Monthly Archives: July 2011

Why does TV viewing lead to obesity in children? Turns out there are several reasons

Obesity experts have been saying for over a decade that children who sit in front of the TV screen day in and day out tend to be heavier. However, experts are finding it’s not only the couch potato effect, but the television ads children are watching, along with other factors that can add inches to their waistlines. Continue reading

Pediatrics group urges lawmakers to ban childhood obesity “media diet”

Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in America – with 17 percent of children aged 2 to 19 obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A report released by the American Academy of Pediatrics “has a new suggestion: ban companies from advertising junk food during children’s television programs.” Continue reading

Video violence keeps preschool kids awake at night

Researchers are reporting that violent content on the TV or computer during the day disrupts sleep for preschool children. And it’s worse for any TV or computer time in the evening regardless of content, according to Michelle Garrison, PhD, and colleagues at the Seattle Children’s Research Institute in Seattle. Continue reading

Ever heard of anal angina? FDA approves nitroglycerin for chronic anal fissures.

When I first started practice, I had the privilege to serve in the small town of Bryson City, North Carolina, the southern wilderness entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While there, one of the older surgeons taught me about using topic nitroglycerin ointment to cure chronic anal fissures. Now, thirty years later, it’s an officially approved medication. Continue reading

Which foods lead to more weight gain than others? You might be surprised.

It turns out that there are some specific foods that may be the biggest culprits behind weight gain according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Continue reading

‘Hammock’ effect or ‘rocking’ helps adults fall asleep faster

You’re lying in a hammock on a warm afternoon. You rock softly back and forth. In no time you’re … snoring. This is no real surprise—after all, we’ve all rocked our babies asleep. But researchers wanted to know how rocking works. Continue reading

Death, diabetes, and heart disease risk increase with only two hours of TV a day

In the past I’ve told you that children younger than two years of age should have NO screen time, while children over two should have less than two hours per day. Now we may have to extend this advice to adults. Continue reading

What natural medications may help infant colic?

An article published in the journal Pediatrics … notes that there is some ‘encouraging’ evidence that fennel extract and some herbal teas could relieve colic symptoms, but researchers concluded that the studies so far have been weak and unconvincing. So what, if any, natural medicines could a parent consider? Continue reading

CDC: Most teens not getting enough aerobic activity

The CDC released a report of a nationwide survey of more than 11,000 high school students across the country, finding that only 15 percent get the minimum of 60 minutes per day of aerobic activity that meets the goals outlined in the government’s Healthy People 2020. Continue reading

CDC: One in four high school students drinks soda daily

According to the results of a nationwide survey of over 11,000 high school students in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “one in four high school students drink soda every day – a sign fewer teens are downing the sugary drinks.” Continue reading

ConsumerLab.com puts multivitamins to the test

Long-time readers know of my fondness for and (unpaid) endorsement of ConsumerLab.com, one of the two best companies that test natural medications (herbs, vitamins, and supplements) for safety and quality. Now ConsumerLab has test results of 60 multivitamins and have shown that you can’t always judge a supplement by its label—or by its price. Continue reading

Sleep deprivation associated with carbohydrate craving and depression

In a number of past blogs I’ve discussed the association with lack of sleep and overweight and obesity. This association is found in children, teens, and adults. Now we know another reason why this occurs. Continue reading

Life expectancy has fallen in hundreds of US counties

In my 2005 book, SuperSized Kids: How to protect your child from the obesity threat, I published this the then shocking statement, “If we don’t get a handle on (childhood obesity), this generation of kids coming up will have a shorter life span than their parents. That’s scandalous!” Now, we’re seeing some data indicating this unfortunate prediction may indeed be happening. Continue reading

Short-term HRT may be safe for menopause symptoms

HealthDay reported, “Treatment with hormone replacement therapy (HRT), if tailored to an individual woman’s needs, appears to be safe during menopause, according to a report released at the World Congress on Menopause.” Continue reading

New guidelines for sunscreen

The Food and Drug Administration’s long-awaited announcement of significant changes to sunscreen labeling was widely reported both by television and print media. The changes will empower us, as consumers, to make better decisions in choosing a product to prevent sun damage as well as reduce overall confusion about sunscreens. From now on, the gold standard is broad-spectrum protection. Continue reading