Posting Calorie Counts May Lead Consumers to Healthier Choices When Eating Out

Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Heart Health, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting, Woman's Health
  ABC News is reporting a new study that finds that seeing calorie information may convince customers to place healthier -- or at least smaller -- orders. When the customers saw calorie information before ordering, they purchased an average of 52 fewer calories than customers who overlooked the calorie counts. (more…)
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Too Little Sleep, Too Much Snacking?

Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
  WebMD Health News reports a small study in which researchers have found that people who don't get enough sleep often indulge in excessive snacking. Results showed that when bedtimes were restricted to five-and-a-half hours, participants consumed an average of 1,087 calories a day from snacks alone. In contrast, they consumed 866 in calories from snacking when given eight-and-a-half hours to sleep. (more…)
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St. John’s Wort No Help in ADHD

Alternative Medicine, Children's Health, Health Headlines, Mental Health, Parenting
ABC News reports a new study suggesting that St. John's wort is not a useful treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Although the researchers only studied 54 children between 6 and 17 years old who have ADHD for eight weeks, the study design was the gold standard randomized controlled trial. And, they found that St. John's wort was no better than placebo when it came to improving the children's attentiveness or hyperactivity. (more…)
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Early Risers Tend to Score Higher Grades

Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Parenting
  According to MedPage, a new study has found that college students who consider themselves “morning people” are more likely to have better grades than those who are “evening people.” In fact, the benefit of being a morning person was a "full letter-grade difference.” Researchers surveyed 824 undergraduate students about their sleep habits and daytime schedules. Even after they accounted for academic ability, social ability and SAT verbal scores, researchers found that students who were morning-types were more likely to have better grades than those who considered themselves evening-types. (more…)
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Teen survey shows virginity pledges can work

Children's Health, Health Headlines, Parenting
  USA Today is reporting a three-year RAND Corp. study showing that virginity pledges do deter some teens from having sex. Of 1,517 adolescents ages 12 to 17 in 2001 when the research began, teenagers who vowed to remain virgins until they were married were less likely to be sexually active than others who didn't make a pledge. About one-quarter of the adolescents surveyed (23.8%) made a promise to wait until marriage to have sex; 34% had broken it by 2004, compared with 42% of those who didn't make the pledge and had sex during that time. (more…)
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Parents are beginning to clean up their kids’ nutrition acts

Children's Health, Health Headlines, Nutritional Health, Obesity, Parenting
USA Today also reports that parents are beginning to clean up their nutrition acts when it comes to the snacks they serve their children. Fruit is the most common snack for children under 6, and cookies are second. In 1987, cookies ruled and fruit ranked second, according to findings from the NPD Group, a market research firm. (more…)
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Sleep a Necessity, Not a Luxury

Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Men's Health, Mental Health, Obesity, Parenting, Woman's Health
HealthDay News reports that as the pace of life gets faster and faster, and people try to cram more and more into every minute of the day. Before Thomas Edison invented the light bulb in 1880, people slept an average of 10 hours a night. These days, Americans average 6.9 hours of sleep on weeknights and 7.5 hours a night on weekends, according to the National Sleep Foundation. But lack of sleep affects a person in one of two ways. (more…)
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Dr. Walt’s Take on the Health Headlines – June 6, 2008

Alternative Medicine, Bioethics, Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Medical Economics, Men's Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Here are my takes on some of today's health headlines, including one that is, in my opinion, being blown way out of perspective: Mercury teeth fillings may harm some: FDA Silver-colored metal dental fillings contain mercury that may cause health problems in pregnant women, children and fetuses, the Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday after settling a related lawsuit. (more…)
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Vaccine Myth #8: A Preservative Contained in Many Vaccines Harms Children

Children's Health, Parenting
In 1999, a study revealed that the preservative thimerosal, a mercury-containing compound present in many vaccines, caused several infants to have levels of mercury in their blood that exceeded guidelines recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Preservatives are used in vaccines to reduce the risk of contamination by bacteria once the vial is opened. Exposure to high levels of mercury, especially in the developing child before birth, is associated with neurological disturbances. Therefore, parents began to fear that thimerosal may cause neurological difficulties, like autism. When this study was first described, physicians, scientists, and public health officials quickly assessed the situation and found that: (more…)
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Dr. Walt’s Take on the Health Headlines – June 3, 2008

Alternative Medicine, Bioethics, Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Medical Economics, Men's Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Here are my comments on some of today’s health headlines: FDA Approves Spray-On Estrogen to Treat Menopause The FDA has approved a form of spray-on estrogen called Evamist, which contains estrodial in ethanol. Evamist is sprayed on the inside of a woman’s forearm, dries clear in one minute, and is said to be slowly released over a 24-hour period. Supposedly, it cannot be washed off and it won’t transfer to other people. (more…)
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Dr. Walt’s Take on the Health Headlines – May 30, 2008

Children's Health, General Health, Health Headlines, Heart Health, Men's Health, Mental Health, Nutritional Health, Parenting, Woman's Health
Here are my takes on some of today's health headlines: Vitamin D for babies may prevent type 1 diabetes A new systematic review reports to have "the strongest evidence to date" that supplemental vitamin D in babies and children may help reduce the risk of later development of type 1 diabetes by 29 percent. Readers of this blog have read me frequently comment on the host of health problems prevented by vitamin D. (more…)
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Vaccine Myth #7: Vaccines Weaken the Immune System

Children's Health, Parenting
Natural infection with certain viruses can weaken the immune system. So when children are infected with one virus, they can’t fight off other viruses or bacteria as easily. This happens most notably during natural infection with chicken pox or measles. Children infected with chicken pox are susceptible to certain bacterial infections (MRSA or flesh-eating bacteria, for example). Children infected with measles are more susceptible to bacterial infections (resulting in sepsis) of the bloodstream. But vaccines are different. (more…)
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Tragedy in the Stephen Curtis Chapman Family

Marriage and Family Health, Parenting
  By now, I suspect most of you have read or heard about the incredibly painful and tragic news in what was meant to be a celebratory week for the family of Christian musician Stephen Curtis Chapman.  According to Jim Houser, Stephen’s Manager, “Just hours before this close knit family was celebrating the engagement of the oldest daughter Emily Chapman, and were just hours away from a graduation party marking Caleb Chapman’s completion of high school. Now, they are preparing to bury a child who blew out 5 candles on a birthday cake less than 10 days ago …” (more…)
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Health Headlines

Health Headlines, Parenting
Listening to music found to lower blood pressure Juice may beat fruit for preventing heart disease Weight Loss Aids Bought on Internet Might Harm Your Heart Web Offer to Take Diet Pills in Exchange for Monthly Check May Be Scam (more…)
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Should Parents Refuse Abortion-Based Vaccines?

Bioethics, Children's Health, Parenting
There’s a news story out this week about a Coast Guard officer who was told that he must take a vaccine that was derived based on tissue from an unborn child that had been aborted.  The officer refused the vaccine based upon his religious beliefs that abortion is wrong. After a lawsuit was filed by the Alliance Defense Fund, the Coast Guard decided to allow a religious exemption. "Members of our military should never have to choose between honoring their country and honoring their faith," argued ADF attorneys in the case of Coast Guard officer Joseph Healy. I agree with my friend, Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, who said, "We applaud the military for recognizing that Healy is deserving of the same freedoms that he has spent…
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Vaccine Myth #4: Vaccines Are Unsafe

Children's Health, Parenting
Despite what is often falsely reported in the media and at many scaremongering web sites, all recommended vaccines are extraordinarily safe. When you consider that the 3.5 to 4 million children born every year in the United States receive more than twenty different vaccines to protect them from at least eleven different preventable diseases by the time they are six years old, and that some of these vaccines have existed for more than fifty years, I think you’ll agree that the record of vaccine safety in this country is remarkable. (more…)
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Marijuana – Concerns

Alternative Medicine, General Health, Parenting
Four recent medical news stories bring home the truth about the many dangers of smoking marijuana. The first is a White House report that links smoking marijuana to addiction, mental illness, and depression. The report says that depression, teens, and marijuana are a dangerous mix that can lead to dependency, mental illness, or suicidal thoughts. (more…)
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Does the MMR vaccine cause autism? A redux.

Children's Health, Parenting
The LA Times ran an article today about the ongoing controversy over the fear that the MMR vaccine may cause autism. Because of this fear, there are parents who have chosen not to give their children this life-saving vaccine. As a result, the Times reports that some in the research and medical community "are worried about" potential outbreaks that could be "fueled by clusters of people who are not vaccinated as a matter of choice, rather than access." (more…)
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