Children struggling with eating disorders 29 July 2013More boys are developing eating disorders, and children as young as 9 are being admitted to hospital with anorexia.The increasing pressure on children and teens to be a certain shape and size had contributed to a rising number of young people battling eating disorders, Wellington Hospital adolescent physician Anganette Hall said.On top of striving to look like skinny celebrities on magazine covers, there was a growing fear about obesity that was impacting on relationships with food.“What’s portrayed in the media is not reality,” Hall said. Other factors, such as bullying about weight and negative comments from others about food and weight, could also play a part.“Some people are just genetically more likely to get an eating disorder and some because of their personality characteristics . . . perfectionist, obsessive and intelligent,” she said. “It is more common in the white middle-upper class, but we do see people from low socio-economic groups.” read more

Bob McCoskrie: Legalising grass won’t make NZ greener

first_imgNZ Herald 19 April 2016Professor Doug Sellman is wrong to believe “the days of cannabis prohibition in New Zealand appear to be coming to an end.” New Zealanders need to be aware of a smokescreen around this issue. Politicians need to reject knee-jerk law changes and understand the real agenda behind liberalising drug laws and also the potential abuse of medicinal marijuana.The Government is right to be cautious around this issue, but there must also be a compassionate response to those in real need.In 1979, the National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said, “We’ll use medical marijuana as a red-herring to give marijuana a good name”. But a study in the United States found the average “patient” was a 32-year-old white male with a history of drug and alcohol abuse and no history of life-threatening illness.The strategy of groups who want dope legalised is to promote medicinal marijuana which simply manipulates society’s compassion for people with serious pain and health concerns. But marijuana will then be diverted from medical programmes, where it may be justified and effective, to simply “recreational” purposes.As Project Sam (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) asserts, “Opium has medical value, and it is called morphine. Marijuana has medical value, too – but just as we don’t smoke opium to receive beneficial effects, we need not smoke marijuana to get its medical value.”It is ironic that at the same time as Professor Sellman correctly calls for the drinking age to be raised and laws to restrict alcohol abuse, and we try to price and label cigarettes out of existence, supporters of marijuana are peddling the same myths that we believed for far too long about tobacco – that marijuana is harmless.Marijuana was made illegal because it is harmful. The Australian Medical Association has issued warnings on the health risks associated with smoking marijuana. They include memory loss, psychosis, impaired driving, hallucinations, asthma and lung cancer. Researchers from the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand found that a single cannabis joint could damage the lungs as much as smoking up to five tobacco cigarettes one after another.And the Christchurch Health and Development study found that the risks of driving under the influence of cannabis may now be greater than the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol.Britain’s Medical Research Council says the link between cannabis and psychosis is clear, which it wasn’t 10 years ago.Supporters of decriminalisation try to argue that the statutory penalties for cannabis use have not changed in over 35 years, and that drug use is a health issue and we are wasting time and resources focusing on the criminal aspect. But research in the International Journal of Drug Policy (2012) found there has been a substantial decline in arrests for cannabis use in New Zealand over the past decade, and police diversion and Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment Courts have been increasingly used.Drug use is both a criminal and a health issue. There is a false dichotomy that criminal sanctions haven’t worked so we should ditch them altogether and focus only on education and health initiatives. We should maintain both.The “legalise but tax it” message is also seductive, but false. You just have to compare the taxes gained on alcohol versus the horrendous fiscal and social costs that alcohol causes to see the deficiency in this argument.Decriminalising marijuana is the wrong path if we care about public health and public safety, and about our young people.A feeble approach to marijuana use will simply send all the wrong messages to our young people and to our families – that drug use isn’t that big a deal. That is not the message families want. As they say, the grass is not always greener. read more

Wicked Campers sexual term banned by Chief Censor

first_imgNZ Herald 16 May 2016Family First Comment: Once again, an interesting determination. A great result. But why is it unacceptable on a vehicle, but ok in a children’s book and on free-to-air television during so-called family viewing times? Some people have argued that you can’t avoid seeing it on the vehicle. But you could also argue – just look the other way (as they do for books and tv).So this brings us back to the purpose of censorship – it’s about protecting the whole community and especially children from harmful, offensive and sexualised messaging. Freedom of speech should always consider the welfare of children and families.Wicked Campers has been whacked again – and this time the Chief Censor’s office has banned its use of a sexual term.A new ruling from the Chief Censor has banned from the road one of the vans carrying a term considered to be degrading to women.It’s the first time a sexual term has been banned from being displayed on the campervans with the three previous orders classifying the campers as “objectionable publications” because of the depiction of drug use.In this case, the Chief Censor was dealing with a Japanese term which described a group male sex activity.Wicked Campers, represented by Ford Sumner lawyers, said the term “may cause mild offence to some individuals who are aware of its translated meaning” but it was “simply one word” among others which were not offensive. It also told the Chief Censor not many people would be offended because not many people knew what it meant.“Furthermore, the phrase is used for humorous purposes, and this characteristic prevails over any other potential sexual characteristics that may be interpreted.”READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Editorial: Easter trading move adds to the muddle

first_imgNZ Herald 23 March 2017Family First Comment: NZ Herald Editorial copies our media release“What cannot be ignored is the historical significance of the day. The number who believe the date holds religious sanctity has decreased, but the devotion of those remaining has not.”Not just the historical significance but the family significance.It appeared such a pragmatic move for the Government to let local communities decide whether to relax the laws on Easter Sunday trading. The outcome is already a very mixed bag indeed.Far North District Council has voted for Easter Sunday trading, as has Kaipara. Whangarei has not, and nor has Auckland.The governing body of the Auckland Council is scheduled to debate the issue today. It is unclear why it would bother at this juncture as council officers have advised there can be no change before 2018.As of this week, about a quarter of councils have taken the chance to open on Easter Sunday. Where you find yourself in New Zealand on April 16 is likely to determine whether you can pop out to the shopping strips and malls to browse the shelves. If you are in the major centres Auckland or Whangarei, window shopping will have to do.At the time of passing, the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Act 2016 was hailed as a breakthrough in common sense.Until the amendment, the rules were standard, though the exemptions were convoluted.There were three and a half days a year when almost all shops must be closed under the Shop Trading Hours Act 1990. Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter Sunday and Anzac Day (until 1pm).READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Newspoll: Majority Backs Laws to Protect Religions (Aust)

first_imgThe Australian 26 November 2018Family First Comment:  A clear majority of Australians — including nearly 60 per cent of Labor voters — has backed new laws to prevent individuals, schools and companies from being discriminated against ­because of their religious beliefs and practices. New Zealand needs the same. #FreeToBelieveA clear majority of Australians — including nearly 60 per cent of Labor voters — has backed new laws to prevent individuals, schools and companies from being discriminated against ¬because of their religious beliefs and practices. The special Newspoll, conducted for /The Australian/, comes as the government weighs up its response to a review into ¬religious freedom conducted by former Liberal attorney-general Philip Ruddock and commissioned in the wake of the successful same-sex marriage plebiscite last November.The Newspoll shows 59 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of new laws to protect ¬individuals, schools and companies because of their religious beliefs compared with 26 per cent opposed to change. About two-thirds or 65 per cent of Coalition voters supported a strengthening of protections for religious freedoms; 57 per cent of Labor voters also backed the need for more robust ¬protections. Greens voters also overwhelmingly backed new laws to protect religious freedoms, with 63 per cent saying they were in favour of change compared with 50 per cent of One Nation ¬voters.The results show that support among all the key political parties is running in favour of legislating stronger protections for religious freedoms.Despite the poll showing overwhelming support for the enhancement of religious freedom in Australia, a parliamentary committee yesterday prop¬osed the removal of key protec¬tions for faith-based educators from anti-discrimination laws. A Senate inquiry examining the treatment of gay students and teachers at religious schools yesterday recommended the ¬removal of an exemption at ¬section 38(3) of the Sex Discrimination Act. This exemption currently allows faith-based schools the ability to discriminate against students on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, although it is not used for this purpose by religious schools. read more

Crack down on booze to lessen misery from ‘addictive psychotropic drug’, DHB urge

first_imgNZ Herald 6 January 2019Family First Comment:  We’ve been saying this for years. And we’ll be saying the same thing if marijuana is foolishly legalised.The price of your summer tipple would be hiked along with the drinking age under changes wanted by DHBs struggling with booze-related carnage and disease.There are 47,000 people who drink hazardously within Auckland DHB’s boundary, with more than one in four men in that category.The DHB has now joined other health boards including Counties Manukau in endorsing a position statement on alcohol harm. It calls for price hikes, restrictions on advertising and sponsorship, and an increase in the purchasing age.“Alcohol is not an ordinary commodity. It is an intoxicant, toxin, and addictive psychotropic drug,” the DHB concludes. “Alcohol has been normalised and largely accepted by society, and causes more harm than any other drug in society.“Harm from alcohol is not limited to those with alcohol addiction and dependence, but affects even those that drink low to moderate amounts.”The stance adds to growing calls by DHBs to address the environment people live in, in order to improve their health. Wellington region DHBs recently called for a tax on sugary drinks.Auckland DHB cited research showing consuming between 10 to 20 standard drinks a week slashes life expectancy by an estimated six months.Drinking is linked to liver cirrhosis, cancers and stroke. At least 75 per cent of assaults between 9pm and 6am are estimated to be alcohol-related.“In addition to the impact on health services in the community, treating alcohol-related harm in our hospitals requires significant staff time and resources, including security. Our ED staff often face physical abuse from intoxicated patients and visitors,” a DHB spokeswoman told the Herald on Sunday.READ MORE: up with family issues in NZ. Receive our weekly emails direct to your Inbox.last_img read more

Observers deem Guinea’s presidential elecion valid

first_imgGuinea’s presidential election was valid, observers have said.European Union election observers in Guinea have affirmed that the elections were held freely and fairly despite some logistical difficulties, a move that will now boost President Alpha Conde’s quest to stay in charge of the country for another five-year term.The EU statement came as clashes broke out over Sunday’s election between supporters of the president and the opposition in at least two neighbourhoods of the capital Conakry.Security forces were reportedly seen heading to the areas but no clarifications were obtained on the weight of the protests.The results of the elections are yet to be officially announced, though announcements by local radio stations showed thet Conde had gained a sizeable lead over his opponents. Talk is rife however that a second round is still possible.It is reported that nearly two-thirds of the polling stations opened late because of insufficient materials, even as some never received voting booths at all. Representatives of the political parties were however present in most locations and counts were mostly transparent.Opposition candidates including Cellour Dalein Diallo on Monday called for the elections to be scrapped due to fraud.Conde’s election in 2010 ended two years of military rule.last_img read more

Free HIV testing ahead of Regional Testing Day next week

first_imgPhoto credit: unl.edu1Free HIV testing are being conducted in all health districts today as part of activities leading up to Regional Testing Day which will be held on the 27th of June. This is a result of a partnership between the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV and AIDS and Scotia bank.Expanded from its pilot programme in 2008, which was concentrated in Barbados, the initiative aims, this year, to have approximately 10,000 people across the region tested.Coordinator of the Testing and Counseling program within the HIV Unit Mary Williams says one of the main reasons for this testing campaign is to encourage everyone to know his/her status, since knowing ones’ HIV status is better than not knowing. She says the gesture will also be extended to the Kalinago Territory over the weekend.Dominica Vibes News 17 Views   no discussions HealthLifestyleLocalNews Free HIV testing ahead of Regional Testing Day next week by: – June 24, 2011 Tweet Sharecenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Sharelast_img read more

OECS works to preserve special border tax arrangements

first_img 77 Views   no discussions Share Share Mr. Ricardo JamesCASTRIES, St Lucia – Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO) are working towards securing flexibilities they have obtained in the negotiations on agriculture and non agriculture tariff liberalization modalities.These flexibilities will enable OECS governments to avoid cuts to border taxes, including import duties, as a result of the current round of multilateral trade negotiations.Head of the OECS Secretariat’s Technical Mission in Geneva, Ricardo James, says this is one of the matters discussed at recent talks in Dominica, among OECS trade officials on the current round of WTO negotiations.“We have been negotiating for 10 years. A number of achievements have been made that are of particular interest to the OECS countries. In the area of tariff liberalization for example, a special concession has been granted to small vulnerable economies (SVEs), such as the OECS member states, that will significantly modulate the depth of tariff cuts,” he said.James added that flexibilities given to OECS members states where there are no cuts in border taxes will certainly do well for OECS economies.“A significant proportion of government revenue at various levels comes from border taxes including import duties. Therefore, not having to make cuts in our common external tariff (CET) rates as a result of this round will mean that government revenues are being preserved for the time being,” he said.James was speaking on the recent meeting of OECS trade officials in Roseau, Dominica, which updated OECS member states on all areas of the current round of WTO Doha Development Agenda negotiations.The areas discussed during this activity included: market access for agricultural and industrial goods, trade facilitation, fisheries subsidies, intellectual property rights, and services.The OECS Technical Mission in Geneva reported significant progress for the OECS in most areas of the WTO negotiations, but added that there is some work to be done in areas such as intellectual property rights, dispute settlement and the harmonized liberalization of services sectors within the context of the establishment of the OECS Economic Union.“In the services negotiations, we are talking about the identification of sectors that countries are going to further liberalize and the various modes of supply along which these services will be provided. Each country will have to place an offer on the table regarding the additional services sectors they would want to liberalize and by how much. Once the modalities for tariff liberalization on agriculture and industrial goods are agreed then schedules will be set indicating what tariff lines are to be cut and by how much. In consequence much technical work needs to be done at the national and regional level to indentify which sectors and which modes of supply the OECS member states are willing to liberalize,” James said.The OECS Secretariat says the recent consultations in Dominica provided a wealth of information to the OECS/WTO member states, having brought them up to speed on the current round of negotiations and the way forward.“In Geneva the OECS Mission continues to effectively represent the interest of member states working through key negotiating coalitions and blocks such as the African-Caribbean and Pacific Group. Through those key negotiating coalitions and with the very presence of the OECS Mission in Geneva there is tremendous advantage for OECS member states in effectively advancing their concerns and positions at the WTO level,” James explained.The recent meeting in Roseau of OECS trade officials on WTO negotiations was funded by the Caribbean Integration Support Project (CISP), an initiative under the 9th European Development Fund (EDF) which also funds the operation of the OECS Technical Mission in Geneva, and the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Hub and Spokes Programme.Caribbean News Now NewsRegional OECS works to preserve special border tax arrangements by: – May 12, 2011center_img Sharing is caring! Share Tweetlast_img read more

DOMLEC seeks to improve quality of service

first_img Tweet Share LocalNews DOMLEC seeks to improve quality of service by: – May 26, 2011 Sharing is caring! General Manager of DOMLEC Colin Cover says he is not fully satisfied with its quality of service being provided by the company.Cover says while there have been some improvements in reliability, the company should not become complacent.He says management is working towards improving two aspects of doing business at DOMLEC.You should never get satisfied with where your quality of services is. We have had people on the streets saying that they have seen an improvement in the reliability of the technical side but that doesn’t mean we are happy with where we are. We would like to continue with that because there is a technical side and a customer service side and we are working to improve those areas simultaneously,” he said.Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img Share Share 21 Views   one commentlast_img read more