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MARIE MCINERNEY | August 22, 2014 | CHILD HEALTH | |

The uphill trek on obesity: convincing people that Coke is not part of the health “solution”

Why are consumers willing to overlook the contribution that Coca-Cola’s products are having in driving Australia’s poor health?  And why do organisations with public health objectives buy into the message that it is somehow part of the health solution when it comes to addressing obesity? Croakey has run a number of articles on the issue [...]

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FRANCES GILHAM | August 22, 2014 | ALCOHOL | |

The Health Wrap: the Ebola crisis deepens; poverty; rethinking health

By Frances Gilham The Ebola crisis deepens A dangerous new chapter has begun in the deadly Ebola epidemic, as crowds of people clashed with law enforcers trying to maintain quarantine zones to halt the disease spread in Liberia, the New York Times reported. Without a cure or vaccine for the disease, the World Health Organization [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | August 22, 2014 | PUBLIC HEALTH | 2 |

In which Rob Oakeshott responds to a Wonky Health review of his book

In his recent Wonky Health column, Dr Tim Senior reviewed a new book by former MP Rob Oakeshott, The Independent Member for Lyne. The review noted that “health as a topic is notable for its absence”, and also suggested the book would have benefited from a deeper analysis of the root causes of inequalities and [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | August 21, 2014 | INDIGENOUS HEALTH | |

The Koori Woman: You really need to know this history, Dude

Kelly Briggs writes: I woke up in a bad mood. Am pretty sure I’m not the only one who this happens to occasionally. Even the Dalai Llama probably has his off days. This was not the best day for me to wake up in a less than gleeful mood, because my first port of call [...]

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MARIE MCINERNEY | August 21, 2014 | ALLIED HEALTH CARE | 1 |

It’s about the wellbeing of all of us, not just doctors: concerns re AMA copayment deal

(This post has been updated to link to include the AMA’s co-payment proposal and some Twitter reaction) “When it comes to health costs, no decision about us should be taken without us.” The national peak community and health consumer groups – the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS), Consumers Health Forum, and Public Health Association [...]

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MELISSA SWEET | August 20, 2014 | PUBLIC HEALTH | |

Wonky Health: What might public health advocates learn from reading Rob Oakeshott’s new book?

The interests of cashed-up industries are routinely put ahead of our health.  That’s hardly “hold the front page” news for those in the public health field, so it’s perhaps surprising we don’t hear more public health advocates calling for action on systems of political governance, including political donations. The malignant influence of cashed-up political donors [...]

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MARIE MCINERNEY | August 20, 2014 | CHRONIC DISEASES | |

Health impacts of climate change: time for health professionals to heat up the debate

Thanks to the Climate and Health Alliance for lots of good reading, below, from its recent e-newsletter about the impact of climate change on health, and growing activism and engagement by doctors, medical scientists and others working in health. In the wake of the axing of the carbon tax, a group of Australia’s top medical scientists have [...]

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MARIE MCINERNEY | August 19, 2014 | CONFLICTS OF INTEREST | 1 |

Unhealthy haste? What are the implications of outsourcing Medicare, PBS claims and services?

Less than two weeks ago the Federal Government called for Expressions of Interest (EOI) from the private sector to provide claims and payment services for Medicare (MBS) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), a $29 billion operation currently managed by the Department of Human Services. The EOI closes this Friday, 22 August. Such a privatisation [...]

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MARIE MCINERNEY | August 18, 2014 | ALLIED HEALTH CARE | 2 |

J’Accuse: call on health professionals to speak out on Australia’s asylum seeker policies

Australian psychiatrist and researcher Professor Louise Newman, director of the Centre for Developmental Psychiatry and Psychology at Monash University, has long led the way on the devastating impact of detention on asylum seekers, particularly children. She is spokeswoman for this open letter, signed by more than 200 prominent doctors, lawyers, academics and refugee advocates, that [...]

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MICHELLE HUGHES | August 16, 2014 | NUTRITION | 1 |

Sizing up your friends – the stigma of obesity

This month’s Journal Watch reminds us of one of the perils of the teenage years, social exclusion, and discusses the impact of weight on developing friendships.

Dr Melissa Stoneham writes:

Being a teenager, or screenager as we now call them, can be tough. I reflect positively on most of my teenage years and fondly remember many healthy friendships. But like most teenagers, I can certainly recall times when I was left out by my friends.

New research has found that this type of ostracising continues to occur and is prominent in overweight young people. It was found that overweight teens were more likely to be denied friendships from their peers that were of normal weight. The study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, found that young people are more likely to socially exclude their peers who are overweight, which makes overweight teenagers on average, have one less friend than those who are considered to be ‘normal weight’.

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