Dr. Walt's Health Blog

Archives for the ‘General Health’ Category

Study supports guidelines that recommend strict limits on children’s media use

The Washington Post reports that last autumn, “the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released updated guidelines for children and adolescents using media, recommending no more than two hours per day of any type of entertainment screen time for kids ages three to 18 and none for children two or younger.” Covered in the guidelines are “Internet and texting, as well as TV, movies and video games.”

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Diet drinks linked to heart risks in older women

Research presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting suggests that diet drinks may increase heart risks in older women.

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Women do not recognize major warning signs of stroke

The Huffington Post reports that research presented at an American Heart Association scientific sessions meeting and published online in Stroke suggests that “many women would not be able to identify the signs of a stroke.”

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Study: Autism likely begins during pregnancy

The AP reports that a small postmortem study published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that autism begins in the latter part of pregnancy. The study “examined brains from children who died found abnormal patterns of cell growth in” children with autism.

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CDC: US Autism rates increasing

A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals that one in 68 US children has received a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. The figures represent a 29 percent increase from two years ago. The increase likely means that more cases are being discovered due to heightened awareness.

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Hug more, scold less: Strict parenting linked to child obesity

Time reports that according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity & Metabolism meeting, “an authoritarian parenting style is worse for … children’s weight than an authoritative one.”

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Study: Activity level of young children may be directly linked to that of their mothers

The NPR “Shots” blog reports that research published in Pediatrics suggests that “the activity level of young children is directly linked to that of their mothers.”

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When Children Die Because They’re Overweight

I have an article in the January issue of Charisma Magazine entitled, “When Children Die Because They’re Overweight.” You can read the article here. The abstract to the article says, “To develop good health and nutrition practices, children and young people need responsible adult examples.” I hope the article will be helpful to you and your family.

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Easing “the graduation to glory”

It’s a moment most of us dread—a solemn-faced doctor enters a room, looks you in the eyes, and says you only have a few months to live. As a doctor, I’ve had to deliver that news, and it’s never easy. Yet, there’s something that can make a difference for most terminal patients.

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Health tips for international travel

Long-time readers know that I have a bi-monthly column in the Significant Living Magazine. My article for the April-May issue is on “Health Tips for International Travel.” The article also has a side bar on “Preventing Travelers Diarrhea.” You can read the article here. If you like the digital version, let me encourage you to sign up for a subscription.

Kids and shopping cart injuries

A shopping trip with young kids can be quite a juggling act—and as it turns out, a potentially dangerous one. There’s more than falling prices going on.

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Married people may face lower risk of heart problems

The AP reported that research presented at the American College of Cardiology meeting suggests that “married people are less likely than singles, divorced or widowed folks to suffer any type of heart or blood vessel problem.” The New York Daily News reported that the study included “more than 3.5 million” people. The data indicated that “married people had a 5% lower risk of any cardiovascular disease compared with single people, a 3% lower risk compared with widowed people and a 5% lower risk compared with” those who were divorced.

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Study: E-cigarette use not tied to greater rates of smoking cessation

The Washington Post “Wonkblog” reports that a research letter published in “JAMA Internal Medicine found that use of e-cigarettes was not associated with ‘greater rates of quitting cigarettes or reduced cigarette consumption’ after one year.” The study “authors reached the conclusion based on self-reported data from 949 smokers, which included 88 who used e-cigarettes.”

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Poisonings from liquid nicotine found in e-cigarettes surge across country

The New York Times reports on its front page that a “dangerous” and unregulated form of nicotine, found in e-cigarettes, “is hitting markets nationwide” and causing an uptick in poisonings from the substance. The Times says “evidence of the potential dangers is already emerging … notably among children.” However, there is even one known death, from an adult who injected the liquid form of nicotine.

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The abortifacient effect of the birth control pill

When one is led to write, and has the privilege of being published, one is not usually aware of the breadth and depth of impact one can have. Recently I became aware of an article in the Celebrate Life Magazine titled “A Pharmacist’s Journey to the Truth,” in which my writing and research played a role.

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Does your child’s music affect their behavior?

Does music affect your teenager’s behavior? We know that your kids probably don’t think so. And, many parents would agree. But if you underestimate the power of music, I have some information that might make you change your tune.

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Media Alert: Dr. Walt featured in an iMOM “Espresso Minute”

I love the ministry of iMOM and am pleased to be on their panel of experts. This week I was honored and grateful to be featured in one of their daily email Espresso Minutes about my newest book, “The Ultimate Girls’ Body Book: Not-so-silly questions about your body.” You can read the feature here. Below is information from the feature from the iMOM website.

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Most parents dramatically underestimate their child’s weight status

Wanted: for assisting in the obesity of a child—mom and dad. That’s right—a new study has revealed a parent’s eyes may be blind when it comes to their children’s waistline.

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Study: Saturated fat may not increase risk of heart attack, other cardiac events

The New York Times “Well” blog reports that research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine “found no evidence that eating saturated fat increased heart attacks and other cardiac events.” These “findings are part of a growing body of research that has challenged the accepted wisdom that saturated fat is inherently bad for you and will continue the debate about what foods are best to eat.”

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Overdosing with OTC drugs

It’s likely that your family regularly uses it. It shows up in hundreds of everyday products. If fact, you even give it to your kids. Yet, this drug is the nation’s leading cause of liver failure, and is one of the top drugs causing overdoses around the world. What is it?

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Don’t get 4-D ultrasound videos of your unborn baby without medical oversight

HealthDay News is reporting that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is recommending that expectant mothers should not get fetal ultrasound videos as keepsakes and should not use over-the-counter Doppler ultrasound heartbeat monitors. Although both products are generally considered safe, they are approved for use only with a prescription. The increasing use of these devices for nonmedical reasons is raising concerns among health officials.

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How a vacation can be dangerous for your health

There’s nothing like getting away on a vacation. Now, R & R allows you to get away from your cares, but you shouldn’t leave your health behind too. According to at least one study, a vacation could land you in the emergency room.

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Parental feeding, activity behaviors may promote childhood obesity

The Los Angeles Times “Science Now” blog reports that according to a study published in Pediatrics, by the age of two months, many US babies “appear to be taking their first steps on the road to obesity, helped along by parents who may be preoccupied, pushy or uninformed about the care and feeding of babies for optimal health.”

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Is your baby’s food worse than fast food?

Your baby is hungry, so you take a cheeseburger and fries, or maybe a candy bar. Put them in a blender, then pour it in a baby food jar. Of course, that’s ridiculous, and highly unhealthy. But that’s what many unsuspecting parents do every day when they open a jar of baby food.

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Is naproxen is safer in patients with heart disease than other NSAIDs?

All NSAIDs have a “black box” warning about increased cardiovascular risk. This was added almost a decade ago after the withdrawal of Vioxx. But CV risk isn’t necessarily equal between NSAIDs. Here’s a new report from the experts at Prescriber’s Letter:

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Study: State vaccination law reduces child hospitalization rates

On its website, the NBC News website reports that a new requirement by the state of Connecticut that “all kids in daycare get a flu shot every year appears to have kept many of those children out of the hospital during later flu seasons, researchers reported.”

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Study: E-cigarettes actually encourage youth smoking

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics reveals that adolescents who use electronic cigarettes have an increased likelihood of smoking conventional cigarettes. The results of the study contradict claims that e-cigarettes may help people stop smoking and further bolsters the argument that e-cigarettes may be the gateway for young people to smoke cigarettes, establishing an association between vaping and smoking.

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Don’t nix your baby’s naps

A mom asked me, “My toddler’s naps keep me from getting stuff done during the afternoon. Is skipping them a big deal?” Well, don’t lose sleep if your child misses an occasional nap. That said, lots of evidence points to keeping them—especially for preschoolers.

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WHO issues new draft guidelines on sugar consumption

The Wall Street Journal reports that the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued new draft guidelines on sugar consumption.

The Los Angeles Times “Science Now” blog reports that even though the WHO “reiterates its 2002 recommendation that no more than 10% of daily calories come in the form of sugar,” the organization “adds that people would get additional benefits if they can keep their sugar consumption below 5% of daily calories.” In other words, an adult who is not obese should not exceed a limit of six teaspoons of sugar (approximately 25 grams) per day.

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Baby steps to a healthier you

Sally complained to me, “I’m frustrated! Guidelines for healthy blood pressure and blood sugar have been lowered, while the recommended amount of daily exercise has been raised.” As a result, Sally was ready to surrender the fight for fitness.

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