In the news this week: Research finds ‘drunkorexia’ is prominent in young Australian women, the US military lifts its ban on transgender members, evidence of the Antarctic ozone hole starting to heal has been found, and the Queensland Government is put under pressure to save the state’s south-east Koala population.
‘Drunkorexia’ phenomena prominent in young Australian women, research finds
More than half of female university students in Australia are skipping meals before a big night out so they can save calories for alcohol, an Adelaide study has found.
PhD student and researcher Alissa Knight at the University of South Australia said drunkorexia was the combination of two social cultures in Australia involving binge drinking and a desire to be thin.
“It’s a new phenomena and it sort of involves the use of distorted eating, such as starvation, dietary restriction, purging, vomiting, excessive exercise … for the sole purpose of saving calories for alcohol use,” she told 891 ABC Adelaide.
The obvious concern of drunkorexia behaviour was the impact the practice was having on women’s physical and mental wellbeing.
US military lifts transgender ban
The US military has lifted its ban on transgender members serving openly in the country’s armed forces.
The policy, which will allow members to transition gender while serving and will set standards for medical care, will be phased in over a year.
“This is the right thing to do for our people and for the force,” said Defence Secretary Ash Carter.
It will ensure no-one can be “discharged or denied re-enlistment” based on gender identity.
‘Healing’ detected in Antarctic ozone hole
Researchers say they have found the first clear evidence that the thinning in the ozone layer above Antarctica is starting to heal.
The scientists said that in September 2015 the hole was around 4 million sq km smaller than it was in the year 2000 – an area roughly the size of India.
The gains have been credited to the long term phasing out of ozone-destroying chemicals.
The study also sheds new light on the role of volcanoes in making the problem worse.
Koala conservation: Dog bans, development restrictions could save south-east Qld population
The Queensland Government is being urged to consider dog bans and new development restrictions to save state’s south-east koala population.
Dreamworld Wildlife Foundation director Al Mucci will join scientists and conservationists at a workshop next week to address the catastrophic koala population decline in the region.
“We need to learn how to live with them, not without them,” he said.
“But we’re heading for a world without koalas in the wild and what a shame that would be.”
Earlier this year, the ABC revealed a report had found more than 80 per cent of the koala population has disappeared on the Koala Coast, in and around Brisbane, since 1996.