Discrimination affects health for lifetime: Weekly science round up

Below you will find links to some of the most interesting science stories reported this week relating to both political and social affairs and health news from which everyone may benefit. You can comment on these reports at the end of the round up.

Vitamin C: The exercise replacement?

New scientific research indicates that taking 500 mg of time released Vitamin C will have the same heart healthy results as physical EXERCISE for overweight and obese people. Ok, so you won’t look so svelte but for the “gymnophobic” taking a vitamin pill instead of working up a sweat has got to be a great scientific advance and, since Republicans and the right in general don’t believe in science, progressives and socialists will benefit the most.

Current school start times damaging learning and health of students

Scientists have found that children learn better and are more healthy over all at different times of the day depending on their ages. Presently schools start and end at times that have been standardized in such a way that the learning and health of millions of children are negatively affected. Parents will have to become politically active, I think, and ally with teacher unions if they want to protect their children and get the school times changed.

‘Unethical’ targets in India’s private hospitals

Widespread abuse of patients discovered in Indian private hospitals which force doctors to order unnecessary tests and operations simply to run up the bills and make more profits for the capitalist investors. Indian government appears complicit? Could the same practices be happening in the U.S.?

Study finds high prevalence of diabetes, pre-diabetes in U.S.

A new study shows that about 50 percent of the U.S. population either already has or is on the road to having diabetes. As usual the suggested remedy is education for individuals to change their eating habits and life styles. This approach alone won’t work unless Congress quits kowtowing to the lobbyists for the junk food purveyors, the processed food industries, and the sugar and soda companies that resist regulation and continue to flood the market place with unhealthy food products in the search for greater profits at the expense of the health and welfare of the American people. They should also be stopped from pushing their products on children through ads on TV and the internet.

Discrimination during adolescence has lasting effect on body

Cortisol is a stress hormone that is released into the blood stream to help us keep calm, cool and collected during the exigencies of daily life. Too much of it is not good for us and our bodies usually start the day with a high charge that will last us until bedtime when the charge has worn down and will build up again while we sleep. However, after a twenty year research project, scientists have discovered that young people (adolescence to 32 years old) who are subjected to discrimination, racism. and the daily insults and affronts dished out to minority people (consciously or unconsciously) especially African American youth, experience the effects of cortisol differently than do the youth not subjected to the racism of everyday life in the U.S.

The stress of racial discrimination causes the cortisol to build up in the blood stream during the day so that it peaks at bedtime and wears off during the night so that it is very low in the morning. The cycle is reversed. This causes these youth to have sleep problems, sex problems, mental fatigue, heart problems, problems in concentration and memory and other health dysfunctions. In other words, racism makes them sick and less functional compared to the general population and this is then used as an excuse to justify racist practices.

Photo: Children eating at school. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Nutrition Service (FNS).


CONTRIBUTOR

Thomas Riggins
Thomas Riggins

Thomas Riggins is associate editor of Political Affairs. Reach him at pabooks@politicalaffairs.net.

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