This week’s news round-up focuses on health events and new or revised health resources. What’s included? A New York Times article about the question of why Americans weigh more now than we did 40 years ago, Diabetes Awareness Month, lesbian/bi/queer women and STI risk, and the relative benefits of HPV vs. pap screening.
Why do Americans Weigh More Now than We Did 40 Years Ago?
For many people it seems clear that the “obesity epidemic” (a phrase we don’t particularly like) is due to bigger portion sizes and less physical activity. However, a recent article in the New York Times explores one of the many alternative factors with which those in the Health At Every Size® (HAES®) community are very familiar – changes in the gut bacteria that helps us digest carbohydrates, provide vitamins, and regulate how much fat our body stores. Click here to read the article.
November is Diabetes Awareness Month!
Diabetes affects nearly 26 million Americans and an estimated 79 million people are at risk for developing the disease. In observance, the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and its partners are working with individuals, families and communities to take action and encourage simple, but important lifestyle changes to improve their health – particularly if they have diabetes or are at risk for the disease. Diabetes is definitely a preconception health issue as uncontrolled, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes raises the risk of problems for the baby and the mother.
While the NDEP is focusing on prevention, the American Diabetes Association, which sponsors the event, is focusing on raising awareness that diabetes is a condition that affects people who have it on a daily basis. They are inviting people with diabetes to share their photos and stories of living with the disease on Facebook as part of their “Day in the Life of…” campaign.
At Go Folic! we are always interested in healthy food. What to cook if you have diabetes? You can download “Tasty Recipes for People with Diabetes and Their Families” by clicking here (PDF – 1 MB).
Are women who have sex with women at risk for getting STIs?
The Womenshealth.gov website recently updated their health fact sheet for lesbian and bisexual health women, which provides a whole section on STI risk among women who have sex with women. In addition to impairing fertility, untreated STIs – including some that are more likely to affect queer women, can affect a developing fetus and raise the risk for preterm birth. Access the health fact sheet here.
HPV Screening vs. Pap Smears
Finally, a new study published in the Lancet suggest that screening for the human papillomavirus (HPV) is more effective than Pap tests for protecting women against invasive cervical cancer. This is life-saving news for the 12,340 who are diagnosed with the condition annually. Get the full story here.