Why You May Be Better Off Ignoring Conventional Cholesterol and Low-Fat Diet Guidelines

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A low-fat diet and statin medication is a recipe for chronic health problems, as both strategies actually promote cardiovascular problems

2011 guidelines for Continue reading

The Scientific Side of Steroid Use and Abuse

Leslie Henderson is concerned about steroid abuse, not necessarily by sports luminaries like Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, but rather by adolescents.

“There is this disconnect among young people that somehow your emotions, your thought processes—things that have to do with your brain—are separate and different from what steroids may be doing to your body—your muscles, your heart, or your liver, or anything like that,” says Henderson, a professor of physiology and neurobiology, and of biochemistry at the Geisel School of Medicine Continue reading

It Takes a Village to Keep Teens Substance Free

During high school the parents of teenagers’ friends can have as much effect on the teens’ substance use as their own parents, according to prevention researchers.

“Among friendship groups with ‘good parents’ there’s a synergistic effect — if your parents are consistent Continue reading

Mayo Clinic: Hospitalization of US Underage Drinkers Common, Costs $755 Million a Year

Hospitalization for underage drinking is common in the United States, and it comes with a price tag — the estimated total cost for these hospitalizations is about $755 million per year, a Mayo Clinic study has found. Researchers also found geographic and demographic differences in the incidence of alcohol-related hospital admissions. The findings were published online today in the Journal of Adolescent Health. Continue reading

New Research Supports Early To Bed Adage

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise,” Benjamin Franklin famously said. Continue reading

Desirable Behavior Should Be Instilled by Parents and not from Television or the Computer

Parents that allow their children to spend lots of time on the computer and in front of the television may be inadvertently contributing to an epidemic rise in “multiple-risk behaviors” (MRBs) among adolescents, suggests a new study published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine. High computer use, say researchers, can lead to a 50 percent increased risk of developing MRBs like drug use, drunkenness, and unprotected sex.

When children are exposed to violence, wild partying, and other negative things through video games, television shows, and various internet content, they tend to adopt those behaviors themselves. Rather than develop life habits through natural exposure to family and friends, media-addicted youth  Continue reading

Lack of Sleep May Be Linked to Childhood Obesity

Infants and preschoolers who don’t get enough sleep at night are at increased risk for later childhood obesity, a new study suggests.

The researchers also found that daytime naps are not an adequate substitute for lost nighttime sleep in terms of preventing obesity.

The study included 1,930 U.S. children, ages 1 month to 13 years, who were divided into two groups — younger (ages 1 month to 59 months) and older (ages 5 to 13 years). Data on the children was collected at the start of the study (baseline) in 1997 and again in 2002 (follow-up).

At the follow-up, 33 percent of the younger children and 36 percent of the older children were overweight or obese. Among the younger children, lack of sufficient nighttime sleep at baseline was associated with increased risk for later overweight or obesity.

Among the older children, the amount of sleep at baseline was not associated with weight at follow-up. However, a lack of nighttime sleep at follow-up was associated with increased risk of a shift from normal weight to overweight and from overweight to obesity, the study found.

The findings “suggest that there is a critical window prior to age 5 years when nighttime sleep may be important for subsequent obesity status,” wrote Janice F. Bell of the University of Washington in Seattle, and Frederick J. Zimmerman of the University of California, Los Angeles.

“Sleep duration is a modifiable risk factor with potentially important implications for obesity prevention and treatment,” the authors concluded. “Insufficient nighttime sleep among infants and preschool-aged children appears to be a lasting risk factor for subsequent obesity, while contemporaneous sleep appears to be important to weight status in adolescents. Napping had no effects on the development of obesity and is not a substitute for sufficient nighttime sleep,” they added.