Body Comparisons

body image

Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook looking at pictures of your friends?  That may not be such a good idea.

The BBC is reporting on new research that found that looking at pictures of friends on social media sites can cause women to be insecure about their body image,

It turns out the more that women are exposed to “selfies” and other photos on social media, the more they compare themselves negatively.

And looking at friends’ photos may actually have a greater impact than looking at celebrity pics.

Research shows that young women are particularly high users of social networking sites and post more photographs of themselves on the internet.

To look at the impact on body image, researchers surveyed over 800 female college students in the US.

The women answered questions about their Facebook use, eating and exercise regimes, and body image.

The research team found a link between time spent on social networks and negative comparisons about body image.

The more time women spent on Facebook, the more they compared their bodies with those of their friends, and the more they felt negative about their appearance.

Researcher Petya Eckler says, “The attention to physical attributes may be even more dangerous on social media than on traditional media…because participants in social media are people we know.

Dr. Ecker points out that those comparisons are more relevant and hit closer to home—but may just as unrealistic as the images we see on TV or in magazines.

If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Listen to today’s audio. 

Good News: Huge Tip Saves Waitress’s Dog


Before Saturday night, Christina didn’t know how she would be able to afford her dog Tucker’s surgery. The 37-year-old waitress was working three jobs, but still struggled financially, and Tucker immediately needed an operation. She found herself sharing her pet story with a nice couple she was serving at the Holiday Inn.  Then, fortune turned in her favor. After hearing about her puppy, the couple left Christina a $1,000 tip on an $80 bill, with instructions to put the money only toward the vet.  She was hysterical.  In addition to working at the bar on weekends, Christina is a full-time chef at the hotel, and picks up hours at a local deli when she finds the time.  She also volunteers 40 hours a week with a pit bull rescue center.  She said she feels like God has chosen her to be the voice of animals.  Awww!  Check out the full story (and a cute picture of Tucker) here.


Good News: Dolphins Protect Swimmer Against Shark


A group of dolphins apparently came to the aid of a British long-distance swimmer just in the nick of time.  Adam Walker was on a 16-mile swim in the choppy waters of New Zealand’s Cook Strait on April 22 when he spotted a great white shark beneath him, Yahoo! News reports. A pod of 10 dolphins quickly surrounded him and stayed by his side until the shark swam off.  Walker posted images of his guardian dolphins on Facebook a day after the rigorous swim. “I’d like to think they were protecting me and guiding me home!!!” he wrote of his brief time with the dolphins.  Check out the video here.


Might You Have Dust Mites?


They’re in your carpet, clothing, pillows, your child’s stuffed animals, even in your bed. And they could be affecting your asthma or worsening your allergies.


Dust mites are nothing to sneeze at.


They can live on or under many surfaces, but a simple routine may help you take the might out of the dust mites in your home.


Experts recommend washing all bedding in hot water at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also place items in the dryer for at least fifteen minutes at the same temperature.


Doing this once a week significantly reduces dust mites. This is a generally good practice, but it’s specifically important if you have allergies or asthma. Washing this way could have you or your child breathing easier—and have the mites in your home biting the dust.


Find more information on this and many other health topics, when you log onto Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here. 

Gifts and Talents

boy draw

Dear Dr. Bill,

I’m concerned about my 6-year-old son who doesn’t have any interest in sports.  We tried soccer, he hated it.  I want to sign him up for basketball but he doesn’t want to go.  He used to have swim lessons at the YMCA but he no longer wants to do that.  My son is not athletic at all — he’s very sensitive, kind, and laid back.  And he would rather sit in the house, draw, watch TV, or play video games.  Should I push him to attend sports activities or should I just let him be?



Dear Sandy,

Every child is born with a unique disposition and a different set of gifts and talents.  The fact is that your son may not be athletically inclined.  If that’s the case, the last thing you want to do is force him to participate in activities that he isn’t naturally gifted in.

On the other hand, it’s important for kids to be active and not spend all of their time watching TV and playing video games.  You need to set firm limits on the amount of time your son spends sitting in front of the TV or computer

You mentioned he likes to draw, which is great.  You might consider enrolling him in some art classes designed for kids his age.  When he gets a little older, a computer-design class might be an option.

Your son should also be reading for pleasure, socializing with friends, and participating in family activities and chores.  I wouldn’t allow TV or video game time until AFTER he has engaged in other activities of his choice.

As far as physical activity goes, your son might enjoy individual activities more than team sports.  These could include things like hiking, biking, rollerblading…even golf and tennis. The important thing is to encourage him, not pressure him.

By the way, you mentioned that your son is sensitive and kind…those are wonderful qualities that should be affirmed.

Thanks for writing, Sandy.


If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Listen to today’s audio. 

SACKed April 28, 2014

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In honor of May Day, this week’s Shining Act of Community Kindness is to surprise your neighbors with a small gift!  It can be a traditional May Day basket, handmade and filled with flowers or candy, or it can be a gift card to Target!  The possibilities are endless, especially if you include your kids in on the fun.  Don’t forget to attached a SACKed card to the basket, then share your story with us below or by calling 855-987-4463!

Disclaimer: Ding-dong-ditching (though May Day tradition) is optional.

Good News: Watch This Reaction To Baby News


It’s always heartwarming to watch people being surprised by baby news, but this video of an older man finding out he’s going to be a first-time grandpa is the sweetest one we’ve ever seen. “Told my dad he is going to be a grandpa,” writes Jessica, who shared this touching video on Reddit. “I am his only child and my mother passed away 20 years ago. He has been asking us for grandchildren since our wedding night.” In the video, the grandpa-to-be opens a decorative box to find a pacifier with a note attached, reading “Hatching November 17th, 2014.” It takes him a moment to process the information, but as soon as he does, his eyes well up and he grins ear to ear. We’ve never seen a man’s face so filled with joy.  This must-watch video is here.


Good News: Random Act Of Kindness Speaks Volumes


An act of kindness can happen anywhere — even on a city bus.  Off-duty bus driver Surjit was on the No. 341 route home in Vancouver, Canada last Saturday when he captured a beautiful moment between two strangers.  One of his fellow passengers was a man clearly in need. Instead of shoes, the man wore two plastic hairnets on his feet.  Another rider noticed the man’s makeshift footwear, and helped him in the most immediate way he could… by taking off his own shoes and handing them over to the man. At his stop, he walked off the bus barefoot.  See pictures and read the full story of this amazing interaction here.


Facebook Friends



Can spending time too much time with your friends be bad for your health? It may be, if they’re all online.


Facebook builds community, and connects us with family and friends, but too much time following everyone else’s life may leave you hitting the “don’t like button” on yours.


Many studies level of commitment to time spent on Facebook. In other words, frequent users are often more unhappy.


Researchers believe the picture-perfect life in many peoples’ posts can leave others feeling left out or dissatisfied with their own life.


Here’s what you can do to avoid the Facebook blues. Limit your time online. Instead, spend time with friends and family in person. While you’re counting the number of friends you have or likes you receive, don’t forget to count your blessings.


Find more information on this and many other health topics, when you log onto Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here. 

Good News: 9-Year-Old Uses Savings To Teach Neighbors Fire Safety


Hector Montoya of Grand Prairie, Texas, has spent the past few years saving his allowance and birthday money. After accumulating $305, he decided he would purchase a $400 PlayStation when he had socked away enough cash. However, in late January, while watching the news, he learned about a mother and son who had died in a house fire. Hector couldn’t understand why the family didn’t have smoke detectors.  A few days later, Hector approached his mother with an idea. He wanted to use his savings to buy 300 smoke detectors for people who didn’t own them and asked me to drive him to the store to buy them. The money Hector had was enough to purchase 100 smoke detectors, which he and his mother planned to distribute around their neighborhood. However, Hector’s grandmother, who works across the street from the Grand Prairie fire station, decided to contact the department for help. The fireman teamed up with Hector and took him to each house to install the detectors. She added that many of the homes they visited didn’t have the two working smoke detectors required by law, including some homes occupied by elderly people.  But it doesn’t end there.  Two teenagers who saw Hector’s story on the news bought him a PlayStation after all.  Lots of great kids out there!