How to Travel For Business

Are you a traveling fashion guru? Perhaps you have to go from fashion show to fashion show. Maybe you run the runway or perhaps you walk it. What ever you do in the fashion industry chances are you are going to have to do some form of travel. According to an article by Business Insider, there are a few essential items that you need in order to make your time spent traveling more doable. Remember, if you are nice and always loyal to businesses than they will do the same for you. You remember the saying, ‘treat others how you would want to be treated’. When traveling by air, be sure that you know the difference between non-stop and direct flights. Be sure that you always ask for upgrades. It never hurts to ask for an upgrade, if they don’t give you one for free than maybe you can try negotiating. Want to earn even more points? Be sure that you always use your credit card so that you can rack up those miles. Finally, be sure that you always have your essentials packed, bring disposables when you can, and don’t forget your leisure clothes. When it comes to packing your suitcase for traveling there really is no right or wrong way to pack. It is up to you if you roll your shirts or wrap them in tissue paper. If you want to save money than avoid checking in bags when you travel by air. Enjoy your trip and take lots of notes on fashion.

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Indian Silk Industry

Silk – the queen of all fabrics is historically one of India’s most important industries. India produces a variety of silks called Mulberry, Tasar, Muga and Eri, based on the feeding habit of the cocoons.

The sericulture industry today employs over 700,000 farm families and is mostly concentrated in Karnataka, Tamilnadu and Andhra Pradesh and to some extent Assam and West Bengal. Karnataka accounts for more than 70 percent of the country’s total silk production.

Sericulture is one industry which is beneficial to the agriculturists. As in today 56 lakhs people are dependent on the sericulture industry, 5.6 million people out of which 4.7 million are agriculturists. The rest are reelers, weavers etc.

India is the second largest producer of silk, contributing to about 18 per cent to the world production. What is however, more noteworthy is the fact that India’s requirement of raw silk is much higher than its current production at present. Thus, there is considerable scope for stepping up production of raw silk in the country, overcome the persistent conflict of interest between exporters of silk products and producers of raw silk.

While sericulturists want imports of raw silk to be restricted to have better market for their produce, exporters want imports of cheaper raw silk so as to be able to export more silk products at competitive rates. India has all the four varieties of silk namely, mulberry, tassar, eri and muga. It is however, disheartening to note that we have not yet been able to fully exploit this advantage and make our presence felt on the international scene more prominently than at present. For this, one has to clearly understand the strengths and weaknesses of different segments of this sector.

The strength of this industry lies in its wide base, the sustaining market demand pull especially from the Indian handloom weaving sector, the infrastructure created by the national sericulture project and the research and training capabilities.

Mulberry segment

Its main weakness is related to a poor database, diverse range of practices leading to a divergence in productivity and quality. Generally, there is weak accent on quality consistency in production, poor transfer of technology to the decentralised sector both due to poor technology absorption and poor/inadequate follow up on laboratory findings; poor market linkages barring in Karnataka, a thriving unfair trade in the post-yarn sector, low-end technology use and reluctance to costlier technologies due to fears that there might not be corresponding improvement in price realisations. Other weaknesses are inadequate emphasis on quality in the commercial seed sector, neglect of marketing linkages and the need for a basic perspective for development of the sector which clearly defined relative roles for the central and state agencies under the federal set-up.

Among non-mulberry silks, tassar is mostly produced by tribals by rearing silkworms on forest plants. India is the largest producer of tassar silk after China and is the only producer of golden muga silk. Also, India is a major producer of eri silk.

Unlike mulberry silk production, non-mulberry silk production is unsteady and fluctuates from year to year. The central silk board has not given enough attention to their R&D and extension activities in the area of non-mulberry sericulture in spite of its potential to directly help the poor. Presently, muga and eri silks are produced mostly for self-consumption. But with their uniqueness to India, they have great potential for value-added exports.

The government must give to these varieties of silk the importance that is due to them and facilitate focussed R&D, targeted extension and innovative product development for value-added exports.


It has been noted that the following are the areas of weaknesses in production of tassar and they require to be set right

. Rearing is done outdoor on trees; natural food plants are dispersed over large areas. Thus, comprehensive extension support would entail a large number of extension agents to cater to the farmers beyond their resources.

. Also weavers are normally reelers and are not exploited by traders.

. Oak tassar culture has not yet been properly adopted, as people are new to this culture and economics are yet to be established.

. Also lack of disease monitoring and of control measures is noticed.


Eri silk which is largely produced in some eastern parts of the country has specific thermal proprieties. It can also be blended with wool, other silks, cotton ramie, jute or synthetic fibres. Areas of weakness in eri silk include:-

. Lack of systematic supply of adequate quantity of foilage.

. Lack of scientific method to check diseases

. Poor management during rearing

. Non-availability of separate rearing house and

. Absence of any well-organised marketing system


This golden yellow silk is quite unique to Assam and neighbouring areas of Nagaland and Meghalaya. It has spread to West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh as well. While basic seed production is more or less organised, commercial seed production is to be organised systematically. More research support is needed for this activity.

Cut throat competition from China

Sericulture in India has taken a severe beating with cheap silk coming from China and flooding the Indian markets.

India imported around 9,258 tonnes of silk worth over six billion rupees last year from China, the world’s largest silk producer.

Nearly 49,000 hectares of mulberry crop was uprooted in Karnataka as cocoon prices crashed resulting in a loss of 3,000 tonnes to the country’s overall silk production, according to statistics released by the Central Silk Board.

Dumping of silk yarn from China has affected the production of silk because the rate of cocoons in the market has come down because the demand has been reduced due to import of China silk. So farmers who were expecting a better income for their cocoons stopped because market was fluctuating. When the imported silk came in, dealers lost their interest in buying the cocoons and farmers did not get the better rates. This has resulted in 49,000 hectares of mulberries being uprooted in Karnataka. In turn the farmers have taken up other activities, other agricultural productions rather than continuing with mulberry.

According to the farmers, their crops also suffered from the third consecutive drought last year. Farmers are demanding that the government should impose anti-dumping duties on Chinese silk.

India stands second only to China in silk production. While China produced 69,000 metric tons of raw silk last year, India stood far behind with 16,000 metric tons.

Officials say India requires 120,000 metric tons of silk to meet the demand in world market and with better infrastructure facility; the sericulture industry could improve its productivity to 15 percent as against the current nine percent.


The bulk of Indian silk thread and silk cloth is consumed domestically. The present market context for silk in the country is one of vigorously growing internal demand for silk fabrics, with growth rates of above 10 percent per year.

With substantial government and international subsidies for silk projects and marketing schemes, the industry has been expanding rapidly over the last few years. Silk exports too are growing rapidly. Germany is the largest consumer of Indian silk.

Today only China and India are the producers in silk. Thailand, Uzbekistan also produces silk but the quantity is very small. So we will have to keep this raw silk and fabrics for them to continue in the market. Only two countries can do it. India is the largest consumer of silk fabrics by way of sarees and so many other things. So we will have to improve our silk culture.

Today the Indian silk industry is already a major player in the global scenario and the growth prospects for the industry seem to be bullish. Measures like the encouragement of further technological and economic research in the various aspects of sericulture, standardization and quality control of silk and silk products and rationalization of marketing and stabilization of prices of silk cocoons and raw silk it could expand rapidly than ever before.

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Target Markets of the Hand Bag Business

Have to try shopping online? Take a look at the products being promoted in there. Take note that there are a lot of gadgets and fashion items being sold in there. Well, we know very well that the fashion world is one of the fast changing, versatile, and trendy sections in the society. The trends of clothing and accessories vary every season of the year.

There are a lot of businesses and shops around which is in line of fashion trends. Hand bag, for example, is one of the most specific businesses in line with fashion. However, we might wonder about the target market of these hand bag products. Well, we might think there is minimal number of target consumers. However, if you notice the kinds of business in hype today, most of the consumers prefer specific, personalized, and detail-oriented goods. This article will be dealing more about the basic market for hand bags and the prospect market it is trying to penetrate.

Women of all ages are one of the targets. Women are known to have a great inclination to fashion and they think of everything that is color coordinated. What they wear should match with their shoes and their bags. Well, for those who have more in life if they shop for a particular colored dress, they also shop for matching shoes and bags with the same color as the dress so that it will be color-coordinated. The market for hand bag relatively increased as the fashion world busts to the maximum of promotion and advertisements. Thus, keeping your hand bags advertised will really do you good.

If we cannot go directly to the consumers, we can target the distributors and dealers around. We can offer them great discounts and freebies if they will tie up with us. In the same account, they will promote our product, at the same time we promote their product as well. This is one way for us to be known and to have some kinds of connection. At some point, we consider it a healthy competition since there are times where their products are out of stock and they have to get ours, and some of their products are what we need. It is a give and take relationship.

On the other hand, aside from reaching the higher market, we could also target the small scale ones. The masses are also one of the target markets that could bring us maximum profit. It is not just for the elite. The masses can purchase hand bags if they want to. The designs should not be limited to those who have more in life, since everyone has an equal right to purchase any goods or product they want. Masses can be a very huge target market that could expand and expand as long as they are satisfied with the product.

These are just some of the target markets of hand bag business. There are other sectors that can be considered though these are the basic ones who contribute most in the sudden boost of the handbag market.

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The Five Most Popular African Clothing Styles for Men

African clothing styles for men have come a long way and have evolved from traditions dating back hundreds of years ago. There is a wide selection of fashionable clothing for African men, that comes in various colours, design, materials, and styles. These clothing styles are usually designed to correspond to various functions and occasions.

Here are the top five African clothing styles for men:

1. Kente

Arguably, Kente is the best known and the most celebrated of all African clothing styles. It is considered as the embodiment of the African heritage that is known all over the world. Traditionally, Kente is made from African silk originating from the Ashanti Kingdom of Ghana. This African design for men, dating back almost 400 years ago, is intended to be worn only by kings and chiefs. The geometric pattern, colour and design of every piece of Kente come with specific meanings. Aside from making a statement, it also embodies the creativity, life experiences, religious beliefs, cultural heritage, and family line of the wearer.

2. The Grand Boubou

The Grand Boubou is the definition of African masculinity. This four-piece garment for men is a brilliant piece of clothing is a popular African attire for men, hand crafted only by the most skilful tailors. The entire ensemble would include pants, top, Boubou outer garment, and Kufi hat. The grand Boubou, originally made in Ghana and Gambia, comes with meticulously embroidered gold patterns that would normally take several weeks to complete.

3. Dashikis

Generally made from African print, lace, silk, brocade, suiting or cotton fabrics, Dashikis is either loose-fitting or tailored shirt, often in the V-shape neckline. This fine piece of African clothing style for men comes with simple or elaborate embroidery patterns, especially along the sleeve, chest and necklines. Modern dashikis come in various designs and patterns; however, the traditional look is well preserved. In some instances, the shapes of Dashiki necklines vary in many shapes and forms, such as square, rounded or closed necklines. Although Dashikis are commonly worn in West Africa, this clothing style for men is also becoming popular in other parts of Africa.

4. Brocade Suits

Brocade Suits, often comes with gold embellishment, is one of the most invigorating African clothing styles for men. This bold, brocade pant set made from luxurious cotton brocade fabric, denotes the African roots of the wearer. This fine piece of clothing becomes even more sophisticated because of the detailed embroidery, throughout the fabric.

5. Yoruba

This traditional African clothing style is widely used in Nigeria. Yoruba clothes are called by different names, depending on the particular style or design. It is called Agbada, as a four-piece apparel consisting of a hat, Buba, embroidered pants, and a flowing Agbada. Sometimes, it is also considered as African Bariga, an apparel that is comprised of a long sleeved shirt, a hat, and embroidered pants, and a flowing Buba.

African clothing styles are generally characterized by dazzling shapes, bright colours, multicoloured patterns, and bold designs. They also come with an assortment of accessories, head wraps, caps, hats, shoes and many more.

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The Benefits of Elastic Waistbands

Elastic-waistbands are stretchable waistbands that can be used in a variety of clothing items such as pants, trousers, jeans or skirts. They are used in both adult clothing and children's wear, and combine both comfort and utility.

Elastic-waistbands fall into two broad categories. One is the kind which is sown into the fabric and then, becomes part of the fabric. Another kind is in which the elastic is inserted through a casing made into the fabric. There are also various sizes of elastic-waistbands, depending on their width.

The use of elastic-waistbands has various benefits. Firstly, they give a nice comfortable fit that moves with your body and lets you feel at ease. This is the reason why many children's pants and jeans have elastic waistbands. Also, middle aged and older people prefer wearing trousers with elastic-waistbands as they do not fit too tightly. They are easier to wear and take off, and one does not have to go through any hassle.

The second benefit of elastic-waistbands is that they allow the pants or jeans to be used for a longer period of time. The reason behind this is that they do not get tight in case you gain some weight. So, they do not get wasted if you put on a few pounds. Many plus sized pants and jeans come with elastic bands. For the same reason, elastic-bands are also very helpful in maternity clothes as they expand with the body contour. Also, it is ideal for growing children as you do not have to purchase new pair of jeans and trousers every season. They are also a good option for people who are in the process of losing weight or those who have undergone medical procedures.

Thirdly, elastic-waistbands are also used in most sports uniforms and clothing as they allow free movement which is necessary while playing. The players need to be able to move around freely, without any constriction by their clothes as that can have an adverse affect on their performance. Elastic-waistbands are also used in undergarments as they give a snug fit without compromising on the comfort.

Another advantage of elastic bands is that they do not restrict the blood flow to your waist. When people, especially women, wear pants that are too tight, to enhance their body shape, it can restrict the blood circulation as well as the breathing. Weaving such clothes regularly can have serious after effects. So, it is better to opt for pants or skirts with elastic-waistbands.

Jeans and pants with elastic-waistbands also allow a nice fit which can make your body shape look slimmer and make the clothes look better on your frame. Jeans and trousers can be fitted with either full elastic bands or partial ones, depending on the requirements. No matter what your body shape or size is, it is easy to find clothes with elastic-waistbands in many varieties.

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Florence Lifestyle

Visiting Florence is a unique experience, art lovers can not skip visiting this famous Italian city at least once in their life.

Many tourists fall in love with this city once they have visited Florence, many of them often come back to Florence while other foreigners decide to move for long periods.

There are many interesting highlights to see in Florence, such as monuments, majestic churches, museums with their immortal art works.

The historical center of the city itself is an open-air museum to be discovered walking through the old streets and squares of this Tuscan city.

It takes a very long time to visit Florence in all its beauty. The Florentines are well aware of this, as they often discover things that they did not know despite having lived in Florence since ever.

For this reason, it happens that some foreigners fall in love with Florence and move for long periods if not permanently.

Another aspect that fascinates those who visit Florence is the lifestyle. Living in this Italian city means great lifestyle. Florence is a small small town especially with regard to the oldest part of the city.

Walking in the old city in the middle of the artistic and historical monuments like being in another era, even the streets and smaller squares of the historic center of Florence gives this fascinating feeling of living in a different world, far from the modern one.

In some areas of Florence there are still small craft shops where you work according to the old artcraft methods. There are also many typical restaurants that offer Tuscan food made according to old recipes.

Other characteristic places are the vinaini where you can enjoy the excellent Tuscan wines accompanied by cold cuts and cheese, typical food of this area. For those who love street food there are shops and outdoor vendors where you can eat the classic Florentine tripe sandwiches and lamprey, the whole accompanied course by a glass of red wine.

Despite being known for being the birthplace of the Renaissance Florence is also a popular city where daily life continues these two different aspects of the city. Walking around Florence you can see alternately large buildings in popular areas, streets and majestic squares and narrow streets where the sun does not shine even in summer.

This ambivalence of Florence combined with its size on a human scale makes the Tuscan city a unique place in the world where in addition to art, good food and many other attractions you can also enjoy an excellent quality of life.

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Dressing For Your Body Type

All men were not created equal! Who ever said that we were, did not understand fashion or style. Our female counterparts have it much tougher than we do, many more shapes and curves to be aware of and try to accommodate or camouflage. But, this does not mean that we do not have to pay attention or understand the basics. Remember this also, fashion reflects to the clothing itself while the word style is the way in which you manage and coordinate the fashion that you wear. Just because something is indeed stylish does not always translate into something that you should include as part of your style. Your age, situation and body type play a major role.

Understanding your body and how to dress it to minimize your flaws and accentuate your positive attributes is serious to your good image. The true test in determining what to buy and wear is always clothing's fit. Just because something costs an arm and a leg does not mean that it fits you or your shape. Do not just buy things that you know are fashionable without analyzing weather or not it works for you.

There are 3 basic body types: Heavy, average and thin. There are also 3 height variations: Tall, average and short. The guy who is average in build and height has it pretty easy. You can wear just about anything and have it work for you. The key is to dress in clothing that fits you well. Garments should neither be too big nor too small. But if you do not fit into that category, we need to look at you and how you should be dressing or what you need to avoid in order to optimize your appearance.

Heavy Set:

· Avoid horizontal strips or patterns: If you have a belly or are a bit on the "teddy bear" side of things, avoid horizontal strips and patterns. Instead choose stripes or patterns that are vertical (top to bottom), a persons eye will follow the lines and it will give you the visual illusion of length and a slimmer build.

· Avoid pants with pleats or tapered legs: Pleats only ad extra fabric around your mid section and body. Tapered pants will cause the fabric of your pant leg to bundle at your ankle only causing you to look bulkier and larger than you are. Opt for the flat front straight leg pants. This will give you a slimmer appearance creating a straight line from your hip to your shoe.

· Avoid shoes that are bulky or overly square or round in shape: A bulky shoe gives the illusion of heft. Instead, choose foot wear that is sleek and stream lined. This will also give you a slimmer appearance

· No Large Prints or Patterns: Large prints or patterns only draw attention to your shape. By wearing shirts with a large pattern or print will only draw attention to your upper body and if you are tying to conceive your belly, this will only do the opposite. Choose prints and patterns that are small and discreet.

· No loud or ultra bold colors: Loud and bold colors or drastically contrasting tops and bottoms will only break the visual line of your body in half. This also will draw attention to your midsection. Instead go for a monochromatic color scheme. This will instantly make you look 15 pounds lighter and create a seamless line from your neck to your feet.

· Avoid turtle necks or crew neck shirts: This will only make you look heavier than you are. Instead go for a neck line that is more open such as a v-neck. This will make you look much better and extremely thinner.

Skinny and Tall:

· Stay away from vertical stripes: Vertical stripes will only make you look thinner. Choose shirts that have horizontal strips to give you the appearance of bulk. Horizontal stripes will make your shoulders and chest look larger.

· Wear fitted or tailored shirts: Large shirts with a square cut will only make you look like you are wearing a tent. Fitted shirts will create a great v shape and give you a more muscular look. To ad a little extra, wear a shirt underneath or layer overtop to add visual weight to your body.

· Choose lighter colors: All black or dark tones will only make you look skinnier than you are. Choose colors that are lighter in tone and extremely give you a heavier appearance.


· Avoid baggy pants: Baggy pants will only make you look shorter. Choose pants that are fitted or straight leg to give you the look or height.

· Avoid pleated and cuffed pants: Pleats and cuffs will break the visual line of your body and absolutely make you look short. Instead opt for flat front non pleated pants to ensure a clean crisp line from you waist to your feet.

· Wear pants that have a low rise: Rise returns to the distance between the bottom of your crotch and the top of your waist. Do not buy pants with a normal rise; Instead choose a pant that is designated as low rise. This will prevent a baggy or sagging crotch and give you the appearance of longer legs.

· Avoid large prints: Large prints will eat you up. Chose shirts and pants that are small in print to make you look taller.

By understanding and paying attention to your body shape and build is essential to you looking your best. The reality is that we are not all equal in terms of shape and height, but the way you dress and wear clothing will help bridge the gap.

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Pathological Eating Disorders and Poly-Behavioral Addiction

When considering that pathological eating disorders and their related diseases now afflict more people globally than malnutrition, some experts in the medical field are currently purporting that the world's number one health problem is no longer heart disease or cancer, but obesity. According to the World Health Organization (June, 2005), "obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults overweight – at least 300 million of them clinically obese – and is a major contributor to the global epidemic of chronic disease and Disability. Often coexisting in developing countries with under-nutrition, obesity is a complex condition, with serious social and psychological dimensions, affecting effectively all ages and socioeconomic groups. "The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (June, 2005), reports that" during The past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the United States. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of US adults 20 years of age and older – over 60 million people – are obese. This increase is not limited to adults. The percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. Among children and teens aged 6-19 years, 16 percent (over 9 million young people) are considered overweight. "

Morbid obesity is a condition that is described as being 100lbs. Or more above ideal weight, or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30. Being obese alone puts one at a much greater risk of suffering from a combination of several other metabolic factors such as having high blood pressure, being Insulin resistant, and / or having abnormal cholesterol levels that are all related to a poor diet and a lack of exercise. The sum is greater than the parts. Each metabolic problem is a risk for other diseases separately, but together they multiply the chances of life-threatening illness such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke, etc. Up to 30.5% of our Nations' adults suffer from morbid obesity, and two thirds or 66% of adults are overweight measured by having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25. Considering that the US population is now over 290,000,000, some estimate That up to 73,000,000 Americans could benefit from some type of education awareness and / or treatment for a pathological eating disorder or food addiction. Typically, eating patterns are considered pathological problems when issues relating weight and / or eating habits, (eg, overeating, under eating, binging, purging, and / or obsessing over diets and calories, etc.) become the focus of a persons' life , Causing them to feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment with related symptoms of depression and anxiety that cause significant maladaptive social and / or occupational disadvantage in functioning.

We must consider that some people develop dependencies on certain life-functioning activities such as eating that can be just as life threatening as drug addiction and just as socially and psychologically damaging as alcoholism. Some do suffer from hormonal or metabolic disorders, but most obese individuals simply consume more calories than they burn due to an out of control overeating Food Addiction. Hyper-obesity resulting from gross, habitual overeating is considered to be more like the problems found in those ingrained personality problems that involve loss of control over appetite of some kind (Orford, 1985). Binge-eating Disorder episodes are characterized in part by a feeling that one can not stop or control how much or what one is eating (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). Lienard and Vamecq (2004) have proposed an "auto-addictive" hypothesis for pathological eating disorders. They report that, "eating disorders are associated with abnormal levels of endorphins and share clinical similarities with psychoactive drug abuse. The key role of endorphins has recently been demonstrated in animals with regard to certain aspects of normal, pathological and experimental eating habits (food restriction combined with stress, loco-motor hyperactivity). "They report that the" pathological management of eating disorders may lead To two extreme situations: the absence of ingestion (anorexia) and excessive ingestion (bulimia). "

Co-morbidity & Mortality

Addictions and other mental disorders as a rule do not develop in isolation. The National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS) that sampled the entire US population in 1994, found that among non-institutionalized American male and female adolescents and adults (ages 15-54), roughly 50% had a diagnosable Axis I mental disorder at some Time in their lives. This survey's results indicated that 35% of males will at some time in their lives have aborted substances to the point of qualifying for a mental disorder diagnosis, and nearly 25% of women will have qualified for a serious mood disorder (mostly major depression). A significant finding of note from the NCS study was the widespread occurrence of co-morbidity among diagnosed disorders. It specifically found that 56% of the respondents with a history of at least one disorder also had two or more additional disorders. These persons with a history of three or more co-morbid disorders were estimated to be one-sixth of the US population, or some 43 million people (Kessler, 1994).

McGinnis and Foege, (1994) report that, "the most prominent contributors to mortality in the United States in 1990 were tobacco (an estimated 400,000 deaths), diet and activity patterns (300,000), alcohol (100,000), microbial agents (90,000) , Toxic agents (60,000), firearms (35,000), sexual behavior (30,000), motor vehicles (25,000), and illicit use of drugs (20,000). Acknowledging that the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality was risky behavior lifestyles, the US Prevention Services Task Force set out to research behavioral counseling interventions in health care settings (Williams & Wilkins, 1996).

Poor Prognosis

We have come to realize today more than any other time in history that the treatment of lifestyle diseases and addictions are often a difficult and frustrating task for all concerned. Repeated failures abound with all of the addictions, even with utilizing the most effective treatment strategies. But why do 47% of patients treated in private treatment programs (for example) relapse within the first year following treatment (Gorski, T., 2001)? Have addiction specialists become conditioned to accept failure as the norm? There are many reasons for this poor prognosis. Some would proclaim that addictions are psychosomatically- induced and maintained in a semi-balanced force field of driving and restraint multidimensional forces. Others would say that failures are due simply to a lack of self-motivation or will power. Most would agree that lifestyle behavioral addictions are serious health risks that deserve our attention, but it could possibly be that patients with multiple addictions are being under diagnosed (with a single dependence) simply due to a lack of diagnostic tools and resources that are incapable of Resolving the complexity of assessing and evaluating a patient with multiple addictions?

Diagnostic Delineation

Thus far, the DSM-IV-TR has not delineated a diagnosis for the complexity of multiple behavioral and substance addictions. It has reserved the Poly-substance Dependence diagnosis for a person who is repeatedly using at least three groups of substances during the same 12-month period, but the criteria for this diagnosis do not involve any behavioral behavioral symptoms. In the Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Condition's section (DSM-IV-TR, 2000); Maladaptive health behaviors (eg, overeating, unsafe sexual practices, excess alcohol and drug use, etc.) may be listed on Axis I only if they are significantly affecting the course of treatment of a medical or mental condition.

Since successful treatment outcomes are dependent on thorough assessments, accurate diagnoses, and comprehensive individualized treatment planning, it is no wonder that repeated rehabilitation failures and low success rates are the norm instead of the exception in the addictions field, when the latest DSM-IV- TR does not even include a diagnosis for multiple addictive behavioral disorders. Treatment clinics need to have a treatment planning system and referral network that is equipped to thoroughly assess multiple addictive and mental health disorders and related treatment needs and comprehensively provide education / awareness, prevention strategy groups, and / or specific addictions treatment services for individuals diagnosed with Multiple addictions. Written treatment goals and objectives should be specified for each separate addiction and dimension of an individuals' life, and the desired performance outcome or completion criteria should be specifically determined, behavively based (a visible activity), and measurable.

New Proposed Diagnosis

To assist in resolving the limited DSM-IV-TRs' diagnostic capability, a multidimensional diagnosis of "Poly-behavioral Addiction," is proposed for more accurate diagnosis leading to more effective treatment planning. This diagnosis encompasses the broadest category of addictive disorders that would include an individual manifesting a combination of substance abuse addictions, and other obsessively-compulsive behavioral addictive behavioral patterns to pathological gambling, religion, and / or sex / pornography, etc.). Behavioral addictions are just as damaging – psychologically and socially as alcohol and drug abuse. They are comparable to other life-style diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease in their behavioral manifestations, their etiologies, and their resistance to treatments. They are progressive disorders that involve obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors. They are also characterized by a preoccupation with a continuous or periodic loss of control, and continuous irrational behavior in spite of adverse consequences.

Poly-behavioral addiction would be described as a state of periodic or chronic physical, mental, emotional, cultural, sexual and / or spiritual / religious intoxication. These various types of toxox are produced by repeated obsessive thoughts and compulsive practices involved in pathological relationships to any mood-altering substance, person, organization, belief system, and / or activity. The individual has an overpowering desire, need or conviction with the presence of a tendency to intensify their adherence to these practices, and evidence of phenomena of tolerance, absence and withdrawal, in which there is always physical and / or psychic dependence on the effects of This pathological relationship. In addition, there is a 12 – month period in which an individual is pathologically involved with three or more behavioral and / or substance use addictions simultaniously, but the criteria are not met for dependence for any one addiction in particular (Slobodzien, J., 2005). In essence, Poly-behavioral addiction is the synergistically integrated chronic dependence on multiple physiologically addictive substances and behaviors (eg, using / abusing substances – nicotine, alcohol, & drugs, and / or acting impulsively or obsessively compulsive in regards to gambling, food binging , Sex, and / or religion, etc.) simultaneously.

New Proposed Theory

The Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) theory is a nonlinear, dynamic, non-hierarchical model that focuses on interactions between multiple risk factors and situational determinants similar to catastrophe and chaos theories in predicting and explaining addictive behaviors and relapse. Multiple influences trigger and operate within high-risk situations and influence the global multidimensional function of an individual. The process of relapse incorporates the interaction between background factors (eg, family history, social support, years of possible dependence, and co-morbid psychopathology), physiological states (eg, physical withdrawal), cognitive processes (eg, self-efficacy, cravings , Motivation, the abstinence violation effect, outcome expectations), and coping skills (Brownell et al., 1986; Marlatt & Gordon, 1985). To put it simply, small changes in an individual's behavior can result in large qualitative changes at the global level and patterns at the global level of a system emerge solely from numerous little interactions.

The ARMS hypothesis purports that there is a multidimensional synergistically negative resistance that individual's develop to any one form of treatment to a single dimension of their lives, because the effects of an individual's addiction have dynamically interacted multi-dimensionally. Having the primary focus on one dimension is insufficient. Traditionally, addiction treatment programs have failed to accommodate the multidimensional synergistically negative effects of an individual having multiple addictions (eg nicotine, alcohol, and obesity, etc.). Behavioral addictions interact negatively with each other and with strategies to improve overall functioning. They tend to encourage the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, help increase violence, decrease functional capacity, and promote social isolation. Most treatment theories today involve assessing other dimensions to identify dual diagnosis or co-morbidity diagnoses, or to assess contributing factors that may play a role in the individual's primary addiction. The ARMS 'theory proclaims that a multidimensional treatment plan must be devised addressing the possible multiple addictions identified for each of an individual's life dimensions in addition to developing specific goals and objectives for each dimension.

The ARMS acknowledges the complexity and unpredictable nature of lifestyle addictions following the commitment of an individual to accept assistance with changing their lifestyles. The Stages of Change model (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1984) is supported as a model of motivation, incorporating five stages of readiness to change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The ARMS theory supports the constructs of self-efficiency and social networking as exit predictors of future behavior across a wide variety of lifestyle risk factors (Bandura, 1977). The Relapse Prevention cognitive-behavioral approach (Marlatt, 1985) with the goal of identifying and preventing high-risk situations for relapse is also supported within the ARMS theory.

The ARMS continues to promote Twelve Step Recovery Groups such as Food Addicts and Alcoholics Anonymous along with spiritual and religious recovery activities as a necessary means to maintain out effectiveness. The beneficial effects of AA may be attributable in part to the replacement of the participant's social network of drinking friends with a fellowship of AA members who can provide motivation and support for maintaining abstinence (Humphreys, K .; Mankowski, ES, 1999) and Morgenstern, J. Labouvie, E. McCrady, BS; Kahler, CW; and Frey, RM, 1997). In addition, AA's approach often results in the development of coping skills, many of which are similar to those taught in more structured psychosocial treatment settings, thereby leading to reductions in alcohol consumption (NIAAA, June 2005).

Treatment Progress Dimensions

The American Society of Addiction Medicine's (2003), "Patient Placement Criteria for the Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition", has set the standard in the field of addiction treatment for recognizing the totality of the individual in his or her life situation . This includes the internal interconnection of multiple dimensions from biomedical to spiritual, as well as external relationships of the individual to the family and larger social groups. Life-style addictions may affect many domains of an individual's functioning and frequently require multi-modal treatment. Real progress however, requires appropriate interventions and stimulating strategies for each dimension of an individual's life.

The Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) has identified the following seven treatment progress areas (dimensions) in an effort to: (1) assist clinicians with identifying additional motivational techniques that can increase an individual's awareness to make progress: (2) measure within treatment Progress, and (3) measure after treatment outcome effectiveness:

PD- 1. Abstinence / Relapse: Progress Dimension

PD- 2. Bio-medical / Physical: Progress Dimension

PD- 3. Mental / Emotional: Progress Dimension

PD- 4. Social / Cultural: Progress Dimension

PD- 5. Educational / Occupational: Progress Dimension

PD-6. Attitude / Behavioral: Progress Dimension

PD- 7. Spirituality / Religious: Progress Dimension

Considering that addictions involve unbalanced life-styles operating within semi-stable equilibrium force fields, the ARMS philosophy promoters that positive treatment effectiveness and successful outcomes are the result of a synergistic relationship with "The Higher Power," that spiritually elevates and connects an individuals' Multiple life functioning dimensions by reducing chaos and increasing resilience to bring an individual harmony, wellness, and productivity.

Addictions Recovery Measurement – Subsystems

Since chronic lifestyle diseases and disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, alcoholism, drug and behavioral addictions can not be cured, but only managed – how should we effectively manage poly-behavioral addiction?

The Addiction Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) is proposed utilizing a multidimensional integrative assessment, treatment planning, treatment progress, and treatment outcome measurement tracking system that facilitates rapid and accurate recognition and evaluation of an individual's comprehensive life-functioning progress dimensions. The "ARMS" – systematically, methodically, interactively, & spiritually combines the following five versatile subsystems that may be utilized individually or incorporated together:

1) The Prognostication System – composed of twelve screening instruments developed to evaluate an individual's total life-functioning dimensions for a comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessment for an objective 5-Axis diagnosis with a point-based Global Assessment of Functioning score;

2) The Target Intervention System – that includes the Target Intervention Measure (TIM) and Target Progress Reports (A) & (B), for individualized goal-specific treatment planning;

3) The Progress Point System – a standardized performance-based motivational recovery point system utilized to produce in-treatment progress reports on six life-functioning individual dimensions;

4) The Multidimensional Tracking System – with its Tracking Team Surveys (A) & (B), along with the ARMS Discharge criteria guidelines utilizes a multidisciplinary tracking team to assist with discharge planning; And

5) The Treatment Outcome Measurement System – that utilizes the following two measurement instruments: (a) The Treatment Outcome Measure (TOM); And (b) the Global Assessment of Progress (GAP), to assist with aftercare treatment planning.

National Movement

With the end of the Cold War, the threat of a nuclear nuclear war has diminished importantly. It may be hard to imagine that in the end, comedians may be exploiting the humor in the fact that it was not nuclear warheads, but "French fries" that annihilated the human race. On a more serious note, lifestyle diseases and addictions are the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, yet brief preventive behavioral assessments and counseling interventions are under-utilized in health care settings (Whitlock, 2002).

The US Preventive Services Task Force concluded that effective behavioral counseling interventions that address personal health practices hold greater promise for improving overall health than many secondary preventive measures, such as routine screening for early disease (USPSTF, 1996). Common health-promoting behaviors include healthy diet, regular physical exercise, smoking cessation, appropriate alcohol / medication use, and responsible sexual practices to include use of condoms and contraceptives.

350 national organizations and 250 State public health, mental health, substance abuse, and environmental agencies support the US Department of Health and Human Services, "Healthy People 2010" program. This national initiative recommends that primary care clinicians utilize clinical preventive assessments and brief behavioral counseling for early detection, prevention, and treatment of lifestyle disease and addiction indicators for all patients' upon every healthcare visit.

Partnerships and coordination among service providers, government departments, and community organizations in providing treatment programs are a necessity in addressing the multi-task solution to poly-behavioral addiction. I encourage you to support the mental health and addiction programs in America, and hope that the (ARMS) resources can assist you to personally fight the war on pathological eating disorders within poly-behavioral addiction.

For more info see:
Poly-Behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System,
By James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC at:


Food Addicts Anonymous:
Alcoholics Anonymous:

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Marlatt & JR Gordon (Eds.), Relapse prevention (pp. 250-280). New York: Guilford Press.
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States: Results from the national co morbidity survey. Arch. Gen. Psychiat., 51, 8-19.
Morgenstern, J .; Labouvie, E .; McCrady, BS; Kahler, CW; And Frey, RM (1997). Affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous after treatment: A study of its therapeutic effects and mechanisms of action. J Consult Clin Psychol 65 (5): 768-777.
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Whitlock, EP (1996). Evaluating Primary Care Behavioral Counseling Interventions: An Evidence-based Approach. Am J Prev Med 2002; 22 (4): 267-84.Williams & Wilkins. US Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. 2nd ed. Alexandria, VA.
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Brief History of The Wedge Heel Shoe for Women

The wedge heel shoe for women made its debut in the world of fashion in 1938. It was originally designed and created by the Italian shoe designer, Salvatore Ferragamo, who became well-known for his visionary and classic designs in women's shoes. Farragamo earned his reputation as a shoe and boot designer in the film industry in the 1920's. As a result of his innovative designs and the quality of his shoes, he was commissioned by both male and female film stars to make shoes for both on-screen performances and personal use. Because of the popularity of his shoes in Hollywood, he became known as "Shoemaker to the Stars".

Although his shoes were popular along the hollywood elite, they were not comfortable. To solve this problem, he enrolled in the Los Angeles University to pursue studies in anatomy, mathematics and chemical engineering. He applied his studies to the design of his shoes and broke away from the way shoes were traditionally made and designed, and began making his shoes, both innovative in design and comfortable to wear. The popularity of his shoes expanded internationally, but the overwhelming demand for his shoes and the inability to meet that demand without the aid of qualified personnel, forced him to returned to Italy. Upon finding qualified personnel in Florence, one of the centers of the Italian shoe industry, he opened a shop of his own and began to expand the production of his shoes.

In the late 1930's, a shortage of leather and rubber, traditional materials used in shoe making, developed due to the war. Ferragamo began experimenting with non-tradition materials such as straw, felt, cork and wood and incorporated them in designing his brand of shoes. As a result of his experimenting with these non-traditional materials, he created his most noted designs, the wedge and cage heel shoe. He produced the wedge heel with wood or cork as the platform support of the shoe. The cork platform became the most popular because of its lightness in weight and durability. Women, of his era, found the wedge heel much easier to walk in than shoes with a narrowser heel and bought this style of shoe, not only for its style but for its support of the foot and the comfort it afforded in walking. Within 2 years of its introduction to the world of fashion, the wedge heel became a classic and popular design in women's shoes internationally.

His original design of the wedge heel made no distinction between the heel and the rest of the shoe, except for the back and the instep of the foot being elevated above the toe of the shoe. It offered a triangular platform on which the food rested that extended from the heel of the foot to the middle or the front of the foot. Today the original design of both his platform and regular wedge heel shoe have evolved into a more defined heel on some styles, cut out platforms, straps and strapless shoes, with varied ornamentation. The wedge heel today offers more variety in colors and materials in is constructed with heels ranging from one inch to over 4 inches in height. Shoe sizes now run the gamut of small to extra large and women of different stature and walks of life wear this classic style of platform shoe for both style and comfort

The platform shoe has been worn in many culture's, prior to the 20th century, but Farragamo's innovative design of the wedge heel reintroduced the platform shoe to the world of fashion. His visionary ideas ranged from the bizarre to subtle designs worn everyday by women and served as inspiration for other footwear designers of his time. Today, his company is still known for its classic and visionary designs in women's shoes.

The wedge heel shoe has become a classic and fashionable style of shoe for women of all ages and remains as popular as it was in the 1930's. Whether Ferragamo's intentions were to have his design of the wedge heel shoe extend into the different genres of shoe fashion or not, it has become a versatile shoe that can be worn with almost any style of clothing. Wedge heels, today, are sold as formal, dress and casual shoes. It is a shoe that has shown its continual defiance of fashion trends and has spanned the test of time.

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Why Has Dining Out Become A Part Of Our Lifestyle And Culture?

There was a time when dining at a restaurant was considering a special treat that people did once in a while. However, today more people are dining out than ever before. In fact, eating out has become a part of our lifestyle and culture. Just why has dining out in such establishments as restaurants and pubs become so popular?

The trend of dining out more has a lot to do with our changing lifestyles. Today, more people are pressed for time and cooking a full course means just takes too long, particularly for families. People are eating out because they are too tired and would rather have a quick meal. As well, they do not want to have to clean up after cooking and serving a meal. They also do not have to figure what meal to make and shop for the food and ingredients. Fortunately, many restaurants have followed the trend of families dining out and are starting to offer healthy meals. It gives people the chance to sit down, relax, and talk with each other while waiting for their meals.

Another reason why more people are dining out in restaurants is there such a wide variety of menu choices ensuring everyone will find something they like. This is very beneficial if there are children as there is no need to worry about them getting upset because there is nothing they like on the menu. And, there will be meals that are not typically cooked at home which is a real treat. It can make you feel good as you just relax and enjoy being waited on through the whole meal.

You can choose restaurants that make your favorite traditional foods and you do not have to spend hours preparing it. Or you can go to restaurants that serve ethnic food which is a big treat as you can try new dishes. When you dine out, you can dress up and go to a fine dining restaurant, or go to a much more casual establishment. There are no dishes to clean up after your meal and no hot kitchens. If you have had a stressful day, there is nothing more relaxing than going out to a pub and just kicking back and letting your self unwind. Whether it's cozy, family, romantic, or casual, there is a restaurant to suit every mood and taste. Restaurants are a place to relax and forget about the daily grind of life. They are a place where you can chill and express your opinions and thoughts.

When you dine out, someone else cooks for you, serves you, clears the dishes, and washes them too. You get to experience delicious meals you can not get at home. It is a great way to spend time with the family. It is no wonder why dining has become part of out culture and lifestyle. So why not, get some friends, or your family, or your coworkers together, and go out to a great restaurant and enjoy some great food and fun.

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