Sunday, October 9, 2011

Odds and Ends

No Helmets No Manners? :  As I was running along the greenway this morning, I was quite startled and nearly run over by a man and child on a tandem bike and another child riding on his own.  As I watched them ride off in front of me - taking the full width of the greenway path - I noticed that not one of the three were wearing helmets.  So I thought of the results of the research study I have been working on.  We are predicting helmet use by a condition. For example, does gender or travel path impact helmet use?  So I thought, hmm, "is rudeness predicted by lack of helmet use?"

Combo Pills: One of the big drug companies is celebrating this weekend.  The FDA approved a new drug that is basically a twofer.  It treats high blood sugar (diabetes) and high cholesterol.  From this we might draw a conclusion.  Diets that are high in saturated fat can lead to both conditions.  Whether you take one or two medications - the side effects of those drugs should give you pause.  Also the medications treat the symptoms of the diseases, but do not cure them.  The outcomes for diabetes and heart disease include loss of functioning and early mortality.

Breasts and Penises: In my sexual health class last week, one of the my students presented on a research study that compared women's feelings about their breasts (too big, small or droopy) and their partner's perceptions - with things like whether or not the woman will undress in front of the man or if she feels comfortable in a swim suit. It was called the Barbie Mystique if you want to look it up. This coming week, we might discuss the dilemma that Cuba is having.  Men who feel that their penises are too small can have a surgery to enlarge (lengthen) them.  The surgery will be paid for by the health care system if it is physician recommended.  There seems to be a surge in requests for the surgery.  The increase in the surgeries cases has led the government to put out an official statement in this regard.  It speaks to the importance of not letting the inches of your penis determine your self worth.

Off label ads (it'll cost ya) -A drug company I have never heard of and one of its corollaries (Fremont's Scios Inc.) is in trouble for encouraging the use of its medicine for treating chronic conditions when the FDA only approved the medicine for acute conditions.  Specifically it is for acute flare ups or exacerbation of congestive heart failure or CHF.  You see, when the person who has heart failure comes out of the acute phase of their condition, they would no longer take the medicine.  The drug company was encouraging physicians to use it to treat the heart failure patient on a long term basis.  Of course, they would want to do so - it increases revenue.  The company has been fined by the US govt. and will pay 85 Million.

Kids and Dogs (pulling 'em along)-  More observations from my walk this morning.  A dog being drug along by its owner and a child running along beside her "dad" as he pushed the tricycle she had been riding (helmeted).  The "sister" was some feet ahead of them.  The dad was walking, holding the little girls hand and her arm was stretched to its limit - because she was so much smaller than him.  She could not keep up with him - she was running, stumbling and being sort of jerked off her feet.  I, in fact, said, out loud as I ran by, (because the girl about fell and started to cry), "What the hell is that?"  And as I came back around the circle, he had picked her up.  
When I was studying child development a hundred years ago (okay 1986), the teacher had each of us pair off and practice being the toddler.  We had to "walk" along holding the  "parent's" hand while on our knees.  I have never forgotten what that felt like. 

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