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Symbolic annihilation of Syrian refugees by Turkish news media during the COVID-19 pandemic | International Journal for Equity in Health | Full Text



News media play a key role during public health crises since news media attract public attention; affect attitudes, and public opinion. Media coverages affect social representations of emerging infectious diseases by producing information during pandemics/epidemics. When Ebola (the first outbreak of the Ebola epidemic was in Ebola River in Democratic Congo Republic in 1976) spread across other parts of Africa, it received widespread media coverage in the British press in the mid-1990s. Especially in the British tabloids, Ebola was depicted as intrinsically African and spread partly by African traditions of close contact with monkeys as well as eating them ([25] p966). The SARS epidemic, severe acute respiratory syndrome, which occurred in Hong Kong, took media attention in the spring of 2003. News stories on SARS pervasively covered the themes of difference between the West and the East through othering Chinese authorities and Chinese people’s dirt, unhygienic lifestyles in the British press ([26] p2568). When the H1N1 influenza emerged in Mexico in June 2009, the WHO declared a pandemic. However, media stories which pointed out that the outbreak supposedly started in Mexican pig farms played a role in the denunciation of Mexicans and Latinos as usual suspects in the US in 2009 ([27] p1), while also exonerating the dominance of white Americans.

The media had an enormous influence on public during the SARS epidemic. It was shown that consistent messages about preventive measures, mask use and hygiene practices on television and in the newspapers affected the total spread of the germs. Rise in media reports and encouraging news stories on SARS and H1N1 epidemics impacted social distance practices, vaccination behaviors, severity, and length of the epidemic/pandemic ([28] p1–2-10, [29] p870). Media exposure served to enhance H1N1 knowledge of people during the H1N1 pandemic in 2009; the degree of neighborhood social capital, community trust, social networking and social bonds enhanced information flow and affected positive health behaviors including parents’ decisions on vaccination ([30] p4860–5).

A study shows that media coverage cannot be responsible for the control of transmission of the epidemic by itself, but it helps shorten the time of the secondary peak by alerting and making aware of the public to the virus ([31] p50). Regarding this, media have a considerable effect on the pattern and the scale of transmission ([32] p163). When media guide the public, it can mitigate emerging infections during the early stages of an outbreak ([33] p9). The effects of the media coverage become more significant when visibility of issue increases and when news stories are consistently biased in one direction ([34] p15).

Syrian refugees in Turkish news media

Turkish news media and Turkish state officials hardly ever mentioned Syrian refugees since the outbreak of the pandemic although Syrian refugees have been stereotypically represented in Turkish news media for years. Prevailing perceptions of Syrian refugees were mostly affirmative in the early years of the Syrian refugee crisis. General social acceptance of Turkish society towards Syrian refugees was remarkable between the years 2011 and 2014. The descriptions of Syrian refugees as “people who escaped from persecution and tyranny”, “our guests in Turkey” and “our brothers and sisters of the same religion” were examples of the positive attitudes. However, there were also some negative perceptions such as “people who are a burden on us” or “parasites/beggars” ([35] p66–67).

Syrian refugees were depicted negatively since their arrival in Turkey by news media. Discriminatory framings in national press between 2011 and 2014 helped justify backlash of “threat”, economic burden, and security problems without regarding human rights perspective ([36] p157–77). Negative media representations in local and national dailies between 2013 and 2015 affected adversely social integration of Syrian refugee women ([37] p15–8). Their vulnerabilities and poverty were partly mentioned in the news media along with depictions such as criminals, fugitives, and as a burden on national economy in 2014 ([35] p78–79). Syrian refugees became the target of hate speech for the first time in 2015 in Turkish press ([38] p8,12). They were exposed to hate speech pervasively in the press and online ([39] p400–1).

They were characterized as a potential source of public disturbance, represented as a burden for Turkish economy, and portrayed as a threat against Turkish family structure and social order in the press in 2016 ([40] p8–9). News media differently covered Syrian refugees in the national and local context. National press dramatized problems of refugees such as health problems, deaths, and impoverishment more than local press. Only 11.3% of news stories in 2017 and 2018 covered education, healthcare, and housing issues of Syrian refugees ([41] p33). Syrian refugees were depicted as a burden on Turkish public services, claiming that Syrians had priority over Turks in health access, business ownership and other governmental resources ([42] p383). Newspaper articles expanded otherization of Syrian refugees in the society ([43] p46). Syrian refugees were the most targeted group of hate speech in the Turkish press in 2019 [44]. Online hate speech against Syrian refugees was associated with political and economic problems, division in terms of Islam and secularism, hate against government policies. Online hate speech posed a more severe threat against Syrian refugees more than traditional media. Online hate speech reproduced pre-existing otherization of Syrian refugees and spread the discourse of discrimination. This affected very much ordinary individuals compared to other individuals with extreme beliefs. ([45] p147–8, p153). Hate, hostility, and racist discourses on social media, involved negative depictions which intensified ‘banal nationalism’ ([46] p9).

Hegemony of dominant groups and their media access bring out stereotypical media representations of minorities in the interest of majority groups. Superiority of dominant groups is strengthened by social representations of outgroups and stereotype content in the media ([47] p402–3, p410). Stigmatized groups face discrimination, which encompasses structural discrimination, too. Structural discrimination occurs when institutional policies deprive stigmatized groups ([10] p372– 3[48]; p1527). Stigma brings “resource-reducing discrimination” which causes a variety of problems such as unemployment, housing, education, and access to healthcare ([49] p814) Stigma processes affect the distribution of life chances including medical care [50].

“Support” for Syrian refugees

Turkish state and several nongovernmental organizations provided some resources to meet the needs of refugees since the displacement of refugees following the outbreak of Syrian crisis in 2011 [51]. General Directorate of Migration Management and the Migration Board were established in 2013 to implement government policies and strategies aimed at supporting migrants and refugees. After Syrians flee to Europe, the EU considered a crisis when over one million Syrian refugees arrived in Europe in 2015. Following all member states could not reach a solution of receiving refugees fairly within the EU borders, cooperation with the origin and transit countries came to the fore. Since the EU needed an urgent solution to stop refugees crossing the borders, the EU regarded Turkey as a potential partner ([52] p2–3). The EU and Turkey agreed on Joint Action Plan in October 2015 cooperating on preventing undocumented migration to the EU borders [53]. Following the Joint Action Plan, the EU-Turkey Statement of November 2015 was agreed on and according to the Statement, the EU committed an initial 3 billion euros to Turkey to be spent for improving the socio-economic situation of the Syrians under temporary protection. Through ‘structured and more frequent high-level dialogue’ between the EU and Turkey, the EU pledged to accelerate visa liberalization once the requirements of the Roadmap are met. In return to concessions of visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in the Schengen zone, re-energizing accession negotiations of Turkey’s membership to the EU and opening of the new chapters, Turkey committed to prevent undocumented migration flows to the EU [54].

The EU-Turkey Statement of March 2016 agreed on to end the undocumented migration from Turkey to the EU in line with the Joint Action Plan. The EU committed to mobilize an additional three 3 billion euros until the end of 2018 and to accelerate the visa liberalization roadmap aiming to lift the visa requirements for Turkish citizens until the end of June 2016. Turkey would take any necessary measures to prevent new undocumented migration and resettlement process of Syrians would be ensured according to the Statement. As of 20 March 2016, Turkey would readmit all new undocumented migrants crossing from Turkey to the Greek islands [55]. Since the EU needed Turkey to keep Syrians out of the EU borders and Erdogan threatened the EU to open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria in February 2016, the EU had to expand the concessions of Turkey [56]. Recognizing and treating Turkey as a safe country of return were among these concessions, which lead to ignoring human right violations and authoritarian crackdowns ([57] p328). Weaponizing Syrian refugees by using them as a tool to extract concessions from the EU helped Erdogan to be less subject to the EU’s scrutiny and criticism ([58] p178). Empowering the Erdogan regime has undermined Turkish democracy ([59] p207) and press freedom. International refugee law has been breached by Greece, the EU and Turkey in many aspects according to the expert [60]. Erdogan threatened to open the borders to send back Syrian refugees, and when he opened the northern border with Greece in spring 2020, asylum seekers were subject to violations of human rights on both sides of the border. At least one Syrian lost his life, while trying to enter Greece. Although illegal and violent pushback took place, the EU has not taken any action to protect international law in terms of protecting human rights and stopping pushbacks at the borders. The EU aimed at preventing enters of asylum seekers to its borders by providing “cooperation packages” with third states and amended the New Pact on Migration and Asylum in September 2020. It has been considered a further step in reducing access to asylum in the EU and increasing deportations from EU territory [61].

Before the outbreak of the pandemic, according to Turkey’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Voluntary National Review report in 2019, significant progress was achieved especially in social policies including reducing poverty, inequalities and accessing to basic services and health care. In this regard, registered Syrian refugees who hold a temporary ID number may receive all health care, free of charge. Unregistered Syrian refugees who do not have a temporary ID number are only provided with limited services and all Syrians are entitled to go directly to the health care centers of the Ministry of Health ([53] p46). Within the framework of the government policy, Migrant Health Centers (MHCs) were established in densely populated areas by Syrian refugees aiming at breaking language and cultural barriers as stated in the government report ([62] p46). However, prominent difficulties of Syrian refugees in access to basic services, registration issues, integration problems, stigmatization, discrimination, low socioeconomic level, and a general decline in the quality of life persist ([63] p5–8).

Syrian refugees have been extremely at risk due to the poor living conditions in crowded houses, insufficient sanitation conditions and lack of income since the outbreak of the pandemic ([63] p3–8). The pandemic exacerbated the existing problems in many areas, particularly access to healthcare since Syrian refugees are not entitled to healthcare in the provinces other than they reside ([64] p 7[65]; p31). Moreover, Arabic-Turkish language barrier and lack of translators in health care facilities in most places remain ([66] p1439), which result in treatment gap ([67] p2). Although some health measurements were taken in 178 Migrant Health Centers in 29 provinces of Turkey ([68] p9–10), according to the report of Refugee Support Association, Syrian refugees were reluctant to go to health centers due to problems of social integration, mainly such as language barrier, worries, and lack of information. It was revealed that even employed Syrian refugees were reluctant to go to hospitals due to fear of being deported, eviction or dismissal, in case of testing positive. According to the survey, 52% of Syrian refugees did not have sufficient information on updates on access to healthcare, such as hospital appointments, medicines, and renewal of health reports. ([69] p25–6]).

Syrian refugees have become more impoverished during COVID-19 pandemic [70]. A survey revealed that before the pandemic, unemployment rate was only 18% among the refugees, but then it increased to 88% after March 2020. Participants (43%) stated that they lost their jobs because the company or institution they work for stopped their activities. Dismissal (18%) and not being able to find a job (12%) were among the causes of unemployment. Syrian refugees had inadequate access to food (63%) and hygiene (53%) as of March 2020. They had difficulties in paying their rents, bills, and meeting basic needs due to increased expenditures (90%). 48% of children enrolled in the schools could not benefit from distance education ([70] p21–3).

A survey was conducted in 12 provinces of Turkey to reveal the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on employment of Turkish citizens and Syrian refugees, in May 2020. Results indicated that Syrian employees became more fragile than Turkish employees and women suffered the most. Loss of income was 88% for Syrian refugees, but it was only 50% for Turkish citizens. The rate of dismissal and unpaid leave of Syrians was higher than Turkish citizens. Nearly half of Syrian refugees lost their livelihood for an indefinite length of time. It was revealed that most of the refugees (90%) could not benefit from the COVID-19 support [71]. Content analysis of Turkish news media will demonstrate underrepresentation of the plight of the refugees in the research period.

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Men’s Health and Their Diet | Dishing Up Nutrition Podcast




Men’s Health and Their Diet | Dishing Up Nutrition Podcast

Men’s Health and Their Diet

June 7, 2021

Listen in to two nutritionists talk about men’s health and how their diet effects different aspects of their health.


TERESA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I am Teresa Wagner. I am a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. And I’m in studio today with Britni Vincent, who is also a Registered and Licensed Dietitian. Today, we are going to spend the next hour sharing some different information. We don’t typically focus as much on the information today as we do, well today, we’re going to be talking about men’s health. And we usually more do more general or maybe a little bit more female focused. So today we’re going to be talking about men’s health and how their diet affects their health. In this hour, we will focus on heart health, prostate health, fertility, and on men’s mental health, especially depression. We plan this to be an action packed and, or maybe not action packed. I think more like information packed. It is kind of a show. So we hope you enjoy it.

BRITNI: Good morning. It’s interesting to learn that men lead in eight of the top causes of death in the U.S. But oftentimes men are a little more reluctant to seek out medical care, get psychological counseling, or you know, make an appointment with one of us for nutrition counseling.

TERESA: Right. We were just talking about that, that the vast majority of our clients are female.


TERESA: And it’s kind of fun when you get something, you know, different.

BRITNI: It is. And so I hope this inspires more men to, to seek help out.

TERESA: Right; right. And you know what, like even just thinking of that, I think, well, maybe we’ll get into that later in the show. Some more interesting facts about men is that men abuse alcohol and drugs three times more frequently than women. And they commit 90% of all violent crimes. They also have a much higher rate of suicide than women.

BRITNI: And when we look at other health conditions, we find that heart disease; it’s the number one killer of men. So today we definitely want to talk about how food and beverage choices affect heart disease. And I think, you know, that is one of the main reasons why men will come in to see us is they’re concerned about their heart health and their cholesterol numbers. And so let’s start with alcohol.

TERESA: Everybody’s changing the dial.

BRITNI: So there are, there’s some research out there that indicates that one small glass of red wine with dinner may be beneficial, but we definitely know an excess of alcohol is actually a heart stressor and can lead to depression, poor sleep. I mean, the list goes on and on. And so one, four or five ounce serving of red wine could be heart-healthy, but drinking more than that is actually very detrimental to your health. Hard liquor and beer also can be very inflammatory for the body. And if you’re looking for the benefits of resveratrol in wine, we actually recommend just supplementing with it.

TERESA: Right.

BRITNI: Instead of, of drinking wine.

TERESA: Right, cause you have to drink so much wine to get that benefit.

BRITNI: And a supplement will contain 50 to a hundred units more resveratrol than a glass of wine. So, you know, it’s just a much more efficient way to get it. And for those that are not familiar with what resveratrol is, it is, it’s called a polyphenol, which is like a group of compounds that acts like an antioxidant.

TERESA: All right.

BRITNI: So it’s basically an antioxidant is how you can think about it, and specifically very beneficial for our heart.

TERESA: Right. Okay. Well, if you have some common risk factors for heart disease, you know, some of the risk factors are high blood pressure, prediabetes, type two diabetes or high cholesterol, we suggest cutting out alcohol for six weeks and then having your doctor recheck your blood pressure, your blood glucose numbers and your cholesterol numbers. And I’m sure after even just six weeks that you’ll see an improvement. With just that little change, sometimes people see dramatic results. And I say little change sort of well, because it’s not such a little change for some people because we know how difficult changing this habit can be, especially because it’s been a habit that’s been really ingrained over the last year. You know, really, I, you know, so many people talk about how much more alcohol they’ve been drinking, you know, since COVID. And, so, so it is, it is a difficult habit to change. And sometimes when we’re talking about changing behaviors, it’s easier instead of to just cut out a behavior, it’s easier to exchange behaviors, right? So instead of having, maybe you come home and you have a cocktail after work, or maybe you’d just come downstairs and have a cocktail after work, wherever you work. One of my clients, he, what he said he liked to do was have club soda with some bitters in it. And that felt like a cocktail because it wasn’t sweet. It still had sort of edge, you know, that maybe alcohol has a little bit. And then I think it’s more, maybe it’s more appealing to men because it isn’t like those sweet, fruity drinks that are sometimes alternatives for alcohol. Cause a lot of those are more the juice based drinks or, they’re just higher in sugar. So this way, this is a low sugar, actually great for digestion too, with those bitters in there.

BRITNI: That’s a great idea.

TERESA: So it’s kind of a nice alternative.

BRITNI: Yeah. I have several female clients who tend to drink wine and just putting maybe their sparkling water in a wine glass; it, it does, it does the trick for them.


BRITNI: It’s a special glass.


BRITNI: Something different.

TERESA: Yeah. The power of that glass. Right? So with this one, if you do the club soda and bitters, you just put it in your cocktail glass, you know, your high ball glass.

BRITNI: So we’re now going to talk about the number one risk factor for heart disease. In the past, you know, we used to believe high cholesterol was the number one risk factor for heart disease. And we, I mean, we still hear that today.

TERESA: Absolutely.

BRITNI: But research has found that it’s actually prediabetes, type two diabetes, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome are the biggest risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

TERESA: Yeah, that’s so interesting because a lot of times you don’t make that connection of high blood sugar and cardiovascular disease, but…

BRITNI: Not at all.

TERESA: There is a clear link there, a link there. And truth be told, metabolic syndrome is the biggest risk factor for heart disease for both men and women. So, you know, people might be thinking, “Well, what is metabolic syndrome?” So there are, metabolic syndrome is more of a cluster of things that could be going on with an individual. It’s not, you don’t necessarily have to have all of them, but usually it’s a few of these different things that are going on. So one of those things could be a fasting blood sugar of over 100. Another indicator could be high triglycerides. And usually we say high triglycerides is over 150, but we really, what we like to see as a healthy triglyceride level is less than 75. And for those of you that don’t know what triglycerides are, those are the, the sugary fats that are floating around in your blood. So, you know, having a high blood sugar usually leads to higher triglyceride levels. Another indicator or another one of those cluster of things that could be going on with somebody is high blood pressure, known as hypertension. So more than 130 over 80 or 85, that’s an indicator of metabolic syndrome. And having a low HDL cholesterol. So HDL cholesterol is the cholesterol number that we want to be higher. And for men, if their number is under 40, that is an indication or one of those things that could be a part of that metabolic syndrome. And the last thing that I’m going to mention is a larger waistline; having a waist circumference of more than 40 inches for men is one of those indicators of metabolic syndrome. So usually maybe, maybe you have hypertension, high blood or high blood pressure. You know, maybe your HDL is low and you have a waistline of 42 inches or something like that. You know, that can be, you know, metabolic syndrome. And, you know, usually blood sugar is a part of that one. So I would say, I would throw in that above 100 fasting.

BRITNI: So I’m sure many of you are wondering, “Can you reverse this?” Yes, you can.

TERESA: Absolutely can.

BRITNI: How do you do it? Well for most people, higher blood sugar numbers over 100 indicate they’re eating or drinking too many carbs. So too much bread, too much pasta, too much candy, too much soda, too much fast food. I mean even could be too much sweetened ice tea.

TERESA: Right.

BRITNI: Or lemonade; too much sugary coffee drinks, too many handfuls of chips. I mean the list can go on and on of examples. And we know that the new nutrition message that is easy to follow is cutting out those processed carbohydrates from your diet and adding fat. But of course we want the healthy fat to be added. So butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, nuts, nut butters, avocados, and then avoiding those refined damaged fats, like soybean oil, corn oil. All fats and oils in fast food and processed foods would be considered those refined inflammatory oils. You know what? It’s time for our first break.

TERESA: Well, let’s go.

BRITNI: So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Today, Teresa and I are discussing men’s health and how food and nutrients affect men’s cardiovascular health, fertility, and prostate issues. We’ll be back.


TERESA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you have heart issues or fertility concerns or even prostate issues, the first recommendation doctors will typically make is to lose weight. Yes, losing weight may help, but our Nutrition for Weight Loss plan focuses on learning how to make real food choices that supply the nutrients your body needs for good health. We have a 12 week session starting this Monday, June 7th. So this Monday, if you’re interested. Time is off the essence. And there is also a class starting on Wednesday, June 9th. And both of these are in a Zoom format. So perhaps this would be a great summer project for couples. Think of it this way. COVID pandemic of 2020 equals extra pounds from overeating and not working out and summer of 2021 equals lose weight and get healthy. Give us a call at (651) 699-3438 and get yourself and maybe your spouse signed up. So before we went to break, Britni was talking about the importance of eating real food and how there is, you know, it’s more common to hear nutrition information focusing on real food. And I just, I have to say, it’s just really nice to see that there is this ground swell of people who are looking for eating more real foods. Like we talk about it on the show, you know, real proteins, vegetable carbohydrates, fruits, those types of real fats that Britni had mentioned before, you know, the, the avocados and nuts and seeds and those types of fats that are unprocessed really. And not so much eating those, those manmade food substances. Right? Cause so many of the foods that are in the center aisles of the grocery store, yes, they are edible. Yes. They do have calories and nutrients to them, but are they actual food? You know, they’re so far removed from their original source that it’s just really nice to see, you know, it’s really fun. I, you know, to, to talk with people about some of those things and they’re making those choices and feeling really good because of it.

BRITNI: And of course, I think the more people around you that are doing a similar thing just makes it so much easier.

TERESA: Right. Yeah. And that’s why like, even just, you know, I, I kind of, you know, said and join with your spouse. But really when we have couples that sign up for the Nutrition for Weight Loss class, their success really, I would say is increased. I mean, it’s not dependent on that, but having that support system where you’re both doing the same thing and you can, you know, help the other person when, when there’s difficult times, you know, when the person, when one person is craving ice cream, because it’s going to be 99 degrees outside, like it is today, the other one can say, “No, remember our goal?” And because you take turns in your moments of vulnerability, and if you have that person that’s on track with you versus sabotaging you, because sometimes that happens too.

BRITNI: That can happen too. And you know, if it’s not a spouse, a friend, a sibling, I think, any support system or support person you can have, it makes a huge, huge difference.

TERESA: Yes. Yep. And it makes it fun. It’s more of a social gathering.


TERESA: But, and even if you are, so maybe you don’t have that person that you think that you could sign up with a class for, you do make friends with the people in the class. Even through Zoom people establish relationships. And it is, it is really nice. So you can, you can make some new friends if your friends aren’t interested.

BRITNI: It’s really fun to witness that.

TERESA: It is. It is a lot of fun. Well, okay. So back to our topic today, and, you know, we were talking about cardiovascular disease in men and if we want to avoid, and actually a lot of this applies for women too. So, but if you want to avoid a cardiovascular event in the future, so, you know, heart attack, stroke, those types of things, it may be time to cut out some of those processed foods that like we were talking about that are in those center aisles like cereal, maybe cutting out the pastries, cutting out the stack of pancakes and switch to eating eggs and bacon with a side of green beans and carrots for breakfast. And, you know, earlier, when in the intro, when we were talking or just getting going, I said, I kind of paused and said, well, maybe that’s information for later in the show. But really when we’re working with men, I think a lot of times they’re surprised about the suggestions that we have; pleasantly surprised about the suggestions. I think that they’re coming to see dietitians and it’s like, “Oh, it’s going to be all this rabbit food I’m going to have to eat.” And when we’re like, no for breakfast have eggs and bacon and for dinner have steak with asparagus and butter and you know, maybe a little bit of baked potato. It’s like, yes, this is, this is man food.

BRITNI: It’s doable; absolutely. And if you want to burn fat and reduce inflammation, you know, that’s another reason it’s necessary to reduce the amount of carbs that you’re eating. And you also need to be eating fat to burn fat; totally counterintuitive.

TERESA: Right.

BRITNI: Just remember that eat fat to burn fat. And of course those, those healthy fats that, that we’ve been talking about. And the key to the successful fat burning is to reduce the hormone, insulin. So your insulin level is controlled by the amount of carbs that you eat. So here’s, you know, a simple explanation of what happens in your body. When you eat carbohydrates, the pancreas secretes insulin, which makes it possible for the glucose to be carried into our cells. And then we turn that into energy. But when you have too much glucose from eating too many carbs, all of that extra glucose is just going to get stored as fat and create inflammation.

TERESA: And you know, the problem with metabolic syndrome is that it can sneak up on you. You know, it’s slow moving. It’s not something that happens overnight. And many people have metabolic syndrome for five to 10 years before it even shows up in their high, you know, in their numbers, particularly with high blood sugar. It may show up as higher triglycerides, so those fatty sugars in your blood or high blood pressure or an increased waistline. But for some reason that that sort of, that alarm bell that’s in, in our brain isn’t ringing, you know, so more often than not people do not change their diet or lifestyle. Or maybe, maybe the bell does ring, but they think that they’ll start these new lifestyle habits, you know, maybe it’ll be next week or on Monday. Right? All diets start on Monday.


TERESA: But you’re waiting for that right day to come because you want it to be convenient and for easy to fit your lifestyle. But there’s always going to an event. There’s going to be a holiday. There’s going to be a vacation or a trip to the cabin, or just a bad day. You know, we eat, sometimes, you know, soothe ourselves with food on bad days. And it keeps pushing that right time out into the future. And then, so that alarm bell is going off, but we’re not, we’re not acting on it.

BRITNI: Not doing anything.


BRITNI: And you know, I challenge you, those of you who are listening today start today. Like, even if it’s just one small change of, you know, reducing a sugary beverage or changing your breakfast or whatever it is, but just start today.

TERESA: Right.


TERESA: No time like the present.

BRITNI: Exactly. Yeah. Well it does look like it is time for our next break. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. All of us at Nutritional Weight and Wellness are really excited about our summer cooking classes. So I want to share the classes we have in store for you: Kitchen Tips for Farmer’s Market Vegetables, Cooking Heart-Healthy Meals, Creating Healing Foods for Your Gut. So each class is only $25 and these classes are getting rave reviews.

TERESA: Yeah. You know what? I actually signed up for all three of these classes.

BRITNI: Awesome.

TERESA: So if anybody signs up out there, you might be in class with me. I’m not teaching. I’ll just be a classmate with you.

BRITNI: A lot of different information to gain; that is for sure. So be sure to check our website for dates and times. All of these classes are offered to you virtually. And we will be right back.

TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I think most of us know that fast food, including those weekly pizza runs are not heart healthy or heart friendly. However, we get busy or do not want to cook or don’t know how to cook or for whatever reason we get caught up in the convenience of the fast food world. We then find our cholesterol is up. We’re now prediabetic and we have sleep apnea from carrying around too much extra weight. Perhaps it is time to change your food to change your life. You may find it easier to take the guesswork out of cooking by having us make an eating plan specific for you. So let us work with you to set up an individualized eating plan built around your schedule and your likes and dislikes. Call us at (651) 699-3438. And let us find a date and a time that fits your schedule so that you can start feeling good again.

BRITNI: Like Teresa said earlier, there is no time like the present to get going.

TERESA: That’s right.

BRITNI: So, before, before break, we were talking about heart health and, and reducing your, your insulin. And that is necessary to reversing the metabolic syndrome we’ve been talking about. So when you look at the big picture of everything, it may come down to you needing to change your nutrition to change or reduce your risk factors for cardiovascular disease. So I encourage men to take these nutrition classes that we’ve been talking about. Set up several nutrition appointments with a dietitian or nutritionist; one a month for a year to change those unhealthy heart habits and get on a real food plan that works for them with positive results. I mean, it’s not, it’s not a one appointment and everything’s fixed.

TERESA: Right.

BRITNI: It takes time. It takes a lot of time. You know, we’re, you’re essentially creating new habits that maybe you’ve had since childhood. And the good news is people who lose just 6% of their weight found a drop in their blood pressure, a reduction in their cholesterol, a decrease in their blood sugar numbers; all factors that are better for heart health. So for example, a 200 pound person, if you change your food and beverage sources to lose just 12 pounds or 6% of your weight, you could reduce your personal risk of having a cardiovascular disease. I think it, you know, putting it that way feels less daunting.

TERESA: Right.

BRITNI: Yeah; less overwhelming.

TERESA: Well, let’s switch gears here a little bit. And when we consider men’s health, I thought we should also focus on low sperm count and infertility issues. Most people do not know that men can cause up to 50% of infertility problems and that sperm health is just as important as the quality of a female’s eggs. With all the changes that have come with modern diet and lifestyle, you may wonder, “Has male fertility or infertility increased in the past 50 years?” And the answer is yes. It is estimated that in the last 40 years, the male sperm count has declined by over 50%.


TERESA: Yes. That’s 50%. So that’s pretty incredible numbers. From the 1970s to the 2020’s, the sperm count has actually gone down 52%. So what are some of the lifestyle habits that we can do to boost fertility and sperm count? Britni, do you have some answers?

BRITNI: Yeah. Well, the first one on the list is losing excess weight. You know, carrying extra weight, especially in the mid section is associated with infertility. So if I’m working with clients who are experiencing fertility issues, we recommend again, a real food diet. So ask yourself, is it time to switch my carbohydrate choices from bread, pasta pizza, to vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, green beans? If you’re struggling with your weight, we believe it is important to lower or eliminate those processed foods and the foods that just simply contain too many carbohydrates. So I’d also like to have both men and women become aware of their fasting glucose numbers, their A1C, and you can also request a fasting insulin number. We’ve been talking about insulin, so that fasting insulin number will actually measure what your pancreas is secreting. And getting all three of those will help to give you a better sense of how insulin resistant you are personally. And then it helps us to better create an individualized plan for you.

TERESA: Right. Those numbers are so important. And when I’m working with couples that are experiencing infertility, part of that, bringing down insulin resistance, if it’s there or just cleaning up the diet, is that I encourage them to give up any and all fast food.

And if we think about this, it’s, you know, what’s different in the last 50 years? How much more fast food we eat now than people did 50 years ago? How much more sugar do we eat now than people did 50 years ago? Processed foods; all those kinds of things. Those are, those are the changes. Really, a lot of those are the changes of things that have gone on in our lifestyle factors in any case. I also encourage men to limit their alcohol consumption like we’ve talked about before, because heavy alcohol consumption can reduce testosterone and can impair semen quality.

BRITNI: We also encouraged men who are experiencing fertility issues to focus on sleep and get at least seven and a half to eight hours most nights, or just start with getting more sleep than you’re getting right now. And when, because we know that when men do not get enough sleep, their semen quality is affected.

TERESA: Yeah, I remember that in Dr. Matthew’s book, Why We Sleep. There’s an almost 30% decrease in the amount in the sperm count of men who had less sleep than the men that got that eight hours of sleep per night.

BRITNI: That is significant.

TERESA: Studies show that consistent, heavy drinking or binge drinking, which means five or more drinks in for men in a two hour timeframe has a negative effect on their sperm. When we are working with couples experiencing infertility, we look at all health and lifestyle factors that could be affecting fertility. And as one of my clients said, she would say “Less fiesta and more siesta.”

BRITNI: I love that.

TERESA: So to change habits, you know, we know it takes time. But it takes time and you can get success. It doesn’t happen overnight. But Britni has a story that, about a client couple that she helped with fertility.

BRITNI: Yeah. I worked with both the husband and the wife and they were trying to get pregnant. And I think they were trying for about a year and, and were unsuccessful. So they decided to come to Nutritional Weight and Wellness before going to a fertility clinic.

And so, you know, at that time we didn’t know, was it something going on with the wife or the husband? So we, we focused on both of them. So of course, reducing eliminating this processed food that we’re talking about, the refined oils, getting those out of your diet is huge for fertility because fat makes hormones. So how, how are you going to be able to make hormones with these inflammatory fats? And then, you know, the woman specifically, we did some hormone balancing supplements as well. But really by changing their food, getting good healthy fats on board, lots of vegetables as well, I got an email a few months later, which is one of the best emails ever to get. “By the way, I just wanted to share the great news: we’re pregnant!”

TERESA: Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, it’s, life-changing.

BRITNI: It is, truly. So to all of the men listening to this show or podcast, giving your sperm a healthy make-over makes sense for every couple trying to have a baby. Here are some steps that you can do to start today to have super swimming sperm: eliminate or eat fewer refined oils. Just as Britni said, we need healthy fats in order to have healthy hormones. So getting more omega-3 fatty acids from wild caught salmon, or even just supplementing with an omega-3 fatty acid. I generally recommend about 4,000 milligrams of omega-3 fish oil per day for men.

BRITNI: Start shopping at the farmer’s market. Fill up on fruits and vegetables, especially veggies, to help protect the quality of the sperm and the quantity too.

TERESA: Also adding vitamin D3 to the daily routine can help because vitamin D three helps sperms swim faster and better.

BRITNI: Including a zinc supplement can be helpful for healthy sperm count and a superior shape to the sperm.

TERESA: Skip the drinks and the cigarettes, you know, less fiesta. Smoking slashes sperm count up to 17% and more than one drink per day messes with sperm quality.

BRITNI: Be mindful of your weight because we know that adding extra pounds subtracts your sperm count and increases the number of abnormal sperm.

TERESA: So now we’re going to switch gears again and talk a little bit more about prostate health. We know prostate problems can occur any time in a man’s adult life. The most common prostate problem is called benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH, which is a non-malignant enlargement of the prostate gland. About 50% of men will experience this enlargement by the age of 50. 80 to 90% of men who are 70 years of age or older will develop this problem. So that’s the good majority of all men. And sadly about 20% of men who have that enlarged prostate will also develop cancer of the prostate.

BRITNI: And some of the symptoms that men experience from an enlarged prostate are needing to go to the bathroom frequently, even waking up at night to urinate several times. Other symptoms might be a weak stream of urine or a sense of urgency to urinate or dribbling, or it can lead to urinary incontinence.

TERESA: One of the most important nutrients to prevent or treat an enlarged prostate is a very common mineral. And that mineral is zinc. A zinc deficiency is common because zinc is deficient in our soil. But more importantly, zinc is depleted by smoking, by alcohol, too much coffee, infections and several medications. The prostate gland contains more zinc than any other gland in the body. So the prostate needs ample levels of zinc.

BRITNI: So good food sources of zinc would be seafood, eggs, organ meats, as in liver. And, you know, liver seems to be popping up on a lot of our Dishing Up Nutrition shows because it has so many benefits.

TERESA: It’s nature’s multivitamin.

BRITNI: There you go. So Teresa is going to share her special way of including liver. So her kids don’t even know that they’re eating it.

TERESA: Right, and it’s really quite simple. And I’m pretty sure it wasn’t my idea, but I can’t remember who to give credit to. But what I do is I buy liver raw obviously, and then I will puree it, so it’s, well, pureed. And then I freeze it into small glass jar, so about a quarter cup to a half a cup amounts. And then anytime I’m making something with ground meat, so ground beef, pork, turkey, chicken, I will add it to that ground meat. And it just is in there seamlessly. Now there’s not a ton of liver in each of those, but I like big picture over time, that equates to much more than if we were going to sit down to liver and onions, which actually would never happen.

BRITNI: Oh, that is such a great idea. Yeah. It is time for our last break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you’re concerned about your prostate health, let me recommend a supplement designed to support the health of the prostate called Prostate Pro. This supplement contains, saw palmetto, which reduces inflammation that can tend to increase the size of the prostate. Additionally, it contains key amino acids, and vitamins B6, and zinc. You can order these or any of our supplements that we mentioned today online at or stop into one of our six locations.

TERESA: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Many of my clients are experiencing seasonal allergies and it’s been bad this year I feel like; man. You know, and so these clients, they really want, they need relief, but they don’t like taking over the counter antihistamines because they, they make them tired. And you know, sometimes they make them feel like they’re down in the dumps too; like they really feel that correlation of low mood with those antihistamines. So one thing I recommend for those clients is a natural solution called D-Hist, which is a supplement from Ortho Molecular. We have recommended D-Hist and have had successful results for over 20 years because D-Hist works and it doesn’t have any of those negative side effects that you can get with us over the counter antihistamines. If this is something that’s interesting to you, you can order that D-Hist online at or stop into one of our six locations.

BRITNI: So before break, Teresa shared her tip of how to incorporate more in liver into, into the diet without your kids knowing, or even your spouse knowing.

TERESA: Right. And maybe what I should say is too, because I just put it in ground meats like that, like specifically recipes, I have strong flavors. You know, so tacos, you can’t tell it’s there. Egg Roll in a Bowl; that’s on our website. You can’t tell it’s in that. If you think of Sloppy Joes, chili, you know, all these things that have strong flavors. So, I mean, if it was sort of a plain meat, maybe you would taste it a little bit more, but I don’t typically just serve ground meats plain. But if you have some spices and things in there, I mean, honestly you just don’t know it’s there. And I try to push the limits a little bit with it. What I usually say is about a quarter cup of that pureed liver to one pound. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten it to go.


TERESA: Cause then it will also start to change the texture too. So then maybe they don’t taste it, but they’re like something’s up here.

BRITNI: They’re suspicious. Well, and we were talking about liver in regards to prostate health.


BRITNI: So other important nutrients for prostate health include vitamin C, vitamin E and the mineral selenium.

TERESA: And besides those nutrients, a good source of B vitamins will help the body deal with daily stress. And I also just want to stress the importance of vitamin A, because it is an essential nutrient for maintaining a healthy reproductive system in both men and women. And I think there’s been studies done where they’ve removed the vitamin A from an animal’s diet and the, and the, and the offspring of those animals were born with different types of deformities and things. So it is really important to have that vitamin A on board. So again, good food sources of both B vitamins and vitamin A is liver. Oh man. So I, hopefully liver is flying off the shelves grocery stores. I don’t have much confidence in that, but, but maybe, you know, you can, I mean, some people really do love liver and maybe making a pâté or something would be a way to get that into your diet. But some people, you know, they’re just not liver lovers and they would prefer to supplement instead of taking or instead of eating liver. So we suggest a well-rounded multivitamin. I really like the multivitamin from Ortho Molecular called MitoCore. I suggest taking two of those Mitocore with breakfast and two with lunch. And the reason why we keep it in the first half of the day is because MitoCore also has this extra benefit of being an energy booster. And so, you know, as we talk a little bit about mental health here too, you know, a lot of times with depression, low energy levels are, are a problem. And so this, this specific multivitamin has some energy boosters in there too that can be really beneficial for that. And then in addition to those, adding a couple of teaspoons of cod liver oil is a great idea as well.

TERESA: And that’ll give you some of that vitamin A. It gives you some vitamin D; not enough, but some vitamin D and then some of those omega three fatty acids in that cod liver oil.

BRITNI: Yeah. And not enough of those omega-threes either. I would say for most everybody need, need some extra omega-threes onboard. So the, the vitamin D and omega threes: so important for many, many different reasons. And of course we get vitamin D from sunlight, but oftentimes even in the summer, we’re just not outside enough to get adequate levels of vitamin D. And if you’re wearing sunscreen too, that blocks the ability for you to be able to make enough vitamin D. So I, you know, I have a lot of clients and myself included who just continue the same dosage all year round.

TERESA: Right. Because that sunscreen, it blocks, what is it; the UVB rays? Is that what we need to convert that vitamin D in this, in the cholesterol in our skin? Is that how that works? What’s that process?

BRITNI: That’s taking me back to biochemistry years ago. And you know, of course, omega threes; we talk about those a lot on the show because there’s so many different benefits and we get those from fatty fish, wild caught salmon, sardines, mackerel, but, you know, people just realistically do not eat enough of them. So supplementing with at least 400 milligrams of omega-3 is, is usually necessary for most people as well.

TERESA: And both of these nutrients, you know, when we’re talking about depression being common and, and, you know, and more and more common in men, both of these nutrients are very important for, for mood and for, for brain health. So the omega three fatty acids really work in our brain as far as, decreasing inflammation. Depression is inflammation of the brain; so bringing down that inflammation in the brain. It also brings inflammation down in the blood vessels. So going back to cardiovascular health, those omega threes are important for that. Vitamin D, low vitamin D levels have been shown to be correlated with low moods; and so having adequate vitamin D. And like you said, you know, we just don’t really get enough from the sun because we wear sunscreen. We usually work indoors during the hours where the, where we’re suppose where vitamin D is most converted in our skin, like we were talking about before. So we need, you know, some of those are, are necessary for people unless you’re eating fish, you know, almost every day, right? I mean, really, that’s what they say, otherwise, it’s…

BRITNI: Otherwise you need to supplement.

TERESA: And so if you’re a struggling with mood issues, you know, really looking at the fat sources in your diet. Do you have enough vitamin D? Like, get your levels checked.

You know, you really want to be above 50.


TERESA: And adequate sleep. Right? I mean, we’ve all experienced are the crappiness after a poor night’s rest.


TERESA: And so having eight hours of sleep per night is really important for that as well.

BRITNI: Yeah. I, I can’t stress the fat enough because we know most of our brain is actually made of fat. So if you’re not eating enough fat, or if you’re eating all those refined oils, how could your brain possibly work efficiently?

TERESA: Right. Yeah.

BRITNI: So again, those avocados, olives, raw or dry roasted nuts, olive oil, butter, preferably grass fed, heavy cream, if you can tolerate it. And those are all delicious things.

TERESA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Usually fats are welcome. Yes. When we’re saying eat fat. Yes they are. Yes, please. Yeah. And I think that, you know, when we think about fats too, and our brain health and mood, you know, we, sometimes the term “you are what you eat” is thrown around quite a bit. And you literally are what you eat.

So, you know, how can you make this fatty mass that sits on top of your neck, you know, your brain, if your building blocks aren’t coming from your diet? Where else are they going to come from? It doesn’t spontaneously generate.


TERESA: And so we need to have those healthy building blocks to build a healthy brain, to build a healthy prostate gland, to build healthy hormones, all of those things. So our food choices, our drink choices; they so much affect the health of our body. Prevention is the key to good health. We encourage you to switch from eating fast food to cooking and eating real food at home. You just might enjoy the art of cooking with our culinary nutrition educator, Marianne. We mentioned that she has some classes that she’s offering. So those cooking classes are being offered this summer via Zoom. So, and I think she, she has the Zoom set up right in her very own kitchen. So that’s fun. So we can sign up for these classes. You can sign up with me to take these classes for great tips, fun conversation. Marianne has such fun tips. Just go to to sign up.

BRITNI: And our goal as always at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is sharing the powerful message of eating real food because eating real food truly is life changing. Thank you, and have a great rest of your day.

This content was originally published here.

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Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention | MHA – MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA OF SOUTHEAST FLORIDA™




Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention | MHA - MENTAL HEALTH AMERICA OF SOUTHEAST FLORIDA™

Florida Initiative for Suicide Prevention


They are mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, partners, grandparents, friends, co-workers and schoolmates. They are children, adults and seniors. They are from every ethnicity, income level, occupation, religion, and location in the world. They are the ones left behind to deal with the pain, sadness, guilt, anger, feelings of helplessness and continually ask the question WHY?

They are you and they are me. They are your neighbors and your best friend. No one is safe from this tragedy. We all know someone who has been affected by this urgent crisis which causes the death of 1 million people annually throughout the world. You may not know that someone who you are best friends with or have another kind of relationship with was affected by suicide because they just don’t talk about it.

If you who have sustained a loss of someone you loved by suicide you need to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have the right to grieve and experience that process in your own personal way. You have the right to be sad, angry, lonely, isolated and feel all the emotions that grief brings. You are not going crazy, you are just grieving! You have the right to do things regarding your loved one in your own time and in the way that has meaning to you. You have the right to grieve for as long as it takes and NOBODY should have to do this all alone.

You can reach out to family, friends, therapists, support groups and of course we at FISP are here for you. Don’t be shocked if those you thought would be there for you have a hard time approaching you and do not know how to help you. Some will run away because they can’t deal with your pain or think you want to be alone. They are not bad people, they just don’t understand how to help you or they have their own issues with loss and/or suicide.

The additional information on this site is to help you find some answers. At some point you will realize that the answer to “WHY” is not what you need to know. Your new emphasis should become the acceptance of the reality that “IT JUST IS” and your need to start working on your grief process. So let’s begin. Give FISP a call and let us help you begin to HEAL!

The HOPE Sunshine after school club is approved by the Broward County School Board for an entire school year curriculum engaging middle, high school and college students.

HOPE Sunshine Club members host weekly meetings at each school that has a HOPE Sunshine Club.

The HOPE Sunshine Club Teen Board where each club sends members to meet with other clubs officers to share information and help each other make their clubs better.

Suicide Prevention Educational Programs:
The FISP training for Police, EMS, Teachers, Students, Clubs, Community Organizations, and their Staff Members.




Support groups for Adults and Teens, Referrals, Survivor Packages and Phone Support offered for those in need. FISP coordinates and facilitates support groups across the community to address the grief that survivors are dealing with as they try to understand the tragedy and trauma of death by suicide.

7:00 PM  8:30 PM
Claudia Rodriguez
Denise Rodriguez
7:00 PM  8:30 PM
Rene Barrett
Jeff Barrett
Lauderhill / Sunrise
2nd 3rd & 4th Thursday
7:00 PM  8:30 PM
Alexandria G. Nuccio
Caleigh Covell
Imperial Point  English
4:30PM  6:00 PM
Rafis Nin
Zoe Rice
Imperial Point  English
4:30 PM 6:00 PM
Cynthia Bass
Lea Jalbert
Imperial Point  Spanish
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Rafis Nin
Denise Rodriguez
Miami Group
7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Patricia Timerman
Jamie Diamond
Peer Support: Armando Perez 

This content was originally published here.

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States Argue in Supreme Court Brief Supporting CDC Eviction Ban to Protect Public Health During Pandemic – US Politics Today – EIN Presswire




MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul and a coalition of 23 attorneys general are filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the order by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that prohibits evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic to help stop the spread of the disease.

“With many more Americans getting vaccinated every day, now is not the time to abruptly end the CDC’s eviction moratorium,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Unleashing a wave of evictions would undermine our economic recovery and the ongoing effort to fight the pandemic.”

In an amicus brief filed in Alabama Assoc. of Realtors v. HHS, which is on emergency application to the Supreme Court, the attorneys general argue that the CDC’s eviction moratorium should remain in place and states would face potentially catastrophic harm if it is suddenly vacated. Specifically, the coalition argues that without the moratorium in place, millions of vulnerable individuals would be unsafely forced from their homes and into streets, crowded shelters, and others’ homes across state lines, risking spreading COVID-19. With only about half of Americans fully vaccinated, such action could jeopardize the United States’ fragile health and economic recovery. Numerous jurisdictions passed their own local moratorium on evictions, but the CDC’s Order is critical to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across state lines.

In 2020, Congress passed COVID-19 relief legislation, which included a 120-day eviction moratorium for certain rental properties. When that legislation expired in July 2020, the CDC issued its own eviction moratorium order under its authority to protect public health. The CDC order protects certain tenants who aren’t able to pay full rent because of a loss of income or medical expenses from being evicted at residential properties nationwide. The order was originally set to expire on December 31, 2020, but was extended by Congress through January 31, 2021, and has been further extended by the CDC. It is currently set to run through June 30, 2021 and could be extended again.

The eviction ban was challenged by property owners, managers and trade associations, who want to resume evictions. The lower court in this case ruled that the CDC does not have the authority to order a national eviction ban but granted the government’s request to stay the court’s decision pending appeal. After the court of appeals denied plaintiffs’ motion to vacate the stay, the plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court, asking for the stay to be vacated.

In their amicus brief filed in Alabama Assoc. of Realtors v. HHS, the attorneys general urge the Supreme Court to allow the CDC’s eviction moratorium to remain in place because:


A copy of the amicus brief is available here.

Attorney General Kaul was joined in the brief by the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington.

This content was originally published here.

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