Review Category : Health

Dove Ad Highlights a Mother’s Impact on Daughter’s Self-Esteem

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Dove’s buzzy new short film titled “Legacy” asks women to share how they feel about their bodies, but then poses the same question to their daughters.

“My number one hate on my body is… ,” one mother begins reading in the advertisement. “My eyes are wonky,” another finishes. “My bigger arms” or “I have very big legs,” two other women say.

The powerful ad shows mothers just how much their behavior can leave a lasting impact on their daughter’s lives.

“Oh, she said her thighs too, didn’t she?,” one mom reacted after hearing her little girl’s similar response.

“I don’t like my arms and she doesn’t like her arms either,” realized another.

“She really picks up a lot of my ways. She really does,” one more noted, shocked by her daughter’s similarities to her own insecurities.

It’s an issue Babble.com blogger Jeannette Kaplun, of Aventura, Florida, experienced first-hand.

The naturally curly-haired mother says she straightens her hair for special occasions — a simple act that, just like in the Dove film, has made her young daughter, Sofia, question her own beauty.

“My daughter actually told me, ‘Straight hair is beautiful, curly hair isn’t,’” Kaplun told ABC News of her daughter’s remarks. “’Anytime you want to look extra pretty, you straighten out your hair.’”

It wasn’t the only lifestyle decision that appeared to rub off on 9-year-old Sofia. She also picked up on Kaplun’s efforts to lose a few pounds.

“I don’t want her to be obsessed by her weight,” said Kaplun.

Now she says she is more careful about the comments she makes about her appearance.

“I realized I’m not doing a great job as a mom if she is thinking these contradictions and it’s making her doubt her own beauty,” Kaplun explained.

The mothers featured in Dove’s film had the same surprised reaction.

“Looking at it, she really picks up a lot of my ways. She really does,” one noticed.

“How I feel about myself really affects how she feels about herself,” another added.

The advertisement closes with the remarks, “The way a girl feels about her beauty starts with how you feel about yours. What’s your beauty legacy?”

For these moms, it has opened their eyes to thinking twice before they open their mouths to say something negative about their bodies, especially in front of their young daughters.

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Deep-Fried Candy Bars May Be Hazardous to Your Health

iStock/Thinkstock(GLASGOW, Scotland) — Candy is dandy but deep-fried candy bars are really tasty.

The problem, according to a report in the Scottish Medical Journal, is that these sugary and fatty confections normally sold at state fairs could put you in serious medical jeopardy.

In fact, the researchers from Glasgow say that a deep-fried Mars bar may increase the risk of a sudden stroke by slowing blood flow to the brain.

Their small study of 24 participants found that men with narrow arteries may be playing Russian roulette if they consume a deep-fried candy bar as blood flow was found to “moderately” decrease in as little as an hour-and-a-half.

However, women didn’t seem to have the same reaction after they ate one.

The researchers say a lot more research is needed to confirm the possible dangers of deep-fried candy bars.

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Researchers: Choosing Soda Could Be Bad for Kids’ Bone Health

Aleksandar-Pal Sakala/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say soda may cause problems for children’s bone health, particularly if it leads to children drinking less milk.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, points to the importance of calcium in children, and notes that choosing soda over beverages containing calcium is one route that could lead to poor bone health. Past research has also noted that the phosphate in sodas can bind with calcium, preventing its use in strengthening bones.

The researchers say that nearly 25 percent of high school students drink some kind of soda daily. That drink selection can put children at risk of weaker bones as they age.

The American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines, recommending that children avoid carbonated beverages.

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What America’s Richest Man Thinks We Should Do About Ebola

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — America’s richest man has a plan to fight Ebola, and he isn’t shy about trumpeting its greatest benefactor: the United States.

In his first interview since donating $50 million to counter the quickly-expanding threat of Ebola in West Africa, Bill Gates outlined the obligations America has in shaping the institutions that will curb the crisis.

He told an intimate audience at the Bank of America building in Washington, D.C., on Monday that the Ebola outbreak is “a great example of where the world needs to come together.”

The $50 million pledge through his foundation is intended to “scale up” the fight, letting the money be released in “flexible funds” to United Nations agencies and global organizations that can purchase medical supplies and support facilities treating the outbreak.

Gates also cited the expertise of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as being evidence of America’s responsibility to step in and help. He referred to America’s ability to counteract health crises as being “the best in the world.”

“The U.S. is the leader in being able to move into areas like this,” he said.

After President Obama told the U.N. last Thursday that the crisis is “a marathon, but you have to run it like a sprint,” Gates echoed the urgency, telling the audience that “the next few months will be really tense.” To effectively stop the spread, Gates said he believes the appropriate infrastructure must be in place within the next month.

“What happens when you have people panic is that the entire health system shuts down,” he said.

Politico, which hosted the highly-choreographed event, inadvertently caused a clumsy exchange about a key issue in the Ebola emergency: the success and timeliness of the global reaction to the outbreak.

Politico’s White House correspondent Mike Allen, who moderated the event with Politico editor Susan Glasser, promoted a new article on the website that details the criticisms of the response to the calamity. But Gates was unconvinced.

“Unless you have an algorithm for the future…I’m pretty impressed with how quickly people have stepped up on this,” he said.

Though he said he believes the epidemic “would have been caught a month or two before it was” had the sufficient systems been in place, Gates nevertheless praised Congress’ generosity: at least $175 million has been committed by the U.S. government, and the U.S. military is looking to give $500 million in “humanitarian assistance” that would be redirected from its budget. Almost 3,000 American troops have been mobilized to offer support to field hospitals and training facilities for health employees.

“There’s an overall approach now,” Gates said. “And the U.S. as usual on world problems [is] stepping up both in terms of the science, the understanding, and now the U.S. military’s logistic ability to get supplies in and create field hospitals that are critical.”

“If we can stop Ebola when it’s just these three countries [Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Guinea]…building back up primary health care should be pretty straightforward,” he added.

The eventual goal should be to not just rely on American and global institutions, but to encourage a kind of grassroots support for bearing the burden, Gates said.

“Getting as many Americans out in action to see this ..that’s our best tool,” he said.

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University of Michigan Coach Defends Use of Dazed Quarterback

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — University of Michigan football coach Brady Hoke defended his team’s handling of quarterback Shane Morris, who stayed in Saturday’s game despite appearing dazed and wobbly following a vicious hit.

“We would never ever put a guy on the field when there is a possibility with head trauma,” Hoke said at a news conference Monday.

He added, “Guys play beat up every day.”

Morris, already suffering from a leg injury in the fourth quarter of the 30-14 loss, was steamrolled by Minnesota’s Theiren Cockran, sending the quarterback sprawling backward.

Morris flipped on the ground and grabbed his facemask. Upon standing, the quarterback appeared wobbly and shaky, leaning on a teammate for support. Despite being visibly dazed, Morris remained in the game for the next play — and even waved off someone on the sideline, possibly signaling that he wanted to play. He returned for another play later in the quarter.

Hoke said his quarterback remained in the game “because he felt like he could still play.”

Following the game, Hoke said he didn’t know Morris was wobbling and he made the decision to keep Morris on the field.

“I didn’t see it,” he said. “I can only answer for me.”

“Shane wanted to be the quarterback, and so, believe me, if he didn’t want to be, he would’ve come to the sideline or stayed down,” Hoke said Monday. “I would never put a kid in that situation never have and never will. You get into this to coach kids, believe me, and that’s what this game is all about.”

Hoke said only medical staff members can determine if and when an injured player can return to action. Michigan does not provide details about the health status of any of its players.

“[Morris] was evaluated by our experienced athletic trainers and team physicians, and we’re confident proper medical decisions were made,” Hoke said in a statement on Sunday. “The University of Michigan has a distinguished group of certified athletic trainers and team physicians who are responsible for determining whether or not a player is physically able to play. Our coaches have no influence or authority to make determinations if or when an injured player returns to competition.”

Concussions have been an ongoing focal point in football. A documentary and book released last year, both titled League of Denial, investigated traumatic brain injuries in the professional ranks, and retired players and the NFL faced off in court over a class-action settlement.

Awareness has also shifted to the collegiate ranks. This season, two Division I football quarterbacks — the University of Connecticut’s Casey Cochran and University of Texas QB David Ash — called it quits after sustaining multiple concussions.

Dr. Kelley Anderson, a sports medicine physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, said it’s important for team personnel to be vigilant about concussion concerns, especially with players doing all they can to stay on the field.

“When [players] take multiple hits like that, you’ve got to watch them,” Anderson said. “So often, these athletes will minimize their symptoms.”

ESPN’s injury analyst Stephania Bell said the University of Michigan could have handled the situation differently, given the potential for a concussion.

“You can’t make the diagnosis purely on observation, but there were certainly elements that you saw in his behavior that raise concern,” she said.

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Up Close with Patients in the Throes of Ebola

ABC NewsREPORTER’S NOTEBOOK By ABC News’ Dr. Richard Besser

(MONROVIA, Liberia) — “First thing was the headache,” a Liberian teen tells me.

I’ve arrived in a remote village with a medical team from The International Medical Corps to take him to an Ebola treatment unit.

Ten days ago, the teen, a local bishop’s son named Boimah, shared a room with a community healer who died from Ebola last Tuesday, he says. Now, Boimah appears to have the deadly virus, too.

After the headache, there were body aches, Boimah says, then fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Now, he has sores and it hurts to swallow. When he opens his mouth, we can see blood on his teeth coming from his gums.

Before we arrived, Boimah’s father walked four hours to a district hospital to get help, but he only came home with antibiotics, painkillers and advice to come back if things got worse. It took some convincing, but he eventually persuaded his county health officer to call the Ebola Treatment Unit in Bong County.

I am embedded with USAID, following a team from the nonprofit International Medical Corps on their hunt for Ebola patients in rural Liberia. The village where I met Boimah is our second stop of the day.

It’s impossible to travel anywhere quickly. We start the day weaving our way down the road out of Monrovia using both lanes, trying to avoid oncoming cars, trucks and the teeth-jarring potholes caused by the long rainy season. We are in two large white SUV’s and ahead of us, the International Medical Corps are driving two makeshift ambulances — pickup trucks outfitted with metal frames and covered with bright orange tarps.

Outside the town of Kakata, we are stopped at a checkpoint. “Everyone out,” one of the guards tells us. No one passes without having his or her temperature checked.

A fever in Liberia is more likely due to malaria than Ebola, but these checkpoints are one way the government is trying to contain the outbreak. We walk up the little hill to the cement shelter where a young woman with an infrared thermometer holds court. “36 degrees” Celsius, she shows me after holding it next to my temple. I don’t have a fever. Those who do are detained until a medical team can assess them.

Our first pickup of the day is in a village called Mahwa, a small cluster of wood and mud houses. Garmai, a young mother, sits on a stool in her outdoor kitchen, holding her listless baby son, Freeman, on her lap. He’s not quite a year old and he’s breathing rapidly. I can see his belly pulling in with each breath, while his arms just hang at his sides.

Freeman’s father and grandmother have Ebola and are in the Ebola treatment unit in Bong County, where we will be heading for the night. While the woman feels fine, it’s clear her baby does not. He’s hot to the touch and has not been eating. No diarrhea or vomiting, but he’s had a cough.

Freeman sleeps with his parents on a common sleeping mat in the cramped quarters behind them, she says. The opportunity for exposure was there.

Though the baby might have Ebola, it’s also possible he has pneumonia, a common killer of young children in its own right. He needed to get to the treatment center for testing and care.

As they climbed into the back of the ambulance, a crowd of villagers looked on approvingly. Mahwa is unique among rural Liberian villages because it welcomes health workers and believes that taking patients to treatment centers is the best approach for everyone. They even told me about how they are washing their hands to prevent the disease from spreading.

With Garmai and Freeman in the ambulance, we moved on to pick up Boimah in a village two hours away.

“He’s a good boy. Very hardworking. The doctors will help him,” his father said.

The look on his face was one of hope mixed with despair. He told me of the beloved healer who had likely infected his son.

“He was a great man. A beloved man. He took care of me.” He pulled up his pants leg to show me where the healer had stitched up an old leg wound. “If he hadn’t had Ebola, everyone would have come to his funeral. Now, we couldn’t even say goodbye.”

Then, as Boimah climbed into the orange ambulance for the four-hour ride to the Ebola treatment unit, a rainbow arced across the sky. On a day full of trepidation and disease, a much needed sign of hope.

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Paralysis Link Suspected as Enterovirus Spreads

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — Simon Humphrey spent nine days in a Colorado hospital room fighting for his life.

Humphrey, 13, is one of hundreds of children across the country stricken by Enterovirus 68.

He later had problems moving his limbs.

“I couldn’t move my legs,” he told ABC affiliate KMGH-TV in Denver. “The muscles in my arms could barely lift the weight of my hands.”

Humphrey is showing signs of improvement after the temporary paralysis. But his struggle reflects an emerging concern; young patients with respiratory infections later having trouble moving their arms and legs.

Investigators with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are searching for links between Enterovirus D-68 and paralysis. Nine patients at Children’s Hospital Colorado — all age 18 or younger — have experienced some level of paralysis. Four of the patients tested positive for Enterovirus D-68 but, so far, doctors have not confirmed a link between the respiratory infections and paralysis. Experts say it could take a week before conclusive test results emerge.

Six of the eight children tested were found to be positive for a rhinovirus or enterovirus, and four of those cases were found to be the Enterovirus 68. The other two cases were still pending.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, said it’s important for officials to understand the scope of the problem.

“In a circumstance like that, the virus actually infects the central nervous system, the spinal cord, causes injury to some of the cells, and that’s what causes the paralysis,” Schaffner said.

Dr. Larry Wolk, the chief medical officer and executive director for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said the paralysis is rare but could be permanent.

“Parents ask, ‘Why? Why my child or why not my child?’” Wolk said. “And it’s a question we can’t answer because we don’t really know why some of these kids go on to develop this type of serious complication.”

Enterovirus D-68 is confirmed or suspected in 45 states. Authorities are investigating whether the virus killed a 4-year-old New Jersey boy Thursday.

Doctors are urging parents to keep a close eye on sick children.

“When your child is not acting the way you would expect with a cold symptom, that’s when you need to access care,“ Dr. Christine Nyquist of Children’s Hospital Colorado said. “Breathing difficulty and wheezing is important to deal with.”

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Talk Therapy Is Best for Overcoming Social Anxiety

iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) — The best way to treat social anxiety disorder, which can literally paralyze people in social situations, is through talk therapy more so than drugs.

That’s the finding of a John Hopkins University study, which looked at a disorder affecting millions of Americans.

“Social anxiety is more than just shyness,” says study leader Evan Mayo-Wilson.

Mayo-Wilson says social anxiety goes far beyond ordinary shyness because the disorder can prevent people from establishing relationships or getting ahead at school or work.

In a meta-analysis of more than 13,000 participants from 100 clinical trials, it was discovered that cognitive behavioral therapy was more effective in getting people to deal with their social anxiety than either antidepressants or a combination of therapy and drugs.

Cognitive behavioral therapy predominantly focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Through talking, patients are able to overcome irrational fears that often lead to avoiding social situations.

Perhaps more significantly, many don’t lapse back into social anxiety after CBT is over.

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CDC Investigates Limb Paralysis in Children After Enterovirus 68 Outbreak

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating whether limb weakness and paralysis in nine children could be connected to the far-reaching outbreak of the respiratory disease Enterovirus 68.

The CDC released a statement on Saturday saying nine children in Denver had reported a neurologic illness that led to some limb weakness or paralyzation. All of the children had reported having a kind of respiratory virus before showing symptoms of limb weakness.

Six of the eight children tested were found to be positive for a rhinovirus or enterovirus and four of those cases were found to be the Enterovirus 68. The other two cases were still pending.

Dr. Larry Wolk, the chief medical officer and executive director for Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, said that the children affected range in age from 1 to 18, with an average age of 10.

“It is a spectrum of arm or leg weakness that can be as mild weakness or as severe as paralysis,” Wolk said. “What ties them all together though are findings of spots or lesions in the grey matter of the spinal cord on MRI scans.”

Medical officials have not determined whether the Enterovirus 68 virus caused the neurological symptoms, but the CDC is asking other medical workers to report any similar cases as the outbreak of the enterovirus 68 continues to spread throughout the U.S.

According to the report, there were signs of infection in the spinal fluid, but no evidence of a specific virus in the spinal fluid. Tests for viruses that could cause similar reactions including West Nile and Polio were negative.

Wolk cautioned that parents should be aware but not panicked by the findings.

“It’s a pretty rare complication and not unexpected with this kind of viruses,” Wolk said. “You hear about this nine with this complication, what you’re not hearing about is that thousands or hundreds of thousands” just have a cold.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said he found the report “sobering” but that more research needs to be done to discover the cause.

“From time to time other Enteroviruses can behave very sporadically like the polio virus,” Schaffner said. “The leading candidate is indeed this Enterovirus D-68. Having said that … further investigations are going on with the children.”

Schaffner explained the CDC alert will help officials figure out the scope of the problem and to see if it can be attributed to the enterovirus 68.

The enterovirus 68 has been reported in at least 40 states and confirmed in at least 277 people according to the CDC. However, since the symptoms of the virus, which can include coughing, fever and runny nose, can appear mild, the number of those infected could be exponentially larger than what has been reported.

The virus has appeared to have more of an effect on some children with asthma, leading a small number to need help breathing. No deaths have been attributed to the virus in this outbreak.

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Police Officers Collect Unused Prescription Drugs for National Take Back Day

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Time to toss those pills sitting in your medicine cabinet– Saturday is the last annual National Prescription Drug Take Back day.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, police officers across the country are collecting expired, unneeded, or unwanted prescription drugs– no questions asked. Authorities then discard the drugs safely.

Officials say the collection aims to reduce drug abuse and overdoses.

This marks the last annual event, because starting next month, pharmacies, hospitals, and police departments will begin accepting old medicines throughout the year.

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