Sabtu, 19 April 2014

The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

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The Star Online: Lifestyle: Health

Swiss Air Lines becomes world's 'first allergy-friendly' carrier

Posted: 19 Apr 2014 01:05 AM PDT

In response to the rise of food intolerances and allergies among consumers, Swiss International Air Lines has announced that it's become the world's first certified 'allergy-friendly' airline.

Swiss International Air Lines is the first allergy-friendly airline in the world. – AFP/RelaxNews

Beginning next month, the carrier says it will begin rolling out new products and services to improve the flying experience for allergy sufferers, ranging from the in-flight menu to cabin modifications.

While most commercial airlines already offer gluten-free and lactose-free meal options, Swiss has gone a step further in becoming certified by the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation.

"The numbers of people suffering from allergies have been increasing throughout the industrialized world for several years now," said Torsten Zuberbier, director of the Berlin-based ECARF.

According to Zuberbier, more than 30% of Europe's population suffer directly from allergies, but only 10% eek medical treatment.

In addition to allergy sufferers, consumers with food intolerances and flyers following strict dietary regimes will be able to request gluten-free snacks and meals, as well as lactose-free alternatives like coffee cream and chocolate.

In the cabin, First and Business Class passengers will be offered pillows stuffed with synthetic materials instead of the sneeze-inducing down-filled kind.

The airline will also eliminate decorative flowers and air fresheners, while on-board toilets will now be stocked with soaps that are gentler on the skin.

Allergy-friendly cabins could be seen as an in-flight extension of a hotel trend: hypoallergenic rooms.

Select properties under the Hilton and Hyatt brands, for instance, offer hypoallergenic rooms that feature in-room filtration systems to remove air particles and microfiber pillow cases. Surfaces are also treated with bacteria-inhibiting sanitisers. – AFP/RelaxNews

Colour that rubber! Using pop art to make safe sex cool in Kenya

Posted: 19 Apr 2014 12:30 AM PDT

A Kenyan NGO has teamed up with controversial artist Michael Soi for a campaign to spread safe sex awareness among youths – by putting his funky art on condoms.

The Centre for African Family Studies (CAFS), a Nairobi-based NGO, hopes to encourage condom use in Kenya through a new campaign and a new line of colourful condom wrappers designed by Kenyan artist Michael Soi.

Safe art: A Kenyan NGO and pop artist Michael Soi (seen at work in the photo below) teamed up to make funky, colourful condom wrappers as part of a campaign to encourage safe sex behaviour among local youths. 

After seeing a positive response to the concept on Facebook, the NGO is currently seeking funds to launch production of the condoms alongside a campaign to lessen the stigma associated with buying them.

The designs on the eye-catching wrappers are taken from paintings by Michael Soi, whose work is popular but also somewhat controversial in his home country. Unlike many of his fellow Kenyans, Soi does not hesitate to approach the taboo subject of sex in his work.

"Most people are actually very afraid of going to vendors in supermarkets and chemists to buy condoms because we are a fairly reserved society," explains Genevieve Imbali, communications and marketing officer at CAFS, in conversation with CNN.

"Most people aren't very open to the idea that very young people might walk into a shop just to buy condoms because nobody wants to be known to be having sex. There is so much stigma associated with condom purchase in the country," Imballi added.

The initial range of condom wrappers featuring Michael Soi's art, available for sale online via donation to the campaign's crowdfunding page. 

The NGO has its work cut out for it. To reach its goals of attracting the attention of young people with the funky, arty condoms, CAFS aims to finance its project through the crowd-funding platform Indiegogo. The goal is to raise US$10,000 (RM32,415) by May 4. – AFP/RelaxNews

Young dads may also suffer from baby blues, study shows

Posted: 18 Apr 2014 11:30 PM PDT

A research suggests that men who became fathers at a young age were likely to develop symptoms of depression.

As it turns out, mothers aren't the only ones subject to postpartum depression. A study published in the journal Pediatrics revealed that young men who became fathers around age 25 typically experienced a sharp increase in depressive symptoms following the arrival of a child.

The new findings suggest that between 5% and 10% of young men (aged 24 to 32) will experience an increase in sadness or anxiety or an inability to enjoy life during the first years of fatherhood.

Led by Craig F. Garfield of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, the investigation looked at 10,623 young men enrolled in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which examined various health factors over the course of 20 years. The participants responded to a questionnaire on depressive symptoms throughout the duration of the study.

Around 33% of the men became fathers between ages 24 and 32, and the majority of the new dads lived in the same household with their child. Based on the questionnaires, researchers concluded that young men who were aged around 25 years when they became fathers were 68% more likely to develop symptoms of depression, as long as they shared a home with their child. The symptoms were not as likely to develop among the young fathers who lived separately from their child.

"Parental depression has a detrimental effect on kids, especially during those first key years of parent-infant attachment," Garfield points out. In 2011, the researcher published another study in Pediatrics showing that depressed fathers were more likely to spank their children.

"We knew paternal depression existed and the detrimental effects it has on children, but we did not know where to focus our energy and our attention until this study," Garfield said. The findings suggest that young fathers could benefit from more guidance and attention to help them cope with the transition into parenthood. — AFP Relaxnews


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