'Laughing in the face of our cancer'
Inspiring: Rachael Bland, left, Lauren Mahon, middle, and Deborah James
Deborah James, 36, is a former deputy head teacher from London. In December 2016, the mother- of-two was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer. She is known to her social media followers as @bowelbabe
Read my latest blog post, then we can talk about something normal’ is how I respond sometimes when people ask me how I am. It’s tiring having to answer the same question a thousand times.
One in two of us get cancer so it’s crazy we still haven’t worked out how to normalise it.
I had classic symptoms six months before diagnosis – I lost half a stone, I was exhausted, I was going to the toilet eight times a day and there was often blood.
But I was a fit young mum and doctors assumed it was bad IBS. When I finally got a referral, a colonoscopy showed a 6.5cm tumour in my bowel.
I thought I was going to die. But one bowel resection, four lung operations (cancer spread to my lungs) and 21 cycles of chemotherapy later, here I still am, achieving things I wouldn’t have dreamt of, such as writing a book and posing for photoshoots.
Sure, some days I can’t lift my head off the pillow, but recording the podcast is a perfect distraction.
We chat about things you don’t read in leaflets – such as fertility, what we look like and what a proper poo looks like – and have a bit of a laugh.
I feel going public is good for my children (Hugo, ten, and Eloise, eight) too. I take comfort from knowing that if things don’t turn out well, they will always know who I am and how I feel about them.
Lauren Mahon, 32, a social media consultant, lives in London and was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2016, aged 31.
Lauren Mahon, 32, a social media consultant, lives in London and was diagnosed with breast cancer in August 2016, aged 31
Doctors discovered my aggressive tumour two months after I’d partied for three days at Glastonbury. I burst out crying, telling my consultant I didn’t want to die. ‘But you’re not going to,’ she said.
She was right – my tumour was localised so treatment was eight rounds of chemotherapy, followed by a lumpectomy, 21 doses of radiation, then hormonal treatment.
My ‘chemo brain’ struck after the third cycle of treatment so I had to give up work. I then started to post on Instagram using #GIRLvs CANCER to connect with like-minded women.
With Deborah and Rachael it was like gossiping over cocktails, while others gave me pity faces.
I could talk about the odd experience of telling a guy you have cancer on a first date. Most were fine with it, and it gave me a much-needed boost to have a drink with someone I fancied.
Now I’m lucky to have the all-clear. Next month, I start a new job and am launching my own T-shirt brand with 25 per cent of profits going to cancer charities.
Rachael Bland, 40, is a BBC radio presenter, diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in November 2016
When I was diagnosed I’d stare at my long blonde hair and think: ‘I can’t believe in a few months I’ll look sick and bald.’
But I never lost my hair – cold caps are a godsend. Treatment wasn’t how I imagined: they put a cannula in your arm, you chat with nurses, play Monopoly, go home.
My side effects weren’t much worse than a bad hangover so I could go on working. Another tumour was found in the same breast last July and I had a mastectomy.
I needed more chemo and 15 rounds of radiotherapy. Afterwards, a scan showed the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes on my opposite side.
I had those taken out in February this year. I looked to social media for others going through a similar experience and found thousands of strong, inspiring women.
This sparked the idea of a podcast to normalise the disease. Despite being ‘Twitter friends’, Deborah, Lauren and I first met at the podcast recording but it was as if we’d known each other for years.
Since then I’ve received hundreds of emails saying: ‘I’ve laughed and cried, not because I’m sad but because you are speaking exactly of my experience.’
The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?
Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.
Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?
We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.
Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group
April 16, 2018
Sources: Daily Mail
ng embraced by doctors and others as a way to combat stress and improve health.</p><p>First we sat in a circle on the leafy ground, each sharing a moment in nature from our childhood that filled us with joy. Next our guide, Kiki, a newly trained forest therapist who insisted we call her by her first name, led us on a mindful — and very slow — walk through the forest. </p><p>“What do you hear, smell, see?” Kiki asked, encouraging us to use all five senses to become deeply “immersed” in the experience. </p><p>An older woman in the group told us that she was undergoing a difficult and stressful period in her life, and that being among the trees felt “healing.” Others mentioned that the activity reminded them of walks they took as part of Boy Scouts or commented on the sounds: insects, birds, the rustling of leaves. I noticed the bright green acorns that dotted the forest floor, which reminded me of my childhood collection of acorns and chestnuts. Admittedly, I was also worried that the early morning rain was fertile ground for vicious mosquitoes (West Nile!) and ticks (Lyme!). </p><p>“I usually encourage participants to sit or lie down on the forest ground and listen to the sounds,” she says. “The hypersonic natural world can be soothing, and things are always moving even while we are still. It can be very calming.” </p><p>“It was a four-hour session that seemed to have an impact on the patients,” she said. “I remember one participant telling me afterward that it was a way to ‘steer away from cancer,’ and the group became very cohesive. I think it helped reduce the isolation in a way that’s different from a regular support group.” </p><p>Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller, an obstetrician-gynecologist based in Cedar Falls, Iowa, began guiding patients in her practice through the Prairie Woods in Hiawatha Iowa, though she has also led groups in forests around Des Moines. She became a certified guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy three years ago and tries to tailor her offerings based on the group she is leading. </p><p>“I generally get a sense of where people are at. For some, it’s best for me to stick to the science, but others may literally want to hug a tree. The traditional tea ceremony at the end might turn some people off, so I’m conscious of that and adjust accordingly,” she says. </p><p>In one exercise, she has participants close their eyes as she guides them through experiencing the different senses, imagining feeling their feet growing into the ground like roots of a tree, for instance, listening to nearby sounds and observing how far they may extend, or smelling the air. It’s similar in many ways to a guided meditation.</p><p>“I recently held a session where four out of the 20 participants were in wheelchairs, so I found a local park that had plenty of trees and a paved sidewalk so everyone could enjoy it,” she says. </p><p>A few hours after my own forest walk, the woman in our group who had mentioned her stress emailed me to say that she had checked her blood pressure afterward and noticed it was lower than usual. “It would be nice to see if there was a meaningful change from before, if they collected that information,” she wrote. </p><p>She had hit on one of the biggest issues around guided forest walks and forest therapy. Is it an evidence-based activity with proven clinical benefits? </p>
o her third child due to a pregnancy-related infection.</p><p>Lindsay Crosby, of Simsbury, Connecticut, had her first son, Nolan, on June 24.</p><p>Eight days later, on July 2, she fell ill and was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she was diagnosed with group A Steptococcus and sepsis.</p><p>On the afternoon of July 4, Lindsay passed away surrounded by her husband Evan, newborn Nolan, and daughters Finlay, five, and Sigrid, three.</p><p>Lindsay Crosby, 32, passed away on July 4 after contracting sepsis from a childbirth-related bacterial infection. She is pictured here with her newborn son Nolan, daughters Finlay and Sigrid, and husband Evan</p><p>'While she was here with us, she filled many roles and wore many hats. All with a beautiful grace and laughter filled presence.</p><p>'She passed far before any were ready for her to go, and yet, we know she is restored to fullness with our Father in heaven.</p><p>'Lindsay was daughter, sister, wife, mother, family & friend to many.'</p><p>Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is incredibly difficult to treat. The bacteria sweep through body tissue and organs swiftly. Once it starts spreading, doctors have to race to treat it with a combination of drugs. Some cases require limb amputations or surgery to remove infected tissue. </p><p>The most common GAS infections come from tampons (toxic shock syndrome) and flesh-eating bacteria in fresh water. </p><p>It is also one of the so-called 'childbed fevers', one of the bacterial infections that women are at-risk of contracting after giving birth. </p><p>Lindsay, pictured with Evan, grew up in Connecticut, where she coached lacrosse</p><p>Relatives paid tribute to Lindsay as 'a woman who lived and loved with her full heart'</p><p>Funds have poured in to support Evan and their three children in the week since</p><p>In recent years, there has been a surge in cases of women developing postpartum GAS as the bacteria becomes more resistant to drugs and immune responses. </p><p>However, the symptoms can be difficult to spot, especially in the first few days after childbirth when women are experiencing various symptoms. It often starts as a cold before developing into the tell-tale fever. Some women experience heavy bleeding, which is a clearer warning sign, but often palmed off as childbirth-related so soon after giving birth. </p><p>Once the infection develops into sepsis, there are few options for treatment. A third of sepsis patients die.</p><p>Lindsay, who grew up in the nearby town of Granby, was the associate director of admission at Westminster School in Simsbury, where she also worked as the coach of the girl's lacrosse team. Her father, Keith, coached the school's men's lacrosse team.</p><p>'While she was here with us, she filled many roles and wore many hats,' a relative wrote on the GoFundMe page, 'all with a beautiful grace and laughter filled presence.' </p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
s and the staff who nursed them back to health, young cancer survivors at Bristol Children's and Great Ormond Street hospitals are applauded as they celebrate the end of their gruelling treatment.</p><p>His mother Cheryl said: 'As a family we have been to hell and back, but Oscar in true superhero style has shown tremendous courage throughout and has never complained.' </p><p>Every day, 12 families in the UK are told their child has cancer, with 10 youngsters tragically passing away from the disease each week.</p><p>Oscar, who was diagnosed with cancer last year, endured chemo, surgery and radiotherapy to combat disease, and was finally able to ring the bell after receiving 28 rounds of radiation</p><p>Olivia May McDonald is another one of the brave cancer survivors who was able to ring the bell</p><p>Sam Sharland also beat the disease that tragically kills 12 children every week in the UK </p><p>A doctor who cares for terminally-ill children revealed the heart-wrenching words of wisdom of youngsters before they die in February 2018.</p><p>Dr Alastair McAlpine, from Paedspal Cape Town paediatric palliative care, tweeted saying young patients often wish they had spent less time worrying and more time at the beach, reading books or eating ice cream.</p><p>Many youngsters are also concerned about how their parents will cope when they are gone, with one saying they will see their father again soon and another asking God to take to take care of them.</p><p>Dr McAlpine also notes no children, who were aged between four and nine, said they wish they had spent more time on Facebook, watching television or fighting with people.</p><p>After feeling there were not enough uplifting stories on Twitter, Dr McAlpine, who started working in palliative paediatric care in May 2017, posted dying children's thoughts on life, which have been retweeted more than 50,000 times.</p><p>Although Dr McAlpine struggles to see youngsters die, he adds it is rewarding to give them a dignified, pain-free passing, saying: 'If I can make their lives slightly less bad, it's worthwhile.'</p><p>He also believes maintaining a relationship with deceased children's parents is a compliment to the standard of care he provides.</p><p>Although Dr McAlpine can find the negativity of his work overwhelming, he finds inspiration from the strength of the children's parents.</p><p>Oscar, who was born healthy in 2014, was diagnosed with a cancer of the soft tissue, known as rhabdomyosarcoma, in June 2017. </p><p>Within days of his diagnosis the youngster was admitted to hospital to start the first of 13 chemotherapy sessions.</p><p>Months later, doctors surgically removed Oscar's tumour, however, he still needed to travel to Germany for a specific form of radiotherapy to reduce the risk of his cancer returning.</p><p>Cheryl said: 'We lived in Germany for seven weeks while Oscar received 28 sessions of therapy while under general anaesthetic, five days a week.</p><p>'This was Oscar's final course of treatment and on our return to the UK he finally got to ring the end of treatment bell. </p><p>'It's Oscar who has been our rock and got us through the darkest of days when it should have been the other way around.'</p><p>Sam Sharland, 10, from Woking, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2013 at just five years old after suffering pains in his neck and hip.</p><p>After more than three years of treatment at The Royal Marsden, Sutton, Sam finally rang the 'end of treatment bell' after his final round of chemotherapy in April 2017.</p><p>His mother Tamsin said: 'Sam is thriving now. It took a couple of months for his strength to return and he had a difficult time with a few side effects.</p><p>'A long summer holiday break and a trip to France to see our friends really helped.</p><p>'Cancer has taught our family to make the most of life.'</p><p>Mark Hooley, from Children with Cancer UK, which arranges for such bells to be placed in hospitals, said: 'Our vision is a world where no child dies of cancer.</p><p>'Childhood cancers are different to the cancers in adults, so it's crucial we continue to invest in innovative new treatments like precision medicine that could improve survival rates in even the hardest-to-treat cancers, reduce the burden of toxicity for young cancer patients and help keep families together.</p><p>'The end of treatment bell is a symbol of the world we are helping to create.</p><p>'The only way we can increase survival rates and find out why children get cancer is by investing in cutting-edge research.</p><p>'We won't stop our work until every child cancer sufferer gets to ring the end of treatment bell.' </p><p>Surrounded by a 'guard of honour' including family and the medical staff who nursed him back to health, Arthur Styles rang the bell to celebrate the end of his treatment </p><p>Arthur makes up part of the 87 per cent of children who were expected to beat cancer in 2017</p><p>Olivia May is one of the approximate 35,000 childhood cancer survivors living in the UK</p><p>In the UK, cancer is the most common cause of death for children aged one-to-14, while the disease causes the second highest number of fatalities after road accidents in teenagers.</p><p>Brain tumours kill more children than any other cancer, with one form of the disease, known as diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, having no cure.</p><p>In 2017, around 84 per cent of children with cancer were expected to survive, compared to just 64 per cent in 1990.</p><p>The approximate 35,000 childhood cancer survivors living in the UK is expected to grow by around 1,300 a year. </p><p>Patients typically face a five-year wait after finishing their treatment before they are declared cured. </p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
er options aren’t so good for you, either. Here are some of the offenders that are best left on the shelf.</p><p>My advice: Pass on this product and instead, try some plain Greek yogurt with a spoonful of almond butter sprinkled with unsweetened, toasted coconut. If you need a little sweetener, use a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. I bet you can get by with less than TJ’s adds to their version.</p><p>A healthier snack idea is to munch on nuts alone, or make your own trail mix, with a blend of mostly nuts, along with dried fruit and other add-ins, such as popcorn, toasted coconut, or whole grain, lower-sugar cereal. For chocolatey flavor, add cacao nibs, which are made from pure cocoa beans and are also sold at Trader Joe’s.</p><p>Don’t be fooled by the word veggie on the label, or by the colorful chips peering out of the see-through package. These crisps are made with potato starch and potato flour, with a little tomato and spinach powder thrown in for coloring. Sweet potato chips, also sold at TJ’s, are made from real sweet potatoes, which means they have a lot more nutrition than these veggie imitators.</p>
or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p><p> All six nurses are expecting within months of each other. (Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health) </p><p>Six nurses in North Carolina who are all expecting within months of each showed off their “baby bumps” in a photo shared by the medical center where they work.</p><p>All six women are between 18 and 37 weeks pregnant.</p><p>The news station reported that Day is due on July 31, while Stringer is due in early September. Johnson is expecting to deliver on September 25, while Huth is due October 11. Hudson is due November 13 while Carlton is due in December.</p><p>“It’s been wonderful leaning on one another and comparing stories and getting and sharing advice,” Carlton, an assistant nurse manager at the cancer center, said.</p><p>The timing has been a “truly a remarkable experience,” she added.</p><p>This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ©2018 FOX News Network, LLC. All rights reserved. All market data delayed 20 minutes.</p>
o her third child due to a pregnancy-related infection.</p><p>Lindsay Crosby, of Simsbury, Connecticut, had her first son, Nolan, on June 24.</p><p>Eight days later, on July 2, she fell ill and was taken by ambulance to hospital, where she was diagnosed with group A Steptococcus and sepsis.</p><p>On the afternoon of July 4, Lindsay passed away surrounded by her husband Evan, newborn Nolan, and daughters Finlay, five, and Sigrid, three.</p><p>Lindsay Crosby, 35, passed away on July 4 after contracting sepsis from a childbirth-related bacterial infection. She is pictured here with her newborn son Nolan, daughters Finlay and Sigrid, and husband Evan</p><p>'While she was here with us, she filled many roles and wore many hats. All with a beautiful grace and laughter filled presence.</p><p>'She passed far before any were ready for her to go, and yet, we know she is restored to fullness with our Father in heaven.</p><p>'Lindsay was daughter, sister, wife, mother, family & friend to many.'</p><p>Group A Streptococcus (GAS) is incredibly difficult to treat. The bacteria sweep through body tissue and organs swiftly. Once it starts spreading, doctors have to race to treat it with a combination of drugs. Some cases require limb amputations or surgery to remove infected tissue. </p><p>The most common GAS infections come from tampons (toxic shock syndrome) and flesh-eating bacteria in fresh water. </p><p>It is also one of the so-called 'childbed fevers', one of the bacterial infections that women are at-risk of contracting after giving birth. </p><p>Lindsay, pictured with Evan, grew up in Connecticut, where she coached lacrosse</p><p>Relatives paid tribute to Lindsay as 'a woman who lived and loved with her full heart'</p><p>Funds have poured in to support Evan and their three children in the week since</p><p>In recent years, there has been a surge in cases of women developing postpartum GAS as the bacteria becomes more resistant to drugs and immune responses. </p><p>However, the symptoms can be difficult to spot, especially in the first few days after childbirth when women are experiencing various symptoms. It often starts as a cold before developing into the tell-tale fever. Some women experience heavy bleeding, which is a clearer warning sign, but often palmed off as childbirth-related so soon after giving birth. </p><p>Once the infection develops into sepsis, there are few options for treatment. A third of sepsis patients die.</p><p>Lindsay, who grew up in the nearby town of Granby, was the associate director of admission at Westminster School in Simsbury, where she also worked as the coach of the girl's lacrosse team. Her father, Keith, coached the school's men's lacrosse team.</p><p>'While she was here with us, she filled many roles and wore many hats,' a relative wrote on the GoFundMe page, 'all with a beautiful grace and laughter filled presence.' </p><p> The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. </p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p>Your comment will be posted to MailOnline as usual.</p><p>Do you want to automatically post your MailOnline comments to your Facebook Timeline?</p><p> We will automatically post your comment and a link to the news story to your Facebook timeline at the same time it is posted on MailOnline. To do this we will link your MailOnline account with your Facebook account. We’ll ask you to confirm this for your first post to Facebook.</p><p>Part of the Daily Mail, The Mail on Sunday & Metro Media Group</p>
whole thing a no-brainer, like drinking water reminder apps, smart water bottles and more. By taking advantage of smart product designed to help you up your water intake, you’ll keep your goal front of mind and sip more throughout the day (instead of trying to guzzle all 64 ounces when you get home at night), without having to add yet another thing to your mental to-do list.</p><p>Here are some of our top picks for smart products that will keep you hydrated.</p><p>Sometimes all it takes to implement a new habit is having it front and center — like that basket of fruit on the counter or setting your gym clothes out the night before. The same can be said for having a big jug of freshly filtered water sitting on your counter or in your fridge, ready to pour into a glass. (Especially when you tiptoe into the kitchen for a midnight snack.) The “smart” pitcher is power activated so it instantly filters a one gallon (or 16 cup) carafe without the painful drip by drip process of your standard water pitchers. Added bonus: it removes 10 times more contaminants, including over 99 percent of lead. The one-gallon dispenser is perfect for the counter, while the half-gallon (8 cup) dispenser fits in the refrigerator door.</p><p>If you’ve jumped on the fitness tracker bandwagon, we have another way to quantify your health. The LVL is the first tracker that measures your body’s hydration (as well as your activity) in real time, alerting you to how much fluid you need. What we really love is how the tracker connects the dots for you: telling you how you can expect the increase in fluid to improve your physical performance, mood and sleep.</p><p>We love turning our goals into games. We have weekly step challenges with our friends, use an app to wager money against our health goals and now we’re using our water intake to indulge our green thumb. Whenever you log a glass, the app uses it to water your virtual plant. If you can’t seem to make drinking water a habit for your own health, keeping your adorable windowsill plant alive may be just the motivation you need.</p>
s they’ve invested in, psychologists report. </p><p>Suppose that, seeking a fun evening out, you pay $175 for a ticket to a new Broadway musical. Seated in the balcony, you quickly realize that the acting is bad, the sets are ugly and no one, you suspect, will go home humming the melodies. </p><p>Do you head out the door at the intermission, or stick it out for the duration?</p><p>Studies of human decision-making suggest that most people will stay put, even though money spent in the past logically should have no bearing on the choice. </p><p>This “sunk cost fallacy,” as economists call it, is one of many ways that humans allow emotions to affect their choices, sometimes to their own detriment. But the tendency to factor past investments into decision-making is apparently not limited to Homo sapiens. </p><p>The more time they invested in waiting for a reward — in the case of the rodents, flavored pellets; in the case of the humans, entertaining videos — the less likely they were to quit the pursuit before the delay ended. </p><p>“Whatever is going on in the humans is also going on in the nonhuman animals,” said A. David Redish, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Minnesota and an author of the study. </p><p>This cross-species consistency, he and others said, suggested that in some decision-making situations, taking account of how much has already been invested might pay off.</p><p>“Evolution by natural selection would not promote any behavior unless it had some — perhaps obscure — net overall benefit,” said Alex Kacelnik, a professor of behavioral ecology at Oxford, who praised the new study as “rigorous” in its methodology and “well designed.” </p><p>“If everybody does it, the reasoning goes, there must be a reason,” Dr. Kacelnik said.</p><p>Even more important than the similarity among species was the study’s finding that sunk cost effects appeared only after the subjects had decided to pursue a reward, Dr. Redish noted, not while they were still deliberating whether to do so.</p><p>In effect, the animals seemed to consider the deliberation time not to be part of their investment — an indication, Dr. Redish said, that different brain processes might be at work in different aspects of decision-making. </p><p>The idea runs counter to the notion that “time is time, and you’re wasting it either way,” he said. </p><p>Shelly Flagel, an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan who was not involved in the study, said the research had “far-reaching implications across fields including education, economics, psychology, neuroscience and psychiatry.” </p><p>For example, she said, persisting in a behavior even though it has adverse consequences is reminiscent of the conduct “exhibited by people with addictions.”</p><p>“Once they start searching for their next ‘fix,’ they will often go hours or days on the same quest, even if it means giving up food, relationships, their job,” Dr. Flagel said. </p><p>Learning more about the distinct processes that go awry in psychiatric disorders like addiction might yield new strategies for treatment, she added.</p><p>In the study, led by a doctoral student, Brian M. Sweis, three research laboratories at the University of Minnesota collaborated to conduct tests on mice, rats and humans. The rodents were trained to forage for the flavored pellets — banana, chocolate, grape or plain — in a square maze with a “restaurant” in each corner. </p><p>The humans were taught to “forage” on a computer for videos of kittens, a dance competition, landscapes or bicycle accidents. Both rodents and humans were given an overall time limit for the foraging tasks.</p><p>In the rodents’ version of the task, the animal first entered an “offer zone” outside a restaurant and heard a pitched tone that informed it how long the wait would be for the pellet reward — a delay that varied randomly from 1 to 30 seconds. </p><p>The animal could skip the offer, in which case it was withdrawn, or it could enter the “wait zone” of the restaurant, setting off a countdown signaled by a descending tone. At any time during the countdown, the rodent could choose to leave the restaurant, but once it left it could not return without going all the way around through the other restaurant offer zones.</p><p>In the human version of the experiment, subjects were offered a video and presented with buttons saying “stay” or “skip.” A download bar informed them how long they would have to wait to view the video. Clicking the “stay” button started a countdown, and the screen showed the progression of the download. </p><p>The study found that the more time the rodents spent in the “wait zone,” the more likely they were to stick out the delay to the end, even though the longer they waited, the more it cut into their overall time to seek food. </p><p>Similarly, the longer the human subjects spent waiting for a video to download, the more likely they were to stay the course until the download was finished. </p><p>Surprisingly, the amount of time that the subjects — rodent or human — spent deliberating whether to accept the “offer” of a reward did not affect whether they quit before receiving it or stayed through to the end. </p><p>“Obviously, the best thing is as quick as possible to get into the wait zone,” Dr. Redish said. “But nobody does that. Somehow, all three species know that if you get into the wait zone, you’re going to pay this sunk cost, and they actually spend extra time deliberating in the offer zone so that they don’t end up getting stuck.” </p><p>Dr. Flagel, of the University of Michigan, noted that as compelling as the new research was, it was not without limitations, including the fact that the tasks presented to humans and rodents, though similar in some ways, were still quite different.</p><p>“The challenge moving forward,” Dr. Flagel said, “is going to be to know that one is truly capturing the same phenomenon across species. Or perhaps more appropriately, what is the meaning of the differences that will be revealed between species?”</p>
bates over how to feed them.</p><p>Today, and throughout the 20th century, the benefits of infant formula vs. breast-feeding have been examined from every angle. What was in vogue one decade became critiqued the next as cultural norms shifted, then shifted again.</p><p>Below, we chart America’s complicated history of infant feeding, starting with the spread of formula.</p><p>It may be hard to imagine now, but infant formula wasn’t always a staple lining store shelves. It took many decades of advertising, legislation and scientific advances for it to become the $70 billion industry that it is today.</p><p>By 1932, manufacturers were prohibited from advertising to anyone other than medical professionals, creating a “positive relationship between physicians and the formula companies,” the overview states.</p><p>“About half these mothers attempted breast-feeding on my urgent advice at first, but most of them quit,” he said. “They had heard that babies did as well on cow’s milk nowadays and did not want to overeat, gain weight or lose their girlish figures.”</p><p>By the 1940s and ‘50s, formula was regarded by the public and much of the medical profession as safe and convenient, but even back then there were glimmers of dissent.</p><p>But some women received the opposite advice from their own doctors.</p><p>“You wouldn’t make a good cow,” the doctor told her.</p><p>The World Health Organization sounded the alarm about a worrisome trend: a decline in breast-feeding in the developing world.</p><p>In 1977, labor, religious and health organizations boycotted Nestlé, one of the biggest producers of infant formula, in response to rising infant mortality rates in developing countries.</p><p>Elliott Abrams, then the assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, said in 1981 that it was a free-speech issue.</p><p>“Despite our governmental interest in encouragement of breast-feeding,” he said, the W.H.O. recommendations for a complete ban on advertising infant formula and the proposed restrictions on the flow of information between manufacturers and consumers “run counter to our constitutional guarantees of free speech and freedom of information.”</p><p>Two high-ranking officials at the United States Agency for International Development resigned in protest.</p><p>Despite these advances, no formula can completely mimic the composition or immunological benefits of breast-feeding. The adage “breast is best” is still widely accepted.</p><p>What is often missing from the debate over breast vs. bottle is the fact that so many women do both. Breast-feeding is still considered the gold standard, but formula supplementation is commonplace, especially as women return to work after maternity leave. For many mothers, this is the best of both worlds.</p><p>Even so, in developing countries, formula still presents a problem, just as it did decades ago.</p>
día lives in one of Mexico’s rainiest regions, but she has running water only once every two days. When it does trickle from her tap, the water is so heavily chlorinated, she said, it’s undrinkable.</p><p>Potable water is increasingly scarce in San Cristóbal de las Casas, a picturesque mountain town in the southeastern state of Chiapas where some neighborhoods have running water just a few times a week, and many households are forced to buy extra water from tanker trucks.</p><p>So, many residents drink Coca-Cola, which is produced by a local bottling plant, can be easier to find than bottled water and is almost as cheap.</p><p>In a country that is among the world’s top consumers of sugary drinks, Chiapas is a champion: Residents of San Cristóbal and the lush highlands that envelop the city drink on average more than two liters, or more than half a gallon, of soda a day.</p><p>The effect on public health has been devastating. The mortality rate from diabetes in Chiapas increased 30 percent between 2013 and 2016, and the disease is now the second-leading cause of death in the state after heart disease, claiming more than 3,000 lives every year.</p><p>“Soft drinks have always been more available than water,” said Ms. Abadía, 35, a security guard who, like her parents, has struggled with obesity and diabetes.</p><p>Vicente Vaqueiros, 33, a doctor at the clinic in San Juan Chamula, a nearby farming town, said health care workers were struggling to deal with the surge in diabetes.</p><p>“When I was a kid and used to come here, Chamula was isolated and didn’t have access to processed food,” he said. “Now, you see the kids drinking Coke and not water. Right now, diabetes is hitting the adults, but it’s going to be the kids next. It’s going to overwhelm us.”</p><p>Buffeted by the dual crises of the diabetes epidemic and the chronic water shortage, residents of San Cristóbal have identified what they believe is the singular culprit: the hulking Coca-Cola factory on the edge of town.</p><p>Public ire has been boiling over. In April 2017, masked protesters marched on the factory holding crosses that read “Coca-Cola kills us” and demanding that the government shut the plant down.</p><p>“When you see that institutions aren’t providing something as basic as water and sanitation, but you have this company with secure access to one of the best water sources, of course it gives you a shock,” said Fermin Reygadas, the director of Cántaro Azul, an organization that provides clean water to rural communities.</p><p>Coca-Cola executives and some outside experts say the company has been unfairly maligned for the water shortages. They blame rapid urbanization, poor planning and a lack of government investment that has allowed the city’s infrastructure to crumble.</p><p>Climate change, scientists say, has also played a role in the failure of artesian wells that sustained San Cristóbal for generations.</p><p>“It doesn’t rain like it used to,” said Jesús Carmona, a biochemist at the local Ecosur scientific research center, which is affiliated with the Mexican government. “Almost every day, day and night, it used to rain.”</p><p>But at a time of growing strife between Mexico and the United States, fed by President Trump’s vow to build a border wall and his threats to scrap the North American Free Trade Agreement, the increasing antipathy toward Coca-Cola has come to symbolize the frustrations that many Mexicans feel about their northern neighbor.</p><p>The plant is owned by Femsa, a food and beverage behemoth that owns the rights to bottle and sell Coca-Cola throughout Mexico and much of the rest of Latin America. Femsa is one of Mexico’s most powerful companies; a former chief executive of Coca-Cola in Mexico, Vicente Fox, was the country’s president from 2000 to 2006.</p><p>Nafta has been beneficial for Femsa, which has received hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign investment.</p><p>But in San Cristóbal, Nafta is widely viewed as an unwelcome interloper. On New Year’s Day in 1994, the day the trade pact went into effect, rebels from the Zapatista Army of National Liberation swept into San Cristóbal, declared war against the Mexican state and burned government buildings.</p><p>Although the two sides eventually signed a peace agreement, anti-globalization sentiment still simmers across the region, one of the poorest in Mexico.</p><p>“Coca-Cola is abusive, manipulative,” said Martin López López, a local activist who has helped organize boycotts and protests against the soda company. “They take our pure water, they dye it and they trick you on TV saying that it’s the spark of life. Then they take the money and go.”</p><p>Femsa executives say the plant has little impact on the city’s water supply, noting that its wells are far deeper than the surface springs that supply local residents.</p><p>“When we hear, and when we read in the news, that we’re finishing up the water, the truth is it really shocks us,” said José Ramón Martínez, a company spokesman.</p><p>The company is also an important economic force in San Cristóbal, employing about 400 people and contributing around $200 million to the state economy, Mr. Martínez said.</p><p>Critics, however, say the sweetheart deal between Femsa and the federal government doesn’t serve the city well.</p><p>Laura Mebert, a social scientist at Kettering University in Michigan who has studied the conflict, says Coca-Cola pays a disproportionately small amount for its water privileges — about 10 cents per 260 gallons.</p><p>“Coca-Cola pays this money to the federal government, not the local government,” Ms. Mebert said, “while the infrastructure that serves the residents of San Cristóbal is literally crumbling.”</p><p>Among the issues facing the city is a lack of wastewater treatment, meaning that raw sewage flows directly into local waterways. Mr. Carmona, the biochemist, said San Cristóbal’s rivers were rife with E. coli and other infectious pathogens.</p><p>Last year, in an apparent effort to appease the community, Femsa began talks with local residents to build a water treatment plant that would provide clean drinking water to 500 families in the area.</p><p>But rather than easing tensions, the plan led to more protests by locals and forced the company to halt construction of the facility.</p><p>“We’re not against the treatment plant,” said León Ávila, a professor at the Intercultural University of Chiapas, who led the protests. “We just want the government to fulfill its obligation to provide potable water for its citizens. How are we supposed to allow Coke to wash its sins after years of taking the water from San Cristóbal?”</p><p>Since bottles of Coca-Cola arrived here a half-century ago, the beverage has been deeply intertwined with the local culture.</p><p>In San Juan Chamula, bottled soda anchors religious ceremonies cherished by the city’s indigenous Tzotzil population.</p><p>Inside the town’s whitewashed church, tourists step gingerly across carpets of fresh pine needles as copal incense and smoke from hundreds of candles fill the air.</p><p>But the main draw here for tourists is to watch the faithful, who pray over bottles of Coke or Pepsi, and also over live chickens, some sacrificed on the spot.</p><p>Many Tzotzil believe carbonated soda has the power to heal the sick. Mikaela Ruiz, 41, a local resident, recalls how soda helped cure her infant daughter, who was weak from vomiting and diarrhea. The ceremony was performed by her diabetic mother, a traditional healer who has performed the soda ceremonies for more than 40 years.</p><p>But, for many in San Cristóbal, the ubiquity of cheap Coca-Cola — and the diabetes that stalks nearly every household — simply compounds their anger toward the soft drink company.</p><p>Local health advocates say aggressive marketing campaigns by Coke and Pepsi that started in the 1960s helped embed sugary soft drinks into local religious practices, which blend Catholicism with Maya rituals. For decades, the companies produced billboards in local languages, often using models in traditional Tzotzil garb.</p><p>Although Coke has since discontinued the ad campaigns, Mr. Martínez, the Femsa spokesman, described them as “a gesture of respect toward indigenous communities.”</p><p>He also rejected criticisms that the company’s beverages have had a negative impact on public health. Mexicans, he said, may have a genetic proclivity toward diabetes.</p><p>While scientific research does suggest that Mexicans of indigenous ancestry have higher rates of diabetes, local advocates say this puts even greater responsibility on multinational companies that sell products high in sugar.</p><p>“Indigenous people ate very simple food,” said Mr. López, the activist, who spent years living with rural communities as a missionary. “And when Coke arrived, their bodies weren’t ready for it.”</p><p>Ms. Abadía, the security guard, said she blamed herself for drinking so much soda. Still, with her mother’s health deteriorating, and having watched her father die from complications from diabetes, she can’t help but fear for her own well-being.</p><p>“I’m worried I’ll end up blind or without a foot or a hand,” she said. “I’m very scared.”</p>