By Julia Belluz - Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 0 Comments
People hate getting vaccines. Apparently even vaccinologists.
“I don’t like to get immunized,” Science-ish was surprised to hear from one of Canada’s most esteemed vaccine researchers this week. “I do, and I will continue, but I put it in the same category as going for a colonoscopy,”
With the re-emergence of diseases like measles and whooping cough, and parents increasingly seeking alternative vaccination schedules or opting out of shots all together, policymakers are scrambling to figure out what to do. In California, for example, the state legislature is now looking at a bill that would require parents who want to decline vaccines for their kids to seek counseling from a doctor.
Here in Canada, some hospitals have begun essentially forcing health-care workers to get the flu shot if they want to keep their jobs. We’ll never see that kind of measure applied to the general population, so for now: What do we know about what works when it comes to getting people to comply with vaccine guidelines?
By Anne Kingston - Monday, December 7, 2009 at 11:35 AM - 17 Comments
The number of celiacs has increased fourfold. Then there are all the newly gluten ‘sensitive.’
Gluten intolerance was a recurring theme this year among high-profile, self-anointed nutritional gurus: on her we-love-to-hate-it website GOOP, Gwyneth Paltrow crowed about her seven-day gluten-free “cleanse” and BabyCakes, the fashionable vegan and gluten-free New York bakery that sells US$30-a-loaf banana bread. The View co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck promoted her book The G Free Diet: A Gluten-Free Survival Guide to Middle America. And former Playmate Jenny McCarthy, who claims a gluten- and casein-free diet helped her son recover from autism, showed off the buff bod it gave her on the cover of the May Shape. So when you’re besieged by “I don’t eat gluten” demands this holiday season, know you’re not alone.
Dufflet Rosenberg, the owner of Toronto’s Dufflet Pastries, which offers gluten- and wheat-free desserts, can relate. Customers regularly come into her stores griping, “I’ve got guests who don’t eat wheat,” she says. “As for why, I’ve heard everything under the sun—from asthma to autism, every kind of digestive disorder, lupus. Some people say, ‘gluten makes me sluggish and not eating it makes me feel so much better.’ ” Continue…
By Brian Bethune - Monday, July 13, 2009 at 3:40 PM - 13 Comments
Suddenly, Asperger’s is the new ‘it’ disorder on screen and in fiction.
On a 2006 episode of House, Fox’s popular TV drama about the misanthropic medical genius played by Hugh Laurie, Gregory House has to solve the troubling case of an autistic child. Is the 10-year-old boy screaming because he has an untreated physical ailment about which he can’t communicate, or because, well, as most of House’s team believe, that’s what severely autistic children do? House eventually saves the day, of course, but the specific illness of the week was not the real plot point. That turned on the question, now unavoidable to House’s colleagues, on whether their resident savant—sarcastic, brutally blunt, virtually friendless and utterly devoid of social niceties as he is—was himself autistic: specifically, did he have Asperger’s syndrome, the best known of the diagnoses at the high-functioning end of autism spectrum disorders?
The answer to that is left hanging, but were the good doctor to be diagnosed with any ASD, he would be just one of many such characters in recent pop culture—one of many such beloved characters. From the runaway success of Mark Haddon’s 2003 novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time with its autistic teen hero Christopher Boone, to Dr. Temperance “Bones” Brennan and her assistant Zack Addy—two Asperger’s characters on one show—of Fox’s TV drama Bones, to Lisbeth Salander, the electrifying Asperger’s heroine of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, viewers and readers have taken to a series of endearingly offbeat ASD protagonists, if not to the 10-year-old screaming in the corner. It’s all part of autism’s new normal, at least as it’s portrayed in pop culture, variously described by those who approve as evidence of growing social acceptance of “neurological diversity,” and by those less impressed as “our strange fetishization of Asperger’s.” Continue…