Sunday, January 25, 2009

Authoritarian British teachers scanning children's lunchboxes and censuring families for anything they see there that they dislike -- even if there is no evidence of harm

There is actually some evidence that chocolate is beneficial to health but Britain's many mini-Hitlers just KNOW what is good and bad. Evidence be damned!

Lydia has contacted me to express her anger at being "named and shamed" because of what she put in her child's lunch box. She, horror of horrors, packed her son off to school today with chocolate spread sandwiches and received a telling off from the teacher in return. "It is our school's policy to encourage healthy eating," said the letter her son brought home. "We would prefer it if your son would bring in a nutritious, healthy sandwich for his lunch."

Lydia is not happy, for two reasons. One is that today is her son's birthday and the chocolate spread was a "special treat." Two is that she considers peanut butter a "healthy nutritious" option, but her son isn't allowed it because of what she calls the "nut obsession" (all nut products are banned at her son's school). And he has told her that he is sick of cheese and tuna!

There is clearly a big problem with packed lunches. Even if you make them healthy, it's hard to make them interesting. But should treats be banned, and should teachers be getting involved with what a parent packs in her child's lunch each day? The whole issue, bizarrely, is reminiscent of a thread I was reading on mumsnet last week. It was from a mother whose child had his jam sandwiches banned! She wasn't too thrilled either.

So, have we gone healthy eating mad, is this actually sensible advice, or is it, as Lydia grumpily points out "teachers just flexing their muscles and showing us that in school, they're the boss!"


New Pill 'eases women's pain'

A NEW contraceptive pill is set to revolutionise the lives of two million Australian women after a landmark clinical trial being launched in Sydney. Doctors are hoping the new type of pill will bring relief to women who suffer debilitating pain and discomfort each month. It comes as researchers believe women on the Pill suffer "hormone withdrawals" when they stop taking it during the seven-day break. Causing addiction-like reactions, women suffer pelvic pain, headaches, mood swings and breast soreness.

The Royal Hospital for Women at Randwick is recruiting women to take part in a worldwide trial for the new pill. Sexual health physician Terri Foran said the new pill would change the way women take the Pill in Australia. "There is no reason why women have to have a seven-day pill-free interval," Dr Foran said. "A lot of women suffer these symptoms and believe they are normal or its PMT, but they don't have to (suffer). "We believe it will work but before we put our hand on our heart and declare that, we have to test its effectiveness."

At least 70 per cent of all women who take the Pill suffer symptoms that can be mistaken for premenstrual tension. The new pill shortens the hormone-free interval from seven to two days and aims to end the withdrawals. Introduced in 1961, the contraceptive uses a combination of oestrogen and progestogen. Dr Foran said that by reducing the pill-free interval to two days, the body would not have enough time to experience the "withdrawals". "The difference with this pill to others on the market is that it alters the amount of hormone given and alters when it is given in the cycle," she said. "There is a suggestion that if you can manipulate that pill-free week, you might be able to lessen the symptoms. "The shortened break might well mean they don't get the symptoms."

More than two million Australian women take the Pill, making it the most common form of contraception. Unlike other types on the market that aim to reduce the symptoms, this new pill contains a natural form of oestrogen, estradiol, which could hold the key to ending the monthly suffering. Dr Foran yesterday urged women who suffer from withdrawal symptoms to take part in the trial. At least 880 women are needed worldwide to be part of the six month trial.


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