When it’s no longer baby fat

Holding on to the belief that children will shed their “baby fat” as they get older may be perpetuating the childhood obesity epidemic, and laying a foundation for obesity later in life among overweight tots. According to 2006 data from the Centers for Disease Control, 16% of American children were obese, and 32% overweight, with a …

Can chocolate lower your risk for stroke?

While some of the staples of eating healthy are pretty easy to remember—eating balanced meals that include veggies, protein and starch, and eating lots of fiber, not too much sugar and not too much fat—sometimes keeping track of all of the little ways that diet can influence our health can be a challenge. Yet, if there’s one thing …

A pill that protects against chemo side effects?

While chemotherapy is often a critical component of cancer treatment, its side effects—which can include hair loss, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and new infections, among other health problems—are often debilitating and painful. Adding to previous findings suggesting that fasting prior to chemo might help decrease side effects, …

Researchers identify genes that may cause stuttering

Drawing on previous research suggesting that stuttering might have genetic origins, a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine may have identified precisely which genes cause stuttering in certain people. Stuttering, the disorder characterized by repetition, delay and interruptions in speech, impacts an estimated 1% of …

Soda calorie counts, up front

In response to First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to combat childhood obesity, the American Beverage Association (AmeriBev) announced this week that it will voluntarily add calorie counts to the front of soda cans, bottles, vending machines and soda fountains to better enable consumers to make informed choices. AmeriBev, …

DSM-5: Hoarding, binge-eating and hypersexuality

Adding Asperger’s syndrome to the autism spectrum, eliminating the terms “substance abuse” and “dependence” in favor of “addiction and related disorders,” introducing the condition “hypersexual disorder” and introducing an assessment of mental illness based on severity are among the proposed changes for the new edition of the Diagnostic …

Designing a glamorous hospital gown?

Hospital gowns may be functional, but they aren’t exactly cute. After all, while easy access to important body parts may be crucial to medical care, padding around the ward with your backside hanging out doesn’t exactly boost anyone’s confidence. To address the shortcomings of the much-abused medical garb, the U.K.’s Department of Health …

Nurse in legal trouble for reporting doctor

A Texas nurse is on trial this week for reporting a doctor whose practices she believed endangered patients. As Kevin Sack of the New York Times reports, last year Anne Mitchell submitted a report expressing her concerns about Dr. Rolando G. Arafiles Jr.’s prescription and surgical procedures—including sewing a rubber tip onto a …

Can beer be good for your bones?

Dietary silicon can help maintain bone strength and keep connective tissues in good shape, and is found in grains such as oats and barley—which also happen to be key ingredients to brewing beer. Previous studies suggest that, as a rich source of silicon, beer, in moderate amounts, might help fight the bone degradation of conditions …

Children born to older mothers at higher risk for autism

Women who give birth after age 40 face a higher risk of having an autistic child, regardless of the father’s age, according to a comprehensive study of all births in the state of California in the 1990s. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, found that a woman who gave birth after age 40 was 50% more likely to have an …

For kids, high sensitivity to stress isn’t necessarily bad

Generally speaking, past research has shown that children who are highly sensitive to stress tend to be at higher risk for health and behavioral problems compared with their less delicate peers. Yet, a new study finds that sensitivity in of itself may not necessarily be what primes children for struggles. According to new research …

How sperm swim: a clue for male contraception?

Though sperm are generally considered pretty wriggly little guys, before they are launched into action, so to speak, they aren’t racing around. While researchers have long known that what gets them swimming is a change in internal pH level—the more alkaline their pH, the more aggressively they swim—until now, the mechanism by which …

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