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What is selfitis? 5 things to know about the obsessive selfie disorder

Published: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 @ 11:05 AM

Do you or someone you know suffer from selfitis? Three selfies per day is considered borderline Individuals who suffer from the condition are typically attention seekers Researchers developed 20 statements to analyze individuals who may suffer from selfitis Proper treatments still need to be developed The condition might actually be deadly

The term "selfitis" may have started off as a hoax back in 2014, but now psychologists have warned it's a genuine mental health issue.

Researchers form the Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom and Thiagarajar School of Management in India actually investigated the social media phenomenon, leading them to create a "Selfitis Behavior Scale." Now, individuals who believe they may suffer from the condition can be properly evaluated by psychological professionals.

"A few years ago, stories appeared in the media claiming that the condition of selfitis was to be classed as a mental disorder by the American Psychiatric Association," Dr. Mark Griffiths, Distinguished Professor of Behavioral Addiction in Nottingham Trent University's Psychology Department, told The Telegraph.

»RELATED: How your selfie could affect life insurance

"Whilst the story was revealed to be a hoax, it didn't mean that the condition of selfitis didn't exist. We have now appeared to confirm its existence and developed the world's first Selfitis Behavior Scale to assess the condition," he explained.

»»If you're worried that you or someone you know may suffer from selfitis, or just want to know more about this condition, here are five things you should know:

1. Three selfies per day is considered borderline.

How many selfies do you actually take on a daily basis? 

If you take at least three every day, you have borderline traits of selfitis, according to the newly developed scale. The condition becomes more severe when you actually start posting those selfies online for others to see. 

A chronic case would be someone who takes selfies all the time and posts at least six on social media networks daily.

2. Besides taking a lot of selfies, what does selfitis entail?

Individuals who suffer from the condition are typically – and not surprisingly – attention seekers. They also generally lack self-confidence and aim to improve their social standing by posting images of themselves online.

These factors have, however, led some psychiatrists to question the need for coining a new mental condition to diagnose. 

"There is a tendency to try and label a whole range of complicated and complex human behaviors with a single word," Dr. Mark Salter, a spokesman for The Royal College of Psychiatrists said, according to Business Insider.

"But that is dangerous, because it can give something reality where it really has none."

3. How does the scale work?

The team of researchers developed 20 statements used to analyzed individuals who may suffer from selfitis. Individuals are asked to rate how much they agree with a specific sentiment, allowing psychiatrist to determine how severe the condition might be.

Some example statements are: "When I don't take selfies, I feel detached from my peer group" and "I feel more popular when I post my selfies on social media."

4. Proper treatments still need to be developed.

Dr. Janarthanan Balakrishnan, a researcher from Nottingham Trent's Department of Psychology who was also involved with the study, explained now that a scale has been developed, more research can be done to determine the best treatment.

"Typically, those with the condition suffer from a lack of self-confidence and are seeking to 'fit in' with those around them, and may display symptoms similar to other potentially addictive behaviors," Balakrishnan said.

"Now the existence of the condition appears to have been confirmed, it is hoped that further research will be carried out to understand more about how and why people develop this potentially obsessive behavior, and what can be done to help people who are the most affected."

Of course, one obvious treatment, as The Guardian pointed out, would be to "just put our phones down for a second and experience the real world." The average millennial might respond ‘or not...whatever.’

»RELATED: New app uses selfies to help screen for pancreatic cancer

5. The condition might actually be deadly.

Although a lot of readers may be rolling their eyes at this news, more than 30 people have died in 2017 from taking selfies. 

Some would-be selfie takers have been hit by trains. Others have fallen from extreme heights or drowned, trying to get the perfect snap. At least one person was even trampled to death by an elephant. 

Of course, none of these individuals were actually diagnosed with the condition before they died. So it's unclear whether they suffered from "selfitis" or were just an unlucky random selfie taker.

One thing however, appears certain: selfies can be hazardous to one’s physical and mental health.

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4 drinks that could be sabotaging your weight loss efforts

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 3:01 PM

The following four drinks are some that can sabotage your diet when you're trying to cut calories Juices Coffee with add-ins Alcohol Smoothies

When you're trying to lose weight, you may not give much thought to what you drink, but those calories definitely add up! These "liquid calories" can sabotage your weight-loss efforts, and you may not feel as full as if you'd eaten the same number of calories. Many drinks also provide little to no nutrients and are often loaded with sugar, which can further hamper your weight loss.

»RELATED: Drink up: Black tea helps you lose weight with gut bacteria, study says

These drinks – and their calories – may add up to more than you realize, even on a single day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered a sample list of the drinks you may choose during a day in order to total the calories. They started with a morning coffee shop run with a 16-ounce café latte made with whole milk at 265 calories. A non-diet soda with lunch had 227 calories, and an afternoon sweetened lemon iced tea from the vending machine was 180 calories. A glass of non-diet ginger ale with dinner added 124 calories for a daily total of a whopping 796 calories!

The following four drinks are some that can sabotage your diet when you're trying to cut calories:

Orange juice prices could rise as much as $2.30 per gallon, because Hurricane Irma destroyed much of Florida's crop.

Juices

You may think that swapping out sugary sodas for fruit juices is good for your diet, but it may not be as good as you think. Fruit juices are concentrated sources of natural sugar, so they have more calories and don't fill you up as much as fresh, frozen or canned fruits do, according to the Mayo Clinic.

For example, a 20-ounce glass of 100 percent apple juice has 300 calories, and the same portion of 100 percent orange juice has 280, the CDC says.

»RELATED: It's official: Coffee is good for you, according to new research

Coffee

A plain black cup of coffee isn't a calorie problem, according to the Mayo Clinic. It contains fewer than five calories and no fat, but most people need at least a few extras with their coffee, and these also add extra calories.

Although at-home add-ins like creamer and sugar raise the calorie count, a specialty coffee can make it soar. A grande (16-ounce) size of white chocolate mocha espresso at Starbucks has 360 calories. If you choose a venti (20 ounces), you'll be drinking 460 calories.

The sidecar is a classic sour cocktail containing three ingredients: cognac, lemon juice and orange liqueur. CONTRIBUTED BY MARCEL(For the AJC)

Alcohol 

A few drinks after work with your friends or a couple of beers or glasses of wine with a meal can raise your calorie count.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously took a look at some of the calories contained in popular alcoholic beverages and found that five ounces of red wine has about 106 calories, and five ounces of white wine has 100 calories. A regular Budweiser beer comes in at 143 calories, and Bud Light isn't far behind at 110 calories. Cocktails like a four-ounce margarita up the calorie count even higher at 168 calories, and a 4.5-ounce Piña colada packs 245 calories. These counts could vary somewhat depending on the alcohol and sugar content of your specific drink.

The Angel Food smoothie from Smoothie King contains 340 calories for a 20-ounce serving and 690 for 40 ounces.(For the AJC)

Smoothies

Smoothies have a "health halo" that leads many people to believe they're harmless, Marisa Moore, a local dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told the AJC.

Serving size is important, she pointed out. For example, a 20-ounce Angel Food smoothie from Smoothie King containing 340 calories. If you order the 40-ounce mixture of strawberries, bananas, nonfat milk, vanilla and other natural flavors and turbinado sugar, you'll be getting a whopping 690 calories. You can save some calories by omitting the sugar, saving 90 calories on a 20-ounce Angel Food smoothie, but it's still fairly high in calories.

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Oklahoma family seeking medical marijuana for child hopes for legalization

Published: Monday, January 15, 2018 @ 5:43 AM

Via FOX23.com
FOX23.com
Via FOX23.com(FOX23.com)

As Oklahoma voters prepare to make a decision on legalizing medical marijuana, one family is using cannabis oil to help a young girl with a rare medical condition.

>> Watch the news report here

>> On FOX23.com: Oklahoma Gov. Fallin sets election date for medical marijuana measure

KOKI has been following the story of Jaqie Angel Warrior for years now. Her mother, Brittany Warrior, said she needs cannabis oil to help with the seizures she has every day.

>> On FOX23.com: New poll finds 62 percent of Oklahomans support medical marijuana measure

Jaqie Angel Warrior suffers from a rare and potentially deadly form of epilepsy. Traditional pharmaceuticals haven't worked well for her, the family says.

She started having seizures at 5 months old. At 20 months old, the family put her on cannabis oil at the advisement of her neurologist. Since then, she has been weaned off all pharmaceuticals.

Jaqie's mother, Brittany Warrior, said they were losing all hope before they tried cannabis oil.

>> Read more trending news 

"Prior to starting cannabis, Jaqie had anywhere from 150 to 300 seizures a day. She was catatonic and life was fading out of her before my eyes," she said.

The family has traveled back and forth, and even temporarily moved to states with legalized medical marijuana.

Now that State Question 788 is on the ballot in Oklahoma, Brittany Warrior hopes that voters will support the measure to help her child.

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Are you hooked on sugar? 5 clues you might be addicted to sugar

Published: Friday, January 12, 2018 @ 11:28 AM

These 9 Healthy Sounding Foods have more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut Bottle of Naked juice green machine smoothie: 28 grams or about three Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnuts ¼ cup of Sun Maid raisins: 29 grams or three Krispy Kreme doughnuts Chobani blueberry greek yogurt: 15 grams or 1 ½ Krispy Kreme doughnuts Nature Valley oats and honey crunchy granola bar: 12 grams or about one Krispy Kreme doughnut Vitaminwater: up to 32 grams of sugar or about three Krispy Kreme doughnuts One cup of Mo

What was known to previous generations as a "sweet tooth" is known to ours as a widespread health threat.

Too much dietary sugar causes or contributes to ailments and diseases from insomnia tonight to kidney failure down the road. 

»RELATED: This is what 12 Diet Cokes a day can do to your body, according to Atlanta nutritionists

One study from University of California San Francisco found that drinking sugary drinks like soda can age a body as quickly as cigarettes.

"Our high-sugar diets are a big part of why more than one-third of American adults are clinically obese," Self magazine reported. "Obesity can lead to insulin resistance, which ramps up blood sugar levels, which leads to diabetes."

And if that wasn't enough bad news about the sweet stuff, experts say that the brain responds to sugar the same way it would to addictive drugs. Eating sugar creates a wave of dopamine and serotonin, the brain's "feel-good" chemicals, just as certain drugs do, including cocaine, according to Self. Just like an emerging drug habit, a body craves more sugar after the initial high.

"You then become addicted to that feeling, so every time you eat it you want to eat more," Gina Sam, director of the Gastrointestinal Motility Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital, explained to Self.

Mark Hyman, M.D. cited a study from David Ludwig, author of Ending the Food Fight, and his Harvard colleagues and concluded that "foods that spike blood sugar are biologically addictive" and they "trigger a special region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens that is known to be 'ground zero' for conventional addiction, such as gambling or drug abuse."

Think you might be hooked on sugar? Hyman has your answer.

He indicated five clues that a person has become biologically addicted to foods that spike blood sugar: 

  • You consume certain foods even if you are not hungry because of cravings.
  • You worry about cutting down on certain foods.
  • You feel sluggish or fatigued from overeating.
  • You have health or social problems (of the sort that affect school or work) because of food issues −but continue to eat the same way in spite of the negative consequences.
  • You need increased amounts of the sugary foods you crave to experience any pleasure from consuming them, or to reduce negative emotions.

»RELATED: Sugar can fuel cancerous cells, study says 

Other signs that you're eating too much sugar

Even if you're not eating sugar at rates that could be described as an addiction, don't be too quick to breathe a sigh of relief. You can be eating way too much of the sweet stuff without being entirely hooked. Sugar detox expert Brooke Alpert, M.S., R.D. and other medical experts described these red flags that you're consuming too much sugar:

Studies show that your brain responds to sugar the same way it does to cocaine.(Contributed by hivewallpaper.com/For the AJC)

You eat more sugar and then crave more sugar. "It becomes a vicious and addictive cycle," Alpert noted in Self. Part of the cycle is that your taste buds have adapted and you need more sugar to get the same taste, the other component is that the sugar high is followed by a crash. "By eating a high sugar diet, you cause a hormonal response in your body that's like a wave, it brings you up and then you crash down and it triggers your body to want more sugar," Alpert said.

You feel sluggish during the day. "Energy is most stable when blood sugar is stable, so when you're consuming too much sugar, the highs and lows of your blood sugar lead to highs and lows of energy," she added. Too much sugar doesn't leave room in your diet for protein and fiber, which are both important for sustained energy.

Your skin breaks out a lot. "Some people are sensitive to getting a spike in insulin from sugar intake, which can set off a hormonal cascade that can lead to a breakout like acne or rosacea," Rebecca Kazin, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Department of Dermatology, told SELF. Binging on sugar may show up on your face within a few days.

You look old before your time. Eating too much sugar can cause long-term damage to skin proteins−collagen and elastin − leading to premature wrinkles and aging, nutritional therapist Natalie Lamb told Harper's Bazaar. Less desirable gut bacteria also feed on sugar, which might lead to inflammation of the sort seen in skin conditions like eczema.

You're losing sleep. People who eat sugary foods late at night might experience a rush of energy precisely when the body needs to be preparing for rest, resulting in insomnia. "If you're someone who has trouble sleeping, then it might help to reduce the sugar in your diet and be kinder to your gut," Lamb noted.

»RELATED: Trying to beat those sugar cravings? Go to sleep, says a new study

Your brain gets foggy, especially after a meal. When you eat a lot of sugar, blood sugar levels rise and fall too quickly. "Poor blood sugar control is a major risk for cognitive issues and impairment," Alpert said.

How low should you go?

If you're determined to reduce your sugar consumption, a reasonable amount might seem like a deprivation. (Why does sugar have to taste so good?)

The World Health Organization recently recommended a sharp drop in sugar intake for just about everyone on the planet. Just 5 percent of calories should ideally come from added sugars, the WHO advised. That translated to about 6 teaspoons of added sugar a day, about the amount in one 8-ounce bottle of sweetened lemon iced tea. The average American takes in almost four times the WHO recommendation, or 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day.

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Trying to beat those sugar cravings? Go to sleep, says a new study

Published: Thursday, January 11, 2018 @ 3:20 PM

If you're trying to lose weight, dump added sugar from your kitchen. Added sugars are those that are put into food or drink during processing or preparation. Foods such as fruits contain naturally occurring sugar, but they also provide important nutrients such as vitamins, protein and fiber. Added sugars may make you feel tired and hungry within an hour or two of eating them. You'll be tempted to reach for another sugary food, adding even more empty calories to your diet, and the cycle may repeat itse

Cookies, and brownies and sodas, oh my! If those thoughts are often on your mind, you may need a little more sleep, according to a new study out of the United Kingdom.

The study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on Tuesday, found that sleeping longer hours may reduce cravings for sugary foods.

»RELATED: Sugar can fuel cancerous cells, study says

A small group of 21 participants participated in a 45-minute sleep consultation at the beginning of the study. By following simple tips such as establishing a relaxing pre-bedtime routine and going to bed at a recommended time, they were able to sleep up to 1.5 hours more each night. Another group didn't receive the consultation.

Each person in the study wore a wrist monitor to record his or her sleep for seven days, and participants also recorded what they ate during this time period. When participants increased their amount of sleep, they reduced the amount of sugar in their diet by as much as 10 grams the next day compared to the amount they took in before the study. They also ate fewer carbs when compared to participants who didn't sleep more.

"We have shown that sleep habits can be changed with relative ease in healthy adults using a personalized approach," lead researcher Haya Al Khatib, a professor from in the Department of Nutritional sciences at King's College London, said in the statement. "Our results also suggest that increasing time in bed for an hour or so longer may lead to healthier food choices."

»RELATED: 5 easy ways to improve your sleep 

The group that slept longer was given a suggestions on how to get a better night's sleep , like avoiding caffeine before bedtime, establishing a relaxing routine and not going to bed too full or hungry — as well as a recommended bedtime suited to their lifestyle.

"Sleep duration and quality is an area of increasing public health concern and has been linked as a risk factor for various conditions," Khatib said. "We have shown that sleep habits can be changed with relative ease in healthy adults using a personalized approach."

In addition to spending more time sleeping, the following tips from Live ScienceWebMD and doctoroz.com can help you reduce your sugar cravings:

Don't have sugary foods at home – if you don't have sugary foods in your house, they won't be as easily accessible.

Choose another sweet treat – Satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of fruit instead of candy or a similar unhealthy snack.

Keep portion-controlled servings – Buy sugary snacks that are individually wrapped, such as ice cream sandwiches, and limit yourself to eating just one at a time.

Dilute sugary drinks – If you love sugary sodas or juice, try diluting them with an equal amount of seltzer to cut your sugar intake in half. As you get used to the reduced sugar, continue to increase the amount of seltzer.

Try chewing gum – Chewing a stick of gum can help reduce sugar cravings.

Combine foods – Satisfy your sugar craving by combining what you're craving with a healthier option. For example, try eating chocolate chips mixed with some almonds.

Eat regularly – If you eat regular meals and snacks, your blood sugar is less likely to dip and cause you to make unhealthy choices and reach for sugary foods.

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