Monthly Archives: April 2016

When teens dont like eat

Some families gathering for Thanksgiving this week may have something to argue about besides politics: what to do when teens at the table follow a different diet than everyone else.

One in six U.S. parents say their teen has tried a diet that is vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan or paleo at some point in the last two years, according to a poll released today by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

It may be tempting to argue about food or push children to join the clean plate club, but parents should try to understand why their teen wants to skip family favorites like turkey, sweet potato and marshmallow casserole or apple pie, said Sarah Clark, co-director of the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health.

“Parents should recognize that this is part of normal adolescent development toward becoming an independent adult; with that in mind, try to avoid seeing the situation as a challenge to parental authority,” Clark said by email.

One way to do this is by explaining the biggest challenges with the diet – whether it’s cost or lack of time to prepare food or not knowing what to make – and asking teens to propose solutions, Clark added.

“Be partners, not adversaries,” Clark said.

Restaurants are one of the biggest challenges; 61 percent of parents said eating out was an issue with their child’s diet.

At the same time, 55 percent of parents complained about the extra time needed to prepare special food and 51 percent said the diet led to conflicts at holidays and family gatherings.

Half of parents also said grocery bills were an obstacle.

The poll, a nationally representative survey of 910 parents with at least one child age 13 to 18, focused on four different diets.

Overall, 9 percent of parents said their teen had tried a vegetarian diet, while 6 percent said their child went gluten-free, 4 percent mentioned a vegan diet and 2 percent said their kid went paleo.

A vegan diet includes only fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains and seeds. Some vegetarians may eat dairy products or eggs in addition to these foods. The Paleolithic, or paleo diet, includes foods like meat, nuts and berries but excludes more recent additions to the human diet like dairy.

Gluten-free diets avoid wheat, barley and rye and derivatives of those grains, such as malt and brewer’s yeast. For children and adults with celiac disease, strict avoidance of gluten is essential, but experts generally advise people who think they may have celiac disease to check with a doctor before adopting a gluten-free diet.

According to parents, teens most often change their eating habits for health reasons (32 percent) or because another family member follows a diet they want to try (29 percent), the poll found. Sometimes their friends encourage the change (17 percent) or teens think eating differently may be better for the environment (14 percent).

Slightly more than half of parents believe the new diet has a positive impact on their teen’s health, while 41 percent didn’t think it had any affect and 7 percent thought it had a negative impact.

More than half of parents (56 percent) say they did their own homework when teens started a new diet, and almost half of them suggested their child start taking vitamins or supplements.

Just 17 percent brought their teen to a healthcare provider to discuss whether the diet was healthy.

Breastfeeding reduce babies

Infants who nurse during vaccinations may cry less and feel less pain than babies who are soothed in other ways, a research review suggests.

Researchers examined data on breastfeeding and infant pain during needle sticks from 10 previously published studies with a total of 1,066 babies ages one to 12 months.

On average, breastfeeding babies cried for 38 seconds less than babies who didn’t nurse during vaccinations, researchers report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. Pain scores based on observations of babies’ behavior were also lower when infants were breastfed during needle sticks than when they were not.

“We already knew that breastfeeding reduced pain during blood collection in newborn babies,” said lead study author Denise Harrison, a researcher at the University of Ottawa and Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario.

“However we did not know if the same effects would be evident in older babies beyond the newborn period,” Harrison added by email.

To assess the potential for breastfeeding to curb pain in babies after the first month of life, researchers analyzed data from studies that compared nursing to alternative pain relief methods such as bottles of formula, pacifiers, cuddling, distraction, topical analgesics, and skin-to-skin contact.

These previously published studies looked at a variety of needle stick procedures in addition to vaccinations, including blood draws and intravenous line insertions.

The 38-second reduction in crying time during vaccinations was found in a pooled analysis of six studies of 547 infants who were breastfed, given water or offered no interventions during the shots.

Breastfeeding didn’t consistently result in changes in physical indicators of pain such as heart rate, however.

Pain scores were also lower for babies who nursed during vaccinations, although the authors note it’s difficult to gauge discomfort in young infants.

Nursing appeared to be more effective at pain reduction than sugar water, pain creams or sprays at the injection site, maternal cuddling or massage, according to data from four studies that examined these alternatives.

None of the studies reported any adverse events associated with breastfeeding.

Beyond the small size of studies included in the analysis, other limitations of the research review include the lack of data on breastfeeding for blood samples or drip insertions and the limited information on babies receiving 12-month vaccinations, the authors note.

Still, it’s possible that breastfeeding may be an effective pain reliever because it boosts oxytocin – a hormone associated with calmness, pain reduction and a sense of wellbeing – in both mothers and babies, said Barbara Morrison, a researcher at Wichita State University School of Nursing in Kansas.

Cells could cure hereditary deafness

Scientists believe they are on the brink of a cure for people born deaf after producing stem cells to correct a hereditary defect.

Experts have found a way of growing new cells for the cochlea, the spiral cavity of the inner ear.

These can be used to replace faulty ones in people deaf from birth due to a genetic error.

They hope a treatment could be available to patients within five to 10 years.

Professor Kazusaku Kamiya, a specialist in ear diseases who is leading the research, said: “I am very excited by what we have done. We hope this work will lead to a cure for a form of hereditary deafness.

“We have found a way to make cochlear stem cells. The next step is to find a way to safely inject them into the patient’s ear.”

The work, which is being carried out in a laboratory at Juntendo University in Tokyo, Japan, aims to correct a mutation in a gene called Gap Junction Beta 2, which accounts for deafness or hearing loss for one in a thousand children.

Half of parents also said grocery bills were an obstacle.

The poll, a nationally representative survey of 910 parents with at least one child age 13 to 18, focused on four different diets.

Overall, 9 percent of parents said their teen had tried a vegetarian diet, while 6 percent said their child went gluten-free, 4 percent mentioned a vegan diet and 2 percent said their kid went paleo.

A vegan diet includes only fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains and seeds. Some vegetarians may eat dairy products or eggs in addition to these foods. The Paleolithic, or paleo diet, includes foods like meat, nuts and berries but excludes more recent additions to the human diet like dairy.

Gluten-free diets avoid wheat, barley and rye and derivatives of those grains, such as malt and brewer’s yeast. For children and adults with celiac disease, strict avoidance of gluten is essential, but experts generally advise people who think they may have celiac disease to check with a doctor before adopting a gluten-free diet.

Game riskiest when kids play

Kids who play “choking games” to achieve a euphoric high are more likely to be suicidal and face a greater risk of injury and death when they play alone, a U.S. study suggests.

It’s dangerous enough in groups, but without others present to interrupt the asphyxiation children face an increased risk of loss of consciousness and inability to stop strangulation when a noose, belt or other ligature is being used. Nearly all deaths from the game occur when youngsters play alone.

Solo players are also more than four times as likely to have suicidal thoughts and more than twice as likely to suffer from serious mental health problems compared to kids who try the choking game in groups, researchers report in Pediatrics.

“Many kids don’t understand how dangerous this activity is,” said study co-author Sarah Knipper, a researcher with the Oregon Health Authority in Portland.

“A lot of kids who participate in the choking game, particularly alone, also have depression and/or use alcohol or drugs,” Knipper added by email.

Players typically use their hands, a belt or a tie to put pressure on the carotid artery in the neck, temporarily limiting the flow of oxygen and blood to the brain. The goal is to achieve a euphoric feeling when the flow of blood and oxygen rushes back to the brain.

To understand what separates group participants from youth who play alone, researchers examined survey data collected from almost 21,000 Oregon teens in 2011 and 2013. Participants were in eighth grade and about 14 years old on average.

Among other things, the survey asked about physical and mental health, nutrition, school absenteeism, sexual activity, substance use and community characteristics. Questions on the choking game focused on whether participants had heard of it, tried it, or done it alone.

Overall, just 3.7 percent of teens said they had played the game.

Among those who had tried the choking game, however, roughly 18 percent said they had played alone.

Slightly less than 1 percent of teens said they had helped someone else play the game.

About 77 percent of the survey participants had never heard of the choking game.

One limitation of the study is that it relied on teens to accurately recall and report if they knew about the choking game or had played it, the authors note. In addition, because the survey is administered only in public schools, researchers lacked data on youth who were in juvenile detention or who had dropped out of school.

The findings, while distressing, aren’t surprising given the popularity of self-harm and substance use among teens, particularly for youth with mental health problems, said Dr. Benjamin Shain, head of child and adolescent psychiatry at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Chicago.

“A possible explanation for the 18 percent who tried it alone is that suicidal teens often engage in behavior that is not intended for suicide but carries a risk of death, partly hoping to die by accident,” Shain, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

Heartbreaking photo went viral dies

“I feel both sadness and relief in informing you all that Jessica finally found peace at seven o’clock this morning,” Andy Whelan shared in part on Facebook Sunday. “No longer does she suffer; no longer does she feel the pain of the physical constraints of her body.

“Now my princess has grown her angel wings and has gone up to play with her friends and loved ones,” he continued. “She will now watch down over her little brother and ourselves until one day we are reunited again.”

The update has since garnered more than 43,000 reactions on Facebook.

Neither woman has an attorney listed in court records. Bolinger did not immediately return a call to her home Thursday. Court records say White is homeless.

Methadone is prescribed as a substitute for other narcotics during addiction treatment.

Charging documents say the girl swallowed an adult dose of liquid methadone that Bolinger had left on her kitchen counter. Police say the women knew about it but waited more than four hours to take her to a hospital.

Listeria can cause serious illness in elderly, young or immunosuppressed people, while healthy individuals typically recover after experiencing short-term symptoms including a high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.