Washington [US], February 20 (ANI): The findings of a recent survey by a Boston University researcher revealed that a majority of students say that mental health has had an impact on their academic performance.
The study of nearly 33,000 college students across the country reveals the prevalence of depression and anxiety in young people continues to increase, now reaching its highest levels, a sign of the mounting stress factors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, political unrest, and systemic racism and inequality.
“Half of the students in fall 2020 screened positive for depression and/or anxiety,” said Sarah Ketchen Lipson, a Boston University mental health researcher and a co-principal investigator of the nationwide survey published on February 11, 2021, which was administered online during the fall 2020 semester through the Healthy Minds Network.
The survey further reveals that 83 per cent of students said their mental health had negatively impacted their academic performance within the past month, and that two-thirds of college students are struggling with loneliness and feeling isolated–an all-time high prevalence that reflects the toll of the pandemic and the social distancing necessary to control it.
Lipson, a BU School of Public Health assistant professor of health law, policy, and management, said the survey’s findings underscore the need for university teaching staff and faculty to put mechanisms in place that can accommodate students’ mental health needs.
“Faculty need to be flexible with deadlines and remind students that their talent is not solely demonstrated by their ability to get a top grade during one challenging semester,” Lipson said.
She added that instructors can protect students’ mental health by having class assignments due at 5 pm, rather than midnight or 9 am, times that Lipson said can encourage students to go to bed later and lose valuable sleep to meet those deadlines.
Especially in smaller classroom settings, where a student’s absence may be more noticeable than in larger lectures, instructors who notice someone missing classes should reach out to that student directly to ask how they are doing.
“Even in larger classes, where 1:1 outreach is more difficult, instructors can send class-wide emails reinforcing the idea that they care about their students not just as learners but as people, and circulating information about campus resources for mental health and wellness,” Lipson said.
And, crucially, she said, instructors must bear in mind that the burden of mental health is not the same across all student demographics. “Students of colour and low-income students are more likely to be grieving the loss of a loved one due to COVID,” Lipson said. They are also “more likely to be facing financial stress.” All of these factors can negatively impact mental health and academic performance in “profound ways,” she said.
At a higher level within colleges and universities, Lipson said, administrators should focus on providing students with mental health services that emphasise prevention, coping, and resilience. The fall 2020 survey data revealed a significant “treatment gap,” meaning that many students who screen positive for depression or anxiety are not receiving mental health services.
“Often students will only seek help when they find themselves in a mental health crisis, requiring more urgent resources,” Lipson said. “But how can we create systems to foster wellness before they reach that point?” She has a suggestion: “All students should receive mental health education, ideally as part of the required curriculum.”
It’s also important to note, she said, that rising mental health challenges are not unique to the college setting–instead, the survey findings are consistent with a broader trend of declining mental health in adolescents and young adults. “I think mental health is getting worse [across the US population], and on top of that we are now gathering more data on these trends than ever before,” Lipson said. “We know mental health stigma is going down, and that’s one of the biggest reasons we are able to collect better data. People are being more open, having more dialogue about it, and we’re able to better identify that people are struggling.”
The worsening mental health of Americans, more broadly, Lipson said, could be due to a confluence of factors: the pandemic, the impact of social media, and shifting societal values that are becoming more extrinsically motivated (a successful career, making more money, getting more followers and likes), rather than intrinsically motivated (being a good member of the community).
The crushing weight of historic financial pressures is an added burden. “Student debt is so stressful,” Lipson said. “You’re more predisposed to experiencing anxiety the more debt you have. And research indicates that suicidality is directly connected to financial well-being.”
With more than 22 million young people enrolled in US colleges and universities, “and with the traditional college years of life coinciding with the age of onset for lifetime mental illnesses,” Lipson stresses that higher education is a crucial setting where prevention and treatment can make a difference.
One potential bright spot from the survey was that the stigma around mental health continues to fade. The results reveal that 94 per cent of students say that they wouldn’t judge someone for seeking out help for mental health, which Lipson said is an indicator that also correlates with those students being likely to seek out help themselves during a personal crisis (although, paradoxically, almost half of the students say they perceive that others may think more poorly of them if they did seek help).
“We’re harsher on ourselves and more critical of ourselves than we are with other people–we call that perceived versus personal stigma,” Lipson said. “Students need to realise, your peers are not judging you.” (ANI)
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Varun Dhawan, Kriti Sanon catch special screening of ‘Roohi’ in theatre
New Delhi [India], March 7 (ANI): Bollywood stars Varun Dhawan and Kriti Sanon, who are currently shooting for their upcoming film ‘Bhediya’ in Arunachal Pradesh, took a break from their schedule to enjoy a special screening of ‘Roohi’ in theatre, after almost a year.
Capturing the excitement, the ‘October’ actor took to his Instagram handle and shared a video, featuring Kriti and filmmaker Dinesh Vijan. Along with the video he wrote, “Back in the theatre after over a year. Feels gooooooooood!!!! With my bhediya crew.”
Sharing similar sentiments, Kriti also posted the same video on her Instagram and wrote, “The Wolfpack is here watching #Roohi in the theatre! The feeling of watching a film in a theatre after over a year– just can’t put in words. So happy to be here with my #Bhediya crew!”
In the video which Varun shoots, the ‘Bhediya’ team can be seen discussing among themselves how it is their first movie experience in theatres after more than a year.
‘Bhediya’ marks Varun and Kriti Sanon’s third collaboration after ‘Dilwale’ and ‘Kalank’. The movie, which is set to release on April 14, 2022, will bring together the dynamic duo of producer Dinesh Vijan and director Amar Kaushik, who earlier helmed the 2018 movie ‘Stree’.
Apart from Varun and Kriti, the film also stars Abhishek Banerjee and Deepak Dobriyal. The movie’s story has been penned by National Award Winner, Niren Bhatt, who also wrote scripts for ‘Bala’, ‘Made In China’, and ‘Wrong Side Raju’. (ANI)
Study uncovers association of greenhouse gas emissions with dietary guidelines among countries
Washington [US], March 6 (ANI): A study drove by the Nutrition Journal, involving seven countries discovered that greenhouse gas emissions associated with national dietary guidelines advocating a healthy diet vary greatly between countries, with US guidelines having the largest carbon footprint and India having the smallest.
The variations result from differences in recommendations for and consumptions of individual foods within the six main food groups – protein foods, dairy, grains, fruits, vegetables, and oils/fats.
Diego Rose, the corresponding author said, “Many countries provide recommendations about foods that people should eat for a healthy diet and previous simulations have shown that if the public were to eat according to their government’s recommendations, their diets would be both healthier and have a lower carbon footprint.”
Rose added, “However, for the US the opposite has been shown; greenhouse gas emissions were simulated to go up if people followed dietary guidelines. This anomaly prompted us to investigate how dietary guidelines vary between countries and the consequent implications for greenhouse gas emissions.”
To investigate differences in greenhouse gas emissions associated with different dietary guidelines, a team of researchers at Tulane University compared the dietary guidelines and food consumption patterns of seven countries: Germany, India, the Netherlands, Oman, Thailand, Uruguay, and the United States.
The authors found that the carbon footprint of India’s dietary guidelines was comparatively low, with the recommended diet associated with the equivalent of 0.86 kg CO2 per day, compared to the US’s with 3.83 kg CO2 per day.
The carbon footprint of the US dietary guidelines was found to be about 1.2 times that of the Netherlands (equivalent to 2.86 kg CO2 per day) and about 1.5 times that of Germany (equivalent to 2.25 kg CO2 per day).
The US vegetarian dietary guideline, while much lower than the main US guideline in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to 1.80 kg CO2 per day), was still over twice that of India’s largely due to the high US dairy recommendation.
The authors also found that the principal difference between the dietary guidelines of the various countries was the wide range of daily recommended amounts for each food group, particularly protein and dairy foods.
Daily recommended amounts of dairy foods ranged from 118ml per day for Oman to 710ml per day for the US. The greenhouse gas emissions associated with these two recommendations were equivalent to 0.17 and 1.10 kg CO2 per day, respectively.
The greenhouse gas emissions associated with the protein food recommendations ranged 0.03 kg CO2 per day in India to 1.84 kg CO2 in the US, for recommended amounts of 75g per day and 156g per day, respectively.
Guidelines also varied in terms of which foods were included in each food group. Protein food recommendations in Germany and Uruguay only included animal proteins, the US and Thailand recommended a full spectrum of plant and animal protein foods, whereas India recommended just plant proteins. The US vegetarian guideline recommended plant proteins, as well as dairy and eggs.
Brittany Kovacs, the lead author said, “As there is great variation in the global warming impacts of these individual foods, which foods people consume and how much of them has an impact on the carbon footprint of dietary guidelines. For example, consumption of beef, mutton, and lamb in Uruguay accounts for 31 per cent of protein foods, whereas in Germany it is only 16 per cent.
“Thus, our calculated greenhouse gas emissions for Uruguay’s protein food recommendation is 53 per cent higher than Germany’s, despite the fact that both countries’ quantity recommendations for protein foods as a food group are about the same.”
Rose added, “The US Vegetarian guideline is almost identical in recommendations to the main US guideline, except for the protein group – which recommends legumes, soy, nuts, and seeds, as well as eggs – resulting in an overall carbon footprint that is less than half.”
The authors caution that the study only considers a single environmental impact of diets, greenhouse gas emissions. Other environmental impacts, such as land and water use, should be considered when evaluating the overall impact of a diet. The study is restricted to the daily quantitative recommendations of seven countries’ dietary guidelines, which may limit its generalizability to other countries.
Kovacs said, “These findings hold insights for future development of dietary guidelines and highlight the importance of including sustainability considerations, such as reductions of protein food and dairy recommendations and/or the inclusion of more plant-based substitutions for animal-based products.
“By including more sustainable, yet still health-based, considerations into dietary recommendations, it is possible to influence the environmental impacts of the larger food and agriculture sector in various countries and worldwide.” (ANI)
Akshay shares glimpse from ‘Ram Setu’ script reading session with Jacqueline, Nushrat
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Akshay Kumar has finally begun work on his much-awaited film titled ‘Ram Setu’, on Saturday.
Revealing the star cast of the film, the actor shared a new behind-the-scenes picture from his upcoming film, which shows him sitting with his co-stars Jacqueline Fernandez, Nushrat Bharucha, and other crew of director and producer at the script reading session of the film.
The ‘Padman’ star captioned the post: “he team that preps together excels together! An extremely productive script reading session with the team of #RamSetu this evening. Can’t wait to begin filming this one.”
Actor Akshay Kumar will be reportedly shooting for his next film ‘Ram Setu’ in Uttar Pradesh’s holy city of Ayodhya.
According to the Chief Minister’s Office, the superstar has asked for permission to shoot in the city for the film from Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
Kumar had announced the film on November 14, last year and had also extended his Diwali greetings to everyone through the film.
The 53-year-old actor took to Instagram to share first look posters of the film that saw him in a messy hair avatar walking by a seaside while the background sees a faint picture of Lord Rama walking in the same sea.
The film is being directed by Abhishek Sharma and is being produced by Aruna Bhatia and Vikram Malhotra. (ANI)
Study uncovers high fat diets may lead to greater risk of heart attacks
Washington [US], March 6 (ANI): A study led by a team of researchers from the University of Reading uncovered that consumption of high-fat diets may over-activate destructive heart disease protein, increasing the risk of a heart attack.
In a paper published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, researchers looked at the effect of feeding mice a high-fat diet on oxidative stress levels on heart cells.
The team from the University of Reading found that cells from the mice had twice the amount of oxidative stress, and led to heart cells being up to 1.8 times bigger due to cardiac hypertrophy which is associated with heart disease.
Named first author Dr Sunbal Naureen Bhatti, from the University of Reading said, “Our research shows one way in which a high-fat diet can cause damage to the muscle cells that make up our hearts.
It appears that a switch happens at a cellular level when the mice were fed on a high-fat regime which causes a normally harmless protein, Nox2, to become overactive. The precise nature of how the Nox2 protein goes onto cause oxidative damage and set off destructive hypertrophy is still being researched.”
“We are really just scratching the surface of how the protein Nox2 responds to diets, but our research clearly demonstrates that high-fat diets have the potential to cause significant damage to the heart,” Bhatti added.
The researchers focused on a key protein Nox2 which believed to be associated with increasing oxidative stress in the heart. The study found that the mice fed a high-fat diet had twice the amount of Nox2 activity, which also led to a similar amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a free radical that is associated with pathological damage of the body.
To check whether Nox2 was involved in causing the cardiac stress, the team compared the results with mice bred specifically to ‘knock out’ Nox2, stopping the protein from activating at a cellular level. The ‘knock out’ mice were also fed a high fat diet, but showed little or none of the same raised levels of oxidative stress.
In addition, the team used three experimental treatments which are known to reduce Nox2-related ROS production and found that all three showed some promise in reducing the effect of ROS in damaging the mice hearts.
The mice that were fed high-fat diets received 45 per cent of their calorie consumption from fat, 20 per cent from protein and 35 per cent carbohydrate. (ANI)
Here’s what Jennifer Aniston’s ’11 11′ wrist tattoo mean
Washington [Us], March 6 (ANI): American actor Jennifer Aniston finally gave a little sneak peek into her decision of getting the magical number ’11 11′ tattoo on the inside of her wrist.
The ‘Friends’ star has ’11 11′, the magical number inked on the inside of her wrist and for years, fans have speculated about what made the actor to get this number tattooed on her body in 2018.
According to E! News, much of her fans have guessed that the numbers signify the birth date of the actor that is February 11 or a tribute to her beloved dog ‘Norman’ who died in 2011.
According to a post shared by her friend Andrea on Aniston’s birthday, the predictions are rolling out to be close to the fact.
To wish her bestie on February 11, Andrea wrote, “Can’t wait to celebrate and make more magical wishes! 11 11,” on Instagram along with a post that features both of them having the same tattoo.
Recently, on Andrea’s birthday, Aniston wished her by sharing the same photo. Alongside the snap, she noted, “Happy birthday to my forever sister from another mister @andreabenewald. 37 years and counting. And the best is yet to come.”
E! News reported that when ‘The Morning Show’ star shared the first glimpse of her tattoo in the year 2018, a source disclosed that the magical number signifies the star’s birthday and late pet Norman’s demise year 2011.
Not only this, but Aniston also had inked Norman’s name on the inside of her foot.
It’s unknown if the actress has any more tattoos, as these are the only ones visible on her arms and legs. (ANI)
Kareena Kapoor Khan recollects memories of completing 365 days on Instagram
New Delhi [India], March 6 (ANI): Bollywood actor Kareena Kapoor Khan on Saturday commemorated her one year on Instagram by posting a montage of her pictures and videos from last year.
The ‘Jab We Met’ actor who welcomed her second baby on February 15 shared a quick edited clip on her Instagram account that features the many pictures and videos that she shared on the photo-sharing platform in the last year.
From her Diwali break, husband Saif Ali Khan’s birthday bash, her Himachal Pradesh’s trip to her recent pregnancy pictures, Kapoor included all in the short clip.
Taking it to the caption, she wrote, “Shall continue to have fun…,” using heart emoticons.
With the post hitting more than six lakh views within a few minutes of being posted, scores of fans chimed into her comments section and left heart and lovestruck emoticons.
While the fans are still waiting for a glimpse of the second baby boy, Bebo’s this clip marks her third post on the photo-sharing platform after the baby’s birth. The first being a promotional post for her husband Saif Ali Khan’s upcoming film, ‘Bhoot Police’, and the second was her sun-kissed selfie picture flaunting her traditional pout. (ANI)
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