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Tastes from our past can spark memories, trigger pain or boost wellbeing. Here’s how to embrace food nostalgia

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/megan-lee-490875">Megan Lee</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-angus-1542552">Doug Angus</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-simpson-1542551">Kate Simpson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a></em></p> <p>Have you ever tried to bring back fond memories by eating or drinking something unique to that time and place?</p> <p>It could be a Pina Colada that recalls an island holiday? Or a steaming bowl of pho just like the one you had in Vietnam? Perhaps eating a favourite dish reminds you of a lost loved one – like the sticky date pudding Nanna used to make?</p> <p>If you have, you have tapped into <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02699931.2022.2142525">food-evoked nostalgia</a>.</p> <p>As researchers, we are exploring how eating and drinking certain things from your past may be important for your mood and mental health.</p> <h2>Bittersweet longing</h2> <p>First named in 1688 by Swiss medical student, <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/44437799">Johannes Hoffer</a>, <a href="https://compass.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/spc3.12070">nostalgia</a> is that bittersweet, sentimental longing for the past. It is experienced <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00595.x">universally</a> across different cultures and lifespans from childhood into older age.</p> <p>But nostalgia does not just involve positive or happy memories – we can also experience nostalgia for <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2F0022-3514.91.5.975">sad and unhappy moments</a> in our lives.</p> <p>In the <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Femo0000817">short and long term</a>, nostalgia can positively impact our health by improving <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fa0025167">mood</a> and <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Femo0000817">wellbeing</a>, fostering <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fa0017597">social connection</a> and increasing quality of life. It can also trigger feelings of <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Femo0000817">loneliness or meaninglessness</a>.</p> <p>We can use nostalgia to <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fa0025167">turn around a negative mood</a> or enhance our sense of <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Femo0000817">self, meaning and positivity</a>.</p> <p>Research suggests nostalgia alters activity in the <a href="https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/17/12/1131/6585517">brain regions associated with reward processing</a> – the same areas involved when we seek and receive things we like. This could explain the <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352250X22002445?via%3Dihub">positive feelings</a> it can bring.</p> <p>Nostalgia can also increase feelings of loneliness and sadness, particularly if the memories highlight dissatisfaction, grieving, loss, or wistful feelings for the past. This is likely due to activation of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352250X22002445?casa_token=V31ORDWcsx4AAAAA:Vef9hiwUz9506f5PYGsXH-JxCcnsptQnVPNaAGares2xTU5JbKSHakwGpLxSRO2dNckrdFGubA">brain areas</a> such as the amygdala, responsible for processing emotions and the prefrontal cortex that helps us integrate feelings and memories and regulate emotion.</p> <h2>How to get back there</h2> <p>There are several ways we can <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2006-20034-013.html">trigger</a> or tap into nostalgia.</p> <p>Conversations with family and friends who have shared experiences, unique objects like photos, and smells can <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352250X23000076">transport us back</a> to old times or places. So can a favourite song or old TV show, reunions with former classmates, even social media <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2015/3/24/8284703/facebook-on-this-day-nostalgia-recap">posts and anniversaries</a>.</p> <p>What we eat and drink can trigger <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/QMR-06-2012-0027/full/html">food-evoked nostalgia</a>. For instance, when we think of something as “<a href="https://theconversation.com/health-check-why-do-we-crave-comfort-food-in-winter-118776">comfort food</a>”, there are likely elements of nostalgia at play.</p> <p>Foods you found comforting as a child can evoke memories of being cared for and nurtured by loved ones. The form of these foods and the stories we tell about them may have been handed down through generations.</p> <p>Food-evoked nostalgia can be very powerful because it engages multiple senses: taste, smell, texture, sight and sound. The sense of <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09658211.2013.876048?casa_token=wqShWbRXJaYAAAAA%3AqJabgHtEbPtEQp7qHnl7wOb527bpGxzIJ_JwQX8eAyq1IrM_HQFIng8ELAMyuoFoeZyiX1zeJTPf">smell</a> is closely linked to the limbic system in the brain responsible for emotion and memory making food-related memories particularly vivid and emotionally charged.</p> <p>But, food-evoked nostalgia can also give rise to <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hpja.873">negative memories</a>, such as of being forced to eat a certain vegetable you disliked as a child, or a food eaten during a sad moment like a loved ones funeral. Understanding why these foods <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02699931.2022.2142525?casa_token=16kAPHUQTukAAAAA%3A9IDvre8yUT8UsuiR_ltsG-3qgE2sdkIFgcrdH3T5EYbVEP9JZwPcsbmsPLT6Kch5EFFs9RPsMTNn">evoke negative memories</a> could help us process and overcome some of our adult food aversions. Encountering these foods in a positive light may help us reframe the memory associated with them.</p> <h2>What people told us about food and nostalgia</h2> <p>Recently <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/hpja.873">we interviewed eight Australians</a> and asked them about their experiences with food-evoked nostalgia and the influence on their mood. We wanted to find out whether they experienced food-evoked nostalgia and if so, what foods triggered pleasant and unpleasant memories and feelings for them.</p> <p>They reported they could use foods that were linked to times in their past to manipulate and influence their mood. Common foods they described as particularly nostalgia triggering were homemade meals, foods from school camp, cultural and ethnic foods, childhood favourites, comfort foods, special treats and snacks they were allowed as children, and holiday or celebration foods. One participant commented:</p> <blockquote> <p>I guess part of this nostalgia is maybe […] The healing qualities that food has in mental wellbeing. I think food heals for us.</p> </blockquote> <p>Another explained</p> <blockquote> <p>I feel really happy, and I guess fortunate to have these kinds of foods that I can turn to, and they have these memories, and I love the feeling of nostalgia and reminiscing and things that remind me of good times.</p> </blockquote> <p>Understanding food-evoked nostalgia is valuable because it provides us with an insight into how our sensory experiences and emotions intertwine with our memories and identity. While we know a lot about how food triggers nostalgic memories, there is still much to learn about the specific brain areas involved and the differences in food-evoked nostalgia in different cultures.</p> <p>In the future we may be able to use the science behind food-evoked nostalgia to help people experiencing dementia to tap into lost memories or in psychological therapy to help people reframe negative experiences.</p> <p>So, if you are ever feeling a little down and want to improve your mood, consider turning to one of your favourite comfort foods that remind you of home, your loved ones or a holiday long ago. Transporting yourself back to those times could help turn things around.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232826/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/megan-lee-490875">Megan Lee</a>, Senior Teaching Fellow, Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/doug-angus-1542552">Doug Angus</a>, Assistant Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/kate-simpson-1542551">Kate Simpson</a>, Sessional academic, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/bond-university-863">Bond University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/tastes-from-our-past-can-spark-memories-trigger-pain-or-boost-wellbeing-heres-how-to-embrace-food-nostalgia-232826">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Mind

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How much do you need to know about how your spouse spends money? Maybe less than you think

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/scott-rick-1534612">Scott Rick</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-michigan-1290">University of Michigan</a></em></p> <p>Love is in the air, and wedding season is upon us.</p> <p>Like many elder millennials, I grew up watching sitcoms in the 1980s and ‘90s. Whenever those series needed a ratings boost, they would feature a wedding. Those special episodes taught me that weddings usually involve young lovebirds: think Elvin and Sondra from “The Cosby Show,” Cory and Topanga from “Boy Meets World,” or David and Darlene from “Roseanne.”</p> <p>But those were different times. People are getting married later in life than they used to: In the United States, <a href="https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/visualizations/time-series/demo/families-and-households/ms-2.pdf">the median age of newlyweds</a> has grown to 28 for women and 30 for men.</p> <p>This trend means that many Americans now enter marriage after being self-reliant for several years, including managing their own money. Will they be eager to change that once they get married? Don’t count on it. A 2017 <a href="https://bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com/content/dam/bmh/pdf/ar6vnln9-boa-bmh-millennial-report-winter-2018-final2.pdf">Bank of America survey</a> suggests that millennial married couples are around 15 percentage points more likely than their predecessors to keep their finances separate.</p> <p>This is not necessarily a good development. As a behavioral scientist <a href="https://michiganross.umich.edu/faculty-research/faculty/scott-rick">who studies money and relationships</a>, I find that joint accounts <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucad020">can bring partners closer</a>.</p> <p>There are some risks, however. Joint accounts create transparency, and intuitively, transparency feels like a good thing in relationships. But I argue that some privacy is important even for highly committed couples – <a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280077/tightwadsandspendthrifts">and money is no exception</a>.</p> <h2>The newlywed game</h2> <p>Behavioral scientists <a href="https://kelley.iu.edu/faculty-research/faculty-directory/profile.html?id=jgolson">Jenny Olson</a>, <a href="https://som.yale.edu/faculty-research/faculty-directory/deborah-small">Deb Small</a>, <a href="https://www.kellogg.northwestern.edu/faculty/directory/finkel_eli.aspx">Eli Finkel</a> and I recently conducted <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/50/4/704/7077142">an experiment with engaged and newlywed couples</a>. Each of the pairs had entirely separate accounts, but they were undecided about how they wanted to manage their money moving forward.</p> <p>We randomly assigned each of the 230 couples to one of three groups. One group kept their money in separate accounts; one merged their cash into a joint account and stopped using separate accounts; and one managed their money however they liked.</p> <p>We followed couples for two years, periodically asking them to complete surveys assessing their relationship dynamics and satisfaction. Our relationship quality measure included items such as “I cannot imagine another person making me as happy as my partner does” and “Within the last three months, I shouted or yelled at my partner.”</p> <p>Among the couples who could do whatever they wanted, most kept things separate. They and the couples assigned to keep separate accounts experienced a steady decline in relationship quality over time.</p> <p>This is a fairly typical pattern. For instance, in <a href="https://academic.oup.com/sf/article-abstract/79/4/1313/2234046">a large study that tracked U.S. couples’ marital happiness for 17 years</a>, <a href="https://www.unk.edu/academics/social-work/faculty_staff/van_laningham.php">sociologist Jody Van Laningham</a> and colleagues found that “marital happiness either declines continuously or flattens after a long period of decline.”</p> <p>Declines during the first two years of marriage are particularly important. Social scientist <a href="https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/prc/faculty/hustontl">Ted Huston</a> and colleagues call those first two years <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.80.2.237">the “connubial crucible</a>.” They find that relationship dynamics that develop during that crucial period can foreshadow relationship quality for many years to come.</p> <p>Couples in our study who were prompted to take the plunge into a joint account, however, maintained their initial level of relationship satisfaction over the course of the two-year experiment.</p> <h2>Tit-for-tat</h2> <p>Our survey results suggest that, by turning “my money” and “your money” into “our money,” a joint account can help to reduce scorekeeping within a relationship. For example, we found that couples with joint accounts were more likely to agree with statements such as “When one person does something for the other, the other should not owe the giver anything.”</p> <p>Relationships usually don’t start with a scorekeeping orientation. In the 1980s and ‘90s, psychologist <a href="https://psychology.yale.edu/people/margaret-clark">Margaret Clark</a> and colleagues conducted experiments where partners had the option of keeping track of each other’s contributions to a shared task. <a href="https://clarkrelationshiplab.yale.edu/sites/default/files/files/Resource%20allocation%20in%20intimate%20relationships.pdf">They observed</a> that intimate relationships often begin with a “communal” orientation, where partners help one another without keeping careful track of who’s doing what.</p> <p>Eventually, however, they take on more of an “exchange” orientation – where inputs are tracked and timely reciprocity is expected. Couples that manage to stave off a tit-for-tat mindset <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797610373882">tend to be happier</a>.</p> <h2>Too much of a good thing?</h2> <p>The data from our experiment with young couples clearly suggests that using only a joint account is better than using only separate accounts. However, I argue in my new book, “<a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280077/">Tightwads and Spendthrifts</a>,” that just a joint account is probably not optimal.</p> <p>When partners use only a joint account, they get an up-close-and-personal view of how the other person is spending money. This kind of transparency is <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/money-habits-successful-married-couples-avoid-2016-11">normally viewed</a> as a good thing.</p> <p>Some commentators argue that a healthy marriage should have no secrets whatsoever. For example, Willard Harley, Jr., a clinical psychologist who primarily writes for Christian audiences, argues that you should “reveal to your spouse <a href="https://www.marriagebuilders.com/the-policy-of-radical-honesty.htm">as much information about yourself as you know</a>: your thoughts, feelings, habits, likes, dislikes, personal history, daily activities, and plans for the future.”</p> <p>In addition, if your goal is to minimize optional spending, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/jcpy.1083">research suggests</a> that the transparency that comes with a joint account can be helpful. We spend less when someone is looking over our shoulder.</p> <p>Still, there are reasons to believe that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0265407500172005">complete transparency can be harmful for couples</a>.</p> <p>Many people have become convinced that if they could just stop buying lattes and avocado toast, they could invest that money and become rich. Unfortunately, the underlying math is highly dubious, as journalist Helaine Olen points out in <a href="https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/308568/pound-foolish-by-helaine-olen/">her book “Pound Foolish</a>.” Still, many people view small indulgences as their primary obstacle to wealth. Complete transparency around these financially inconsequential “treats” <a href="https://slate.com/business/2021/09/partner-hates-retail-therapy-money-advice.html">can lead to unnecessary arguments</a>.</p> <p>Also, spouses may have different passions that their partner does not fully understand. Expenses that seem perfectly reasonable to another hobbyist may seem outrageous <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jcr/article-abstract/19/2/256/1929895">to someone without the proper context</a> – another source of <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S2352250X21000750">avoidable disagreements</a>.</p> <h2>'Translucent,’ not transparent</h2> <p>I propose that many couples may benefit from a combination of joint and separate accounts.</p> <p>A joint account is essential for ensuring that both partners have immediate and equal access to “our money.” Ideally, all income would be direct-deposited into the joint account, which would help to blur the gap between partners’ earnings. Conspicuous income differences <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/432228">can jeopardize relationship quality</a>.</p> <p>Separate accounts attached to the joint account can allow some privacy for individual purchases and help partners maintain a sense of autonomy and individuality. Each person gets to spend some of “our money” without their partner looking over their shoulder. Spouses would have a high-level understanding of how much their partner is spending per week or per month, but avoid the occasionally irritating details.</p> <p>This kind of partial financial transparency – <a href="https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250280077/tightwadsandspendthrifts">what I call “financial translucency</a>” – could help couples strike the right balance between financial and psychological well-being.</p> <p>Of course, this approach requires a lot of trust. If the relationship is already on thin ice, complete financial transparency may be necessary. However, if the relationship is generally in the “good, but could be even better” category, I would argue that financial translucency is worth considering.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230070/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/scott-rick-1534612">Scott Rick</a>, Associate Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-michigan-1290">University of Michigan</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-much-do-you-need-to-know-about-how-your-spouse-spends-money-maybe-less-than-you-think-230070">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Been scammed? Here's how to financially recover

<p>Many people feel shame and embarrassment after realising they have been scammed. But you shouldn’t. You did nothing wrong; you are the victim of a crime. </p> <p>Not only are such feelings bad for your mental wellbeing, but they also often stop people reporting the scam or taking action to avoid further losses. </p> <p>Remember too that you’re not alone: victims reported more than 601,000 scams to the ACCC in 2023, together losing a staggering $2.74 billion. People of all ages, professions, and backgrounds have been affected. </p> <p>As hard as it may be, try to leave emotion aside and approach this like any other money matter – logically and methodically. Doing so will help you act faster and more decisively, which is crucial to your financial recovery. </p> <p>The following checklist will help you through this process:</p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 1 – Try to recoup your stolen money</strong></li> </ul> <p>Report the scam immediately. Contact your bank or card provider to stop the transaction being processed. Notify the company or marketplace where it occurred – they may have options to reverse the payment or for you to claim compensation for fraud. </p> <p>Also inform the ACCC’s Scamwatch and police if relevant, which may aid in tracking down the scammer and will help them alert the wider public on what to look out for. </p> <p>Unfortunately, the money is likely gone for good, but prompt action may just help you get some or all of it back. </p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 2 – Secure your accounts from further thefts</strong></li> </ul> <p>Once scammers have found a way to steal money, they often go back to try for more. Don’t let them! </p> <p>Freeze or cancel affected debit and credit cards, accounts etc. Change and strengthen all your passwords. Set up two-factor authentication if you haven’t already. Remove any suspicious applications on electronic devices. </p> <p>Double check the registrations of any business, adviser or tradesperson before engaging their services. Regularly check your superannuation, investments etc. to monitor for any inconsistencies.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 3 – Safeguard your cash flow</strong></li> </ul> <p>Don’t multiplying your losses by racking up new debts to cover the stolen money. That means limiting the use of credit cards, payday lenders and Buy Now, Pay Later schemes. Consider paying with cash instead to help you stick to a budget.</p> <p>If you have lost everything, register with Centrelink for income support. You may also be able to apply for hardship provisions with your bank, phone and energy providers and other essential services.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 4 – Get reputable advice</strong></li> </ul> <p>Legal advice may be able to get you out of bogus contracts, like loans or phone plans, and help you in the event your personal information has been stolen (which can be used in various ways to steal money). If you can’t afford a lawyer, there are free alternatives such as Legal Aid or Community Legal Centres. Specialist services such as the Women’s Legal Service may offer support where partner coercion or domestic abuse is involved.</p> <p>Accounting and financial advice may also help you navigate assistance options and longer term recovery efforts.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Step 5 – Rebuild your finances</strong></li> </ul> <p>Your ability to rebuild your finances after a scam will depend on a range of factors, including how much was lost plus your age and circumstances.</p> <p>You could seek to increase your earnings and/or cut your spending by tweaking your household budget, delaying retirement, or temporarily taking a second job to boost your income. </p> <p>Another option is to make your remaining finances work harder than before, such as adjusting your investment strategies (e.g. changing your risk weightings or selling assets) including within your superannuation or accessing equity in your home.</p> <p>If you’re a self-funded retiree, you may now qualify for a part or full pension if your scam losses push your total assets below the means test threshold.</p> <p>Ultimately, the most important things when dealing with the fallout from a scam is to look after yourself and protect what you have left.</p> <p>Scammers have already taken off with your dollars. Don’t let them steal your sense too!</p> <p><em><strong>Helen Baker is a licensed Australian financial adviser and author of On Your Own Two Feet: The Essential Guide to Financial Independence for all Women. Helen is among the 1% of financial planners who hold a master’s degree in the field. Proceeds from book sales are donated to charities supporting disadvantaged women and children. Find out more at <a href="http://www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au/">www.onyourowntwofeet.com.au</a></strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Disclaimer: The information in this article is of a general nature only and does not constitute personal financial or product advice. Any opinions or views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent those of people, institutions or organisations the owner may be associated with in a professional or personal capacity unless explicitly stated. Helen Baker is an authorised representative of BPW Partners Pty Ltd AFSL 548754.</strong></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Take my (bad) breath away – causes of halitosis and how to check whether you have it

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p>In Greek mythology, the many-headed beast <a href="https://mythopedia.com/topics/hydra">Hydra</a> had such severe <a href="https://patient.info/oral-dental-care/bad-breath-halitosis">halitosis</a> that the stench of its breath was deadly to anyone who smelled it. Thankfully, our morning breath might not be that pungent – although eating <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/get-rid-of-garlic-onion-breath">onions or garlic</a> can put some people in competition with the Hydra.</p> <p>Halitosis has many causes (aside from poor oral hygiene) and can indicate problems with the gut, the sinuses and even the bloodstream. In fact, breath samples can even be tested to make formal diagnoses of health conditions.</p> <p>One condition that can affect the smell of breath is <a href="https://www.diabetes.org.uk/">diabetes mellitus</a>. This is a metabolic disorder where sugar (glucose) is unable to access the body’s cells where it is needed to provide energy, and so rises in the bloodstream.</p> <p>In some instances, such as insufficient insulin dosing, or infection, the body’s response is to break down fats into compounds called ketones to act as a rapid form of fuel. This serious condition is called <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/diabetic-ketoacidosis/">diabetic ketoacidosis</a>.</p> <p>Ketones have a distinctive scent. <a href="https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/acetone-properties-and-incident-management/acetone-general-information">Acetone</a>, which is also an ingredient in some nail varnish removers, is one of these ketones and has the smell of pear drops. When ketones build up in the bloodstream they easily <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0967-3334/32/8/N01/pdf">diffuse into the breath</a>, giving it a <a href="https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319683">fruity odour</a>.</p> <p>It’s not just diabetes that can trigger ketone production. <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36033148/">Some diets</a> are based on generating ketones from the breakdown of fats to promote weight loss. These methods, such as the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/atkins-diet-101">Atkins diet</a>, force the body to convert fat into energy by restricting carbohydrates.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/5U8IDO1fHlU?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Other diets based on the same principles include the <a href="https://patient.info/healthy-living/weight-loss-weight-reduction/52-diet">5:2</a> intermittent fasting diet. On this diet, followers restrict food intake on two days of the week to significantly reduce calorie consumption – and make the body produce ketones.</p> <p>These diets may help weight loss, but the side-effects can be grim. One of the most notorious side-effects is foul breath, although there are also anecdotal reports of <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2019/03/03/is-keto-crotch-really-a-side-effect-of-the-keto-diet/">“keto crotch”</a> where some followers of keto diets complain of strong genital odour.</p> <h2>Bacteria and breath</h2> <p>Another cause of bad breath is an <a href="https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1752-7155/4/1/017003/pdf">overgrowth of bacteria</a> that produce foul smells. There are plenty of nooks and crannies in the mouth for bacteria to hide, grow and fester, especially the hard-to-clean areas – in between the teeth, and in and around the gums and tongue – or out-of-reach places, such as right at the back of the mouth and the throat.</p> <p>The throat acts as a passage for food, fluids and air. Some patients can develop a condition called <a href="https://www.entuk.org/patients/conditions/49/pharyngeal_pouch_surgery_new">pharyngeal pouch</a>. This is where a pocket forms at the back of the pharynx (the medical name for the throat) in which food and fluids can accumulate, ferment and give breath a pungent odour.</p> <p>Bacteria can also trigger infections in the mouth, like tonsillitis and tooth abscesses where tissues become inflamed, or develop purulence (production of pus). Pus is a collection of different dead cells, including bacteria, and it too can give off a putrid smell.</p> <p>Also, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25234037/">sinusitis</a> – which is an infection of the air-filled cavities in the skull – can drip foul-smelling infected secretions into the throat, causing bad breath.</p> <h2>Breath tests</h2> <p>Doctors can test breath for bacteria to diagnose some health conditions. For example, <em><a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28891138/">Helicobacter pylori</a></em>, bacteria that can irritate the gut and lead to the development of potentially dangerous ulcers, turns the compound urea into carbon dioxide. To test for <em>H pylori</em>, a <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stomach-ulcer/diagnosis/">diagnostic breath test</a> is performed before and after dosing a patient with urea. If the patient exhales increased levels of carbon dioxide after being dosed with urea, then the test is positive.</p> <p>Breath can also be tested for an overgrowth of bacteria in the <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/sibo">small intestine</a> (Sibo), which can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain and bloating. Sibo produces gases like hydrogen and methane that can also be detected with a breath test.</p> <p>If you’re worried about pongy breath and don’t have any medical issues, then you can <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/how-to-smell-your-own-breath">test your own breath</a>. The age-old method is to lick the back of your wrist, let it dry and then have a sniff. You can also do the same with a tongue scraper, dental floss or a sample of breath exhaled into a cupped hand.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/ak5UEM8FK2s?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>Often, we can become used to the smell of our own breath. We might only notice when it becomes really bad, or when there are other symptoms, like a foul taste in the mouth. Or when someone plucks up the courage to finally tell you that you have a case of the breath pongs.</p> <p>Suppose someone has broken the news – what do you do now? <a href="https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bad-breath/">Simple measures can work well</a>, including regular fluid intake – <a href="https://www.dentalhealth.org/bad-breath">dry mouth</a> can lead to bad breath so make sure you’re drinking enough water – and good oral hygiene. This involves brushing the teeth, tongue and flossing between your teeth to eliminate any bacterial hot spots, as well as regular checkups at the dentist.</p> <p>Mouthwash can be an effective temporary solution but there’s evidence that a <a href="https://theconversation.com/eating-leafy-greens-could-be-better-for-oral-health-than-using-mouthwash-221181#:%7E:text=But%20research%20has%20indicated%20that,alternative%20for%20treating%20oral%20disease.">diet rich in leafy greens</a> might be even better at countering bad breath.</p> <p>Smoking is another potential underlying <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-get-rid-of-cigarette-breath#1-brush-teeth">cause of halitosis</a>. So if you want sweeter breath, pack in the cigarettes – yet another good reason to give up.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/231858/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/dan-baumgardt-1451396">Dan Baumgardt</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-bristol-1211">University of Bristol</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/take-my-bad-breath-away-causes-of-halitosis-and-how-to-check-whether-you-have-it-231858">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Southern Australia is freezing. How can it be so cold in a warming climate?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-king-103126">Andrew King</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>People living in southern Australia won’t have failed to notice how cold it is. Frosty nights and chilly days have been the weather for many of us since the start of July.</p> <p>As winter continues, we are left wondering how unusual the cold is and whether we can expect several more months of this. Warmer conditions are in the forecast but winter has a long way to go. Further cold snaps could occur.</p> <p>Cold conditions have been in place across southern Australia for the past few days. Temperatures have fallen below zero overnight in many places.</p> <p>It’s not just the nights that have been cold. Maximum temperatures have also been below or well below average across most of the country.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/604809/original/file-20240704-20-l50kpt.gif?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/604809/original/file-20240704-20-l50kpt.gif?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/604809/original/file-20240704-20-l50kpt.gif?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=412&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604809/original/file-20240704-20-l50kpt.gif?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=412&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604809/original/file-20240704-20-l50kpt.gif?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=412&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604809/original/file-20240704-20-l50kpt.gif?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=518&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604809/original/file-20240704-20-l50kpt.gif?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=518&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604809/original/file-20240704-20-l50kpt.gif?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=518&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">Maximum temperatures have been below average across most of the continent since the last day of June.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/awap/temp/index.jsp">Bureau of Meteorology</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>What’s causing the cold?</h2> <p>A <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/charts/synoptic_col.shtml">persistent and strong high-pressure system</a> has been hanging around over southeast Australia. The atmospheric pressure was so high it approached the Australian record of 1,044.3 hPa set on June 7 1967. An <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-07-04/australias-highest-air-pressure-recorded-weather/104055462">initial observation</a> of a new record has since been disregarded, but nonetheless this is an exceptional, near-record high-pressure pattern.</p> <p>This high-pressure system has kept the weather dry but clear nights have allowed strong cooling of the land surface. The long nights and short days of early July mean that temperatures struggle to rise during the day and can fall quickly in the evenings.</p> <p>In winter we expect cold weather across most of Australia and occasional cold snaps that bring widespread frosty and icy conditions. However, this current cold weather is pretty unusual and we are seeing some records fall.</p> <p>Notably, Tasmania has had its <a href="https://www.weatherzone.com.au/news/tasmanias-2ndcoldest-night-on-record/1889603">lowest July temperature on record</a> and the second-lowest minimum temperature for any time of year with –13.5°C at Liawenee in central Tasmania early on Thursday morning.</p> <p>While Tasmania has produced the most remarkable records, the cold conditions have been unusual elsewhere too. Adelaide recorded its lowest temperature in 18 years on Wednesday morning. And many suburbs of Melbourne experienced a sub-zero night and consecutive nights of <a href="https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/learn-about/weather/types-of-weather/frost-and-ice/frost">ground frost</a>.</p> <h2>Winters are warming but cold spells still occur</h2> <p>As the world is warming, it might seem surprising we can still break cold records. Indeed, across Australia <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/timeseries.cgi?graph=tmean&amp;area=aus&amp;season=0608&amp;ave_yr=0&amp;ave_period=6190">winters have been warming</a>. The <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/extremes/trendmaps.cgi?map=CN05&amp;period=1950">frequency</a> and <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/climate/change/extremes/trendmaps.cgi?map=TNmn&amp;period=1950">intensity</a> of very low temperatures have been decreasing over the past few decades.</p> <p>We also see many more hot records than cold records being set in Australia and around the globe. This is <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-hot-weather-records-continue-to-tumble-worldwide-86158">due to human-caused climate change</a>. However, when we have the right weather conditions, cold records are still occasionally broken locally.</p> <p>As we continue to warm the planet, it’s getting harder for us to find cold records, particularly over larger regions or longer time periods. While we still see record cold temperatures at individual weather stations, we won’t see another cold record in the global average temperature and probably not even in the Australian average temperature.</p> <p>As this week shows, we still occasionally get daily cold records in the current climate. But it’s much harder to get record cold months, and record cold years at a given location are almost impossible.</p> <p>As we average weather conditions across locations or over time, the climate change signal becomes clearer over background weather variability. It makes new cold records much less likely to occur.</p> <figure class="align-center zoomable"><a href="https://images.theconversation.com/files/605048/original/file-20240704-21-7ep1rt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=1000&amp;fit=clip"><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/605048/original/file-20240704-21-7ep1rt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/605048/original/file-20240704-21-7ep1rt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=426&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/605048/original/file-20240704-21-7ep1rt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=426&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/605048/original/file-20240704-21-7ep1rt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=426&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/605048/original/file-20240704-21-7ep1rt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=536&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/605048/original/file-20240704-21-7ep1rt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=536&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/605048/original/file-20240704-21-7ep1rt.png?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=536&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A graphic showing the increase in annual average temperature for Australia from 1910 to 2023" /></a><figcaption><span class="caption">The climate change signal is becoming clearer as Australia’s annual average temperature continues to increase with each decade, widening the difference from the long-term mean.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="source" href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/annual/aus/#tabs=Temperature">Bureau of Meteorology</a>, <a class="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/">CC BY</a></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>How much longer will this cold snap last?</h2> <p>Southern Australia is experiencing a cold snap at close to the coldest time of year. It’s not long after the winter solstice, when we experience the longest night of the year. We still have a few more cold days and nights ahead in parts of southeastern Australia.</p> <p>By early next week, the forecast suggests <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/charts/viewer/index.shtml">warmer conditions</a> will return as the high-pressure system moves east and winds turn northerly.</p> <p>The outlook for the rest of winter points firmly to <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/outlooks/#/overview/summary">above-average daytime and night-time temperatures</a>. This is partly because a historical average (1981–2018) is used and warming since then means above-average temperatures are going to happen most of the time.</p> <p>In any winter, Australia has cold outbreaks. So, even if the next few months are likely to be warmer than normal, we should expect a few cold days and nights at some point. Learning to live with the cold and improving the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/news/ng-interactive/2024/jul/03/why-so-many-australian-homes-are-either-too-hot-or-too-cold">quality of insulation in Australian homes</a> would help make our winter cold snaps seem a lot less harsh.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233977/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/andrew-king-103126"><em>Andrew King</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Climate Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/southern-australia-is-freezing-how-can-it-be-so-cold-in-a-warming-climate-233977">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Still fab after 60 years: how The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night made pop cinema history

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-blair-223267">Alison Blair</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-otago-1304">University of Otago</a></em></p> <p>I first saw A Hard Day’s Night at a film festival over 20 years ago, at the insistence of my mum. By then, it was already decades old, but I remember being enthralled by its high-spirited energy.</p> <p>A Beatles fan, mum had introduced me to the band’s records in my childhood. At home, we listened to Please Please Me, the band’s 1963 single, and the Rubber Soul album from 1965, which I loved.</p> <p>Television regularly showed old black-and-white scenes of Beatlemania that, to a ten-year-old in the neon-lit 1980s, seemed like ancient history. But then, I’d never seen a full-length Beatles film. I had no idea what I was in for.</p> <p>When the lights went down at Dunedin’s Regent Theatre, the opening chord of the film’s title song announced its intentions: an explosion of youthful vitality, rhythmic visuals, comical high jinks and the electrifying thrill of Beatlemania in 1964.</p> <p>This time, it didn’t seem ancient at all.</p> <p>Since that first viewing, I’ve returned to A Hard Day’s Night again and again. I now show it to my students as a historically significant example of pop music film making – visually inventive cinema, emblematic of a fresh era in youth culture, popular music and fandom.</p> <h2>Beatlemania on celluloid</h2> <p>A musical comedy depicting a chaotic 36 hours in the life of the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night has now reached its 60th anniversary.</p> <p>Directed by <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0504513/">Richard Lester</a>, the film premiered in London on July 6 1964, with its first public screening a day later (incidentally, also Ringo Starr’s birthday), and the <a href="https://www.discogs.com/master/24003-The-Beatles-A-Hard-Days-Night">album of the same name</a> released on July 10.</p> <p>The band’s popularity was by then reaching dizzying heights of hysteria, all reflected in the film. The Beatles are chased by hordes of fans, take a train trip, appear on TV, run from the police in a Keystone Cops-style sequence, and play a televised concert in front of screaming real-life Beatles fans.</p> <p>Side one of the album provides the soundtrack, and the film inspired pop music film and video from then on, from the <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060010/">Monkees TV series</a> (1966–68) to the Spice Girls’ <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120185/">Spice World</a> (1997) and music videos as we know them today.</p> <h2>The original music video</h2> <p>Postwar teen culture and consumerism had been on the rise since the 1950s. In 1960s Britain, youth music TV programmes, notably <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0196287/">Ready Steady Go!</a> (1963–66), meant pop music now had a developing visual culture.</p> <p>The youthful zest and vitality of ‘60s London was reflected in the pop-cultural sensibility, modern satirical humour and crisp visual impact of A Hard Day’s Night.</p> <p>Influenced by <a href="https://nofilmschool.com/french-new-wave-cinema">French New Wave</a> film making, and particularly the early 1960s work of <a href="https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000419/">Jean-Luc Godard</a>, A Hard Day’s Night employs <em><a href="https://indiefilmhustle.com/cinema-verite/">cinéma vérité</a></em>-style hand-held cinematography, brisk jump cuts, unusual framing and dynamic angles, high-spirited action, and a self-referential nonchalance.</p> <p>The film also breaks the “fourth wall”, with characters directly addressing the audience in closeup, and reveals the apparatus of the visual performance of music: cameras and TV monitors are all part of the frame.</p> <p>Cutting the shots to the beat of the music – as in the Can’t Buy Me Love sequence – lends a visual rhythm that would later become the norm in music video editing. Lester developed this technique further in the second Beatles film, <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059260/">Help!</a> (1965).</p> <p>The closing sequence of A Hard Day’s Night is possibly the film’s most dynamic: photographic images of the band edited to the beat in the style of stop-motion animation. Sixty years on, it still feels fresh, especially as so much contemporary film making remains hidebound by formulaic Hollywood rules.</p> <figure class="align-center "><img src="https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;fit=clip" sizes="(min-width: 1466px) 754px, (max-width: 599px) 100vw, (min-width: 600px) 600px, 237px" srcset="https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=453&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 600w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=453&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1200w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=600&amp;h=453&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 1800w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=45&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=569&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=1 754w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=30&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=569&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=2 1508w, https://images.theconversation.com/files/604790/original/file-20240704-17-ov77mn.jpg?ixlib=rb-4.1.0&amp;q=15&amp;auto=format&amp;w=754&amp;h=569&amp;fit=crop&amp;dpr=3 2262w" alt="A Hard Day's Night movie poster" /><figcaption><span class="caption">A new pop aesthetic: original film poster for A Hard Day’s Night.</span> <span class="attribution"><span class="source">Getty Images</span></span></figcaption></figure> <h2>Slapstick and class awareness</h2> <p>As with much popular culture from the past, the humour in A Hard Day’s Night doesn’t always doesn’t land the way it would have in 1964. And yet, there are moments that seem surprisingly modern in their razor-sharp irony.</p> <p>In particular, the band’s Liverpudlian working-class-lad jibes and chaotic energy contrast brilliantly with the film’s upper-class characters. Actor Victor Spinetti’s comically over-anxious TV director, constantly hand-wringing over the boys’ rebelliousness, underscores the era-defining change the Beatles represented.</p> <p>Corporate pop-culture consumerism is also satirised. John Lennon “snorts” from a Coca-Cola bottle, a moment so knowingly silly it registers as more contemporary than it really is. George Harrison deflects a journalist’s banal questions with scathingly witty answers, and cuts a fashion company down to size by describing their shirt designs as “grotesque”.</p> <p>And there is Paul McCartney’s running joke that his grandfather – played by Wilfred Brambell from groundbreaking sitcom <a href="https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057785/">Steptoe and Son</a> (1962–74) – is “very clean”.</p> <p>Even the film’s old-fashioned visual slapstick still holds up in 2024. Showing the film to this year’s students, I didn’t expect quite as much laughter when Ringo’s attempts to be chivalrous result in a fall-down-a-hole mishap.</p> <p>In 2022, the <a href="https://www.criterion.com/">Criterion Collection</a> released a high-resolution restoration of the film, so today A Hard Day’s Night can be seen in all its fresh, black-and-white, youthful vigour.</p> <p>Happy 60th, A Hard Day’s Night. And happy 84th, Ringo. Both still as lively and energetic as ever.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228598/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alison-blair-223267"><em>Alison Blair</em></a><em>, Teaching Fellow in Music, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-otago-1304">University of Otago</a></em></p> <p><em>Image </em><em>credits: THA/Shutterstock Editorial </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/still-fab-after-60-years-how-the-beatles-a-hard-days-night-made-pop-cinema-history-228598">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Movies

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Aussies working in "priority occupations" eligible for cash increase

<p>Thousands of hard-working Aussies who work in certain areas are now eligible for new training and support payments of up to $10,000.</p> <p>The initiative comes to support Australians working in sectors with a high demand for skilled workers, and a commitment to clean energy.</p> <p>From July 1st, thousands of apprentices working in what the government deems as “priority occupations” are eligible for the $5,000 Australian Apprenticeship Training Support Payment. </p> <p>If those priority occupations also offer exposure and experience in “clean energy”, apprentices are instead eligible for the more lucrative New Energy Apprenticeship Support Payment of up to $10,000.</p> <p>The list of "priority occupations" is extensive and includes aged care workers, arborists, bakers, beauty therapists and many more. </p> <p>According to the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), the jobs are characterised by a strong current demand for skilled workers, and a strong demand expected in the future.</p> <p>The clean energy jobs also include many different professions, with agricultural and agritech technicians, automotive electricians, regular electricians, gas fitters, glaziers, joiners, plumbers and welders all included.</p> <p>The full list of priority jobs can be found on the <a href="https://www.dewr.gov.au/skills-support-individuals/resources/appendix-australian-apprenticeship-priority-list-1-january-2024" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">Department of Employment and Workplace Relations website.</a></p> <p>For the Australian Apprenticeship Training Support Payment, the $5000 payment comes in four instalments over two years, while the New Energy Apprentice Support Payment is paid out over the course of the apprenticeship — up to $5000 for part-time apprentices and up to $10,000 for full-time apprentices.</p> <p>It is hoped the payments will incentivise apprentices to remain on the career pathway.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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Taking too many medications can pose health risks. Here’s how to avoid them

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/caroline-sirois-1524891">Caroline Sirois</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/universite-laval-1407">Université Laval</a></em></p> <p>When we see an older family member handling a bulky box of medications sorted by day of the week, we might stop and wonder, is it too much? How do all those pills interact?</p> <p>The fact is, as we get older we are more likely to develop different chronic illnesses that require us to take several different medications. This is known as polypharmacy. The concept applies to people taking five or more medications, but there are all sorts of <a href="https://doi.org/10.3390/pharmacy7030126">definitions with different thresholds</a> (for example, four, 10 or 15 medicines).</p> <p>I’m a pharmacist and pharmacoepidemiologist interested in polypharmacy and its impact on the population. The research I carry out with my team at the Faculty of Pharmacy at Université Laval focuses on the appropriate use of medication by older family members. We have published this <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afac244">study</a> on the perceptions of older adults, family carers and clinicians on the use of medication among persons over 65.</p> <h2>Polypharmacy among older adults</h2> <p>Polypharmacy is very common among older adults. In 2021, a quarter of persons over 65 in Canada were prescribed <a href="https://www.cihi.ca/en/drug-use-among-seniors-in-canada">more than ten different classes of medication</a>. In Québec, persons over 65 used an average of <a href="https://www.inspq.qc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/2679_portrait_polypharmacie_aines_quebecois.pdf">8.7 different drugs in 2016</a>, the latest year available for statistics.</p> <p>Is it a good idea to take so many drugs?</p> <p>According to <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/07334648211069553">our study</a>, the vast majority of seniors and family caregivers would be willing to stop taking one or more medications if the doctor said it was possible, even though most are satisfied with their treatments, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afac244">have confidence in their doctors</a> and feel that their doctors are taking care of them to the best of their ability.</p> <p>In the majority of cases, medicine prescribers are helping the person they are treating. Medications have a positive impact on health and are essential in many cases. But while the treatment of individual illnesses is often adequate, the whole package can sometimes become problematic.</p> <h2>The risks of polypharmacy: 5 points to consider</h2> <p>When we evaluate cases of polypharmacy, we find that the quality of treatment is often compromised when many medications are being taken.</p> <ol> <li> <p>Drug interactions: polypharmacy increases the risk of drugs interacting, which can lead to undesirable effects or reduce the effectiveness of treatments.</p> </li> <li> <p>A drug that has a positive effect on one illness may have a negative effect on another: what should you do if someone has both illnesses?</p> </li> <li> <p>The greater the number of drugs taken, the greater the risk of undesirable effects: for adults over 65, for example, there is an increased risk of confusion or falls, which have significant consequences.</p> </li> <li> <p>The more medications a person takes, the more likely they are to take a <a href="https://www.doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cmz060">potentially inappropriate medication</a>. For seniors, these drugs generally carry more risks than benefits. For example, benzodiazepines, medicine for anxiety or sleep, are the <a href="https://www.inspq.qc.ca/sites/default/files/publications/2575_utilisation_medicaments_potentiellement_inappropries_aines.pdf">most frequently used class</a> of medications. We want to reduce their use as much as possible <a href="https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/substance-use/controlled-illegal-drugs/benzodiazepines.html">to avoid negative impacts</a> such as confusion and increased risk of falls and car accidents, not to mention the risk of dependence and death.</p> </li> <li> <p>Finally, polypharmacy is associated with various adverse health effects, such as an <a href="https://www.doi.org/10.1007/s41999-021-00479-3">increase in frailty, hospital admissions and emergency room visits</a>. However, studies conducted to date have not always succeeded in isolating the effects specific to polypharmacy. As polypharmacy is more common among people with multiple illnesses, these illnesses may also contribute to the observed risks.</p> </li> </ol> <p>Polypharmacy is also a combination of medicines. There are almost as many as there are people. The risks of these different combinations can vary. For example, the risks associated with a combination of five potentially inappropriate drugs would certainly be different from those associated with blood pressure medication and vitamin supplements.</p> <p>Polypharmacy is therefore complex. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1186/s12911-021-01583-x">Our studies attempt to use artificial intelligence</a> to manage this complexity and identify combinations associated with negative impacts. There is still a lot to learn about polypharmacy and its impact on health.</p> <h2>3 tips to avoid the risks associated with polypharmacy</h2> <p>What can we do as a patient, or as a caregiver?</p> <ol> <li> <p>Ask questions: when you or someone close to you is prescribed a new treatment, be curious. What are the benefits of the medication? What are the possible side effects? Does this fit in with my treatment goals and values? How long should this treatment last? Are there any circumstances in which discontinuing it should be considered ?</p> </li> <li> <p>Keep your medicines up to date: make sure they are all still useful. Are there still any benefits to taking them? Are there any side effects? Are there any drug interactions? Would another treatment be better? Should the dose be reduced?</p> </li> <li> <p>Think about de-prescribing: this is an increasingly common clinical practice that involves stopping or reducing the dose of an inappropriate drug after consulting a health-care professional. It is a shared decision-making process that involves the patient, their family and health-care professionals. The <a href="https://www.deprescribingnetwork.ca">Canadian Medication Appropriateness and Deprescribing Network</a> is a world leader in this practice. It has compiled a number of tools for patients and clinicians. You can find them on their website and subscribe to the newsletter.</p> </li> </ol> <h2>Benefits should outweigh the risks</h2> <p>Medications are very useful for staying healthy. It’s not uncommon for us to have to take more medications as we age, but this shouldn’t be seen as a foregone conclusion.</p> <p>Every medication we take must have direct or future benefits that outweigh the risks associated with them. As with many other issues, when it comes to polypharmacy, the saying, “everything in moderation,” frequently applies.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/230612/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/caroline-sirois-1524891">Caroline Sirois</a>, Professor in Pharmacy, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/universite-laval-1407">Université Laval</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/taking-too-many-medications-can-pose-health-risks-heres-how-to-avoid-them-230612">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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How holidaying in developing countries affects local inequality

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alexander-tziamalis-333272">Alexander Tziamalis</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuan-wang-1360783">Yuan Wang</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p>A few years ago, one of us (Alex) went for a vacation to the Dominican Republic. The motivation was similar to millions of other tourists every year: escape the daily routine, enjoy the sun and beaches, and gather some strength to face another cold winter.</p> <p>Unfortunately, a few things weren’t very conducive to a happy break. The staff at the mammoth hotel were making as little as US$1 (£0.79) for a 12-hour shift. Worse, most of them lived in a shanty town nearby. They had no sewers and no reliable electricity.</p> <p>The hotel also exploited its power over local farmers to procure food exceedingly cheaply. Schools were overcrowded and many children dropped out to work in businesses like these hotels and farms, perpetuating the cycle.</p> <p>This anecdotal picture is corroborated by the country’s economic data. Despite <a href="https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.KD.ZG?locations=DO">GDP growth</a> frequently above 5% each year, the Dominican Republic suffers from <a href="https://dominicantoday.com/dr/local/2023/02/17/dominican-republic-shows-a-high-level-of-economic-inequality-in-latin-america-and-the-caribbean/">substantial inequality</a>. The wealthiest 1% capture 30% of all income, compared to 18% in the US.</p> <p>But how bad is tourism for inequality in developing countries overall? <a href="https://shura.shu.ac.uk/31942/">Our recent research</a> has sought to answer this, looking at 71 countries around the world. The picture is complicated, but the overall results are not as bleak as you might fear.</p> <h2>Upsides and downsides</h2> <p>Clearly there are pros and cons to tourism. It makes holidaymakers happy while bringing people closer and promoting awareness of other cultures. It empowers communities and provides disadvantaged groups with opportunities, from the local artisan who can sell directly to customers, to women <a href="https://blogs.worldbank.org/psd/empowering-women-through-tourism-0">who would otherwise</a> be struggling to find work.</p> <p>Tourism sustains a lot of jobs and economic value overall, making it attractive to governments as a way of boosting growth. In 2019 there were a whopping <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/209334/total-number-of-international-tourist-arrivals/#:%7E:text=Despite%20the%20significant%20annual%20increase,lowest%20figure%20recorded%20since%201989">1.5 billion</a> international tourist arrivals around the world. They were serviced by <a href="https://www.statista.com/statistics/1268465/number-of-travel-and-tourism-jobs-worldwide/#:%7E:text=Despite%20the%20increase%2C%20the%20number,to%20320%20million%20in%202023.">nearly 300 million</a> travel and tourism workers, and the sector generated <a href="https://wttc.org/research/economic-impact#:%7E:text=In%202022%2C%20the%20Travel%20%26%20Tourism,%2C%20only%2014.1%25%20below%202019.">over 7%</a> of global GDP.</p> <p>On the other hand, tourism can <a href="https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/consumption/transport-and-tourism/negative-environmental-impacts-of-tourism">degrade the environment</a>. Witness the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes needing to <a href="https://www.machupicchutrek.net/how-many-tourists-visit-machu-picchu-annually/">restrict</a> the number of visitors, for instance, because the site was <a href="https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/d2f4fc1c7b314cc8a6c8af466cec0d24">getting damaged</a>.</p> <p>Equally, <a href="https://www.itmustbenow.com/feature/our-big-questions/exploitation-travel-tourism/">tourism is associated</a> with other <a href="https://www.cntraveler.com/galleries/2015-06-19/barcelona-bhutan-places-that-limit-tourist-numbers">knock-on effects</a> such as water scarcity, pollution, crime, sex exploitation and destroying tradition.</p> <p>But what about inequality? The tourism industry <a href="https://www.itmustbenow.com/feature/our-big-questions/exploitation-travel-tourism/">is frequently associated</a> with ridiculously low wages, long hours without a break, and unhealthy conditions for live-in staff. Dedicated trade unions often don’t exist, or they’re underpowered and cannot effectively protect workers.</p> <p>Tourism can also distort the economy. <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/aug/10/i-wanted-my-children-to-grow-up-here-how-airbnb-is-ruining-local-communities-in-north-wales">In the UK</a> for example, communities in many popular tourist destinations cannot afford to buy a home anymore.</p> <p>Yet when you look at how tourism affects equality overall, the existing academic literature shows conflicting results. A number of studies <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0160738316301281#:%7E:text=Findings%20confirm%20that%20tourism%20increases%20income%20inequality%20in%20developing%20economies.&amp;text=The%20squared%20tourism%20revenue%20has%20a%20significant%20negative%20impact%20on%20income%20inequality.&amp;text=Findings%20confirm%20the%20presence%20of%20Kuznets%20curve%20hypothesis.">find that</a> it worsens income inequality, while others <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0047287520954538">find the opposite</a>.</p> <p>If you were wondering about the Dominican Republic, there’s <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0047287518789272#:%7E:text=The%20results%20showed%20that%20income,in%20the%20distribution%20of%20wealth.">a study</a> showing that tourism actually has a negligible impact on inequality.</p> <h2>Our findings</h2> <p>Ours is the first study to <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/13548166231177106">look at the effect</a> of a few potential determining factors to try and gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between tourism and equality. These factors include the country’s level of economic and financial development, inflation rate and government policies seeking to redistribute wealth.</p> <p>Our dataset spans from 1996–2016. We would have ideally looked at even more than 71 countries, but others had to be excluded because good-quality data was unavailable.</p> <p>We found that tourism eased income inequality in lower income countries when it went hand in hand with redistributive policies. <a href="https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:6nbn68M3_toJ:https://dailynews.co.tz/how-tz-could-attract-more-tourists/&amp;cd=8&amp;hl=en&amp;ct=clnk&amp;gl=uk">Tanzania, for example,</a> gets 17% of its GDP from tourism. This has enabled the country to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121963/">significantly increase</a> its spending on health, education and infrastructure.</p> <p>In wealthier countries, the opposite was counterintuitively the case: increasing tourism exacerbated inequality when combined with redistributive policies.</p> <p>It may be that in places where education and infrastructure are already at high levels, improving them has less effect on inequality. Or it may be that improving the welfare system reduces workers’ incentive to upskill and seek better paid jobs in other sectors. These possibilities need further investigation.</p> <p>Our analysis also highlighted the importance of financial opportunities such as broad access to bank credit. All countries with more inclusive financial systems comparatively reduced inequality when they brought in more tourists.</p> <p>It might be that financial access enables a broader cross-section of entrepreneurs to set up or expand tourist businesses, with knock-on benefits to their communities. This is bad news for developing countries like India, Brazil South Africa and Barbados, where <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2015/09/14/long-term-finance-shortage-post-2008-crisis-blunts-progress-in-developing-countries">it’s difficult</a> to obtain long-term loan, which usually come with onerous terms.</p> <p>Having said that, the benefits from financial access were more marked in developed countries. In such countries, it may be that this galvanises proportionately more entrepreneurs because they are not being held back to the same extent by other problems like corruption and poor education.</p> <p>When we looked at the effect of inflation, it worsened inequality in richer countries <a href="https://www.niesr.ac.uk/blog/unequal-impact-rising-inflation">like the UK</a> as tourism increases. We suspect that when inflation takes off in wealthier countries, it’s more difficult for tourism workers to renegotiate their wages quickly because employment contracts are more formal.</p> <p>Equally, poorer countries are often more used to higher inflation, so workers may be more adept at such negotiations.</p> <p>So overall, it’s not possible to say that increasing tourism widens or reduces inequality – it very much depends on other factors. But clearly tourism can be good news for inequality in poorer countries when it’s combined with redistributive policies and financial inclusion.</p> <p>This certainly won’t solve problems like worker exploitation across the board, but it does mean that holidaying in developing countries will often be helping them to become more equal over time.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/208690/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/alexander-tziamalis-333272"><em>Alexander Tziamalis</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/yuan-wang-1360783">Yuan Wang</a>, Seinor Lecturer in Economics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/sheffield-hallam-university-846">Sheffield Hallam University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-holidaying-in-developing-countries-affects-local-inequality-208690">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Travel Trouble

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Can you drink your fruit and vegetables? How does juice compare to the whole food?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emma-beckett-22673">Emma Beckett</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Do you struggle to eat your fruits and vegetables? You are not alone. Less than 5% of Australians eat the recommended serves of fresh produce <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/dietary-behaviour/latest-release">each day</a> (with 44% eating enough fruit but only 6% eating the recommended vegetables).</p> <p>Adults <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups">should aim to eat</a> at least five serves of vegetables (or roughly 375 grams) and two serves of fruit (about 300 grams) each day. Fruits and vegetables help keep us healthy because they have lots of nutrients (vitamins, minerals and fibre) and health-promoting bioactive compounds (substances not technically essential but which have health benefits) without having many calories.</p> <p>So, if you are having trouble <a href="https://theconversation.com/want-your-child-to-eat-more-veggies-talk-to-them-about-eating-the-rainbow-195563">eating the rainbow</a>, you might be wondering – is it OK to drink your fruits and vegetables instead in a juice or smoothie? Like everything in nutrition, the answer is all about context.</p> <h2>It might help overcome barriers</h2> <p>Common reasons for not eating enough fruits and vegetables are <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1747-0080.12735">preferences, habits, perishability, cost, availability, time and poor cooking skills</a>. Drinking your fruits and vegetables in juices or smoothies can help overcome some of these barriers.</p> <p><a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1467-3010.2009.01760.x">Juicing or blending</a> can help disguise tastes you don’t like, like bitterness in vegetables. And it can blitz imperfections such as bruises or soft spots. Preparation doesn’t take much skill or time, particularly if you just have to pour store-bought juice from the bottle. Treating for food safety and shipping time does change the make up of juices slightly, but unsweetened juices still remain significant sources of <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12403253/">nutrients</a> and <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/00070701111140089/full/html?fullSc=1">beneficial bioactives</a>.</p> <p>Juicing can <a href="https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/advance-article-pdf/doi/10.1093/nutrit/nuz031/30096176/nuz031.pdf">extend shelf life</a> and reduce the cost of nutrients. In fact, when researchers looked at the density of nutrients relative to the costs of common foods, <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/18/11/5771">fruit juice was the top performer</a>.</p> <h2>So, drinking my fruits and veggies counts as a serve, right?</h2> <p>How juice is positioned in healthy eating recommendations is a bit confusing. The <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/fruit">Australian Dietary Guidelines</a> include 100% fruit juice with fruit but vegetable juice isn’t mentioned. This is likely because vegetable juices weren’t as common in 2013 when the guidelines were last revised.</p> <p><a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/food-essentials/five-food-groups/fruit">The guidelines</a> also warn against having juice too often or in too high amounts. This appears to be based on the logic that juice is similar, but not quite as good as, whole fruit. Juice has lower levels of fibre compared to fruits, with fibre important for gut health, heart health and promoting feelings of fullness. Juice and smoothies also release the sugar from the fruit’s other structures, making them “free”. The <a href="https://www.who.int/publications-detail-redirect/9789241549028">World Health Organization recommends</a> we limit free sugars for good health.</p> <p>But fruit and vegetables are more than just the sum of their parts. When we take a “<a href="https://hal.science/hal-01630639/">reductionist</a>” approach to nutrition, foods and drinks are judged based on assumptions made about limited features such as sugar content or specific vitamins.</p> <p>But these features might not have the impact we logically assume because of the complexity of foods and people. When humans eat varied and complex diets, we don’t necessarily need to be concerned that some foods are lower in fibre than others. Juice can retain the nutrients and bioactive compounds of fruit and vegetables and even add more because parts of the fruit we don’t normally eat, like the skin, can be included.</p> <h2>So, it is healthy then?</h2> <p>A recent <a href="https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/advance-article/doi/10.1093/nutrit/nuae036/7659479?login=false">umbrella review of meta-analyses</a> (<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8977198/">a type of research</a> that combines data from multiple studies of multiple outcomes into one paper looked at the relationship between 100% juice and a range of health outcomes.</p> <p>Most of the evidence showed juice had a neutral impact on health (meaning no impact) or a positive one. Pure 100% juice was linked to improved heart health and inflammatory markers and wasn’t clearly linked to weight gain, multiple cancer types or metabolic markers (such as blood sugar levels).</p> <p>Some health risks linked to drinking juice were <a href="https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/advance-article/doi/10.1093/nutrit/nuae036/7659479?login=false">reported</a>: death from heart disease, prostate cancer and diabetes risk. But the risks were all reported in <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/research/participate/what-are-observational-studies#:%7E:text=Observational%20studies%20are%20research%20studies,over%20a%20period%20of%20time.">observational studies</a>, where researchers look at data from groups of people collected over time. These are not controlled and do not record consumption in the moment. So other drinks people think of as 100% fruit juice (such as sugar-sweetened juices or cordials) might accidentally be counted as 100% fruit juice. These types of studies are not good at showing the direct causes of illness or death.</p> <h2>What about my teeth?</h2> <p>The common belief juice damages teeth might not stack up. Studies that show juice damages teeth often <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00190/full">lump 100% juice in with sweetened drinks</a>. Or they use model systems like fake mouths that <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00190/full">don’t match</a> how people drinks juice in real life. Some <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/public-health/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2019.00190/full">use extreme scenarios</a> like sipping on large volumes of drink frequently over long periods of time.</p> <p>Juice is acidic and does contain sugars, but it is possible proper oral hygiene, including <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0300571207000152?via%3Dihub">rinsing, cleaning</a> and using straws can mitigate these risks.</p> <p>Again, reducing juice to its acid level misses the rest of the story, including the nutrients and bioactives contained in juice that are <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352385919300210#:%7E:text=Research%20has%20also%20confirmed%20that,prevention%20of%20oral%20inflammatory%20disorders.">beneficial to oral health</a>.</p> <h2>So, what should I do?</h2> <p>Comparing whole fruit (a food) to juice (a drink) can be problematic. They serve different culinary purposes, so aren’t really interchangeable.</p> <p>The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends <a href="https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/guidelines/australian-guide-healthy-eating">water as the preferred beverage</a> but this assumes you are getting all your essential nutrients from eating.</p> <p>Where juice fits in your diet depends on what you are eating and what other drinks it is replacing. Juice might replace water in the context of a “perfect” diet. Or juice might replace <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/substitution-of-pure-fruit-juice-for-fruit-and-sugarsweetened-beverages-and-cardiometabolic-risk-in-epicnl-a-prospective-cohort-study/B7314F1198109712DE0F2E44D919A6A7">alcohol or sugary soft drinks</a> and make the relative benefits look very different.</p> <h2>On balance</h2> <p>Whether you want to eat your fruits and vegetables or drink them comes down to what works for you, how it fits into the context of your diet and your life.</p> <p>Smoothies and juices aren’t a silver bullet, and there is no evidence they work as a “cleanse” or <a href="https://theconversation.com/lemon-water-wont-detox-or-energise-you-but-it-may-affect-your-body-in-other-ways-180035">detox</a>. But, with society’s low levels of fruit and vegetable eating, having the option to access nutrients and bioactives in a cheap, easy and tasty way shouldn’t be discouraged either.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/205222/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emma-beckett-22673">Emma Beckett</a>, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Nutrition, Dietetics &amp; Food Innovation - School of Health Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/can-you-drink-your-fruit-and-vegetables-how-does-juice-compare-to-the-whole-food-205222">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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How often should you really weigh yourself?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-fuller-219993">Nick Fuller</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p>Few topics are more debated in health than the value of the humble bathroom scale. Some experts advocate daily self-weigh-ins to promote accountability for weight management, particularly when we’re following a diet and exercise program to lose weight.</p> <p>Others suggest ditching self-weigh-ins altogether, arguing they can trigger negative <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13679-015-0142-2">psychological responses and unhealthy behaviours</a> when we don’t like, or understand, the number we see on the scale.</p> <p>Many, like me, recommend using scales to weigh yourself weekly, even when we’re not trying to lose weight. Here’s why.</p> <h2>1. Weighing weekly helps you manage your weight</h2> <p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2588640/?tool=pmcentrez&amp;report=abstract">Research</a> confirms regular self-weighing is an effective weight loss and management strategy, primarily because it helps increase awareness of our current weight and any changes.</p> <p>A <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2588640/?tool=pmcentrez&amp;report=abstract">systematic review of 12 studies</a> found participants who weighed themselves weekly or daily over several months lost 1–3 BMI (body mass index) units more and regained less weight than participants who didn’t weight themselves frequently. The weight-loss benefit was evident with weekly weighing; there was no added benefit with daily weighing.</p> <p>Self-weigh-ins are an essential tool for weight management as we age. Adults <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23638485/">tend to gain weight</a> progressively <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8363190/">through middle age</a>. While the average weight gain is typically between <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938414001528">0.5–1kg per year</a>, this modest accumulation of weight can lead to obesity over time. Weekly weighing and keeping track of the results helps avoid unnecessary weight gain.</p> <p>Tracking our weight can also help identify medical issues early. Dramatic changes in weight can be an early sign of some conditions, including problems with our thyroid, digestion and diabetes.</p> <h2>2. Weekly weighing accounts for normal fluctuations</h2> <p>Our body weight can fluctuate within a single day and across the days of the week. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7192384/">Studies</a> show body weight fluctuates by 0.35% within the week and it’s typically higher after the weekend.</p> <p>Daily and day-to-day body weight fluctuations have several causes, many linked to our body’s water content. The more common causes include:</p> <p><strong>The type of food we’ve consumed</strong></p> <p>When we’ve eaten a dinner higher in carbohydrates, we’ll weigh more the next day. This change is a result of our bodies temporarily carrying more water. We <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25911631/">retain 3–4 grams of water</a> per gram of carbohydrate consumed to store the energy we take from carbs.</p> <p>Our water content also increases when we consume <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK50952/">foods higher in salt</a>. Our bodies try to maintain a balance of sodium and water. When the concentration of salt in our bloodstream increases, a mechanism is triggered to restore balance by retaining water to dilute the excess salt.</p> <p><strong>Our food intake</strong></p> <p>Whether it’s 30 grams of nuts or 65 grams of lean meat, everything we eat and drink has weight, which increases our body weight temporarily while we digest and metabolise what we’ve consumed.</p> <p>Our weight also tends to be lower first thing in the morning after our food intake has been restricted overnight and higher in the evening after our daily intake of food and drinks.</p> <p><strong>Exercise</strong></p> <p>If we weigh ourselves at the gym after a workout, there’s a good chance we’ll weigh less due to sweat-induced fluid loss. The amount of water lost varies depending on things like our workout intensity and duration, the temperature and humidity, along with our sweat rate and hydration level. On average, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4993146/">we lose 1 litre of sweat</a> during an hour of <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00421168">moderate-intensity exercise</a>.</p> <p><strong>Hormonal changes</strong></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/from-energy-levels-to-metabolism-understanding-your-menstrual-cycle-can-be-key-to-achieving-exercise-goals-131561">Fluctuations in hormones</a> within your menstrual cycle can also affect fluid balance. Women may experience <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3154522/">fluid retention</a> and temporarily gain 0.5–2kg of weight at this time. Specifically, the luteal phase, which represents the second half of a woman’s cycle, results in a shift of fluid from your blood plasma to your cells, and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3154522/">bloating</a>.</p> <p><strong>Bowel movements</strong></p> <p>Going to the bathroom can lead to small but immediate weight loss as waste is eliminated from the body. While the amount lost will vary, we generally eliminate <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/1333426/">around 100 grams of weight</a> through our daily bowel movements.</p> <p>All of these fluctuations are normal, and they’re not indicative of significant changes in our body fat or muscle mass. However, seeing these fluctuations can lead to unnecessary stress and a fixation with our weight.</p> <h2>3. Weekly weighing avoids scale obsession and weight-loss sabotage</h2> <p>Weighing too frequently can create an obsession with the number on the scales and do more harm than good.</p> <p>Often, our reaction when we see this number not moving in the direction we want or expect is to further restrict our food intake or embark on fad dieting. Along with not being enjoyable or sustainable, fad diets also ultimately increase our weight gain rather than reversing it.</p> <p>This was confirmed in a <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21829159/">long-term study</a> comparing intentional weight loss among more than 4,000 twins. The researchers found the likelihood of becoming overweight by the age of 25 was significantly greater for a twin who dieted to lose 5kg or more. This suggests frequent dieting makes us more susceptible to weight gain and prone to future weight gain.</p> <h2>So what should you do?</h2> <p>Weighing ourselves weekly gives a more accurate measure of our weight trends over time.</p> <p>Aim to weigh yourself on the same day, at the same time and in the same environment each week – for example, first thing every Friday morning when you’re getting ready to take a shower, after you’ve gone to the bathroom, but before you’ve drunk or eaten anything.</p> <p>Use the best quality scales you can afford. Change the batteries regularly and check their accuracy by using a “known” weight – for example, a 10kg weight plate. Place the “known” weight on the scale and check the measurement aligns with the “known” weight.</p> <p>Remember, the number on the scale is just one part of health and weight management. Focusing solely on it can overshadow other indicators, such as <a href="https://theconversation.com/can-you-be-overweight-and-healthy-182219">how your clothes fit</a>. It’s also essential to pay equal attention to how we’re feeling, physically and emotionally.</p> <p>Stop weighing yourself – at any time interval – if it’s triggering anxiety or stress, and get in touch with a health-care professional to discuss this.</p> <hr /> <p><em>At the Boden Group, Charles Perkins Centre, we are studying the science of obesity and running clinical trials for weight loss. You can <a href="https://redcap.sydney.edu.au/surveys/?s=RKTXPPPHKY">register here</a> to express your interest.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223864/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/nick-fuller-219993">Nick Fuller</a>, Charles Perkins Centre Research Program Leader, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-sydney-841">University of Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-often-should-you-really-weigh-yourself-223864">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Young woman exposes "hate" response to Origin's Welcome to Country

<p>The young woman who delivered the Welcome to Country at the State of Origin has opened up on the "overwhelming" response to it, revealing how she has "received a lot of hate".</p> <p>Savannah Fynn, 22, was invited to deliver the Welcome to Country and while it was generally well received, it also led to radio host Kyle Sandilands slamming the practice in general, saying the practice had become “overused and lost its impact”.</p> <p>Since then, Fynn revealed that she has received an overwhelming amount of hate online, with some even jumping to criticise her appearance. </p> <p>“I was just so worried I would stutter or mess up my words because I’d never spoken in front of that many people,” Fynn told <em><a title="www.dailytelegraph.com.au" href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/lifestyle/stellar" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-tgev="event119" data-tgev-container="bodylink" data-tgev-order="stellar" data-tgev-label="lifestyle" data-tgev-metric="ev">Stellar</a></em>.</p> <p>“But once I finished, I felt a moment of relief. I ran straight over to my nan, obviously one of my Elders, and I gave her a big hug and a cuddle. It’s definitely an overwhelming feeling, getting all this attention. It’s not something I’m used to at all."</p> <p>“I’m a very quiet person so this is a big change. Even though it’s all positive, I struggle with taking compliments and I get a bit shy. I’m kind of ready for it to die down!”</p> <p>“As sad as it is, being a lighter skin colour, I’ve received a lot of hate for that,” the 22-year-old university student said.</p> <p>“A lot of people have picked on the way I look, the way I speak, even coming down to having blonde hair. My hair is actually dark, I’ve just dyed it blonde."</p> <p>“I think people also get very confused as to what an Acknowledgement and Welcome actually is. We’re not welcoming you to Australia; obviously you live here."</p> <p>“We’re welcoming you to the traditional owners of that land and acknowledging the traditional land. And in terms of comments about overuse, I feel you have to respect everyone’s opinions, even if you may not agree."</p> <p>“Being a First Nations person, I find it wonderful seeing my culture embraced. But obviously you can’t please everyone.”</p> <p>Fynn is aiming to be a young role model and hopes to show “young Indigenous people that we can get up and speak”.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine </em></p> <p style="box-sizing: inherit; margin: 0px 0px 24px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', HelveticaNeue, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size-adjust: inherit; font-kerning: inherit; font-variant-alternates: inherit; font-variant-ligatures: inherit; font-variant-numeric: inherit; font-variant-east-asian: inherit; font-variant-position: inherit; font-feature-settings: inherit; font-optical-sizing: inherit; font-variation-settings: inherit; font-size: 18px; vertical-align: baseline;"> </p> <p> </p>

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How you experience the menopause may have a lot to do with your family

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/megan-arnot-416253">Megan Arnot</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a></em></p> <p>The <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30346539">menopause</a> happens around the age of 50, and for many women, the end of their fertile life is accompanied by uncomfortable symptoms, such as hot flashes, night sweats and anxiety. In the West, it is generally taken as read that these symptoms are a normal part of the menopause. But <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11330770">cross-cultural research</a> suggests that menopause symptoms are not necessarily inevitable.</p> <p>For example, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18521049">Japanese women</a> rarely report hot flashes, whereas for European women they are a common complaint. As a result, scientists have begun to focus on what causes this difference in experience and the potential impact that behavioural and lifestyle factors, such as <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16735636">smoking</a>, might have.</p> <p>Our latest <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ece3.5705">study</a> adds to this knowledge. We found that living away from your genetic family may worsen the menopause.</p> <h2>Family matters?</h2> <p>Where people live once they’re married varies across cultures. To investigate whether these different living arrangements affect menopause symptoms, we travelled to south-west China to collect data.</p> <p>In this region, there are groups with distinct living arrangements. First, the Han and the Yi, in which women typically leave their family after they’ve got married and live with their husband’s family. Second, the Mosuo and Zhaba, who engage in the practice of <em>zou hun</em> (“<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23486437">walking marriage</a>”), where the husband and wife live separately with their own related families, and only visit each other at night.</p> <p>We found that women who remained living with their own family following marriage had significantly less severe menopause symptoms than those who went to live with their husband’s family.</p> <h2>In-law conflict</h2> <p>Many anthropologists are interested in how different levels of relatedness within households can have behavioural and physiological implications. For the menopause, we think the difference in symptom severity between the groups may be the result of the different levels of conflict that result from being more or less related to other members of your household.</p> <p>If a woman lives with her husband’s family, then until she has children, she is unrelated to anyone in the household. This lack of relatedness can cause <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40806-017-0114-8">tension</a> between the new wife and her husband’s relatives as they have little direct genetic interest in her.</p> <p>As well as conflict with non-related household members, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/evan.20226">earlier research</a> has shown that women who live with their husband’s family tend to argue with their partners more and are also more likely to get divorced. Additionally, rates of domestic violence are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27279077">higher</a> when women live away from their genetic family.</p> <p>But how does this relate to the severity of menopause symptoms? We think that increased levels of household conflict would result in the woman being more stressed. <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4795524/">Stress</a> is known to worsen pain perception and so could aggravate menopause symptoms.</p> <p>In contrast to women who leave their kin group, women who live with their own family once they’re married also tend to have higher levels of <a href="https://scholar.harvard.edu/slowes/publications/matrilineal-spousal-cooperation">social support</a>. There are more people to help with childcare and more shoulders to cry on. This can help to lower stress and thus soften the mental and physical burden of the menopause.</p> <h2>Global perspectives</h2> <p>While our research was conducted in China, globally, we see a wide range of living arrangements, which themselves can bring different levels of conflict and social support. In the West, many women live away from their families, which may mean that they lack social support, perhaps contributing to more turbulent menopause symptoms. Distance from one’s own family can also be seen to increase <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2005.00155.x">conflict</a> within the household – be it between a husband and wife, or wife and in-laws.</p> <p>These results aren’t an excuse to visit your in-laws less, but they show that menopause symptoms are not only about hormonal irregularities. They may also be a product of your social environment, which should be worth bearing in mind when approaching and going through the menopause.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/123621/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/megan-arnot-416253">Megan Arnot</a>, PhD Candidate, Evolutionary Anthropology and Behavioural Ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/ucl-1885">UCL</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-you-experience-the-menopause-may-have-a-lot-to-do-with-your-family-123621">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Cheaper mortgages, tamed inflation and even higher home prices: how 29 forecasters see Australia’s economic recovery in 2024-25

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p>Australia’s top economic forecasters expect the Reserve Bank to start cutting interest rates by March next year, taking 0.35 points of its cash rate by June.</p> <p>If passed on in full, the cut would take $125 off the monthly cost of servicing a $600,000 variable-rate mortgage, with more to come.</p> <p>The panel of 29 forecasters assembled by The Conversation expects a further cut of 0.3 points by the end of 2025. This would take the cash rate down from the current 4.35% to 3.75% and produce a total cut in monthly payments on a $600,000 mortgage of $335.</p> <p>The forecasts were produced <em>after</em> last week’s news of a higher than expected <a href="https://theconversation.com/australias-inflation-rate-jumps-to-4-putting-an-rba-rate-rise-back-on-the-agenda-233331">monthly consumers price index</a>.</p> <p>Several of those surveyed revised up their predictions for interest rates in the year ahead, while continuing to predict cuts by mid next year.</p> <p>Only two expect higher rates by mid next year. Only four expect no change.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="6eIe8" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/6eIe8/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Now in its sixth year, The Conversation survey draws on the expertise of leading forecasters in 22 Australian universities, think tanks and financial institutions – among them economic modellers, former Treasury and Reserve Bank officials and a former member of the Reserve Bank board.</p> <p>Eight of the 29 expect the first cut to come this year, by either November or December.</p> <p>One of them is Luci Ellis, who was until recently assistant governor (economic) at the Reserve Bank and is now at Westpac. She and her team are forecasting three interest rate cuts by the middle of next year, taking the cash rate from 4.35% to 3.6%.</p> <h2>Reserve Bank a ‘reluctant hiker’</h2> <p>Ellis says inflation isn’t falling fast enough for the bank to be confident of being able to cut before November. But after that, even if inflation isn’t completely back within the bank’s target band but is merely moving towards it, a “forward-looking” board would want to start easing interest rates.</p> <p>Another forecaster, Su-Lin Ong of RBC Capital Markets, says in her view the bank should hike at its next board meeting in August after the release of figures likely to show inflation is still too high. But she says the bank is a “reluctant hiker” and keen to keep unemployment low.</p> <p>Although several panellists expect the Reserve Bank to hike rates in the months ahead, almost all expect rates to be lower in a year’s time than they are today.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="2xF3M" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/2xF3M/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The panel expects inflation to be back within the Reserve Bank’s 2-3% target band by June next year, and to be close to it (3.3%) by the end of this year.</p> <p>Twelve of the panel expect inflation to climb further when the official figures are released at the end of this month, but none expect it to climb further beyond that. And all expect inflation to be lower by the end of the financial year than it is today.</p> <p>One, Percy Allan, a former head of the NSW Treasury, cautions that the tax cuts and other government support measures due to start this month run the risk of boosting spending and falling progress on inflation.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="LGJa7" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/LGJa7/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The panel expects wages growth to fall from 4% to 3.5% over the year ahead, contributing to downward pressure on inflation, but to remain higher than prices growth, producing gains in so-called <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/terms/r/realincome.asp">real wages</a>.</p> <p>It expects wages growth to moderate further, to 3.2%, in 2025-26.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="iV7mZ" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/iV7mZ/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Consumer spending is expected to remain unusually weak, growing by only 1.7% in real terms over the next 12 months, up from 1.3% in the latest national accounts.</p> <p>Mala Raghavan, from the University of Tasmania, said even though inflation was falling, previous price rises meant the prices of essentials remained high. AMP chief economist Shane Oliver expected the boost from the <a href="https://treasury.gov.au/tax-cuts">Stage 3 tax cuts</a> to be offset by the depressing effect of a weaker labour market.</p> <h2>Unemployment to climb modestly</h2> <p>The panel expects Australia’s unemployment rate to climb steadily from its present historically low 4% to 4.4%.</p> <p>Moodys Analytics economist Harry Murphy Cruise said although the increase wasn’t big, the effect on pay packets would be bigger. Employers were shaving hours and easing back on hiring rather than letting go of workers.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="SM8PI" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/SM8PI/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Panellists expect China’s economic growth to slip from 5.3% to 5% and US growth to slip from 2.9% to 2.4%.</p> <p>Australia’s economic growth is expected to climb from the present very low 1.1% to 1.3% by the end of this year and to 2% by the end of next year. Although none of the panel are forecasting a recession, most of those who offered an opinion said if there was a recession, it would start this year when the economy was weak.</p> <p>Some said we might later discover that we have been in a recession if the very weak economic growth of 0.1% recorded in the March quarter is revised and turns negative when updated figures are released in September.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="3I49o" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/3I49o/1/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>Home prices are expected to continue to climb notwithstanding economic weakness. Sydney prices are expected to increase a further 5% in the year ahead after climbing 7.4% in the year to May. Melbourne prices are expected to rise a further 2.8% after climbing 1.8% in the year to May.</p> <p>Percy Allan said Sydney had fewer homes available than Melbourne, and Victoria’s decisions to extend land tax and boost rights for tenants had upset landlords, many of whom were offloading their holdings.</p> <h2>Home prices to climb further</h2> <p>Julie Toth, chief economist at property information firm PEXA, said rapid population growth was colliding with an ongoing decline in household size since COVID. At the same time, fewer new homes were being commissioned and long delays and high construction costs were also keeping supply tight.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="JzLaY" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/JzLaY/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <p>The panel expects non-mining business investment to continue to climb in the year ahead, by 5.2%, down from 6.9%.</p> <p>It expects the Australian share market to climb by a further 5.6%</p> <p><strong>Read the answers on <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3350/2024-25_The_Conversation_AU_Forecasting_Survey.pdf">PDF</a>, download as <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3351/2024-25_The_Conversation_AU_forecasting_survey.xlsx?1719478737">XLS</a></strong></p> <hr /> <h2>The Conversation’s Economic Panel</h2> <p><em>Click on economist to see full profile.</em></p> <p><iframe id="tc-infographic-1066" class="tc-infographic" style="border: none;" src="https://cdn.theconversation.com/infographics/1066/93fb29ba32e178ec2dcda111f014a50cf7ea1f49/site/index.html" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/233244/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/peter-martin-682709">Peter Martin</a>, Visiting Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/crawford-school-of-public-policy-australian-national-university-3292">Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/cheaper-mortgages-tamed-inflation-and-even-higher-home-prices-how-29-forecasters-see-australias-economic-recovery-in-2024-25-233244">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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I’ve been diagnosed with cancer. How do I tell my children?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cassy-dittman-1380541">Cassy Dittman</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/govind-krishnamoorthy-1467986">Govind Krishnamoorthy</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marg-rogers-867368">Marg Rogers</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a></em></p> <p>With around <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/health-conditions-and-risks/cancer/2022">one in 50 adults</a> diagnosed with cancer each year, many people are faced with the difficult task of sharing the news of their diagnosis with their loved ones. Parents with cancer may be most <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462388914000994">worried about</a> telling their children.</p> <p>It’s best to give children factual and age-appropriate information, so children don’t create their own explanations or <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)33202-1/fulltext">blame themselves</a>. Over time, supportive family relationships and open communication <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-016-3214-2">help children adjust</a> to their parent’s diagnosis and treatment.</p> <p>It’s natural to feel you don’t have the <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ecc.12018">skills or knowledge</a> to talk with your children about cancer. But preparing for the conversation can improve your confidence.</p> <h2>Preparing for the conversation</h2> <p>Choose a suitable time and location in a place where your children feel comfortable. Turn off distractions such as screens and phones.</p> <p>For teenagers, who can find face-to-face conversations confronting, think about talking while you are going for a walk.</p> <p>Consider if you will tell all children at once or separately. Will you be the only adult present, or will having another adult close to your child be helpful? Another adult might give your children a person they can talk to later, especially to answer questions they might be worried about asking you.</p> <p>Finally, plan what to do after the conversation, like doing an activity with them that they enjoy. Older children and teenagers might want some time alone to digest the news, but you can suggest things you know they like to do to relax.</p> <p>Also consider what you might need to support yourself.</p> <h2>Preparing the words</h2> <p>Parents might be worried about the <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/321/7259/479.full.pdf+html">best words or language</a> to use to make sure the explanations are at a level their child understands. Make a plan for what you will say and take notes to stay on track.</p> <p>The toughest part is likely to be saying to your children that you have cancer. It can help to practise saying those words out aloud.</p> <p>Ask family and friends for their feedback on what you want to say. <a href="https://www.cancer.org.au/cancer-information/types-of-cancer/childhood-cancers/talking-to-kids-about-cancer">Make use of guides</a> by the Cancer Council, which provide age-appropriate wording for explaining medical terms like “cancer”, “chemotherapy” and “tumour”.</p> <h2>Having the conversation</h2> <p>Being open, honest and factual is important. Consider the balance between being too vague, and providing too much information. The <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1462388914000994">amount and type</a> of information you give will be based on their age and previous experiences with illness.</p> <p>Remember, if things don’t go as planned, you can always try again later.</p> <p>Start by telling your children the news in a few short sentences, describing what you know about the diagnosis in language suitable for their age. Generally, this information will include the name of the cancer, the area of the body affected and what will be involved in treatment.</p> <p>Let them know what to expect in the coming weeks and months. Balance hope with reality. For example:</p> <blockquote> <p>The doctors will do everything they can to help me get well. But, it is going to be a long road and the treatments will make me quite sick.</p> </blockquote> <p>Check what your child knows about cancer. Young children may not know much about cancer, while primary school-aged children are starting to understand that it is a <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/epdf/10.1177/0165025408093663">serious illness</a>. Young children may worry about becoming unwell themselves, or other loved ones becoming sick.</p> <p>Older children and teenagers may have experiences with cancer through other family members, friends at school or social media.</p> <p>This process allows you to correct any misconceptions and provides opportunities for them to ask questions. Regardless of their level of knowledge, it is important to reassure them that the cancer is not their fault.</p> <p>Ask them if there is anything they want to know or say. Talk to them about what will stay the same as well as what may change. For example:</p> <blockquote> <p>You can still do gymnastics, but sometimes Kate’s mum will have to pick you up if I am having treatment.</p> </blockquote> <p>If you can’t answer their questions, be OK with saying “I’m not sure”, or “I will try to find out”.</p> <p>Finally, tell children you love them and offer them comfort.</p> <h2>How might they respond?</h2> <p>Be prepared for a range of <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00520-016-3214-2">different responses</a>. Some might be distressed and cry, others might be angry, and some might not seem upset at all. This might be due to shock, or a sign they need time to process the news. It also might mean they are trying to be brave because they don’t want to upset you.</p> <p>Children’s reactions will change over time as they come to terms with the news and process the information. They might seem like they are happy and coping well, then be teary and clingy, or angry and irritable.</p> <p>Older children and teenagers may ask if they can tell their friends and family about what is happening. It may be useful to come together as a family to discuss how to inform friends and family.</p> <h2>What’s next?</h2> <p>Consider the conversation the first of many ongoing discussions. Let children know they can talk to you and ask questions.</p> <p>Resources might also help; for example, The Cancer Council’s <a href="https://www.campquality.org.au/kids-guide-to-cancer/">app for children and teenagers</a> and Redkite’s <a href="https://www.redkite.org.au/service/book-club/">library of free books</a> for families affected by cancer.</p> <p>If you or other adults involved in the children’s lives are concerned about how they are coping, speak to your GP or treating specialist about options for psychological support.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/228012/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/cassy-dittman-1380541">Cassy Dittman</a>, Senior Lecturer/Head of Course (Undergraduate Psychology), Research Fellow, Manna Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/cquniversity-australia-2140">CQUniversity Australia</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/govind-krishnamoorthy-1467986">Govind Krishnamoorthy</a>, Senior Lecturer, School of Psychology and Wellbeing, Post Doctoral Fellow, Manna Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/marg-rogers-867368">Marg Rogers</a>, Senior Lecturer, Early Childhood Education; Post Doctoral Fellow, Manna Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/ive-been-diagnosed-with-cancer-how-do-i-tell-my-children-228012">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Family & Pets

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Australia’s tax system is being weaponised against victims of domestic abuse. Here’s how

<div class="theconversation-article-body"> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ann-kayis-kumar-466422">Ann Kayis-Kumar</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p>When women seeking financial help from the government-funded UNSW <a href="https://www.unsw.edu.au/business/our-schools/accounting-auditing-taxation/about-us/unsw-clinic">Tax and Business Advisory Clinic</a> are asked whether they have ever been affected by family or domestic violence, most say they have.</p> <p>In the past year this number has grown from <a href="https://cdn.theconversation.com/static_files/files/3339/sub009.pdf?1718777706">65%</a> to over 80%.</p> <p>And about <a href="https://ssrn.com/abstract=4746954">14%</a> of the clinic’s clients say their tax debts are a result of intimate partner violence. These debts often arise from business debts, bankruptcy, corporate directorships and director penalty notices.</p> <p>We know that economic abuse is a red flag for other forms of domestic violence. Economic abuse occurs in nearly all Australian domestic and family violence cases, affecting more than <a href="https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/crime-and-justice/personal-safety-australia/latest-release">2.4 million Australians</a> and costing the economy an estimated <a href="https://www.commbank.com.au/content/dam/caas/newsroom/docs/Cost%20of%20financial%20abuse%20in%20Australia.pdf">A$10.9 billion</a> a year.</p> <p>Unfortunately, existing laws fall well short of protecting abuse victim-survivors from financial loss.</p> <h2>How violent partners weaponise tax</h2> <p>The perpetrators of violence can effectively weaponise the tax system by placing tax debts solely in the names of former partners, often because they have made them directors of companies or through family businesses operating through partnerships or trusts.</p> <p>There is a policy assumption that family members benefit from family partnerships.</p> <p>But this does not always hold in practice and can be problematic when there is economic abuse because Australian tax law requires victims report and pay tax on their “share” of the family partnership’s income.</p> <p>The average tax debt at the tax clinic is about $90,000. This can result in debilitating financial burdens, exhausted savings, insecure housing and prolonged economic instability, well after abusive relationships end.</p> <h2>Change is needed</h2> <p>Australia has no specific strategy for relief of tax debts caused by financial abuse. There are “serious hardship” provisions in Australian taxation law, but these are outdated and in need of <a href="https://theconversation.com/sometimes-people-can-do-with-a-break-3-ways-tax-debt-relief-rules-are-too-tough-156948">reform</a>.</p> <p>Usually people do not have the funds up front so the only way the Australian Taxation Office can collect debts from the abused partner is through (generally two-year) payment plans, offsetting future tax refunds, engaging external debt collectors and initiating bankruptcy proceedings.</p> <p>To that end, the decision announced in this year’s budget to give the Tax Commissioner discretion <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/about-ato/new-legislation/in-detail/businesses/changes-to-offsetting-debts-on-hold">not to offset</a> against tax returns debts previously placed “on hold” is welcome.</p> <p>It will provide short-term relief by enabling abuse victims to get their refunds instead of having it used by the Tax Office to reduce their debt.</p> <p>Colleagues Christine Speidel, Leslie Book and I want this power extended to all <a href="https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4746954">forms of tax debts</a> not just for tax debts that have been placed “on hold” especially where the taxpayer is known to have experienced financial abuse.</p> <p>But this wouldn’t go far enough – the victim-survivors would still have the perpetrator’s tax debt hanging over them.</p> <p>Where this happens, financial instability can <a href="https://www.commbank.com.au/content/dam/commbank-assets/support/2021-01/unsw-report-key-findings.pdf">drive women back</a> into abusive relationships.</p> <h2>The US shows what can be done</h2> <p>Legislative reform to shift tax liability from abuse survivors to perpetrators is the key to helping solve the problem.</p> <figure class="align-right zoomable"></figure> <p>The United States has offered some form of “<a href="https://www.irs.gov/individuals/innocent-spouse-relief">innocent spouse relief</a>” since 1971. In 2011 it widened eligibility and <a href="https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/ir-11-080.pdf">removed a two-year time limit</a> for requesting relief.</p> <p>It is important to understand the US provisions apply because the country offers jointly filed “married” tax returns. In Australia tax returns are filed by individuals.</p> <p>Australia’s laws would need to change to ensure abused women do not find themselves jointly liable. Any changes should also include debts incurred in the name of partnerships and company directors.</p> <p>The US is the first and only country to do this, largely because of the advocacy of US low-income tax clinics over decades. Australia now has such clinics, funded as part of the Tax Office <a href="https://www.ato.gov.au/individuals-and-families/financial-difficulties-and-disasters/support-to-lodge-and-pay/national-tax-clinic-program">National Tax Clinic Program</a>.</p> <p>Australia’s adoption of US-style rules could provide a model for other jurisdictions, increase tax debt collection (as perpetrators are likely to have better capacity to pay than victims) and foster greater confidence in the Tax Office.</p> <p>Most importantly, it would acknowledge that victim-survivors with tax debts should not bear responsibility for debts incurred by perpetrators.</p> <hr /> <p><em>For information and advice about family and intimate partner violence contact 1800 RESPECT (<a href="https://www.1800respect.org.au/">1800 737 732</a>). If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, contact 000. The Men’s Referral Service (<a href="https://ntv.org.au/get-help/">1300 766 491)</a> offers advice and counselling to men looking to change their behaviour.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232609/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ann-kayis-kumar-466422">Ann Kayis-Kumar</a>, Founding Director of UNSW Tax and Business Advisory Clinic, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-sydney-1414">UNSW Sydney</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/australias-tax-system-is-being-weaponised-against-victims-of-domestic-abuse-heres-how-232609">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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Aussies urged to claim their share of millions of unclaimed cash

<p>Aussies are being urged to claim their share of $577 million which is sitting unclaimed with Revenue NSW, with about $234 million of that designated as belonging to residents who have yet to claim it.</p> <p>During the last financial year, NSW Government returned more than $21.8 million in unclaimed funds to Aussies, setting a record in the process. </p> <p>The unclaimed funds are comprised of payments, refunds, unpresented cheques, dividends and other money that organisations cannot transfer to its rightful owners, sometimes due to something as simple as changed addresses or bank accounts.</p> <p>While $234 million is being held by the government for NSW residents who are known, the further $343 million is designated to those who live outside New South Wales or are currently unknown. </p> <p>For Sydney residents alone, approximately $85.4 million is currently waiting to be claimed by rightful owners. </p> <p>The average amount of unclaimed money owed on the register is $391, and more than $154 million has been claimed back from the government in the past decade.</p> <p>“Despite doing our best to give unclaimed money back to the people it’s owed to, we’re still seeing more money referred to us than people are claiming,” Chief Commissioner of State Revenue Scott Johnston said.</p> <p>“We want to make sure everyone knows about the unclaimed money register, so they can jump online, find out if any money is owed to them and undertake the process to get it back."</p> <p>“That way we can ensure more money is being returned to those it belongs to, rather than sitting with us for extended periods of time after enterprises and organisations pass it on.”</p> <p>You can find more information about the unclaimed funds, and search the register for your share on <a href="https://www.revenue.nsw.gov.au/unclaimed-money" target="_blank" rel="noopener" data-link-type="article-inline">Revenue NSW’s website</a>.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p>

Money & Banking

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How would a switch to nuclear affect electricity prices for households and industry?

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/roger-dargaville-1832">Roger Dargaville</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>Peter Dutton has announced that under a Coalition government, seven nuclear power stations would be built around the country over the next 15 years.</p> <p>Experts have declared nuclear power would be <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-06-20/power-prices-wont-fall-with-nuclear/103998172">expensive</a> and <a href="https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/nuclear-to-cost-17b-and-take-until-2040-to-build-csiro-20240521-p5jfaj#:%7E:text=Nuclear%20could%20cost%20up%20to,until%202040%20to%20build%3A%20CSIRO&amp;text=Peter%20Dutton's%20nuclear%20energy%20plans,operational%20until%20at%20least%202040.">slow to build</a>.</p> <p>But what might happen to energy prices if the Coalition were to win government and implement this plan?</p> <h2>How might we estimate the cost of nuclear?</h2> <p>By 2035, 50–60% of the existing coal-fired fleet will very likely <a href="https://aemo.com.au/-/media/files/stakeholder_consultation/consultations/nem-consultations/2023/draft-2024-isp-consultation/draft-2024-isp.pdf">have been retired</a>, including Vales Point B, Gladstone, Yallourn, Bayswater and Eraring – all of which will have passed 50 years old.</p> <p>These five generators contribute just over 10 gigawatts of capacity. It’s probably not a coincidence that the seven nuclear plants proposed by Dutton would also contribute roughly 10 gigawatts in total if built.</p> <p>Neither my team at Monash University nor the Australian Energy Market Operator has run modelling scenarios to delve into the details of what might happen to electricity prices under a high-uptake nuclear scenario such as the one proposed by the Coalition. That said, we can make some broad assumptions based on a metric known as the “levelised cost of electricity”.</p> <p>This value takes into account:</p> <ul> <li> <p>how much it costs to build a particular technology</p> </li> <li> <p>how long it takes to build</p> </li> <li> <p>the cost to operate the plant</p> </li> <li> <p>its lifetime</p> </li> <li> <p>and very importantly, its capacity factor.</p> </li> </ul> <p>Capacity factor is how much electricity a technology produces in real life, compared with its theoretical maximum output.</p> <p>For example, a nuclear power station would likely run at 90–95% of its full capacity. A solar farm, on the other hand, will run at just 20–25% of its maximum, primarily because it’s night for half of the time, and cloudy some of the time.</p> <p>CSIRO recently published its <a href="https://www.csiro.au/en/research/technology-space/energy/gencost">GenCost</a> report, which outlines the current and projected build and operational costs for a range of energy technologies.</p> <p>It reports that large-scale nuclear generated electricity would cost between A$155 and $252 per megawatt-hour, falling to between $136 and $226 per megawatt-hour by 2040.</p> <p>The report bases these costs on recent projects in South Korea, but doesn’t consider some other cases where costs have blown out dramatically.</p> <p>The most obvious case is that of <a href="https://www.edf.fr/en/the-edf-group/dedicated-sections/journalists/all-press-releases/hinkley-point-c-update-1">Hinkley Point C nuclear plant</a> in the United Kingdom. This <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/edfs-nuclear-project-britain-pushed-back-2029-may-cost-up-34-bln-2024-01-23/">3.2GW</a> plant, which is being built by French company EDF, was recently <a href="https://www.edf.fr/en/the-edf-group/dedicated-sections/journalists/all-press-releases/hinkley-point-c-update-1">reported</a> to be now costing around £34 billion (about A$65 billion). That’s about A$20,000 per kilowatt.</p> <p>CSIRO’s GenCost report assumed a value of $8,655 per kilowatt for nuclear, so the true levelised cost of electricity of nuclear power in Australia may end up being twice as expensive as CSIRO has calculated.</p> <hr /> <p><iframe id="Aryx7" class="tc-infographic-datawrapper" style="border: none;" src="https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/Aryx7/4/" width="100%" height="400px" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <hr /> <h2>Other factors play a role, too</h2> <p>Another factor not accounted for in the GenCost assumptions is that Australia does not have a nuclear industry. Virtually all the niche expertise would need to be imported.</p> <p>And very large infrastructure projects have a nasty habit of <a href="https://www.cis.org.au/publication/bungles-blowouts-and-boondoggles-why-australias-infrastructure-projects-cost-more-than-they-should/">blowing out in cost</a> – think of Snowy 2.0, Sydney’s light rail project, and the West Gate Tunnel in Victoria.</p> <p>Reasons include higher local wages, regulations and standards plus aversion from lenders to risk that increases cost of capital. These factors would not bode well for nuclear.</p> <p>In CSIRO’s GenCost report, the levelised cost of electricity produced from coal is $100–200 per megawatt-hour, and for gas it’s $120–160 per megawatt-hour. Solar and wind energy work out to be approximately $60 and $90 per megawatt-hour, respectively. But it’s not a fair comparison, as wind and solar are not “dispatchable” but are dependent on the availability of the resource.</p> <p>When you combine the cost of a mix of wind and solar energy and storage, along with the cost of getting the renewable energy into the grid, renewables end up costing $100–120 per megawatt-hour, similar to coal.</p> <p>If we were to have a nuclear-based system (supplemented by gas to meet the higher demands in the mornings and evenings), the costs would likely be much higher – potentially as much as three to four times if cost blowouts similar to Hinkley Point C were to occur (assuming costs were passed on to electricity consumers. Otherwise, taxpayers in general would bear the burden. Either way, it’s more or less the same people).</p> <h2>But what about the impact on your household energy bill?</h2> <p>Well, here the news is marginally better.</p> <p>Typical retail tariffs are 25-30 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is $250–300 per megawatt-hour. The largest component of your energy bill is not the cost of generation of the electricity; rather, it’s the cost of getting the power from the power stations to your home or business.</p> <p>In very approximate terms, this is made up of the market average costs of generation, transmission and distribution, as well as retailer margin and other minor costs.</p> <p>The transmission and distribution costs will not be significantly different under the nuclear scenario compared with the current system. And the additional transmission costs associated with the more distributed nature of renewables (meaning these renewable projects are all over the country) is included in the estimate.</p> <p>According to my back-of-the-envelope calculations, your retail tariff under the nuclear scenario could be 40–50c per kilowatt-hour.</p> <p>But if you are a large energy consumer such as an aluminium smelter, you pay considerably less per kilowatt-hour as you don’t incur the same network or retailer costs (but the cost of generating electricity in the first place makes up a much bigger proportion of the total cost).</p> <p>So if the cost of electricity generation soars, this hypothetical aluminium smelter’s energy costs will soar too.</p> <p>This would be a severe cost burden on Australian industry that has traditionally relied on cheap electricity (although it’s been a while since electricity could be described as cheap).</p> <h2>A likely increase in energy costs</h2> <p>In summary, in a free market, it is very unlikely nuclear could be competitive.</p> <p>But if a future Coalition government were to bring nuclear into the mix, energy costs for residential and especially industrial customers would very likely increase.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/232913/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/roger-dargaville-1832">Roger Dargaville</a>, Director Monash Energy Institute, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-would-a-switch-to-nuclear-affect-electricity-prices-for-households-and-industry-232913">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

Money & Banking

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How to buy a home: 7 tips for negotiating like a pro

<div class="theconversation-article-body"><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/park-thaichon-175182">Park Thaichon</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p>The main purpose of negotiation is to find a mutually acceptable solution for buyers and sellers. Good negotiations greatly improve relationships between buyers, sellers and agents. They also help avoid future problems and conflicts.</p> <p>Negotiating skills become even more important for home buyers in a “seller’s market”, where demand from buyers exceeds supply from sellers. That’s <a href="https://propertyupdate.com.au/australian-property-market-predictions/">currently the case</a> in all Australian capital cities and major regional cities such as Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and others.</p> <p>Many home buyers mistakenly believe negotiation only occurs during the signing of the sale contract. However, it involves distinct stages: <em>pre-negotiation</em> and <em>during negotiation</em>.</p> <p>So how can people maximise their chances of successfully negotiating a purchase in a seller’s market? I offer the following tips.</p> <h2>Be someone the seller’s agent wants to do business with</h2> <p>Buyers often communicate solely with the seller’s agent, rather than directly with the seller. It’s crucial to ensure the agent views the buyer positively. Ultimately, it’s the agent who presents offers to the seller for their decision.</p> <p>It’s important, then, to understand what might motivate the seller’s agent to choose your offer. The key performance indicator for the agent often revolves around closing a property sale at a reasonable price within a certain time.</p> <p>This means price is a crucial factor. However, other factors can influence the seller’s agent and seller.</p> <p>For example, having pre-approved finance can increase the agent’s confidence in the buyer. If the buyer appears serious, can make quick decisions and makes a good impression, the agent may be more motivated to push for them, even if their offer is slightly lower than others without pre-approved finance.</p> <h2>Be a big fish (for the seller’s agent)</h2> <p>The next strategy is to give the seller’s agent extra incentive to favour you and your offer. <a href="https://www.emerald.com/insight/content/doi/10.1108/MIP-09-2019-0489/full/html">Our research</a> in customer behaviour suggests businesses value customers who make frequent purchases or engage them for long-term services.</p> <p>For example, the agent would be pleased to learn that the buyer might be interested in buying another property in the near future or in using their rental service for the new property. You have an advantage if you can position yourself as someone who could provide them with extra business.</p> <h2>Point to competing options</h2> <p>In a positive manner, let the seller’s agent know you are considering two or three properties, and this specific property is among those you are inclined to make an offer on.</p> <p>In certain situations, it may stimulate competitive pricing when multiple properties of similar quality are available in the same area. Make it clear to the agent you will choose the property that offers you the best overall value.</p> <p>While this strategy might not necessarily lower the price in a seller’s market, it can prompt the agent to have a fuller discussion with you.</p> <h2>Think beyond price</h2> <p>The next set of tips focuses on the <em>during negotiation</em> stages. It can be challenging for buyers to negotiate a lower price in a market with low supply and high demand. You might have to “think outside the price box”.</p> <p>Buyers often have a specific price range or fixed budget in mind when they start discussions with a seller. However, other factors besides price can influence a property’s overall value.</p> <p>So if a seller won’t adjust the price, consider negotiating for other concessions that could reduce your expenses.</p> <p>These may include:</p> <p><strong>Settlement period</strong></p> <p>Consider the expenses associated with the settlement period. A shorter settlement period could enable buyers to move into the property sooner and save on rent. For example, if a buyer is paying $600 per week in rent, an early settlement could save them around $2,400 per month.</p> <p><strong>Insurance costs after contract signing</strong></p> <p>In many states, buyers’ <a href="https://www.finder.com.au/home-insurance/home-insurance-cost">home insurance cover</a> is required to begin from the date of contract signing. It’s reasonable for buyers to include a special condition requesting the seller to bear the insurance costs until settlement. On average, home insurance may amount to about $140 per month.</p> <p><strong>Cleaning expenses</strong></p> <p>Consider negotiating a condition stipulating that the seller must ensure the property is professionally cleaned by settlement. Failure to do so could result in a $500 adjustment in the buyer’s favour at settlement.</p> <p>In some states, like Queensland, sellers are not obligated to deliver a clean property. Based on typical end-of-lease cleaning charges, internal cleaning of a four-bedroom property could cost <a href="https://firstcallhomeservices.com.au/service-menu/bond-exit-end-lease-cleaning/">$455 to $590</a>.</p> <p><strong>Building and pest inspection costs</strong></p> <p>Buyers should always include a 14-day pre-purchase inspection clause for <a href="https://www.topdogpestcontrol.com.au/building-pest-inspections-gold-coast/">building and pest inspections</a> in their offer. Although they may cost $300 to $600, these inspections provide a clear report that could lead to negotiations after contract signing if they find any issues with the property.</p> <h2>Be careful with your first offer</h2> <p>Don’t present the first offer in writing. It can be challenging to negotiate down the price once it has been written in an offer document.</p> <p>Instead, the buyer should begin by testing the expected price of the property. As well as obtaining property reports from multiple banks, the buyer could talk with the seller’s agent in person about a price range that would be agreeable to the seller.</p> <p>You could include phrases like “a price that will make the seller happy” or “a price that will make the seller accept the offer”. While the agent might not provide a specific price, this talk can provide a guideline for the buyer. All properties up for auction or private sale should have an expected price set, which may or may not be discussed with potential buyers.</p> <p>It’s also advisable to consult a solicitor before submitting an offer or signing a contract. They can offer valuable suggestions to smooth the purchase process and identify any issues.</p> <h2>Use the power of 900</h2> <p>Buyers often submit offers with round numbers, such as $700,000 or $750,000. In a competitive seller’s market, aim to submit an offer with a number that stands out from the rest, yet remains within your budget.</p> <p>An example of such a number is $900. For instance, comparing $700,000 to $700,900, the extra $900 makes the offer feel closer to $710,000.</p> <h2>Write a personalised letter</h2> <p>It’s true the most important point of selling a house for many sellers is price. But they are human and have emotions. Finishing a purchasing offer with a personal letter to the seller can make a difference.</p> <p>Often that $3,000 to $20,000 could be a lot of money for a buyer, but it may not be as much for someone selling a house for $700,000 or $1,000,000. Write the letter to express your feelings about the property in a way that makes it clear you will care for it. Most people selling their home would prefer to have someone look after it well.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/226237/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/park-thaichon-175182">Park Thaichon</a>, Associate Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-southern-queensland-1069">University of Southern Queensland</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-buy-a-home-7-tips-for-negotiating-like-a-pro-226237">original article</a>.</em></p> </div>

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Aussie carers to receive a hefty cash boost

<p>Australian carers are set for a hefty financial increase in addition to their ongoing support payments from July 1st. </p> <p><a href="https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/carer-supplement" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Services Australia</a> confirmed that those receiving the Centrelink Carer Supplement will see a $600 cash boost automatically hit their bank accounts between July 3rd and August 2nd. </p> <p>Carers will receive the $600 annual supplement for each of the carer payments they receive.</p> <p>That includes the Carer Payment, which provides income support for over 300,000 Australians who, “because of the demands of their caring role, are unable to support themselves through substantial paid employment.”</p> <p>The payment will also supplement recipients of the Carer Allowance, which can be received in addition to income support payments, and is received by over 640,000 carers who “provide daily care and attention at home for a person with a disability, severe medical condition or who is frail and aged”.</p> <p>Those receiving the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Partner Service Pension and Carer Allowance, and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs Carer Service Pension will also be eligible for the cash boost. </p> <p>“How much you get depends on the percentage of care you provide,” Services Australia said.</p> <p>“You’ll get a Carer Supplement for each eligible payment you get. For example, if you get a Carer Payment and a Carer Allowance, you’ll get two Carer Supplements.”</p> <p>“This payment doesn’t add to your taxable income,” Services Australia said.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

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