Health Points: Friday
- It sure seems like world hunger is going to become a thing of the past because according to the World Health Organization for every four malnourished adults in the world, five more are overweight, and thirty percent of them are obese. AFP reports:
A billion people out of the world's six billion population are now considered overweight, compared with 800 million who do not have enough to eat.
- A hyperactive kid might be annoying, but you don’t want them to be a hobbit, do you? Denise Gellene of The Los Angeles Times explains the dangers of using Ritalin on preschoolers is significant, one side effect appears to be slower growth rate. Here’s more:
Researchers said the drug appeared to slow children's growth rates. They grew about a half-inch less in height and weighed 3 pounds less than expected, based on estimates of their growth.
- You ever wonder where all the garbage goes? Todd Pittman of The Seattle Times explains a lot of waste, specifically discarded electronics, is being dumped on third world nations. As you can imagine this is not having a positive effect on the inhabitants’ health:
"Hazardous electronic waste is flowing to Africa on container ships every day. It's not as dramatic as was what happened in Ivory Coast, but over the long run it will have more of an environmental impact," Jim Puckett, founder of the Seattle-based environmental watchdog, Basel Action Network, told The Associated Press by telephone from London.
- If surviving cancer wasn’t enough, new research indicates female cancer survivors have an increased risk of premature birth. Randy Dotinga of HealthDay News reports:
Women who underwent high-dose radiation therapy to their uterus seem to be the most likely to have problems. The authors of the study, published in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the
National Cancer Institute, found that half of babies born to a sampling of these women were premature, compared to roughly 20 percent among their sisters.
- Going outside a bar for a smoke might not seem cool, but for the workers inside, it’s a lifesaver. Alan Cowell of The New York Times explains the smoking ban in Scotland is already yielding remarkable results:
In an article published in The Journal of the American Medical Association on Oct. 11, Dr. Daniel Menzies, a clinical research fellow in the Asthma and Allergy Research Group at the University of Dundee, said the study showed that the smoking ban “has led to a rapid and marked improvement in the health of bar workers.”
- Do your children sleepwalk? Have you tried duct taping them to their bed? No? Here HealthDay News provides some serious tips to help you deal with it:
- Keep all windows and doors to the house locked to keep her from wandering outside.
- Don't let her sleep in a bunk bed, and put baby gates in front of stairs.
- I’m not sure how practical this is going to be, but according to Reuters a new study suggests sufferers of arthritis should go barefoot more often because contemporary footwear might worsen abnormal biomechanics:
The researchers assessed the effects of modern shoes on gait and lower extremity joint loads in 75 patients with knee OA [osteoarthritis]. Their mean age was 59, their mean body mass index was 28.4, and 59 of the 75 were women.
- A new study claims elderly people with diabetes are twice as likely to die from cardiovascular disease than non-diabetics. Reuters reporter Deborah Charles explains:
Researchers also found that participants who were taking insulin were six times more likely to die from infectious diseases or kidney failure than non-diabetic participants. Women treated with insulin had a particularly high mortality risk.
- I’d sooner wrestle an angry polar bear than get my tongue pierced, and here’s a reason why. An Italian women reported stabbing pains in her face diagnosed as trigeminal neuralgia (also called the suicide disease) resulting from her recent tongue piercing. Carla K. Johnson of the Associated Press reports:
"There are people who have been dropped to their knees" by trigeminal neuralgia, said Alana Greca, a registered nurse and director of patient support for the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association. "That's how intense and how horrendous the pain can be."
- Got bread? Well, you might want to lose it because according to an Italian study a diet rich in bread may boost the risk of kidney cancer. Kathleen Doheny of HealthDay News reports:
Researchers say those consuming the highest amounts of bread doubled the risk for kidney malignancy, compared to those eating the smallest amounts.
- Moms need their sleep, but new research found that fifty-four percent of surveyed mothers feel they are not getting enough shuteye. Reuters explains:
Full-time working mothers were suffering the most with 59 percent saying they were not getting enough sleep. Half of the working mothers said they were getting six or fewer hours sleep a night.
- Hong Kong butts out smoking. The Marlboro man is ticked! The AFP reports that Hong Kong has voted to ban smoking in public places by next year:
Smoking will be banned in government offices, shops and halls from January. But the ban will not be applied to bars and other places of entertainment until 2009 to give them time to adjust.
- Now, I’m not sure you’ll find kids passing around a sandwich in a dark alley behind their school, but researchers have determined that food makes us feel good similarly to recreational drugs and sex. Reuters has more:
"In mice and rats ghrelin triggers the same neurons as delicious food, sexual experience, and many recreational drugs; that is, neurons that provide the sensation of pleasure and the expectation of reward," the researchers write in Friday's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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