Instagram tightens rules on diet and cosmetic surgery posts

Platform responds to concerns about impact of content on mental health of young people

Instagram has announced that tighter limiteds are to be imposed on some posts related to diet products and cosmetic surgery.

The social media platform said that from Wednesday on both Instagram and Facebook, age restrictions would be applied to some such posts while others would be removed.

Concerns have been raised about potential impacts that diet, detox and cosmetic surgery content can have on young people, their mental health and body image.

Instagram said that under its new regulations, posts that promote the use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures, which have an incentive to buy or include a price, will be hidden from users known to be under 18.

In addition, the platform said any content that made a ” miraculous ” assert about a diet or weight-loss product and was linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code, would now be removed from Instagram.

Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager said:” We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media.

” We’ve sought guidance from external experts, including Dr Ysabel Gerrard in the UK, to make sure any steps to restrict and remove this content will have a positive impact on our community of over 1 billion people around the world- whilst ensuring Instagram remains a platform for expres and discussion .”

Jameela
Jameela Jamil:’ This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/ detox industry .’ Photograph: Astrid Stawiarz/ Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

Actor and body positivity campaigner Jameela Jamil, who has repeatedly criticised high-profile online figures including Khloe Kardashian for posting on social media about diet products, said the update was a victory for mental health advocates.

” This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/ detox industry ,” she said.” Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online sends an important message out to the world.

” I’m thrilled to have been able to work towards this with them, alongside a host of other experts who shed light on the danger of these products.

” Instagram were supportive and helpful when I brought them my protests and petitions; they listened, they cared, they moved so efficiently, and communicated with us throughout the process .”

The Good Place actor started the I Weigh movement and a related account on Instagram in response to the amount of content she felt was promoting unhealthy lifestyles and diet products, indicating society was measuring success based on weight.

The account encouraged people to share their achievements regardless of their body shape and has since gained more than 830,000 followers.

” As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for most of my youth, I’ve personally known and suffered the perils of the devious side of the diet and detox industry ,” she said.

” A focus of our advocacy since inception, it is a proud day for I Weigh and a day of hope for our generation, who deserve respect and protection from the celebrities and influencers that they follow .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Ritalin-type medications best to treat ADHD in infants, shows study

Methylphenidate narcotics safest and most effective while adults do better on amphetamines

Ritalin and other drugs of the same class are the most effective and safest medications to prescribe for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder( ADHD ), according to a major scientific review.

The review of ADHD drugs shows that they work, and work well, in spite of concerns among the public and some doctors that children in the UK are being overmedicated. Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, has likened the drugs to a” chemical cosh” and claimed they were being overprescribed, disguising bad behaviour among children that could be better dealt with.

The authors of a major study in the Lancet Psychiatry journal say that methylphenidate, of which Ritalin is the best-known brand, is the most effective and best-tolerated treatment for children while amphetamines work best for adults.

While the number of children on medication has risen as ADHD has become better understood, many do not get the treatment they need to cope in life and get through school, they said. The Guardian has revealedthat getting help in the UK can take as long as two years.

Emily Simonoff, a prof of child and adolescent psychiatry at King’s College London, one of the authors, said the perception that children were overmedicated was not accurate.” Clinicians are very cautious about using drug in this country ,” she said.” The problem in the UK is predominantly about undermedication and underdiagnosis .”

The idea that ADHD drugs were a” chemical cosh” was ” an unfortunate misapprehension” in the UK, she said. The narcotics are stimulants which assistance normal functioning of the brain in children and adults. Proportions of the brain that are responsible for planning and organising activities are underactive in people with ADHD, she explained.

” The drugs run part of the way to normalising and constructing more active those areas of the brain ,” she said.

School
Critics of ADHD medications say behavioural therapies are preferable. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The study compared medications licensed for ADHD, such as amphetamines, methylphenidate and guanfacine, and also some that are used even though they are not licensed for ADHD treatment, such as clonidine and buproprion.

The research supports the recent guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence( Nice ). Nice said that environmental modifications, such as putting the child in the front row at school or doing homework in short bursts of attention at home, should be adopted and medication offered where the doctor magistrates it appropriate.

Critics of the narcotics say behavioural therapies are preferable. Psychiatrists behind the report say the evidence indicates those can help with other problems children may have, such as behavioural issues, but do not impact on the actual symptoms of ADHD. Those symptoms are broadly inattention, overactivity and impulsivity. The condition affects an estimated 5% of children and 2.5% of adults worldwide.

Another author, Dr Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, said their conclusions were robust because they had collected all the published and unpublished data on trials of the medications, which had taken them four years. But trials had not been carried out on long-term use.

” It is important to note that the data available only allow us to compare the effectiveness at 12 weeks, when we know that both children and adults can be on these drugs for longer ,” he said.

Treatment transgresses are occasionally recommended to see whether the narcotics are still necessary, but the team says the adverse effects do not outweigh the benefit that adults and children get from them in being able to concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer and learn and practise new skills.

The drugs cause some weight loss and do have an impact on a child’s growth, but not more than 2cm over the course of their life, said the authors.

While methylphenidate is already the most commonly used ADHD drug in the UK, that is not the case in the US, where a much higher number of children are diagnosed and treated.” Our findings will hopefully help people with ADHD in the USA find the best treatment for them by clarifying which medications should be first, second and third line treatments ,” said Cipriani.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Instagram stiffens rules on diet and cosmetic surgery posts

Platform responds to concerns about impact of content on mental health of young people

Instagram has announced that tighter limiteds are to be imposed on some posts related to diet products and cosmetic surgery.

The social media platform said that from Wednesday on both Instagram and Facebook, age regulations would be applied to some such posts while others would be removed.

Concerns have been raised about the impact that diet, detox and cosmetic surgery content can have on young people, their mental health and body image.

Instagram said that under its new regulations, posts that promote the use of certain weight-loss products or cosmetic procedures, which have an incentive to buy or include a price, will be hidden from users known to be under 18.

In addition, the platform said any content that made a ” miraculous ” claim about a diet or weight-loss product and was linked to a commercial offer such as a discount code, would now be removed from Instagram.

Emma Collins, Instagram’s public policy manager said:” We want Instagram to be a positive place for everyone that uses it and this policy is part of our ongoing work to reduce the pressure that people can sometimes feel as a result of social media.

” We’ve tried guidance from external experts, including Dr Ysabel Gerrard in the UK, to make sure any steps to restrict and remove this content will have a positive impact on our community of over 1 billion people around the world- whilst ensuring Instagram remains a platform for expression and discussion .”

Jameela
Jameela Jamil:’ This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/ detox industry .’ Photograph: Astrid Stawiarz/ Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

Actor and body positivity campaigner Jameela Jamil, who has repeatedly criticised high-profile online figures including Khloe Kardashian for posting on social media about diet products, said the update was a victory for mental health advocates.

” This is a huge win for our ongoing fight against the diet/ detox industry ,” she said.” Facebook and Instagram taking a stand to protect the physical and mental health of people online sends an important message out to the world.

” I’m thrilled to have been able to work towards this with them, alongside a host of other experts who shed light on the danger of these products.

” Instagram were supportive and helpful when I bring them my protests and petitions; they listened, they cared, they moved so efficiently, and communicated with us throughout the process .”

The Good Place actor started the I Weigh movement and a related account on Instagram in response to the amount of content she felt was promoting unhealthy lifestyles and diet products, indicating society was measuring success based on weight.

The account fostered people to share their achievements regardless of their body shape and has since gained more than 830,000 followers.

” As someone who struggled with an eating disorder for most of my youth, I’ve personally known and suffered the perils of the devious side of the diet and detox industry ,” she said.

” A focus of our advocacy since inception, it is a proud day for I Weigh and a day of hope for our generation, who deserve respect and protection from the celebrities and influencers that they follow .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Ritalin-type drugs best to treat ADHD in children, depicts study

Methylphenidate drugs safest and most effective while adults do better on amphetamines

Ritalin and other drugs of the same class are the most effective and safest medications to prescribe for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder( ADHD ), according to a major scientific review.

The review of ADHD narcotics shows that they run, and work well, in spite of concerns among the public and some physicians that children in the UK are being overmedicated. Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, has likened the medications to a” chemical cosh” and claimed they were being overprescribed, disguising bad behaviour among children that could be better dealt with.

The authors of a major study in the Lancet Psychiatry journal say that methylphenidate, of which Ritalin is the best-known brand, is the most effective and best-tolerated treatment for children while amphetamines work best for adults.

While the number of children on medication has risen as ADHD has become better understood, many do not get the treatment they need to cope in life and get through school, they said. The Guardian has revealedthat getting help in the UK can take as long as two years.

Emily Simonoff, a prof of child and adolescent psychiatry at King’s College London, one of the authors, said the perception that children were overmedicated was not accurate.” Clinicians are very cautious about using medication in this country ,” she said.” The problem in the UK is predominantly about undermedication and underdiagnosis .”

The idea that ADHD medications were a” chemical cosh” was ” an unfortunate misapprehension” in the UK, she said. The medications are stimulants which assist normal functioning of the brain in children and adults. Parts of the brain that are responsible for planning and organising activities are underactive in people with ADHD, she explained.

” The drugs go part of the way to normalising and building more active those areas of the brain ,” she said.

School
Critics of ADHD drugs say behavioural therapies are preferable. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The study compared medications licensed for ADHD, such as amphetamines, methylphenidate and guanfacine, and also some that are used even though they are not licensed for ADHD treatment, such as clonidine and buproprion.

The research supports the recent guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence( Nice ). Nice said that environmental modifications, such as putting the child in the front row at school or doing homework in short explodes of attention at home, should be adopted and medication offered where the doctor magistrates it appropriate.

Critics of the drugs say behavioural therapies are preferable. Psychiatrist behind the report say the evidence suggests those can help with other problems infants may have, such as behavioural issues, but do not impact on the actual symptoms of ADHD. Those symptoms are broadly inattention, overactivity and impulsivity. The condition affects an estimated 5% of children and 2.5% of adults worldwide.

Another author, Dr Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, said their conclusions were robust because they had collected all the published and unpublished data on trials of the drugs, which had taken them four years. But trials have still not been carried out on long-term use.

” It is important to note that the data available only allow us to compare the effectiveness at 12 weeks, when we know that both children and adults can be on these drugs for longer ,” he said.

Treatment breaks are occasionally recommended to see whether the medications are still necessary, but the team says the adverse effects do not outweigh the benefit that adults and children get from them in being able to concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer and learn and practise new skills.

The narcotics cause some weight loss and do have an impact on a child’s growth, but not more than 2cm during the course of their own lives, said the authors.

While methylphenidate is already the most commonly used ADHD drug in the UK, that is not the case in the US, where a much higher number of children are diagnosed and treated.” Our findings will hopefully help people with ADHD in the USA find the best treatment for them by clarifying which drugs should be first, second and third line therapies ,” said Cipriani.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Ritalin-type narcotics best to treat ADHD in infants, shows analyze

Methylphenidate medications safest and most effective while adults do better on amphetamines

Ritalin and other drugs of the same class are the most effective and safest drugs to prescribe for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder( ADHD ), according to a major scientific review.

The review of ADHD drugs shows that they run, and work well, in spite of concerns among the public and some physicians that children in the UK are being overmedicated. Ofsted’s chief inspector, Amanda Spielman, has likened the medications to a” chemical cosh” and claimed they were being overprescribed, disguising bad behaviour among children that could be better dealt with.

The authors of a major study in the Lancet Psychiatry journal say that methylphenidate, of which Ritalin is the best-known brand, is the most effective and best-tolerated treatment for children while amphetamines work best for adults.

While the number of children on medication has risen as ADHD has become better understood, many do not get the treatment they need to cope in life and get through school, they said. The Guardian has exposedthat getting help in the UK can take as long as two years.

Emily Simonoff, a prof of child and adolescent psychiatry at King’s College London, one of the authors, said the perception that children were overmedicated was not accurate.” Clinicians are very cautious about use drug in this country ,” she said.” The problem in the UK is predominantly about undermedication and underdiagnosis .”

The idea that ADHD medications were a” chemical cosh” was ” an unfortunate misapprehension” in the UK, she said. The drugs are stimulants which assist normal functioning of the brain in children and adults. Portions of the brain that are responsible for planning and organising activities are underactive in people with ADHD, she explained.

” The drugs go part of the way to normalising and constructing more actively involved those areas of the brain ,” she said.

School
Critics of ADHD narcotics say behavioural therapies are preferable. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

The study compared medications licensed for ADHD, such as amphetamines, methylphenidate and guanfacine, and also some that are used even though they are not licensed for ADHD treatment, such as clonidine and buproprion.

The research supports the recent guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence( Nice ). Nice said that environmental adjustments, such as putting the child in the front row at school or doing homework in short bursts of attention at home, should be introduced and medication offered where the doctor magistrates it appropriate.

Critics of the medications say behavioural therapies are preferable. Psychiatrists behind the report say the evidence indicates those can help with other problems children may have, such as behavioural issues, but do not impact on the actual symptoms of ADHD. Those symptoms are broadly inattention, overactivity and impulsivity. The condition affects an estimated 5% of children and 2.5% of adults worldwide.

Another author, Dr Andrea Cipriani, from the University of Oxford, said their conclusions were robust because they had collected all the published and unpublished data on trials of the medications, which had taken them four years. But trials had not been be put into practice on long-term use.

” It is important to note that the data available only allow us to compare the effectiveness at 12 weeks, when we know that both children and adults can be on these drugs for longer ,” he said.

Treatment transgresses are occasionally recommended to see whether the drugs are still necessary, but the team says the adverse effects do not outweigh the benefit that adults and children get from them in being able to concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer and learn and practise new skills.

The medications cause some weight loss and do have an impact on a child’s growth, but not more than 2cm over the course of their life, said the authors.

While methylphenidate is already the most commonly used ADHD drug in the UK, that is not the case in the US, where a much higher number of children are diagnosed and treated.” Our findings will hopefully help people with ADHD in the USA find the best treatment for them by clarifying which narcotics should be first, second and third line therapies ,” said Cipriani.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Weight-loss pill hailed as ‘holy grail’ in fight against obesity

US study of 12,000 people shows medication lorcaserin does not increase hazard of serious heart problems

A weight-loss pill has been hailed as a potential “holy grail” in the fight against obesity after a major study demonstrated it did not increase health risks of serious heart problems.

Researchers say lorcaserin is the first time weight-loss drug to be deemed safe for heart health with long-term utilize. Taken twice a day, the drug is an craving suppressant which works by stimulating brain chemicals to induce a feeling of fullness.

A US study ensure 12,000 people who were either obese or overweight given the pills or a placebo- with those who took the drug shedding an average of 4kg( 9lbs) in 40 months.

Further analysis depicted no big differences in exams for heart valve damage.

Tam Fry, of Britain’s National Obesity Forum, said the drug is potentially the “holy grail” of weight-loss medicine.

” I think it is the thing everybody has been looking for ,” he said.

” I think there will be several holy grails, but this is a holy grail and one which has been surely at the back of the mind of a lot of experts for a long time.

” But all of the other things apply- lifestyle change has got to be root and branch one of the purposes of this .”

Prof Jason Halford, an obesity expert at the University of Liverpool, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that the drug’s accessibility in the UK would depend on whether it is approved by National Health Service regulators.

” We don’t have any appetite suppressants available on the NHS. We have a massive great gap between lifestyle adjustment and surgery ,” he said.

” At the moment you either get support and advice, or you get to surgery – there is nothing in between. This could be widely prescribed if it is approved by Nice( the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence) in the UK .”

The Food and Drug Administration, the US medicines watchdog, approved lorcaserin’s use in some adults in 2012.

The drug has been on sale there since 2013 under the name Belviq, where it expenses $220 – 290( PS155-225) a month.

The study into its long-term consequences was led by Dr Erin Bohula, a cardiovascular medication expert at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

” Patient and their doctors have been nervous about use medications to treat obesity and for good reason. There’s a history of these drugs having serious complications ,” she said.

As well as affecting the heart, there are concerns weight-loss narcotics can lead to mental health issues.

The results of the study into lorcaserin were discussed at the European Society of Cardiology in Munich on Sunday and have been published by the New England Journal of Medicine.

The researchers found after one year 39% of participants dedicated lorcaserin had lost at least 5% of their commence weight, compared with 17% of those dedicated placebo. Analysis also depicted fewer people taking lorcaserin developed diabetes, 8.5% compared with 10.3% on placebo.

Tests for heart valve injury were done on 3,270 participants, but no significant differences in rates were identified.

Suicidal guess or behaviour was presented in 21 people taking lorcaserin compared with 11 people dedicated placebo, however those taking the weight-loss medication had a history of depression.

The researchers said:” Among overweight or obese patients with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or multiple cardiovascular risk factors who were being treated with dietary and exercise interventions, those who received lorcaserin had better long-term rates of weight loss than those who received placebo at a median follow-up of 3.3 years.

” The higher weight-loss rates were achieved without an accompanying increase in health risks of cardiovascular events .”

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Former tennis champion Marion Bartoli reaches back over weight loss abuse

Retired Wimbledon winner repudiates claims she has eating disorder and says horrendous virus induces her unable to eat most food

The former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has hit back at internet trolls who have targeted her over her dramatic weight loss, saying she fears for her life after contracting a mystery virus.

Bartoli, 31, has been the victim of online abuse and suggestions that she has an eating disorder after losing up to 5st( 30 kg) since she won the tournament in 2013.

However, in an interview with ITVs This Morning on Thursday, the Frenchwoman said physicians had diagnosed her with a virus they were unable to identify. It has left her unable to eat anything other than organic salad foliages and built her hypersensitive to tap water and electrical devices.

Its utterly horrendous, she said. My life right now is an absolute nightmare. What I am going through, I wouldnt wish it on[ anyone ].

I cant even cleaned myself with tap water … I cant be on my phone for more than five minutes as my heart starts to pump … Every time I do something, Im scared to see the reaction to my body, its a constant fear.

Im reduced to eating organic salad leaves with cucumber without the skin, because my body cant even process the scalp. She said she would begin treatment for the condition on Monday.

Asked if she feared death, she said: Yes, of course, because maybe one day my heart is going to stop … but my passion and love for life is keeping me going.

Refuting suggestions she has an eating disorder, Bartoli said: I love to eat and drink, I love life and I want to be alive.

She said she had chosen to speak out because of the many negative tweets she had received. Thats why I wanted to come here and explain to them. Maybe there are other people around the world suffering the same, and maybe we can all join and be supportive.

Marion
Marion Bartoli on the path to winning the Wimbledon ladies singles title in 2013. Photo: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

Bartoli found herself at the centre of a sexism cyclone when she won Wimbledon. BBC commentator John Inverdale suggested she had dedicated herself to tennis because she was never going to be a looker. Inverdale later apologised for his ham-fisted comments.

Bartoli , now a commentator, had been due to play an invitation doubles match at Wimbledon this week. However, tournament officials replaced her over very concerned about her health.

She said she had initially put her weight loss down to going back to a healthy lifestyle after retiring from tennis, but that her health had degenerated in recent months.

Bartoli believes she contracted the virus in India. I started to feel worse and worse. As the weeks were passing my body was refusing more and more things.

I hope and pray the doctors will be able to treat me As a Wimbledon champion, Im trying to fight my hardest to survive. I want people to understand that I dont do[ this] to myself on purpose; this is what Im going through and its perfectly horrendous.

Serena Williams, who will defend her Wimbledon title in Saturdays lady final, pay homage to Bartoli for speaking out about her illness.

I was really proud to hear she did say something, said Williams. She took it upon herself to recognise what shes been fighting through. I truly admire anyone that is courageous like that.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Can an apple cider vinegar a day keep the doctor away?

Sales have risen as clean eaters hail the health benefits of the kitchen cupboard staple

It’s a new twist on” an apple a day” which has caught the imagination of health-conscious millennials, celebrity food bloggers and -Alisters such as Jennifer Aniston, Katy Perry and Victoria Beckham.

Apple cider vinegar is enjoying a huge revival in the UK as a kitchen closet staple, hailed by the “clean-eating” generation as the latest wonder ingredient which can be knocked back daily as a general tonic.

Aficionados claim that only one tablespoon of vinegar( diluted with water and sometimes sweetened) is rich in natural minerals, vitamins and enzymes and can help regulate blood sugar levels, boost the immune system, aid weight loss and improve the general health of the gut.

Already a cult product in the US, its new-found popularity on this side of the Atlantic is giving an unexpected boost to the UK apple industry, where reliance on imported fruit contribute to hundreds of traditional assortments gradually disappearing.

Practising what he preaches is entrepreneur William Chase, who describes his own apple cider vinegar as” a modern take on a legendary product “. The founder of Tyrrells crisps and Chase Vodka has now moved into a sphere that he calls” fit foods”, launching his own Willy’s apple cider vinegar- manufactured on his Herefordshire farm- last year.

” Turnover has doubled since this January, we simply can’t construct enough of it ,” he told the Observer .” We are utilizing tiny crab apples which would otherwise have been wasted, and among 48 apple varieties from our 300 -year-old orchards. We have 50 acres but we need to attain more cider to meet demand, so we are looking for other farms with older orchards to help provide us with the apples we need .” Chase, who was criticised by trading standards for the health claims he made on his launch labelling, says he has lost two stone and reduced his own cholesterol as a result of regular consumption.

Supermarkets say they can barely keep abreast with demand. The grocery chain Waitrose reports that sales of the products are up more than 60% year-on-year, with Willy’s ACV and Aspall’s Apple Cyder Vinegar leading the charge.

Mel Leyshon, editor of the Healthy Food Guide , admitted there were many unsubstantiated claims for apple cider vinegar,” one of them being that it can help you lose weight, but there are no studies to prove this. But drinking a glass of diluted apple cider vinegar before a meal may help fill you up so you eat less. A better idea is to get into the habit of eating more salads with a light dressing induced utilizing apple cider vinegar – that route you can get your five a day, too “.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Men are putting on weight- and the diagnosis is grim | Neil Boom

More men are developing form 2 diabetes. I knew I was at risk, but I required a nudge, writes Neil Boom, managing director of Gresham PR

Men, be advised. It seems we are not taking very good care of ourselves. Many of us are overweight and we are paying the price with poorer health. Research by charity the Men’s Health Forum detected humen were over 25% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than females. Shockingly, virtually one in 10 humen are now suffering from this disease.

The research also found that men were more than twice as likely to have a major amputation. Almost 70% of people presenting with a foot ulcer caused by type 2 diabetes are humen. It get grimmer. Untreated, type 2 diabetes kills, and it is now killing proportionately more humen than ever, according to the study.

We can’t ignore the facts that health messages are not getting through to many humen. We are developing problems such as type 2 diabetes through a combination of obesity- apparently the UK is the sixth fattest nation in the world- and a woeful absence of exercising. In March, the NHS’s annual review of obesity said one in four adults in England took less than 30 minutes of moderate exercising a week, compared to the recommended 150 minutes.

Is being overweight abruptly socially acceptable for men? Without the social stigma, is it now OK to be obese? Worryingly, Men’s Health Forum says that more than half of overweight men think their weight is fine.

We are all too familiar with the social pressures on girls and women to be slim( and beautiful ), and how this causes crippling anxiety leading to terrible eating disorder and self-harm. Surely, men can choose a healthy menu that avoids obesity, leading to poor health, without a diet of weight preoccupation leading to sickness?

What the report didn’t reveal was datum relating to men’s ages or social backgrounds. It strikes me the vital missing ingredient is the extent to which our stances to health and weight depend on our friendship groups, ages and jobs. A friend I train with at the gym plays weekly five-a-side football with his mates and says they’re all fit and take their health and fitness seriously. None are overweight.

Most of my friends are middle aged like me. As we have got older, we’ve become much more concerned about our weight and general health and fitness. Still, there’s usually some sort of catalyst before embarking on a weight loss and exercising regime. We all knew and understood the health messages, but needed a spur to action before taking them seriously.

For one, for whom diabetes runs in his family, it was coming last in the daddies’ race at his son’s school athletics day that spurred him to taken any steps. Another friend was prescribed drug for high blood pressure and started to lose weight to help better manage his condition. A friend who freelances for a living said his spur was the need to look youthful and in good physical shape when pitching for projects, in order to radiate vitality and demonstrate capacity to cope with the slog. For another mate, it was simply the approach of a significant birthday, and with it a bit of taking stock.

My catalyst was the kindness of male friends, by which I mean they took the mickey out me for being fat and unfit. In my late 30 s and early 40 s my weight had increased slowly. By my mid-4 0s it had jumped from a lithe 12 stone to a porky 15.5, and was proving no signs of stopping there. Long hours at my desk and client networking concentrated around eating and drinking, combined with little routine exert had caught up with me. A health check at the doctor’s told me I was at risk of kind 2 diabetes.

It was truly the comments from friends that forced me ultimately into to action. One of my more kindly mates remarked that I was a little portly. Others were frankly blunter. Bluster and jokes are fairly typical ways that men get serious phases over, but behind it I could see some genuine concern for my welfare.

I received pleasure in a drastic life change. For eight months, out went all booze, bread, pasta, rice and sugary treats such as chocolate, biscuits and cake. In came working, regular trip-ups to the gym with a personal trainer, smaller food portions and lots more fruit and salads. The weight fell off.

We all agree that media messages promoting us to eat healthily and exert on the whole have gone in. Yet a catalyst is often needed to turn guessed into action.

* Neil Boom is managing director of Gresham PR

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Former tennis champion Marion Bartoli makes back over weight loss abuse

Retired Wimbledon winner rejects claims she has eating disorder and says horrendous virus builds her unable to eat most food

The former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has hit back at internet trolls who have targeted her over her dramatic weight loss, saying she dreads for their own lives after contracting a mystery virus.

Bartoli, 31, has been the victim of online abuse and suggestions that she has an eating disorder after losing up to 5st( 30 kg) since she won the tournament in 2013.

However, in an interview with ITVs This Morning on Thursday, the Frenchwoman said doctors had diagnosed her with a virus they were unable to identify. It has left her unable to eat anything other than organic salad foliages and stimulated her hypersensitive to tap water and electrical devices.

Its perfectly horrendous, she said. My life right now is an absolute nightmare. What I am going through, I wouldnt wish it on[ anyone ].

I cant even cleaned myself with tap water … I cant be on my phone for more than five minutes as my heart starts to pump … Every period I do something, Im scared to see the reaction to my body, its a constant fear.

Im reduced to eating organic salad leaves with cucumber without the scalp, because my body cant even process the skin. She said she would begin treatment for the condition on Monday.

Asked if she feared demise, she said: Yes, of course, because maybe one day my heart is going to stop … but my passion and love for life is keeping me going.

Refuting suggestions she has an eating disorder, Bartoli said: I love to eat and drink, I love life and I want to be alive.

She said she had chosen to speak out because of the many negative tweets she had received. Thats why I wanted to come here and explain to them. Maybe there are other people around the world suffering the same, and maybe we can all join and be supportive.

Marion
Marion Bartoli on the way to winning the Wimbledon dames singles title in 2013. Photograph: Tom Jenkins for the Guardian

Bartoli find herself at the centre of a sexism cyclone when she won Wimbledon. BBC commentator John Inverdale suggested she had dedicated herself to tennis because she was never going to be a looker. Inverdale later apologised for his ham-fisted comments.

Bartoli , now a commentator, had been due to play an invitation doubles match at Wimbledon this week. However, tournament officials replaced her over concerns about her health.

She said she had initially set her weight loss down to going back to a healthy lifestyle after retiring from tennis, but that her health had degenerated in recent months.

Bartoli believes she contracted the virus in India. I started to feel worse and worse. As the weeks were passing my body was rejecting more and more things.

I hope and pray the doctors will be able to treat me As a Wimbledon champion, Im trying to fight my hardest to survive. I want people to understand that I dont do[ this] to myself on purpose; this is what Im going through and its absolutely horrendous.

Serena Williams, who will defend her Wimbledon title in Saturdays ladies final, paid tribute to Bartoli for speaking out about her illness.

I was really proud to hear she did say something, said Williams. She took it upon herself to recognise what shes been fighting through. I actually admire anyone that is courageous like that.

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