Heavy Problems for Chattanooga’s Young and Old

By: Sid Sadler

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (UTC/The Loop) – There’s a heavier problem on students nowadays when it comes to textbooks, and it’s not necessarily the cost.

It’s no secret that the high cost of textbooks, has been hampering students from all over the country. Currently, students are scrambling to find a website or place to buy back their textbooks. A problem that hasn’t really been addressed though, is the health problems that can occur carrying all those textbooks around.

Currently there is not a lot of academic literature on the effects of heavy backpacks on college students. However there have been numerous studies on children, and the health effects heavy backpacks have on them.

A New York Times Article on heavy backpack usage, found that, ” The federal Consumer Product Safety Commission calculated that carrying a 12-pound backpack to and from school and lifting it 10 times a day for an entire school year puts a cumulative load on youngsters’ bodies of 21,600 pounds — the equivalent of six mid-sized cars.”

Dr. Horne, Professor of Political Science at UTC said, ” I had to give my 5th grader my backpack to fit all their textbooks in.”

Other studies have found that teens carry, “10-15%” their body weight. Junior Emily Andrews, who is an exercise science major said, ” While cost is always important, it’s also important to look at the overall health effects that heavy books have on the body.”

Possible eBooks could ease the burden of heavy textbooks.

Possible eBooks could ease the burden of heavy textbooks.

These findings are obviously a little troublesome, but with any type of electronic book, there must be a way of getting the book in the first place. This can lead to another trouble, which is being able to afford a device that can display an electronic textbook in the first place.

Mitchell Frame sophomore at UTC said, ” Forcing students to get an iPad or a Kindle could be costly for students, if the teacher went the route of going all electronic for books.”

Another issue that arises is what happens if the book disappears from the online data base. Dr. Horne also said, “Professors really have no incentive to go online, because books could disappear.”

If for some reason a book disappears online, or is discontinued, then the professor will have definite issues when it comes to conducting class. The professor would have to either find another book, or simply adjust their teaching style. This could ultimately effect not only the professor, but the students in the class as well.

Another issue that could come up by using online textbooks, is the problem of online piracy. Online piracy is a big problem with the internet currently, and it would be hard to walk the line between pirated material and non-pirated material.

Advantages

  • Easier to carry
  • Less overall cost
  • Searching through content is made easier on student
  • It’s a ‘green’ investment

Disadvantages

  • Online Piracy
  • Screen glares
  • Risk of power outages

Either way you weigh it, there is much to be said about the topic of textbooks. There are various arguments out there supporting lowering costs for textbooks. However, health reasons might ultimately bring the downfall of the textbook as we know it today.

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UTC Dining; The Good, The Bad, and The Not So Healthy

By: Emily Noey

CHATTANOOGA, TENN (UTC/The Loop) – UTC students are less than thrilled about the dining options offered on campus.  Several students are voicing their concerns about the not so healthy choices the university has to offer.

Emily Scherba, UTC junior, said she would eat in the UC more regularly if there were more options.

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For a brief period of time, Tazikis was offered in the University Center.

“All we have on campus is junk food,” Scherba said. “There just isn’t enough variety for students who would like to eat healthy.”

There have been improvements and changes made around campus concerning dining.

Some of the current dining options UTC offers:

  • Subway
  • Moes
  • Chik-Fil-A
  • Burger Studio

For a brief period of time Tazikis was located in the UC. Tazikis offered an array of salads and sandwiches; a nice alternative to burgers and fried chicken.

Kendall Koch, UTC sophomore, feels UTC could make a quick fix with the dining issues by adding variety.

“Other universities consistently and regularly change out their restaurants on campus,” Koch says. “This keeps students happy, and can provide healthy options.”

Not only is clean eating an issue; several students are vegetarian or have food restrictions.

Chaney McKinney, UTC junior, struggles with finding food on campus that can accommodate her.

“The food on campus doesn’t appeal to vegetarians. It is almost impossible to get my daily serving of vegetables,” McKinney said.

Students are not only upset about the limited options; they are also concerned about the price.

“It is so expensive and incredibly hard to afford eating on campus as a poor college student,” McKinney said.

The university has made proactive steps in pleasing students, such as creating a Campus Dish website. This website offers ways to eat healthy and accommodate food restrictions.

Swine Flu Vaccine arrives in Chattanooga

Chattanooga (UTC/ TheLoop)- The first shipments of the H1N1 vaccine for Chattanooga are here and available to the public free of charge, according to the Chattanooga Health Department.

Vaccines, the easy way.

Vaccines, the easy way.

CHD received nearly 4000 doses of the vaccine in parts and plan to receive more in coming weeks. This batch is only the first part of the vaccine administered in a nose spray. The next shipments will be in a traditional needle form. All vaccines received at a CHD clinic are free of charge as the federal government bought the entire supply.

There have been reports of confusion over the introduction of the nose spray, but CHD spokesperson Jennifer Yim says there is little to worry about with this new vaccine.

“The same manufacturing processes and licensing processes have taken place for this new vaccine as the seasonal flu vaccine year after year,” says Yim. “The only difference is that this is a new strain, had it been identified earlier, it would have gone in the seasonal vaccine.”

The nose spray is just one form of delivering vaccine, but two doses (the recommended amount for children) can be administered in shot form, says Angela Frame, acting director of the CHD vaccination clinic. She says this is good in case someone doesn’t qualify for the nose spray such as children with asthma.

Priority groups for the vaccine have been identified and young children from six months to four years old are being singled out, but both Yim and Frame are urging anyone who qualifies to recieve the vaccine as soon as possible.

Unsafe abortions kill 70,000 annually

NEW YORK (The Loop/AP) — Increased contraceptive use has led to fewer abortions worldwide, but deaths from unsafe abortion remain a severe problem, killing 70,000 women a year, a research institute reported Tuesday in a major global survey.

More than half the deaths, about 38,000, are in sub-Saharan Africa, which was singled out as the region with by far the lowest rates of contraceptive use and the highest rates of unintended pregnancies.

The report, three years in the making, was compiled by the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights and is a leading source of data on abortion-related trends. Researchers examined data from individual countries and multinational organizations.

The institute’s president, Sharon Camp, said she was heartened by the overall trends since Guttmacher conducted a similar survey in 1999, yet expressed concern about the gap revealed in the new report.

“In almost all developed countries, abortion is safe and legal,” she said. “But in much of the developing world, abortion remains highly restricted, and unsafe abortion is common and continues to damage women’s health and threaten their survival.”

The report calls for further easing of developing nations’ abortion laws, a move criticized by Deirdre McQuade, a policy director with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

“We need to be much more creative in assisting women with supportive services so they don’t need to resort to the unnatural act of abortion,” she said.

Guttmacher estimated previously that the number of abortions worldwide fell from 45.5 million in 1995 to 41.6 million in 2003 — the latest year for which global figures were available.

A key reason for that drop, the new report said, was that the portion of married women using contraception increased from 54 percent in 1990 to 63 percent in 2003 as availability increased and social mores changed. Guttmacher’s researchers said contraceptive use had increased in every major region, but still lagged badly in Africa — used by only 28 percent of married women there, compared with at least 68 percent in other major regions.

The report notes that abortions worldwide are declining even as more countries liberalize their abortion laws. Since 1997, it said, only three countries — Poland, Nicaragua and El Salvador — substantially increased restrictions on abortion, while laws were eased significantly in 19 countries and regions, including Cambodia, Nepal and Mexico City.

Despite this trend, the report said 40 percent of the world’s women live in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws, virtually all of them in the developing world. This category includes 92 percent of the women in Africa and 97 percent in Latin America, it said.

The survey concluded that abortion occurs at roughly equal rates in countries where it is legal and where it is highly restricted. The key difference, according to the report, is the high rate of deaths and medical complications from unsafe clandestine abortions in the restrictive countries.

“Legal restrictions do not stop abortion from happening. They just make the procedure dangerous,” Camp said. “Too many women are maimed or killed each year because they lack legal abortion access.”

In one example, the report told of a Nigerian woman named Victoria who first tried to induce an abortion by drinking an herbal concoction, then consulted a traditional healer who inserted leaves in her vagina that caused internal injuries.

The report estimated that 19.7 million of the 41.6 million abortions in 2003 were unsafe — either self-induced, performed by unskilled practitioners or carried out in unhygienic surroundings.

“Almost all of them occurred in less developed countries with restrictive abortion laws,” said the report, which estimated that — beyond the tens of thousands of women killed annually from unsafe abortions — another 8 million women suffer complications because of them.

The report makes three major recommendations:

  • Expand access to modern contraceptives and improve family planning services.
  • Expand access to legal abortion and ensure that safe, legal abortion services are available to women in need.
  • Improve the coverage and quality of post-abortion care, which would reduce maternal death and complications from unsafe abortion.

Camp, in an interview, said sub-Saharan Africa is the area of greatest concern to Guttmacher and like-minded groups. The status of women remains low in many of those countries, she said, while political and religious conservatives block efforts to liberalize abortion laws.

Although the Vatican remains officially opposed to use of contraceptives, Camp said her institute had detected a shift in approach.

“The Catholic Church has informally at least stopped fighting against contraception to the degree it once did and put more of its energies into fighting abortion,” she said. “On the ground there are priests and nuns who refer people to family planning services.”

McQuade, of the Catholic Bishops Conference, said any priest or nun making such referrals was veering from church policy. She contended that use of artificial contraception could increase a women’s health risks and said they would fare better using natural family planning methods approved by the church.

Overall, the report is “a good news/bad news story,” said Susan Cohen, the Guttmacher Institute’s director of government affairs, who hailed the decline in abortions and unintended pregnancies.

“The bad news is that where most of the poor women live, throughout the developing world, unsafe abortion remains high, and women are dying as a result of it,” she said. “It’s so preventable, and that’s the tragedy.”

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Report: Unsafe abortions kill 70,000 annually

Beth Warren           The Loop/AP

Increased contraceptive use has led to fewer abortions worldwide, but deaths from unsafe abortion remain a severe problem, killing 70,000 women a year, a research institute reported Tuesday in a major global survey.

More than half the deaths, about 38,000, are in sub-Saharan Africa, which was singled out as the region with by far the lowest rates of contraceptive use and the highest rates of unintended pregnancies.

The report, three years in the making, was compiled by the New York-based Guttmacher Institute, which supports abortion rights and is a leading source of data on abortion-related trends. Researchers examined data from individual countries and multinational organizations.

The institute’s president, Sharon Camp, said she was heartened by the overall trends since Guttmacher conducted a similar survey in 1999, yet expressed concern about the gap revealed in the new report.

“In almost all developed countries, abortion is safe and legal,” she said. “But in much of the developing world, abortion remains highly restricted, and unsafe abortion is common and continues to damage women’s health and threaten their survival.”

The report calls for further easing of developing nations’ abortion laws, a move criticized by Deirdre McQuade, a policy director with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

“We need to be much more creative in assisting women with supportive services so they don’t need to resort to the unnatural act of abortion,” she said.

Guttmacher estimated previously that the number of abortions worldwide fell from 45.5 million in 1995 to 41.6 million in 2003 — the latest year for which global figures were available.

A key reason for that drop, the new report said, was that the portion of married women using contraception increased from 54 percent in 1990 to 63 percent in 2003 as availability increased and social mores changed. Guttmacher’s researchers said contraceptive use had increased in every major region, but still lagged badly in Africa — used by only 28 percent of married women there, compared with at least 68 percent in other major regions.

The report notes that abortions worldwide are declining even as more countries liberalize their abortion laws. Since 1997, it said, only three countries — Poland, Nicaragua and El Salvador — substantially increased restrictions on abortion, while laws were eased significantly in 19 countries and regions, including Cambodia, Nepal and Mexico City.

Despite this trend, the report said 40 percent of the world’s women live in countries with highly restrictive abortion laws, virtually all of them in the developing world. This category includes 92 percent of the women in Africa and 97 percent in Latin America, it said.

The survey concluded that abortion occurs at roughly equal rates in countries where it is legal and where it is highly restricted. The key difference, according to the report, is the high rate of deaths and medical complications from unsafe clandestine abortions in the restrictive countries.

“Legal restrictions do not stop abortion from happening. They just make the procedure dangerous,” Camp said. “Too many women are maimed or killed each year because they lack legal abortion access.”

In one example, the report told of a Nigerian woman named Victoria who first tried to induce an abortion by drinking an herbal concoction, then consulted a traditional healer who inserted leaves in her vagina that caused internal injuries.

The report estimated that 19.7 million of the 41.6 million abortions in 2003 were unsafe — either self-induced, performed by unskilled practitioners or carried out in unhygienic surroundings.

“Almost all of them occurred in less developed countries with restrictive abortion laws,” said the report, which estimated that — beyond the tens of thousands of women killed annually from unsafe abortions — another 8 million women suffer complications because of them.

The report makes three major recommendations:

—Expand access to modern contraceptives and improve family planning services.

—Expand access to legal abortion and ensure that safe, legal abortion services are available to women in need.

—Improve the coverage and quality of post-abortion care, which would reduce maternal death and complications from unsafe abortion.

Camp, in an interview, said sub-Saharan Africa is the area of greatest concern to Guttmacher and like-minded groups. The status of women remains low in many of those countries, she said, while political and religious conservatives block efforts to liberalize abortion laws.

Although the Vatican remains officially opposed to use of contraceptives, Camp said her institute had detected a shift in approach.

“The Catholic Church has informally at least stopped fighting against contraception to the degree it once did and put more of its energies into fighting abortion,” she said. “On the ground there are priests and nuns who refer people to family planning services.”

McQuade, of the Catholic Bishops Conference, said any priest or nun making such referrals was veering from church policy. She contended that use of artificial contraception could increase a women’s health risks and said they would fare better using natural family planning methods approved by the church.

Overall, the report is “a good news/bad news story,” said Susan Cohen, the Guttmacher Institute’s director of government affairs, who hailed the decline in abortions and unintended pregnancies.

“The bad news is that where most of the poor women live, throughout the developing world, unsafe abortion remains high, and women are dying as a result of it,” she said. “It’s so preventable, and that’s the tragedy.”

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.