From the med-school press releases we’ve been receiving, it appears Thanksgiving and Christmas will soon be declared public health menaces. The University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine tells us that “Holidays Don’t Have to be Difficult for People with an Eating Disorder,” and offers “Holiday Eating Tips” for affected individuals — which, from their description, seems to be most of us. Among these: “Start a food diary” and “practice saying ‘No thank you’ in a polite yet assertive way.” UNC also introduces us to “the well-known HALT slogan… Don’t let yourself get too hungry, angry, lonely or tired.” At a family holiday dinner, we don’t see the alternative.
Temple University’s med school tells “‘Tis the Season to be Stressed Out.” Not only are the days getting shorter, reducing mood-elevating sunshine, but people tend to overspend. (The overspending starts at Thanksgiving, says St. Louis University, so you should prepare only appropriate amounts of food and “Use frozen vegetables where you can.”) Temple’s expert suggests a budget, and that you “speak with your doctor so you enjoy the holidays instead of wishing they were over.” Too late now!