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eating disorders

5/10/13 12:01pm

Sexual Harassment Linked to Eating Disorders in Men


Men are not immune Photo via

Men who experience "high levels" of sexual harassment are more likely to develop an eating disorder as a coping mechanism, according to a recent study in the journal Body Image. Researchers from Michigan State University surveyed 2,446 college-aged participants—including 731 men—on their experiences with sexual harassment, body image and eating behaviors. As expected, women reported more sexual harassment, greater overall weight and shape concerns, and more generally disordered eating behavior (such as binge eating). However, the study found men who had been harassed were significantly more likely than women to engage in specific "compensatory behaviors" (behaviors meant to "un-do" eating, like vomiting and laxative abuse) as a response. "Traditionally, there has been a misperception that men are not sexually harassed," says lead author NiCole Buchanan, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State. "And while women do experience much higher rates of sexual harassment, when men experience these kinds of behaviors and find them distressing, then you see the same types of responses you see in women—and in the case of compensatory behaviors, even more so." Eating disorders are on the rise among males in the United States, but are often ignored or misdiagnosed, and the vast majority of treatment prevention programs are designed for females. Says Buchanan: "Although boys and men have lower rates of weight/shape concerns and eating disturbances, these issues are still significant and warrant intervention."

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By Sarah Beller

heavy metal

5/10/13 10:47am

Slayer Guitarist's Death Was Alcohol-Related


Jeff Hanneman and his Heineken guitar.
Photo via

Slayer guitarist and heavy metal icon Jeff Hanneman died of alcohol-related liver disease, not from a spider bite, the band announced on their website. It was initially reported that the rocker's recent death, at 49, was the result of a rare and deadly skin disease that he contracted from a spider bite two years ago. "We've just learned that the official cause of Jeff's death was alcohol-related cirrhosis," says the statement, "While he had his health struggles over the years, including the recent necrotizing fasciitis infection that devastated his well-being, Jeff and those close to him were not aware of the true extent of his liver condition until the last days of his life." Hanneman—Slayer's founding member—had admitted to abusing "uppers and downers" during the band's heyday in the '80s, but after spiraling into cocaine addiction, he quit hard drugs entirely. "I just drink alcohol now," he said in 2004. The legendary guitarist was such a fan of Heineken, he had a guitar designed after the beer's logo. Hanneman had been off the road since 2011, following his near-fatal bout with necrotizing fasciitis. But it reportedly had appeared that his health was improving, and he was looking forward to working on a new record. "Jeff was a lifeline of Slayer," said bassist Tom Araya, "He wrote so many of the songs that the band will always be known for. He had a good heart, he was a good guy."

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By Valerie Tejeda


5/10/13 5:00am

Morning Roundup: May 10, 2013


Los Zetas use "clowns and games" to gain
followers. Photo via

By Bryan Le

coca leaves

5/09/13 5:20pm

Bolivia Pushes Coca-Edibles to the Masses


Why is nobody cuckoo for coca-snacks?
Photo via

Bolivia's President Evo Morales has worked hard to persuade the world that he has no tolerance for cocaine, but that the country's thousands of acres of coca plants can be put to more wholesome (and delicious) use. Since becoming president seven years ago, Morales has pushed an array of coca-based food products to the Bolivian consumer—from baked coca treats to candies, liquors and soft drinks. But bringing mainstream acceptance to coca production has been no easy feat—in part, because of the unappetizing taste. "Coca Colla" was a coca-based energy drink that flopped soon after its launch in 2010 (despite being closer to the original Coca Cola, which actually contained cocaine). "At first, it wasn't very accepted because of its slightly bitter flavor," said the drink's creator Victor Ledezma, "But I'm improving the formula and thinking of returning to the market." "Cheese flavored coca-puff treats" produced by the Ebococa factory also didn't fare well, and were eventually given away to schoolchildren in the Chapare valley. Eliseo Zeballos, the coca union leader in charge of the Ebococa factory, blamed the products' main ingredient for its downfall. "It doesn't help putting in much coca," he said.

Bolivia's coca crop, which is the third largest in the world beside Columbia and Peru, is licensed and regulated by the government. US counter drug officials have criticized this unorthodox approach, insisting that most coca is turned into cocaine, and that the country has become a haven for Colombian drug traffickers who also use Bolivia to refine coca paste imported from Peru. But Morales, a regular partaker of the coca leaf himself, has continually defended the plant, pointing out that indigenous communities have for centuries chewed coca leaves to fight off the effects of altitude sickness and fatigue. Coca tea remains highly popular in Bolivia and its use is on the upswing in other Latin American countries as well. "I have seen coca tea in Ecuador, in Venezuela," said Morales a month ago. "Coca tea is arriving in South Africa from Peru." But his attempts to market other coca-based products continue to fail. "We've had difficulty maintaining coca products in the market," said Javier Valda, director of a government office that organizes indigenous economies. "There's no distribution or mass promotion. People don't easily accept environmental products and they prefer hamburgers, coffee."

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By Tony O'Neill

addiction on tv

5/09/13 4:04pm

The First (Decent) Sober Sitcom to Hit Prime Time


Will you watch? Photo via

AA has had a hard time of it on TV, what with all the relapses and irreverence. This could soon change in the fall in a new situation comedy starring Anna Faris as a sober Mom and Alison Janney as her mother in Mom, the first ever specifically sober-centric TV sitcom of the millennial. Created by Chuck Lorre (Big Bang TheoryMike and MollyTwo and a Half Men), the show features Faris as Christy, a young mother struggling with early sobriety in Napa Valley. The talent behind the project is backed up by CBS, with the network choosing to pick up the pilot—ahead of 22 other shows—a full week before announcing their upfront presentation. The show also features 3d Rock from The Sun's French Stewart and The Daily Show's Nate Corddry. Produced by Warner Brothers and Chuck Lorre productions, it is set to air on CBS this fall. Lorre co-wrote the show, on spec, with veteran producer Eddie Gorodetsky and writer Gemma Baker and it's scheduled to air on Mondays at 8:30pm, following the final season of How I met Your Mother. Bonus irony points—Janney starred with a sober Martin Sheen on The West Wing, and of course Sheen is the father of Charlie, who Lorre fired, killing his character, from Two and a Half Men in 2011.

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By William Georgiades

dangerous driving

5/09/13 3:22pm

Texting While Driving More Fatal Than Drunk Driving


Can it wait? Photo via

Smartphones, the "21st Century Narcotic," are killing more than just our attention spans. Texting while driving is now the leading cause of traffic deaths among teens, making it even more hazardous than drunk driving, according to a new study. An estimated 3,000 teens die annually from texting while driving, compared to 2,700 teen drunk driving casualties, according to Researchers at Cohen Children's Medical Center in New Hyde Park. And statistics show that if you are texting while operating a vehicle, you're 23 times more likely to crash. "We have very strong taboos against drinking and driving. Kids don't drink and drive every day. But some kids are out there texting and driving seven days a week—and they admit it," says Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Cohen. The CDC reported last fall that drinking among teen drivers has decreased by 54% since 1991, but texting has rapidly increased, with 50% of teen drivers now admitting to using their cellphones while driving. State lawmakers are pushing for tougher regulations against "distracted driving," but Adesman says there has been no evidence that prior legislation has been effective. "When we compared states where there are no laws in effect [barring texting while operating a moving vehicle] and states where there are laws on the books, we found there was no difference in their responses," says Adesman. "Clearly, the laws are not effective."

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By Victoria Kim


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