Weight loss linked to healthy eating not genetics, study finds

Participants who ate the most vegetables and consumed the fewest processed foods, sugary drinks and unhealthy fats shed the most kilograms

The amount and quality of food and not a person’s genetics will lead to weight loss, a US study has found.

It has been suggested that variations in genetic makeup make it easier for some people to lose weight than others on certain diets.

To test this theory researchers at Stanford University conducted a randomised control trial involving 609 overweight adults, who all underwent genetic and insulin testing before being randomly assigned to either a low-fat or low-carb diet for 12 months.

Gene analysis identified differences are connected with how the body processes fats or carbohydrates. But weight loss averaged around 5kg to 6kg at follow-up regardless of genes, insulin levels or diet type.

What seemed to make a difference was healthy eating, researchers said.

Participants who ate the most vegetables and devoured the fewest processed foods, sugary drinks and unhealthy fats lost the most weight.

Prof Lennert Veerman from the School of Medicine at Griffith University in Queensland said the study presented there was probably no such thing as a diet right for a particular genetic make-up.

” We feed to fill our belly and, if that’s with veggies, we tend to lose weight, whereas if it’s with chocolate or French fries, flushed down with a soda, we gain weight ,” Veerman said.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Participants had 22 health education class during the study and were encouraged to be physically active but the focus was on what they ate.

They were advised to choose high-quality foods but were not given indicated calorie restrictions nor were they provided with specific foods. Outcomes are based on what they reported eating.

Fat intake in the low-fat group averaged 57 grams during the study versus 87 grams beforehand, while carb intake in the low-carb group averaged 132 grams versus 247 grams previously.

Both groups reduced their daily calorie intake by an average of about 500 calories.

The leading Australian nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton, from the school of medical sciences at the University of New South Wales, said the “excellent” study highlighted the importance of eating plenty of vegetables.

Stanton advises people to attempt professional help to choose quality foods because the macronutrient content of of a diet” does not really matter “.

” Some previous studies that have damned carbohydrates have not taken note of the foods that rendered it ,” Stanton said.” For instance, lentils and lollies are both’ carbs’ but one is a nutrient-dense high quality food while the other is junk. Simply calling them’ carbs’ does not provide this vital distinction .”

While most diets worked, the real challenge was sticking with them, Veerman said.

” Instead of’ going on a diet’ it would be better to find new, healthier habits ,” he said.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

‘It’s very good’: how soap made from siphoned human fat left audiences in a lather

Dutch artist Julian Hetzels installation Schuldfabrik took a provocative look at the age of excess

In a fashionably minimalist shopfront in Adelaide, a woman is cleaning my hands. She gently pours water over them, presenting me with a bar of soap, while she explains its mending properties. As she pats them dry, she places my palms in a praying position.

So far, so Lush. But while the whitewashed walls and posh glass display cabinets may look familiar, this isn’t any ordinary cosmetics company. The soap I am trying- creamy in texture, snow-white in colour, satisfyingly chunky in shape- is made from human fat.

I am taking part in the installing Schuldfabrik, created by Dutch artist Julian Hetzel, which first premiered in 2016 in Austria and is currently showing at the Adelaide festival.

Eager to examine society’s positions towards excess- as well as the taboo against using products siphoned from humans- Hetzel asked liposuction patients to donate their fat to the project. This was then turned into soap, stamped with the logo “SELF”, and wrap in modish monochrome packaging. It is currently being sold in the pop-up shop for $ 35 a bar.

As Neil Armfield, joint artistic director of the celebration, put it:” It’s very good soap .”

It doesn’t attain the experience any less confronting. True, scientists across the world are looking at routes we can utilise human waste: from converting faeces( usually expelled into space) into a potential food source for cosmonauts to turning sewage into fertiliser. But as someone Jewish, I couldn’t stop thinking about Nazi Germany, where legend has it scientists boiled down concentration camp victims into soap.( The truth of this is hotly debated, but the use of Jewish bodies to “benefit” the Third Reich through medical experimentation and forced labour is undisputed .)

Julian
Julian Hetzel, inventor of Schuldfabrik. Photograph: Russell Millard/ Adelaide Festival

Hetzel, however, is more interested in interrogating first-world guilt, and what to do with the surplus of resources we have, than exploring what his art says about history.

“Shuld”- the German word that lends the artwork its title- has two meanings: “guilt” as a moral duty and “debt” as an economic obligation.” What if there was a way, akin to carbon trading, of absolving remorse by creating’ positive outcomes’ for society from the byproducts of quick-fix weight loss ?” Schuldfabrik asks. In other words, Hetzel seems to be saying, if “fat” denotes gross overabundance, can it be used to help others who have less?

In Schuldfabrik that question is treated practically. Proceeds from soap sales go towards excavating wells in a village in Malawi. That’s not all: for every bar of soap sold, another is donated to the village. In one fell swoop, Schuldfabrik claims to provide both clean water and a tool for hygiene.( The simple act of hand-washing, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can help prevent the spread of diarrhoea and respiratory infections, which kills 3.5 million children annually in the developing world ).

Reflecting this, the installation starts in a confessional where I am placed, alone, in a claustrophobic pitch-black stall. Beforehand each audience member in our small group is interrogated by a stern lady in a lab coat.” Do you drive to work in a vehicle ?”” Do you recycle ?”” Do you know where your dress was attained ?” she barks at one woman. The girl seems down, operates her thumbs across her hem, and admits, sheepishly, that she doesn’t.

We are then led to another room where a “plastic surgeon” from The Hague explains the procedure of liposuction, before demonstrating on a hyper-real sculpture of a human. She inserts a needle into his flabby, hairy belly, depicting liquid fat into a nearby container. All the while, she discusses how changing ideals of beauty have fuelled the cosmetic surgery industry.

A
Photograph: Russell Millard/ Adelaide Festival

In the “factory”, there are other rooms too: a laboratory where the process of soap attaining is explained( the ingredients, we read, contains 10% human fat, working in partnership with other vegetable oils ); a room where two non-Anglo men labour in a sweatshop to produce packaging; and a room where bubbles foam down from the ceiling, meeting on the floor in eerie human-looking shapes, to booming classical music.

Finally, we are ushered into an office where the company’s CEO explains his mission, safely positioned behind a glass window. For 20 minutes he waxes lyrical, his corporate terminology belying a chill messianic zeal. At one point, exemplifying the virtuous cycle of up-cycling on the window with a white marker, he creates the shape of a Christian cross, creating his hands like Jesus:” Wash the ache away !”

Soap may seem like an everyday object, readily accessible for a dollar in Woolworths. For centuries, however, it was considered a sign of richness: a soap tax in 18 th century England mean the product was set aside for the wealthy. More recently soap has remained a luxury for many: less than 0.1 percentage of households in Ethiopia and just 34.7 percent in Swaziland have access to soap and water, according to a 2010 -1 3 survey.

Schuldfabrik promises personal betterment while offering a solution to the consequences of poverty. But Hetzel probes the very resolvings he offers. Is “saving” people in developing countries through buying an expensive artisan product merely another excuse for consumerism? Are we doing it simply to feel good about ourselves?( In this case, the conundrum is theoretical: the numbers of soap produced and sold through Schuldfabrik will scarcely make any real dent in Malawi; in my group just one woman made a purchase .)

There are other issues, too. Fatness is treated in Schuldfabrik like a privilege; but in the West, and in many developing countries in various regions of the world, obesity levels are worse amongst the poor where the costs of fresh, healthy food is prohibitive. Unlike in the movie Fight Club, in which Brad Pitt’s character steals fat from a liposuction clinic to make and sell soap, these patients agreed to the use of their own bodies for art. Yet the very fact that this fat needs to be got rid of in the first place- not to mention the underlying presumption that this is, ultimately, a route for obese patients to be ” productive”- conjures up the words of Cat Pause, a researcher in fat studies at Massey University, New Zealand, who once told me:” Fat bodies are believed to be lazy, inactive, unattractive, asexual, unhealthy, unsuccessful and unhappy .” Do something good! The artwork seems to say. Donate!

During my afternoon ablutions in Adelaide, a baptism, of kinds, I thought about the cost of cleanliness. Who gets access to hygiene and who doesn’t. The price of human waste. And the route we are dealing with ” fat” bodies- as well as others viewed as unwanted or worthless- in society. Exiting the shop, I glanced at large black letters emblazoned on the wall.” From people for people ,” it read.

* Guardian Australia was a guest of Adelaide festival

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Weight loss linked to healthy eating not genetics, study determines

Participants who ate the most veggies and ingested the fewest processed foods, sugary drinks and unhealthy fats shed the most kilograms

The amount and quality of food and not a person’s genetics will lead to weight loss, a US study has found.

It has been suggested that variations in genetic makeup make it easier for some people to lose weight than others on certain diets.

To test this theory researchers at Stanford University conducted a randomised control trial involving 609 overweight adults, who all underwent genetic and insulin testing before being haphazardly assigned to either a low-fat or low-carb diet for 12 months.

Gene analyses identified differences are connected with how the body processes fats or carbohydrates. But weight loss averaged around 5kg to 6kg at follow-up regardless of genes, insulin levels or diet type.

What seemed to make a difference was healthy eating, researchers said.

Participants who ate the most veggies and ate the fewest processed foods, sugary beverages and unhealthy fats lost the most weight.

Prof Lennert Veerman from the School of Medicine at Griffith University in Queensland said the study demonstrated there was probably no such thing as a diet right for a particular genetic make-up.

” We feed to fill our stomach and, if that’s with vegetables, we tend to lose weight, whereas if it’s with chocolate or French fries, flushed down with a soda, we gain weight ,” Veerman said.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Participants had 22 health education class during the study and were encouraged to be physically active but the focus was on what they ate.

They were advised to choose high-quality foods but were not given suggested calorie limits nor were they supplied with specific foods. Results are based on what they reported eating.

Fat intake in the low-fat group averaged 57 grams during the study versus 87 grams beforehand, while carb intake in the low-carb group averaged 132 grams versus 247 grams previously.

Both groups reduced their daily calorie intake by an average of about 500 calories.

The resulting Australian nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton, from the school of medical sciences at the University of New South Wales, said the “excellent” study highlighted the importance of eating plenty of vegetables.

Stanton advises people to attempt professional help to choose quality foods because the macronutrient content of of a diet” does not really matter “.

” Some previous studies that have damned carbohydrates have not taken note of the foods that furnished it ,” Stanton said.” For instance, lentils and lollies are both’ carbs’ but one is a nutrient-dense high quality food while the other is junk. Simply calling them’ carbs’ does not provide this vital distinction .”

While most diets ran, the real challenge was sticking with them, Veerman said.

” Instead of’ going on a diet’ it would be better to find new, healthier habits ,” he said.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Weight loss linked to healthy eating not genetics, study determines

Participants who ate the most vegetables and ate the fewest processed foods, sugary beverages and unhealthy fats shed the most kilograms

The amount and quality of food and not a person’s genetics will lead to weight loss, a US study has found.

It has been suggested that variations in genetic makeup make it easier for some people to lose weight than others on certain diets.

To test this theory researchers at Stanford University conducted a randomised control trial involving 609 overweight adults, who all underwent genetic and insulin testing before being randomly assigned to either a low-fat or low-carb diet for 12 months.

Gene analyses identified variations are connected with how the body processes fats or carbohydrates. But weight loss averaged around 5kg to 6kg at follow-up regardless of genes, insulin levels or diet type.

What seemed to make a difference was healthy eating, researchers said.

Participants who ate the most veggies and ate the fewest processed foods, sugary drinkings and unhealthy fats lost the most weight.

Prof Lennert Veerman from the School of Medicine at Griffith University in Queensland said the study presented there was probably no such thing as a diet right for a particular genetic make-up.

” We feed to fill our stomach and, if that’s with veggies, we tend to lose weight, whereas if it’s with chocolate or French fries, flushed down with a soda, we gain weight ,” Veerman said.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Participants had 22 health education class during the study and were encouraged to be physically active but the focus was on what they ate.

They were advised to choose high-quality foods but were not given suggested calorie restrictions nor were they provided with specific foods. Results are based on what they reported eating.

Fat intake in the low-fat group averaged 57 grams during the study versus 87 grams beforehand, while carb intake in the low-carb group averaged 132 grams versus 247 grams previously.

Both groups reduced their daily calorie intake by an average of about 500 calories.

The leading Australian nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton, from the school of medical sciences at the University of New South Wales, said the “excellent” study highlighted the importance of eating plenty of vegetables.

Stanton advises people to attempt professional help to choose quality foods because the macronutrient content of of a diet” does not really matter “.

” Some previous studies that have damned carbohydrates have not taken note of the foods that rendered it ,” Stanton said.” For example, lentils and lollies are both’ carbs’ but one is a nutrient-dense high quality food while the other is junk. Simply calling them’ carbs’ does not provide this vital distinction .”

While most diets worked, the real challenge was sticking with them, Veerman said.

” Instead of’ going on a diet’ it would be better to find new, healthier habits ,” he said.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Fran Lebowitz: ‘You do not know anyone as stupid as Donald Trump’

She loves to talk, detests to fly and wants to make it clear she takes no responsibility for the nation of US politics

Be grateful you didn’t sit next to Fran Lebowitz on the plane from New York to Melbourne. The trip-up was the longest flight she had taken, and therefore the longest time she managed to go without a cigarette. When I ask if it is her first time in Australia, she says:” That induces it sound as if there’s going to be a second day .” She amazed herself by not being taken off the flight in handcuffs for assaulting fellow( first-class) passengers or smoking in the toilets.

” I was like a child on the plane, asking the flight attendant,’ Are we there ?’ And she said,’ Are you nuts? We’ve only been flying for four hours .’ The only people who live in Australia are those who came to Australia and couldn’t face the trip back- I’m actually one of those people .”

Lebowitz has been invited to Australia several times but, as a longtime smoker, 30 hours on a flight without a cigarette was out of the question. But she was persuaded to perform depicts( which quickly sold out) at the recent All About Women festival at the Sydney Opera House, and a Wheeler Centre talk in Melbourne. She got through the flight without being arrested by chewing lots of gum and being able to smoke during a brief stop in LA.

Before our meeting, I spot her standing on the footpath- smoking, naturally- in her sartorial uniform of Levi 501 s, a white shirt and custom-made dark blazer. She glances up the street, towards Melbourne’s Fawkner Park, as if she’s not quite sure where she is or how she got here.( She later asks me what day it is .)

Once we sit down to talk it’s immediately apparent that talking is what Lebowitz does best. That’s a big call, given the New Yorker is an author, social commentator, public speaker and even performer, is contained in presents such as Law and Order. She’s such a good talker that when I going to see a nearby eatery to do some work on my laptop after our interview is over, she sees me, sits next to me and talks for another hour. (” Let me know if I’m disturbing you ,” she offers politely ).

But first, during her interview with Guardian Australia, Lebowitz wants to make it clear that she takes no responsibility for the nation of American politics. She had just arrived in Melbourne and was having breakfast in her hotel when a human next to her consider she was reading the paper.” And this guy started talking to me, I was reading something about Trump, and he said,’ You elected him !’ And I said’ I did not !'”

Lebowitz becomes indignant.” I mean, I did not. It’s not my fault. I know you[ Australians] are very upset about it. But we are more upset. Even my friends- I have a lot of friends in New York who are not American- were blaming me. I expended a year of my life before the election, going around the country, talking about this stuff. It’s not my fault. I am blameless. I am not a perfect person. I am not blameless in life but I do not know one single person who voted for him .”

Fran
Fran Lebowitz at Diane von Furstenberg’s International Women’s Day celebration in March. Photograph: Angela Pham/ BFA/ REX/ Shutterstock

Echoing the reported opinion of former US secretary of state Rex Tillerson, Lebowitz believes the biggest danger of Trump is that he is a moron.” Everyone says he is crazy- which maybe he is- but the scarier thing about him is that he is stupid. You do not know anyone as stupid as Donald Trump. You only don’t .”

Lebowitz is still shocked that Trump won. Part of the shock is that she was living so fully in a liberal New York bubble.” I had zero notion he would win. I have never been so wrong in my life. And being right is something I cherish. It’s really important to me to be right .”

It’s one of three nights burned entirely into 67 -year-old Lebowitz’s memory- on a par with the Kennedy assassination and 9/11.” I remember every single second of the whole day- voting, everything- the whole day .”

She voted and went to lunch, and on the way home she felt like New York was getting ready to welcome its first female chairman. She walked past a party being set up, hosted by Harvey Weinstein. They said,” See you tonight, Ms Lebowitz !” But she didn’t attend that party, opting instead for the party of the then Vanity Fair editor, Graydon Carter.

” Everyone was in a great mood and there were these huge American flags draped everywhere. Everyone was drinking champagne .”

From time to time over the night, Lebowitz popped into the kitchen to look at the election map on TV and, with each visit, was increasingly nervous. The map was turning red.

A friend, the contributing editor at Vogue, Andre Leon Talley, who had been on a strict weight-loss regime all year, entered the room.” I had been with this guy in eateries all year and he was like,’ Fish, just a little salad , no dres !’ There were all these chocolates and cookies and stuff[ on the table] and he started eating them without even looking.

” Then I’m smoking as usual but at a certain point I realised I’m smoking two cigarettes and Andre had feed all the cookies. Graydon had in his hands two martinis and a waiter said’ You want another ?’ and he said’ Yes !’ He couldn’t even hold them. At a certain point[ another] friend of mine said,’ I’m going home, I can’t take this- I’m not tough enough. I’m going home to take narcotics .’ This is a man my age, a very distinguished man .”

Lebowitz went home to SoHo through neighbourhoods usually busy with nightlife.” But there was no one in the streets- it was nothing. It was like grief inside those houses. It was horrible. I felt that strongly affected emotionally for at least a month. My level of fury, always high, is now in fever pitch all the time .”

Lebowitz believes naked racism is behind Trump’s election.” He let people to express their racism and bigotry in a way that they haven’t been able to in quite a while and they actually love him for that. It’s a shocking thing to realise people love their hatred more than they care about their own actual lives. The hatred- what is that about? It’s a anxiety of your own weakness .”

The other hot button issue right now is guns. Lebowitz virtually chokes on her mineral water when I ask her if she has one.

Lebowitz
Fran Lebowitz:’ I had zero notion Trump would win. I have never been so wrong in my life .’ Photograph: Stewart Cook/ REX/ Shutterstock

” Of course I don’t have a gun !” She is scathing of handgun owners.” Who are these people that love handguns? These people who love Trump and they love handguns, these are the most frightened people I have ever seen in my life. Who’s after you? They live in the middle of nowhere. I live in New York city and I don’t have a gun. No one I know has a gun.

” In the early 70 s, when I was more vulnerable in every route, it was really dangerous. I could have gotten a firearm but I never got one. I was an 18 -year-old penniless girl in the middle of a dangerous city and I was never as afraid as these men in Texas, living in a state of terror .” Her voice drips with disdain.

What does she think of the teenaged activists taking on Congress over gun control?

” I do feel that this very young generation- people who are adolescents today and in their 20 s- are so much better than the generation right above, people who are in their 40 s. When I was in my 40 s and these people were coming up, attaining music and taking drugs, I supposed,’ These people are horrible .’ But when these new young person started coming up, I was pleasantly astonished. I entail- they read books. When I am on the metro and I find a person reading a book, they will be 24, and the person on the Kindle is 44 .”

Young people love her. Young men come up to her in Macy’s and tell her she has to change her positions about humen in shorts; others have created songs and memes about her.

While Lebowitz love to talk, she sees herself as a private person.

” Publicly, I don’t really talk about myself in a very personal way and I wish other people wouldn’t either. I entail, partially this is because people my age were raised that route. We were raised not to talk about ourselves. But I don’t really to be considered myself any more. It’s one of the upsides about getting old. I’ve lost interest .”

Today’s young people” have always lived in an environment where people asked them what they supposed”, she says.

” When I were children no one ever asked you a question- and I entail no one. Children were told what to do. From morning to night, instructions … No one ever asked about yourself, that is for sure. Unless you had a fever, and even then they took your temperature and told you how you felt.’ I don’t feel well .” Yes, you do .'”

Apart from taking part in the Trump resistance, Lebowitz says she has considered running for mayor of New York- except she doesn’t want to do any early starts.” I would consider being the night mayor and starting at 4pm ,” she says.

” You’re a nightmare already ,” I joke.

” Yeah, I don’t need to be elected to be a nightmare .”

She seems out to the quiet, leafy Melbourne street, contemplating the flight home to that city she embodies in so many ways.” You know what ,” she says.” I can’t do that trip-up again. It’s nice here. I’ll get someone to send my stuff .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Baby nearly died after mom breastfed while on water diet on naturopath’s advice

The woman, a midwife at a Sydney hospital, was given 14 -month suspended sentence

A breastfeeding mother whose newborn nearly died of starvation after she began following a naturopaths water-only diet has avoided imprisonment, with a magistrate handing her a suspended sentence of 14 months.

The woman, a university-trained midwife at a Sydney hospital, was given a 14 -month good behaviour bond at Campbelltown Local Court on Wednesday.

Magistrate Ian Guy also lifted a strict AVO condition which had denied the woman unsupervised access to the now two-year-old son since he was admitted to Westmead hospital on the brink of death in May 2015.

The case against the defendant demonstrates a serious example against her training and against the telltale signs which would have been blindingly obvious to anyone, Mr Guy said.

I accepted she was following advice. That does not mean that she was somehow seduced, tranced into blindly following.

When the woman took her eight-month-old son to hospital last year, he weighed merely 6.5 kg, was emaciated and severely dehydrated, had sunken eyes, dangerously low sodium levels and flexed hands and feet.

Had he not presented at hospital at that time, he would have died within days, Guy said.

The explanation for his condition was that the woman had been treating her son for severe eczema.

The infant was often contained within blood from scratching his eczema and the washing line was constantly full of bloodied sheets that had to be rinsed, a close friend of the woman said in evidence.

During sentencing submissions, defence lawyer Richard Kouchoo said his client was a loving mother who was desperate to put an end to her sons discomfort and, after orthodox medical treatments failed to improve his condition, attempted advice from naturopath Marilyn Bodnar.

Bodnar advised a raw food diet and eventually water-only for the woman, who was exclusively breastfeeding her son.

At one point, she modified the water-only regulation by eating merely watermelon for three days.

Mr Kouchoo said his client was herself a victim because she had been influenced by the opportunistic Bodnar.

However, DPP prosecutor Alex Brown said the boy was the most vulnerable victim in the care of a mother and that he was deprived of nutrition for four weeks.

The womans family noticed the childs and her own weight loss and told her to stop the diet, but she did not, Brown said.

Nothing but imprisonment is warranted in this matter, she told the court.

Bodnar is due to face trial next week on reckless grievous bodily harm and aiding the failure to provide care to a child.

Guy said the case was an extraordinarily serious instance of failing to provide care to a child.

The woman can no longer run as a midwife, but hopes, once this is all over, to have a chore working with children, Kouchoo said.

Her son is indicating great progress in his growth and health, he said.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

‘Stunned, shocked’: insurance company stopped pay-outs to woman with cancer

Royal commission hears TAL Life Limited claimed client failed to mention depression unrelated to her cancer

One of Australia’s biggest life insurance companies abruptly stopped insurance pay-outs to a woman with cervical cancer because it detected she had sought help for mental health years before her diagnosis.

TAL Life Limited began investigating the woman’s medical history because she’d taken out income protection insurance four months before her cancer diagnosis in December 2013, and after discovering she’d attempted help for mental health between 2007 and 2009, avoided her contract of the assurances claiming she had failed to disclose a prior history of depression.

It stopped paying her $5,000 a month, which it had done between January 2014 and May 2014, and told her it wouldn’t have offered her cover-up if it had known about her alleged depression, even though it was unrelated to her cancer.

The woman, a self-employed health professional, was taken aback by the news, telling a TAL employee she was ” stunned, shocked, unbelievably sad and distressed “.

She took the matter to the financial ombudsman service in 2014.

The banking royal commission heard on Friday that TAL deliberately delayed its dealings with the ombudsman.

The commission heard that in mid-March 2015, TAL knew any other look at the woman’s medical history to see if blood tests she had taken for gynaecological issues, which she had disclosed in her application, could be classified as non-disclosure.

When TAL sought a retrospective underwriting opinion, the general manager of claims in TAL told the retail asserts manager she couldn’t help feeling that TAL was ” trying to build retrospective decisions when the facts at the time were different “.

The commission also heard that a couple of weeks before TAL was due to hold a conciliation meeting with the ombudsman, its claims decision committee said it had procured additional medical evidence about the woman demonstrating she had experienced” recent deteriorating weight loss, mood change, and wearines” and her insurance would have been declined on that information.

But TAL waited for 2 week until the day before the conciliation meeting to tell the ombudsman it would be using that additional information as evidence to support its reason to avoid the woman’s insurance contract.

Senior counsel assisting the royal committee, Rowena Orr QC, asked if TAL had withheld that information until the last moment because it wanted to use the information to its” strategic advantage “.

Loraine van Eeden, from TAL Life Limited, replied:” I don’t know .”

Orr said:” It was part of a broader pattern of delay in the copes with the ombudsman on such matters, wasn’t it ?”

Eeden replied: “Yes.”

TAL eventually settled the matter with the ombudsman. It agreed to waive its right to recover the $25,000 it had already paid the woman, and then paid her another $25,000.

Eeden confessed to the banking royal commission that it was wrong to avoid the woman’s insurance contract.

She agreed the woman had made an innocent non-disclosure of an unrelated condition when she applied for income protection insurance. She said policies should only be avoided if there is fraudulent non-disclosure of unrelated conditions- such as someone claiming they are working when they are not- but not when there has been innocent non-disclosure of unrelated conditions.

The commission heard that TAL is now in the process of changing its controls and risk management of disputed claims, so disputed asserts are not remitted back to original suit directors but to divide example managers.

Also on Friday, the corporate regulator began civil proceedings against ANZ Bank over accusations ANZ failed to tell shareholders that the investment banks it hired to sell $2.5 bn of its shares in 2015 bought $791 m worth of shares themselves.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission( Asic) has alleged that when ANZ tried to raise $2.5 bn in 2015, the share sale did not attract the expected level of interest from institutional investors, so the investment banks running the share sale- JP Morgan Australia, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank- had to purchase the leftover shares.

Asic alleges ANZ failed to tell the stock market about the purchase of the leftover shares before the market opened the next day.

It says more than $1.1 bn of ANZ shares were traded the next day, and traders may have acted differently if they had all relevant information.

ANZ has said it will defend the allegations, saying it is not aware of any precedent for an ASX-listed company to disclose if shares had been purchased by investment banks running a major share sale.

* Crisis support services can be reached 24 hours a day: Lifeline 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800; MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Weight loss linked to healthy feeing not genetics, examine discovers

Participants who feed the most vegetables and devoured the fewest processed foods, sugary drinks and unhealthy fats shed the most kilograms

The amount and quality of food and not a person’s genetics will lead to weight loss, a US study has found.

It has been suggested that variations in genetic makeup make it easier for some people to lose weight than others on certain diets.

To test this theory researchers at Stanford University conducted a randomised control trial involving 609 overweight adults, who all underwent genetic and insulin testing before being randomly to be given to either a low-fat or low-carb diet for 12 months.

Gene analyses identified differences linked with how the body processes fats or carbohydrates. But weight loss averaged around 5kg to 6kg at follow-up regardless of genes, insulin levels or diet type.

What seemed to make a difference was healthy eating, researchers said.

Participants who eat the most vegetables and devoured the fewest processed foods, sugary beverages and unhealthy fats lost the most weight.

Prof Lennert Veerman from the School of Medicine at Griffith University in Queensland said the study depicted there was probably no such thing as a diet right for a particular genetic make-up.

” We feed to fill our stomach and, if that’s with veggies, we tend to lose weight, whereas if it’s with chocolate or French fries, flushed down with a soda, we gain weight ,” Veerman said.

The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Participants had 22 health education classes during the study and were encouraged to be physically active but the focus was on what they feed.

They were advised to choose high-quality foods but were not devoted suggested calorie limits nor were they provided with specific foods. Results are based on what they reported eating.

Fat intake in the low-fat group averaged 57 grams during the study versus 87 grams beforehand, while carb intake in the low-carb group averaged 132 grams versus 247 grams previously.

Both groups reduced their daily calorie uptake by an average of about 500 calories.

The resulting Australian nutritionist Dr Rosemary Stanton, from the school of medical sciences at the University of New South Wales, said the “excellent” analyze highlighted the importance of feeing plenty of vegetables.

Stanton advises people to seek professional help to choose quality foods because the macronutrient content of of a diet” does not really matter “.

” Some previous examines that have damned carbohydrates have not taken note of the foods that furnished it ,” Stanton told.” For example, lentils and lollies are both’ carbs’ but one is a nutrient-dense high quality food while the other is junk. Simply calling them’ carbs’ does not provide this vital distinction .”

While most diets worked, the real challenge was sticking with them, Veerman said.

” Instead of’ going on a diet’ it would be better to find new, healthier habits ,” he said.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

I took a prescription pill to get a lot of work done speedily. Here’s what happened | Brigid Delaney

With the use of smart medications on the rise, I supposed Id try it out to help with a looming deadline. I did a lot of work but I also bought a lot of furniture

A few years ago I went to my doctor to prepare for a fast I was doing for a publication article.

Is there anything you can suggest to help my body adjust to not eating? I asked my doctor. She wrote out a prescription and told, This.

This was expensive. It expensed $100 to get it filled but my doctor assured me it would repress my appetite and get me used to a period of time without food.

I only took one pill but it freaked me out so badly I shoved the rest to the back of the medicine cabinet. What was this horrific stuff? I couldnt believe that my doctor had prescribed it. Lines of speed snorted from the cistern in a nightclub lavatory apparently provided a smoother ride than this pill that I could buy legally.

What happened to your pupils? asked one friend I met at the theatre two days later. They were still the size of dinner plates.

This medication not only stimulated my appetite disappear but it made me hyper-focused, energetic and uncharacteristically enthusiastic about cleaning.

Yet it also made me feel terrible. I was under a cloud of neg. I couldnt imagine anyone taking these pills for a good time. In fact, they nearly guaranteed you would have an awful time. The nervousnes was the worst. Everything became suffused with a kind of swampy dread.

Yet despite detesting them, I sensed the pills were filled with secret powers for uses they were not intended for. I chose perhaps unwisely not to throw them out.

And now I read that I was not alone in this thinking. The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that prescription drug use by students before exams are rising, a trend first seen in the US. Chris Seton, a paediatric and adolescent sleep physician at the Woolcock Institute and Westmead Childrens Hospital, told Fairfax that drugs such as ritalin and modafinil were being used in Australian classrooms. An increase in the use of the same narcotics has been reported in the UK.

Ritalin is used to treat attention deficit disorders while modafinil is used to treat sleep ailments such as narcolepsy. Their employ as survey aids, or smart medications, shows that many students now think ofthem as performance-enhancing narcotics for the brain.

Last Monday, with the manuscript of a book due in three weeks and my pace and energy flagging, I decided to break open my in case of emergency stash of pills.While the drug I was prescribed was not ritalin or modafinil, it shares some similar side effects.

This is what happened.

I got all my work done

This part of writing a book is largely organisational, and Id been putting it off. The task involves a large amount of focus being able to hold lots of information about the project in my head at once and discarding the bits I do not need or are repetition. Ordinarily I would apportion a couple of weeks to this grim task but this time I am going to try and transgress the back of it in two days.

In a bizarre coincidence, just after I took the pill, I heard a segment about abuse of prescription drug on the radio. The program interviewed a number of people who just like me are misusing prescription drugs to get a large amount of work done in a short sum of time.

Users describe feeling a speedy high that helps them concentrate for hours on the task at hand, whether that be a uni assignment, major work project or remaining awake at gigs, read the programs promo .

I wonder what it tells about this moment in history, that we are abusing narcotics so we can get more run done? I did get a lot of work done.

I got no sleep

Before I took the pill, I define my alarm for 5am because I knew from previously taking it that it lasts and lasts, and unless I took it it really early in the morning, I would not get any sleep.

At the end of day one, I was still working on the project at around midnight and did not feeling fatigued. I achieved a lot. I woke around 4am the following day, full of energy. I sent dozens of emails, including answering tricky emails I had put off, then decided to buy some outdoor furniture. Its a big purchase that I had been considering for months. But in action-mode on my smart narcotic I decided to finally tick it off my list and bought a six-seater outdoor table with cushions and an umbrella.

Prescription drug forums are really interesting

Since my doctor didnt tell me much about the narcotic she had prescribed me, I Googled it and detected a forum. People who are taking the drug as an craving suppressant were reporting mood swings, anxiety, sleeplessness, weight loss and the urge to clean. Every now and again person jumped on the thread and issued warnings in caps such as, STAY AWAY FROM THIS DRUG IT MADE ME A SLEEPLESS AND CRAZY MONSTER.

The energy is false

On day one, I was well on my route to doing a weeks worth of work. Plus Id cleaned the house! I swept and mopped. Then I went to the gym. The trainer gave me the 6kg weights to lift and I could only manage four reps. Before taking the pill, I was lifting 8kg.

Youre much weaker today, she told, appearing concerned.

I havent had much to eat, I acknowledged. I did not tell her about the pill.

I slunk out of the gym. Some things cant be manipulated muscles require protein for fuel.

What goes up must come down

On the second day, I called a friend to tell her about all the great things I bought online during my day of unbound energy.It was a weird list: a bicycle helmet, tennis racquet, a foam roller, two bookshelves, a wardrobe, boxes for shoes, an outdoor table decided, a shade cloth, an umbrella, 12 cushions.

You bought a helmet? she asked. I do not have a bike.

Then I noticed I had purchased two six-piece outdoor furniture situates. It was like I was setting up a cafe or something. I called the store, embarrassed, and cancelled the entire order.

Yeah, I dont need two lots of outdoor furniture. It was a mistake.

By about 4pm, my energy was fading. I had been working on the same sentence for an hour, and then a colleague advised: Close the computer. You need to sleep. Your brain needs respite for a while.

I slept for a couple of hours, then headed back to the gym. I was still weak, so I abandoned my workout.

By day three, my appetite was back to normal, and I returned to my usual unfocused ego. My magical powers had deserted me. But were they actually magic or were they the equivalent of taking out a payday loan? Itll get you through what you need to get through today but youll pay through the nose, with interest, tomorrow.

It turns out you cant sleep for four hours in two days without paying a price.

I was fast asleep by 6pm, which entailed losing precious hours that I could be working on my manuscript. I vowed not to take the pills again.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

In the aggressive world of cosmetic surgery, patients can’t afford to be naive | Ranjana Srivastava

Its a dangerously unchecked industry, and the potential for disaster is as boundless as our longing to seem good

The lovely young lady on my medical rounds has a gaping pit on her forehead. The hole is deep and there is pus brimming from the side. The edges look macerated and discoloured and the stench emanating from it is noticeable. She looks like the main victims of a vicious collision until we discover that this is the result of a cosmetic procedure gone wrong. She is flustered and angry, but principally worried about the possibility of setting up permanent disfigurement.

The plastic surgeon duly arrives, his response one of unmitigated discouragement: Oh God.

Over the next week, the woman receives powerful antibiotics and one round of surgical debridement. The surgeon advises that the repair process will take several months.

When she knows us a little better she produces consecutive images capturing the unfolding misfortune. The final picture is from Instagram before intervention. Her scalp is smooth and young and her features look nice, but all she notices is the blemish of a mole.

See that? I couldnt bear it, but now I am positively ugly. Then she explodes into tears.

We console her as best we can but there is no escaping the fact that in the quest to fixing a small perceived defect she has attracted a lot more difficulty than she bargained for. She seems nonplused when the plastic surgeon questions her about the qualifications of her provider. He was a doctor, she says defensively. What else did I need to know?

This woman may sound nave but qualified plastic surgeons say that she is typical of uninformed patients who belatedly realise the consequences of their decision to have routine cosmetic surgery.

Cosmetic surgery clinics have long operated with impunity but they have recently been in the spotlight with the reporting of widespread shoddy procedures including unsafe anaesthetic practices and inadequate infrastructure to monitor serious complications.

Beauty clinics that once offered safe services now perform a ubiquitous trade in laser procedures. Get a Brazilian does not involve virtually the same level of hazard as laser resurfacing, says a dermatologist, who find examples of interventions gone wrong.

But unregulated cosmetic clinics are prospering, offering everything from Botox, laser and fillers to breast and nose jobs, tummy tucks and facelifts. Slick websites promise the world: rapid and painless makeovers that will restore patients( largely females) to their pre-baby ego or sculpt the confident, trim and taut body they have always dream of having.

The word cosmetic is affixed to doctor, physician, surgeon, plastic surgeon and dermatologist. Of these, merely the latter two have undergone years of expert training and accreditation by a professional college. While clinics claim that other cosmetic providers may have a basic medical degree, their training in performing complex cosmetic procedures is variable and unscrutinised.

According to plastic surgeons who end up picking up the pieces after cosmetic surgery gone wrong, many providers know that patients dont have the sophistication to question the difference. They describe removing botched breast and nose implants, treating disfiguring scars and resurrecting patients who suffer large fluid shiftings after aggressive liposuction. Many of them have taken place on a luxury overseas vacation that combined tourism and surgery at a fraction of the price. The corrective procedures are painful, time-consuming and place an extra burden on the public healthcare system.

But cosmetic does not mean unimportant, as one dermatologist rightly says. Its nave to think that appearance doesnt matter. It matters in every walk of life. Even the ancient Egyptians, free of the impacts of social media, considered beauty as a sign of holiness, going to considerable lengths to procure Kohl and malachite for their eyes and red ochre for cheeks.

A man wants the red veins on his nose removed to remove the impression of being an alcoholic. A female feels that the permanent frown upon her forehead attains her appear angry to her colleagues and is threatening her job security. A young man says people cant look beyond the large birth malformation on his face. Modern medicine has the tools to assist, and patients ought to benefit from them, but they also deserve an honest discussion of the evidence underlying treatment.

When a woman tells me she settled on a tummy tuck after a single phone call, I wonder how uninformed buyers can be so easily convinced of the merits of expensive and major surgery. Visiting various websites, I am struck by the glossy pictures selling the attractive proposition that a tummy tuck is perfect for the woman who wants to look more feminine, regain her self-esteem and nicer contours for someone who doesnt intellect the children but detests the resulting abdominal luggage, for the woman who dreads the beach and who is at risk of sinking into depression because her waist is larger than her hip.

There is an outwardly sympathetic but sinister implication that sometimes , no amount of healthy living can make a woman as beautiful as a round of surgery. The mention of complications is notably sparse and that of cost virtually non-existent. You could be forgiven for thinking that although the benefits are self-evident and compelling, health risks are a side issue and the costs immaterial.

In a 2015 analyse published in the publication Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, American researchers reported on the outcomes of 25,000 abdominoplasties( tummy tucks) 95% of patients were women, with an average age of 42. Two-thirds blended the procedure with other cosmetic surgery. Tummy tucks can be undertaken alone or as part of the Mummy Makeover Package, blending breast, abdominal and vaginal work. Less a significant problem managed in the clinic were not included in the study but the rate of major complications was high at 4 %, rising to an alarming 10.4% for combined procedures. The commonest complications were bleeding, infection, venous thrombosis, and lung injury, all potentially life-threatening.

When I call a popular cosmetic clinic on a Friday afternoon and ask to speak to a patient advisor, demand is high and the wait is long. I introduce myself as a mom enquiring about cosmetic surgery for the first time and am immediately asked which one of the extensive menu of procedures I want. An abdominoplasty, I venture, and am rewarded with the knowledge that its unbelievably popular.

Id like to know who this procedure is right for, I ask.

Its right for anyone who wants it.

I am astounded by this claim, and from a nurse too.

Her advice contradicts professional guidelines that advise surgery in cases of massive weight loss( that leaves redundant scalp behind ), documented serious infection or scalp necrosis due to overhanging fat or functional limitation with walk-to or hygiene, and only when non-surgical management has not worked.

After hearing a slick promotion about the tummy tuck that they are able to iron out more than the abdominal sags, I ask about side effect and costs and am told this requires a discussion with the doctor. I confess this as reasonable but cant assistance detect that the anticipated benefits have already been aggressively impressed upon me without the same doctors input.

Do girls decide so quickly? I enquire, considering I am none the wiser about the providers qualifications, cost or complications.

Most of our women have already decided and they walk out of here with a date.

Research into the preferences of first-time cosmetic surgery recipients finds that spectators of plastic surgery reality television are more likely to be influenced by the indicates, believe themselves to be better informed, but have more unrealistic expectations of surgery.

Experts say that cosmetic surgery is a sign of our times and here to stay, which is why qualified plastic surgeons and dermatologists, who might previously have avoided the field, want a hand in video games. They say that while most patients are satisfied, cosmetic surgery providers are obliged to screen out those with depression, psychosis, body dysmorphic ailment and minimal deformity who need other forms of help instead of surgery they can ill-afford. But many openly admit that the multimillion dollar cost of operating a modern cosmetic clinic causes ethical obligations that clash with the financial imperative.

When you have bought a six-figure laser machine and are spending tens of thousands in upkeep fees, there is a perverse incentive to suggest a procedure instead of reassuring a woman that her nose appears just fine, a clinic owner tells me. If patients are to be adequately protected, the cosmetic industry will need to be regulated rather than customers relying on a voluntary code of conduct.

In todays aggressive world of cosmetic surgery, the patients role cant be ignored. The patient cant afford to be nave and trust the most polished ad. Before committing to cosmetic surgery, there is a personal obligation to reflect a little on what it will actually accomplish.

Disappointingly, research shows that when it comes to almost every form of healthcare, with every pill we swallow and procedure we subject to, we consistently overestimate the benefits and underestimate the damage.

Combine this with an unchecked industry, and the potential for tears is as boundless as our longing to seem good.

Read more: www.theguardian.com