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Eating disorders in the military

 August 24, 2022 at 5:00 AM PDT

Good Morning, I’m Debbie Cruz….it’s Wednesday, August 24th.

How the military is handling eating disorders among troops. More on that next. But first... let’s do the headlines….

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San Diego County is sending out 705 monkeypox vaccine vials to healthcare providers this week…

Health care providers will reach out to patients who qualify for the vaccine to schedule an appointment.

County facilities will continue to vaccinate those who have a documented exposure and those without a healthcare provider.

There are now 234 confirmed monkeypox cases in San Diego County.

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The city of Carlsbad declared a state of local emergency yesterday for bicycle and e-bike safety, because of an increase in the number of collisions.

There have been 57 collisions involving cyclists this year, and collisions are up 233-percent since 20-19.

Officials believe an increase in ridership plays a part in the increase

Declaring a local emergency allows Carlsbad to reallocate resources and expedite or temporarily bypass certain processes.

Now the Carlsbad City manager is having the city's police, fire, transportation and community education departments develop action plans to address the increase in collisions.

The plans will be presented to the City Council on August 30th.

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An Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Diego had to make an emergency landing shortly after departure yesterday when the airplane’s engine cover detached.

The Airline reported an “unusual vibration'' on the left side of the plane during the flight.

No one was injured in the emergency landing and passengers were booked on other flights to San Diego.

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From KPBS, you’re listening to San Diego News Now. Stay with me for more of the local news you need.

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Some service members and health experts say the military isn't doing enough to prevent and treat eating disorders.

Troops are required to meet strict weight limits - or risk getting kicked out of the service.

That can lead some to take extreme measures that can turn into eating disorders.

Desiree D'iorio reports for the American Homefront Project.

"Retired Navy senior chief Leah Stiles caused a stir this summer when she posted on social media a personal account of her 20 year career. For years, she desperately tried to hide an eating disorder that’s now gotten so bad, she’s looking for inpatient treatment. “This is my life, man…I'm at the end of things here. "Stiles says she got used to purging, restricting her food intake and over-exercising to pass the Navy’s twice annual weight screenings. Her routine included laxatives, hours in the sauna, and dehydrating herself. She remembers failing to make weight once - she was ordered to take off her shirt and be measured in front of her shipmates. “I was like, Okay, so I'm never doing that again. I'll be making weight from now on. "Stiles, a two-time Sailor of the Year, wrote to the Navy’s top leaders with her ideas to prevent harmful weight loss before it starts. They include a widespread awareness campaign starting in boot camp, and medical referrals for sailors who take extreme measures before weigh-in. “I know that this is an epidemic that this culture is facing, so I just wanted to come up with something that I could make an impact. "There aren't many places for sailors with eating disorders to turn to for help - at sea or on land.But some changes are underway. Lt. Commander Pamela Gregory is a Navy dietician. She says she’s begun work on a program to streamline health care so that when sailors develop eating disorders, there’s a pathway to treatment.“We are working with leadership to hopefully bring around a program for this much needed population that has been, in a sense, undeserved.”Gregory says the program came about partly because Stiles, a high ranking former senior chief, went public.“Hopefully, it's not just a flash in the pan that’s gone the next day.”Gregory’s program is just for the Navy. A broader response for the whole military would have to come from the Defense Health Agency. A spokesperson there declined an interview but said in a statement that nutrition counseling and other medical treatments are available.There’s not much data on how prevalent eating disorders are among active duty troops. The Government Accountability Office found fewer than 1,800 troops were diagnosed from 2013 to 2017. That's about a tenth of one percent. But advocates say that’s a gross underestimate.That’s why Commander Monica Ormeno wants the defense department to count how many troops have eating disorders. She’s a top psychiatric advisor to the Navy.“We really don't know how bad it is. So I think that once we have a better assessment of our force’s eating habits, then we can really talk about a change in culture and a change in culture has to come with the understanding that weight standards are going to have to be adjusted.”Stiles, the retired chief, says she loves the Navy and isn’t trying to hurt the organization that she served for two decades.“I think about all the sailors and the sailors that are reaching out to me now, there's so many, and they're all just like help me and how do I get help? And so I feel like yeah, as the Senior Chief, who's gonna speak for them?”Now, she says her focus is on getting treatment for herself, and being a role model for junior sailors. I’m Desiree Diorio on Long Island."

This story was produced by the American Homefront Project… a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans.

Funding comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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THE BOARD THAT OVERSEES SAN DIEGO LAW ENFORCEMENT WANTS EVERYONE WHO ENTERS THEIR FACILITIES TO GET SCANNED FOR DRUGS.

KPBS REPORTER KITTY ALVARADO HAS MORE.

If people being detained in San Diego County jails are dying of drug overdoses, the solution seems simple to Paul Parker He’s The executive officer of the  Citizens Law Enforcement Review Board As far as contractors, and employees and county employees, at minimum search, pat down, metal detector something to make sure that people that are being to be introduced into a facility no matter who they  are somehow scanned. Sixteen people have died so far this year in San Diego County jails. Eighteen died last year, which was considered the deadliest  in over two decades. any one of us ,... could wind up in a county jail tonight, …the majority of folks in county jail who are dying are not convicted or sentenced or sentenced to anything. … these are not throw away people. A recent report showed that San Diego County jails had the highest rate of overdose deaths in the state based on population. SOQ

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Coming up.... Why later school start times are crucial for kids. We’ll have that story and more, just after the break.

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A former Motel 6 in Vista will soon be converted into studio apartments with monthly rents that are being billed as lower-cost housing..

But KPBS North County reporter Tania Thorne talked to one Vista council member who says at 14 hundred dollars a month the units are hardly low cost.

The Vista City Council has approved the transformation of a former Motel 6 into a studio apartment building. The renovated property will include 75 studio apartments averaging 375 square feet. The rent will be based on market rates at the time the apartments are rented. That would be around $1,400 per month if they were ready today, according to the property developers. Councilmember Corinna Contreras voted against the project, saying the rent is anything but affordable. “If we're looking at $1500 dollars per room at an average of 375 square feet tht $4. That's outrageous. Contreras  says brand new luxury studio apartments in Vista with more square footage are going for about half as much. No date has been set on when the units will be available. TT KPBS News 

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As schools continue to open across San Diego County … start times for many middle and high schools are later in the morning. The change is in response to a “late start” law in California.

The goal is to help young people find more natural sleep patterns which in turn helps their brain development.

Research shows the time change improves student performance, and also helps a kid’s physical health.

Satchin Panda is a professor at the Salk Institute and author of the book ‘THE CIRCADIAN CODE.’

He joined KPBS’s M.G. Perez to talk more about why this change is being made in California schools.

Why is moving middle and high school start times later a good idea in your view?

Now, many people might not be familiar with the ‘circadian rhythm’. Please explain what that term means and why it’s important?

How will we know whether the late start at schools actually does help the health and performance of students? What will be measurable to determine that?

Are there other sleep-related changes that you think we should make?

That was Satchin Panda, a professor at the Salk Institute and author of the book ‘THE CIRCADIAN CODE,’ speaking with KPBS’s M.G. Perez.

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That’s it for the podcast today. As always you can find more San Diego news online at KPBS dot org. I’m Debbie Cruz. Thanks for listening and have a great day.

Some service members and health experts say the military isn't doing enough to prevent and treat eating disorders. In other news, the board that oversees San Diego law enforcement wants everyone who enters their facilities to get scanned for drugs. Plus, a local professor and author talks about the impact of a later school start time for kids.