Review Category : Health

Parents May Be Spending Too Much Time with Their Kids

Blend Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A controversial new study from University of Maryland researchers will likely alarm a lot of parents but it could also serve as a much-needed wake-up call.

The upshot of “How Does the Amount of Time Mothers Spend with Children Matter?” is that parents, particularly moms, may be spending too much time with their children in an effort to make them more well-rounded both socially and educationally.

According to the researchers, the average time moms spend engaged in activities with three-to-11 year-olds is anywhere from 11 to 30 hours weekly. It drops off a bit to between 11 and 20 hours when children enter their years of adolescence.

The researchers point out that children are no better off either academically or psychologically than 40 years ago when seven hours a week spent with kids was considered the norm.

Meanwhile, the pressure to focus much of one’s free time with youngsters makes parents feel more stressed, tired and anxious, which is often picked up by astute children.

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How to Make Perfect Breakfast Smoothie for Healthy Skin

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A breakfast smoothie can be the ultimate beauty food pick-me-up, and it can also be great for the skin.

“You definitely are what you eat. And if you start your day with a beauty smoothie … not only will you feel better that day, but you’ll notice a difference in your skin,” said Bobbi Brown, makeup guru and editor in chief of Yahoo Beauty.

Brown appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday as part of the Yahoo Your Day collaboration to give viewers the scoop on how to make a blended smoothie in their kitchens.

Brown detailed the ingredients in her smoothie.

“Water, coconut water, which is hydrating, coconut milk, which is the perfect oil for your skin and your hair, chocolate protein powder,” she said, noting that kale or spinach and frozen berries may also be added. “To me, that’s … the perfect breakfast in the morning.”

Frozen fruits and vegetables can be used, Brown said.

“They’re quick. They’re just as nutritious. You don’t have to wash them. And they also make the smoothie thicker, because it’s ice,” she said.

Brown and GMA‘s Mara Schiavocampo hit the kitchen to whip up their own smoothie. Their smoothie included water, coconut milk and protein powder — about two scoops per serving, Brown said.

She also added cacao, kale, ice, a banana and berries.

“There’s nothing better for your skin than … berries,” Brown said, adding that berries were not only high in fiber but full of vitamins that are good for the skin.

They also added hemp seeds.

“Hemp seeds are great, because they make everything creamy. They’re also high in protein. And they have beautiful omega fats in it,” Brown said. “And then I could put anything in from flax seeds to coconut, little bit of bee pollen … if you are someone that likes things sweet, you could put a little bit of stevia in it, a little bit of honey.”

List of Ingredients in Brown’s Smoothie:

  • Water
  • Coconut milk
  • Two scoops protein powder per serving
  • Little bit of cacao nibs
  • Ice
  • One banana
  • Handful of berries
  • Kale leaves
  • One scoop hemp seeds
  • Optional Ingredients
  • Flax seeds
  • Coconut
  • Bee pollen
  • Stevia
  • Honey
  • Agave

Blend it all and enjoy!

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One Dead, 20 Sickened by Botulism After Church Potluck, Hospital Says

peterspiro/iStock/Thinkstock(LANCASTER, Ohio) — One person died and 20 others were sickened with botulism after attending a church potluck in Ohio, according to the hospital that treated the patients.

All of the 21 people brought to the Fairfield Medical Center Emergency Department in Lancaster, Ohio, had attended a potluck on Sunday at the Cross Pointe Free Will Baptist Church in Lancaster.

Of those, five patients were in the Intensive Care Unit/Progressive Care Unit, 10 were transported to Columbus hospitals, and five were being treated in the Emergency Department, the medical center said Tuesday evening.

An anti-toxin was being sent from the Centers for Disease Control and supportive treatment was being provided, the hospital said.

Botulism is a rare paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin. It is not contagious.

Symptoms include double vision, blurred vision, drooping eyelids and difficulty swallowing. Symptoms usually start within 18-36 hours after consuming contaminated food, but can occur up to 10 days post-ingestion.

According to the CDC, there are an average of 145 cases of botulism reported each year. Of these, approximately 15 percent are foodborne, 65 percent are infant botulism, and 20 percent are wound-related. Outbreaks of foodborne botulism involving two or more persons occur most years and are usually caused by home-canned foods, the CDC says.

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Trader Joe’s Recalling Chicken Sausage Products That Could Contain Small Plastic Pieces

Trader Joe’s(NEW YORK) — Trader Joe’s is recalling certain batches of chicken sausage that the company says may contain small plastic pieces.

In a Tuesday announcement, Trader Joe’s acknowledged that there is a possibility that its sweet apple chicken sausage could contain dangerous bits of plastic. Affected products have been removed from store shelves and destroyed, the company said.

Any customers who have purchased the product, specifically packages with “use or freeze by” dates of April 22, April 25 or April 29, is urged to bring it back to any Trader Joe’s location for a refund.

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Australian Researchers Studying Whether Spider Venom Can Help Create New Painkillers

iStock/Thinkstock(QUEENSLAND, Australia) — Researchers in Australia believe that elements of spider toxins could be used to create new painkilling drugs.

A study recently published in the British Journal of Pharmacology notes that chronic pain is a “serious worldwide health issue,” and that current painkillers have limited efficacy and are limited in the doses they can be taken in due to potential side effects. Some spider venoms, however, contain elements that block a specific channel that transmits pain.

The study indicates that about 40 percent of the 205 spider venoms screened contain at least one element that was deemed an inhibitor of hNav 1.7, a sodium channel which, when mutated in a particular way, can make humans indifferent to pain.

“We’ve got a massive library of different venoms from different spider species and we’re branching out into other arachnids: scorpions, centipedes and even assassin bugs,” Dr. Jennifer Smith, a research officer at the University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience told the Wall Street Journal.

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Tennessee Toddler Born Without Feet Gets Puppy Without a Paw

Heidi Heilbrunn/Greenville News(GREENVILLE, S.C.) — Sapphyre Johnson was born a healthy child in Greenville, South Carolina, except for missing some essential features — her feet, fingers and toes.

Since she was three months old, Sapphyre, 3, has been a patient at Shriner’s Hospital for Children, where her mother, Ashley Johnson, said she’s had multiple surgeries to be fitted for prosthetic feet. But for her last visit, Johnson told ABC News, Sapphyre got to leave the hospital with much more than new prosthetics.

“It was two weeks ago when were told that an owner had contacted the hospital about a puppy who was missing one front paw,” said Johnson. “She wanted him to grow up with a child who had similar circumstances.”

After showing Sapphyre a photo of the puppy, Johnson said her toddler fell in love.

“Sapphyre immediately noticed that he was missing a paw,” she said. “She said, ‘He has a foot like mine.'”

The dog’s breeder, Karen Riddle, said that the 9-week-old White German Shepard was born in a litter of nine puppies and was the only one missing a paw.

For that very reason, Riddle said she decided to name him Lt. Dan, after the character from the popular film Forrest Gump who lost both his legs.

“The movie is a heartwarming, loving story, so I said, ‘You’re just like Lt. Dan. It just suited his personality,” she said.

Because of Lt. Dan’s calm demeanor, Riddle coordinated with Shriner’s to hand him off to Sapphyre as a therapy dog. Sapphyre and Lt. Dan went home together Monday.

“It was awesome yesterday,” Riddle said. “We said, ‘Sapphyre show him your feet’ and, oh boy, she threw off her prosthetics and her socks and said, ‘Look!’ Then Lt. Dan put his paw up at the exact same time.”

Although they’ve only been pals for 24 hours, Johnson said Sapphyre and Lt. Dan make the perfect pair.

“He follows her every step she takes, everywhere she goes,” said Johnson. “It’s like they’ve known each other forever.

“We always want Sapphyre to know that being different is not bad,” she added. “People, even pets, no one is exactly the same. That would be boring. I think it’s good for her to see that.”

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5.3M Hens to Be Killed to Stem Bird Flu Outbreak: What You Need to Know

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — In an effort to stop an outbreak of bird flu that could devastate Iowa’s poultry population, state health officials announced they will destroy up to 5.3 million hens to keep the virus from spreading.

The bird flu strain H2N2 has been reported in poultry farms in at least 12 states. Easily spread via migrating birds, the virus has not infected any humans but can quickly decimate a flock in just a few days.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker called in National Guard troops to help disinfect vehicles after the virus was found in three turkey flocks.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert from Vanderbilt Medical Center, said the goal is to interrupt the transmission of the virus so it doesn’t spread further.

“[Officials] are responding by killing 5 million [egg] layer hens,” Schaffner said of Monday’s announcement. “They want to interrupt transmission to the other 45 million hens in Iowa. This is similar to what’s been done on a large scale in Hong Kong.”

While this current strain has not yet infected any humans, Schaffner said researchers are wary of bird flu since if it mutates, the disease can potentially lead to a global pandemic. A person infected with bird flu will have similar symptoms to the seasonal flu but will likely be at a higher risk for having complications or dying from the disease, Schaffner noted.

“At rare times this bird flu virus picks up genetic capacity to be transmitted from person to person, that’s when you get a big new pandemic,” said Schaffner, who stressed the virus is not a problem for consumers who are worried about picking up eggs and poultry at the grocery store.

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‘Skinny Mom’ Debuts Toned Abs a Week After Giving Birth

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Super fit model Sarah Stage spent nine months showing off her insanely toned pregnancy body on Instagram. Less than a week after giving birth, pictures show she’s already bouncing back.

“4 days post baby, total pregnancy weight gain was 28 pounds. I’m excited to resume my workouts in 5 weeks!” the California woman wrote next to an Instagram picture of herself in lingerie just four days after giving birth. Her abs, especially, looked sculpted and defined.

A photo posted by Sara (@sara_stage) on Apr 19, 2015 at 9:36pm PDT

Her 1.3 million Instagram followers are amazed.

“Sara let me tell you have my full respect!!! You have showed the world that you can still be fit while pregnant…,”one follower wrote.

“People should learn from u,” another wrote.

Stage did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News medical contributor and a practicing obstetrician and gynecologist, said she predicted Stage’s body would snap back into shape very quickly.

“She was in excellent shape to start,” Ashton said. “She exercised before her pregnancy and all throughout her pregnancy and she ate well.”

At 8 pounds, 7 ounces, Stage’s son, James Hunter, was no lightweight. But Ashton said because Stage had gained the appropriate amount of weight, she could see her belly would flatten out quickly. It also helped that she is still young and this is her first baby, Ashton added.

And should Stage choose to have another baby, Ashton said she saw no reason why she won’t look just as good the second time around.

“If she does things the way she’s doing them now, there’s an excellent chance things will turn out exactly the same way,” Ashton said.

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Cancer Group Clarifies Confusing Mammography Recommendations

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Women between the ages of 40 to 49 should get a mammography to screen for breast cancer if they’ve weighed the risks and benefits, the United States Preventative Services Task Force said in a statement.

“The group’s top level recommendations that women should begin mammogram testing at age 50 and only schedule them every two years until about age 74 have not changed,” Dr. Michael LeFevre, the immediate past chairman of the task force told ABC News. “We’ve also said in the past that the decision to start screening mammography in women prior to age 50 years should be an individual one, he added.

The group wanted to clarify their position on younger women and mammography, which he admitted might be confusing for some, said LeFevre.

“Younger women should work with their doctors to balance the pros and cons of mammography and make a determination that best fits their situation and values,” LeFevre said. “There is some small benefit but there is also some risk.”

The Task Force recommendations are based on the studies that showed giving mammograms to women every other year from ages 50 to 69 reduces breast cancer deaths by 16.5 percent over a lifetime. If screening starts at age 40 and continues every other year, there’s a 19.5 percent lifetime reduction in deaths from breast cancer. That 3 percent difference roughly translates to saving one woman’s life for every 1,000 who are screened.

At the same time screening younger women also results in a larger number of false positive tests and unnecessary procedures.

A study performed by the University of California at San Francisco found that about half of women who submit to a decade of annual mammograms will be given the harrowing news that their tests are positive when they are actually cancer-free. The women who receive false-positive results will then be subjected to further testing. One in 12 of them will undergo invasive biopsy surgery that carries the risk of complication from anesthesia, scarring and infection.

Getting the screening recommendations right is important. A new study by the National Cancer Institute projects the estimated number of women diagnosed with breast cancer to rise significantly in the coming years.

“The number of cases will be 50 percent higher in 2030 than they were in 2011,” Dr. Philip Rosenberg, one of the study’s lead authors.

Rosenberg said that the increase from 283,000 cases of breast cancer to about 440,000 cases per year in the U.S. will be fueled by a larger and older population as well as an increased rate of certain types of cancers, including some that have a greater chance of being picked up on mammography.

While the study makes no recommendations on screenings, Rosenberg said that his team’s purpose was to come up with a snapshot of what breast cancer might look like in the future.

“We hope this information will be used by the experts in treatment so they chart a better course in the coming years,” he said.

This week’s annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Philadelphia highlights the latest, most exciting discoveries in every area of cancer research. Many of the country’s top cancer investigators attending the conference will be tweeting with the ABC News health team Tuesday at 1 p.m., ET to share their latest insights and discoveries.

Join the chat to learn and tune into our first ever live stream on Periscope. Look for it under the title “Breakthroughs in Cancer Research.”

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First Seizure? Bring on the Medication

Purestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Around 150,000 Americans have their first unprovoked seizure each year.

Traditionally, a first seizure would be met with a “wait and see” approach before starting a course of anti-seizure drugs.

Now, new guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society published in the journal Neurology recommend initiating medical treatment early with anti-epileptic medication.

The groups determined, after reviewing the available evidence, that beginning a medication immediately decreases the risk of having another seizure.

Without medication, researchers say there is up to a 45 percent chance of having another seizure within two years.

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