Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The flip of slip, slop, slap

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Slip, Slop, Slap!It sounds like a breeze when you say it like that
Slip, Slop, Slap!In the sun we always say "Slip Slop Slap!"
Slip, Slop, Slap!Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat,
Slip, Slop, Slap!You can stop skin cancer - say: "Slip, Slop, Slap!"

Although I normally gravitate to the clinical side of health psychology rather than towards health promotion, I thought this story about the flip side of a successful health promotion campaign worth sharing.
"Slip, Slop, Slap" has been one of the most successful health promotion campaigns ever. Launched in 1981 by The Australian Cancer Council to promote the need for protection from the sun, the slogan has become institutionalised and remains a key part of skin cancer prevention programs today.

In fact, it has been so successful in raising awareness of the dangers of sun exposure that a new problem has appeared. Some groups are now failing to get enough sun and are suffering from a deficiency of vitamin D.

A lack of vitamin D has been linked to increased risk of broken bones. The problem has been particularly seen among those less likely to be exposed to sunlight, namely the elderly population and in women required to cover up for religious reasons.

But please don't race out and assume a prone position on the nearest piece of sand. The skin cancer protection message is still extremely important.

The answer can be as simple as getting a few minutes of sun every day. How many is dependent on geographical location, time of day and year.

As an alternative, vitamin D supplementation has already been shown to be effective in reducing fractures. However, it is important to add that vitamin D can be toxic in large doses, so please consult with your doctor before considering taking supplements.

The full story can be read at:

Lack of sun harming elderly


Dr. Deborah Serani said...

This is a great health campaign!!

healthpsych said...

Thanks for the comment. I agree totally. The fact this skin cancer campaign is still foremost in the minds of most Australians so long after it's conception speaks volumes. The issue with vitamin D should not detract from the 'slip, slop, slap' message because the it is still very valid.

el.cameleon said...

like the article, never know what to do as the trauma docs say sit out in the sun the medicine interna say dont as i suffer from colegenosis/lupus and get covered in big ugly you think the slip slap slop will make a difference

Anonymous said...

Hi, I this the article is great and useful for an assignment on Slip, Slop, Slap. I went into the actual article in the Australian and would really like to know who wrote it if possible?

Thank you,

G said...

Get your head out of the sand and stick to psychology!
Endocrinologist Professor Peter Ebeling, head of Osteoporosis Australia, has linked the low levels of vitamin D to a massive increase in the number of people being treated in hospitals with osteoporosis-related broken bones — up from a daily average of 177 to 262 — in the past six years. It costs the health system $1.9 billion a year to treat them.
Professor Ebeling said a study earlier this year showed more than three-quarters of general patients presenting at the Royal Melbourne Hospital had lower than recommended levels. "It's very serious," he said.
"A lot of us have been worried about if for a long time but have just realised how widespread it is over the last five to 10 years."
Recent research in Geelong, south-east Queensland and Tasmania found about 40% of residents had insufficient vitamin D levels. During winter, the number of women in Geelong with low levels rose to 54%.
Emerging evidence has also linked deficiencies in vitamin D to colon, breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other diseases.
Now in addition the best "evidence-based" research shows that the RDA/Is of 400IU daily are totally inadequate and 1000IU is a good level for children, with from 2000IU to 4000IU for adults. That exposure to Sunlight is by far the best source (UVB Rays).
More a major ingredient of sunscreens is proven carcinogenic ( cancer causing): Tiny nanoparticles commonly used in sunscreens caused long-term neurological damage in mice, researchers at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found.

The study found that titania, listed on sunscreen labels as titanium oxide, induced cultured mice brain cells to manufacture chemicals that are protective in the short term but can cause damage over time. June 16, 2006
The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based nonprofit, has released an investigation of nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreens that says four out of five don‘t adequately protect consumers and may contain harmful chemicals.
CNN Health July 1, 2008

If the NH&MRC following the National Academy of Science (USA) have been so much in error about vitamin D RDA/Is what about the other 36 or more essential nutrients we are alleged to get from the "mythical" balance diet?
I charge the aforementioned health authorities and the Cancer, councils, diabetes and heart foundations et al, with the premature death of innummerable millions of individuals due to [their] health-care policies in general!

Finally as the worlds greatest psychologist (Buddha) is reputed to have said: "do not take my word for anything, check it out yourself"
Geoffrey Leigh.,MSc.,ND.,D.N.Sc.
Australian Institute for Functional Medicine (non-profit)