Category Archives: Health

Stealthing: Surveys won’t reveal it, trash might

A recent article in a law journal has drawn considerable attention to ‘stealthing‘: when a man secretly removes his condom and continues having sex. Aside from being a heinous violation of trust and hygiene, stealthing reveals one of the many weaknesses in surveys of condom use in East Africa. In short, people could answer honestly that they used condoms.

One of the many problems with condom-use surveys – aside from the rampant lying – is that they don’t ask how condoms are used. Continue reading


Vitamin B6 for ME/CFS: Works for me

Recent research suggests that levels of vitamin B6 in the gut distinguish sufferers of ME/CFS (myalgic encephalomyelitis, aka chronic fatigue syndrome) from healthy people. “Good enough!” says I, “I’ll give it a shot.”

First, though, I looked for information on the most effective form and dosage. Here’s what I found: Continue reading

Their goal is inclusive, so why not the app?

Recently, while searching for a story to report about world-changing, I read a press release about MyGIHealth, which seemed quite promising. As I understood it, people with gastrointestinal problems could use a free app or website to record their symptoms, get meaningful medical feedback, and share a rich record with their physicians. This seemed like a great way to help.

And probably it is for thousands of people. But it works fully only as an iOS app, so large numbers of potential users, including me, are shut out. Surely this results from a mismatch of goals and activities. Continue reading

Xero Shoes’ Amuri Venture: Hands-on Review


(They’re not actually purplish.)

I bought the Amuri Venture sandals from Xero Shoes more than a year ago. My main use of them has been walking, and I’m fairly happy with them. (I’ve also bought and reviewed Xero’s original and Contact DIY sandals and their Ipari Hana shoes.)

The main reason to buy Xero footwear is if you want the closest experience to going barefoot while protecting the bottoms of your feet. I’m not an ideologue on going barefoot(-ish): I simply found that I can avoid or recover from plantar fasciitis and Achilles pain by doing so. Continue reading

Xero Shoes’ Ipari Hana: Hands-on Review

xero-ipari-hanasXero has made my favorite footwear for more than six years. (I’ve bought – and reviewed – Xero’s original do-it-yourself sandals and their DIY Contact sandals, and soon I’ll add the prefab Amuri Ventures.) Sadly, though, sometimes I need to wear actual shoes – due to social expectations or the weather. So I’ve worn through a succession of “barefoot”/zero-drop/minimalist shoes from Nike, Merrell, Vivobarefoot, and Skora. But I always lamented that none quite had the salutary feel of the Xeros – if only they made closed-toed shoes!

Now they do – the Ipari Hana. So I bought a pair, and I’ve worn them for almost three months. Continue reading

Garbology for research on condom use

Recently I completed a systematic review of research explaining patterns of condom use in five East African countries. The most basic conclusion is that researchers failed to answer this vital question. The most informative projects employed ethnographic participant-observation, and future researchers should emphasize this methodology – as opposed to the current focus on surveys, on which people demonstrably lie in large numbers. All of this is detailed in my comprehensive report, which is freely available online.

Nonetheless, participant-observation has its weaknesses, and one of these is in producing stats. Numerical evidence of trends is important for understanding whether a public-health program is working, and it’s something that policymakers and journalists expect. Since asking people directly about their sex lives yields disastrously unreliable answers, less-direct methods are needed. Continue reading

Hadza agree: do more and live longer

Can the Hadza, a group of hunters and gatherers, help us understand how to maintain cardiovascular health? A recent study claims that the answer is yes, in two ways. First, we can correlate their health to their levels of activity. Second, we can extrapolate from these present-day hunters and gatherers to the thousands of generations in which the common ancestors of all humans lived similarly. That is, we can say that humanity evolved to thrive under certain levels of activity. Continue reading