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The heiress in the Biden administration – POLITICO – Politico

May 12th, 2021
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With help from Allie Bice and Daniel Payne

Welcome to POLITICOs West Wing Playbook, your guide to the people and power centers in the Biden administration. Did someone forward this to you? Subscribe here! Have a tip? Email us at [emailprotected].

While President JOE BIDENs Cabinet isnt as rich as his immediate predecessors, there are still plenty of one percenters in the top ranks of the Biden administration. JEFF ZIENTS, the White House Covid coordinator; SUSAN RICE, the director of the Domestic Policy Council; ERIC LANDER, Bidens nominee to head the Office of Science and Technology Policy; and climate envoy JOHN KERRY are each worth tens of millions of dollars.

To that list, we can add Bidens nominee to be the Education Departments assistant secretary of legislation and congressional affairs.

Former Rep. GWEN GRAHAM (D-Fla.), whom Biden nominated last month, is worth at least $27.2 million, according to her newly released personal financial disclosure. And thats the floor, not the ceiling.

Graham is an heiress to the Graham family fortune, built over decades of Florida land and real estate investments. Shes also linked by marriage to the wealthy clan that once owned the Washington Post and other news outlets (yes, it used to be possible to make a fortune in the media industry). Her father is former Sen. BOB GRAHAM (D-Fla), whose brother married KATHARINE GRAHAM, the late Post publisher who famously steered the paper through one of its golden periods. DON GRAHAM, Katharines son and successor as Post publisher, is her cousin.

Grahams wealth is derived from her 5 percent stake in her family companys vast real estate holdings, which are concentrated in South Florida but also include a dairy farm and a ranch in the state and a pecan orchard, a cattle farm and timberland in Georgia. Graham Group Holdings assets are worth at least $537 million, according to her disclosure. (The company is separate from Graham Holdings, which once owned the Post and Newsweek.)

In Florida, Graham is considered political royalty. Her father served alongside Biden in the Senate for 18 years. Two former staffers for the elder Graham recalled Graham and Biden being friendly in the Senate but not especially close. Grahams first first office when he arrived in Washington in 1987 was in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, across the hall from the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing room. That gave Graham the chance to run into Biden, the committees new chairman, one of the former staffers recalled. And Biden once spoke to a group of Graham friends and supporters who came to Washington for a visit in the 1990s.

Gwen Graham herself served in Congress for one term, after ousting a Republican incumbent in Floridas second district in 2014. But she was effectively forced into retirement two years later after her district was made much more Republican by court-ordered redistricting. She ran for governor of Florida in 2018 but lost in the Democratic primary.

She endorsed Biden and maxed out to his campaign the day he announced in 2019; her father followed suit, endorsing Biden a few months later.

Bidens selection of Graham as assistant secretary surprised many people who work in education policy, given the jobs relatively low-profile. If confirmed, she will be responsible for working with congressional offices, helping to manage constituent services requests and briefing Hill staffers about whats happening at the agency. Graham would come to the agency with more Washington experience than her boss, Education Secretary MIGUEL CARDONA.

Graham stepped down from Graham Holdings board after winning her House seat, but it didnt stop the company from becoming a political issue for her when she ran for governor. One of her primary opponents, JEFF GREENE, ran TV ads criticizing the companys role in a mega-mall project that had been criticized by environmental groups.

Graham narrowly lost the primary to ANDREW GILLUM, but it wasnt the mega-mall controversy or any other scandal that doomed her campaign. Instead, the biggest knock on her was being unexciting. Graham herself asked a POLITICO reporter during the campaign whether he thought she was boring. Maybe a little, he responded, caught off guard.

Im not boring! she replied. Im not boring! Im not boring!

PSA Were going to be experimenting with some new items and sections. Tell us what you like and what you hate.

Do you work in the Biden administration? Are you in touch with the White House? Are you JEN PSAKI?

We want to hear from you and well keep you anonymous: [emailprotected]. Or if you want to stay really anonymous send us a tip through SecureDrop, Signal, Telegram, or Whatsapp here. You can also reach Alex and Theo individually. Lets chat off the record with quote approval, Jen!

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When GEORGE H.W. BUSH became president in 1989, BARBARA BUSH requested she not be compared to which previous first lady?

(Answer is at the bottom.)

CICADA WATCH The Washington Posts MATT VISER wrote today from outside a virtual meeting between Biden and a bipartisan group of governors that, I can report that your pooler has not yet spotted any cicadas from the edge of the White House lawn. From NICK NIEDZWIADEK

BETTER BUY A BIKE The Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation are taking steps to ease the fuel crunch created by the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline, ALEX GUILLN and SAM MINTZ report.

The EPA issued a fuel waiver allowing retailers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and D.C. to sell higher-polluting types of gasoline between now and May 18.

DOT, meanwhile, announced it is considering a "temporary and targeted" waiver of the Jones Act, a much-debated law that forbids foreign-owned, operated or built ships from carrying goods between U.S. ports.

WAR ON (DOMESTIC) TERROR: The Department of Homeland Securitys intelligence arm is setting up a dedicated team to focus on domestic terrorism, BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN reports.

TUCKER CARLSONS NEXT MONOLOGUE? Biden is reversing a Trump-era policy that barred undocumented college students and others from receiving federal relief grants meant to help pay for expenses like food, housing and child care during the coronavirus pandemic, MICHAEL STRATFORD reports.

DEPUTIZED The Senate confirmed the No. 2s at the Health and Human Services and Education Departments today. ANDREA PALM, a former policy adviser in the Obama administration and an adviser in HILLARY CLINTONs Senate office, was confirmed to be HHS deputy secretary by a vote of 61-37.

The Senate also voted 54-44 to confirm San Diego Unified School District Superintendent CYNTHIA MARTEN to be deputy secretary of Education.

The Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, meanwhile, advanced JEWEL HAIRSTON BRONAUGHs nomination to be deputy secretary of Agriculture on Monday night.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS The Senate has a bunch more confirmation action scheduled for tomorrow:

The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will vote on the nominations of LESLIE KIERNAN to be general counsel of the Department of Commerce and LINA KHAN a noted antitrust crusader to be a Federal Trade Commissioner.

The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee is planning to vote on the nominations of JOCELYN SAMUELS to be a member of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, JENNIFER ANN ABRUZZO to be general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board and SEEMA NANDA to be solicitor for the Department of Labor.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing with DEBORAH BOARDMAN and LYDIA KAY GRIGGSBY, nominees to be Maryland district court judges. The committee will also consider RONALD DAVIS nomination to be director of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The Environment and Public Works Committee will hold a hearing on three nominees: SHANNON ESTENOZ to be assistant secretary of the Interior for fish and wildlife, RADHIKA FOX to be an EPA assistant administrator and MICHAL ILANA FREEDHOFF to be EPA assistant administrator for toxic substances.

Maduro and Washington are sending signals of tentative detente (Bloombergs Patricia Laya, Alex Vasquez and Jennifer Jacobs)

White House confirms President Biden will visit Michigan on Tuesday (Detroit Free Press Todd Spangler)

Biden tax proposal would squeeze apartment building owners (The Wall Street Journals Will Parker)

Samantha Power wants to restore U.S. prestige by getting American-made vaccines into arms around the world (The Posts Karen DeYoung)

He met with Sen. KYRSTEN SINEMA (D-Ariz.) to discuss the American Jobs Act. He also met virtually with a bipartisan group of governors in the South Court Auditorium.

She met with members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus in the vice presidents Ceremonial Office. Reps. JUDY CHU (D-Calif.), AMI BERA (D-Calif.), STEPHANIE MURPHY (D-Fla.), ANDY KIM (D-N.J.) and Del. MICHAEL SAN NICOLAS (D-Guam) were among the attendees.

While attending Harvard University, SARAH BIANCHIwho is now Bidens nominee to be the U.S. deputy trade representativewas roommates with KARENNA GORE, AL GOREs oldest daughter.

And through their friendship, Bianchi got to know the whole Gore family.

According to a New York Times profile on Bianchi from 2000, she would play basketball at the Gores home and go water skiing with them in Tennessee.

And just a few years out of college, Bianchi joined Gores 2000 presidential campaign as his deputy issues director, though Gores aides said the hiring was based on merit.

Gore said Bianchi was scary smart, and told the Times it made him nervous to give a 20-something such an important role, but only for a bit.

It did. For about a week, he said. After that I lost any apprehension at all. She handles herself like a seasoned pro.''

The Times piece went on to note that Bianchi, then 27, subsisted on a diet of candy bars and Diet Cokes, while on the trail.

HELP US OUT It's been interesting digging through memoirs and college newspaper clips about Biden administration officials. But we want your help too. Do you have a story thats potentially embarrassing but not too mean or serious that we should use for an "Oppo Book" item? Email us [emailprotected].

Bush told reporters in January 1989 that she didnt want to be compared to ELEANOR ROOSEVELT because her mother really didnt like her.

I grew up in a household that really detested her, she told The Washington Post then.

We want your tips, but we also want your feedback as we transition to West Wing Playbook. What should be covering in this newsletter that were not? What are we getting wrong? Please let us know.

Edited by Emily Cadei

A message from Comcast:

Internet traffic surged during the first several weeks of the pandemics stay at home orders. Peak Internet traffic rose 32 percent over pre-pandemic levels, and over 50 percent in some markets in March.

Comcasts network was prepared. Since 2017, Comcast has invested fifteen billion dollars to grow and evolve a smart, reliable network that helped millions of people stay connected when they need it most.

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The heiress in the Biden administration - POLITICO - Politico



9 Things Not to Do While on Chemotherapy – Healthline

May 12th, 2021
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Chemotherapy is a type of cancer treatment. It works by using strong drugs to slow or stop the growth of cancer cells, which grow and divide more quickly than many healthy cell types.

However, its still possible for chemotherapy to target healthy cells that also divide quickly. Some examples include cells in the digestive tract, immune system, and hair follicles.

When this happens, it can lead to side effects like lowered immunity, hair loss, and nausea or vomiting. There are certain precautions that you can take to limit your side effects and help make treatment safer.

Well explore nine things to avoid during chemotherapy treatment. Then, well discuss a few things that are important to do during chemotherapy as well as how to find support.

First, lets explore some things not to do during chemotherapy treatment. Avoiding these things can help to make your treatment safer and more tolerable.

Your body typically breaks down and passes chemotherapy drugs during the 48 to 72 hours after your treatment. Because of this, its possible for these drugs to be present in various body fluids, including urine, stool, and vomit during this time.

Because chemotherapy drugs can affect healthy cells, coming into contact with them in various body fluids can be potentially harmful to yourself or others. Thats why its a good idea to avoid contact with body fluids that may contain them.

Here are a few tips for a avoiding contact:

Your doctor will know which bodily fluids may be affected by chemotherapy drugs. Be sure to ask so that you can take appropriate precautions.

A common side effect of chemotherapy is feeling tired or fatigued. Because of this, its important not to overextend yourself so that you dont become too exhausted.

Some potential ways to do this include:

Because chemotherapy can weaken the immune system, youre more susceptible to infections. There are many strategies that you can use to help avoid getting an infection, such as:

Chemotherapy can sometimes lead to a loss of appetite. This can happen due to side effects like nausea, mouth sores, or feeling fatigued.

Its still important to eat, even if you dont feel like youre very hungry. Not eating enough can lead to weight loss and can make fatigue worse.

However, try to avoid eating single large meals. Instead, focus on having several small meals throughout the day. It may be helpful to set up a daily meal schedule so you can easily remember what and when to eat.

Having a large meal may also make you feel very full, making nausea worse.

As previously discussed, chemotherapy can weaken your immune system, increasing the risk of infections. Foods that are raw or undercooked can contain germs that can cause food poisoning.

Avoid eating raw or undercooked:

This also includes unpasteurized milk or cheese.

If you need to handle these items, wash your hands thoroughly after doing so. Also be sure to clean any surfaces they may have come into contact with, such as cutting boards or countertops.

To prevent food poisoning, always cook foods to at least the minimum internal temperature, which can vary by food item. You can use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of your food.

Harmful germs can also be present on raw fruits and vegetables. Because of this, always rinse them thoroughly before eating. Avoid eating raw produce that can be difficult to wash well, such as:

Chemotherapy can cause changes in your mouth and throat. When this happens, you can experience things like increased sensitivity and mouth sores.

During this time, its important to avoid foods that can further irritate these areas. This typically includes items that are hard, acidic, or spicy, such as:

Having an occasional beer or glass of wine during chemotherapy is unlikely to have serious effects. However, because some chemotherapy drugs can interact with alcohol, always ask your doctor if its OK to have a drink now and then.

Frequent or heavy alcohol consumption during chemotherapy is generally a bad idea. One reason for this is that alcohol can worsen some chemotherapy side effects, such as dehydration, diarrhea, and mouth sores.

Additionally, alcohol and chemotherapy drugs are both processed by the liver. Drinking while on chemotherapy can place additional stress on your liver.

Smoking can affect your health in a variety of ways, such as lowering immunity, slowing wound healing, and increasing your risk for other health conditions. As such, smoking during chemotherapy can negatively impact your treatment.

One way that it can do this is by making side effects worse. Research has found that a variety of side effects are more severe in people who smoke, including:

Smoking can also affect how chemotherapy drugs are processed by your body, potentially reducing the effectiveness of your treatment. For example, a 2014 study on lung cancer found that some chemotherapy drugs were cleared from the body faster in smokers than in nonsmokers.

If you smoke, its important to try to quit before starting chemotherapy. Work with your doctor to develop a quit plan that you can stick to.

Its possible that chemotherapy may cause your skin to become more sensitive to UV light, which is found in both natural sunlight and in tanning beds. In this case, exposure to UV light can lead to burning and skin reactions.

Follow the tips below to safely enjoy outdoor time during chemotherapy:

Now that weve talked about some things to avoid during chemotherapy, lets discuss some things that its important to do.

Staying active helps to keep your body strong while youre undergoing chemotherapy. It may also help to lift your mood and improve your appetite.

Speak with your doctor about exercise routines that are appropriate for you during chemotherapy. Some general pointers include:

Its possible that you may experience many different feelings during chemotherapy, such as anxiety, sadness, or anger. Doing a calming activity may help you to cope with these feelings when they occur. Some examples include:

Nausea is a common side effect of chemotherapy. However, there are several steps that you can take to limit nausea, such as:

Dehydration during chemotherapy is common. You cant go wrong by trying to drink plenty of water and other fluids to stay hydrated. To promote hydration, you can:

Hydration can also help with some chemotherapy side effects. For example, it can replace fluids that are lost through diarrhea or soften stools if youre experiencing constipation.

When youre on chemotherapy, its important to keep up your strength to help your body heal and to cope with any treatment side effects. Because of this, youll need to have extra calories and protein in your diet.

Some examples of foods that can help you to add both of these things to your diet include:

If youre experiencing appetite loss, it may be helpful to try liquids or soft foods that provide calories. Some examples include:

Diarrhea can sometimes occur as a side effect of chemotherapy. If this happens, it may be a good idea to focus on foods that have lower fiber content, such as plain yogurt, white rice, or crackers.

On the other hand, its also possible to experience constipation during chemotherapy. If this occurs, try to eat foods that are high in fiber. Some examples of high fiber foods include whole grain bread and pasta, nuts, and raw vegetables.

Receiving a cancer diagnosis and undergoing chemotherapy can definitely take a physical, emotional, and mental toll. However, there are many resources available to help you get the support you need.

For example, it may be helpful to speak with and learn from others who are on a similar journey as you. You can do this through joining an in-person or online support group.

If youre not quite ready to engage with a support group, one-on-one counseling may be a good option. Try to find a mental health professional who specializes in counseling people with cancer.

Some support resources to get started with include:

Chemotherapy can cause a variety of side effects, including loss of appetite, nausea, and dehydration just to name a few.

To ensure that treatment is tolerable and safe, its important to take precautions during chemotherapy. Some examples of these steps are preventing contact with bodily fluids after treatment, avoiding infections, and not smoking.

While precautions are important, there are also some things that are important to do during chemotherapy. These include things like eating a nutritious diet, staying active, and using support services like counseling and support groups.

Originally posted here:
9 Things Not to Do While on Chemotherapy - Healthline



Why you should eat carbs: The role of homeopathy and ayurveda in Indian cuisine – Gulf News

May 12th, 2021
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Ayurveda recommends foods rich in antioxidants that neutralise the free radicals causing oxidative damage to our tissues, such as turmeric, gooseberry, sesame seeds, fruits that are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C and E Image Credit: Shutterstock

With a pandemic that ravaged the world, foods that help build the bodys functionality have come under the spotlight. And under renewed focus are the ancient practices of ayurveda and homeopathy. Two practices that have always held a huge place in Indian cuisine.

Increasingly, people worldwide have been turning to alternative medicine post the health scare. But ayurveda and homeopathy have traditionally been incorporated into Indian cuisine and lifestyle for centuries. This involves everything from recommending the use of spices to consumption of carbohydrates. Put simply, according to both the systems, food is medicine - and you are what you eat and how you eat.

The homeopathic perspective

Developed in the late 18th century by German physician Christian Friedrich Samuel Hahnemann, homeopathy is a medical system based on the belief that the body can cure itself. Natural substances like plants and minerals are recommended to stimulate the healing process.

Dr Rupal Merchant, a Dubai-based homeopath, has one clear-cut rule that of not complicating eating. She instead recommends simply eating what your older generations have eaten. Your body will crave for that food no matter what, she said. If youre Indian for example, no matter how much chia and couscous and quinoa you eat, your body will crave for the foods like idli, dosa and rice if you are from south India or roti, paratha and chana if you are from northern India.

Indian traditional foods are recognised as functional foods because of the presence of functional components such as body healing chemicals, antioxidants, dietary fibres and probiotics, she said. Such foods help in weight management, maintenance of blood sugar level and increasing immunity. A typical Indian meal consists of good carbs and healthy protein and fats. Curd, beans, lentils, and fish provide essential amino acids, which are required for muscle building. Eat home cooked food as much as possible, try to cook yourself at least once a week. Reduce intake of salt.

With the pandemic bringing a renewed focus on building ones immunity, spices plays a major role, she said, underscoring that Indian curries are made by using such spices not only for their flavour, but their medicinal values too.

At the top of her list are the following spices:

1. Turmeric: Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, which is anti-carcinogenic too.

2. Black pepper: Relieves cough, cold and boosts metabolism.

3. Garlic: Lowers cholesterol, and also regulates blood pressure.

4. Ginger: Cures cough, cold and helps in digestion.

5. Cloves: Powerhouse of antioxidants. Also has anti-fungal properties.

6. Coriander: Helps in flushing the kidneys. Also good for eyesight. This is why chutneys made out of coriander are a good side to have with every meal.

7. Ajwain or carom seeds: Rich in calcium and fibre; helps in curing digestive disturbance like gas and bloating.

Why you should consume carbs (low GI ones)

Just like curries, grains and wheat have received a bad rap over the years, but form an integral part of south Asian cuisine. Dr Merchant frowns upon the practice, calling the no-wheat no-rice diet a fad. Basically no carbs. Besides giving energy to the body carbohydrates also perform other functions like helping hormones and our immune system to function well. It also regularises our bowel moments.

In the absence of carbs fat cannot be utilised for energy. So eat your carbs with low GI (glycemic index) such as wheat, bajra, raagi, multigrain, rice, etc. Stay away from those with high GI like refined flour, cake, pizza, white bread, sugary fooddrinks, biscuits and cookies.

Dr Merchant said while she sees a stress on body weight everywhere, the key is body fat. So dont count calories, count nutrition instead. Quick diets dont help as you cant be on a diet all your life. Make lifestyle changes to remain healthy. Rest your body with quality sleep so as to regenerate body cells. Make sure you get your Vitamin D - make the sun your friend. Make eating a pleasure experience, but dont eat to overcome boredom or stress.

The ayurvedic perspective

One of the worlds oldest healing systems and sciences of cooking, Ayurveda was developed over 5,000 years ago, and has hugely influenced not only Indias cuisine but that of the worlds too. Based on the unique combination of Vata (Ether), Pitta (Fire) and Kapha (Water), Ayurveda brings a personalised approach to each body type.

Dr Jijo Blesson, Medical Director and Chief Physician at Kottakkal Ayurvedic Center in Ajman and Dubai, said an ayurvedic proverb best summarises the impact of ayurveda. When the diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When the diet is correct, medicine is of no need.

Dr Jijo Blesson, Medical Director and Chief Physician at Kottakkal Ayurvedic Center in Ajman and Dubai

Eating foods uniquely suited to our physiology, and following smart ayurvedic food guidance has a significant role in nourishing and healing when consumed the right way in right dosage. Ayurveda always recommends dietary plans based on individual body constitution, digestive fire, seasonal variations, etc.

So what should be included in our daily diet?

Foods rich in antioxidants that neutralise the free radicals causing oxidative damage to our tissues like turmeric, gooseberry, sesame seeds, fruits that are rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C and E must be included in daily food, she said.

The following staples of Indian cooking offer some impressive health benefits according to ayurveda, said Dr Blesson:

1. Sesame seeds: A good source of fibres called lignans, it helps in digestive health and has cholesterol-lowering effects. Unhulled sesame seeds are rich in B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, calcium, copper, phosphorus, zinc, molybdenum and selenium that are vital to bone, hair and dental health. The presence of phyto-oestrogens balances hormone fluctuations in women, especially during menopause, and is also found to reduce PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome). It is a nutritious source of plant protein, which is a necessary building block of body.

2. Fenugreek: controls blood sugar levels and bad cholesterol levels. Helps with appetite control and is anti-inflammatory. It is also known to be helpful for menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). It also increases milk production in lactating mothers.

3. Turmeric: an anti-inflammatory herb beneficial in allergic pathologies. It contains antioxidants that preventoxidative damage due to free radicals and thus is anti-ageing. Turmeric can reduce the synaptic marker loss and the accumulation of amyloids linked to Alzheimers development. Curcumin is an effective anti-carcinogen and maintains ulcerative colitis remission.

4. Garlic: Allicin, the active content in it, has anti-bacterial effects and helps reduce unhealthy fats and cholesterol levels, which lowers the risk of heart disease. The active components in garlic can reduce blood pressure. It minimises bone loss by increasing oestrogens in women.

5. Indian gooseberry: Known for its anti-diabetic effect and immune boosting properties. It keeps the body cool and is undeniably a powerhouse of nutrition like iron, vitamin C and K etc. It is good for strength and growth of hair. It increases good cholesterol level.

6. Asparagus: The presence of phyto-oestrogens makes it a boon to women. It is used effectively for hot flushes in menopause, bleeding disorders, peptic ulcers, etc. It enhances milk production in lactating mothers.

7. Asafoetida: It helps reducebloating and other stomach problems. Improves digestion, bloating, constipation and is an excellent part of a holistic remedy in upper respiratory tract infections.

Asparagus, gooseberry, raisins, ragi (finger millet), water-rich vegetables such as cucumbers, barley and coriander are cold in potency. Tender coconut water, buttermilk, avocado juice, and pomegranate juice help with cooling the body. Fruits like watermelon, and vegetables like celery, contain a lot of water, helping with hydration.

Mango, pineapple, papaya, anise and brinjal are found to be hot in potency. Basil, ginger, garlic and spices are considered to be hot foods. Spices like ajwain or carom seeds, mustard and asafoetida help provide relief from common ailments like colds and flu in the winter season.

Lifestyle disorders likely begin with incompatible food combining and improper metabolism, Dr Blesson said. Incompatible foods combining can produce indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction, gas formation and, if prolonged, can lead to toxemia (an abnormal condition associated with the presence of toxic substances in the blood) and disease. And Ayurveda advises that good health starts with proper metabolism of food.

"Ayurvedic diet always ensures to make nutrition bioavailable as it always considers the digestive fire. For which Ayurveda suggests different types of herbal and animal soups, always flavoured with spices like black pepper, ginger, garlic, asafoetida, and nutmeg.

Tell us about your favourite dishes or recipes at

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Why you should eat carbs: The role of homeopathy and ayurveda in Indian cuisine - Gulf News



People have more plaque now: Dentists share how people’s teeth have changed through the pandemic – GMA News Online

May 12th, 2021
Comments Off on People have more plaque now: Dentists share how people’s teeth have changed through the pandemic – GMA News Online

Like not wearing shoes and foregoing bras, most of us have not gone to the dentist for a year now.

In fact, a recent survey conducted by Sensodyne says that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 70% of Philippine respondents were worried about visiting the dentist and 56% of those have reduced or did not visit their dentist at all.

The understandable apprehension has resulted in our teeth taking a beating. According to dentist Dr. Levi Azarcon, so many of his clients from his clinics in BGC, Paraaque, and Baclaran are scheduling a visit because surprise surprise of dental pain and emergencies.

Negligence, emergencies, and stress

"Dental health as taken a backseat," he admits. "But because oral problems that had been neglected are giving birth to more serious problems, patients are scheduling more visits and taking their dental health more seriously."

"People thought they had more time to visit the dentist but soon everything closed," adds Dr. Diane Isabel Selvido.

According to Azarcon, swollen gum tissues, scary-looking lesions, and achy teeth are among his patients' top concerns.

"There are also tooth lesions and teeth abrasions these past few months," he adds saying those problems were due to grinding.

Selvido noticed the same, with people complaining of jaw pain and exhibiting flattened tooth edges. "Those are manifestations of grinding ones teeth," she said.

Selvido is currently residing in Bangkok, where she's taking her MS but like Azarcon, she's also been accommodating patients of her Cubao clinic via teleconsulting.

"They send me photos from there and I've encountered many cases of facial swelling, both here and in the Philippines," she said.

"Ang daming emergency cases ngayon like toothache for root canal or extractions," she noticed, adding it's probably because of quarantine binging.

Food, face masks, saliva, and plaque

Early in the lockdown, food trends exploded as people, locked up at home, kept themselves busy. There was Dalgona coffee, sushi bake, ube cheese everything, and lots and lots and lots of baking, just to name a few.

These sugary delights and carbo-loaded treats, while they may have helped people cope during the early days of the lockdown, may have made your teeth hold more plaque.

As Dr. Johanna Cabasada has observed among her patients in her Pasig and San Juan clinics, "They are a lot more plaque-y now," she told GMA News Online. "And I attribute a big part of that to a change in diet. We spend so much time at home now and what do we do at home? We eat."

Plaque is that sticky whitish substances that constantly forms between our teeth and on the gum line. "It's a combination of bacteria and by-products of the starchy and sugary food that we eat," Cabasada explains.

While brushing, flossing, and oral antiseptics can help remove soft plaque, "not cleaning them out efficiently can expose plaque to calcium and other minerals in our saliva, and make it harden," Cabasada said.

Harden plaque is called calcular deposit, or tartar, which is what toothbrushing cannot remove.

Azarcon noticed his patients haven't just developed plaque but "that a lot of patients have developed calcular deposits faster than usual. Some even developed heavier deposits than they did before the pandemic."

While he acknowledges the "increase in consumption of carbohydrates, sugar-laden and processed food coupled with negative stress," Azarcon also thinks the change in diet may have affected the quality of saliva, in turn contributing to the plaque build up. People now had what he calls dry mouth or "ropey saliva."

Azarcon thinks the quality of saliva, influenced by dietary change, hormonal change, medications and dehydration, are definitely contributing to the plaque build up.

Meanwhile, Selvido says "Saliva retention is at its peak," adding it's a factor in the faster buildup of plaque "especially on the backside of the lower teeth."

"The saliva stays in the floor of the mouth for a long time and that's why plaque hardens in that area lagi," she said.

Saliva retention, she explains, is an effect of people "talking less and wearing facemasks more."

And speaking of talking less: Selvido noticed more people have halitosis now. Uh huh, as in bad breath.

While she thinks "it's an effect of wearing face masks and having less air in the mouth" Dr. Selvida points to literature that says halitosis might have previously been under diagnosed.

What to do

If you're still not yet ready to visit the dentist, all of our respondents say you need to brush your teeth more effectively, floss, and use mouth wash more often.

But "brushing your teeth more effectively doesn't mean brushing it harder," Azaron clarifies. Not only will it destroy your teeth, but brushing harder will also have your gums receding.

Cabasada recommends using a toothbrush with soft bristles and brushing your teeth in a circular manner, while Selvido mentions the modified bass method of brushing.

According to the European Journal of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, the modified bass method will have you place the bristles of your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle from your gum line. And with short back and forth movement, you apply gentle vibratory pressure and dislodge the tip of the bristles.

Azarcon recommends changing your diet to eat less sugary/starchy food, as well as drinking more water (and not fruit/sugary fluids).

Flossing will most certainly help, they all say, with Selvido adding cleaning your tongue to your daily dental care agenda.

"You floss preferably before brushing, and then you clean your tongue either by brushing it or scraping it. Tongue scraping they say is the best but tongue brushing is better than not cleaning it at all," Selvido says.

If you find yourself with a toothache, there is always teleconsulting and if the pain is too much and you need to go schedule a dental visit, we say go ahead and book an appointment with your dentist. Rest in the fact that like most businesses, dental clinics have pivoted.

"Dental facilities have since adopted more thorough triage protocols, and more stringent disinfection measures and infection control measures," Azaron said. "It's normal for a dental office to look more like a hospital isolation room, and for dentists to look like astronauts," he said.

It's not only for the patient's protection but for the dentist as well. "Dentists work directly with patients' mouths. We are directly exposed to aerosols and potential infectious pathogen. We need to make it safe for everyone." GMA News

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People have more plaque now: Dentists share how people's teeth have changed through the pandemic - GMA News Online



Sarawak Logging Giants To Be Held To Account Not By Malaysia But By PNG! MAJOR DEVELOPMENT –

May 12th, 2021
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A stunning announcement yesterday from none other than the government of Papua New Guinea has put a swathe of Sarawak based logging concerns on notice over allegations of criminal tax evasion and illegal plunder of a foreign country.

It means that whilst these same companies continue to operate above the law back home, where they effectively control key decision makers behind the GPS state government and are even subsidising a mosquito opposition party, they at last face being held to account for their crimes elsewhere.

The authorised statement from the PNGs top prosecutor, Commissioner General Sam Koim, goes directly to the point announcing the plan to audit 20 delinquent logging companies in the country over suspected tax evasion he says he plans to add more companies to the list.

Sam Koim PNGs Commissioner General

Nearly all the operations in the country are known to be subsidiaries of some of Sarawaks biggest hitters Rimbunan Hijau and WTK.

Samling also has a record of evading the law and penalties for breaking it in the state and these are the companies that are undoubtedly the ultimate culprits who, as the prosecutor points out, have barely paid corporate tax for years, declaring nothing but losses but nevertheless have continued to operate plundering millions of trees for decades.

How can one continue to be in business if they make losses every year? the prosecutor asks in the devastating statement It is like they are telling us (tax office) that they are on a serious diet, yet they are putting on a lot of weight out there. We want to get to thebottom of this. Indeed:


20 Logging Companies under Audit.

GST Refund Claims to be subjected to Comprehensive Audit.

The logging sector has been one of the delinquent sectors insofar as tax compliant is concerned. Not only that, they have been one of the most refunded sectors when it comes to GST refunds. This was revealed by the Commissioner General of the Internal Revenue Commission, Mr Sam Koim, in a statement released on Monday.

The IRC considers this as one of the high-risk sectors requiring attention and hence scaling up its compliance activities. The IRC revealed that around 20 logging companies are being audited. Based on the audit, several actions will be taken, including criminal prosecution.

Over the years, logging companies have barely paid corporate income tax. The group salary and wages taxes they pay are very minuscule compared to the labour-intensive nature of their operations and the export income they derive. It is like they are telling us (tax office) that they are on a serious diet, yet they are putting on a lot of weight out there. We want to get to the bottom of this. Mr Koim said.

The Commissioner General added that Despite them not paying their fair share of taxes, they have been asserting their exporter status to claim and received a lot of GST refunds over the years. The export of goods or services is considered as a zero-rated supply hence those are the exporting business such as log exporters, will not pass the GST to the ultimate consumers who are based overseas. This renders them to be in a credit position most of the time for refund purposes.

But, he pondered., how can one continue to be in business if they make losses every year? How can one continue to be in business if their overheads far exceed their income?

Mr Koim stated that Given the evasive pattern of behaviour and the risks posed by the logging sector, all claims for GST refunds will be subjected to a comprehensive audit.

We are now turning the spotlight on this sector. We are also undertaking a comprehensive audit on 20 logging companies and will be adding some more to that list.

Ends///Authorised for ReleaseSam Koim, OBECommissioner General

The rapacious plunder of logging companies based in Sarawak has as a matter of record spread well beyond Malaysian borders.

Samling, Rinbunan Hijau, WTK and Ta Ann have between them wreaked destruction across Indonesia, Africa, The Solomon Islands, South America, Australia and also in the once pristine islands of Papua New Guinea (PNG), where in 2019 Sarawak Report filmed an extensive reportdetailing the fury of the local people at what they see as colonialist abuse by the Malaysian logging and plantation companies who have bribed officials in order to plunder billions of dollars worth of timber and left the native communities destitute.

Sarawak Report has long advocated just such tough action against the Sarawak timber mafia who have left themselves exposed thanks to their greedy lies claiming negligible profits throughout their areas of operations whilst fuelling kickbacks to the likes of Taib Mahmud.

Whilst client politicians in Sarawak and elsewhere have become billionaires as a result, virtually no funds or benefit have been channelled back from these operations into the communities where they have logged and planted mega-crop plantations all at a supposed loss as far as the tax authorities have been concerned.

Then in 2018, at almost the same time that the Malaysians elected the PH government based on a reform and anti-corruption agenda a similar change of regime took place in PNG with the arrival of the government of James Marape pledged to gain reparations for the people.

Whereas PH soon sought to strike a deal with the Sarawak political mafia to be followed by GPSs betrayal to become part of the PN backdoor coup, in PNG the new regime continues to pursue the tax agenda which exposes the criminal corruption behind the logging industry.

Filming community after community in 2019 Sarawak Report has demonstrated that the anger and rage amongst the native people of PNG mirrors almost exactly that of the Dayak peoples of Sarawak who have experienced near identical experiences at the hands of the same loggers who have exploited their political connections in the state.

Fraudulent and corrupted land grabs by companies masquerading behind local community turncoats and bribed officials have turned over millions of hectares in PNG for logging, as in Sarawak.

Manipulations of the law, ruthless legal actions and thuggish enforcement against community protests with the help of coopted police forces have been the story in PNG, all of which Sarawak locals have suffered also.

The same companies have worked from the same playbooks in both places. However, in PNG there is added fury amongst the people at the colonialist style state capture of their country over decades by these outsiders who promised to bring the usual roads, schools, homes and hospitals namely development to the people, but in fact brought only destruction, impoverishment, slave wages and shocking working conditions for a handful of people in the country. A mirror image of Sarawak.

Time and again the people of PNG told Sarawak Report they want the Malaysians to go back home, give back their lands and pay the money they owe the country. Now, at last, official action is underway and the global spotlight will at last fall on the shameful alleged criminal record of Sarawaks loggers, especially when it comes to giving back in tax.

Meanwhile, in Sarawak itself, as local people continue to desperately protest against the ongoing destruction and ongoing land grabs, the GPS/PN government continues to turn a blind eye and talk about perimeter surveys instead of returning native rights and going after the tax evading companies who have been keeping the politicians in kickbacks for decades.

It is Sarawaks shame and Malaysias sham and now PNG will show them up.

Sarawak Logging Giants To Be Held To Account Not By Malaysia But By PNG! MAJOR DEVELOPMENT -



Ireland now offers Hidradenitis suppurativa wound dressing through public health – The Irish Times

May 12th, 2021
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This month Ireland became the first country in the world to offer Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) patients a specific wound dressing through the Health Service Executive. This is an important step for patients with this chronic, incurable disease.

Suzanne Moloney, chief executive and founder of HidraMed Solutions, creator of HidraWear, has lived with the condition since she was 13 years old. Being able to help patients with support from the HSE is a huge step towards greatly improving our quality of life, she says.

HidraWears AX garment and dressings are available to eligible patients who hold a medical card or are part of the drug payment scheme via their GP. HS patients should speak to their doctor to check eligibility for receiving HidraWear through the HSE.

HidraWear is specifically designed to help people living with HS manage their daily wound care.

The armpit is one of the areas most commonly affected by HS and one of the most challenging places to dress and retain a dressing. This is due to a combination of factors: perspiration, moisture, body hair, curves, sensitive skin, movement and friction. As a result, regular dressings leak, fall off, restrict movement and pinch the skin, causing pain and skin damage.

The HidraWear AX garment is designed to solve these issues. It is fully adjustable, has outward-facing seams and soft material. It is extremely breathable and wicks perspiration away from the skin, helping patients feel dry all day.

HidraWear dressings are designed to fold easily with curves of the body and work with the AX garment. They are adhesive-free, meaning no more adhesive rash and sores. HidraWear dressings are very absorbent, pulling moisture away from the skin and locking it inside the dressing. The special backing reduces the risk of leaks.

HS is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease with no cure. It affects tens of thousands of people in Ireland and millions worldwide. Patients experience recurrent and painful boils, abscesses and lesions, and debilitating pain. HS can compromise patients quality of life, preventing them from maintaining relationships, jobs or even completing day to day tasks.

HS most commonly occurs during puberty or early adulthood, but onset can occur in childhood and later in life. Symptoms depend on what stage the condition is at. Other symptoms include fatigue, pain, reduced mobility and a high temperature.

There are three stages in the Hurley model: mild; moderate; and severe. In the mild stage, symptoms can be hard to distinguish from other skin conditions. Patients might experience blackheads, pea-sized nodules and single abscess or lumps. When HS moves into the moderate stage, healed nodules can recur and new ones will form in other areas. You may develop scarring, which tunnels under the skin. These tunnels are called sinus tracts.

Anyone with the severe stages of HS can experience sinus tracts that connect, and widespread lesions develop and recur. Because lesions are slow to heal (and sometimes dont), the skin can remain open, form knot-like scars and become infected.

HS can affect any part of the body, but it is primarily found in areas where your skin rubs against itself, such as the underarms, under the breast, groin, ears, back of the neck, inner thighs and buttock. HS boils become inflamed, heal and return.

Make an appointment with your GP, who will examine you and decide whether you fit the criteria for HS. Treatment based on your stage will be determined. The GP may determine that a specialist is better placed to treat you and refer you. To rule out other conditions, your doctor may also take a sample of pus for testing.

One of the challenges for people with HS is daily wound care. The lesions and wounds are painful and prone to a high volume of exudate. Traditional dressings leak, fall off or cause skin damage, causing the patient pain, distress, embarrassment and anxiety.

HidraWears HS specific design assures secure dressing retention in the difficult to dress areas, such as the armpits. The soft, highly absorbent dressing can retain large amounts of wound exudate. HidraWears fluid-repellent backing prevents external contamination of the wound and provides comfort and security to patients, enabling them to self-manage their wound care effectively.

Misdiagnosis is common in HS, with recent studies showing that, on average, it takes more than seven years for a HS patient to receive a proper diagnosis. There is no blood test for HS; diagnosis relies on examination of the affected areas.

Dr Barry McGrath, PhD, from Limerick, manages Hidradenitis Suppurativa Ireland, an online community of HS patients. He was misdiagnosed until his 30s, having started showing symptoms in his teens. There is a belief that this is a rare disease, he says. Whereas the truth is that people are suffering silently and with little support because of a lack of HS understanding among health professionals.

The cause of HS is highly misunderstood as well. Patients presenting with symptoms are often told that HS is caused by bad hygiene, weight, STD or even their diet. In fact, there is no known cause.

Anyone who suspects that they could have HS is encouraged to speak to their GP as soon as possible. For more information about HS and HidraWear, see

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Ireland now offers Hidradenitis suppurativa wound dressing through public health - The Irish Times



Take it from a fat rabbi: Nobody needs your dieting advice J. – The Jewish News of Northern California

May 12th, 2021
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Do you want to know one small but powerful way we could make Jewish life more inclusive?

Stop telling fat people about your diet and asking if theyd like to join you.

Last year I launchedFat Torah, with the aim of confronting weight stigma in Jewish communal life and deploying Jewish tradition in ways that are liberatory for all bodies.

At the time, I assumed that I would be providing advice to individuals who were eager for an opportunity to Ask the Fat Rabbi. And you, my dear Jews (mostly Jewish women) have not disappointed. It has been my pleasure to connect with people in Jewish communities who are tired of diet culture interfering with our full enjoyment of traditional foods and appalled by the enshrinement of weight loss as a Jewish value.

They are deeply concerned about how the pervasiveness of disparaging attitudes toward fatness and fat people harms not only the largest among us, but also those who are struggling to recover from eating disorders (among the most deadly of mental illnesses).

My inbox is blessedly full of their righteous anger, genuine sadness and deep love of the Jewish community, despite its failure to protect its own from fatphobia and the many oppressive forces that so often intertwine with it, including misogyny, ableism, healthism, homophobia, transphobia and white supremacy.

But one problem has only recently occurred to me, 10 years in the rabbinate and 30 years as a fat activist notwithstanding: Working with individuals has its limits when what we are seeking is systemic change. The people who most need a fat rabbis advice about how to know better so you can do better (to paraphrase Maya Angelou) or how to confront weight stigma within themselves before they continue afflicting others with it are the ones least likely to seek my counsel.

You cannot properly assess anyones health just by their size.

We want our communities synagogues, schools, summer camps, programs for elders, Hillels and more to be places that welcome us as whole human beings, created in the Divine image. Anyone who has been even a little bit fat for more than five minutes in our fatphobic culture is already deeply familiar with the sense that they dont fit in.

When you suggest a diet to us, you reinforce the message that this space is one in which we cannot or ought not belong in the fullness of who we are. If you truly feel that your offer is a kind one, and are taken aback when we do not respond with gratitude, please know that we have already received too many of these offers and your new diet (or program or healthy lifestyle) only reminds us that we have heard it all before.

Often this urge to share your diet comes from a place of being concerned about health. But you cannot properly assess anyones health just by their size. If you insist, nonetheless, on believing that all fat people are automatically unhealthy, ask yourself: What does Jewish tradition teach us about how to care for the sick? One thing it teaches is that we need to pay attention to a persons actual needs and desires, and not the needs that we are projecting onto them. When the Talmud (Berakhot 5b) has us follow Rabbi Yohanan, a famed healer, as he visits the sick, we learn that his very first question is are your sufferings welcome to you? We can all follow this model of first assessing whether our help is wanted.

You do not need to give up your own diet. But please be mindful of how your relationship with your body and how you talk about it publicly impacts those around you, especially when that relationship aligns with oppressive stereotypes rather than disrupting them. Ultimately, however, the right to body autonomy extends to you, my dear dieter, as well: Your body is yours and you should do whats right for you. No one is coming for your cauliflower.

An important caveat is called for here: I have been horrified to learn about the pervasiveness in Jewish communities all across America ofmultilevel marketing (MLM) diets. MLM salespeople, who are sometimes called consultants or coaches, are encouraged to sell to the people closest to them in a technique known as relationship selling. In what many regard as a quasi-legal Ponzi scheme in which the vast majority of participants lose money these salespeople make commissions not only from their own sales but from others they recruit to sell.

This combination of the relational nature of MLM sales, the tremendous pressure people feel to lose weight and the closeness we aspire to in our Jewish communities creates an enormous risk of exploitation. In cases of unequal status, in which the coach is also someone with a large amount of social capital in the community, we have the makings of misuse of power.

Jewish communal life should not be a breeding ground for these exploitative and unethical businesses. If the diet you are dying to share with others is connected with this kind of program, I would urge you not only to stop recruiting others, but to find a way to get out of it yourself.

I yearn for a world in which our Jewish communities can be places of belonging for bodies of every size. There is no shortage of work to be done to get there from making sure we have seating that can accommodate the largest among us, to breaking ourselves of the habit of using fatness and fat people as the targets of humor. But please know, my dear dieter, that simply holding yourself back from trying to recruit others to your diet plan would truly be a wonderful starting point for making a world of difference.

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Take it from a fat rabbi: Nobody needs your dieting advice J. - The Jewish News of Northern California



Love Island’s Montana Brown sadly recalls past dieting and fat burner pills – Mirror Online

May 12th, 2021
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Montana Brown has sadly reflected on her past of dieting and using fat burner pills.

The Love Island 2017 star, 25, shared two snaps on social media of herself from her teenage years, one of herself sat in a blue vest and another of herself stood posing in Calvin Klein underwear.

Alongside the snaps, Montana penned: "Looking back at some old pictures makes me quite sad, in the photo on the left, I was in Zante living my best life as an 18 year old, and on the right was just a few months later being on a juice diet and taking fat burner pills from some dodgy website..."

She continued: "I dont know why I felt the pressure to lose weight but I was willing to do anything at that point to be slimmer.

"I was ordering these pills to help me lose weight and hiding them from my mum and exercising a lot.

"Too much pressure for a teenager thats for sure. Was way happier being in Zante, eating subways and being with friends not worrying about my weight!"

After this, Montana then detailed what she feels she has learned and why she is sharing this with her followers.

"I definitely learnt after this that it was unhealthy but just wanted to raise awareness that everyone goes through the motions of not being kind to their bodies and doing things we shouldnt," she wrote.

" I didnt appreciate my big boobs when I shouldve [laughing emoji]".

The message of Montana's post prompted quite the reaction from her followers, who took to the comments section to praise her sharing her story.

One person penned: "You honestly look insanely hot on the left. Its so sad you didnt see what everyone else can see. Thank you for sharing, its very brave".

A different Instagram user wrote: "Wow u Ave done absolutely amazing so proud of u and I will always so my support whatever u do on here as your biggest fan".

Meanwhile, another follower of Montana's commented: "I worked in Zante too ha ! You look beautiful in the first pic. To be fair your beautiful in both because yours comes from inside anyway!"

Elsewhere, another individual noted: "So sad that some girls seem to think that the more skinny they are the prettier the think they are and its not true and these pics prove it xx".

Finally, one Instagram user concluded: "[Applause emojis] thank you. Young girls. Actually girls full stop, need to hear this. Xx".

Do you have a story to sell? Get in touch with us at or call us direct 0207 29 33033.

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Love Island's Montana Brown sadly recalls past dieting and fat burner pills - Mirror Online



Weight teasing experienced during adolescence and young adulthood: Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with disordered eating behaviors in…

May 12th, 2021
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This article was originally published here

Int J Eat Disord. 2021 May 10. doi: 10.1002/eat.23534. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: This study assessed cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships between weight teasing and disordered eating in an ethnically/racially and socioeconomically diverse sample of young people and examined these relationships across sociodemographic characteristics.

METHOD: The EAT 2010-2018 study surveyed adolescents (n = 1,534) in the Minneapolis/St. Paul public schools (mean age = 14.4 years) and 8 years later (mean age = 22.2 years).

RESULTS: Weight teasing was prevalent in adolescence (34.1%) and young adulthood (41.5%). In analyses adjusted for sociodemographic characteristics and body mass index, weight teasing was cross-sectionally associated with a higher prevalence of all disordered eating behaviors during both adolescence and young adulthood. For example, 64.5% of young adults who reported being teased about their weight engaged in unhealthy weight control behaviors, compared with 47.9% among those not teased (p < .001). There were fewer observed associations in longitudinal analyses, although weight teasing still predicted prevalent overeating and both prevalent and incident dieting (incident dieting-teased: 48.4% vs. not teased: 38.0%, p = .016). Weight teasing and disordered eating were more prevalent among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) young people and those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and the relationship between weight teasing and disordered eating was similar across ethnic/racial, socioeconomic, and gender demographic groups.

DISCUSSION: Results indicate that weight teasing is strongly correlated with disordered eating in both adolescence and young adulthood regardless of ethnicity/race, socioeconomic status, or gender. Finding suggest that future research and policy interventions should address weight stigma and prioritize the needs of BIPOC young people and young people from low socioeconomic backgrounds.

PMID:33969902 | DOI:10.1002/eat.23534

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Weight teasing experienced during adolescence and young adulthood: Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations with disordered eating behaviors in...



COVID-19 have you sitting more? Heres how to ease back into a fitness routine –

May 12th, 2021
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With gyms closed and stay-at-home orders imposed in parts of the country, its probably not surprising that people are less active than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic. But experts say that you should get moving again, as much for the mental health benefits as the physical ones.

In general, people are less active. So theyre moving less and sitting more, said Jennifer Heisz, an associate professor of kinesiology at McMaster University, and Canada Research Chair in brain health and aging.

Heisz co-authored a recent study that surveyed 1,669 mostly Canadian respondents from April to June 2020 and found that most of them reported being more sedentary than they were before the pandemic and sitting about 30 minutes more per day.

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Another survey published in theInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health last year found that 40.5 per cent of inactive Canadians became less active, while 22.4 per cent of active individuals became less active during the pandemic.

Other research around the world has come to similar conclusions: people just arent moving as much, whether its due to a lack of dedicated gym time, or just simply the inability to leave their house as often.

This can have an impact on health, both physically and mentally, Heisz said.

People are not feeling well, she said. Theyre moving less and theyre feeling worse. Theyre depressed, theyre feeling anxious, afraid, stressed. And all of this is making it more difficult for them to be physically active.

Even though exercise can help to reduce stress, stress can also make it difficult to get started, she said.

Respondents to her survey also said they faced physical barriers to getting more exercise, like not having access to equipment, or floor space, or competing demands on their time like child care.

Carving out time for yourself to exercise is important, said Toronto fitness trainer Danielle Adler, who runs online classes on her website AdlerFitness.

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To put themselves first, it just hasnt been a priority for people, she said. Theyre so busy thinking about masking and health and safety and ordering groceries and kids at school and all the other things. So I think the biggest challenge for people is just straight up motivation to exercise.

You dont need any more space than a yoga mat, she said, but you do need your family to leave you alone to focus on yourself for a half hour or 45 minutes.

Scheduling a specific time to work out can help with this, and with maintaining consistency as you get back into a fitness routine, Heisz said. Even just making sure to get up and move every hour will help, she said.

Adler said she has two groups of clients: those who worked out the entire pandemic and are in better shape than ever, and those who used to be active but havent been during the pandemic, and are just now trying to get back into it.

So those are the people who now are just starting to say, I need to do something and I dont run. And walkings not enough, she said. She recommends they start small, with a single class.

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Walking might be a good start, though, for someone who really hasnt moved much during the pandemic, Heisz said.

I think the message needs to be slow and steady and consistent. Listen to the body. Dont push it right now.

Pushing too hard can lead to injury, which might set you even further back, Adler said.

Heisz says you need to be compassionate with yourself.

Give yourself time. The fitness will come back and youll be able to get back to where you started.

Grappling with weight gain

Laura Fouhse of Saskatoon estimates that she has gained about 15 pounds since the start of the pandemic. Shes always struggled with her weight, she said, but the pandemic was different.

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I knew I was gaining weight and realized that for the first time in a very long time that I didnt actually care that much, she said.

I refused to diet because I thought dealing with a pandemic was enough to deal with. After a few months, I realized that my craziness around food had subsided. I wasnt thinking about dieting, nor was I rebounding from dieting.

This led me to conclude that, despite my arguments to the contrary for many years, I was not dieting for myself to be healthy, I was dieting because I cared too much what others thought about me.

Adler says she would love to think about fitness as a tool for mental health, before all else.

I think if people think about fitness now as a solution to pandemic mental health, then all the other fears and worries that they have about their pants and what theyre going to look like in the summertime will become secondary.

With files from Saba Aziz and Linda Boyle, Global News

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