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‘Eating disorders are black women’s issues too’ – video

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

In the second of our three-part Speak your Mind series, we meet Georgia, 22, who suffered from eating disorders through her teenage years. Thinspiration Tumblrs inspired her to lose weight but that spiralled to starvation and bulimia. Now recovered, she wonders why black women are rarely identified as having eating disorders

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Number of cosmetic surgery procedures in UK fell 40% in 2016

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Analysts say rising influence of a wave of ‘relatable’ social media celebrities could be behind a slump in demand

“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware,” said the late Joan Rivers.

But while her hunt for the perfect look was defined by going under the knife regularly, it appears the image-conscious are now turning their backs on cosmetic enhancement.

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Anti-FGM campaign launched in UK to mark global day of opposition

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Red Triangle initiative aims to encourage people to give police information to detect and prevent female genital mutilation

A national campaign carrying the symbol of a red triangle will be rolled out across the UK to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.

The National Police Chiefs’ Council has partnered with the Freedom charity to encourage people to provide the police with information that can help detect and prevent FGM in the UK and abroad.

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Should I take vitamin D every day?

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

Although advice suggested people should take supplements during winter, unless you are seriously deficient, the chance of it stopping you catching a cold is minimal

It’s not too late to top up on vitamin D if you ignored advice issued last year by Public Health England (PHE) to take supplements. But while the PHE recommended we all “consider” taking 10µg of vitamin D daily during autumn and winter, researchers are now suggesting that food be fortified with the vitamin so that we can take it continuously. The main source of vitamin D is sunlight in contact with the skin – and that is pretty much never between November and April, hence the PHE’s recommendation.

Vitamin D is also available in oily fish (wild salmon or herring), liver, egg yolks and some fortified bread, but nearly a quarter of adults and 22% of children have low levels of the vitamin in their blood. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, teeth and muscles.

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How much screen time should I let my teenager have?

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

A new study says that up to six hours a day is perfectly normal, and unlikely to do any harm – as long as your child is doing fine at school and getting enough exercise

What parent hasn’t tried to wrestle their teenager’s phone away from them? For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommended a maximum of two hours’ screen time a day. Any more, it warned, and your child could get obese, sleep deprived and depressed. Research has also linked screen time to increases in risky behaviour, poor GCSE results and aggression. No wonder that screens, particularly iPads and smartphones that can be held under the bedcovers, have become a family battleground.

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Is the gym the best place to exercise?

Mar 2nd, 2017 by

A new study says gym-goers are indeed fitter and healthier than non-members. But there are other ways to stay fit, and some of them may be even more beneficial

The most popular New Year resolution in almost every survey is “exercise more” – which often translates into joining a gym. According to the 2016 State of the UK Fitness Industry report, one in seven people in the UK are members. But are they more likely to be fit?

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What I’m really thinking: the depressed new dad

Feb 2nd, 2017 by

I’d never want to hurt you, son, but I was terrified by the thoughts I had

You are supposed to be our future, a new chapter in the story of our lives, but I can’t help resenting you. Only a few weeks old, you’re demanding and unreasoning and I’m struggling to see the good that you bring.

To start with, we got on with it, settling into a routine as we stumbled through nappies and nights when you wouldn’t settle, but it started to wear me down. You hear about mothers with postnatal depression, but no one talks about the challenges a father has to face: working to put food on the table and a roof over our heads is tough when you’ve had only a couple of hours sleep, and we’re not supposed to need a break. Men are supposed to never cry, and provide for those we care about. I hope that I can teach you a better way, my son; that you’re allowed to be vulnerable, and not keep everything locked up until it bursts.

Related: What I’m really thinking: the night receptionist

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Ebola, war … but just two psychiatrists to deal with a nation’s trauma

Feb 2nd, 2017 by

Overwhelmed counsellors and medical staff in Sierra Leone must contend with suspicion and a collapse in funding

The history of Africa’s oldest psychiatric hospital is written on the walls of its isolation units, desperate messages chiselled into the woodwork like scars. “I came here for I don’t have any money,” reads one note in a corner of the room. “People want me to run from my father’s house,” reads another. “You go nowhere,” announces a third. “Stay out.”

Since the hospital opened in the early 19th century, most Sierra Leoneans have aspired to do exactly that, avoiding this imposing building perched high on a hill above the capital, Freetown.

We do counselling, though it’s not the type of counselling they do in America or Europe

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Why don’t I enjoy life? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Anouchka Grose

Feb 2nd, 2017 by

Every day millions of internet users ask Google life’s most difficult questions, big and small. Our writers answer some of the commonest queries

I’d like to begin by shelving the obvious, contemporary answer to the question “Why don’t I enjoy life?”: “Because you have a chemical imbalance in your brain, which can be fixed with medication.” I wouldn’t want to put anyone off doing anything that might help their suffering, but this answer needs to stop being so pushy and get to the back of the queue: there are plenty of perfectly valid reasons for not enjoying life.

Related: How would the Stoics cope today? | Ryan Holiday

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How can I cope better with stress?

Feb 2nd, 2017 by

Some people can bounce back from life’s pressures, but others do not seem to have the capacity. Can anything help them to strengthen their emotional armour?

How do you feel when bad things happen? Do you bounce back from adversity or sob indefinitely? Emotional resilience, the ability that some people have to withstand stress, was once thought to be a genetic gift. You were either lucky and had it, or you didn’t and struggled. Studies show that teenagers who fail exams have an increased risk of depression as adults, while athletes who lose can feel long-term guilt and humiliation. But recent psychological research suggests that emotional resilience can be developed. A systematic review of what makes people able to deal with failure looked at results from 46 studies.

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