Review Category : Health

Babies Can Retain Happy Memories

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Do you remember anything from when you were five months old? No doubt, you don’t.

In fact, babies that young would be hard pressed to recall things that happened from hour-to-hour. However, Brigham Young University psychology professor Ross Flom says that infants as young as five months old are capable of remembering things that make them happy.

Flom says her study is the among the first to measure how emotions influence memory. To do so, the babies first heard a person on a computer speaking in either a happy, neutral or angry voice. That voice was immediately followed by the visual image of a geometric shape.

The infants were later tested by showing a new shape and one of the old ones. The researchers then watched the babies’ eye movements and how long they spent staring at an image.

Invariably, the babies focused more on shapes that they associated with positive voices than the ones linked to negative voices.

Flom says that by heightening the babies’ attentional system and arousal, “We heighten their ability to process and perhaps remember this geometric pattern.”

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Yogurt Shown to Reduce Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Not a yogurt fan? Here’s information that make might you one.

According to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health, eating yogurt daily might help lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease.

Lead author Mu Chen said her research was based on three separate large studies involving a total of 200,000 men and women ages 25-to-75 for as long as 30 years. About 15,150 people overall were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Although dairy consumption itself was not associated with either an increase or decrease in the risk of contracting diabetes, Chen and her team learned that people who ate 12 ounces of yogurt daily, about two regular containers worth, lowered their risk of developing the disease by 18 percent.

Although Chen said there is no definitive proof that yogurt will prevent type 2 diabetes, “Some mechanisms suggest that yogurt is special,” he said. “There is some research suggesting that the probiotic bacteria in yogurt may be beneficial.”

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How Many Calories You’ll Eat this Thanksgiving

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There’s nothing like a day of solid eating to get you in the Thanksgiving spirit. But as family members catch up, they often don’t realize just how many calories they’re devouring over the course of the day.

Experts say people often eat more than a full day’s worth of calories in one gravy-laden feast, in part because overeating is as much a part of the holiday as the turkey.

“I think people would be frowned upon if they were, quote, ‘dieting’ on Thanksgiving,” said registered dietitian Jamie Pope, who teaches nutrition at the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tennessee. “It’s kind of a socially acceptable day to indulge.”

It’s a commonly held belief that the average American consumes 3,000 calories during the Thanksgiving meal plus another 1,500 on snacks and drinks, numbers that come from the Calorie Control Council, which is the industry group for diet food companies. That’s 4,500 calories in all, and about 45 percent of them come straight from fat, according to the council.

“The average person may consume enough fat at a holiday meal to equal three sticks of butter,” the Calorie Control Council said in a statement.

But many have contested the 4,500-calorie figure in recent years, including New York Times health reporter Tara Parker-Pope, who in 2012 tried to come up with the most calorie-laden Thanksgiving dinner she could muster, but only came up with 2,486 calories. She concluded the Calorie Control Council’s number was a myth.

The Calorie Control Council did not respond to requests for comment.

Cedric Bryant, chief science officer of the nonprofit American Council on Exercise, did his own calculations and said while 4,500 calories for the day may be “liberal,” eating 3,000 calories during the meal is probably right on target.

“If you look at how people tend to have that feast mentality for the meal I think that is very likely,” Bryant said, adding that if someone had their blood tested after eating Thanksgiving dinner, the fat in it would be elevated for a little while.

Pope said the Calorie Control Council’s count seems “inflated,” but that doesn’t make this a diet meal by any stretch. Pope said the basics of the meal aren’t terrible for you, but the embellishments and the second helpings are enough to put the meal over the edge.

A day of overeating won’t hurt in the long run, unless it’s the start of a six-week holiday binge, she said. Then, the 2 or 3 pounds people gain during the holidays might not come off once January comes around.

Pope recommends people enjoy the festivities but simply be aware of how much they’re eating. She said she never recommends weight loss as a goal for the holiday season because between the treats and the lack of exercise because of cold weather and limited daylight, the best that can be expected is weight maintenance.

“You don’t have to go hog wild but also realize this shouldn’t be the impetus for the loss of constraint going forward,” she said. “You don’t want to go paranoid into the holidays. People just have to be aware.”

Bryant also recommended going on a run in the morning and taking a walk after the big dinner.

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Tiny Liver Transplant Patient to Taste First Thanksgiving

Courtesy Donya McCoy(PITTSBURGH) — Born with a rare metabolic disease that rendered eating protein poisonous, 3-year-old Kennedy Stevenson was never able to appreciate a good bite of Thanksgiving turkey.

But all of that is about to change thanks to a liver transplant she received two weeks ago from her mother’s Facebook friend.

“She just ate a chicken finger for the first time ever,” her mother, Donya McCoy, told ABC News Tuesday from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where Kennedy underwent her transplant and will remain an inpatient through the holidays.

Kennedy wasn’t so sure about the chicken, McCoy said, but she loved her first taste of chocolate milk.

“Her eyes got big and she just kept sucking the straw,” McCoy said. “She didn’t want to stop.”

Kennedy was diagnosed with a rare metabolic disorder called S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase deficiency. It’s so rare that only eight people have ever been diagnosed with it, six of whom are still alive today, McCoy said.

The enzyme deficiency prevents Kennedy from processing protein normally, leading to a buildup of other toxic substances in her system and causing degenerative neurological effects over time, said Dr. George Mazariegos, chief of pediatric transplantation at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Although other doctors had changed Kennedy’s diet to eliminate protein and make it “stricter than vegan,” McCoy said they decided that a liver transplant was her best chance for survival because the deficiency was concentrated in her liver tissue.

In the two weeks since the transplant, McCoy said doctors told her the new liver was “kicking butt.” Levels of the toxic byproduct that used to build up because Kennedy couldn’t process protein are way down, even when she eats chicken and chocolate milk, McCoy said.

“She can now have turkey and stuffing,” McCoy said. “It’s just going to be really special that she can eat a Thanksgiving dinner.”

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New Procedure Dubbed ‘Inside-Out’ Face Lift Claims to Smooth Skin

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — There’s a new treatment for saggy, creased skin around the mouth that works from the inside out to tighten soft tissue and produce a smoothing effect on the surface.

Dr. Christine Lee, a dermatologist, helped pioneer a new treatment that’s known as the inside-out face lift.

The procedure uses a laser that delivers targeted heat from inside the mouth, Lee says.

Jacki Adams, a popular model during the 1980s, has posed on the covers of magazines including Vogue and Elle, but years of outdoor sports exposed her face to days of wind and sun.

With plans to return to acting, Adams hoped to smooth out some facial lines.

“I prefer to look good for my age, rather than look another age,” she said.

Adams visited Dr. Lee at her Walnut Creek, California practice, The East Bay Laser & Skin Care Center, Inc.

“When you go inside the mouth, what it does is causes immediate contracting, and that tightening makes this nasal labial folds by the side of the mouth seem like they’re plumping up,” Lee said as she performed the 30-minute procedure.

ABC’s Good Morning America spoke to some doctors who were skeptical of the procedure. They said patients could get better results from lasers used directly on the skin, or from less expensive treatments such as fillers.

“The general consensus is that with laser therapies, that is best accomplished from the outside in not the inside out, but again, it’s a new procedure. I think people should proceed with caution until we know more,” ABC News’ Dr. Jennifer Ashton said.

Lee says her procedure “has some of the same effects a filler does but appears much more natural, and you’re not having to inject a foreign substance in your face.”

Her patients undergo several treatments that cost about $1,500 per session. Results can last for months, she said.

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Researchers Say Device Could Reduce Mammography Discomfort

monkeybusinessimages/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say that a newer, less painful mammogram may be possible.

According to a study presented at a meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, researchers believe that the improved process can exert pressure throughout the breast tissue, avoiding direct force applied to the breast.

Researchers tested the proposed procedure on over 400 women. Of those participants, 27 percent said they experienced less severe pain, compared to the current standard protocol.

Researchers say the images produced by the mammography were not inferior to the old technique, and could be implemented in many hospitals or doctors’ offices quickly using a simple device.

The proposed mammography method did have at least one drawback, however. Researchers found that the pressure-based test had three times the number of people forced to re-do the test when compared to the force-based test.

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FDA Finalizes New Rules Requiring Calorie Information for Restaurant Menus, Vending Machines

Igor Dimovski/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday finalized a pair of new rules related to labeling of products in vending machines, chain restaurants and other retail food establishments.

“Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home and people today expect clear information about the products they consume,” FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said in a statement.

The new rule will cover restaurants and retail food establishments with 20 or more locations that do business under the same name and offer largely the same food products. Those establishments will be obligated to list calorie information for all standard menu items on both menus and menu boards, along with a short statement regarding suggested daily caloric intake. That statement will read: “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary.”

Additional health information about the food will have to be made available in writing upon request.

Foods sold at grocery stores and other retail locations that are intended for more than one person to eat, or which require additional preparations — such as pounds of deli meats, cheese and large deli salads — will not be covered by the new rule.

The rule regarding vending machines will apply to operators who own 20 or more such machines and will force those operators to disclose calorie information.

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Golfers Love Birdies but Hate Ticks

Carole Gomez/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — People who enjoy hiking in the woods from spring through autumn in various part of the country are generally told to check themselves for ticks after their strolls.

Now, the same thing goes for anyone who enjoys a round of golf.

Although played in wide open spaces, New York Medical College researcher Gregory Owens says that golfers must also watch out for ticks that prey on small rodents because they feed at the boundaries between the woods and fairway.

Owens surveyed 29 golfers in Orange County, New Jersey, three-quarters of whom who revealed they have found at least one tick on them after golfing. Furthermore, seven people in this group were also diagnosed with Lyme disease. That’s a much higher rate than the general population in the area.

Still, most of the golfers were pretty cavalier about the ticks, saying they never spray themselves with insect repellent before teeing off. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a bug spray with between 20 and 30 percent DEET, the active ingredient in many insect repellent products.

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Why It’s a Lot Easier to Spill Coffee than Beer

kzenon/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — And for our next trick, we’ll try to walk from the barista to our table without spilling this tray of coffee.

Good luck with that. As opposed to carbonated beverages like beer, coffee often spills out of the cup regardless of how careful we walk. But why?

It took some geniuses from Princeton and NYU to figure out the answer: it’s all about the bubbles in beer and the lack thereof in coffee.

Apparently, foam in a heavy stout like Guinness reduced much of the sloshing, making it a lot easier to go from counter to table with beer than coffee.

Researchers explained their interest in such a seemingly trivial study by noting that the findings are relevant to “numerous industrial applications,” including the transfer of liquids in cargoes.

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Bride Holds Early Wedding So Cancer-Stricken Mom Can Attend

iStock/Thinkstock(MIDLAND, Texas) — The dress was perfect, the flowers were in place and the string quartet was all set up to ease the beautiful bride down the aisle.

But most important to newlywed Cathryn Copeland on her magical wedding day was the fact her mother was there.

“It’s a huge blessing,” Copeland, 26, of Midland, Texas, told ABC News.

Copeland’s mom, Janet, was battling a fight with breast cancer. Originally diagnosed 11 years ago, she had since gone into remission — but bad news came in October 2013, when the family learned it was not only back, but as of October 2014, it had spread, allowing her very little time.

The wedding was originally scheduled for November 1 in Scottsdale, Arizona. However, Copeland and her now husband, Conner Wood, didn’t want to take any chances.

“We said, ‘Mom, what do you want to do with this wedding?’” Copeland recalled of the emotional conversation. “She just broke down and said, ‘I want to see this wedding.’”

That’s all it took. Copeland made the decision to move up her wedding to October 22, a Wednesday, at her mother’s cancer treatment center, MD Anderson Cancer Center, in Houston.

“The hospital was very accommodating and it’s just a beautiful campus that they have,” she explained. “I’ve been going with my mom to some of her treatments and we would do fast walks around the campus. She was always very physically fit. So I already knew all the beautiful spots where we could hold the ceremony.”

The bride says she was able to pull off the magical wedding a week and a half early, despite changing states, dates and timing, all because of the “selfless, loving people” willing to help make it happen.

“I just had an incredible group of people surrounding me,” said Copeland. “My dress was custom made for me and we became friends with her so she rushed my dress and she made my mom’s dress, too. She looked so beautiful.”

The wedding ceremony took place at 12:30 p.m., which gave Copeland and her mom all morning to relish in their girl time — being pampered with their hair and makeup in Janet’s hospital room.

“She had an unshakable faith and that gave me so much strength,” the bride explained. “I got to see Mom have a lot of prayers answered before she went home and that was a pure joy.”

Janet Copeland died two weeks after seeing her daughter wed, but the memories they shared that day will last a lifetime.

“On the day I was just so happy, filled with happiness, the happiest day of my life,” said Copeland. “The wedding answered that wish of hers to be able to be there, and to do something small for her was great.”

And despite the unfortunate circumstances, “We had a blast and it was the perfect day,” she added. “It was different than we planned, but it was infinitely more special. Now that she’s gone I have all the gorgeous photos sharing that day with her, and I have the video. To see her talking to me is just the biggest blessing.”

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