Wednesday, Sep 17th

Last update11:47:15 AM GMT


Kylie most inspirational breast cancer celebrity

She has inspired many women to be more direct about their own fears

Kylie Minogue has been voted the most inspirational breast cancer star in a recent online poll conducted by market-leading mastectomy-wear specialist, Amoena.

The star's willingness to speak openly and honestly about her treatment, helping to raise awareness of breast cancer, propelled her to the top of the Amoena celebrity hotlist, which also included Linda McCartney, Olivia Newton John and Sally Whittaker.

Kylie also inspired many women to be more direct about their own fears, encouraging them to believe they would get through their ordeal.

As well as looking to celebrities for inspiration, many women said that support from family, friends and other women who had also been through breast cancer treatment, was the biggest motivator.

Rhoda White, Amoena's marketing manager says: "Undergoing a mastectomy can badly damage a woman's body confidence and self-image, and celebrities like Kylie play a vital role in raising public awareness. But women also take great encouragement from seeing how well their peers cope with breast cancer."

To prove the point, Amoena has used breast-operated women to model lingerie and swimwear in its latest marketing campaign: "We hope they will show other women just how good they can look after breast surgery," says Rhoda.

The new range of mastectomy-wear by Amoena can be purchased online at, by mail order on +44(0)845-072-4027 or from the company's showroom in Hampshire.

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How women can ignite their sex lives by talking dirty

The Dirty Talk Handbook teaches women how to drive men wild in bed with mind-blowing dirty talk

Keeping sex life exciting is a problem faced by couples in relationships the world over. The sexual spark often fades and intimacy can become boring, mundane, or even non-existent. Even if a couple once couldn’t keep their hands off each other, it’s common for people’s sex lives to reduce to the once-a-week-Friday-night-quickie-before-bed routine.

Reigniting that spark is an equally common problem. Couples in long-term relationships often struggle to find new ways to make sex exciting, and many long for that heart-fluttering giddy feeling they had when their relationship was new.

But now women everywhere are discovering how to recharge their sex lives by driving their partners wild in bed with mind-blowing dirty talk. Written by relationship expert, Evan Michaels, “The Dirty Talk Handbook” is a new book available for download from his website,

The book allows women to transform their sex lives by helping them build confidence in the bedroom, and discover the things men secretly crave women to say during sex.

“What sets this book apart is that it’s written by a man for women,” says Michaels. “It’s a no-holds-barred exposé of what men really want when it comes to dirty talk”

Recognizing that some women may be apprehensive about suddenly talking dirty in front of their partner, Michaels has developed a step-by-step system that helps women practice and build their confidence before they take the plunge.

“Women don’t want to sound like porn stars in bed,” says Michaels. “And nor should they. I encourage women to think about dirty talk differently - to make it a healthy part of a healthy sex life.”

“First, it’s important to increase self confidence, learn what men want to hear, and take things at your own pace. But before they know it, many women say their sex lives are way better than when they were first with their partners.”

The book features detailed tips on how to deliver sexy, natural dirty talk, as well as how to use different techniques in and out of the bedroom, such as talking, texting and e-mailing. With hundreds of examples of things to say and phrases to use, women also learn how to figure out what type of guy their partner is and what will turn him on. Advanced techniques include mastering body language, facial expressions and voice control for even more powerful dirty talk and how bedroom games and role playing can add another dimension to talking dirty. was founded by Evan Michaels from Vancouver, BC, Canada to help men and women learn how to spice up their sex lives in fun and exciting ways by discovering the art of talking dirty. With the help of Jess Summers, Evan has created dirty talk handbooks for each gender from the other’s point of view - each written by a member of the opposite sex. Evan is pleased to report his relationship is as exciting and sizzling as ever!

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Pregnant women from ethnic minority groups at higher risk of listeria food poisoning

HPA studies show that neighbourhood deprivation also a major risk factor

There is a higher incidence of listeriosis in pregnant women from ethnic minority groups and, overall, in people living in more deprived areas, research from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) has revealed.

Listeriosis is a rare but severe food-borne disease, caused by infection with listeria bacteria. It mainly affects the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, but can also pose a significant risk to pregnant women, their unborn babies and newborns. Early symptoms may include a self-limiting flu-like illness and an upset stomach, but the infection can cause more severe illness such as septicaemia or meningitis and can lead to abortion and stillbirth in unborn babies. Uncomplicated listeriosis can be treated effectively with antibiotics.

Between 2001 and 2008 there were 1510 cases of listeriosis, 181 of which were in pregnant women. Of these, almost 40 per cent (66 individuals out of 181) were women from an ethnic minority which was established from the first and surname of the patient. The proportion of pregnant women with listeriosis from an ethnic minority increased from less than a quarter of the cases in 2001 to over half of the cases in 2008, with the greatest increase being from 2006-8. This increase was over and above what could be expected given changes in the population structure of England and Wales during this time.

Dr. Iain Gillespie, Head of Listeria Surveillance at the HPA said: “During pregnancy women are advised to avoid certain foods that may be contaminated with listeria. These include undercooked ready meals, soft cheeses, cold cuts of meat and pâtés. This HPA study suggests that these food safety messages may not be reaching, or may not be heeded by, all pregnant women, particularly those from ethnic minorities.

“It is important that all pregnant women know what foods should be avoided for the sake of their own health and that of their babies, so food safety messages for preventing listeriosis in pregnancy may need to be targeted more clearly to those that appear to be more at risk, including women from ethnic minority groups.”

In an additional study, HPA surveillance data on all cases of listeriosis between 2001 and 2007 were compared with population data and indicators of deprivation. For all patient groups, it was found that there were more cases of listeriosis in the most deprived areas of England compared to the most affluent.

Additional analyses showed that as a whole, listeriosis cases in deprived areas were more reliant on convenience stores and local shops (e.g. butchers, bakers, etc) for their food shopping than the general population, and that patients’ risk behaviours with food changed with increasing deprivation.

Dr. Gillespie said: “This study suggests that deprivation is an important risk factor for listeriosis, especially in older people and in pregnant women. Our evidence suggests that people living in deprived areas rely more on smaller local shops and convenience stores to do their shopping. Smaller premises have been linked to a lower microbiological standard of food in many studies, so UK Government food safety policy should continue to focus on small food businesses for this reason.

“In addition, risk behaviour with food has been found to be a factor and this emphasises the importance of access to advice on how to avoid listeria infection. Food safety advice on avoiding listeria infection must be tailored to the most vulnerable groups and communicated effectively.”

The two HPA studies were published in a recent edition of Eurosurveillance.

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Many adults think slapping has little impact on children

The Children’s Society asks Government to ban slapping of children completely

People are twice as worried about parents not knowing where their children are after 9pm than they are about the potentially damaging effects of slapping, research from The Children’s Society has revealed.

Slapping was put last in a list of people’s safety concerns about the parenting of children in the UK in a special study commissioned by the charity. The Children’s Society’s pioneering study follows heated public debate about the kind of risks children are exposed to by their parents. Little research has been done in the UK on these issues.

Over 2,000 people were asked to identify the biggest risks for children aged six to 15 years inherent in a number of different ‘scenarios’.

Some 77% said children were exposed to a high level of risk when parents did not know their whereabouts in the evening. Girls were more likely to be considered to be at high risk – 82% - than boys – 73%.
The same number was very alarmed about parents who failed to arrange medical help for children when they needed it (e.g. no trip to the dentist for those with persistent toothache). 45% saw this as very high risk.

Six out of ten said children ridiculed by parents were at risk of emotional trauma (e.g. called ‘stupid’ by their parents).

Half of those surveyed were worried about parents who ignored the emotional needs of their children, when they were upset by their friends.

At the same time, 47% thought isolating children and keeping them away from friends represented a high risk of harm.

Surprisingly, being slapped by parents as a standard punishment was only seen as a high risk by 33% (14% said it was ‘very high risk’).

The survey shows that people weigh up the risks associated with slapping children very differently from other threats to their safety. Thirty-two per cent think slapping has little impact on children and young people, while another third remain divided on the issue. Unusually, teenagers are thought to be at more risk of physical punishment than younger children (36% rated secondary school age children at high risk compared to 29% of primary age children).

Forty six per cent of far more older people (over 65) think slapping presents a low level of physical and emotional risk for children. This finding may point to a generational shift in opinions about acceptable parenting.

Letting a child play outdoors after 9pm on a summer’s evening without knowing where they are was seen as the highest risk in the survey, with 50% of respondents rating it as the highest possible level of risk.
Only one per cent saw supervisory neglect as ‘no risk at all’ as opposed to 16% who said the same about slapping.

Despite this, all the statistical evidence shows that children are hurt more in a family setting than outside the home. Acute fears about young people’s safety outside the home could possibly be exaggerated, The Children’s Society says.

“Children must be safeguarded from harm but this should also be balanced with the freedom to be themselves and to take some risks,” said Bob Reitemeier, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society. “It is a question of balance. Young people consistently tell us that they need to be able to develop friendships, have fun and to play without adult supervision.”

“Physical violence is something children definitely need to be protected from. The survey revealed a worrying lack of concern by one third of people surveyed about parents slapping children. Children are the only group of people in this country who can be legally hit on a regular basis by others, with little protection in law.”

The UK is one of five EU countries holding out against an all-out ban on slapping. It has been criticised on multiple occasions for contravening Article 19 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child. The Children’s Society is now calling on the new Government to fall in line with our European neighbours and ban the slapping of children completely.

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Research: Marriage doesn't lead to stable relationships between parents

Factors such as age, education, occupation and income more influential

Marriage per se does not contribute much to making relationships more stable when children are young, a new research from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and funded by the Nuffield Foundation has revealed.

This finding casts doubt on the Government’s aim of promoting marriage in order to decrease the rate of parental separation.

The IFS analysis of data from the Millennium Cohort Study shows that while cohabiting parents are more likely to split up than married ones, there is little evidence that marriage per se is the cause of greater stability between parents, or that encouraging more people to get married would result in fewer couples splitting up.

Parents who are cohabiting when their child is born are three times more likely to split up by the time their child is five than married parents (27% compared to 9%). However they are also typically younger, less well off, less likely to own their own homes, have fewer educational qualifications and are less likely to plan their pregnancies than married people.

Once these differences between the two groups are accounted for, the difference in the likelihood of separation almost disappears (falling to 2 percentage points).

The IFS analysis shows that relationship stability is mainly determined not by marriage but by other factors such as age, education, occupation and income, and delaying and planning pregnancy.

These factors are also influential in whether people choose to marry or not. So while married couples have more stable relationships than couples who cohabit, this is not because they are married, but because of the other characteristics they have that lead to marriage.

“The evidence suggests that much of the difference in relationship stability between married and cohabiting parents is due to pre-existing differences between the kinds of people who get married before they have children, compared to those that cohabit,” said Ellen Greaves, research economist at the IFS.

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