March 17th marked the opening of the 12th International Congress on Obesity in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. To get the conference off to a good start, the organisers - The World Obesity Federation - decided to put their money where their mouth was and turn off the escalators in the conference centre. If only they'd put their brains there instead.
Dear Penny and Jim, I'm writing to thank you for having me on The Breakfast Show on BBC London last Thursday. I don't know if you remember me; you were running a news piece about the tragic death of Tallulah Wilson, a girl who suffered from an eating disorder and subsequently killed herself in late 2012...
Should mental health stigma still have an impact of those suffering? Statistics show that almost everyone dealing with mental health has been, and still is, impacted negatively by the stigma surrounding it. Is it right that already vulnerable and isolated members of society should be made to feel more alone?
George, at Asda, sells Halloween costumes. They sell the usual zombies, witches, vampires, pumpkins, and then one costume that has sparked an uproar; the mental patient costume. Complete with meat cleaver, what looks like a doctors coat (did the mental patient kill a doctor to get that?) and fake blood, this is one Halloween costume guaranteed to shock.
How would you react if someone told you they were HIV positive? Would you treat them the same as any other person? Would you still hug them without thinking twice? Would you take a sip from their glass of Coke? It sounds harsh, but unfortunately a negative stigma has developed around HIV that causes many people to react with fear towards anyone who tests positive.
Weight stigma appears to be the last socially acceptable form of prejudice and discrimination, and many people engage in behaviours towards fat people that most societies and individuals would deem abhorrent if directed towards other groups, for example, people of colour or certain sexual orientation.
After talking with a fellow agoraphobic (James) on Twitter, we came up with an idea that would push this awareness even further. What if everyone could have their stories heard and shared? What if they could all receive that positivity? We wanted to create a Diaries of a Broken Mind style campaign but on a much grander scale.
Despite being the poster nation for sexual equality, Sweden's laws on sex work and attitudes towards it are woefully patriarchal. The purchase of sex is illegal and the prevailing view is that sex work is a form of self-harm and women who choose to work in the sex industry are victims without agency or reason.
The most common question people ask about depression is 'How do you know the difference between depression and just feeling sad?'. What marks me and all the others who suffer from depression out from people who are just down in the dumps, feeling the weight of the world or having a bit of a crap day? It's an interesting question, not least because it's one that doctors have to deal with on a daily basis.
Whenever headlines such as 'Cure for HIV' appear in the press, they have a few unintended secondary effects: the general populace takes them as a sign that HIV is over, and that there is no longer a problem, despite the fact that charities such as ours know very well that there is much work to be done.
A few days back, I published a piece right here titled: What's in a Word, and Who is the Addict? I really only dealt with the first part of the question: semantic pros and cons pertaining to word usage. This time, I wish the address the second question - a far more difficult question than the first.