed among 7,758 participants without diabetes in 2003 to 2007; participants were followed for 9.5 years. Participants were characterized based on the number of ideal CVH components (zero to one, two to three, and four or more).

The researchers identified 891 incident diabetes cases. For participants with four or more versus zero to one ideal CVH components, the risk was reduced significantly among those with normal fasting glucose (risk ratio, 0.20; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.10 to 0.37) and reduced nonsignificantly with baseline IFG (risk ratio, 0.87; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.58 to 1.30). Compared with African-Americans, white participants had a stronger magnitude for the association between ideal CVH components and lower diabetes risk (P for interaction = 0.0338).

“The lower magnitude of risk reduction with ideal CVH among those with IFG warrants further investigation and suggests this group requires higher intensity interventions to lower long-term diabetes risk,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to Amgen.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Article source: https://www.thecardiologyadvisor.com/chd/ideal-cv-health-components-dose-dependent-reduced-risk-for-diabetes/article/827806/

Stair-climbing exercise ‘snacks’ boost health

Time is no longer an excuse for not exercising, as new research finds that even a few minutes of stair climbing at intervals every day is enough to improve cardiovascular and overall health.

New research finds that even brief bouts of stair climbing can bring unexpected health benefits.

Several recent studies have pointed out the many health benefits of short bursts of exercise.

For instance, a review of existing studies, which Medical News Today reported on, shows that an acute period of exercise can immediately protect the heart against future ischemic episodes.

Results of another recent study indicate that 10 minutes of physical activity is enough to give the brain a boost, improving attention, working memory, and cognitive flexibility, among other mental skills.

Now, research suggests that even intervals of stair climbing that last a few minutes, with recovery periods between, can improve cardiorespiratory health.

Martin Gibala, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, is the senior author of the new study, which appears in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

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How to get an effective workout

Prof. Gibala and the team set out to investigate whether sprint interval training — that is, short bouts of intense exercise separated by a few minutes of recovery, amounting to about 10 minutes in total — can improve cardiorespiratory fitness.

Cardiorespiratory fitness refers to “the ability of the heart, lungs, and vascular system to deliver oxygen-rich blood to working muscles” during intense physical exercise.

Research has suggested that greater respiratory fitness brings several health benefits, including better cardiovascular health, improved insulin resistance, and a lower risk of premature death.

For the current study, a group of 12 sedentary young participants climbed three flights of stairs three times a day, with 1–4 hours of recovery between sessions.

The participants engaged in this regimen three times a week for 6 weeks, while a control group of 12 age-matched, sedentary individuals did not exercise.

At the end of the intervention period, cardiorespiratory fitness “was higher in the climbers [...] suggesting that stair-climbing ‘snacks’ are effective in improving cardiorespiratory fitness,” report the authors.

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The climbers were also stronger at the end of the intervention, and they performed better in a maximal cycling test, compared to the controls.

“We know that sprint interval training works, but we were a bit surprised to see that the stair snacking approach was also effective,” says study co-author Jonathan Little, Ph.D., an assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of British Columbia in Okanagan, Canada.

“Vigorously climbing a few flights of stairs on your coffee or bathroom break during the day seems to be enough to boost fitness in people who are otherwise sedentary,” Little explains.

“The findings make it even easier for people to incorporate ‘exercise snacks’ into their day,” Prof. Gibala adds.

Those who work in office towers or live in apartment buildings can vigorously climb a few flights of stairs in the morning, at lunch, and in the evening and know they are getting an effective workout.”

Prof. Martin Gibala, Ph.D.

In the future, the team plans to test the effects of various exercise “snacking” regimens, varying the duration of the recovery intervals. They also wish to study the effects of these bouts of exercise on blood pressure and blood sugar.

Article source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324231.php

Why I’m thinking about my mental health on Blue Monday

Rola Dagher is president of Cisco Canada

The other day, I found myself trying to recall the last time I saw the sun come up on my drive to work or enjoyed the deep hue of pink it casts across the sky when it sets this time of year. These days, everything seems to be cast in grey.

The arrival of holiday bills, coupled with the cold weather and lack of sunlight, can make this a tough time for a lot of people. And while Blue Monday – the third Monday of January – has been called the most depressing day of the year, for many people, it is just one of many dark days.

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According to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), one in five Canadians experiences a mental illness, including addiction, in any given year. And young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are more likely to experience mental illness and/or substance use disorders than any other age group.

Years ago, we didn’t have these statistics. Mental health was talked about in hushed voices, or behind closed doors. In fact, in my home growing up in Lebanon, it wasn’t discussed at all.

I was born and raised in a small village called Dahr el Maghara. As the second eldest of six girls, I played a large role in helping raise my younger sisters. My childhood memories are of civil war and living in a series of bomb shelters. At one point, my bed was a cement floor in a deserted hospital.

By the time I was a teenager, I had witnessed the murders of some of my family members and had lived most of my life on the run. We were a very close family, but rarely paused to talk about our worries and fears. Admitting that I was dealing with mental-health issues was never really an option for me.

By the age of 16, I was in an arranged and abusive relationship, and had a new baby. My parents and sisters had left for Canada. I felt abandoned. Alone.

Thankfully, my story didn’t end there. With my infant daughter in one hand and a suitcase in the other, I fled Lebanon and reunited with my parents and sisters in Canada. I had arrived in a country of hope and opportunity. I finally felt free. Physically, I was okay. In fact, on most days, I was smiling. But looking back on those days now, I realize that, mentally, I was struggling.

That’s the thing about mental health. We don’t wear our pain and wounds on the outside. We carry the weight of them on the inside, hidden to those around us. Maybe it’s that we don’t want to burden our family and friends, or perhaps it’s that we’re having a hard time articulating what we are feeling.

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I am very fortunate to work for a company that provides extended health coverage for registered psychologists, counsellors, social workers and behavioural analysts as part of our benefits package – at no cost to employees.

But how do we improve access for the thousands of people across Canada who do not have these benefits? How can we connect them with the services and support they need, when they need it?

We recently teamed up with CAMH and Deloitte to help connect mental-health patients with physicians faster using our collaboration technology. We believe this technological innovation will improve patient outcomes, deliver enhanced care and increase the scale and scope of mental-health services for Canadians.

More and more of us are realizing that mental health is health, period. And for those of us who are having a hard time getting through the dark days of winter, CAMH offers these tips:

  • Take an inventory of your lifestyle habits to see what simple but effective changes you can make to  improve your mental health
  • Get proper sleep
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Be physically active
  • Set up a budget to manage your spending habits

Every day, people around us are struggling; struggling to understand and come to terms with how they are feeling; struggling to find the courage to reach out to someone and ask for help. We have come a long way in removing the stigma around mental health, but we still have a long way to go.

While it may not have an official spot on our calendars, Blue Monday is a gift. It’s an opportunity to raise awareness and have open and candid conversations about mental health.

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Think about starting up your own conversation. I just did.

Article source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/commentary/article-why-im-thinking-about-my-mental-health-on-blue-monday/

Besides health and environment benefits, cycling can save 1.8 trillion rupees annually: Study


teri. teri report on cycling india benefits, The Energy and Resources Institute cycling benefits india gdp report, cycling benefit on health gdp environment, indian express, indian express news
Cycling has a number of benefits. (Source: File Photo)

The next time you go to work or to meet your friends, it might be a good idea to use cycle as a mode of transportation. According to a report published by the think-tank The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), if, at a wide scale, we adopt cycle as the only mode of transport, India can save over Rs 1.8 lakh crore ($255 billion) annually, or 1.6% of the GDP.

The study states that, “Increasing motorization in urban and rural areas has given rise to many negative externalities such as dependence on fossil fuels, GHG emissions, congestion, pollution and the associated health impacts. In order to minimize the costs associated with these externalities, the current and future projected travel demand needs to be served by sustainable modes of transportation like cycling”.

Analysing the mode of transport used by Indians to travel to work, the study reported that ” It is observed that more than 50% of the people in India use non-motorized forms of transport, such as walking and cycling, to travel to work followed by two-wheelers (18%) and buses (16%). In urban and rural India, on-foot trips account for the highest share of work trips with the share being 12% higher in rural areas. In rural areas, for meeting the daily travel requirements, workers are most dependent on cycling after walking. However, in urban areas, after walking workers are most dependent on two-wheelers.”

Despite being an eco-friendly and a sustainable mode of transportation, cycles have disappeared from roads over time. The study also listed out the direct and indirect benefits of cycling. Apart from indirect benefits like reduction in carbon emissions and a positive impact on savings and GDP, it stated, “The benefits that directly accrue to individuals due to the uptake of cycling are defined as direct benefits. In the study, personal fuel savings, health benefits due to increased physical activity, reduced air pollution, and travel-time savings by marginal unskilled workers
are quantified”.

In a bid to encourage cycling to work in India, the study suggested “To promote the widespread use of bicycles, dedicated initiatives such as tax concessions for low-income individuals, construction of adequate and safe cycling infrastructure, and measures to reduce the use of private vehicles such as congestion and parking pricing and
awareness campaigns to highlight the benefits of cycling need to be undertaken. These measures should be implemented to retain the existing high share of cyclists and to motivate a shift among those who currently rely on private motor vehicles even for short distances.”

Article source: https://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/life-style/cycling-benefits-study-teri-5547031/

Superbugs and anti-vaxxers make WHO’s list of 10 global health threats

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(CNN)From climate change to superbugs, the World Health Organization has laid out 10 big threats to our global health in 2019.

‘);$vidEndSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–active’);}};CNN.autoPlayVideoExist = (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist === true) ? true : false;var configObj = {thumb: ‘none’,video: ‘health/2017/09/15/this-is-sex-positive.cnn’,width: ’100%’,height: ’100%’,section: ‘domestic’,profile: ‘expansion’,network: ‘cnn’,markupId: ‘body-text_68′,theoplayer: {allowNativeFullscreen: true},adsection: ‘const-article-inpage’,frameWidth: ’100%’,frameHeight: ’100%’,posterImageOverride: 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contentId) {if (Modernizr !Modernizr.phone !Modernizr.mobile !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !== ‘undefined’ videoPinner !== null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(true);var $endSlate = jQuery(document.getElementById(containerId)).parent().find(‘.js-video__end-slate’).eq(0);if ($endSlate.length 0) {$endSlate.removeClass(‘video__end-slate–active’).addClass(‘video__end-slate–inactive’);}}}},onContentBegin: function (containerId, cvpId, contentId) {if (mobilePinnedView) {mobilePinnedView.enable();}/* Dismissing the pinnedPlayer if another video players plays a video. */CNN.VideoPlayer.dismissMobilePinnedPlayer(containerId);CNN.VideoPlayer.mutePlayer(containerId);if (CNN.companion typeof CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout === ‘function’) {CNN.companion.updateCompanionLayout(‘removeEpicAds’);}CNN.VideoPlayer.hideSpinner(containerId);clearTimeout(moveToNextTimeout);CNN.VideoSourceUtils.clearSource(containerId);jQuery(document).triggerVideoContentStarted();},onContentComplete: function 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Article source: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/20/health/who-10-threats-to-global-health/index.html

EDITORIAL: In health care, status quo not an option

It’s no surprise Ontario Health Minister Christine Elliott wants to transform the delivery of health care to make it more effective for patients and more efficient for taxpayers.

Health care spending this year accounts for 38.7% of the provincial budget — $61.3 billion out of total spending of $158.5 billion.

No other government department comes close to the health ministry in terms of costs.

After 15 years of Liberal government, Ontarians ended up with the worst of both worlds in health care.

While the Liberals drove us into record deficits and debt and wasted billions of dollars on financial disasters like the eHealth and Orange air ambulance scandals, they also left us with a legacy of overcrowded hospitals and emergency rooms and patients being treated in hallways.

Plus long waiting lists to see specialists, or get an MRI, or get a loved one into a provincially-run nursing home.

Elliott is right. The health care system needs transformational change because the status quo is not an option.

Simply pouring more money into health care when the template for how to spend it is broken, will mean throwing good money after bad.

As the Liberals did with one of their many attempts to buy last year’s election with our money, by giving free prescription drugs to everyone under 25 years of age, even those already covered by private, workplace family medical plans.

The real problems in health care are well known.

For all the reforms attempted by provincial governments of all stripes over the years, the system still operates in silos that don’t communicate effectively with each other.

Too much money is spent on bureaucracy and consultants at the expense of patient care.

One example is the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) the Liberals created in 2007, staffed by political appointees responsible for $28.5 billion a year of health care spending, with the ostensible goal of breaking down the silos in health care.

Except, as Auditor General Bonnie Lysyk reported in 2015, “Our audit found that the (health) ministry has not clearly defined the attributes of ‘an integrated health care system’, nor does it have any way to measure how effective LHINs are as planners, funders and integrators of health care.”

CBC News reported last week Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservatives plan to scrap the LHINs, which is welcome news.

That said, we need to know what replaces them because people have to go through the LHINs to access home care or a spot in a provincially-run nursing home.

There’s no magic bullet for fixing health care.

But the first step Elliott must take is to ensure we’re getting value for money for the $61.3 billion a year we’re spending on it, after 15 years of Liberal mismanagement.

Article source: https://torontosun.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-in-health-care-status-quo-not-an-option

Scientists reveal ‘ideal diet’ for peoples’ and planet’s health

LONDON Scientists have unveiled what they say is an ideal diet for the health of the planet and its people – including a doubling of consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes, and a halving of meat and sugar intake.

If the world followed the “Planetary Health” diet, the researchers said, more than 11 million premature deaths could be prevented each year, while greenhouse gas emissions would be cut and more land, water and biodiversity would be preserved.

“The food we eat and how we produce it determines the health of people and the planet, and we are currently getting this seriously wrong,” said Tim Lang, a professor at Britain’s University of London who co-led the research.

Feeding a growing population of 10 billion people by 2050 with a healthy, sustainable diet will be impossible without transforming eating habits, improving food production and reducing food waste, he said. “We need a significant overhaul, changing the global food system on a scale not seen before.”

Many life-threatening chronic diseases are linked to poor diets, including obesity, diabetes, malnutrition and several types of cancer. The researchers said unhealthy diets currently cause more death and disease worldwide than unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco use combined.

The proposed planetary diet is the result of a three-year project commissioned by The Lancet health journal and involving 37 specialists from 16 countries.

It says global average consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar should be cut by 50 percent, while consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables and legumes should double.

For individual regions, this could mean even more dramatic changes: People in North America, for example, eat almost 6.5 times the recommended amount of red meat, while people in South Asia eat only half the amount suggested by the planetary diet.

Meeting the targets for starchy vegetables such as potatoes and cassava would need big changes in sub-Saharan Africa, where people on average eat 7.5 times the suggested amount.

Presenting the diet at a briefing on Wednesday, the researchers said they acknowledged it was very ambitious to hope to get everyone in the world to adopt it, not least because there is vast global inequality of access to food.

“More than 800 million people have insufficient food, while many more consume an unhealthy diet that contributes to premature death and disease,” said Walter Willett of Harvard University in the United States.

“If we can’t quite make it, it’s better to try and get as close as we can,” he said.

Reporting by Kate Kelland; Editing by Hugh Lawson

Article source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-diet/scientists-reveal-ideal-diet-for-peoples-and-planets-health-idUSKCN1PA34E