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Once Again, You're The Product

It’s 2015—when we feel sick, fear disease, or have questions about our health, we turn first to the internet. According to the Pew Internet Project, 72 percent of US internet users look up health-related information online. But an astonishing number of the pages we visit to learn about private health concerns—confidentially, we assume—are tracking our queries, sending the sensitive data to third party corporations, even shipping the information directly to the same brokers who monitor our credit scores.
posted by chavenet on Feb 25, 2015 - 56 comments

Mostly As, Bs and Cs

Quiz: what mental disorder do you have? (adjusted for scientific accuracy)
posted by Artw on Feb 19, 2015 - 27 comments

Averages don't tell the whole story.

No city mixes affordability, opportunity, and wealth as well as Minneapolis, Minnesota - at least, according to The Atlantic. However, the Minnesota Department of Health points out that "averages don't tell the whole story." Minnesota's demographics may obscure some socio-economic problems, including severe disparities in health outcomes and educational attainment.
posted by entropone on Feb 17, 2015 - 25 comments

"If you can move at a slow shamble, we can use you."

There’s No Morality in Exercise: I’m a Fat Person and Made a Successful Fitness App "There is a thing I feared when I started making a fitness app, and it was this: that someone would notice that I am fat."
posted by xingcat on Feb 17, 2015 - 126 comments

I had to learn how to love myself enough to take care of myself.

I had to rearrange everything I knew to allow myself to look up the number for a psychiatrist, and rearrange even more to actually make the call. It takes courage and strength to look the stigma of being medicated in the face and push through it, to persist because you care about feeling whole and happy and calm more than you care about what other people think. Loving yourself enough to take care of yourself when it is easier not to is a revolutionary act.

And so I became a revolutionary.
Tracy Clayton (a/k/a @BrokeyMcPoverty) for BuzzFeed: When Taking Anxiety Medication Is A Revolutionary Act.
posted by divined by radio on Feb 12, 2015 - 40 comments

Sharonmelissa Roberson (a.k.a. Chef Fresh) interview on food justice

"To me this intersection [between food justice, fat-positive politics, and LGBTQ politics] seems clear as I live in a community where food is not easily accessible and I’m a fat dyke… We can simply look at the numbers and see that folks in poverty and are classified as food-insecure often have greater percentages of fat folks in their numbers. Often we get a lot of crossover between folks belonging to the LGBTQ communities and low-income folks. I’ve been doing food work with street-based queer youth for almost five years now. But beyond just the numbers we share this similar struggle, this fight for what’s just. We are all part of groups that are marginalized by society and many of us are doing work in many of these spaces."
posted by Juliet Banana on Feb 2, 2015 - 49 comments

MOM, an inflatable incubator, and winner of the 2014 James Dyson Award

The annual James Dyson Award is open to current and recent design engineering students. The winner this year is James Roberts with his inflatable incubator MOM. The device costs around £250 compared to £30,000 for modern incubators and could prevent up to 75% of fatalities in premature birth cases in the developing world.
posted by shimmerbug on Jan 19, 2015 - 13 comments

Eyes on the exercise prize

When it comes to fitness, some people quite literally see the world differently from others.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Jan 19, 2015 - 25 comments

A few ways to take 20 minutes a day for a better you

Despite the hyperbolic title Scientists recommend 20-minute daily walk to avoid premature death, The Guardian has a good summary on the study that looked at 334,161 European men and women over a mean follow-up time of 12.4 years, and comments from Study leader Prof Ulf Ekelund. 20 minutes is a common time period when it comes to recommendations for better health, from the suggestion to stand up for 2 minutes every 20 minutes for those who are sedentary much of the day, to exercising your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes you spend reading a book or computer screen. If you're looking for some mental well-being from a cleaner home, Apartment Therapy has a plan for cleaning your house in 20 minutes a day for 30 days. For something more strenuous, there are a number of 20 minute workouts, from Men's Fitness, Fitness Magazine, Shape, and Military.com.
posted by filthy light thief on Jan 17, 2015 - 27 comments

The care of ~11 million people in America has fallen to emergency rooms.

It's easy to break a patient like Rogelio—Mexican and poor and chronically ill—down to his potassium level and to make medical decisions according to a number. But that's only part of the story of how the undocumented ill are cared for here in Houston. Within this city's history—a history that includes segregation during the 1960s, a large immigrant population, strong economic growth over the past half century, not to mention the world's largest medical center—is the story of how Houston sought local solutions to provide compassionate care to its indigent and undocumented, the latter of which, some might say, have helped the city grow.
Dr. Ricardo Nuila reports from the emergency room at Houston's Ben Taub Hospital, where Harris County's undocumented ill can avail themselves of some of the country's best health care: Taking Care of Our Own. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Jan 12, 2015 - 52 comments

The Secret History Of Thoughts

Locked-In Man - "Martin Pistorius spent more than a decade unable to move or communicate, fearing he would be alone, trapped, forever. NPR's new show Invisibilia tells how his mind helped him create a new life."
posted by kliuless on Jan 11, 2015 - 21 comments

US Gay/MSM Blood Donation Ban To Be Eased

The FDA has announced it is lifting the lifetime ban on blood donation by men who have sex with men (Reuters), and will allow donation by men who have not had sex with other men in the previous twelve months (NYT). [more inside]
posted by Small Dollar on Dec 23, 2014 - 55 comments

To the mom I used to be.

"What They Left Behind" is a 35 minute documentary produced by Sandy Hook Promise. Today, the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut honor the lives of the twenty first graders and six adult helpers who lost their lives in that school shooting. No public events will take place today in Newtown. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 14, 2014 - 54 comments

Red Cup Nation

The student is lying on a public bench, at the end of a trail of vomit. He is unconscious; his front pocket gapes, a wallet falling partway out. An officer shakes him, and again, finally rousing him. “How much,” the officer demands, “have you had to drink?”

This week the Chronicle of Higher Education published a multi-part series about drinking at college:
A River of Booze: Inside one college town's uneasy embrace of drinking
6 Campuses and the Liquor Surrounding Them
Protecting the Party: With focus on sexual assault, students look out for one another while drinking just as much
Why Colleges Haven’t Stopped Binge Drinking: Decades of attention without much difference
On Camera, Alcohol Is Central to College Experience
4 Campuses Respond to Risky Drinking
posted by Horace Rumpole on Dec 6, 2014 - 45 comments

Against detoxing

"it’s the marketing equivalent of drawing go-faster stripes on your car." The Guardian slams the detoxing craze. (SLG)
posted by doctornemo on Dec 5, 2014 - 265 comments

Canadian government continues valiant fight in the war against science

"It’s absurd to be forced to make an argument in 2014 about why a country needs to invest in long term basic science" [more inside]
posted by randomnity on Dec 4, 2014 - 48 comments

"Not all anxiety is created equal."

9 things I wish people understood about anxiety. [more inside]
posted by ourt on Dec 4, 2014 - 59 comments

hyperconnected: your brain on shrooms

How Tripping On Mushrooms Changes The Brain - "New research [pdf] suggests that psilocybin, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, sprouts new links across previously disconnected brain regions, temporarily altering the brain's entire organizational framework." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 28, 2014 - 84 comments

Stop calling me 'the Ebola nurse'

"I never had Ebola, and politicians who lie do nothing to protect your health."
posted by Artw on Nov 17, 2014 - 113 comments

‘Do I die by starvation, or do I die by poisoning?’

Taking Canadian Highway 63 straight north from Fort McMurray, during the half-lit hours of the morning commute, I moved past the old downtown, with its bars and weekly-rate hotels, past the sprawling suburbs and high-speed ring road, into expanses of peat-rich muskeg and forests of tamarack and spruce. As the sun climbed, cars became scarce and the road seemed to stretch endlessly toward the horizon. Traveling from McMurray to McKay doesn’t take long—it’s less than 40 miles—but the transformation you see in that short distance is astounding.
posted by mannequito on Nov 14, 2014 - 53 comments

Pesticides and Depression

A landmark study indicates that seven pesticides, some widely used, may be causing clinical depression in farmers. [more inside]
posted by weeyin on Nov 14, 2014 - 13 comments

Age ain't nothing but a number

One day in the fall of 1981, eight men in their 70s stepped out of a van in front of a converted monastery in New Hampshire. They shuffled forward, a few of them arthritically stooped, a couple with canes. Then they passed through the door and entered a time warp. Perry Como crooned on a vintage radio. Ed Sullivan welcomed guests on a black-and-white TV. Everything inside — including the books on the shelves and the magazines lying around — were designed to conjure 1959. This was to be the men’s home for five days as they participated in a radical experiment, cooked up by a young psychologist named Ellen Langer.
posted by ellieBOA on Oct 30, 2014 - 25 comments

a man's home is his castle, a woman's body has never been wholly her own

"Trust Women" is a popular motto in the pro-choice movement. It sounds a little sentimental, doesn't it? Part of that old sisterhood-is-powerful feminism it is fashionable to mock today. But "Trust Women" doesn't mean that every woman is wise or good or has magical intuitive powers. It means that no one else can make a better decision, because no one else is living her life, and since she will have to live with that decision—not you, and not the state legislature or the Supreme Court—chances are she is doing her best in a tight spot.
How Pro-Choicers Can Take Back the Moral High Ground: an excerpt from essayist and poet Katha Pollitt's latest book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 29, 2014 - 39 comments

Poor Teeth In A Rich World

"But it wasn’t sugar, heaps of which are sucked down daily by the middle and upper classes, that guided his and my grandma’s dental fates. And it wasn’t meth. It was lack of insurance, lack of knowledge, lack of good nutrition – poverties into which much of the country was born." Sarah Smarsh in Aeon on the sociological, political, and medical intersection of bad teeth.
posted by The Whelk on Oct 24, 2014 - 40 comments

We could use a few pointers on prudence.

"During the 2013-2014 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 46 percent of Americans received vaccinations against influenza, even though it kills about 3,000 people in this country in a good year, nearly 50,000 in a bad one." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 15, 2014 - 204 comments

What if You Just Hate Making Dinner?

Eating healthy food and eating together is important. But if you hate to cook, what's the best way to do that? (SLNYT)
posted by Margalo Epps on Oct 9, 2014 - 109 comments

It's not all that easy to 'just cook healthier meals'

Three North Carolina researchers spend 18 months learning about the food and cooking choices of almost 200 households. They learned, perhaps unsurprisingly, that simply encouraging households to cook healthier meals at home was unlikely to address the challenges to healthy eating most families face. [more inside]
posted by Kpele on Oct 2, 2014 - 166 comments

Most People With Addiction Simply Grow Out of It

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” However, that’s not what the epidemiology of the disorder suggests. By age 35, half of all people who qualified for active alcoholism or addiction diagnoses during their teens and 20s no longer do, according to a study of over 42,000 Americans in a sample designed to represent the adult population.
Only a quarter of people who recover have ever sought assistance in doing so (including via 12-step programs). This actually makes addictions the psychiatric disorder with the highest odds of recovery.
Metafilter's own maias on myths surrounding the disease(?) of substance addiction, and their impact on medicine and policy.
posted by grobstein on Oct 1, 2014 - 84 comments

On second thought, no dessert for me. CHECK PLEASE!!!

The art world's food fetish is nothing new, triggering equal parts salivation and repulsion we gorge on so-called 'food porn' every day, saturating our screens with sugar. But beneath that candy-cane filter there's a darker side to our fetishisation of all-things sweet. With their Twix noses, salami decolletage and strawberry laces spewing from donut-shaped carverns, James Ostrer's saccharine-warped creations are delectably disturbing. Born out of a textbook childhood junk addiction, his new series Wotsit All About takes sugar worship to the extreme, sculpting mutated, larger-than-life candy characters from truck-loads of pick 'n' mix favourites. Pushing his sitters to the extreme he smothers them in cream cheese, frazzles and ice-cream cones, the food masks leaving a claustrophic, bitter-sweet taste on the tongue. Interview with the photographer. [NSFW]
posted by Room 641-A on Sep 23, 2014 - 26 comments

Text Neck

Texting can be a real pain in the neck (and what to do about it)
posted by aniola on Sep 21, 2014 - 8 comments

that’s like adding three more Floridas, inhabited entirely by seniors.

From The Atlantic, “Why I Hope to Die at 75” and “What Happens When We All Live to 100?
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Sep 18, 2014 - 118 comments

"A Pyramid Scheme"

"Imagine a job where about half of all the work is being done by people who are in training. That is, in fact, what happens in the world of biological and medical research." --- NPR reports [audio] on postdocs & the scientific workforce as part of a series on the funding crisis in biomedical research. The series also includes When Scientists Give Up [audio], and U.S. Science Suffering From Booms And Busts In Funding [audio].
posted by Westringia F. on Sep 16, 2014 - 53 comments

Birth Culture

Since 2006, Alice Proujansky has photographed childbirths around the world for a project entitled 'Birth Culture.' Her intent is to highlight 'the universal aspects of childbirth, elements that are culturally-specific and the struggle to provide women with safe, respectful maternity care.' Images: Photographer's site. NYTimes Gallery. Agnostica. Slate. Some photos may be NSFW.
posted by zarq on Sep 6, 2014 - 21 comments

"...that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow."

Why Walking Helps Us Think: [The New Yorker] In a variety of ways, going for a stroll keeps our brains on their toes.
posted by Fizz on Sep 6, 2014 - 25 comments

The Truth We Won’t Admit: Drinking Is Healthy

The health benefits of drinking. "The U.S. public health establishment buries overwhelming evidence that abstinence is a cause of heart disease and early death. People deserve to know that alcohol gives most of us a higher life expectancy—even if consumed above recommended limits."
posted by LarryC on Sep 2, 2014 - 173 comments

Environmental Justice

"EPA defines environmental justice (EJ) as "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." To effectively address EJ concerns, the Agency recognizes that communities must be the driver for local solutions. However, far too many communities lack the capacity to truly affect their environmental conditions." [more inside]
posted by xarnop on Aug 24, 2014 - 4 comments

The itch nobody can scratch

“It’s just like something from science fiction. It’s something that you’d see in a movie or in a book on aliens from another planet. It’s out of this world.” [closeup images of human skin that may be disturbing] Morgellon's disease [no images] is the topic of this week's Stuff You Should Know podcast. [no transcript] A CDC study could not identify a cause, and the medical community's consensus is that it is a form of delusional parasitosis, but conspiracy theories abound [images]. (previously)
posted by desjardins on Aug 3, 2014 - 58 comments

A few alternatives to Dr Google

Dr Google always thinks it's cancer, except when it's lupus. So how do you find reliable health information online? The (US) National Institute on Aging has some good rules of thumb, and the National Library of Medicine has a simple tutorial. Many of us, though, might prefer a list of general trustworthy resources. Here are some of my favorites, including some Australian and UK resources that American MeFites might not know. [more inside]
posted by gingerest on Jul 31, 2014 - 21 comments

considering & rethinking bathrooms

Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design (The Guardian):
"Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
posted by flex on Jul 22, 2014 - 181 comments

Rube Goldberg wept

A Republican panel of the D.C. Circuit has ruled [.pdf opinion] in the case of Halbig v. Burwell that a drafting error in the Affordable Care Act provides subsidies exclusively to state-based exchanges and not to federally-facilitated ones, even while subjectively intending to provide subsidies in both cases. The ruling threatens to take away federal subsidies for insurance sold on Obamacare exchanges in 36 states.
posted by T.D. Strange on Jul 22, 2014 - 104 comments

Cross-cultural experiences of schizophrenia

A new study by Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann and others found that voice-hearing experiences of people with serious psychotic disorders are shaped by local culture – in the United States, the voices are harsh and threatening; in Africa and India, they are more benign and playful. This may have clinical implications for how to treat people with schizophrenia, she suggests.
posted by Rumple on Jul 19, 2014 - 24 comments

How lucky are we

Sorry You Were Tricked Into a C-Section What disapproving friends don’t understand about cesarean births
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jul 9, 2014 - 134 comments

“With animals, we often don’t know the reason for a behavior,”

Zoo Animals and Their Discontents [New York Times]
posted by Fizz on Jul 4, 2014 - 20 comments

egg donation: a journalist's personal story

Justine Griffin, a reporter for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, decided to become an egg donor. She documents her journey in a three-part feature, The Cost of Life: "This began as a way for me to honor a childhood friend who passed away and a hopeful account of my experience with the fertility industry. But it devolved into a tangle of broken promises, scary science and questionable experiences — ending with a ruptured cyst on my ovary and a fear that my future reproductive health may be in jeopardy." [more inside]
posted by flex on Jun 28, 2014 - 11 comments

PPD

"Postpartum depression isn’t always postpartum. It isn’t even always depression. A fast-growing body of research is changing the very definition of maternal mental illness, showing that it is more common and varied than previously thought." ‘Thinking of Ways to Harm Her’ and "After Baby, an Unraveling". [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 18, 2014 - 60 comments

US health care ranked last among 11 developed countries

How the U.S. Health Care System Compares Internationally - "The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but this report and prior editions consistently show the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. Among the 11 nations studied in this report—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror. Most troubling, the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last or near last on dimensions of access, efficiency, and equity." [full report (pdf)] [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Jun 17, 2014 - 71 comments

nothing is broken; you can go home now.

hit by a car, an emergency doctor experiences firsthand the shortcomings in ER care
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Jun 13, 2014 - 133 comments

A month without sitting

"If you sit down more than 11 hours a day, one study suggests, you’re 40 percent more likely to die in the next three years than I am. I’m standing up. I’ve been standing up all day. I’ll be standing up all month, in fact, without a break. I expect at the end of that month I’ll be sore but triumphant, glowing with smug enlightenment..."
posted by John Cohen on Jun 9, 2014 - 73 comments

Bathing in bacteria

Spray on some friendly bacteria and skip the soap? (NYT) Plenty of people have tried the 'no-poo' method to switch from shampoos, but what about skipping everything, and adding some bacteria instead? We bathed without soap for a long time and antibacterial soap is really bad for us. AOBiome wants you to think Bacteria is the New Black.
posted by viggorlijah on May 22, 2014 - 112 comments

"in the United States, how it spread, who got it, and why"

Why Did AIDS Ravage the U.S. More Than Any Other Developed Country?
Solving an epidemiological mystery
posted by davidstandaford on May 18, 2014 - 77 comments

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