CHMP welcomes Steven M. Gorelick, Ph.D., Professor of Media Studies in the Department of Film and Media Studies at Hunter College, as a Senior Fellow. His current research topics include: representation of disease and disaster in media and culture; the social construction of expertise in mass media; how media experts are identified, represented, and depicted in accounts of catastrophic events; crisis and digital communication during catastrophic incidents.
We look forward to working with Steve. He blogs regularly on his site, Media, Culture and Health (MCH): Sources, Stories and Selections from a Digital World where you can also read his latest post, HPV Virus Connection to Skin Cancer? Problems in Media Reports of Medical Findings.
Here’s some new health headlines to mull over this week:
- Skip the chips, salsa and guac at restaurants this summer: about one in every 25 restaurant-related outbreaks of food-related illness between 1998 and 2008 were traced back to salsa and guacamole, according to a new Center for Disease Control report. Of all outbreaks related to both foods, 84 percent occured in restaurants. The major reasons behind the outbreaks? Storage temperature problems and unsanitary food handling by workers.
- The White House will unveil its long-awaited first national plan to reduce rates of HIV/AIDs infections tomorrow, one that will target spending on testing and prevention within communities with the highest rates of the disease. More than 1.1 million Americans have HIV, according to a White House document, and about 56,000 become infected each year.
- The Food and Drug Administration will review three anti-obesity drugs that may help people to more safely lose weight. Each pill manipulates different hormones and systems in the body to reduce appetite and satiety. None tested better than the rest, however, and while each did help with weight loss, each had various discouraging side effects including descreased concentration and nausea. Jason Halford, a health psychologist who consulted companies on the drugs, told the Associated Press: “We’re using combinations of old drugs with a very broad spectrum of pharmacotherapy, it’s very much the shotgun approach.”
- More reason to eat vitamins D and E: European researchers in three studies have found they might keep our minds and memories sharp and well-working. Low levels of vitamin D were linked to greater risk of dementia, high levels of vitamind E were linked to a lower risk of dementia, and high blood levels of vitamin D — which our skin produces naturally when exposed to the sun — were linked to a lower level of Parkinson’s disease.
- The makers of NuvaRing contraceptive are being sued by the estate of a Nebraska woman with the claim that the ring caused the blood clot that killed her just five months after she began using it. The suit, filed Monday, seeks damages from Merck & Co., Organanon BioSciences NV and other companies that manfacture and formerly manufactured the drug. It joins about 100 other lawsuits with similar claims linking blood clots, strokes and fatalities to the drug.
Photo credit: Jasoniam via Flickr.
Can a feature film promote social change? Maybe – it can certainly spark conversations about the social issue it is addressing and those conversations using social media can drive change. The under representation and misrepresentation of gay marriage and families of same-sex couples in the media has contributed to discrimination of the LGBT community and myths about their lives. The Kids Are All Right, a new feature film, opens the door and invites us into the home of a family with two parents of the same sex raising two teenagers and connects to the audience emotionally on one if not more of the many issues each member is facing, either individually or as a family unit, whether you are gay or straight. For a great review of The Kids Are All Right check out Melissa Silverstein, founder and editor of Women & Hollywood.
Maybe you can do your part to move this conversation on gay rights go viral and support the legalization of gay marriage.