After a breakdown, birdwatching brought me friendship, escape and a new love of nature

A childhood hobby gave me time to reflect, refocus and find myself again, following years of drug and alcohol abuse A decade ago, aged 22 and off my face on class A drugs and alcohol almost every day, I would never have seen myself where I am today and definitely wouldnt have dreamed that Bird Therapy that birds are consistent in a way that people rarely are and I stand by this. Too often, we are let down by those we believe care about us, but I know that if I look out of my kitchen window, my garden bird community will still be there. I also know that during spring, our returning breeding birds will travel across desert and …

‘No food should be taboo’: how to tackle your child’s weight without giving them a complex

A third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school. Heres how parents can help them forge good habits and avoid creating lifelong insecurities Jusna Begum lives near the South Bank in London with her four children, aged between one and 11. When a health visitor told her that her three-year-old girl was on the chubby side, Begum was surprised. I didnt think she was at all; I had felt like my children werent eating enough. She did, however, accept an invitation to join a six-week healthy parenting programme called 2% of those aged five to one-third of children are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school, yet many adults dont see …

Drug maker ‘will make $21bn from treating cystic fibrosis’

Vertex is accused of raking in vast profits while making Orkambi unaffordable to NHS A US company, which is refusing to drop its price for the life-changing cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi to make it affordable to NHS England, is set to make $21bn (17bn) in profit from that and a sister medicine, according to research. Countries around the world are struggling to pay for Orkambi, made by Vertex, which has a list price of 104,000 per patient per year and is not a cure. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (Nice) in England has said effective. On Monday, the Scottish Medicines Consortium will decide whether to approve the drug for children. Parents in England have campaigned, demonstrated on …

Why are thirtysomethings lonely? Because society doesnt value friendship | Arwa Mahdawi

Social media has been made the scapegoat for millennials reporting loneliness, but the cultural primacy in adulthood of career and family has much to answer for, writes Arwa Mahdawi Millennials arent just the poorest generation; they are also the loneliest. According to data from YouGov, while digital habits undoubtedly affect mental health, research hasnt provided conclusive answers regarding the relationship between the two. When it comes to loneliness, I have a feeling that the culprit isnt so much technology as the fact that many millennials are in their 30s, which is a natural time for friendship dynamics to change: people start focusing on advancing their careers and building families rather than socialising with pals. It feels as if we are …

The culture cure: how prescription art is lifting people out of depression| Helen Russell

From singing in a group to being read to in a library, participation in the arts is having amazing results among a pilot group, says journalist Helen Russell In a whitewashed studio in northern Denmark, 11 unemployed strangers are embarking on a hearty rendition of Yellow Submarine. Jonas Thryse is not one of them. At least, not yet. The 36-year-old has agoraphobia, rarely leaves the house and cant think of anything worse than a group singalong. And yet by the second chorus he is putty in the choirmasters hands. I swore Id just stand at the back and listen, he says. But the mood was infectious. Out of work and in his second year of sick leave because of anxiety …

House of pain: who are the Sacklers under fire in lawsuits over opioids?

The Sackler name graced some of the worlds top museums and universities. But now key family members are being sued over the US opioid crisis and their wealth and reputation are under threat Eight members of the billionaire that eight people in a single family made the choices that caused much of the US deadly, deceptive illegal scheme. The family have long been lauded in philanthropy circles, and the Sackler name adorns top British and American museums, galleries and universities. But now their narcotics fortune, chiefly distributed via family foundations and trusts, is being growing number of people, and despite strenuous denials of wrongdoing, their reputations and vast wealth are under threat. They are responsible for addiction, overdose and death …

100m bacteria a day keep the doctor away, apple research suggests

Study finds organic apples have more diverse and balanced bacterial community The impact of an apple a day in keeping the doctor away may be partly down to the beneficial bacteria it carries and their subsequent colonisation of your gut, according to scientists. A study has found that a typical apple carries more than 100m bacteria. Some of these microbes are important in maintaining a published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology.

These 30 Pics Show How Dystopic Our Society Already Is, And Its Pretty Terrifying (New Pics)

Brilliant, isn’t it? But it’s ok, there’s always Facebook to scroll through (Bored Panda too, obvs), Netflix to watch, chemical-laden meals to consume, manufactured outrages over a mermaid’s skin color to comment on… who’s got time for thoughtful resistance? Even those that think they are resisting by electing bigoted billionaires, bankers and Eton toffs to represent them are simply playing into their hands, as their dishonest, scaremongering claptrap divides us ever further over political, racial and gender lines! So if you didn’t find the sinister scenes of mindless automatons chanting #2 Real Problem #3 This Is Caleb. Caleb Has A Degree In Zoology And Asks His Customers What Their Favorite Animal Is. He Gives Them Facts While Completing Their Orders! …

Jessica Biel denies she is an anti-vaxxer after opposing California vaccination law

The actor said she was not against vaccinations despite joining prominent anti-vaxxer Robert Kennedy Jr in opposition to a bill intended to reduce medical exemptions Jessica Biel denied suggestions she was a supporter of the anti-vaccination movement after spending the day lobbying lawmakers in the US with advocate Robert F Kennedy Jr. After news emerged of her opposition to a vaccine bill which seeks to limit medical exemptions in California and make it more difficult for parents to bypass the rules requiring children to be vaccinated before enrolling in school, Biel wrote on social media: I am not against vaccinations I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their …

Tony Gum’s best photograph: the emotional toll of abortion

Women need to be equipped for how gruelling an abortion can be. It does mess with your mind. I was trying to put myself back together again This image, Sweet Saboteur, was inspired by a painting I did last November, during a particularly difficult time in my life. The year before, I had fallen pregnant and, unable to keep the baby, I had had an Free da Gum (2016), was much sweeter, sincere, young and bright. But then going through life and experiencing things and having relationships and falling out of them, and going through the termination itself, and dealing with the fallout that all resulted in this darker, grungier, bolder work. Here, I wanted to give the viewer a …

‘A bleak prospect’: why legal weed in Britain may be a pipe dream

While public interest is growing, experts say a mix of political and social factors is holding back change The legalization of cannabis in the US shows no signs of slowing down but the prospect of a green rush in the UK, experts say, is bleak. The consultancy Hanway Associates aims to bring North American-style cannabis capitalism to the UK and Europe. This month, the group is hosting the 59%opioid crisis, or the subsequent disillusionment with mainstream pharmaceuticals and the medical field. Nor is there an entrenched constituency of veterans suffering from PTSD, concussive brain injuries and other ailments, which have led to a desperate search for alternatives. While the British public is interested in medical marijuana, and cannabis oil she …

Justice system smeared our mother, say Sally Challens sons

Family had to live with false narrative of killing before courts finally quashed domestic abuse victims murder conviction Sally Challen was portrayed as a controlling and jealous lover who planned to kill her husband by a criminal justice system that allowed the creation of a false narrative, her sons have said. In doing so it failed to recognise the decades of abuse and coercive control she had suffered at his hands, David Challen Observer that is heavily critical of how abused women continue to be viewed by the courts, a concern that womens rights campaigners said they shared. three times as likely to develop a mental health condition than those who do not, according to research by Birmingham University published …

Revealed: the fringe rightwing group changing the UN agenda on abortion rights

Anti-abortion lobbying group using its influence in the Trump administration to help shape policy on the world stage Last spring, Laurie Shestack Phipps, a diplomat at the US mission to the UN, received a set of talking points from the state department before an international womens conference, setting out clear red lines against mention of sexual and reproductive health care. This had become the norm in the Trump administration, where the once uncontroversial phrase was seen as code for abortion. Use of the word gender was also strongly discouraged, as it was viewed as a stalking horse for LGBT rights. It was no surprise that Phipps colleague, Bethany Kozma, a political appointee at the US agency for international development, had …

The French must drink less wine, say health officials

Health agency advises no more than two glasses a day to cut down alcohol-related disease risk Quoi, just two glasses? asked the rolling news station France 24. It was the incredulous reaction to a campaign launched this week by French health officials seeking to persuade the public to drink no more than two glasses of wine per day and not every day either. According to Sant Publique France, almost a quarter of French adults are regularly drinking too much alcohol, and this level of drinking is killing 41,000 people a year, making it the second biggest cause of avoidable deaths in the country after smoking. Its about 10.5 million adults who drink too much. In any case they drink in …

Air pollution deaths are double previous estimates, finds research

Researchers say dirty air is killing 800,000 people a year in Europe, and urge the phasing out of fossil fuel burning The number of early deaths caused by air pollution is double previous estimates, according to research, meaning toxic air is killing more people than tobacco smoking. The scientists used new data to estimate that nearly 800,000 people die prematurely each year in Europe because of dirty air, and that each life is cut short by an average of more than two years. The health damage caused by air pollution in Europe is higher than the global average. Its dense population and poor air results in exposure that is among the highest in the world. The new research, Graph of …

Our goal is to halve the male suicide rate: why no-frills therapy works for men

Every week, around the country, groups of men meet for some straight-talking therapy. Could this be the answer to the male mental health crisis? A stranger has just thrown a ball at me and asked me how my week has been. Its Monday night, and Im sitting in a circle of a dozen men in a chilly community centre. This ball obliges me to tell the gang about my current emotional state. I have spent my entire adult life carefully avoiding situations like this. I came to Andys Man Club with my eyes open, thinking I was ready to share. But thats because I expected a different sort of group therapy session; a place where normal blokes could open up …