Review Category : Health

School Tells ‘Tiny’ Girl Her Body Mass Index is Too High

Hemera/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — A Missouri mother is livid after her daughter came home from elementary school with a note saying that her body mass index was too high despite her lean frame.

“She goes, ‘Does this mean I’m fat?’ and I said, ‘No, this does not mean you are fat,'” Amanda Moss, of Belton, Missouri, told KMBC, ABC’s Kansas City affiliate.

Moss’s daughter Kylee is 7 years old, 54 pounds, 3-foot-10, Moss told the station.

According to the BMI calculator on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website, her BMI is 17.9, making her overweight. But Moss says Kylee is an active, thin second grader.

“She is tiny,” Moss told KMBC. “She has no body fat at all.”

The school calculated students body mass indexes, which are a measurement of height, weight and age, as part of a grant program, Belton School District Superintendent Andrew Underwood told ABC News. In the future, he said parents will be allowed to opt out.

“We do the body mass index on our students for positive reasons to try to promote healthy habits as far as what the kids eat and their activity,” Underwood said. “There was no malicious intent by this.”

BMI is a controversial measurement because it does not distinguish muscle mass from fat mass, said Dr. Naveen Uli, a pediatric endocrinology at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Uli has not treated Kylee.

Knowing the average BMI for a student population can be helpful in making administrative changes such as increasing physical activity time or adding healthier options to the cafeteria menu, but it may not be as helpful on an individual scale, Uli said.

“[I]t may in fact be psychological[ly punishing, since school personnel may not be familiar with details regarding that child’s health,” he said in an email to ABC News. “This is best addressed by that child’s healthcare provider. That being said, if the school is in a neighborhood with limited access to healthcare, the child might not be seeing a pediatrician regularly. In that scenario, the school report to the child’s parents on BMI might be a much needed wake-up call.”

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Pot Brownie That Made Man Fear Stroke Highlights Concerns About Pot Edibles

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The case of a man who mistook a reaction to marijuana-laced brownies for a stroke has again highlighted concern about what can happen when people confuse marijuana edibles with regular food.

A Michigan man called police earlier this week thinking he was in the middle of a deadly stroke, but he actually was having a reaction to marijuana–laced brownies his daughter had baked, according to the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

The 58-year-old man was transported to the hospital and his daughter quickly alerted law enforcement his symptoms were likely related to brownies she had baked, the sheriff’s office said. Marijuana both for recreational and medical use remains illegal in Michigan and the incident is under investigation.

But the incident also shows the kind of complications that have occurred elsewhere as marijuana edibles have become more common and more states consider legalizing medical or recreational marijuana.

In Colorado, where recreational marijuana was legalized last year, doctors say they’ve seen a number of cases, mainly young children, who come to the ER after mistakenly ingesting edibles.

Dr. Sam Wong, emergency room doctor at Children’s Hospital Colorado, said they’ve had many children arrive in the ER in such circumstances, with parents having had no idea their child ingested edibles.

“With kids, when they come to ER, at least half the time we don’t know they got into marijuana,” he said.

Only adults over the age of 21 can possess and consume marijuana products in Colorado under state law.

Wong cited a range of symptoms that children can present with if they ingest marijuana including laughing or giggling, lethargy, muscle seizures or, in severe cases, unconsciousness and breathing issues.

“We don’t see panic or anxiety. It’s mostly sleepiness,” said Wong. “They’ll say, ‘He’s just wanted to take more naps today,’ or, ‘I couldn’t wake him up. … When he got up he couldn’t walk.'”

Wong said the edibles look similar to candy or other foods, which can make it hard for children to tell the difference. Parents also don’t realize their children were able to get to the marijuana-infused products until a doctor asks them about it.

Wong said not knowing if a child was exposed to marijuana can create complications during treatment and lead to extra procedures.

“A lot of these kids get blood draws and lumbar punctures and CT scans of the head,” said Wong, procedures that can have a small risk of complications. “[In] an ideal case, we know the exposure and know the amount [of marijuana], and don’t have to do further tests.”

A 2014-published study in the Journal of American Medicine by the University of Colorado found a rise in children showing up in the ER with severe reactions to marijuana exposure. The study found that 14 children were admitted to the University of Colorado hospital during 2014, with seven children ending up in the intensive care unit.

The vast majority of children admitted to the hospital for marijuana-related reasons were because of ingesting edible THC products, according to the study.

Wong said he tells parents to keep edibles in a childproof case and store them somewhere apart from food and out of reach of small children.

“I think in Colorado we’re trying to do the best we can to deal with regulations and packaging and warning labels … to curb these unintended exposures,” he said.

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Baby Nicknames Include Happy Meal, Sweet Thang, Fish Stick

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Happy Meal. Pepperoni. Little Tuna.

They’re all words that might easily be taken for foods a woman craves while she is pregnant. But in fact, they are among the nicknames given to unborn children across the country.

The app Ovia Pregnancy, a fertility tracking product by Ovuline that has more than two million users in the U.S., recently released data revealing some of the most unusual terms of affection for unborn babies in all 50 states.

“Baby nicknames are one of the first emotional connections a mother has with her unborn baby,” said Ovuline’s chief product and marketing officer, Gina Moro Nebesar. “By giving her baby a cute nickname, [moms] can laugh with their partners over questions like, ‘How’s little Peanut doing today?’ Or in the case of Minnesota users, ‘How’s Fish Stick doing today?’ Creating pet names is a very human thing to do.”

Upon registering with the app, users are asked to give their baby a nickname, which is how Ovuline came to learn what might otherwise be a private moniker.

While the top three nicknames were Bean (8,024), Peanut (34,516) and Baby (37,862 entries) — the default option — Ovuline was curious whether any nicknames were unique to states or popular in certain regions. So a data team comprised of Nebesar, senior data scientist Isabella Patton, and software developer Christina Kelley culled through 630,000 data points related to baby nicknames, then used a filtering process to isolate 56,093 unique, rare nicknames entered by users in each of the 50 states.

The results were not strictly related to snacks. Sweet Thang was called out as North Carolina’s most unusual nickname, while South Dakota parents chose the more humorous Buttkiss.

“The most surprising things about the results were the specific regional differences in Ovia Pregnancy users’ baby nicknames,” Nebesar told ABC News. “Some were expected, like ‘Baby Pineapple’ in Hawaii or ‘The Lone Ranger’ in Texas. But we also found broader regional trends beyond the state. For example, entire regions tend to enjoy creating unique names with similar base words, like ‘sugar’ in the South, ‘bean’ in the Northeast, and ‘bug’ in the Northwest.”

So is there any chance that labels such as “Tiny Beep” and “Sugalump” will stick with the child through to adulthood? Possibly.

“These children will all likely get more official names once they’re born,” said Nebesar. “But their mothers will probably always call them by this very first one.”

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Sunburn Indicator Strip Could Be a Real Lifesaver

iStock/Thinkstock(BELFAST, Northern Ireland) — One doesn’t normally think of Ireland as the sun and fun capital of Europe but like anywhere else, people do get sunburned there.

That’s what might have spurred a Queen’s University Belfast chemical engineering professor to come up with technology that gives sunbathers an important signal about when to get out of the sun.

Dr. David Hazafy’s sunburn indicator is a strip of plastic that can be worn as a bracelet and adapts to one’s skin type.

The strip has what Hazafy calls “smart” ink, which starts off as a blue color but then gradually becomes clear, a sign that the sunbather has reached a point where ultraviolet light will start to burn the skin.

Hazafy says the key to his invention is a metal oxide photocatalyst that harvests ambient sunlight, which in turn, “should warn people when they are receiving too much of the UV component of sunlight, and prompt them to seek shade.”

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Researchers: Schools Should Counsel, Not Suspend, Pot Smoking Adolescents

iStock/Thinkstock(SEATTLE) — The war on drugs is becoming less punitive and more supportive, at least at some schools in Washington state and Victoria, Australia.

Richard Catalano, a professor of social work at the University of Washington, says a study of 3,200 adolescents has shown that handing out suspensions to seventh and ninth graders who got caught smoking marijuana didn’t do much to deter future use.

In fact, these kids were twice as likely to smoke pot during the following year in contrast to schools where no suspensions were meted out.

Meanwhile, schools that adopted policies whereby students who used marijuana were referred to counselors saw that these same youngsters were 50 percent less likely to smoke grass in the next year.

Catalano, who co-authored the study, says “We need to ensure that schools are using drug policies that respond to policy violations by educating or counseling students, not just penalizing them.”

The study also found that other methods of deterring drug use, such as reporting the students to police or expelling them, has no discernible effect on their marijuana smoking.

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Average Doctor’s Office Wait Time Dipped By a Minute in 2014

Monkey Business/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The waiting is often the hardest part at the doctor’s office as anyone who’s had an appointment can attest.

The physician review website says the average wait time to see a physician last year was an interminable 19 minutes and 16 seconds.

But take heart, America, that’s actually one minute faster than 2013.

And why is that? Vitalis CEO Heywood Donigan credits the Affordable Care Act boosting the number of walk-in clinics from 1,200 in 2011 to the current level of 1,600.

Chances are wait times will drop even further, provided the ACA remains in place, since Accenture puts the number of these facilities at 3,000 within two years.

Of course, doctor’s office wait times usually depend on the kind of care one is seeking. The longest average wait is for pain specialists at 23 minutes and 15 seconds while it only takes 11 minutes and 33 seconds on average to see your friendly neighborhood psychologist.

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How Kelly Rowland Lost 70 Pounds in Just Four Months

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Wait, what!? Kelly Rowland dropped 70 pounds of baby weight in just four months.

The former Destiny’s Child singer, 34, spoke to Extra about having a baby, Titan, with her husband, Tim Witherspoon, in November.

Have you picked up your copy of the April issue of @essencemag? On newsstands now!


Apparently, spin class is the key to dropping all the weight.

“Jeanette Jenkins is the secret, SoulCycle is the secret,” she told the show. “When I go in there and it’s the wee hours of the morning, she is a great secret — so motivational. Jeanette comes in with so much energy and this huge smile on her face, and you can’t help but to get excited about working out.”

Week 3 of our #GetYourBodyBack challenge with @KELLYROWLAND #WorkoutCalendar & #MealPlan ->

— Jeanette Jenkins (@JeanetteJenkins) January 26, 2015

Rowland also went back to the basics — eating healthy.

“The 80/20 rule is all the way real, 80 percent of the time you eat those foods giving you nourishment, you’re eating clean, and 20 percent of the time, have guacamole, a ton of it like I do, and a margarita and maybe queso too!” she said.

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Manufacturer of Scopes Cited in Spread of LA ‘Superbug’ Releases Updated Disinfection Process

ChrisPole/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Olympus America, the company that manufactures the duodenoscopes that were cited in the spread of a superbug at a Los Angeles hospital in February, released an urgent safety notification regarding updated cleaning processes to ensure high levels of disinfection in between uses.

The new process, which consists of “revised manual cleaning and high level disinfection procedures,” should be implemented “as soon as possible,” the company says. Olympus recommends using a small bristle cleaning brush to clean the scopes. The company anticipates shipping these brushes to facilities by May 8. “Until your facility has received the brushes, you should continue to clean the…duodenoscope in accordance with the original cleaning instructions.”

The new process also includes “additional recess flushing” and “forceps elevator raising/lowering steps” during precleaning and manual cleaning. Facilities are additionally advised to flush the scopes with alcohol.

The company says that the updated procedures were reviewed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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Ebola Patient at NIH Upgraded from Critical to Serious Condition

Photo by Andrew Councill/MCT/MCT via Getty Images(BETHESDA, Md.) — A patient being treated for the Ebola virus at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda was upgraded from critical to serious condition, the NIH said Thursday.

The NIH still did not share any additional details about the patient, who was admitted on March 12. The patient was volunteering at an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone when they tested positive for the disease.

The patient is the second to receive treatment at the NIH Clinical Center. The first, Dallas nurse Nina Pham, contracted the disease while treating Thomas Eric Duncan. Pham was the first person to catch Ebola on U.S. soil in connection with the outbreak in West Africa. She was admitted to the NIH facility in October and later released Ebola-free.

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CDC Unveils New Anti-Smoking Ads Featuring Real Smokers

Credit: James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(NEW YORK) — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched a new set of anti-smoking ads featuring real smokers who are living with the long-term health effects of smoking and secondhand smoke exposure.

The “Tips From Former Smokers” campaign was first launched in 2012. “Since its launch,” the CDC says, “the Tips campaign has featured compelling stories of former smokers living with smoking-related diseases and disabilities and the toll that smoking-related illnesses have taken on them.”

In September 2013, the Lancet medical journal published an article saying that the Tips campaign has motivated about 1.6 million smokers to attempt to quit smoking, with at least 100,000 U.S. smokers expected to quit permanently as a result of the campaign.

The CDC posted videos featuring 27 real people on their website. “I smoked and got macular degeneration,” a woman named Marlene says in one of the videos. “So I don’t see very well.”

After describing the first time she received one of the medical procedures she goes through as a result of her disease, Marlene says she “went home and I felt miserable, and I said to myself, ‘Why the hell did I ever smoke?'”

“I would never have smoked if I knew that I was gonna be going through this,” she says.

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