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

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

Members of the Uptighterati hate lateness: are we wrong? | Oliver Burkeman

The problem with using time well is that it risks transforming every moment into nothing but a means to future ends In the mid-1970s, when the American who died in June, took an infectious delight in the sheer cacophonous variety of human behaviour, and time was one of his obsessions. In 1999, tale about the New York businessman, holidaying in Brazil, who starts lecturing a younger local man on the secret of success. Instead of whiling his life away fishing and drinking and playing music with his friends, the New Yorker says, he should expand his fishing operation, hire employees, make millions, then eventually retire so he can spend his days fishing, drinking and playing music with friends. The problem …

Its a superpower: how walking makes us healthier, happier and brainier

Neuroscientist Shane OMara believes that plenty of regular walking unlocks the cognitive powers of the brain like nothing else. He explains why you should exchange your gym kit for a pair of comfy shoes and get strolling Taking a stroll with Shane OMara is a risky endeavour. The neuroscientist is so passionate about walking, and our collective right to go for walks, that he is determined not to let the slightest unfortunate aspect of urban design break his stride. So much so, that he has a habit of darting across busy roads as the lights change. One of lifes great horrors as youre walking is waiting for permission to cross the street, he tells me, when we are forced to …

Lizzo is a joyous inspiration but body positivity has come too late for the likes of me | Grace Dent

There was no such thing when I was a teen in the 80s; there was the heavenly Maria Whittaker on Page 3 and Sabrina in the Boys Boys Boys video As Page 3 and gorgeous strumpet Sabrina in the Boys Boys Boys video. I cannot speak for the pains of being too thin as it has never happened to me, nor can I speak for men, although Im sure Hasselhoff on Baywatch or Arnie pumping iron didnt help masculine self-worth. We lived our formative years through a time where the F word was perfectly acceptable: hes a fat git, shes run to fat, theyre as fat as butter. I recall no positive labels for bigger. And back then, on the …

After drugs and booze, an ultramarathon taught me how to love the mile Im in

Breaking the cycle of my addictions was tough, but then I found inner strength by pushing myself to complete a 50-mile race Running has been a big part of my life for many years. It has been a fix, a punishment, a distraction and a focus. In darker times, I would run at a rapid pace through the streets of New York, where I used to live, feeling the burn in my chest from too many cigarettes the night before, the thumping of my heart from too much cocaine and the sweat on my brow from too much booze. I wanted it to hurt. I wanted to hate myself, to teach myself a lesson. At other times I would run …

How to wash your hair

Its a myth that washing your locks frequently is bad for your hair. But how often should it be done, and whats the best way to use conditioner? The biggest myth is that washing your hair frequently is bad, but there is no real rationale for that. You take your hair everywhere you go; it picks up dirt and pollution, and youve got sweat, oil and dead skin cells. You can wash it every day if you want to. You are not stripping the natural oils from your hair, because they do not travel from the scalp down the hair shaft, especially if your hair is damaged or colour-processed. Physiologically, all hair is the same. The difference is in the …

The mindfulness conspiracy

The long read: It is sold as a force that can help us cope with the ravages of capitalism, but with its inward focus, mindful meditation may be the enemy of activism Mindfulness has gone mainstream, with celebrity endorsement from Oprah Winfrey and Goldie Hawn. Meditation coaches, monks and neuroscientists went to Davos to impart the finer points to CEOs attending the World Economic Forum. The founders of the mindfulness movement have grown evangelical. Prophesying that its hybrid of science and meditative discipline has the potential to ignite a universal or global renaissance, the inventor of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Jon Kabat-Zinn, has bigger ambitions than conquering stress. Mindfulness, he proclaims, may actually be the only promise the species and …

‘Im such a big fan of the menstrual cycle! the women asking whether its possible to have a better period

Exhausted with doctors not taking periods seriously, a new wave of authors is asking whether menstruation can ever be tolerable even enjoyable A tiny drop of blood on our bathroom floor was what gave me away. My mother took it as a sign that, at the age of 15, my period had arrived. After popping out to the shops, she came to my room with sanitary pads and a bunch of flowers; the pads came with a brief lesson on how to use them while the gerberas were left behind without explanation, some unspoken symbolism for my blossoming womanhood. The truth was, I had had my period for two years. It had arrived without fanfare when I was 13, but, …

Readers tell how their relationships have survived or even been strengthened by infidelity and deception

I love my partner more since his affair Guardian readers on being betrayed For 40-year-old Anne, the 10 years she has spent with her partner have been defined by betrayal. A year into what I considered to be a near-perfect relationship, I found out Patrick had had an affair and that the woman was pregnant, she says. That child is now like my own and, although we initially split for a few months, Patrick and I have stayed together. People might find it strange but the affair made us closer and I love him now more than ever. Staying close after such a colossal betrayal may seem impossible, yet the relationship therapist Andrea Tibbitts has seen many similar situations. She …

Table for one: how eating alone is radically changing our diets

From grazing on snacks to dining solo, a third of Britons now regularly eat every meal on their own. Is this fuelling the loneliness epidemic or providing hidden health benefits? Eating alone has become a defining feature of modern life: the breakfasting commuter; the household members with conflicting schedules; the widower who receives few visitors. Almost a third of British adults are eating alone most or all of the time, according to the The Way We Eat Now. Theres a constant mismatch between a sense of how we should be eating and how were actually eating. The multi-generational family meals of the Dolmio television ads are presented as the ideal, she says, but how many of us eat like that …

If even Beyonc had a rough pregnancy, what hope do other black women have? | Derecka Purnell

A USA Today report showed black mothers suffer severe complications twice as often as white women Last week, Beyonc Knowles-Carter premiered Homecoming on Netflix. Three homegirls and I were glued on the navy sectional, journeying with Mrs Carter through her love for black colleges, black people and black music. Id seen the Coachella performance well over 50 times, memorizing the Getting to the Money routine for a dance challenge I never posted online. But this documentary included commentary and showcased her work ethic and diet, including the battle with her body during and after her second pregnancy with twins. I was 218 pounds the day I gave birth. I had an extremely difficult pregnancy. I had high blood pressure. I …

‘It’s very concerning’: Americans sitting more than ever, study finds

Adolescents sat for eight hours a day in decade to 2016, research shows, while Americans spend three hours a day sitting watching TV or videos The amount of time Americans spend sitting down has increased by an hour a day in recent years, a published by the Journal of the American Medical Association. There were differences recorded in the amount of time spent sitting according to sex, race, weight, the amount of physical activity people engaged in, and other measures. However, most groups sitting habits were found to be consistent from early childhood through late adulthood. According to the research, most of the US population spends three hours a day or more sitting watching television or videos. Such sedentary behavior …

The dad who gave birth: Being pregnant doesn’t change me being a trans man

Transitioning meant that Freddy McConnell finally felt comfortable in his skin. Then he began a quest to conceive and carry his own child Freddy McConnell takes out his phone and shows me a film of his baby snoring contentedly. Jack is gorgeous, with blond hair, blue eyes and heavy eyelids, and McConnell is the classic doting dad albeit more hands-on than most. Its a year since he gave birth to Jack, an experience he describes as life-changing. He has also made an intimate and moving film about that experience, from the decision to have a baby, through pregnancy and the delivery. Everything is documented in close-up, including Jacks arrival in a hospital birthing pool. You might expect McConnell to be …

Feminism with no human warmth leaves me cold | Zoe Williams

Im a fan of the acclaimed young writer known as the Slumflower. But her sexual creed of exploitation appals me, says Guardian columnist Zoe Williams A couple of years ago, the feminist society of Deptford Green secondary school convened a conference. It was there that I met Chidera Eggerue: aka the Slumflower, author of #saggyboobsmatter movement. She was a remarkable woman. I dont want to call her a remarkable young woman, even though she was 23 at the time: young is such a modifier and she would have been remarkable at any age. Her broad message was one of body positivity: if you love yourself and your shape, nobody can shame you. She built what I thought was a brisk, …

Women with Allergan breast implants may sue over cancer link

UK women claim they were not told enough about potential risk of rare breast cancer A group of more than 200 women are considering legal action over controversial breast implants that have been linked to a rare form of cancer. The women claim they were not sufficiently informed about the risks of textured Allergan implants, Women who have the implants and capsules removed can make a full recovery, but if left untreated the disease can spread throughout the body and become life-threatening. Last year, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (Baaps) advised its members to stop using Allergan implants as a precaution, but said the scientific data did not suggest the need to remove or exchange any current implants. …

Is porn making young men impotent?

Up to a third of young men now experience erectile dysfunction. Some are turning to extreme measures such as penile implants but is kicking their pornography habit the only solution? There is an ad campaign adorning the tunnels of the London Underground bearing the slogan ED IS DEAD next to a photograph of a wholesome-looking man in his prime. Dont worry, it says in smaller writing beneath. Eds not a guy. Its a guy thing. Its short for erectile dysfunction. The posters are promoting Reward Foundation, an educational charity focusing on love, sex and the internet. Until 2002, the incidence of men under 40 with ED was around 2-3%. Since 2008, when free-streaming, high-definition porn became so readily available, it …