The teenage years are never easy to navigate, but for today’s youngsters, it’s a minefield, made all the worse by social media. Pictures of perfect bodies are creating anxiety and insecurity in a way we’ve never seen before, so much so that a third of teenagers confess to being ashamed of their bodies. This is a real cause for concern because body image and anxiety can trigger self-harm and suicidal thoughts in teenagers. Experts are calling for vetting of weight loss and cosmetic surgery ads and for social media firms to do more to stop young people feeling bad about their bodies. The survey of 1,118 UK teenagers for the Mental Health Foundation found 31% of 13 to 19-year-olds feel ashamed of their body shape and 35% had stopped eating or were eating less. “Our survey has shown that millions of young people in Britain are worrying about their body image,” said Jane Caro, the foundation’s programme lead for families, children and young people. … [Read more...] about Dr Miriam Stoppard: Social media impacts teen body confidence
Last week you wrote about obesity being bad for us, but I’ve put on weight as a side effect of my medication, and I can’t seem to lose it. I’ve even tried following a fasting diet but it didn’t do anything. My GP doesn’t seem to be willing to help. Can you? I really sympathise. The pressure to lose weight is always awful, but it’s even worse when the excess pounds are caused by a medication. Lots of drugs we prescribe commonly cause weight gain. Some antidepressants, steroids, some high blood pressure pills and medicines for diabetes are all common culprits. If significant weight gain is a side effect, then it’s important to look at adjusting the dose or explore other drug options. A referral to a specialist might be necessary to really find out what is going on. And NHS doctors should try to help patients lose weight, whether or not it’s our fault in the first place. DR ELLIE CANNON: If significant weight gain is a side effect, … [Read more...] about DR ELLIE CANNON: I’m overweight and medication is to blame
Last week, I had a great time watching documentaries that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first man to walk on the Moon. I remember the event happening live on television and thinking how thrilling it was to see people for the first time on another world. It seemed to me, aged 12 and a nerdy scientist-to-be, that this was a perfect triumph of the human spirit, as well as a remarkable feat of technology. My older brother, who likes a good argument, said he thought the whole thing was a waste of time and money. It was true, I admitted, that the cost of getting those men to the Moon was enormous. But there were also lots of tremendous benefits to the space race, I countered, such as the invention of the non-stick frying pan. Except, of course, I now know this is a myth. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin is pictured during the Apollo 11 extravehicular activity on the moon The crew of the Apollo 11, from left, Neil Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, module pilot; Edwin E. 'Buzz' … [Read more...] about The space race didn’t create Teflon – but it did do all this…
Artificial intelligence that can predict your every move, high-tech sensors, flashing coloured lights and an in-built charger. No, this isn’t the latest sports car dreamed up by Silicon Valley wizards. It’s the latest all-singing, all-dancing electric toothbrush – the Oral-B Genius X – which uses the same technology as that behind driverless vehicles and robots that diagnose diseases. The gadget can give users a new insight into their brushing habits, even down to the pressure applied on each tooth, makers claim. Oh, and it costs an eye-watering £340. Some might say it’s a price worth paying for an impeccable Hollywood smile. But are those bells and whistles really necessary? The Oral-B Genius X (left) can give users a new insight into their brushing habits, even down to the pressure applied on each tooth, makers claim. If you want to spend even less, the £6 Colgate 360 Sonic Power Toothbrush (right) does a good job ARE WE LOOKING AFTER … [Read more...] about Does anyone really need a £340 electric toothbrush?
The picture is undeniably disturbing: a shabby, wire-haired monkey with a stomach so bloated that it droops on the floor in front of him. His spindly legs, which poke out pathetically from beneath his belly, look like they’d be barely able to support his huge weight. Discarded watermelon rinds, banana skins and empty fruit juice cartons surround him – evidence, it seems, of a recent binge. Was it gorging on fruit that made him so fat? It looks that way. I first saw the image last week when it was shared on Twitter by BBC presenter James Wong. The botanist claimed he had been sent it after making online comments debunking the commonly held idea that modern fruit bought in supermarkets has been cultivated to be ‘hundreds of times more sugary’ than the varieties of yesteryear. The picture is undeniably disturbing: a shabby, wire-haired monkey with a stomach so bloated that it droops on the floor in front of him The monkey in the picture shot to fame … [Read more...] about Here’s why this picture ISN’T proof fruit makes you fat