Posts Tagged ‘mental health’

Adult “Selective Eating Disorder” to be included in DSM-V?

December 23, 2010 3 comments

Via John Goodman comes a story at LA Weekly reporting that the next released edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders might include picky eating, or “Selective Eating Disorder.”  One of the lead researchers into the “causes and severity of the disorder” explains it thusly:

She went on to explain that these finicky eaters often reject food not because of taste, but rather because they find the look or smell unappealing or have negative physical or emotional childhood associations with food.

I know I’m only one-eighth of the way to being a medical professional and so might be missing out on something here, but it seems to me that what she’s saying is that sometimes people base their eating decisions on subjective personal preferences about the food in question.

Heaven forfend!

The implication seems to be that if you don’t like a given food for reasons other than taste, you may have a mental illness.  I wonder if that covers my avoidance of foods like deep-fried Twinkies for the sake of my health.


Around the Mediverse: July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010 3 comments

Fun tidbits, health-related and otherwise, from around the ‘tubes:

  • Some questions have emerged about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.  Reason asks if she would ban books.  Bloggers at the Volokh Conspiracy touch on what is arguably Kagan’s political manipulation of a medical specialty society’s statement on abortion.  It should be said that the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology comes out looking worse than the nominee.
  • Though the response to the Deepwater Horizon spill has arguably been insufficiently aggressive, here are two commentators who argue that children should be taught to better express and receive aggression.
  • What is a “scientific consensus?”  Reason’s Ronald Bailey takes on this issue.  Along the way, we stumble onto this gem of a web page explaining the relationship between animal models of carcinogenic toxicity and the actual exposure of humans to those substances.  Much more non-technical than I made it sound.  Do give it a read if only to attenuate your own “cancer panic” over some of those chemicals.
  • David Williams at the Health Business Blog reminds everyone that hospital visits should be BYOMD.
  • Two recent guest posts at KevinMD point out that the concept of the patient-centered medical home is probably way overhyped, given the current evidence “for” it.

Around the Mediverse: June 28, 2010

June 28, 2010 Leave a comment

The unusual delay since the last edition of “Around the Mediverse” means that this one features a higher-than-normal number of…

Fun tidbits, health-related and otherwise, from around the ‘tubes:

  • On the subject of evidence, Hit & Run discusses scientific denialism of both left- and right-wing political flavours.
  • The Placebo Journal Blog points out that government programs that enlist others to root out physician wrongdoing promise monetary rewards and bounties, whereas a new program that enlists physicians to root out drug company wrongdoing promises to pay whistleblowers… well, you’ll see.
  • Greg Mankiw reports that some Japanese men are too sexy for their equities, too sexy for commodities, too sexy for corporates… oh yeah…
  • Buy your own journalist!  Well, not really.  More like targeted micro-charity for investigative reporting.  I like this model better than the FTC’s.
  • What would “Around the Mediverse” be without a tale of ridiculous litigation?  The propofol litigation, however, could have real adverse consequences for those patients needing anesthesia now that one of its manufacturers has withdrawn from the US market.  See Great Zs, Overlawyered, and Skeptical OB for details.
  • Dr. Wes discusses some of the often-overlooked biases inherent to the way medical research is conducted, and what it might mean for the wide applicability of results.
  • MLRs, what are they good for?  David Williams and Reason have interesting, unorthodox takes on the question.
  • Rounding out this week’s selection, Dr. Rich has an unorthodox take on a hot-button issue… this one being the appropriate nature of the relationship between physicians and pharmaceutical companies.  It’s a perspective that I haven’t seen well-elucidated elsewhere, so it’s well worth reading the full thing.

Around the Mediverse: April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Fun tidbits, health-related and otherwise, from around the ‘tubes:

  • Edwin Leap discusses one of the frequently ignored drivers of Emergency Department use:  other physicians.  To be fair, most of those other physicians would probably cite liability concerns, and most of those could do so legitimately.   Still, it’s something to keep in mind when looking at ED utilization patterns.
  • Megan McArdle and the WSJ Health Blog discuss the recent moves by some health insurers to reclassify expenses to satisfy new rules requiring minimum medical-loss ratios.  In my view, things like nursing hotlines and wellness programs are “medical” expenses moreso than “administrative,” but reasonable people disagree.
  • John Tierney gives us “7 New Rules to Live By” for Earth Day, demolishing pervasive myths about organic food, GMOs, and nuclear power.  I’ve been harping on about these for the last couple of years (especially the first two) to anyone who would listen, so it’s gratifying to see that my views on the issues aren’t completely crazy.
  • Coyote brings us an example of a proponent for creating another of my least favourite types of “rights:”  positive rights to someone else’s goods or labour.  In this case, the “right” being bandied about is an alleged “positive right to travel.”  The comment was made at a conference with no direct policy implications, but the existence of that thought at the higher levels of EU is terrifying (but unsurprising).

Also of note is the addition of Bittersweet Medicine, a relatively new addition to the mediverse, to the list of blogs that I follow and to the links over to your right.  Of immediate interest is the series on overrated medications (for instance, statins).  Hopefully there will be more of those in the future!

Around the Mediverse: April 14, 2010

April 14, 2010 1 comment

Fun tidbits, health-related and otherwise, from around the ‘tubes:

  • A letter to the editor of The Economist tells that “[t]he so-called precautionary principle is, in the words of risk-expert Bill Durodié, “an invitation to those without evidence, expertise or authority, to shape and influence political debates. It achieves that by introducing supposedly ethical or environmental elements into the process of scientific, corporate and governmental decision-making.”
  • Bob Centor points out that increasing medical school enrollment won’t be enough to solve projected future shortages of physicians, especially in primary care.  He looks at increasing the number of primary care residency slots and improving pay for primary care physicians and residents.  I would argue that this might not even go far enough:  if the slots are there, who’s to say they’ll be taken unless the job gets much better than it is now?
  • Eugene Volokh tells of litigation that arose after an accident victim was mistaken as dead many, many, many times.  I’m not one to second-guess decisions made under tricky circumstances (well, maybe I am), and I’m all for reducing “unnecessary medical tests” (whatever those are), but can it really hurt to double-check the pulse?
  • An alternate take on schizophrenia from a behaviourist perspective, entitled “Schizophrenia Is Not An Illness.”  Provocative?  To someone like me with only limited exposure to “traditional” approaches to mental illness, yes.  The three-part series makes some interesting points and is well worth the read.
  • In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson placed an order for new pants.  The tape and transcript of the phone call are … quite something.  Be warned that LBJ uses graphic language to describe the desired specifications of the pants being ordered.  He also belches without saying “excuse me,” and admits to carrying a knife to work.
  • A lot of health care revolves around providing reassurance and peace of mind (kinda like real insurance is supposed to, but that’s another topic for another day).  Sometimes that’s for the patient’s benefit and sometimes for the physician’s.  Oftentimes, it’s for both.  Of course, peace of mind can be an expensive thing to come by.   This story from ACP Internist illustrates this perfectly.
  • There exists a jurisdiction not too far from Florida that has recently imposed a health insurance mandate on some of the people present there.  Those subject to the mandate who don’t already have insurance will have to buy a product that doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions and features payout caps.  Guess where this is, I challenge you!
  • Don’t believe everything you read online, even from a somewhat-reputable source.  This is especially true when it’s AOL recommending “medical tests that could save your life.”  Or not.
  • Reason explains, in graphical form, a subject near and dear to my heart:  US immigration law.