Insufficient, irregular sleep associated with childhood obesity

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
In my book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I made the then startling claim that childhood obesity was associated with a lack of sleep. And, in a clinical study, we showed that families who make wise nutrition choices, activity choices, AND increase the amount of sleep children get, can prevent or treat childhood obesity. Since the publication of the book, study after study (many reviewed in this blog) have demonstrated the association between poor sleep or inadequate sleep and childhood obesity. Now, a new study suggests that sleeping in on the weekend may help children fight obesity. Here are some details from HealthDay News: Too little sleep puts kids at risk of obesity and other health conditions, but "catch-up" sleep on weekends and holidays can mitigate…
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Tongue piercings cause infection and other complications

Children's Health, Parenting
The American Dental Association (ADA) opposes oral (tongue, lip, or cheek) piercing. The ADA even calls it a public health hazard! Why? Piercing parts of your body other than your ear lobe is generally risky for a number of reasons. The U.S. and Canadian Red Cross will not accept blood donations from anyone who has had a body piercing within a year. Why? Because both procedures can causes diseases that are spread via blood—such as Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. There are no cures for these viral illnesses that can harm your liver and even be fatal. Now, there's a new danger being reported. HealthDay reported,  "Stainless steel studs may collect more bacteria than plastic studs, potentially increasing the risk of infection and other complications," according to a study in the…
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Supplement with vitamin E, essential fatty acids reduces PMS symptoms

Mental Health, Woman's Health
Treating premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is never easy. And, the reason is that few substances have been shown to be effective. Nevertheless, there are some natural medications that may help women suffering with PMS. WebMD reported, "A supplement containing vitamin E and essential fatty acids may help reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)," according to a study published in the journal Reproductive Health. "Of 120 women with PMS or the more severe premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), those who took one- or two-gram capsules of vitamin E and a combination of gamma linolenic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, and other polyunsaturated acids daily showed marked improvements in their PMS symptoms at six months, compared to women who received dummy pills." Notably, "women who received the higher two-gram dose of the new supplement showed…
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More evidence that too much TV, computer time could harm your heart

Heart Health
Spending hours in front of a TV or computer monitor -- known as "screen time" -- has been linked to signs that the heart needs longer to recover from exercise, an indication of poor heart health. In fact, in recent blogs I've told you of other studies showing  that "Screen time (TV and computer) may be linked to increased heart risks," and "Taking small breaks from sitting may help heart and metabolic health." Now comes another study, this one published in the journal Heart Asia, which included more than 2,000 people – all in their 30s and from the United States – who didn't have heart disease. The participants performed eight-minute exercise treadmill tests, which allowed the researchers to determine how long it took for their heart rates to return to…
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Health Implications of Fructose Consumption: A Review of Recent Data

Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
A recent paper posted on MedScape reviews evidence in the context of current research linking dietary fructose to health risk markers and I learned a lot reviewing it. Here are some of the details. Fructose intake has recently received considerable media attention, most of which has been negative. The assertion has been that dietary fructose is less satiating and more lipogenic than other sugars. However, no fully relevant data have been presented to account for a direct link between dietary fructose intake and health risk markers such as obesity, triglyceride accumulation, and insulin resistance in humans. Here's what we do know: First: a re-evaluation of published epidemiological studies concerning the consumption of dietary fructose or mainly high fructose corn syrup shows that most of such studies have been cross-sectional or based…
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Does Internet-based knee rehab work?

Joint Health
I often have patients ask if they can do their physical rehabilitation at home – either because it's too far to drive to physical therapy or too expensive. Some want home physical therapy with a therapist, some want to try to do it themselves. We've not really known if it would be effective for folks to "do it yourself" or not. Now we may have an answer. The Los Angeles Times' "Booster Shots" blog reported that Internet-based rehabilitation for patients who had knee replacement surgery proved as effective as traditional therapy sessions, according to a study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. Researchers "compared a live, Internet-based rehabilitation program to a traditional one for 65 men and women who had recent knee replacement surgery" and found that "after…
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Larimore Family Newsletter – March 2011

Family Newsletter
Here are the contents of our Family Newsletter: Family Update Publication Update The Gabon Virus still garnishing good reviews Events of the last month Upcoming Events Family Update It’s good to be home as we were only home 6 days out of a 30-day stretch over the last month. We’re thankful for the opportunity to travel and speak, but enjoy when we’re home. I’ve been devoting a lot of my time to writing. I finally finished, and turned into ZonderKidz Guy Talk: A Christian physician answers your not-so-stupid questions about your body. I’m waiting to see if the publisher will accept the manuscript. If they do, the editing process begins. It’s a long process and the book will likely not be out until early next year. Now, I’ve turned all…
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Antioxidant supplements boost male fertility

Alternative Medicine, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Woman's Health
In my book, Alternative Medicine: The options, the claims, the evidence, how to choose wisely, in my chapter on antioxidants, I conclude, "The best advice is to meet most of your antioxidant needs through a healthy diet supplemented by a single multivitamin." However, there are some cases where taking antioxidant supplements may be helpful. For example, a new report has found that men who take antioxidants while trying to get their partner pregnant are four times more likely to succeed than men who do not. And, the type doesn't matter -- vitamin E, zinc, magnesium all work. The researchers say they "just don't understand why." MedPage Today reported that "antioxidant supplements may boost fertility for men," according to the study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. After pooling "the results from…
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First Lady, Wal-Mart to fight childhood obesity

Children's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting
Here's a shout out to Mrs. Obama. News reports say that the First Lady and Wal-Mart have forged an agreement geared at preventing childhood obesity. Media sources generally characterized the move as a victory for Mrs. Obama's signature campaign and I would agree. ABC World News reported, First Lady Michelle Obama "announced that Wal-Mart, which sells more groceries than any market in America, is going to change what's on its shelves." On the CBS Evening News the First Lady was shown saying, "I am thrilled about Wal-Mart's new nutrition charter." NBC Nightly News said that Mrs. Obama "has announced she's working with the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart, which promised today to cut prices on fresh fruits and vegetables and to reduce fats, sugars, salt, eliminate transfats in some of its…
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Attention parents: new head lice treatment approved

Children's Health, Parenting
Defeating the Lice Without Emptying Your Wallet Two of my past blogs on head lice continue to be two of the most read: Defeating the Lice Without Emptying Your Wallet Oral Medication May be more Effective than Topical for Killing Head Lice Now there's some news on a new treatment The Indianapolis Star reports,"The Food and Drug Administration today approved a cream rinse," Natroba (spinosad) "manufactured by ParaPro, which licensed the anti-lice technology from Eli Lilly & company. The report says the product "killed the head lice and eggs in most users after just one application followed by a shampoo." HealthDay reported, "In clinical testing, 552 people were given a 10-minute treatment with Natroba, and a second treatment was applied if live lice were observed 10 days later. After 14 days,…
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Antidepressant eases menopausal hot flashes

Mental Health, Woman's Health
For menopausal women suffering from hot flashes, nothing has proven more effective than hormone replacement. However, many women are reluctant to utilize this therapy, so they often look to both natural medicine options (herbs, vitamins, and supplements) as well as other prescription medication options. Now there's a new option for menopausal women to consider. Bloomberg News reports that the antidepressant Lexapro (escitalopram) "eased hot flashes" in menopausal women, thus proving itself a "potential alternative to hormone treatments," according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and sponsored by the National Institutes of Health as "part of a $22-million program to research potential treatments for menopause." According to the Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" blog, the researchers randomized 205 "women who were experiencing hot flashes to take a…
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Health officials urging adolescents, adults to get whooping cough booster shot

Children's Health, General Health, Parenting
The Chicago Tribune reports that "whooping cough, a highly contagious respiratory infection marked by violent coughing, has made a comeback in Chicago and in other parts of the country. Health officials are urging adolescents and adults -- especially those who interact with newborns -- to get a whooping cough booster shot." The Tribune points out that the Chicago Department of Public Health "has used federal funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to purchase 14,070 doses of Tdap vaccine and distributed them to 13 birthing hospitals to immunize postpartum women before they are discharged." So, if you or your adolescent child have NOT had your diptheria, whooping cough (pertussis), and tetanus immunization (dTap), even if you have had a diptheria and tetanus immunization (dT) anytime in the last ten years,…
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