From Australia, Once Upon a Time There Was Sickness:
We still tell stories, but mainly for entertainment – if we learn anything along the way, it’s more often to reinforce what we already know.
But many pre-industrial societies still use storytelling as the dominant means of imparting information.
What has this got to do with Australians and their health? A lot, if you’re a white health worker practising in Aboriginal communities. That’s the conclusion of researchers in the Northern Territory working at the front line of Aboriginal health, who’ve been using storytelling as a way of getting across complex information about diseases and treatment.
Good Experience (which usually focuses on technology) points out that relative wealth is an important missing factor in a New York Times graph of income and happiness.
A very interesting experiment in Oakland, California growing organic food in a very low-income neighbourhood (Earth Island Journal):
The work that we do is all about bringing these foods to extremely low-income people. So our strategies will be different than those that need to be implemented for average, middle-class Americans – to try to value the work of the farmers, and not have these foods be too cheap, and have that be a reasonable system. But for really low-income people, we pursue a strategy of trying to take food out of the cash economy because of the fact that these folks are often on emergency food supplies. It’s a matter of whether they can afford to buy food at all; they are going to the food bank to get their food. It’s somewhat of a different situation. They may be able to afford conventional food, but there’s no way they are ever going to be able to pay organic prices.
Statistics Canada released a study on community vulnerability to population and employment decline / Étude : Vulnérabilité des collectivités à la décroissance démographique et à la baisse de l’emploi
Items on children and youth:
- Inner-city children with asthma may be particularly vulnerable to air pollution at levels below current air quality standards (ScienceDaily)
- The Rick Hansen Foundation is funding the development of 20 accessible play spaces in communities across British Columbia (Canada NewsWire)
- Young people who dress according to the customs of their own ethnic group are less likely to have subsequent mental health problems than those who don’t (ScienceDaily)
- Putting Your Heart into Healthy Active Kids: Tackling Childhood Obesity – Knowledge into Action (Lifestyle Information Network conference presentation)
- The Ontario Medical Association (OMA) and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario are launching an education campaign to increase awareness about protecting kids from second-hand smoke in cars (Canada NewsWire)
- The National Aboriginal Health Organization launched a new Aboriginal youth suicide prevention website (Government of Canada News)
- Poor kids lag badly in school, study finds (Toronto Star)
- No big surprise here — Changing the eating and snacking environment in grade schools cuts the rate at which kids become overweight in half, a study found. (MedPage Today)
- Also unsurprisingly, Restricting Kids’ Video Time Reduces Obesity, Randomized Trial Shows (ScienceDaily)
Items on older people:
- Older Americans Are More Socially Engaged Than Many People May Think (ScienceDaily)
- Mississauga Develops Older Adult Plan. Key findings of their year-long consultation were: transportation is the number one barrier facing older adults, accessible facilities and programs are important, older adults would prefer not to be categorized by age, but rather by ability and mindset, and a desire for a stronger sense of community for older adults. (Lifestyle Information Network)
- In Florida, the Marco Island Sun-Times is concerned about older adults’ health literacy.
And on the theme of older things, a 9550-year-old tree was found in Sweden (ScienceDaily). Apparently it’s able to grow a new trunk if its old one is damaged.
Items on tobacco control:
- Rothmans may not sue Canada to recover health costs (Bloomberg News)
- Cigar Aficionado complains about the Ontario tobacco product display ban (next phase coming in May).