Today’s Headlines: Female Bosses, Calorie Labels and Morcellators

Female bosses are more likely than males to be depressed. In many ways, breaking gender norms to get into positions of power can be stressful for women. A new study out this week has found that the added stress is taking a toll. “In men, authority, such as the ability to hire and fire people, decreases depressive symptoms, the study said.” But the opposite was true for women. “When the job included hiring, firing and influencing pay, women were predicted to have a 9% increased rate of depressive symptoms over women without authority. Scientists also said men were more likely to decide when to start and finish work than women and were less frequently monitored by their advisers.” According to the researchers, “female bosses had to deal with interpersonal tension, negative social interactions and stereotypes, prejudice, social isolation, as well as resistance from subordinates, colleagues and superiors. Women were often trapped by the gendered notion of a good leader. When women adopted traditionally masculine behaviors as leaders they were criticized for being unfeminine, yet colleagues would not believe the women were good leaders if they saw only their feminine characteristics.” According to the researchers, the key is to accept the way women lead as a new form of leadership, rather than forcing them to fit into male norms. (BBC)

Most things you eat will now have calorie counts. While calorie counts can now be found on most packaged items and some menus, new rules from the FDA will ensure that those counts are found on more items. “Under the rules, calories must be displayed on all menus and menu boards. Other nutritional information–including calories from fat, cholesterol, sugars and protein–must be made available in writing upon request. The new calorie rule covers meals at sit-down restaurants, take-out food, bakery items, ice cream from an ice-cream store and pizza, which will be labeled by the slice and whole pie. Seasonal menu items, such as a Thanksgiving dinner, daily specials and standard condiments will be exempt. The final rule includes movie theaters, amusement parks and alcoholic beverages served in restaurants, but not drinks mixed or served at a bar. The rules aim to close a gap in the 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act, which established nutrition labeling on most foods, but not restaurant or other ready-to-eat foods.” (Reuters)

FDA’s “black box” warning to be added to morcellators. Morcellators are tools used by surgical OB/GYNs to remove a fibroid uterus without making a large cut. But they’ve been a source of controversy after they were found to seed cancer in some people with undetected tumors in their uterus. “The FDA used its authority to call for an immediate ‘black box’ warning for laparoscopic power morcellators, the strongest caution the agency issues that indicates morcellators shouldn’t be used on most women during hysterectomies. Typically, such warnings on product labels undergo a lengthy comment period before being completed.” According to the FDA, “we believe that in the vast majority of women, the procedure should not be performed. The move strengthens guidance issued in April and draws tight boundaries around use of a device that divided gynecologists and alarmed women.” While the FDA can’t prevent doctors from using the tool if they choose to do so, “the warning could raise legal exposure for manufacturers or physicians who act counter to the FDA advice.” (WSJ)