Health and Science

Boys suffer from eating disorders too

By Priyam Vora

“The first time I made myself throw up was at age 14.

It was a Sunday night and my family was in the living room watching television. I sat in my room with a carton of sugar-free chocolate ice cream and a spoon, shoveling every drip of the quickly melting ice cream down my throat.

Eating in my room had become a daily habit over the years, especially after I started dieting around age 10. That particular week I was on a quick-fix diet that my stepmother had given me. The new diet was supposed to help me lose 10 pounds in one week. I was on day three and starving. I had lost four pounds already.

I ran to the bathroom to throw up that ice-cream. That would be a lot of calories, I thought to myself.”

– Zac Stafford, 26, survivor of anorexia. He is now a counselor helping boys in Chicago recover from eating disorders.

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Oil prices freeze the Illinois fracking boom

By Holly LaFon

Illinois may have missed the fracking boom, as oil prices simmer near $50 a barrel. But a heated drama to reclaim the gold rush is playing out downstate with a cast of environmental activists, big oil, farmers, politicians and Saudi Arabians.

Only one company, Strata-X signed up to apply for a permit to drill in Illinois to date. The boomtown era of just three years ago eroded rapidly over the past six months as oil prices lost half their value. Continue reading

VIDEO: First large-scale green roof in Chicago

By Adriana Cargill

Chicago’s first permitted large-scale commercial green roof farm is set to open in the West Loop this summer. The two Chicago companies behind the project will begin planting in mid to late April.  They hope this will be the start of something big.

According to City of Chicago Data from 2010, there is the equivalent of 95 football fields’ worth of green roofs in Chicago and that number grows every year.

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Chicago day cares, parents tighten measles precautions

By Meg Anderson

Young moms chatted between cloth diaper displays, with wide-eyed babies dangling and cooing in carriers. But amid the heady odor of lotion samples and soiled diapers, the threat of measles loomed in many minds at MommyCon, a natural parenting convention.

“Honestly, it pisses me off that we have to worry about it,” said Michelle Pizarro, 30, as she sat feeding eight-month-old Mila at the Feb. 21 convention in Rosemont.

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Cutting the wheat from the chaff: truths behind gluten free

By Jamie Friedlander

After spending six weeks in Guanajuato, Mexico in 2006, I returned home incredibly sick. I had sallow skin, dark circles under my eyes, severe fatigue, abdominal pain and more than anything, I had to run to the bathroom every 10 minutes. My parents took one look at me when I got off the plane and knew something was wrong.

My pediatrician assumed I had contracted some sort of parasite in Mexico, but after months of testing, he was stumped. He sent me to a gastroenterologist, who specializes in diseases of the digestive tract.  But she  couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was still sick. I knew the doctors were worried because for several months (brace yourself) my stools were pale peach. Continue reading

Health survey yields shocking results about HIV workforce

By Dawnn Anderson

A recent health survey revealed a significant number of the HIV workforce is ill-informed about the virus. Of the 135 AIDS workers in Chicago who participated in the HIV Workforce Study, they scored 63 percent, equivalent to a “D” average.

More than 3,600 people participated in the study nationwide and scored 61 percent. Officials at the Black AIDS Institute say it is too early to determine whether one’s lack of knowledge will directly affect clinical practice regarding prevention and treatment.

“Before, it wasn’t incumbent of the HIV workforce to know about science and treatment, because medical doctors were initially charged with the task of informing the public,” said Anthony Guitierrez, BAI’s mobilization manager. Continue reading

Health professionals: more alcohol deaths than CDC report suggests

By Dani Anguiano

Several health care professionals have said that a recently released CDC report, which revealed that on average, six people die from alcohol poisoning each day in the United States, while jarring – doesn’t show the full societal cost of excessive drinking.

According to the CDC report released earlier this year, researchers found that the majority of people dying are middle-aged, white males who aren’t alcoholics.  Continue reading