Tag Archives: Customers

Size-zero ban is proof fashion industry is finally listening to customers

The use of size zero models has been a fashion industry scandal for 15 years. The announcement that rival Paris powerhouses LVMH and Kering have joined forces to end the practice is proof of an industry finally being held to account by the clothes-buying public.

Will their charter succeed in improving model health, after previous initiatives failed? It is too early to say. But the move is encouraging evidence of how fashion is being gradually democratised.

Social media has provided a platform for less powerful industry players – models, and consumer critics – who were effectively locked out of an elitist world in which designers dictated how women should look but accepted no accountability for the physical demands placed by a 23in waistband. With power comes responsibility. Finally, fashion is facing that maxim.

But there is more to unpick here about fashion’s internal power balance. A decade ago, designers at Paris fashion week were treated as deities; it would have been unrealistic for company bosses to dictate which models they should use. But in the six years since John Galliano dragged the name of Christian Dior into disrepute, the luxury giants have largely reined in the power and status of the designers they hire.

Talented, dependable, down-to-earth design studio veterans are now first in line for the top jobs, not eccentrics and mavericks. And while the de facto clout of designers has waned, the power of models has rocketed. Today’s top catwalk models command commercial leverage of which 1990s supermodels could only have dreamt. (Linda Evangelista, famously, didn’t get out of bed for less than £10,000; today’s Insta-models could charge a designer pyjama brand ten times that to post a selfie on Instagram, without getting up.)

The momentum behind the LVMH-Kering charter came partly from the most fashionable power-couple in Paris: Antoine Arnault of LVMH and his supermodel wife Natalia Vodianova. Arnault referred to Vodianova in announcing the charter, saying: “My wife … said all these problems already existed 15 years ago, except that models didn’t have social networks to talk about them and try to effect change … We can really thank social networks for lifting the lid on a lot of things we would not have tolerated in the past if they had been public knowledge.”

The significance of the charter is that it moves on a debate that had long been muted by endless buck-passing. Models say casting agents demand tiny measurements; casting agents respond by saying that the sample sizes produced for the catwalk require them. Readers criticise magazines for showcasing skinny models; editors reciprocate by arguing that anything outside of the supermodel aesthetic causes newsstand sales to plunge. Consumers speak of feeling pressurised to diet by images of very thin models; models report that they have been trolled or body-shamed for being skinny.

Fashion did not invent size zero – the phrase emerged in LA in the early 1990s to describe the desired shape of aspiringHollywood actors. And negative body image is a problem that extends far beyond the Paris catwalks. But just as fashion is part of the problem, it must be part of the solution.

Francois-Henri Pinault of Kering has taken the bold step of drawing a direct link between fashion and anorexia. “A lot of people know – as I do – people affected by the scourge of anorexia,” he told Womenswear Daily. “This represents an important advance in tackling the issue of excessive thinness and in particular anorexia in our profession.”

Accepting that responsibility lies with brands, this charter is not penalising women for being thin, but cracking down on an industry in which catwalk samples are produced in sizes that require already-slim women to starve themselves.

Intensive mobile cellphone customers at greater risk of brain cancers, says study

A mobile phone user

A mobile mobile phone consumer. The new study located that cancer occurred on the opposite side of the brain – rather than on the exact same side – of in which the phone was customarily utilised. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA

Individuals who use mobile phones intensively seem to have a larger chance of creating specific sorts of brain cancer, French scientists have said, reviving concerns about mobile phone safety.

Men and women who utilized their mobiles for much more than 15 hours every month over 5 years on common had among two and three times higher chance of establishing glioma and meningioma tumours compared with people who seldom used their phones, they located.

The review, appearing in the latest situation of British journal Occupational and Environmental Medication, is the most current in a lengthy-working exploration of mobile-phone security.

More than the previous 15 many years most investigations have failed to flip up conclusive final results either way, although a number of have suggested a hyperlink in between gliomas and intensive, prolonged-term use.

“Our examine is portion of that trend, but the benefits have to be confirmed,” said Isabelle Baldi, of the University of Bordeaux in south-western France, who took part in the examine.

In 2011 the International Company for Research on Cancer (IARC) mentioned radiofrequency fields utilized by mobile phones had been perhaps carcinogenic.

Even so, researchers have faced several difficulties, which includes acquiring an correct picture of phone use in genuine existence, filtering out life style variables this kind of as smoking which amplify cancer chance and taking into account shifting mobile phone technologies.

The new examine looked at 253 circumstances of glioma and 194 situations of meningioma reported in four French departments in between 2004 and 2006.

These patients have been matched towards 892 “controls” or wholesome individuals drawn from the standard population, in a bid to spot any variations amongst the two groups.

The comparison found a increased risk amid individuals who utilised their telephone intensively, particularly among people who used it for their operate, this kind of as in product sales. The duration of use in this group ranged from amongst two and ten many years, averaging at 5 years.

But the study also discovered a number of inconsistencies with other investigations that have recommended a website link in between hefty telephone use and brain cancer.

For instance, in contrast with prior perform, it found that cancer occurred on the opposite side of the brain – rather than on the very same side – of in which the cellphone was customarily utilised.

“It is hard to define a degree of danger, if any, specially as mobile cellphone technology is continually evolving,” the study acknowledged.

“The quick evolution of technology has led to a considerable enhance in the use of mobile phones and a parallel lessen of [radiowave intensity] emitted by the phones.

“Scientific studies taking account of these latest developments and allowing the observation of prospective prolonged-term results will be required.”

NHS customers ought to pay £10 a month, says former well being minister

An NHS logo

Lord Warner says the NHS will grow to be unsustainable without having new funding and painful modifications. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA

Every person in the Uk must begin paying out a £10-a-month NHS “membership charge” to conserve it from sliding into a decline that threatens its existence, a former Labour well being minister has urged.

Lord Warner, who served beneath Tony Blair, warns that the NHS will turn into unsustainable with no new sources of funding and agonizing adjustments.

“Several politicians and clinicians are scared to tell individuals that our significantly-beloved 65-12 months-outdated NHS no longer meets the country’s demands,” Warner writes in the Guardian.

“Frankly, it is typically bad worth for income. The NHS now represents the best public investing challenge soon after the basic election. MPs taking to the streets to preserve clinically unsustainable hospital solutions only damage their constituents.”

Warner, in a report he has co-authored for the thinktank Reform, says dramatic action is necessary as the NHS faces an expected £30bn-a-12 months gap by 2020 between the demand for healthcare and its capability to reply, and needs many new funding streams to stay viable.

Revenue could also come from higher, hypothecated “sin” taxes on alcohol, tobacco and gambling, and taxes on sugary meals because of increasing obesity.

Inheritance tax needs to be collected from much more than the existing 3.5% of the 500,000 folks who die every single year, and site visitors staying overnight in hospital must spend “hotel expenses”.

A £10 month to month fee would be used to fund neighborhood initiatives to enhance prevention of ill-health and an annual “well being MoT” for every person of working age, say Warner and co-author Jack O’Sullivan, an skilled in new contemplating in wellness and social care.

The charging proposal immediately prompted a heated debate amongst medical doctors. A single critic dubbed it “as poisonous as the poll tax” even though the doctors’ union criticised it as “an NHS tax on individuals” that would threaten the overall health service’s central tenet of supplying care that is free at the stage of use.

Dr Clive Peedell, an NHS oncologist who is co-leader of the Nationwide Well being Action party, mentioned the month-to-month charge would be “an unfair tax simply because it really is a flat tax and not element of a progressive tax program. The bad would spend the identical as the wealthy. It could be as unpopular as the poll tax was. Politically it really is as poisonous as the poll tax.” Ministers ought to rather crack down on the income lost by means of tax avoidance and use some of that to increase the NHS’s budget, he additional.

“Any attempts to introduce what would quantity to an NHS tax on sufferers puts us on the slippery slope towards the end of an NHS that requirements to be, and must be, free at the point of use,” said Dr Ian Wilson, chairman of the British Health-related Association’s national representative entire body.

“The BMA stays strongly opposed to any attempts to introduce charging sufferers, no matter whether that is a regular monthly payment, for hospital admissions or for GP appointments.”

Social care should be merged with the NHS to develop a Nationwide Health and Care Services providing patients integrated care. Hospital solutions must be concentrated in fewer spots to enhance clinical good quality, with closed hospitals getting to be principal care centres.

In his write-up, Warner claims that continuing austerity during the up coming parliament indicates the NHS can not get a greater share of basic taxation. “Over-guarding an outdated, cosseted and unaffordable healthcare method inevitably indicates starving other essential public companies, unless we choke off economic development and worsen the value of living with big tax increases.

“That might all be really worth contemplating if the NHS was offering brilliant care. But it isn’t,” he says, citing bad care of frail, elderly people and large rates of avoidable and pricey hospital admissions.

He attacks the current and earlier governments for not tackling the “developing crisis” of affordability in the NHS, and warns that solving the problem will want five many years of “continuous political, skilled and managerial hard work from 2015″. Modify will involve “political leadership of change, not micro-management of inevitable decline”, including backing for Simon Stevens, who takes over on 1 April as NHS England’s chief executive, succeeding Sir David Nicholson.

The Department of Well being, NHS England and the Royal School of GPs all oppose charging sufferers for entry to care. “The founding ideas of the NHS make it universally cost-free at point of use and we are clear that it will carry on to be so. This government does not help the introduction of membership fees or anything like them,” said a spokesman for the Department of Well being. “But we know that with an ageing population there is much more strain on the NHS, which is why we want alterations to solutions that target far more on overall health prevention out of hospitals.”

Meanwhile, a poll of a hundred MPs of all events located 48% believe a free of charge NHS may possibly not survive except if the difficulties facing it are tackled, although 65% say there is as well tiny political will to push by means of the alterations necessary.

The poll, by Dods Monitoring for the NHS Confederation, discovered 81% believe the NHS in their region requirements to adjust in purchase to meet patients’ requirements, but one particular in 4 mentioned they would not back a reorganisation if their constituents opposed it.

Cash Register

States Fail To Make Overall health Care Rates Transparent To Customers

Forty-five of 50 states – 90 percent – fail to adequately make price information accessible to their buyers even as the Reasonably priced Care Act, employers and insurance firms push for better transparency, according to a new examination.

In their “Report Card on State Price tag Transparency Laws,” the nonprofit Overall health Care Incentives Improvement Institute and Catalyst for Payment Reform, gave 45 states a failing grade with the highest grades awarded to Maine and Massachusetts, which each received a “B.” No states acquired an “A.” States with large grades typically share information about inpatient and outpatient services by way of a website that can be accessed by anybody.

But the findings displaying a modest quantity of states offering value info are disappointing, the report’s authors say, particularly as more and a lot more Americans are getting insurance or getting provided overall health strategies by their employers that have substantial deductibles. The higher price-sharing is forcing shoppers to store close to yet when they look for costs of providers, they are usually elusive.

“As considerably discussion and exercise as there is about transparency, the truth is that nowadays it’s a extremely uncommon instance when a client can very easily uncover meaningful details about well being care costs,” says Suzanne Delbanco, executive director of Catalyst for Payment Reform,  a nonprofit group that represents big purchasers of wellness care like AT &amp T (T), Boeing Boeing (BA), E-Bay (EBAY), Standard Electrical Common Electric (GE) and Wal-Mart Retailers Wal-Mart Merchants  (WMT).. “We’ve a lengthy way to go.”

Cash Register

Money Register (Photograph credit score: tarale)

The groups examined all 50 states’ enacted payments, statutes and regulations on cost transparency and found that states actually scored worse than its first report card issued final year. For instance, Catalyst and the Institute stated New Hampshire’s grade dropped to an “F” from an “A” due to the fact its internet website “is inoperative and might stay so for an extended period of time” even however the state has a transparency law.

In order to get a good grade, the groups say a state requirements to supply public access to a “fully functioning website” as well as guarantee rules on price info are available for a lengthy time period of time.

“We know we’re going to get some pushback from states who truly feel they’ve made progress, either since they have initiated some private/public sector collaborations, and/or pushed through some regulations to introduce some pricing transparency,” says Francois de Brantes, executive director of the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute. “But what they ought to understand is that encounter suggests that with out legislation, there is merely no assurance that shoppers will have extended phrase access to any pricing information. So while it is wonderful that some states are taking action, our report card is based on what matters to customers, and today they nonetheless have little to no entry to timely and credible healthcare pricing information.”

Dallas Customers Club: ‘audiences will see anything they have not observed before’

McConaughey, 44, who has already won numerous accolades including Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards, is up towards Chiwetel Ejiofor, amongst others, for the Very best Actor Academy Award for his portrayal of HIV-optimistic cowboy Ron Woodroof, with his co-star Jared Leto receiving a nod for Greatest Supporting Actor.

Leto, who portrays transgendered Aids patient Rayon in his initial function following a six-year hiatus, admitted all the support and achievement had been mind-boggling. “I have presently had adequate love. I am assuming the Academy is not going to show me any really like since I’ve been spoilt,” he explained.

The 42-year-old, also acknowledged for being the frontman of rock group 30 Seconds To Mars, says he has been taken aback by some of the feedback about his performance in the film.

“There are so several individuals who have been so type that you start forgetting who has come up to you. You don’t ever want to neglect, from Bruce Dern to Meryl Streep,” Leto recalled.

McConaughey admitted acquiring the film off the ground had been a struggle.

“As quickly as I read it, I believed: ‘I gotta do this’. No-1 needed to make it so I explained: ‘Just will not drop it. Make confident I am nonetheless connected, never let it go elsewhere,”‘ he stated. “A couple of many years later, we picked out a time to start off generating it, but the financing fell out 5 weeks before we have been supposed to shoot.

“We scraped the money collectively the day ahead of we shot,” he added.

Dallas Consumers Club is released in cinemas on February 7.


English: President Barack Obama

Even Much more Time For Obamacare Customers To Pay Premiums

A parade of health insurance coverage businesses this week after again extended the ability of new enrollees to shell out their initial month’s premium right up until later this month for those who signed up for person policies beneath the Reasonably priced Care Act.

English: President Barack Obama's signature on...

Health insurance coverage companies, dealing with incomplete enrollments of clients who signed up for well being insurance late last yr underneath the Reasonably priced Care Act, are extended deadlines for buyers to pay premiums right up until later on this month. (Photo credit score: Wikipedia)

Some overall health plans initially were anticipating payments prior to the beginning of coverage on Jan. 1, but the disastrous rollout of the healthcare.gov net internet site, which had myriad technical problems in October and considerably of November slowed the enrollment method.

Once fixed in December, the site caused a rush of people signing up just prior to a Christmas Eve deadline for coverage that would start this month. The Obama administration has stated more than two million individuals picked well being insurance ideas via government marketplaces known as exchanges, but an undisclosed variety of those buyers haven’t completed their enrollments or paid.

Most health ideas initially extended payment of the 1st month’s premium to Jan. ten, a voluntary deadline established by the largest health insurance lobby, America’s Overall health Insurance coverage Ideas, which contains Aetna Aetna (AET), Cigna Cigna (CI), Humana Humana (HUM) and UnitedHealth Group UnitedHealth Group (UNH) and several Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans as members.

Now payment deadlines are in some situations currently being extended until the finish of the month. Health Care Services Corp., mother or father of Blue Cross ideas in Illinois, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Montana, mentioned it would enable newly enrolled customers to pay up right up until Jan. 30.

“We believe this action is consistent with our general mission since it demonstrates our robust dedication to standing with our members by delivering these new clients with peace of thoughts about their health coverage in the course of this critical time of transition,” Health Care Support Corp explained in a statement. “We are announcing that clients with a Jan. 1 effective date will now have until Jan. 30 to shell out their very first month’s insurance premium. It is essential to note that consumers have to pay their first month’s premium just before coverage for health-related rewards starts.”

Wellness Care Support Corp. explained it additional 700 additional contact center representatives and expanded hours to aid new enrollees.

A number of well being ideas, incorporated Aetna, which had a payment deadline of Jan. 10, extended the payment deadline to Jan. 14 and Aetna subsidiary Coventry gave its clients until Jan. 17. Meanwhile, Humana extended its earlier deadline to Jan. 31.

HealthPass, a New York-based mostly private exchange that offers overall health coverage to modest organizations in 14 Down State counties of New York and all of New York City, explained its partnering carriers, acknowledging the “sweeping market changes” granted “an extension of HealthPass’ new company deadline until finally January 8 for coverage retroactive to January one,” the business mentioned.

 “From a payment standpoint, the application specifications did continue to be, even with the new enterprise extension, and immediate payment was essential to accompany a group’s application,” HealthPass chief executive Vince Ashton mentioned. “This was vital in buy to make sure that the revenue movement was not disrupted and that our shared partnership was equally useful.”