Health & Fitness

Eating disorders are not just a women’s issue

For 27 years, Brian Cuban struggled in silence. “When I first began to starve myself in 1979, eating disorder awareness didn’t really exist,” Cuban writes in the online magazine “It was certainly not what boys and men did. At least, I didn’t think so. I had been taught that men strive to be leaders. Men love sports. Men go on dates with pretty girls.”

Now 53, Cuban, brother of billionaire investor Mark Cuban, is a lawyer, a TV host and an activist on behalf of men with eating disorders. “Depending on which statistics you look at, up to 25 percent of those suffering from eating disorders are male. Still, media coverage and portrayals of eating disorders today are still entrenched in the stereotype of these being ‘women’s illnesses,’ ” he writes.

Cuban, whose memoir, “Shattered Image: My Triumph Over Body Dysmorphic Disorder,” was published last summer, hopes more men with eating disorders will seek help – from their families, professionals and organizations such as the National Eating Disorders Association – and reach out to others like them, particularly online, where he found a supportive community.

“This is true eating disorder awareness: stories shared by people who have been there and want to help,” he writes. “When ready, add your voice. And remember: There is no shame.”

Washington Post

Study: Raw milk no help for lactose intolerance

A pilot study failed to show something many people believe – that drinking raw milk reduces the symptoms of lactose intolerance or malabsorption.

The condition is common worldwide, and can lead to bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea. But the specific prevalence of lactose intolerance is not known, the researchers from Stanford University said.

“Recently, unpasteurized raw milk consumption has increased in popularity and emerged into a nationwide movement despite the acknowledgment of risks associated” with pathogens, the researchers wrote in the Annals of Family Medicine.

Late last year the American Academy of Pediatrics warned pregnant women and children not to drink raw milk and said it supports a nationwide ban on its sale because of the danger of bacterial illnesses. Still, raw milk sales are legal in 30 states.

Advocates say raw milk is delicious and provides health benefits, including protection against asthma and lactose intolerance. And when the animals are raised properly and the milk is treated carefully, they say, raw milk poses little danger to human health.

But the pilot study, conducted in 2010 with 16 people who identified themselves as lactose intolerant and suffering symptoms that were moderate to severe, did not show a benefit from raw milk. The participants, recruited from around Stanford, drank raw whole milk, pasteurized whole milk and soy milk – all vanilla flavored to prevent them from detecting which was which. They drank specified amounts over eight days and were tested at many points for lactose malabsorption.

The trial “provided no evidence that raw milk is better tolerated by adults positive for lactose malabsorption, either objectively or subjectively,” the researchers wrote.

It’s also conceivable that people need to adjust to raw milk and eight days was not enough, the researchers said. Additional work should be done to test that idea, they wrote.

Los Angeles Times