Review Category : Health

Smartphone Notifications Just as Distracting as Texts and Calls, Study Finds

iStock/Thinkstock(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Smartphones are undeniably sources of major distraction, but it may be worse than you thjink. A new study shows even push notifications — those little messages you get on your phone from different apps and subscriptions — have the power to sidetrack us.

Researchers at Florida State University tested the effect of push notifications on a set of 150 students. The test required students to push a button whenever a number flashed on a screen, except if the number was 3. With no notifications, students performed just fine, but even when just the sound for a text or call came into the picture, performance dwindled considerably.

“Although these notifications are generally short in duration, they can prompt task-irrelevant thoughts, or mind-wandering,” said researchers in a paper published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance.

Researchers say notifications “disrupt performance on an attention-demanding task, even when participants do not directly interact with a mobile device during the task.”

In other words, just because you’re talking or texting on your mobile phone doesn’t mean it can’t be a distraction. Eyes on the road, kids.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Lack of Sleep May Impair Facial Expression Judgment

iStock/Thinkstock(BERKELEY, Calif.) — Everyone knows lack of sleep can make impair any number of things, including judgment. Now a new study seems to show that includes how to judge the facial expressions of others.

Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley tested 18 young adults aged 18 to 30 on their ability to categorize 70 facial expressions as “threatening” or “non-threatening,” both while well-rested and while sleep deprived. The results: the sleep-deprived people were more likely to judge expressions as threatening.

“Insufficient sleep removes the rose tint to our emotional world causing an overestimation of threat,” said senior author Matthew Walker. “This may explain why people who report getting too little sleep are less social and more lonely.”

Co-author Andrea Goldstein-Piekarski adds the finding also has potentially serious implications for people in high-stress environments: “Consider the implications for students pulling all-nighters, emergency-room medical staff, military fighters in war zones and police officers on graveyard shifts.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Sushi Sickens 62, CDC Reports

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — It’s the revenge of the tuna roll.

A widespread salmonella outbreak partially linked to sushi reportedly infected 62 people in 11 states, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The outbreak was linked to a catch of frozen yellowfin tuna that had been processed in Indonesia and sold by the Osamu Corporation, according to the CDC. Some of the fish was sold to the AFC Corporation for use in grocery store sushi.

“Most ill people in the outbreak reported eating sushi made with raw tuna in the week before becoming sick,” the CDC said in a statement.

The Osamu Corporation voluntarily recalled the frozen yellowfin tuna meat processed from that plant and sold to AFC, according to the FDA. The FDA also says that AFC “has removed the product from the marketplace and is destroying any remaining product it has”. This was because “the Minnesota Department of Health Investigators found samples … from one retail location in Minnesota to be contaminated with Salmonella”. Both the Osamu Corporation and the AFC Corporation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical School, said that the outbreak underscores the need for “excellent surveillance … [so that] when something like this happens we can minimize the impact.”

He added that the vigilance is more imperative as food arrives from places where the Food and Drug Administration has no presence.

“Again, it emphasizes that it is a small village out there,” Schaffner told ABC News. “Not only do people travel around the world, but foodstuffs travel around the world. … The FDA can’t be at every fishing port in Indonesia and around the world.”

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps that can appear 12 to 72 hours after exposure, according to the CDC. The CDC advises pregnant women, senior citizens and anyone immunocompromised to avoid eating raw fish.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Brooklyn Decker Reveals Personal Connection to Mission of Special Olympics

Charles Sykes/Bravo(NEW YORK) — Brooklyn Decker, the actress and supermodel, is now a global ambassador for the Special Olympics, and it’s all because of one woman: her aunt, Tara Moore.

“She was born without her corpus callosum, which connects the left and right hemispheres of the brain,” Decker said.

Because of that, Tara, now 40, is “very much like a 9-year-old,” Decker said in an interview with Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, adding: “that is, the most fun, free-spirited, wonderful 9-year-old you could ever know.”

As an ambassador for the Special Olympics World Games starting Saturday in Los Angeles, being an advocate for the improvement of the lives of the intellectually disabled is a mission that’s dear to Decker’s heart.

She says she’s seen the Special Olympics make a change in the life of her aunt, who has participated in the Special Olympics, in sports including tennis and basketball.

Oftentimes, people with intellectual disabilities don’t have their own community of friends or hobbies they can do on their own, she said.

“Special Olympics provides that for [Tara] and athletes like her,” she said.

Even though Tara was 13 years old when Decker was born, mentally and emotionally they both remained on the same page for several years. They were more like siblings than aunt and niece.

“I remember we’d steal dolls from each other very young, you know,” said Decker, 28. “I think it started changing when I was around 6 or 7 years old. I started realizing, ‘Oh, I’m growing out of certain things.’ And, ‘Oh, I’m coloring differently than Tara is.’ I was aware that something was different about Tara, something was special about her.”

Her aunt has taught her a great deal, Decker said, noting that being around someone with a disability teaches awareness that someone might otherwise not have.

“I think people want to be tolerant and accepting and understanding, but until they’re exposed to it, they don’t know how to be,” Decker said. “And so Tara taught me that at a very young age.”

Decker and Tara also learned the effects of hurtful words.

Tessa Decker, Brooklyn’s mother, talked about a hearing a conversation between Tara and their mother.

“I remember Tara asking my mom, ‘Mom, am I ‘tarded’? That’s what she used to call it. And my mom said, ‘No Tara, you’re smart. And it was like, ‘Whoa. She’s hearing it from somewhere.’ And that gets at the heart,” she said.

Tara enjoys a full and active life, and is especially close to Brooklyn Decker’s husband, pro tennis player Andy Roddick.

“I think she worships my husband and loves him more than me,” Decker said, laughing. “I think she would choose Andy over me any day of the week.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Tears Flow When Kids Serenade Their Teacher Fighting Cancer

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Sometimes students drive their teachers to tears for all the wrong reasons.

But in this case, these kids gave Adriana Lopez all the right reasons to cry.

The PS22 chorus from the largest public elementary school in Staten Island, New York — made up of 65 fifth-graders — serenaded Lopez, who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer.

They chose the Martina McBride song “I’m Gonna Love You Through It.”

“The Martina McBride song has become an anthem for breast cancer awareness, so the song selection made perfect sense,” said Gregg Breinberg, director of the PS22 chorus. “Lisa [Kochman, who filmed the video] and I felt the kids were up to the emotional and physical challenge of bringing that song to life for her as a gesture of support for Adriana’s extreme dedication to her students.”

“Even on days when she was sick and fatigued, she would bring herself to work and give her everything to her students,” said Breinberg. “She is a beautiful and inspiring person and no one deserves such a tribute more than she.”

Lopez could not be reached for comment by ABC News.

The video, posted to YouTube on Tuesday, has been viewed over 1 million times.

“The kids were very emotional while practicing the song, lots of tears, they’re very sensitive, very soulful little people,” Breinberg said. “Don’t let their ages fool you. And they kept it together when she came in for the performance and showered her with hugs and flowers after it was over. It was a moment no one in the room will ever forget.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Your Body: Are You Experiencing Premature Menopause?

iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Menopause is bittersweet, but it can sometimes seem like a little bit of a rite of passage — just not when it comes too soon.

If you’ve noticed common menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, irregular periods and dryness, and you’re under or around age 40, talk to your doctor about possible treatments. There are both hormonal and non-hormonal options.

And if you were hoping to be a mom, talk with your physician or a fertility specialist about alternative methods, such as egg donation or adoption.

Don’t let menopause stop you in your tracks, even if you didn’t expect it. With the right steps, you can still be in control.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Birth Order May Have Less to Do With Personality than You Think

iStock/Thinkstock(CHAMPAIGN, Ill.) — We’ve all probably heard it before — the oldest child is bossy, the middle child has issues, and the youngest child in the family is spoiled, right? But if you really think you and your siblings are the way you are because of your birth order, you’re probably wrong.

A new study on the correlation between sibling birth order, personality and intelligence shows while differences may occur among siblings, the actual real-world impact may be insignificant.

This study, conducted by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and said to be the largest one of its kind to date, challenges common notions that the firstborn is the most intelligent and responsible, the middle child is the peacekeeper, and the youngest is the most rebellious. While researchers did find differences in siblings that followed the typical trend, such as the firstborn having a higher IQ and distinct personality traits, those differences were very minor.

“This is a very small difference that would not be visible in any way with the ‘naked eye,’ and it’s unlikely to be meaningful for any real-world outcomes,” wrote Dr. Rodica Damian, a co-author of the study and psychology professor at the University of Houston, in an email to The Huffington Post.

Researchers believe this particular study produced such different results from conventional wisdom because the sample was much larger and didn’t rely on often biased parental testimonies. The differences parents see in their kids are believed to come more from how the parents raise each child — and the way they raise each kid is usually in keeping with how mom and dad feel their kids will behave due to their birth order. In other words, the kids behave that way because mom and dad raise their kids to be that way because they believe the kids are that way. Got it?

Also, says Damian, “Personality changes over time, especially with age, so parents should be mindful of their kids’ life stages and realize that whatever differences they see are likely due to age.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Birth Order May Have Less to Do With Personality than You Think

iStock/Thinkstock(CHAMPAIGN, Ill.) — We’ve all probably heard it before — the oldest child is bossy, the middle child has issues, and the youngest child in the family is spoiled, right? But if you really think you and your siblings are the way you are because of your birth order, you’re probably wrong.

A new study on the correlation between sibling birth order, personality and intelligence shows while differences may occur among siblings, the actual real-world impact may be insignificant.

This study, conducted by scientists at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and said to be the largest one of its kind to date, challenges common notions that the firstborn is the most intelligent and responsible, the middle child is the peacekeeper, and the youngest is the most rebellious. While researchers did find differences in siblings that followed the typical trend, such as the firstborn having a higher IQ and distinct personality traits, those differences were very minor.

“This is a very small difference that would not be visible in any way with the ‘naked eye,’ and it’s unlikely to be meaningful for any real-world outcomes,” wrote Dr. Rodica Damian, a co-author of the study and psychology professor at the University of Houston, in an email to The Huffington Post.

Researchers believe this particular study produced such different results from conventional wisdom because the sample was much larger and didn’t rely on often biased parental testimonies. The differences parents see in their kids are believed to come more from how the parents raise each child — and the way they raise each kid is usually in keeping with how mom and dad feel their kids will behave due to their birth order. In other words, the kids behave that way because mom and dad raise their kids to be that way because they believe the kids are that way. Got it?

Also, says Damian, “Personality changes over time, especially with age, so parents should be mindful of their kids’ life stages and realize that whatever differences they see are likely due to age.”

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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New Store Lets You Breathe Your Booze

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Wish you could get drunk without filling up on booze? Now you can — in the U.K., at least.

U.K.-based food art collective Bompas & Parr is set to open a store called Alcoholic Architecture, where you can actually inhale alcohol, reports The Daily Meal. The store will provide a “fully immersive alcohol environment” by allowing guests to walk through a cloud of misty cocktails.

The site will open near one of the U.K.’s oldest gothic cathedrals, so all mists will be made using spirits and beers originally created by monks. Like alcohol, the breathable buzz enters the body through the bloodstream, only via the lungs, so the company warns people to “breathe responsibly.” However, it’s unlikely you could inhale enough to get seriously buzzed, especially given tour sessions are limited to one hour.

Alcoholic Architecture will be open from July 31 until early 2016, and, of course, only permits those of legal drinking age to participate — that’s 18 years old in the U.K.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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New Store Lets You Breathe Your Booze

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Wish you could get drunk without filling up on booze? Now you can — in the U.K., at least.

U.K.-based food art collective Bompas & Parr is set to open a store called Alcoholic Architecture, where you can actually inhale alcohol, reports The Daily Meal. The store will provide a “fully immersive alcohol environment” by allowing guests to walk through a cloud of misty cocktails.

The site will open near one of the U.K.’s oldest gothic cathedrals, so all mists will be made using spirits and beers originally created by monks. Like alcohol, the breathable buzz enters the body through the bloodstream, only via the lungs, so the company warns people to “breathe responsibly.” However, it’s unlikely you could inhale enough to get seriously buzzed, especially given tour sessions are limited to one hour.

Alcoholic Architecture will be open from July 31 until early 2016, and, of course, only permits those of legal drinking age to participate — that’s 18 years old in the U.K.

Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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