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eating disorders, weight triggers, patients' rights
via More-Love and Pexels

Ginny Jones' "Don't weigh me" cards.

It can be psychologically distressing for people who’ve had an eating disorder to stand on a scale. For those who have struggled or are currently dealing with a disorder, being weighed can lead to obsession. It can also trigger dangerous behaviors such as purging, binging or reducing food intake.

That makes going to see the doctor a dangerous proposition for many. Most doctors routinely weigh every patient regardless of their body type or whether they’ve struggled with eating issues.

The fear of having to stand on a scale in a doctor’s office can lead those who’ve struggled with an eating disorder to avoid medical care for fear of having to be weighed.

"I myself recovered from an almost lifelong eating disorder. And when I did, being weighed at the doctor's office was very stressful," Ginny Jones, Editor of More-Love.org and a parent coach, told TODAY. "I knew that, especially among people with a history of eating disorders, being weighed is not a helpful way to begin every medical appointment."

So in 2019, Jones created cards to hand to medical practitioners so people could discreetly ask not to be weighed unless it’s a medical necessity. The cards have gone viral multiple times on social media, leading them to become popular among patients and medical practitioners.


via More-Love.org

The cards’ popularity shows just how stressed so many feel about being weighed in a medical setting. “So many people are avoiding going to medical appointments or feeling incredible stress and anxiety leading into medical appointments,” Jones said.

A tweet by Dani Donovan sharing one of Jones’ cards went viral last month, earning over 27,000 likes.

The tweet started an eye-opening conversation about the discomfort many feel about being weighed by their doctors. It also stirred up debate over the lengths to which patients should go to dictate how they are treated in a medical setting.

Donovan has an eating disorder and the cards have allowed her to avoid unnecessary stress and to be an advocate for her health in a quiet, nonconfrontational way. "I'd heard somewhere that you could refuse or tell them that you didn't want to be weighed, but I had always felt way too intimidated to say it out loud,” she said.

The success of the “Don’t weigh me” cards is backed up by studies conducted in treatment facilities for people with eating disorders. In these facilities, healthcare practitioners must consider the benefits between allowing patients to know their weight or “blind weighing” them in which their numbers are kept secret.

A recent study from 2020 found that patients in the “acute” phase of their treatment that were blind weighed experienced “decreased anxiety and eating disorder symptoms and as a result, increased their ability to effectively engage in their treatment.” Blind weighing also resulted in patients experiencing “significantly less anxiety” around being weighed.

Having an eating disorder can be an invisible problem that is very difficult to discuss, even in the presence of a doctor. Jones’ cards are a way for people to advocate for their health in a way that is comfortable for themselves and their healthcare professionals.

Health

A child’s mental health concerns shouldn’t be publicized no matter who their parents are

Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.

A child's mental health concerns shouldn't be publicized.

Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.


It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.

This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.

When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.

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Science

Dyslexic plumber gets a life-changing boost after his friend built an app that texts for him

It uses AI to edit his work emails into "polite, professional-sounding British English."

via Pixabay

An artist's depiction of artificial intelligence.

There is a lot of mistrust surrounding the implementation of artificial intelligence these days and some of it is justified. There's reason to worry that deep-fake technology will begin to seriously blur the line between fantasy and reality, and people in a wide range of industries are concerned AI could eliminate their jobs.

Artists and writers are also bothered that AI works on reappropriating existing content for which the original creators will never receive compensation.

The World Economic Forum recently announced that AI and automation are causing a huge shake-up in the world labor market. The WEF estimates that the new technology will supplant about 85 million jobs by 2025. However, the news isn’t all bad. It also said that its analysis anticipates the “future tech-driven economy will create 97 million new jobs.”

The topic of AI is complex, but we can all agree that a new story from England shows how AI can certainly be used for the betterment of humanity. It was first covered by Tom Warren of BuzzFeed News.

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This article originally appeared on 04.15.19


On May 28, 2014, 13-year-old Athena Orchard of Leicester, England, died of bone cancer. The disease began as a tumor in her head and eventually spread to her spine and left shoulder. After her passing, Athena's parents and six siblings were completely devastated. In the days following her death, her father, Dean, had the difficult task of going through her belongings. But the spirits of the entire Orchard family got a huge boost when he uncovered a secret message written by Athena on the backside of a full-length mirror.

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Famous writers shared their book signing woes with a disheartened new author.

Putting creative work out into the world to be evaluated and judged is nerve-wracking enough as it is. Having to market your work, especially if you're not particularly extroverted or sales-minded, is even worse.

So when you're a newly published author holding a book signing and only two of the dozens of people who RSVP'd show up, it's disheartening if not devastating. No matter how much you tell yourself "people are just busy," it feels like a rejection of you and your work.

Debut novelist Chelsea Banning recently experienced this scenario firsthand, and her sharing it led to an amazing deluge of support and solidarity—not only from other aspiring authors, but from some of the top names in the writing business.

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