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Date Added: Jan 19, 2022
Date Added: Jan 19, 2022
Objective  To determine the physiological impact of exposure to weight stigma by examining alterations in salivary cortisol among lean and overweight women. Methods  Participants were 123 lean and overweight adult women (mean body mass index = 26.99 [7.91] kg/m2). Participants’ salivary cortisol was assessed both before and after either a weight stigmatizing or a neutral video. Participants completed self-report measures of mood and reactions to the video. Height and weight were obtained at the conclusion of the study. Results  Participants in the stigmatizing condition exhibited significantly greater cortisol reactivity when compared with those in the neutral condition, irrespective of weight status (Pillai trace = 0.077; F(1,85) = 7.22, p = .009). Lean and overweight women in the stigmatizing condition were equally likely to find the video upsetting and were equally likely to report that they would rather not see obese individuals depicted in a stigmatizing manner in the media. Conclusions  Exposure to weight-stigmatizing stimuli was associated with greater cortisol reactivity among lean and overweight women. These findings highlight the potentially harmful physiological consequences of exposure to weight stigma.
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Date Added: Jan 19, 2022
Date Added: Jan 19, 2022
Polyphasic sleep is the practice of distributing multiple short sleep episodes across the 24-hour day rather than having one major and possibly a minor (“nap”) sleep episode each day. While the prevalence of polyphasic sleep is unknown, anecdotal reports suggest attempts to follow this practice are common, particularly among young adults. Polyphasic-sleep advocates claim to thrive on as little as 2 hours of total sleep per day. However, significant concerns have been raised that polyphasic sleep schedules can result in health and safety consequences. We reviewed the literature to identify the impact of polyphasic sleep schedules (excluding nap or siesta schedules) on health, safety, and performance outcomes. Of 40,672 potentially relevant publications, with 2,023 selected for full-text review, 22 relevant papers were retained. We found no evidence supporting benefits from following polyphasic sleep schedules. Based on the current evidence, the consensus opinion is that polyphasic sleep schedules, and the sleep deficiency inherent in those schedules, are associated with a variety of adverse physical health, mental health, and performance outcomes. Striving to adopt a schedule that significantly reduces the amount of sleep per 24 hours and/or fragments sleep into multiple episodes throughout the 24-hour day is not recommended.
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Date Added: Jan 2, 2022
Date Added: Jan 2, 2022
Anti-obesity efforts that rely on stigmatizing weight (eg, using harsh language or stereotypical portrayals of overweight individuals) may impede health promotion efforts, as weight stigma is often negatively related to behavior change and thus seems unlikely to result in weight loss.1 Indeed, considerable research underscores the detrimental effects of weight stigma on the physical health and well-being of children and adolescents,2 and nationally representative, longitudinal data show weight-based discrimination is associated with weight gain among older individuals.3 Although the childhood weight stigma literature frequently examines overt and often malicious behaviors (eg, bullying), stigma processes can begin when an individual experiences weight labeling.4 By labeling someone as overweight, the negative stereotypes, status loss, and mistreatment associated with this label may now be applicable to the individual. Recent research suggests that the negative psychological effects of weight stigma can begin when one is simply labeled as “too fat” by others.5 However, the relationship between weight labeling and weight gain remains unknown. Thus, we examined if weight labeling during childhood was related to the likelihood of having an obese body mass index (BMI) nearly a decade later.
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Date Added: Jan 17, 2022
Date Added: Jan 17, 2022
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Stigmatization of individuals with obesity is pervasive and may act as a psychological stressor. The present study examined whether perceived weight discrimination mediated the relationship between obesity and cortisol, an objective marker of chronic stress, in a population-based sample. METHODS: Data were from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (n = 1872). Height and weight were objectively measured in 2008/09. Experiences of weight-related discrimination were reported via questionnaire in 2010/11. Hair cortisol concentrations were determined from the scalp-nearest 2 cm hair segment in 2012/13. Mediation analyses tested the role of perceived weight discrimination in the associations between obesity and BMI and hair cortisol concentration, adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, socio-economic status, smoking status, depression and hair-related factors. RESULTS: Obesity, BMI and perceived weight discrimination were positively related to hair cortisol (all p <  .01). Perceived weight discrimination significantly mediated associations between obesity and hair cortisol (β = 0.021, SE = 0.007, 95% CI 0.007-0.036) and BMI and hair cortisol (β = 0.001, SE = 0.0004, 95% CI 0.0004-0.002), accounting for 19% of the total effect of obesity and 23% of the total effect of BMI on hair cortisol. CONCLUSIONS: Perceived weight discrimination is an important mediator of the association between obesity and cortisol. Interventions combating weight stigma and discrimination or promoting strategies for coping with stress could help to lessen the psychological and physiological burden of obesity.
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Date Added: Jan 2, 2022
Date Added: Jan 2, 2022
Stigma and discrimination toward obese persons are pervasive and pose numerous consequences for their psychological and physical health. Despite decades of science documenting weight stigma, its public health implications are widely ignored. Instead, obese persons are blamed for their weight, with common perceptions that weight stigmatization is justifiable and may motivate individuals to adopt healthier behaviors. We examine evidence to address these assumptions and discuss their public health implications. On the basis of current findings, we propose that weight stigma is not a beneficial public health tool for reducing obesity. Rather, stigmatization of obese individuals threatens health, generates health disparities, and interferes with effective obesity intervention efforts. These findings highlight weight stigma as both a social justice issue and a priority for public health.
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Date Added: Jan 10, 2022
Date Added: Jan 10, 2022
Abstract Background Drug overdoses surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, underscoring the need for expanded and accessible substance use disorder (SUD) treatment. Relatively little is known about the experiences of patients receiving treatment during the pandemic. Methods We worked with 21 harm reduction and drug treatment programs in nine states and the District of Columbia from August 2020 to January 2021. Programs distributed study recruitment cards to clients. Clients responded to the survey by calling a study hotline and providing a unique study identification number. Our survey included detailed questions about use of SUD treatment prior to and since the COVID-19 pandemic. We identified settings where individuals received treatment and, for those treated for opioid use disorder, we examined use of medications for opioid use disorder. Individuals also reported whether they had received telehealth treatment and pandemic related treatment changes (e.g., more take-home methadone). We calculated p-values for differences pre and since COVID-19. Results We interviewed 587 individuals of whom 316 (53.8%) were in drug treatment both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals in treatment reported substantial reductions in in-person service use since the start of the pandemic, including a 27 percentage point reduction (p<.001) in group counseling sessions and 28 percentage point reduction in mutual aid group participation (p<.001). By contrast, individuals reported a 21 percentage point increase in receipt of overdose education (p<.001). Most people receiving medications for opioid use disorder reported taking methadone and had high continuity of treatment (86.1% received methadone pre-COVID and 87.1% since-COVID, p=.71). Almost all reported taking advantage of new policy changes such as counseling by video/phone, increased take-home medication, or fewer urine drug screens. Overall, respondents reported relatively high satisfaction with their treatment and with telehealth adaptations (e.g., 80.2% reported “I'm able to get all the treatment that I need”). Conclusions Accommodations to treatment made under the federal public health emergency appear to have sustained access to treatment in the early months of the pandemic. Since these changes are set to expire after the official public health emergency declaration, further action is needed to meet the ongoing need.
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Date Added: Dec 26, 2021
Date Added: Dec 26, 2021
In addition to its immediate negative consequences, childhood sexual abuse is associated with lifelong deleterious mental and physical health outcomes. This review employs a biopsychosocial perspective to better understand pathways from childhood sexual abuse to eating disorders, food and drug addictions, and obesity across the life course. Guided by an updated conceptual model, this review delineates how the biological embedding of childhood sexual abuse triggers a cascade of interrelated conditions that often result in failed attempts at weight suppression and eventually obesity. Such biological embedding involves pathways such as inflammation, allostatic load, reward sensitivity, activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, epigenetics, and structural and functional changes in the brain. These pathways are in turn theorized to lead to food addiction, substance use disorder, and eating disorders—each with potential pathways toward obesity over time. Predisposing factors to childhood sexual abuse including gender, culture, and age are discussed. This model calls into question the longstanding “protective measure” theory that purports individuals exposed to sexual abuse will deliberately or subconsciously gain weight in attempt to prevent future victimization. A more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms by which childhood sexual abuse becomes biologically embedded may help clinicians and survivors normalize and/or address disordered eating and weight-related outcomes, as well as identify intervention strategies.
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Date Added: Jan 2, 2022
Date Added: Jan 2, 2022
School closures prompted by the global outbreak of COVID-19 have impacted children’s subjective well-being. In this context, a growing number of studies has pointed out that the experience of learning at home is an essential factor influencing their subjective well-being, raising the importance of parental involvement in the educational process of their children. This article explores the formal and informal parental practices of home learning during school closures period in 19 countries and their explanatory factors, with the further aim of discussing their implications for children’s subjective well-being. The study uses the International COVID-19 Impact on Parental Engagement Study (ICIPES) database and develops a regression analysis of family, child, and school factors predicting parental involvement in homeschooling. The main findings show that parents’ socioeconomic status is a critical predictor of both formal and informal parental practices. In addition, the results denote the impact of other factors, such as the level of parental confidence with the use of technology and children’s age and gender (in the case of informal activities). Based on these findings, the article discusses policy implications to promote parental involvement and children’s subjective well-being.
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Date Added: Jan 12, 2022
Date Added: Jan 12, 2022
Objective: Although a considerable amount of research has revealed connections between weight stigma and mental and physical health outcomes, no studies to date have experimentally manipulated the experience of obesity to understand how weight stigma causally affects eating behavior, physiology, and psychological well-being. Research has also not yet identified effective strategies for reducing weight stigma. Methods: In the present research, we examined the effect of weight stigma on psychological outcomes, unhealthy eating behavior, and the stress hormone cortisol by randomly assigning participants to appear obese by wearing a fat suit or not. We hypothesized that the physical alteration of participants’ apparent body size would lead to similar consequences as those associated with the experience of weight stigma and reduce antifat attitudes. Results: Supporting our hypotheses, experimentally manipulating apparent body size led participants to consume more unhealthy foods and report higher levels of negative affect. However, we did not find any differences in cortisol reactivity or any reduction in antifat attitudes as a function of the fat suit manipulation. Conclusions: These findings contribute to an understanding of the potentially deleterious psychological and behavioral effects of weight stigma while also informing future interventions to reduce obesity.
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