Sunday, March 25, 2018

We learn nothing about nutrition, claim medical students

Medical students say they currently learn almost nothing about the way diet and lifestyle affect health - and they should be taught more.
They say what they are taught is not practical or relevant to most of the medical problems they see in GP surgeries, clinics and hospitals.
A leading GP estimated that up to 80% of his patients had conditions linked to lifestyle and diet.
These included obesity, type 2 diabetes and depression.
Why does this lack of training matter?
This year the NHS will spend more than £11bn on diabetes alone - social care costs, time off work etc, will almost double that bill.
Type 2 diabetes - the most common kind - is linked to obesity. And right now Britain is the fat man of Europe.

Training too traditional

But doctors are not being trained to deal with what medics call non-communicable diseases - and it's those kind of illnesses that are threatening to bankrupt our health system, so a new kind of training is crucial.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's The Food Programme, Dr Rangan Chatterjee, authorand podcast host, told me: "The health landscape of the UK has dramatically changed over the last 30 or 40 years and I think the bulk of what I see as a GP now - almost 80% - is in some way driven by our collective lifestyles."
Dr Michael Mosley, presenter of BBC One's Trust Me I'm A Doctor, said, "Unfortunately it's not part of the traditional training. At medical school I learnt almost nothing about nutrition. And I have a son at medical school and it's again not part of his key curriculum.
"So I don't get the sense that there are lots of doctors out there who feel empowered to tell patients much about nutrition."
A hotbed of the new revolution is Bristol University where, in 2017, third year medical students Ally Jaffee and Iain Broadley founded Nutritank.
It's an online organisation created for and by medical students to share nutrition science research and organises events and lectures on campus.
This summer, it will welcome GP, author and podcast host Dr Rupy Aujla to Bristol to lead the first UK course in culinary medicine for medical students.
From one society in Bristol, Nutritank has now spread to 15 other student-led groups at universities across the country.

'It's time'

Ally Jaffee said: "There's just about a society at medical school in everything from sexual health to orthopaedics to dermatology. But there just wasn't a nutrition and lifestyle or a preventative medicine society.
"We're taught about 10 to 24 hours over five to six years in medical school on nutrition."
This month, the British Medical Journal announced it will launch a journal on the science and politics of nutrition in June 2018.
Dr Fiona Godlee, editor-in-chief of the BMJ, told me, "It's time we recognised that food and nutrition are core to health. There is a growing body of research out there that needs to be published - and we want to contribute to that effort."

She said the same levels of quality and scrutiny should be applied to food science that are applied to other areas of health research.
The BMJ's announcement follows an opinion piece it published in October 2017 written by two University of Cambridge graduate medical students, Kate Womersley and Katherine Ripullone.
Kate said: "I was in an obesity clinic as part of my medical shadowing.
"A patient came in and said very frankly to the doctor, the consultant in charge, 'Why am I so fat?'.
"The patient was asking a very straightforward question and I think was expecting a straightforward answer. But often that's a question where doctors seem to clam up a bit.
"We were interested to write this piece for the BMJ, because we didn't feel prepared to be receiving that question."

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Medical schools in the UK are responsible for setting their own curriculum with guidance and standards published by the General Medical Council.
The GMC is now reviewing that guidance but so far it's been very general. It told us that it recognises the significance of the impact of diet and nutrition on health and wellbeing and has sought to express this more explicitly in its revised "outcomes" that will be released this summer.
Things are also beginning to change at medical schools. University of Cambridge told us it plans to double the amount of core course content on nutrition and has asked Kate and Katherine to help.
Similarly, Bristol medical school has sought input from students to redesign its curriculum.
Meanwhile, Prof Sumantra Ray of NNedPro Global Centre for Nutrition and Health told us his organisation is involved in rolling out training in diet and nutrition for student doctors by 2020.
Kate said: "Students need to see nutrition as something at the cutting edge of scientific discovery.
"I think there needs to be an image change of how doctors perceive nutrition, but also how it's presented to students."
You can hear more about this story on The Food Programme on Radio 4 at 12:32 BST on Sunday or on iPlayer afterwards.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Report: Tramon Williams to sign two-year contract with Packers

Tramon Williams was a member of the Packers from 2007-2014

Tramon Williams is back with the Green Bay Packers. According to former Green Bay Packers wide receiver and current NFL Network analyst James Jones, the Packers will sign Williams to a two-year contract. The exact details of the contract have yet to be released, but it's likely he will finish his career with the Packers.
Williams started his career with the Houston Texas in 2006 but he did not see any playing time. He joined the Packers in 2007 and was on the roster for eight seasons. During his time with the Packers, Williams recorded 114 passes defended and 28 interceptions. His best season came in 2010 as he posted 20 passes defended and six interceptions. He reached the Pro Bowl that season and helped the Packers win the Super Bowl.
From 2015-2016, Williams played for the Browns and did not have the same success. In 22 games with the Browns, the Louisiana Tech alum recorded 14 passes defended and two interceptions. He was cut from the Browns back in February 2017. Williams then signed with the Arizona Cardinals and had one of his better seasons, recording two interceptions and 10 pass breakups. Since 2006, Williams has recorded eight seasons with at least 10 interceptions and pass breakups, and that ties him for the most for any NFL player during that span.
This was a much-needed move for the Packers since they have yet to sign a veteran free-agent cornerback. During the course of free-agency, the Packers have targeted Trumaine Johnson, talked to Bashaud Breeland and even tried to sign Kyle Fuller away from the Chicago Bears. But Johnson ended up signing with the New York Jets, Breeland is dealing with a serious injury and the Bears matched the Packers' offer for Fuller.
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Last week, the Packers traded Damarious Randall to the Cleveland Browns and Morgan Burnett signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers. That left Quinten Rollins and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix as the most experienced defensive backs on the roster. Williams, 35, is not the same player he was before leaving the Packers, but he's very consistent who doesn't make a lot of mistakes. Also, Williams will be a strong mentor for Kevin King who the Packers drafted in the second round last year. But even with the addition of Williams, it would not be a surprise if the Packers sign another cornerback this offseason. And it's also clear the Packers will draft a cornerback in the early rounds of the draft.

3 Reasons You Should Invest in Inbound Marketing Instead of Hiring More Salespeople

Most small growing businesses know they need to continue to make strategic investments to sustain their growth. The challenge is knowing where to invest. If the obstacles to growth that you’ve identified are branding and visibility, hiring additional recruiters will not solve these problems.

1. One-to-Many Brand Extension. 

One of the biggest challenges that small businesses face is increasing their visibility. This is especially true when they are competing against much larger companies who have bigger marketing budgets and more salespeople. 
Hiring additional salespeople will offer only a limited increase in brand extension and visibility because each salesperson can only engage in one-to-one communication with the market. It doesn’t matter how many phone calls they make, meetings they hold or emails they send. They can only engage one prospect at a time. However, inbound marketing will facilitate one-to-many communication.  Inbound marketing increases your volume and reach. Consequently, your audience will grow exponentially.    

2. Optimize Proven Resources. 

Instead of hiring more salespeople, you can make your existing team more productive. For example, if you have 5 salespeople and they each average 10 sales appointments per week and 20% of them result in closed deals, then your team is conducting 50 appointments and closing 10 deals per week. If you add one more salesperson to the team and they perform at the team average, your team will then produce 60 appointments and close 12 deals per week. That’s great, right? 
But what if instead of hiring another salesperson, you invest in an inbound marketing strategy that generates more qualified leads, improves close rates, and accelerates deals through the funnel...? So, you keep your existing 5 salespeople, but instead of averaging 10 sales appointments per week, they now can average 12 appointments because the inbound marketing program is generating qualified leads. And because these leads are qualified (prospects who fit your target persona parameters and have raised their hands to demonstrate interest), the close rate jumps from 20% to 30%. Now instead of closing 12 deals per week, that same team is closing 18. Inbound marketing allows you to invest in your proven performers and make your best salespeople even better.

3. Eliminate the Recycling Bottom Performers. 

The above math related to adding and hiring new salespeople only works if you identify high performing, new salespeople that can hit the ground running. It’s probably not realistic to assume, though, that your new sales team members will come in and start performing at the team average right away. It’s more likely that they will probably perform below team averages. In fact, what we often see is that every sales team has 10 - 20% low performers. Eventually, these low performers leave the company (either voluntarily or involuntarily) and they are replaced. However, more often than not, they are replaced by other low performers. Most sales organizations seem to be continuously recycling the bottom of their sales teams. 
Recruiting, hiring, training, and managing new people can be an expensive and frustrating experience; especially if you are never able to “move the needle” on overall team performance metrics. It may make more sense to end the merry-go-round and invest your time and resources into your existing team. Inbound marketing can be a great way to drive the performance gains you’re seeking and meet those aggressive growth objectives. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Three-year-old Rathcoole girl with Down Syndrome becomes face of Irish fashion line Little Bow Pip

Adorable Lilah's mum Lorraine spoke about how her little girl changed the family's lives

The mother of a stunning little girl with Down Syndrome from Rathcoole has shared her joy at finding out her daughter would become a model for one of Ireland's top fashion companies.
Lorraine O'Brien's little girl Lilah Ward is three years old and has become the brand representative for Little Bow Pip, which was set up by Nikki Whelan.
Celebrity mums including Samantha Mumba are big fans of the brand, and Lilah has changed her family's lives.
On the eve of World Down Syndrome Day, 35-year-old Lorraine spoke to RSVP Live about her daughter, and her fears when she found out her child had Down Syndrome.
She said: "We were told that there was a possibility at our 20 week scan that our child may have Down Syndrome but they told us that everything was going to be ok. We went on to believe that for the rest of the pregnancy.
"Then on the day she was born, Lilah surprised us with her extra chromasome. The day she was born, I was devastated. I think a lot of parents who have children with Down Syndrome feel at the beginning very scared.
"It's not what you sign up for when you have a child, you don't think it could happen to you. When it does happen to you, it's all new. I didn't know anybody who had a child with Down Syndrome, I didn't know any people with it.
"I honestly didn't know much about the condition and what it involved. It's fear of the unknown."

When Lorraine brought Lilah home, she and her fiancé found out that their daughter needed heart surgery.
Lorraine continued: "It's quite common in children with Down Syndrome. We got some support in the hospital but it was very bad, to be honest. They just gave us a leaflet and sent us on our way.
"It took myself to do some research on the internet and that's when we found the Down Syndrome Centre, seeing what they gave. When you have a child with Down Syndrome, there's no other real support.
"Obviously the hospital supports you with whatever condition that the child has but they don't offer day to day support.
Fortunately, Lorraine received a lot of support from the Down Syndrome Centre in Sandyford which helped the family with various courses.
She continued: "The Down Syndrome Centre helped us so much, they had courses I could sign up for and things I could see that they offered that I just wasn't able to get elsewhere.
"They had a baby massage course and a place where I could talk to other parents with children with Down Syndrome. That's non-existent anywhere else bar their centre.
"When we went to the baby massage class, there was a group of us. Lilah was only five months old at the time and the children were all around the same age as her, we were all mothers with new babies who were just looking for support and people going through the same thing.
"When you have a typical child, although you have worries they are just not the same worries you have when your child has Down Syndrome. So we had the group of us and we're still friends, we still keep in touch.
"It's great that the children have peers, so they can have their own social group. I wouldn't have known any of them if it wasn't for the Down Syndrome Centre. Like I said, I knew no one else with Down Syndrome before Lilah but I've met so many lovely people just through her."

Even though Lorraine and Lilah's dad are loving every moment with their little girl, people were negative when they first told friends they had a child with Down Syndrome.
Lorraine recalled: "At the beginning, when a lot of people found out, they were very supportive but I still think there was a sadness around the diagnosis. I think a lot of people were sad for me and sad for her.
"Unless you have some experience of it or the pleasure of knowing someone with Down Syndrome, you don't know what a joy it is. It wasn't a positive thing in my life when I told someone else.
"It wasn't met with happiness, there were some people who said, 'I'm so sorry.' That's what I had to face and at the time that's what I felt. Like I said, it was fear of the unknown.
"If I had known then what I know now of what she would be and all the things she can do... it's all about milestones and even though she's delayed, she doesn't walk yet, she is bumbles of personality.
"She's so sassy and funny, she's the boss of our house! You don't have to talk in sentences to get your point across with her. She has words and she's clever.
"She learns at a slower pace but she learns and she's smart. Every day she surprises me with what she can do and what she knows, I don't even see Down Syndrome when I look at her.
"Even though it's a big part of our life, it's very small in other ways. You think it consumes you but it becomes a minor detail, the child takes over."
What was one of the most amazing moments for the family was when Lilah was chosen to represent Little Bow Pip and the brand owner Nikki was extremely generous.
Lorraine remembered the time: "There was a brand wide search for the brand when Lilah was one-and-a-half. I entered her into it because she was cute! I just wanted to see how she would do and then she was picked to represent Little Bow Pip.
"She's a brand ambassador now. We have our own Instagram page and we used to put up all the bows. Nikki Whelan, who owns the brand, was so good to us.
"She gave us free bows and was just so nice, she gave us everything we wanted. Every day we'd have a matching outfit with a matching bow thanks to Nikki.
"We were able to do that and it was such a positive influence. Lilah has Down Syndrome but she's a cute little girl, just like any little girl out there. It was a great experience and it was really positive to have a child represented on a larger scale.
"When I first had Lilah, you don't see children with Down Syndrome but it's great that they are being better represented in media. It was a great privilege to represent the Down Syndrome community."

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Cody Johnson: The Best Country Singer You Haven't Heard Yet

Much time and effort is made by a variety of people in myriad professions to define something that as 'authentic.' On several occasions, most notably with Coca-Cola in the 1970s, the term "The Real Thing" has been coined to define an experience that is one unto itself. After witnessing his sold-out performance in front of 74,177 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on March 10, this can be officially said: Cody Johnson is the real thing.

Of course, those who are Johnson's fans already know this. Last year alone, Johnson played for close to a half-million fans with sell outs across the United States. It's been an amazing ride so far for Johnson, a native of tiny Sebastopol, Texas. A former prison guard, Johnson started playing music when he was twelve years old – forming his own professional band when still a teenager. He self-released three albums from 2006 through 2009, and then teamed up with Trent Willmon to work on A Different Day, which led him to being named as New Male Vocalist of the Year by the Texas Regional Music Awards.

The exposure Johnson gained helped to spread the word about his talent. The next Willmon-produced album, Cowboy Like Me, hit No. 7 on the Country Album charts in the winter of 2014 – without the benefit of a charted single. He did tally a pair of entries into the Country Airplay chart in 2016-17 (with his "With You I Am" peaking at No. 40), which led to his most impressive showing yet – 2016's Gotta Be Me hit No. 2 on the Country Albums chart, also registering at No. 11 on the Billboard 200.
All of these represent some amazing statistics, considering how many people still fall into the "who is Cody Johnson?" category. But until you've witnessed the power of an artist on stage with a stadium filled to the rafters with fans singing along to lyric after lyric, you don't quite get it. 
Last year, Johnson got a phone call from the Houston Rodeo brass. Old Dominion was going to have to cancel their performance. Could Johnson fill in for the band on the night of their scheduled performance? He performed that task – just fine, selling over 63,000 tickets. When organizers were looking at putting together the lineup for 2018, the question was asked again – Could Johnson step up to the plate as the only independent artist on the lineup?  Consider it another career peak in the rise of an artist that continues to deliver.
"It's overwhelming. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Because this is my life. I never thought about being a star. I just wanted to play music because I just had things to say. I had things I wanted to sing about," said Johnson to Billboard before his show.  
The topics of his songs – heartfelt moments such as the autobiographical "Every Scar Has Its Story" – touch upon a wide variety of emotions, with one common theme resonating. "I sing about real things, like heartbreak and joy and hope or despair - real emotions that we all face," he says, adding that he gains the bulk of his inspiration from his wife Brandi. "I have a really faithful, great, wonderful relationship with my wife, but I like singing about heartbreak because it's real," he says. "I can only imagine what it would be like if she left, so I need to be able sing a song about that, because somebody out there is going to relate to that – just like the good things."
Cody Johnson performs during the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.


Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo: A Look at Texas' Long-Running, Charitable Concert

Though Johnson has successfully carved out a market in his native Lone Star State, one would be wise to not label him as "Texas Artist." The music of Cody Johnson is a little too wide and far-reaching to be limited. He is selling out venues from North Carolina to Tennessee, and scored a career triumph with an Aug. 2017 performance at The Troubadour in Los Angeles. For those who haven't heard a Johnson song on the radio yet -- but have heard his name being touted as 'One To Watch' -- what would he want them to know?
"I'd like them to wonder 'Why haven't I heard about this?' We've never had a record deal," he surmised, "though we've been offered some really good ones. It just never worked out. I've never had any backers. It's all been me and my team from the very beginning where there was nothing, just grinding it out and grinding it out and never giving up and never taking no for an answer and trying even when the doors were closed."
Confidence is something that Johnson has in great measure, but he's able to back it up. All he wants is that chance for the audience to connect. "I hope that somebody would walk away and say, 'Man, that guy that I had never heard of, really poured his heart and soul into that.' I'm not faking it up there. When you see me great emotional, it's real."
Having just wrapped up recording for his next project, he is looking to the future – with, you guessed it, confidence. "We're going to have a new record out this year that will capture what I do live in the studio. It's the first record I've ever recorded that I like to listen to." Part of that ownership stems from the fact that he says he made his feelings more prevalent in the studio – something that Willmon pushed him to do, for better or worse.
"I'm going to give you my opinion. If I'm wrong, tell me I'm wrong. But I'm not going to hold anything back, I'm going to tell you exactly whether it's good or bad or whatever. But, several times, I spoke up and said, 'This is the way I feel like it ought to be,' and then, two or three takes later I went, 'Man, I'm wrong. Let's back up. We'll back up and try your approach now.'"

And his approach – with back-to-back top-ten country albums – is working pretty good these days. What is that next level? "I'll admit I think about it some," Johnson said with a twinkle in his eye when pondering his next move. "Honestly, I try to just do what I've always done and just pray about it and let it go and whatever's supposed to happen is supposed to happen," he says, adding that he hopes that he can partner with a label to take his music to a larger crowd – but his track record allows him to be a little selective in choosing.
"I want to maintain masters and creative control and if I'm not broke, don't fix it. Give me a chance to screw up before you start telling me we ought to do this, we ought to do that."
If you go by appearances, the appeal of Cody Johnson might be viewed as a simply regional thing, especially in today's research-driven, genre-bending world of country music. But there's something in his approach that evokes a comparison to George Strait and Garth Brooks – two artists who have sold out nights at the Houston Livestock Show – and beyond. They were an authentic brand: the real deal. 
Just like Cody Johnson.

Male Birth Control Pill Is Effective And Safe, According To A Recent Trial

Scientists are one step closer to achieving gender parity, at least as far as birth control is concerned. While there are currently several contraceptive options targeted at women, there are only two for men – condoms and vasectomies.
The good news is that there are various reversible male birth control prototypes currently undergoing clinical trials. And the latest, a male oral contraceptive called dimethandrolone undecanoate (DMAU), appears to be safe and effective when taken daily for a month. The results of a recent study were presented by researchers at ENDO 2018, the Endocrine Society’s 100th annual meeting in Chicago, on Sunday.
"These promising results are unprecedented in the development of a prototype male pill," Stephanie Page, professor of medicine at the University of Washington, said in a statement.
Eighty-three men aged 18 to 50 completed the study, which tested the effects of different doses (100, 200, and 400 milligrams) and formulations inside capsules (castor oil and powder) of DMAU. The men took the contraceptive or a placebo once a day for 28 days with food.
At 100 milligrams, the contraceptive was comparable to effective male contraception in long-term trials, Page said. At 400 milligrams, it produced “marked suppression” of testosterone levels and two other hormones necessary for sperm production.
So, how does it work? The drug combines the activity of a male hormone (or androgen) such as testosterone with synthetic progesterone. The pill also contains a long-chain fatty acid called undecanoate, which slows the breakdown of the testosterone so that it remains effective all day in contrast to older editions. These cleared the body too quickly and would, therefore, have required at least two doses daily to make it as a viable form of birth control.
As for any negative side effects, the volunteers did show signs of weight gain and a decrease in good cholesterol but these were mild. All passed safety tests including those suggestive of liver and kidney health, a hurdle previous attempts at male contraceptives have failed to meet.
"Despite having low levels of circulating testosterone, very few subjects reported symptoms consistent with testosterone deficiency or excess," Page said.
This is excellent news. Previous studies on male birth control have been cut short, not because they were ineffective but because they may have produced side effects such as depression, changes in libido, and acne. All of which, incidentally, happen to be well-known side effects of female birth control. 
While the results so far are promising, the next step is to see how DMAU stacks up efficacy and health-wise when taken on a continuing basis. According to Page, longer-term studies are already taking place.