And then there’s our genetic inheritance from our hunter-gatherer ancestors. All those tens of thousands of years ago food was often in scarce supply so they ate as much as they could when they had it, to store fat ready for leaner times. This means we still have a strong hunger drive even if we are overweight our genes still think we can’t afford to take the risk of missing out! Annoyingly, these ‘drive to eat’ mechanisms aren’t as efficient when it comes to stopping eating so we can happily go-ahead and eat whether we are hungry or not. To counteract the toxic environment we don’t need to face limited food supplies or become athletes. Small and subtle changes to our lifestyle can be enough to tip the balance in our favour so that our weight stays more or less stable over [Read more...]
we gain weight if we take in more calories than we burn. It’s that simple. Many of us will gain around a pound a year without realizing it. Some of us will gain a lot more. It’s not because we are greedy, bad or even obviously overeating. It’s because we live in an environment where food is everywhere and activity is discouraged. A place where food is so abundant that eating purely for hunger is a rarity rather than a given. Not only is food convenient (think fast-food chains, chocolates and crisps at tills), it’s seductively advertised, quickly prepared, cheap, confusingly labeled, in big-portion sizes and tastes better than ever. Meanwhile, we sit at desks, in front of television and computer screens or behind a steering wheel. [Read more...]
The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AIICPR) conducts research on a wide variety of subjects designed to help practitioners to be more effective in dealing with many different concerns, like urinary incontinence and managing pain. These guidelines and a patient brochure are available to consumers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducts studies and produces weekly reports on public health problems and infectious diseases like AIDS. Now they are looking at quality of life as well as disease and death, including the chronic diseases affecting older women. Now that smoking, breast and cervical cancer, tuberculosis, violence, and other life-threatening conditions are increasingly becoming problems for older women, CDC is expanding its activities. [Read more...]
Women are much more centrally involved in the health and medical care system than society has recognized. We are half the population, have health needs of our own, and interact with the system twice to three times as often as men. Women have been shown repeatedly to be both over treated and under-treated, depending on their insurance status, income, age, and race. We have been discriminated against in treatment settings and excluded from research in ways that have been dangerous to our health and survival. We are the overwhelming majority of health- care workers: 85 percent in hospitals, 75 percent in the overall system. We may also be members of groups working for improved recognition of the health needs of people of color, the elderly, and people with disabilities. We spend tremendous amounts of time, energy, and money on the health needs of others. We advocate for family members, functioning as unpaid administrators, arranging for their care, and accompanying them on medical visits. We frequently organize and manage follow-up care at home after these visits, keeping track of medications and special diets, supervising exercise programs, and being available for therapists and other health workers who visit at home. [Read more...]
Women are treated with less respect within the health-care system and receive poorer medical care than men. As we age we are in double jeopardy because the widespread bias and discrimination against older people that is so deeply ingrained in our culture exists even among the people and institutions we turn to for help and support. Ageism manifests itself first and foremost in the attitude that aging is a disease. Gerontology, meaning the study of the aging process from maturity into old age, as well as the study of older people as a special population, is often confused with geriatrics, the medical treatment of old people. Because of male domination in medicine, researchers have emphasized general problems or male problems, without noticing that women experience aging and illness differently. [Read more...]