Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

ap_Regina_Benjamin_090720_mnDr. Regina M. Benjamin, Obama’s pick for the next surgeon general, was hailed as a MacArthur Grant genius who had championed the poor at a medical clinic she set up in Katrina-ravaged Alabama.

But the full-figured African-American nominee is also under fire for being overweight in a nation where 34 percent of all Americans aged 20 and over are obese.

Critics and supporters across the blogsphere have commented on photos of Benjamin’s round cheeks, saying she sends the wrong message as the public face of America’s health initiatives.

But others support the 52-year-old founder and CEO of Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic, citing new research that shows you cannot always judge a book by its cover when it comes to obesity.

Even the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance — whose slogan is “we come in all sizes” — has jumped to her defense.

Read the rest of the story here.

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The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s Board for Human Care and its director, Rev. Matthew Harrison, have done all of us a real service by making Pastor Todd Peperkorn’s personal account of his struggles with depression available, for free. There are many people who suffer from depression, usually in silence. I recall years ago when I was a pastor in Iowa how several members of my parish suffered from depression and it was not until a neighboring pastor stepped forward and explained his own problems with depression that they finally sought the help they need. I hope this little book by Pastor Peperkorn will be an encouragement to all those suffer from depression, not only pastors. Here is Pastor Cwirla’s review, which I’m posting here to further spread the word. Pr. Cwirla doesn’t like it when I copy his posts wholescale, but I’ve now linked four times to his blog, so he can just get over it. Here is his review:

Pr. Todd Peperkorn has written an important little book on depression from a Lutheran perspective entitled I Trust When Dark My Road published by LCMS World Relief and Human Care.  This is both a timely and a courageous work.  It is timely because depression is one of those things “we just don’t talk about” in the stoic corridors of Lutheranism.  It is courageous in that seldom does one hear of a pastor speak of his own struggles with depression. Pr. Peperkorn nicely summarizes the mindset that underlies our pietistic denials when he writes:

“Far too many well-intentioned Christians are imbued with the conviction that strong people of faith simply don’t become depressed. Some have come to believe that by virtue of one’s baptism, one ought to be insulated from perils of mind and mood. Others whisper unkindly that those who cast their cares upon the Lord simply wouldn’t fall prey to a disease that leaves its victims emotionally desolate, despairing and regarding suicide as a refuge and a comfort — a certain means to stopping relentless pain.

Although Christians are willing to acknowledge that illness and tragedy can befall God’s children, many are less charitable about characterizing depression as a legitimate, biologically based illness. Sadly, clinical depression is often misunderstood as a character flaw, a deficit of will or an absence of sufficient faith. Some glance aside, wagging their heads sadly believing that depressed people simply don’t choose to “snap out of it” or that they just don’t choose to “suck it up” and get on with what it is they’ve been given to do.”

Pr. Peperkorn charts his journey in first-person narrative through the “dark road” of depression.  He is bluntly honest, revealing the inner darkness all too often veiled by white robes, colorful vestments, and a pastoral smile. He is vulnerably articulate concerning his pain, frustrations and failings.  Unlike so many pastor-as-protagonist narratives, Pr. Peperkorn does not come out the Christian super-hero, triumphing over depression with a “victorious faith.”  Instead, he emerges with a deepened and humbled sense of his own brokenness and God’s infinite grace in Jesus, through whose suffering our suffering is transformed into gift and blessing.

This book causes me to reflect on how intimately interconnected are body, mind, and spirit and how careful we must be when speaking the language of repentance and faith to those who are suffering.  Depression is not a choice.  One does not choose to be depressed, nor does one choose not to be.  Living in the fallen world as we do means that we are often dealt a hand that is considerably less than a royal flush, but under the all-reconciling cross of Christ even a pair of deuces can be played out as a winner.

Pr. Peperkorn offers no easy answers, no pious prescriptions, no religious bromides.  This is, as the subtitle says, a Lutheran view, which means that it deals with the thing as it is under the cross of Jesus.  His book will be a comfort to anyone who is suffering from depression, and will enlarge the empathy of those who do not so suffer.   It is available free as a pdf download or in book form fromLCMS World Relief and Human Care.

While you’re at it, check out some of the other enticing offerings at the LCMS WR/HC bookstore.

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orig_coke_zero10 Jun 2009 23:49:38 GMT

Source: Reuters

* Minister orders Coke Zero withdrawn from market

* Socialist government increasing scrutiny of business

CARACAS, June 10 (Reuters) – The Venezuelan government of U.S.-critic President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday ordered Coca-Cola Co <KO.N> to withdraw its Coke Zero beverage from the South American nation, citing unspecified dangers to health.

The decision follows a wave of nationalizations and increased scrutiny of businesses in South America’s top oil exporter.

Health Minister Jesus Mantilla said the zero-calorie Coke Zero should no longer be sold and stocks of the drink removed from store shelves.

“The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans,” the minister said in comments reported by the government’s news agency.

Despite Chavez’s anti-capitalist policies and rhetoric against consumerism, oil-exporting Venezuela remains one of Latin America’s most Americanized cultures, with U.S. fast-food chains, shopping malls and baseball all highly popular.

Mantilla did not say what health risks Coke Zero, which contains artificial sweeteners, posed to the population.

Coke Zero was launched in Venezuela in April and Coca-Cola Femsa <KOF.N><KOFL.MX>, the Mexico-based company that bottles Coke products locally, said at the time it aimed to increase its market share for low calorie drinks by 200 percent.

Neither Coca-Cola nor the bottler responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.

The bottler was plagued with labor problems last year in Venezuela when former workers repeatedly blocked its plants demanding back pay.

The government this year has seized a rice mill and pasta factory belonging to U.S. food giant Cargill and has threatened action against U.S. drug company Pfizer <PFE.N>.

Chavez has also nationalized a group of oil service companies including projects belonging to Williams Companies <WMB.N> and Exterran <EXH.N>. (Reporting by Fabian Cambero and Antonio de la Jara; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Christian Wiessner)

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1f205769422785ee2ed8973648f71d86Did you know that Alzheimer’s patients frequently suffer what are officially called “critical wandering incidents”? These shoes have an embedded GPS chip that sends an alert via Google Maps so the lost senior can be located.

The shoes, developed jointly by Aetrex and GTX, should be available by the end of the year.

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I am 'deeply religious.'

I am 'deeply religious.'

What do you think about the following article?  Are the ‘deeply religious’ more likely to fight?  I found this article on foxnews.com


Terminally ill patients who are deeply religious often get aggressive treatment in their final days, even though palliative care might be easier for them, researchers said this week.

A look at 345 cancer patients found that those who relied on religion to cope with the illness the most were more likely to get life-prolonging care in their last week than those with a lower levels of coping through faith, said Dr. Andrea Phelps and colleagues at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. (more…)

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I found this video today.  I’m glad we don’t live in a major city with a lot of traffic problems.  What about road construction?

Click here for video clip.

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Did you vote for Obama?  Many are hoping for the stimulus bill to pass.  I’m not.  Yes, I want the economy to get better.  But look at what is IN the stimulus bill.  This is the bill sent to the Senate.  It’s bill HR-1EH (pdf version.)  You can find this on http://www.house.gov.

Part of the stimulus bill is a rework of medicare/medicaid.  This is directly from the house bill: Medicare now pays for treatments deemed safe and effective. The stimulus bill would change that and apply a cost- effectiveness standard set by the Federal Council (page 464).

The Federal Council is modeled after a U.K. board. This board approves or rejects treatments using a formula that divides the cost of the treatment by the number of years the patient is likely to benefit. Treatments for younger patients are more often approved than treatments for diseases that affect the elderly, such as osteoporosis.

Tom Daschle, Obama’s former Health Secretary designee, said “health-care reform will not be pain free. Seniors should be more accepting of the conditions that come with age instead of treating them. That means the elderly will bear the brunt.”  WOW!  Did you hear him?  Seniors will have to bear the brunt!

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