Poodle Science

February 25, 2015

Does one size fit all for health?

The Association for Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH) is excited to announce the launch of “Poodle Science“, a 3-minute explainer video designed to help the public understand the limitations of the current research on weight and health.

“Weight bias so saturates our culture; we take it as “common sense” that being at a higher weight must cause the health problems that are more likely to occur at higher weights”, says Deb Burgard, PhD, Fellow of the Academy of Eating Disorders and a psychologist in private practice in Los Altos, California, who drafted the script and provided creative input in the making of the video.

Some clinicians and activists in the 1980s began talking about a curious truth, that the diets being prescribed did not lead to sustained weight loss. More research began to show that almost all attempts to lose weight ended either in weight cycling, disordered eating, or frank eating disorders. The discussions led to the proposal of the Health at Every Size® model for addressing overall well-being, as opposed to relying on arbitrary numbers to categorize health.

The HAES® model builds on the research showing social issues such as racism, violence, sexism, poverty, weight stigma, and so on, are the most important causes of health disparities. Yet status, equality, equity and social support are rarely addressed within medicine or the clinician-patient relationship. The lack of attention to these issues and the obsessive focus on arbitrary numerical cutoffs to define health and disease, allow market concerns like selling drugs, surgeries, diets, and procedures to trump scientific inquiries about how to optimize human well-being.

“Poodle Science” is now available as a video on ASDAH’s YouTube channel (here is a link to the video). It is the first in a series of videos that will focus on increasing public awareness and research literacy regarding the link between weight and well-being.


Rural round-up

February 9, 2015

Rural sports take centre stage – Paul Taylor:

Shearer David Fagan cemented his status as a true great of the sport with a thrilling victory yesterday.

Fagan (53) beat the 10 best shearers in the country to take the inaugural NZ Speed Shear Championship title, at the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games in Queenstown.

The 16 time NZ Golden Shears and five time world champion faced rival Dion King (40) in the final.

Fagan sheared two sheep in 42.26sec, ahead of King’s 44.48sec. . .

Safer farms launched today:

A six year safety programme aimed at reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries on farms is being launched today.

The programme, Safer Farms, is being launched by Work Safe New Zealand at Lincoln University today. . .

Best young farmer in the South – Paul Taylor:

Winton sharemilker Steve Henderson is the best young farmer in Otago and Southland.

Mr Henderson (28) won the regional final of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest after an exhausting day competing in the Queenstown sunshine on Saturday.

He will now represent the region at the nationals in Taupo on July 6.

”She was a pretty big day against good competition, so it feels good to go through,” Mr Henderson said. . .

Ewes wouldn’t say ‘running’ – Guy Williams:

It was billed as the Running of the Wools, but ”running” doesn’t quite sum up this sheep yarn.

Slideshow here

It had less of the stampeding and goring of Pamplona’s Running of the Bulls, and more of the barking, eye-balling and milling around of television’s A Dog’s Show. . .

The problem of food: Scientist puts spotlight on crisis:

“Food safety and security is one of the most significant challenges humanity has ever faced. We are entering a global crisis, and the complexity of the problem demands urgent measures.”

That’s according to Lincoln University Senior Lecturer in Food Microbiology, Dr Malik Hussain, whose comments come as part of an editorial in a special edition of the journal Advances in Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences.

At the heart of the challenge lie the pressing issues of a large, rapidly growing population, deteriorating agricultural soils, falling water tables, and the need to rapidly modify production methods based on climate change.

According to Dr Hussain, while food safety and security issues are nothing new, it’s the scale and interconnectedness of the problem that makes the situation more serious now. . .

Winton entrant wins top awards – Sally Rae:

Winton deer farmer Dave Lawrence, from the Tikana stud, won the champion of champions title at the Elk and Wapiti Society of New Zealand’s annual velvet and antler competition in Wanaka.

Mr Lawrence, who enjoyed considerable success in the competition, which attracted 63 entries, won the five year section, before claiming the top award. . .

Women’s programme receives support:

A programme to help upskill women on sheep and beef farms has just received significant new backing.

The programme, Understanding Your Farming Business, is run by the Agri-Women’s Development Trust with funding from the Government and industry collaboration, the Red Meat Profit Partnership.

The trust’s executive director Lindy Nelson said it helped women to gain a better understanding of what drives a farming business and how to measure on-farm performance. . .

Charity bike ride for rural mental health issues – Dave Goosselink:

The taboo subjects of depression and suicide in the farming community are behind a South Island charity bike ride.

Twenty-seven riders are cycling from Picton to Bluff to raise awareness of mental health issues, and for Southland farmer John Dowdle, it’s a very personal issue.

As well as getting up early to bring in the cows, Mr Dowdle has been busy training for a charity ride. He’ll spend the next nine days cycling down the West Coast along with 26 other riders, raising awareness for an issue that’s not often discussed. . .

New Zealand wine goes head-to-head with Australia and England to celebrate the Cricket World Cup:

The cricket pitch is not the only place New Zealand will be competing with the two sporting behemoths, Australia and England, during the upcoming Cricket World Cup. New Zealand wine is battling it out with Australian and English wine in a series of cricket-themed blind tastings this month to celebrate the start of the competition.

To kick-off the celebrations, New Zealand sparkling wine will compete with English sparkling wine in the “Battle of the Bubbles” on 19 February in Wellington. 12 wines from each country will be tasted blind by two teams, each headed by one Wine Captain. Jane Skilton MW will captain New Zealand with moral support from cricketing legend Stephen Fleming. Wine super-star Oz Clarke will lead the English team. . .

 


Moderation movement

February 5, 2015

Among all the bad and mad advice on what and how and how much to eat, there is occasionally a voice of sanity:

There is more than one way to achieve wellness.  There is not one 'correct' way of eating or moving in order to be healthy.  Be wary of anyone who claims there is. If there's more than one path to wellness then how do you know which is the best way for YOU?   Here are my tips for finding your own healthy balance... YOUR best path to wellness will: Be sustainable for you Your habits could easily be sustained for the rest of your life.  They are not extreme behaviours that can only be followed for a short period of time.  They are suited to your lifestyle, your working hours, your family commitments and your preferences.   Make you feel great (long term) Your health habits should make you feel physically, mentally and emotionally better.  You should not feel guilty, anxious or obsessive.  (Those feelings are a sure sign you're not on the right wellness path for you).   Be flexible Your food and exercise choices should allow for social events, eating out, and celebrations.  Your ideal path to wellness recognises that these are an important part of your life and you should enjoy them without anxiety or guilt.   Get advice from true experts When you're feeling unwell you book in to see your GP.  When you need assistance with your eating or digestive issues you book to see a dietitian.  When you have an injury you book in to see a physiotherapist.  Your best path to wellness will let the true experts guide you, ignoring health trends and self-proclaimed health gurus. Be focused on how you feel and function (rather than how you look) Achieving wellness is about feeling energised, moving more easily, eliminating or reducing pain, boosting immunity, and reducing your risk of disease.  Feeling strong, fit, well and energised is awesome.  Shaping your body to look a particular way is not improving your wellness and it's worth reminding yourself of the difference regularly. Not follow others blindly Only you know what makes you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.  Sometimes to sort it all out you'll need expert advice and consultation, but it's still your journey, your choice.  Just because a friend or family member feels fabulous eating one way, or doing particular exercise, doesn't mean you will too.   Be open to discussion and new evidence When you're on your best path to wellness, you don't feel the need to defend it aggressively.  You're open to discussing other's ways of eating and exercising.  You don't judge other's paths because you know they're choosing their own way, like you're choosing your own way.  You don't shame others.  You're willing to read new research or hear from experts and you make your own decisions about it.  You feel confident in your choices because they are YOURS. Have I forgotten anything?  How do you know when you're on the right (or wrong) path to wellness for YOU? - Jodie, Healthy Balance Fitness

 

There is more than one way to achieve wellness. There is not one ‘correct’ way of eating or moving in order to be healthy. Be wary of anyone who claims there is.

If there’s more than one path to wellness then how do you know which is the best way for YOU?

Here are my tips for finding your own healthy balance…

YOUR best path to wellness will:

* Be sustainable for you

Your habits could easily be sustained for the rest of your life. They are not extreme behaviours that can only be followed for a short period of time. They are suited to your lifestyle, your working hours, your family commitments and your preferences.

* Make you feel great (long term)

Your health habits should make you feel physically, mentally and emotionally better. You should not feel guilty, anxious or obsessive. (Those feelings are a sure sign you’re not on the right wellness path for you).

* Be flexible

Your food and exercise choices should allow for social events, eating out, and celebrations. Your ideal path to wellness recognises that these are an important part of your life and you should enjoy them without anxiety or guilt.

* Get advice from true experts

When you’re feeling unwell you book in to see your GP. When you need assistance with your eating or digestive issues you book to see a dietitian. When you have an injury you book in to see a physiotherapist. Your best path to wellness will let the true experts guide you, ignoring health trends and self-proclaimed health gurus.

* Be focused on how you feel and function (rather than how you look)

Achieving wellness is about feeling energised, moving more easily, eliminating or reducing pain, boosting immunity, and reducing your risk of disease. Feeling strong, fit, well and energised is awesome. Shaping your body to look a particular way is not improving your wellness and it’s worth reminding yourself of the difference regularly.

* Not follow others blindly

Only you know what makes you feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. Sometimes to sort it all out you’ll need expert advice and consultation, but it’s still your journey, your choice. Just because a friend or family member feels fabulous eating one way, or doing particular exercise, doesn’t mean you will too.

* Be open to discussion and new evidence

When you’re on your best path to wellness, you don’t feel the need to defend it aggressively. You’re open to discussing other’s ways of eating and exercising. You don’t judge other’s paths because you know they’re choosing their own way, like you’re choosing your own way. You don’t shame others. You’re willing to read new research or hear from experts and you make your own decisions about it. You feel confident in your choices because they are YOURS.

Have I forgotten anything? How do you know when you’re on the right (or wrong) path to wellness for YOU?

This comes from the Moderation Movement.


This Girl Can

January 16, 2015

Love the line I jiggle therefore I am:


Rural round-up

January 8, 2015

Farmer furious cows shot with arrows :

A Kaiaua farmer is calling for more to be done to protect animals in rural environments after three of his cattle were shot with a bow and arrow.

David Olsen, who farms a 600 hectare block at the southern end of the Hunua Ranges, southeast of Auckland,  has been on high alert after his wife spotted an injured cow when taking their dog for a walk on Sunday morning.

On initial inspection, Olsen could not see what was bothering the wounded beast but when he returned later in the afternoon, he realised the seriousness of the situation.

“I saw an animal with three arrows in it and one with one,” he said.

“I looked for the other one I saw in the morning and it was dead so I immediately came back and called the vet and the police.” . . .

Back into the swing - Jenna Cairney:

WHEN Emily Bowman runs her five-kilometre route on the family farm near Barraba, sometimes she feels so energetic, she’ll jump the gate and laugh.

She laughs because she’ll remember when she’d put on her runners and exercise gear in the morning and refuse to take it off until she worked out.

She remembers when her baby boy Oliver would go for a sleep, she’d put her two little girls on a picnic blanket with some morning tea and toys.

She would listen to the baby monitor, then sprint up the hill at “Tarpoly”, sprint back down, check the girls and the monitor again, and repeat. . .

Rural women’s champion honoured  – Anna Williams:

A Marlborough woman who moved to Blenheim when she was 17 for a job at the Marlborough Express has been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Liz Evans has been recognised for services to rural women in the New Year Honours List.

She is one of two Marlborough honours recipients this year, joining fellow Marlburian Ted Collins, of Spring Creek, who received a Queen’s Service Medal.

Evans, who is a national life member of Rural Women New Zealand, was the national president of the organisation from May 2011 to November 2013. . .

Rural Women congratulates Liz Evans ONZM on her Queen’s New Year’s Honour:

Rural Women New Zealand members are thrilled that Liz Evans, our former national president and a national life member, has been recognised for her services to rural women in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, having been made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM).

Liz Evans served as Rural Women® national president from 2011 to 2013, and was Marlborough provincial secretary for 10 years. She was also the administrator for the Marlborough Provincial Federated Farmers from 2003 to 2011.

Mrs Evans says she sees the award as both a personal recognition, and recognition of Rural Women New Zealand as an organisation. . . .

Swimming cow saves farmer’s life:

The area north of Wellington was affected badly when floods hit the country in 2004.

A burst of cold air blowing in from the Antarctic ice shelf combined with moist air from a weak tropical low in the north, producing wind and rain on a scale seen only about once every 10 years, with wind speeds peaking at 104kmh.

Hundreds of North Islanders were forced to evacuate their homes, and insurers estimated the cost of damage at $40 million.

Kim Riley was out early in the morning on her dairy farm in Woodville, trying to head off half her herd, which were moving in the direction of the floodwaters, when she was swept away by the current herself. . . .

What the Heck? Killer cows culled – Victoria Ward,

A UK FARMER has been forced to cut down Britain’s only herd of ­Nazi-engineered cows because they were too aggressive and tried to kill his staff.

Derek Gow imported more than a dozen Heck super cows to his west Devon farm in 2009. It was the first time the creatures had set foot on British soil since the Bronze Age.

But the farmer has now been forced to destroy seven of the cows due to their ­ferocious nature. The meat was turned into sausages which Mr Gow said were “very tasty” and a bit like venison. . .

 

Nominations in for Silver Fern Farms’ Director Elections:

Three nominations have been received for the two available positions on the Silver Fern Farms’ Board of Directors.

Rob Hewett and Herstall Ulrich retire by rotation at the Company’s 2014 Annual Meeting which is to be held in Dunedin on Wednesday 18 February 2015. Rob Hewett and Herstall Ulrich have advised they will stand for re-election.
The candidates for election are:

- Fiona Hancox
– Rob Hewett
– Herstall Ulrich . .

* * * * * * * * * * * *

"In 2015, I hope the world will finally begin to understand that the environment and family farmers are not obstacles to sustainable growth, but preconditions for it." - Danielle Nierenberg in Edible Manhattan


Rural round-up

January 5, 2015

Is raw milk safe? Some pasteurisation facts. Why I won’t well Raw milk & what to look for in a raw milk supplier – Milking on the Moove:

Tragically a child in Australia has died as a result of drinking contaminated raw milk.

So the raw milk vs pasteurised milk debate begins again. The comments on this article from June this year show the diverse opinions.

I grew up drinking raw milk from the vat. We looked long and hard at selling raw milk. We looked at the issues and decided that raw milk was not for us. I’ll explain why.

Is raw milk safe or not? 

The quick answer is, it can be safe, but it can turn bad very quickly. . .

Silver Fern Farms profit unsatisfactory, but promises more to come – Fiona Rotherham:

Silver Fern Farms, New Zealand’s biggest meat processor and marketer, has returned to profit after two years of losses but admits it still needs to deliver more.

Net profit after tax was $500,000 in the year ended Sept. 30, a significant turnaround from the $28.6 million after tax loss the previous year while pre-tax profit was $1.8 million compared to a loss of $36.5 million in 2013, the Dunedin-based cooperative said in a statement.

Over the same period the company paid down $99 million in debt as part of a plan to reduce the company’s debt servicing costs. Total income was $2.32 billion, up from $2 billion the previous year while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was $68.1 million, a nearly $46 million improvement on the 2013 financial year. . .

Silver Fern Farms release audited result just before Christmas - Allan Barber:

The delayed and much anticipated final result for Silver Fern Farms’ 2014 year has made it into the public arena in time for Christmas. Although it has squeaked in just above breakeven for the year at $1.8 million pre-tax and $0.5 million after tax, this is worse than the original guidance of $5-7 million announced at the end of October.

The difference is accounted for by a $3.3 million provision following a ruling by the Employment Relations Authority in relation to a technical redundancy arising from the closure of the Silverstream plant in 2013. From recollection SFF laid off staff on the basis of a seasonal shutdown, although at the time the company announced that it was unlikely to reopen unless stock numbers increased significantly.

The ERA’s ruling suggests this automatically implies a technical redundancy situation, whereas SFF believes not. The company has sensibly chosen (requested by the auditors?) to make the provision “while we consider our next steps over the coming month” according to chairman Rob Hewett. The time taken to reach this decision indicates the auditors must have refused to sign the accounts without this provision. . .

Year of contrasts for rural New Zealand:

It has been a year of contrasts for rural New Zealand, weather-wise and in other ways.

In Northland, for instance, while some farmers were emerging from drought, others were battling floods.

And dairy farmers saw record milk payments for the past season plunge from above eight dollars a kilo to below five dollars in a few short months.

Pondering on that is Waikato University’s professor of agribusiness, Jacqueline Rowarth.

“Hooray, hooray for good prices and then far more of a crash than actually was predicted by any of the analysts, though the banking ones were saying ‘watch out, we don’t think it’s going to be as good as you’re saying’, but of course they’re still saying that and there are some fairly dire predictions by the end of the year. . .

Rabobank Beef Quarterly Q4: Supplies remain tight amid robust consumer demand:

Rabobank’s Beef Quarterly Q4 reports that tight global cattle and beef supplies continued in Q4 2014, although prices tempered from their Q3 highs. The US remains the major global driver, with import demand affecting prices and volumes for other countries. A big question heading into 2015 with such a finely balanced market is—if Australian export rates decrease and herds in Mexico and Canada continue to be run down by the US—whether a new norm has been reached for prices or whether they still have room to rise.

“The US continues to be the driver in the global beef market with constrained supply and strong demand keeping prices high. A recent strengthening in the US economy and dollar will support continued imports to the US however we are watching a drop in the oil price and depreciation of the Russian Ruble given Russia’s status as the world’s largest beef importer”, explains Rabobank analyst Angus Gidley-Baird.  . .

Wine industry shows continued increasing profitability:

2014 financial benchmarking survey supports industry-wide optimism

The turnaround in the New Zealand wine industry has continued in 2014 on the back of improved profitability across wineries of all sizes, according to the ninth annual financial benchmarking survey released today by Deloitte and New Zealand Winegrowers.

Vintage 2014 tracks the financial results of wineries accounting for over 40% of the industry’s export sales revenue for the 2014 financial year. Survey respondents have been categorised into bands according to revenue to assist comparison within the industry.

Deloitte partner Peter Felstead says that for the first time since 2007, every category showed profitability before tax, ranging from 3.3% to 17.6%. . . .

New technology helps in fight against pests - Adrien Taylor:

A New Zealand inventor hopes to add drones to the fight against pests.

He won $25,000 to help turn his dream into reality and a trial of his Trap Minder system is taking place on Great Barrier Island this summer.

Scott Sambell and his dog Millie are finding that keeping Glenfern Sanctuary pest-free can be hard work.

The 240 hectare peninsula is cordoned off by a pest-proof fence to protect native wildlife, but that doesn’t stop a handful of unwanted predators making their way in every year. . .


Homeopathy vs ebola?

October 31, 2014

Understatement of the year:

Green MP Steffan Browning says giving his support to a call for the World Health Organisation to deploy homeopathic remedies to combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa was ‘probably pretty unwise’.

Just a little unwise?

Mr Browning this week signed a petition started by Australian Fran Sheffield which calls on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to “End the suffering of the Ebola crisis. Test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible to contain the outbreaks.” . . .

Asked whether he thought homeopathy could cure Ebola, Mr Browning said: “It’s not for me to go down that track at all.

The World Health Organisation, world health authorities are doing that.”

“They will be considering I hope absolutely every possible options to this very concerning disease.”

Asked whether that should include homeopathy, he said “Why not?”

“Internationally homeopathy is considered in some places.. I am not an expert but I assume they will look at that as much as a number of other options.” . .

You don’t have to be an expert to know this:
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