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How to Help Poor People Deny the Tooth Fairy

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

In a recent column I told of my frustrations as I tried to help a struggling North Carolina friend with a toothache find a dentist. I shared my surprise at learning about how hard it is for working poor to get emergency dental care in America.

Readers responded. A few told me of some resources in the community that I had not discovered as I tried to help my friend.   Far more told me stories about the issues elderly or handicapped loved ones were having as they tried to access dental care.  

Many of these stories were about people who were poor not because they cannot find work, but because they are very sick or old.  Under these conditions…

Read more: How to Help Poor People Deny the Tooth Fairy

Treating Obesity as the Result of an Addiction

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

When many of us see a child with Down Syndrome or other visible birth defects, we feel pity and a desire to help. But that is often not the reaction when we see a seriously overweight person. We leap to blame or condemnation.

We get a lot of chances to behave this way. Three out of every four applicants to join the United States military are rejected — mostly for obesity[1]and related poor physical fitness. One in five American kids 12-19 are now obese. [2]

The public attitude has been that all these kids simply ate too much, and exercised too little, and that it was entirely their own fault that they were fat.

Science now understands this is not true.

Although slow…

Read more: Treating Obesity as the Result of an Addiction

Seizing the Ebola Moment to Teach Hygiene

by Francis P. Koster, Ed.D.

Do you know why "important people" are called "bigwigs"?   You hear it often - like when your brother-in-law said "So I sat at the head table with all the bigwigs" when he was bragging about his recent success.

This subject actually links to the emerging epidemic of Ebola.

Going back to 400 B.C. in Egypt, and up until the 1800's in Europe, records are found of important people wearing wigs. One of the several reasons they wore wigs was because they shaved their heads to avoid infestations of lice and other vermin which carried disease like typhus.[1], [2] [3]

Razor blades were primitive, straight, dangerous, expensive, and used on you by someone you hired, becau…

Read more: Seizing the Ebola Moment to Teach Hygiene

By Francis P. Koster Ed. D.

Do you know why "important people" are called "bigwigs"?   You hear it often - like when your brother-in-law said "So I sat at the head table with all the bigwigs" when he was bragging about his recent success.

This subject actually links to the Ebola epidemic .

Start back in 400 B.C. in Egypt, and scroll forward until the 1800's in Europe, and you will find records of important people wearing wigs. One of the several reasons they wore wigs was because they shaved their heads to avoid infestations of lice and other vermin which carried disease like typhus.[1], [2] [3]

Razor blades were primitive, straight, dangerous, expensive, and used on you by someone you hired, because you could not s…

Read more: Seizing the Ebola moment to teach hygine

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