Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guest Commentary: JSPH Fellowship Program Celebrates 17 Years

Joe Couto, PharmD, MBA
Assistant Professor, Jefferson School of Population Health
Director, Fellowship Program

On Monday, June 27th JSPH hosted our annual Fellow’s Day, where we celebrated 17 years of training Fellows in health economics and outcomes research. The half-day program began with a keynote from one of our own, Joe Doyle, who completed the fellowship in 1998. Joe gave a detailed account of work he recently had published in Health Affairs along with another Jefferson fellowship graduate Feride Frech-Tamas and several other colleagues at Novartis and Thomson Reuters. Their article was entitled “A Value-Based Insurance Design Program At A Large Company Boosted Medication Adherence For Employees With Chronic Illnesses,” and examined the impact of value based insurance on asthma, cardiovascular, and diabetes medication use over a 3 year period.

We then heard from current Fellows Kellie Dudash and Sangtaeck Lim, who each presented an outcomes research project they completed during the first year of their fellowship. Next Joe Jackson, the program director for our Applied Health Economics and Outcomes Research master's degree, outlined plans for the new program that will be launching in September of this year. This new degree program has especially exciting implications for our fellowship program, as it will offer future Fellows the opportunity to earn a formal degree in the field in which they are training. We ended the morning on a bittersweet note as we graduated an exceptional class of second year Fellows: Eddie Lee, Lane Slabaugh, and Anita Mohandas. My fellowship overlapped with Eddie, Lane, and Anita and it was my distinct pleasure having worked with all three of them.

Fellows Day is first and foremost a celebration of the accomplishments of our current Fellows. However the entire morning served as yet another reminder to the faculty and staff of JSPH, our fellowship sponsors, invited guests, and former fellows in attendance of the rich history of our fellowship and its role in shaping the science of health economics and outcomes research.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kabul Graffiti, Black Dog Day, Streetwise Opera and What's a Dying Man got to Sing About?

Photograph: Omar Sobhani /Reuters
Subtle spraycan art attack on public spaces in capital is trying to prod Afghans into asking questions 
My black dog is not like any black dog it belongs to me and I live with it.
Once I thought it was very scary and I wondered what was happening to me to make me feel so sad and lonely, all alone. I spoke to a friend who I could trust with my inner most thoughts, and what a sense of relief.
It was not as scary as I thought it would be to open up and share my black dog moments.

The story is that today I am able to get through periods I call the black dog, surrounded with people who understand. People who may also have been touched by their own black dog.
I take each day as it comes and say to myself "feeling blue", "don't be scared" and "it will pass".

One Black Dog is lose in the North West. It could be in the hills, or it could be in the gutter. Keep your eyes open for it and report its findings. 

Fables - A Film Opera
Thursday 30th June at the Zion Arts Centre 
I'm going to see this, and I can't wait

‘Streetwise Opera is something else. It teases, surprises, takes risks, and tackles the unexpected… it lures you where you haven’t been before and sends you home enriched.’ Independent
What's a Dying Man got to Sing About?
An intesting awareness raising project by the Motor Neurone Disease Association 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

3in6: Back to Twists

See "3in6 Challenge" details here.

The box braids were a success!! I wore them for 5 weeks and spent a few hours taking them down. The removal process was not bad at all; I think it helped that I made the braids big. As I anticipated, the braids did not age or shrink as much as twists.  So, I am a new convert to box braids? Somewhat. I'm still in love with twists but will incorporate box braids from time to time.

How are you all doing this month?

Reader's Question: My Hair Routine

Reader's Question:
"Hey! I just had to say that I love your blog .... I cut off the rest of my relaxed ends after a 23 month transition! My hair is type 4. I recently tried twisting my hair with a shea butter mix and it was awesome! My hair dried so soft! Thnks for such an informative blog! What is your hair routine for washing, styling, and heat usage?"

My Answer:
Thank you for your message! A few pieces of my regimen have remained constant over the years.  These pieces include: wear twists as protective style, redo twists every 2-4 weeks, condition after each wash, and detangle monthly.  Other parts of my regimen have varied every several months or so.  Here's what I currently do:

Wash weekly/biweekly (Desert Essence Lemon Tea Tree)
Condition after each wash (V05 or homemade avocado DC)
Prepoo with coconut oil for 20 min
Detangle monthly (fall/winter/spring) or biweekly (summer)
Moisturize weekly (water then shea butter mix or Pura Naturals)

Wear twists/box braids ~3-4 weeks (fall/winter/spring) or ~1-2 weeks (summer)
Pin up twists/braids for updo 99% of the time
Wear twistouts or flat-ironed buns on rare occasions
*For more on my twisting routine, check this series

In 2010: Flat iron ~3x (during the fall/winter)
In 2011: May or may not keep the same usage (more on that later)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Boring is another word for satiating

Satiety is a common topic of discussion on this blog. In the last few posts it came up several times in the comments’ sections. Also, in my interview with Jimmy Moore, we did talk a bit about satiety. I told him what has been my perception and that of many people I know, which is that the least satiating foods tend to be foods engineered by humans.


There is another component to satiety, which applies to natural foods, or foods that are not man-made. That other component is the nutrition value of those foods, and whether they meet our nutrition needs at a given point in time. If our body needs certain essential amino acids for tissue repair, subconscious mechanisms will make us crave those foods from which those amino acids can be extracted. In this context, eating is generally a good idea.

The problem is that we have not evolved mechanisms to differentiate “true” from “fake” nutrient starvation; one example of the latter would be fat starvation due to transient hyperinsulinemia induced by refined carbohydrate-rich foods.

Foods engineered by humans tend to lead to overeating because humans are good engineers. In modern society, business drives everything. Food business is predicated on consumption, so engineered foods are designed so that one person will want to consume many units of a food item – typically something that will come in a box or a plastic bag. There is no conspiracy involved; the underlying reason is profit maximization.

When we look at nature, we typically see the opposite. Prey animals do not want to be eaten; often they fight back. Eggs have to be stolen. Plants do not want their various parts, such as leaves and roots, to be eaten. Much less their seeds; so they have developed various defense mechanisms, including toxins. Fruits are exceptions to this rule; they are the only natural foods that are designed to be eaten by animals.

Plants want animals to eat their fruits so that they can disperse the plants’ seeds. So they must be somewhat alluring to animals. Sugar plays a role here, but it certainly is not the only factor. The chemical composition of fruits is quite complex, and they usually contain a number of health-promoting substances, such as vitamins. For example, most fruits contain vitamin C, which happens to be a powerful antioxidant, and also has the ability to reversibly bind to proteins at the sites where sugar-induced glycation would occur.

Many modern fruits have been bred to be resistant to diseases, more palatable, and larger (usually due to more water retention). But, fundamentally, fruits are products of evolution. So how come we don’t see fruits that are pure sugar? Watermelons, for example, are often referred to as “bags of sugar”, but they are only 6 percent sugar. Ice cream is 25 percent sugar.

Two things must be kept in mind regarding fruits and their evolution. One is that dead animals do not eat fruit, and thus cannot disperse seeds. Sick animals would probably not be good candidates for fruit dispersion either. So the co-evolution of fruits and animals must have led fruits to incorporate many health-promoting attributes. The other is that seed dispersion success is correlated with the number of different animals that consume fruits from a plant. In other words, plants do not want all of their fruits to be eaten by one single animal, which must have led fruits to incorporate satiety-promoting attributes.

Often combining foods, adding spices, and so on, is perceived as making those foods exciting. That is so even with natural foods. If you read the descriptions of the foods consumed by healthy isolated populations in Weston Price’s Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, you will probably find them a bit boring. A few very nutritious food items, consumed day in and day out, frequently without heavy preparation. Exciting foods, requiring elaborate and time-consuming preparation, were consumed in special occasions. They were not eaten regularly.

The members of those healthy isolated populations were generally thin and yet lacked no important nutrients in their diet. They were generally free from degenerative diseases. Their teeth were normally strong and healthy.

Just before writing this post, I took six whole sardines out of the freezer to thaw. I will prepare them as discussed on this post, and eat them with a side of steamed vegetables for lunch. (I tend to eat fruits only on the days I exercise; typically 3 days out of 7.) This lunch will be very nutrient-dense. I will be very hungry before lunch, since I’ll have been fasting for 16 hours, and after I’ll not be hungry until dinner. Frankly, eating the sardines will not be very exciting, since I’ve been doing this for years.

Boring is another word for satiating.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Post on Heat Training?

UPDATE: Post coming in mid August!
The topic of "heat training" natural hair is a very controversial one.  I've debated whether to do a post on the possible benefits (yes, I said it ... lol) of heat training natural hair for length retention.  Let me know your thoughts in the "Comments" or "Reactions" section below. :o)

REVIEW #10: Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover - Unscented

NOTE:  I am not paid to review this product.  This product was purchased via my own pocket and curiosity.

Purpose: To remove nail polish from nails.

Ingredients: propylene carbonate, soybean oil methyl ester, tocopheryl acetate (i.e, vitamin E oil). 

Number of trials: 3 to 4

How I used it:
• Apply to cotton ball
• Then wipe polish off nails


It's official!  I really like this nail polish remover.  There is no strong, chemical smell like most nail polish removers you find on the store shelves.  In all honesty, I do not recall smelling much of anything while using this remover.

This nail polish remover is also very moisturizing.  Most commercial removers that I've used leave my nails feeling extremely dry.  In contrast, this remover leaves behind a light oily film which hydrates the nails.

Lastly, I like that this remover works on both organic and non-organic (e.g., Revlon) nail polishes.   It wiped away both sets of polishes more so effectively than commercial removers do.  A little remover goes a long way.

PROS: moisturizing, no strong smell, may be used to remove non-organic polishes as well, a little goes a long way, more effective than commercial nail polish removers I've tried, the quality fits the price

CONS: none

RATING: Overall, I give the Karma Unscented Organic Nail Polish Remover 5 out of 5 stars.  

May be purchased at Karma Organic.

Blasting and Bombardiering...

A National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing
A big thank you to everyone who came back to me with comments, ideas and suggestions around the REPORT on these national developments that were posted last month. I’ll be posting the slightly re-worked recommendations shortly and for now just wanted to tell you that at the meeting we agreed a few significant points. To avoid being London-centric, Chairing of the meeting will be rotational and undertaken by regional representatives. We are going to undertake a series of regional events to further stimulate debate and engagement and feed into a Charter for Arts and Health. This in part, will build on the groundswell of interest generated through the  m a n i f e s t o work.

Having worked with a huge cross-section of people across the North West Region on the m a n i f e s t o, next week sees the coming together of lots of these ideas and the beginning of the next stage, where words and thoughts come together to influence action. I’ll be working closely with international visitors who are contributing to the process and particularly with Pioneer Projects at the Looking Well to transform some of our ideas into art forms.

Alison Clough (Jones)
Head-to-Head in Arts and Health
This free event is fully booked and you should have received notification of your place by now. Sorry to anyone who’s on the waiting list. A summary of the event will be put online.

Music in Hospitals
An exciting new concert series is taking place in these hospitals in central Manchester. It will showcase musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music and from Music in Hospitals. The concerts will take place on the first Wednesday of each month for six months from June 2011 within the various hospital atrium spaces between 11am -12.30pm. Please drop in at any time for a mid-week boost of beautiful live music! 6th July 2011 11am Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital Robin Sunflower Duo (Music in Hospitals) Harmonica & guitar. 3rd August 2011 11am Royal Eye Hospital Astrum Guitar Duo (RNCM). 7th September 2011 11am Saint Marys Hospital Oscar Bernhardt Ensemble, Charleston Charlies (Music in Hospitals). 5th October 2011 11am Royal Manchester Childrens Hospital Deli Babies (RNCM) The two RNCM musicians in residence at Manchester Childrens Hospital. 2nd November 2011 11am Royal Eye Hospital Kora Melody (RNCM) West African songs.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Maybe you should stop trying to be someone you are not

Many people struggle to lose body fat, and never quite make it to their optimal. Fewer people manage to do so successfully, and, as soon as they do, they want more. It is human nature. Often they will start trying to become someone they are not, or cannot be. That may lead to a lot of stress and frustration, and also health problems.

Some women have an idealized look in mind, and keep losing weight well beyond their ideal, down to anorexic levels. That leads to a number of health problems. For example, hormones approach starvation levels, causing fatigue and mood swings; susceptibility to infectious diseases increases significantly; and the low weight leads to osteopenia, which is a precursor to osteoporosis.

In men, often what happens is the opposite. Guys who are successful getting body fat to healthy levels next want to become very muscular, and fast. They have an idealized look in mind, and think they know how much they should weigh to get there. Sometimes they want to keep losing body fat and gaining muscle at the same time.

I frequently see men who already look very healthy, but who think that they should weigh more than they do. Since muscle gain is typically very slow, they start eating more and simply gain body fat. The reality is that people have different body frames, and their muscles are built slightly differently; these are things that influence body weight.

There are many other things that also influence body weight, such as the length of arms and legs, bone density, organ mass, as well as the amount of glycogen and water stored throughout the body. As a result, you can weigh a lot less than you think you should weigh, and look very good. The photo below (from is of Donald Cerrone, weighing in at 145 lbs. He is 6 ft (183 cm) tall.

Mr. Cerrone is a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter from Texas; one of the best in professional MMA at the moment. Yes, he is a bit dehydrated on the photo above. But also keep in mind that his bone density is probably well above that of the average person, like that of most MMA fighters, which pushes his weight up.

A man can be 6 ft tall, weigh 145 lbs, and be very healthy and look very good. That may well be his ideal weight. A woman may be 5’5”, weigh 145 lbs, and also be very healthy and look very good. Figuring out the optimal is not easy, but trying to be someone you are not will probably be a losing battle.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Health Reform and Comparative Effectiveness Research

The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute is up and running!! So, what does PCORI mean for those of us interested in the science of Comparative Effectiveness Research and the intersection with Health Economics and Outcomes Research? First, lots of jargon here and some of it pretty turgid. CER has been discussed in our blog several times but in a nutshell---trying to figure out what really works in clinical medicine so we can improve care, lower costs, and reduce errors. PCORI will be handing out some new money to support CER. We hope the Jefferson School of Population Health will be the beneficiary of some of this new funding soon. We are also launching our unique, on line Masters Degree in Applied Health Economics and Outcomes Research in September 2011. In my many speaking engagements, esepcially those with the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, I have been emphasizing the following---do not shy away from CER, rather, embrace it!! The Accountable Care Organizations of the future will want products that work, and that are cost effective. ACOs, especially those that have risk, will want to make sure that they are practicing evidence based medicine and using products that are supported by that evidence. I know that these terms are confusing, but stay tuned in this space for more on PCORI, HEOR, CER, ACOs and all the rest. We will continue to try to clear the fog of jargon and help to make sense out of some very important new policies. DAVID NASH

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guest Commentary: A Lesson in Communications from Richard Foster

Rob Lieberthal, PhD
Faculty, Jefferson School of Population Health

I went to the Society of Actuaries Spring Health meeting in Boston to improve the quality of my research. I wanted to learn the actuarial perspective on comparative effectiveness research, learn about new SOA initiatives that I can get involved in, and find new sources of data. My plan was to improve my technical skills. The main lesson I got was an amazing perspective on the importance of communication.

Richard Foster, the Chief Actuary at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, was the keynote speaker of the conference. The main theme of his speech was communicating technical results to difficult audiences. Mr. Foster’s most powerful example of a difficult audience was the Medicare administrator who tried to suppress his estimates of the Medicare Modernization Act (see his take here). He cautioned that a more common problem is that politicians can’t, or don’t want to, understand the opinions he gives as CMS’s chief actuary. His feeling is that the miscommunication is getting worse with rising partisanship. Mr. Foster works hard to make sure his estimates are not misquoted or misconstrued. He went as far as to publicly contradict then health reform director and current White House deputy chief of staff Nancy-Ann DeParle.

I have been thinking about how that standard of behavior applies to the problem of communicating the results of comparative effectiveness studies today. Many of the technical issues that held back research in the past, like computer resources or lack of data, have become less important. The communication problems have become more difficult, largely because the work we do is being taken more seriously. Richard Foster has issued a challenge not only to health actuaries but to all of us who work in quantitative roles in health care. Can we communicate our work to non-experts? And can we do it in such a way as to minimize the chance that it will be misused? I feel that answering this challenge is the key to research that is not only technically correct, but also has an impact on population health.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pandemic, Outside In, Head to Head, Print Auction, Artists needed and a 'flawed passion.'

Asia Europe Foundation... 

Some of you will know that I’ve been involved with the Asia Europe Foundation exploring approaches to Pandemic Preparedness. Some of the work is emerging online which you can find here:

Outside In
2012 Launch Plans are afoot to release the Outside In open art competition for marginalised artists to the waiting world out there......We will be launching during the Spring 2011 and our ambassadors will be out there promoting the cause across the country during the year. If you want to be involved, if you are an artist or know of artists, if you would like to host an exhibtion, offer a workshop or just find out more - get in touch!
You can either email us: or call: 07735568531 or to never miss a trick register for our bulletins:

Head to Head
Whilst the Head to Head event at MMU is fully booked, we are operating a reserve list for any cancellations that take place between now and the 30th.

On Thursday 30th June between 1:00 and 3:00 Arts for Health at MMU in collaboration with the Centre for Medical Humanities; Pioneer Projects and Open Art, will be hosting a once in a lifetime head-to-head, with some key international figures from the Arts and Health field. These include, amongst others Executive Director of Arts and Health Australia, Margret Meagher; Murdoch University's Dr Peter Wright; Executive Director of DADAA, David Doyle, Durban University of Technolgy's Professor Kate Wells and the Centre for Medical Humanities', Mike White.

UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre

Special Edition Print Auction in aid of the UCH Macmillan Cancer Centre

Anthony Burrill
Tim Joss, '...a story of flawed passion.'
I'd be interested to know peoples thoughts on this article.

Tate Liverpool and Mersey Care NHS Mental Health Trust Artist Recruitment
Tate Liverpool and Merseycare NHS Trust are seeking to recruit a specialist pool of artists/practitioners with at least three years experience in working within arts and mental healthcare settings. The artist will be expected to take on the role of facilitator/co-producer of the art works/interventions with service users, by working directly in consultation with adult and older adult service-users to inform and influence the design and outcome of future creativity and artworks. It is crucial that artists are able to work collaboratively and co-operatively with NHS professionals on and off site.
The next phase of activity will focus on environments as a theme and will involve transforming internal social spaces on the wards where service-users interact, socialise and eat. It is hoped that such interventions will alter the mood and feel of each space, encouraging service-users to exercise choice and control over their immediate environment. The theme of environments, (imagined, real and invented), will be explored through a devised programme of visual arts workshops that will take place within mental health care settings, but where appropriate service-users will be encouraged to visit Tate Liverpool.

Tate’s collections and special exhibitions will be used as stimulus/inspiration to inform the work, starting with Tate Liverpool’s summer exhibition ‘Magritte’ continuing with ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Turner, Monet, Twombly’ in 2012.

For more information and an artist’s brief please contact:
Alison Jones Tel: 0151 702 7454 Email:

The closing date for the return of applications is Thursday 30 June 2011 by 5.00 pm. Interviews will be held on Monday 11 July 2011.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Alcohol intake increases LDL cholesterol, in some people

Occasionally I get emails from people experiencing odd fluctuations in health markers, and trying to figure out what is causing those fluctuations. Spikes in LDL cholesterol without any change in diet seem to be a common occurrence, especially in men.

LDL cholesterol is a reflection of many things. It is one of the least useful measures in standard lipid profiles, as a predictor of future health problems. Nevertheless, if one’s diet is not changing, whether it is high or low in fat, significant fluctuations in LDL cholesterol may signal a change in inflammatory status. Generally speaking, the more systemic inflammation, the higher is the measured LDL cholesterol.

Corella and colleagues (2001) looked into alcohol consumption and its effect on LDL cholesterol, as part of the Framingham Offspring Study. They split the data into three genotypes, which are allele combinations. Alleles are genes variations; that is, they are variations in the sections of DNA that have been identified as coding for observable traits. The table below summarizes what they have found. Take a look at the last two columns on the right.

As you can see, for men with the E2 genotype, alcohol consumption significantly decreases LDL cholesterol. For men with the E4 genotype, alcohol consumption significantly increases LDL cholesterol. No significant effects were observed in women. The figure below illustrates the magnitude of the effects observed in men.

On average, alcohol consumption was moderate, around 15 g per day, and did not vary significantly based on genotype. This is important. Otherwise one could argue that a particular genotype predisposed individuals to drink more, which would be a major confounder in this study. Other confounders were also ruled out through multivariate controls - e.g., fat and calorie intake, and smoking.

Alcohol consumption in moderation seems, on average, to be beneficial. But for some individuals, particularly men with a certain genotype, it may be advisable to completely abstain from alcohol consumption. Who are those folks? They are the ones for whom LDL cholesterol goes up significantly following moderate alcohol consumption.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guest Commentary: JSPH Graduation 2011

Patrick Monaghan
Director of Communications
Jefferson School of Population Health

The Jefferson School of Population Health graduated its second-ever class last Thursday morning, during commencement ceremonies held at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. Ten JSPH students walked during the ceremony, which featured keynote remarks from Donna E. Shalala, PhD, President of the University of Miami and the former Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The location – one of the foremost concert halls in the nation – was not lost on Dr. Shalala, who referenced famed Philadelphia Orchestra Music Director Eugene Ormandy in her comments, comparing the newly minted healthcare professionals to the skilled musicians who usually “work the room.”

TJU President Robert L. Barchi, MD, PhD, lauded the graduates for their academic accomplishments, underscoring how desperately our nation’s ailing healthcare system is in need of an infusion of new leaders. JSPH Dean David B. Nash, MD, MBA, reminded the graduates that they stand at an important crossroad in population health, one framed in part by the Affordable Care Act, the landmark healthcare legislation enacted a little over one year ago.

For the graduates, the real work is just beginning. They’re now part of a new generation of healthcare leaders – those who will work to reduce the unexplained variation in health care services, abolish disparities in how care is delivered, improve the coordination of care and improve the quality and safety of the care they deliver.

Congratulations and continued success to the Class of 2011!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What is a good low carbohydrate diet? It is a low calorie one

My interview with Jimmy Moore should be up on the day that this post becomes available. (I usually write my posts on weekends and schedule them for release at the beginning of the following weeks.) So the time is opportune for me to try to aswer this question: What is a good low carbohydrate diet?

For me, and many people I know, the answer is: a low calorie one. What this means, in simple terms, is that a good low carbohydrate diet is one with plenty of seafood and organ meats in it, and also plenty of veggies. These are low carbohydrate foods that are also naturally low in calories. Conversely, a low carbohydrate diet of mostly beef and eggs would be a high calorie one.

Seafood and organ meats provide essential fatty acids and are typically packed with nutrients. Because of that, they tend to be satiating. In fact, certain organ meats, such as beef liver, are so packed with nutrients that it is a good idea to limit their consumption. I suggest eating beef liver once or twice a week only. As for seafood, it seems like a good idea to me to get half of one’s protein from them.

Does this mean that the calories-in-calories-out idea is correct? No, and there is no need to resort to complicated and somewhat questionable feedback-loop arguments to prove that calories-in-calories-out is wrong. Just consider this hypothetical scenario; a thought experiment. Take two men, one 25 years of age and the other 65, both with the same weight. Put them on the same exact diet, on the same exact weight training regime, and keep everything else the same.

What will happen? Typically the 65-year-old will put on more body fat than the 25-year-old, and the latter will put on more lean body mass. This will happen in spite of the same exact calories-in-calories-out profile. Why? Because their hormonal mixes are different. The 65-year-old will typically have lower levels of circulating growth hormone and testosterone, both of which significantly affect body composition.

As you can see, it is not all about insulin, as has been argued many times before. In fact, average and/or fasting insulin may be the same for the 65- and 25-year-old men. And, still, the 65-year-old will have trouble keeping his body fat low and gaining muscle. There are other hormones involved, such as leptin and adiponectin, and probably several that we don’t know about yet.

A low carbohydrate diet appears to be ideal for many people, whether that is due to a particular health condition (e.g., diabetes) or simply due to a genetic makeup that favors this type of diet. By adopting a low carbohydrate diet with plenty of seafood, organ meats, and veggies, you will make it a low calorie diet. If that leads to a calorie deficit that is too large, you can always add a bit more of fat to it. For example, by cooking fish with butter and adding bacon to beef liver.

One scenario where I don’t see the above working well is if you are a competitive athlete who depletes a significant amount of muscle glycogen on a daily basis – e.g., 250 g or more. In this case, it will be very difficult to replenish glycogen only with protein, so the person will need more carbohydrates. He or she would need a protein intake in excess of 500 g per day for replenishing 250 g of glycogen only with protein.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Head to Head update; Case Studies; Boxed In; AfH Visiting Research Fellow and some thoughts on Melancholia

UPDATE on the free Head to Head event at MMU on Thursday 30th June
This event is part of the Critical Mass events being delivered with partners at the Centre for Medical Humanities, Pioneer Projects and Open Art and is open to people across the Northern Region. As we have limited places and are oversubscribed, we will be allocating places in the order we received them. Please note that we hope to contact everyone who’s shown interest next week, with details of venue and time if applicable.
Thanks everyone for your interest. 

Call for case studies on how culture and sport have helped tackle the social determinants of health - Deadline Friday 17 June 2011
LG Improvement and Development is commissioning a further series of case studies on how services supported by local government can help improve health and reduce health inequalities by tackling the social determinants of health. This time the case studies will focus on culture and sport. So if you have any good practice examples of health benefits arising from social, economic or environmental improvements as a result of arts, museums, libraries, heritage, outdoor recreation, sport or leisure activity, we would like to hear from you.

We’re interested in changes in the various factors that determine people’s behaviour and act as barriers to healthy living. They could be improvements in early child development and education, employment and working conditions, the built environment, social inclusion and social mobility. Examples could range from culture and sport activity that improves health in the workplace, gets young people into education or enables the development of social skills and networks. As long as you have evidence that the changes in behaviour resulting from participation in cultural or sporting activity have led to improvements in health, you may have just what we’re looking for.

The purpose of the case studies is to show decision-makers the value of culture and sport to health and wellbeing, and encourage more commissioning of cultural and sporting activity.
Please send a short summary of your potential case study and contact details to  or call 01827 714733.

We’ll follow up the selected case studies in more detail in July.
SUBMISSION DATE: by Friday 17 June 2011
For case studies published last year including on regulatory, planning and transport services see 
BOXED IN presents work from The Big Painting project by the Art to Life groups and other selected work from separate projects and groups across Manchester. Art to Life are weekly art and life skills groups for learning disabled adults from Manchester. During the week of the exhibition Art to Life groups will be holding their regular sessions in and responding to BLANKSPACE.

Click on the image below for more details.

Royal Society for Public Health
Arts and Health Awards
The Royal Society for Public Health Arts and Health Awards marking significant contributions to research and practice in the field of Arts and Health are now in their fourth year. Previous awards have recognised excellent work in the fields of music and health, arts and mental health and arts and health inequalities.

This year, the awards will recognise important contributions of outreach programmes undertaken by arts organisations (e.g. theatre companies, orchestras, opera companies, museums, art galleries, dance companies) to the wellbeing and health of their local communities. The award will recognize substantial achievements in:
  • Innovative initiatives undertaken by arts organisations to foster health and wellbeing in healthcare and community settings
  • Original contributions to research and evaluation focused on the contributions of music and arts organisations to health and wellbeing in healthcare and community settings
More details at: 

Visiting Research Fellow at Arts for Health
I am thrilled to announce, that Dr langley Brown has been awarded a Visiting Research Fellowship at Arts for Health and he'll be dedicating much of his time to the huge Arts/Health archive. I'll look forward to people meeting Langley. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Youtube: Ask the Hair Doctor

Trichologist Lisa Akbari has a youtube series on "Ask the Hair Doctor".  Here is one of her video responses.  For more, check out her channel.