Income Inequality and its Impact on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

Income Inequality and its Impact on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE)

Income inequality continues to rise throughout the country. This issue is perhaps best summed up by the phrase; the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. 

 

Too many people at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder are deprived of good working wages. In comparison, the wealthiest people in the country continue to make more and more money. While the prominent executives are taking home huge bonuses, the people down at the bottom are struggling to get by on minimum wage. 

 

Naturally, this creates a troubling situation in the U.S. Income inequality has significant implications on the lives of millions of people. In this post, we look to explore some of the critical areas that are most impacted by the growing income inequality. 

An increase in ACEs

ACEs are adverse childhood experiences, which primarily refers to any stressful or damaging events that happen during childhood, thus can affect health and development across the life course (Halfon, Larson, Son, Lu, & Bethell, 2017). Unfortunately, this can include domestic violence, children being abandoned by parents, a parent being imprisoned, or growing up in an uncertain home environment that’s plagued by arguments or drug abuse problems. 

Getting Fit – It’s Never Too Late to Start

Getting Fit – It’s Never Too Late to Start

If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that regular exercise is good for our health, and that a sedentary lifestyle can have a negative effect on our physical wellbeing. National guidelines suggest that the average adult should partake in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes vigorous exercise per week[1]in order to maintain a healthy body. Until recently, it’s been believed that this level of exercise needs to be relatively consistent throughout your life in order to reap the benefits and reduce the risk of death. A new study, however, suggests that actually, it’s never too late to start. 

Why Starting Later is Still Beneficial

The study, carried out at the National Cancer Institute and published in JAMA Network Open, examined people’s exercise patterns and subsequent death records, recording the correlation between an active lifestyle and age and cause of death[2]. Researchers looked at data from 315,059 Americans between the ages of 50 and 71 who had completed questionnaires rating their activity level in the 1990s. The study then tracked who had died and why, up until the end of 2011, taking into account other factors such as age, sex, whether they smoked, their diet, and so on[3]. Of those examined, over 71,000 had died – 22,000 of heart disease, and 16,000 of cancer[4]. Of those examined, 56% claimed they had remained consistently active throughout their lives, 30% stated their exercise levels had declined, and 13% said they started getting fit in later life[5].

Of course, those who consistently exercised had a lower risk of death when compared to those who didn’t exercise at all (around 42% less chance of dying from heart disease, and 14% less chance of dying from cancer[6]). What the researchers found really interesting, however, is that those who started getting fit in later life had a similar result (43% less likely to die from heart disease, and 16% less chance of dying from cancer). That means that even if you’ve not been active in your early life, it’s not too late to start – you can reap the benefits! Dr. Pedro Saint-Maurice, lead author of the study, explained, “if you maintain an active lifestyle or participate in some sort of exercise […] you can reduce your risk of dying. If you are not active and you get to your 40-50s and you decide to become active, you can still enjoy these benefits”[7].

Beyond Traditional Meat Production: Is Lab-Grown Meat the Way Forward?

Beyond Traditional Meat Production: Is Lab-Grown Meat the Way Forward?

Discussions of healthy, sustainable eating are becoming more and more frequent in current times. The consumption of meat is a big part of that, and it’s not all that surprising when you release just how much animal product, we consume each and every year. The average American consumes a huge 7,000 animals in their lifetime[1], and the equivalent of 800 hamburgers per year[2]. There are campaigns and programs in place to try to reduce this, of course. Meat-free Mondaysare increasingly popular, and the number of people identifying as vegan in the US has risen by a massive 600% in the last three years[3]. But what if there was another way? Companies such as Memphis Meats and Just say that there is another way. A better, cleaner way, but a way that still allows us to enjoy meat products. How? By growing meat in the laboratory. 

 Sustainable Meat

A spokesman from Memphis Meats explained that “Americans spend roughly $90 billion per year – just on chicken. But while poultry products are delicious and satisfying, the process by which they are made is not. It involves environmental degradation, animal welfare concerns, and public health risks”[4]. Lab grown meat aims to overcome those fewer appealing characters of meat eating. The meat itself is grown from animal cells rather than the actual animal. The cells can even be taken from feathers, so the animal is not harmed in any way, and the meat is not grown into a whole animal, but merely pieces of meat[5]. This process makes use of technology that, while not new, is only now beginning to be used for the production of meat, and it aims to take away the negatives of traditional meat farming. Californian based company Just aims for its products to be cheaper, healthier, and more popular than traditional meat[6], but there are some things standing in their way at the moment. 

 


San Francisco's Very Unhealthy Air Quality hits Record High - Kaiser Tips to stay heathy during WildFire Season

San Francisco's Very Unhealthy Air Quality hits Record High - Kaiser Tips to stay heathy during WildFire Season

Air quality concerns: What should you do?

Smoke and ash can affect air quality, causing breathing difficulties and other health issues many miles away from the actual fire.

If you can see or smell smoke, it is recommended that you avoid outdoor physical activities. If visibility is decreased in your neighborhood to less than 5 miles, smoke has reached levels that are unhealthy.

Children, the elderly, and people with respiratory conditions — If you can see or smell smoke, children, elderly people, pregnant women and people with pre-existing respiratory conditions should stay inside with the windows and doors closed (unless instructed otherwise).

  • Use “controller” steroid inhalers (like QVAR) as prescribed.

  • Use “quick relief” inhalers to help with shortness of breath.

  • If you have oxygen, use it if you have difficulty breathing.

  • Turn on your air conditioner to see if it helps, especially if it’s central air. If you have a window A/C unit, make sure the filter is clean.

  • Use fans in each room to help move the air in your house.

Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.

The Highs and Lows of Microdosing LSD

The Highs and Lows of Microdosing LSD

The world’s first ever trial into microdosing LSD began on September 3rdthis year, after claims that regularly taking tiny doses of the drug can improve creativity and focus as well as lift depression. Microdosing has become increasing popular among young professionals, especially in the Californian tech world, where people work long hours in creative fields. The idea is they take one tenth of a dose of LSD every few days before work. The dose is too small to cause any of the typical psychedelic effects or hallucinations, but it is said to put users into a ‘flow state’, in which they are better able to focus and can increase inventiveness and creativity. 

 World’s First Trial

Of course, this is an illegal activity and so, studies into the effects of microdosing are difficult to organize and expensive to run. However, the Beckley Foundation, originally set up to research mind-altering substances, has found a way around current obstacles in order to complete the first ever placebo-controlled microdosing trial[1]. Study leader Balazs Szigeti explains that they’ve recruited volunteers who currently microdose and have supplied them with dummy capsules, into which they put some genuine doses and some placebo doses. 

The capsules are then placed into envelopes with QR codes and mixed up, so that the volunteer doesn’t know whether they are taking a placebo or the real thing. They scan the QR codes each time they take a dose, so that the researchers know which is which, and participants are shown the results at the end of the experiment. The participants then complete questionnaires and take part in online cognitive games in order to judge their increase (or lack thereof) of cognitive function and motivational drive[2].

 


Is the Multi-Billion Dollar Wellness Industry Worth the Money?

Is the Multi-Billion Dollar Wellness Industry Worth the Money?

We all know how important health and wellness are, and there is an increasing focus on becoming healthier, more balanced, and ultimately, happier. It’s big business too, with the global wellness industry now valued at a huge $3.72 trillion and accounts for approximately five per cent of the global economic output[1]. It seems that there are new trends and fads coming out every day, from spin classes and yoga to organic food, special drinks, guided meditation classes, and more. There is even a drive to feed our pets clean, healthy, natural food[2].  With the wellness industry now being “one of the world’s fastest, most resilient markets,”[3]outranking the pharmaceutical industry several times over, it’s easy to wonder, is it worth it? And if it is, is it something that is exclusively for high-earners and not for those on a budget?

 

Wellness trends

Wellness can be defined as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social wellbeing,”[4]and it’s definitely something that is at the forefront of many people’s thoughts. Searches for ‘self-care’ on Google have increased by 25% in the last year[5], and people are paying for more and more wellness products and services. There are even wellness festivals popping up around the world. The Womad festival, for example, dedicates two acres of land to spa and wellness areas, including meditation led by Buddhist monks and shamanic healing. Likewise, Soul Circus in the UK focuses on wellness, with tickets costs around $260. Founder Ella Wroath explains that she “wanted to create a balanced event that left you feeling rejuvenated and inspired, rather than hungover and unhealthy”[6]

How Childhood Adversity Affects Adult Health

How Childhood Adversity Affects Adult Health

Everything that happens in our lives affects us; events can change us for better or worse, and some things affect us more than others. But did you know that suffering childhood adversity, such as extreme poverty, abuse, neglect, or a sick or alcoholic parent, can affect you right through your life? And it’s not just a mental health issue either. Experiencing toxic stress and adverse conditions as a child can actually alter your physiological make up and cause life-threatening physical diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. 

The correlation between childhood adversity and later ill health was first discussed in a 1995 study by physicians Vincent Felitti and Robert Anda[1], and since then, the evidence has been mounting. Now, there can be little doubt that childhood adversity can and does affect later adult health. In that initial study, Felitti and Anda examined the childhood and adolescent histories of 17,000 people, looking for what they termed ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), or chronic, unpredictable, and stress-inducing life events[2]. Of those they studied, a huge two thirds had suffered at least one ACE and 90% of those two thirds had experienced more than one[3]. They then looked at the correlation between the patients’ ACE score and their health – and the results were shocking. 

Understanding the Differences between Palliative Care and Hospice Care

Understanding the Differences between Palliative Care and Hospice Care

Regardless of whether it’s you or a family member who is suffering from an illness or disease, it can be an extremely difficult and trying time, especially when you don’t have support around you. Curative treatments are of course important, but comfort and care are equally vital—both during the illness and as death approaches. With a huge 30% of all Medicare dollars being spent during the last twelve months of a patient’s life[1], it’s time we re-evaluated our approach to illness and put a greater focus on palliative and hospice care.

The terms ‘palliative care’ and ‘hospice care’ are often used interchangeably, but they are in fact different and they’re used at different times during the course of an illness. Understanding the importance of treatments and the differences between the two are vital if you or your loved one want to get the right care at the end of life. 

 Palliative Care

The term ‘palliative’ comes from the Latin word ‘palliare’, meaning to cloak, and the purpose of palliative care is to provide as much comfort, pain relief, and support as possible. It’s designed to work in tandem with curative treatments and often begins at the point of diagnosis[2]. It is offered to those suffering serious and potentially life-threatening illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, AIDS, and dementia, and is used to prevent or treat the side effects and symptoms of both the original illness and of the curative treatment itself. As well as offering pain relief and help with any resulting subsidiary illnesses, support


Non-Profit Organization Awards Grant to Student of Chicana and Chicano Studies

Non-Profit Organization Awards Grant to Student of Chicana and Chicano Studies

Non-profit organization OKOLOGIE.ORG is delighted to announce that a grant of $500 has been offered to student Jessica Orozco, after her successful research into sanctioned residential segregation and its effects on educational success in the Los Angeles area. Orozco, who received the grant in February this year, will use the money to help towards costs associated with attending the NACCS Conference in the Chicana and Chicano Studies field. 

With around 2 million Chicano/Latino students in California, and only around 25,500 Chicano/Latino teachers to serve them, children are often only exposed to their ethnic culture twice a year – during Hispanic Heritage Month and Cinco de Mayo. Oklogie.org believe that Orozco's field of study is important, as it addresses the often-overlooked social, political, cultural, and economic conditions of the Chicano people.

Happy Earth Day

Happy Earth Day

Join Earth Day Network on Earth Day 2018 - April 22 - to help end plastic pollution. Plastic is threatening our planet's survival, from poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our streams and landfills. Together, we can make a difference.

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