Review Category : Health

New Show Explores Shocking Extreme Parenting Techniques

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — No one ever said parenting was easy, but these families think they’ve got it all figured out.

Meet the offspring of parents with off-the-wall child-rearing techniques in Bravo’s latest docuseries, Extreme Guide to Parenting.

From “hypno-parenting,” to helicopter and conscious attachment parenting, to push parenting where their child is pushed to be the best, the nine admittedly eccentric households all insist their alternative parenting techniques are the best and that everyone else has it wrong.

The families range from the woman who breastfeeds her school-age child and refuses to vaccinate, to the overbearing Los Angeles gay dads who won’t leave their toddler’s side for a second. And then there’s the family that is adventurous and minimalist, living such a nomadic lifestyle that they don’t inhabit a house but choose to live in their car.

“We may see a family who’s making a choice and it may change the way you think about it, and I think that’s what makes it interesting to viewers,” Maggie Furlong, TV editor at Yahoo, told ABC News.

The families admitted they have unconventional styles of parenting, like the family that punishes their children with physical activities like planks, push-ups and wall sits, or the parents who insist their son plays five sports, knows the United States presidents and can write his name — all at the age of 4.

While it may be television gold, some say this form of reality TV exploits children.

“No. 1, it pits parents against each other,” said Ericka Souter, editor at TheStir.com. “No. 2, it seems less about the children and more about parents. And No. 3, it’s making legitimate parenting choices kind of like a joke.”

No matter how you look at it, they’re taking child-rearing to a whole new level.

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Share the Housework and Some Good Times in Bed

iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) — The great debate about whether men and women should share equally in household chores has been revived, thanks to a Cornell University study that apparently debunks the findings of a University of Washington study that only came out last year.

According to the previous research from 2013, men who partook in so-called feminine chores like cooking and cleaning weren’t as sexually active as guys who stuck to more masculine activities like fixing a leaky faucet.

However, Cornell social demographer Sharon Sassler claims the results were skewed because virtually all of the 4,560 couple surveyed had been together two decades or longer.

For her research, Sassler interviewed couples married no more than 20 years and discovered that men and women who split their chores, even the ones perceived as feminine, enjoyed just as good a sex life as those where the women did most of the heavy lifting around the house.

In fact, the only time when activity in the bedroom fell off was when men reported that they did most of the household work.

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Has the Pressure on New Moms to Be ‘Hot’ Gotten Out of Control?

Destination Maternity(NEW YORK) — If the covers of celebrity magazines are any indication, new moms had better shed those pounds and get back to looking hot, stat. No doubt there’s a lot of pressure on moms to juggle a lot and, now more than ever, to look good while doing it.

But a new line of celebrity-designed, sexy, post-maternity wear has some new mothers questioning if the pressure to look good has just gotten out of hand.

Destination Maternity has just-released Von Follies, a collection by retro-glam burlesque model and dancer Dita Von Teese. It’s sold at Destination Maternity, Motherhood Maternity and A Pea in the Pod stores nationwide.

“There’s already so much pressure around breast feeding and sleep training and everything else that goes along with having a newborn,” said Beth Nielsen, mom to a 3-month-old girl. “Now I have to worry about looking sexy while nursing too?”

Von Teese doesn’t have children of her own, but said she believes lingerie should be glamorous and functional.

“Elegant underpinnings are a simple way to create everyday moments of luxury and beauty,” she said in a news release, “and why wouldn’t a new mother enjoy beautiful lingerie, too?”

The line includes three kinds of postpartum shaper underwear and five nursing bras, including one for sleeping.

Some moms are happy to have a better-looking option for post-maternity lingerie than what’s been traditionally available.

Alison Mitzner, mother of a toddler and a 6-month-old, said that although there’s “definitely pressure on us even while nursing,” which she plans to do for another six months, she appreciates choices.

“I would definitely wear prettier options as long as they are comfortable,” she said.

Meri Barr, a nursing mom of a 14-month-old, agreed.

“I’m still breastfeeding my daughter, but am still wearing the same basic bras,” she said. “It would be great to have something in black lace or something similar that I can wear under work- or evening dresses.”

Experts agree there’s a place for sexy post-maternity wear in the marketplace.

“In a survey we just did about pregnancy and body image, our moms told us that looking sexy and desirable to their partner is important to them during and after pregnancy,” said Linda Murray, BabyCenter global editor-in-chief. “Pregnancy affects a woman’s body in profound ways, and moms today seem to have a sense of pride for what they’ve accomplished. It’s refreshing to see products that are encouraging moms to embrace their bodies.”

As for all those celebs flaunting their fabulously fit post-baby bodies?

“For celebrities, it’s their job to look good and they have the resources and time to get back into shape quickly,” said Jenna Autuori-Dedic, fitness editor at Fitness Magazine and mother to a 7-week-old baby. “I think new moms, and moms in general, need to readjust their expectations and realize that celebrities are not people they should compare themselves to.”

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Worry More About Lightning, Not Floods

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — The odds being killed by a lightning strike are something like 700,000 to one, and yet, most everyone ducks for cover with they see an electrical storm in the distance.

Even with those long odds, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there’s another weather event that’s even less likely to cause death, and that’s floods.

In fact, the CDC says that between 2006 and 2010, just 93 people in the U.S. died in a flood, compared to the 182 killed by lightning during the same period.

All told, according to the CDC, close to 10,650 people died as the result of a weather event in that five-year span, which took into account extreme heat and cold, lightning, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards.

What killed more Americans than any other weather calamity was cold or hypothermia, which accounted for 6,660 deaths. Heat stroke or sun stroke was next, with 3,340 fatalities.

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Scientists Developing Test to Detect Caffeine in Drinks, Food

Ingram Publishing/ Thinkstock(IOWA CITY, Iowa) — Many parents have used home drug tests to determine if their children are taking illicit substances. However, not everything has to be against the law to be dangerous when used in large amounts. Too much caffeine, for instance, can result in insomnia and hallucinations, and in extreme cases has been linked to cancer and even death.

As a result, Mani Subramanian and his colleagues from the University of Iowa are developing a way for people to learn if there are even small traces of caffeine in their food or drinks.

By using an enzyme called caffeine dehydrogenase, Subramanian was able to find caffeine within one minute in a variety of drinks — with the exception, curiously, of tea.

The plan is to make the enzyme available commercially in the form of a dip stick. It certainly will come in handy, since Subramanian and his team say that caffeine is included in over 570 beverages and 150 foods.

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California Company Recalls Food Linked to Botulism

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — A California company has issued a recall on food that may be linked to botulism.

Two botulism infection cases might be tied to the pine nut basil pesto sauce made by VR Green Farms, a company that sells food products online.

VR Green Farms has recalled the pesto as well as a pickled farm mix, Old World tomato sauce, sun dried tomatoes in olive oil, Tuscan grilling sauce, and pasta sauce.

Health workers say botulism — a rare infection caused by toxins in bacteria — can be fatal.

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Two Americans With Ebola to Be Flown Back to US

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Two American patients stricken with Ebola are to be flown from Africa to the United States, ABC News has learned.

There are plans to transfer a patient with Ebola virus infection to Emory University Hospital’s special facility containment unit within the next several days, hospital officials said today in a statement. Officials added that it’s unclear when the patient will arrive in Atlanta.

“Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases,” hospital officials said. “It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation. It is one of only four such facilities in the country.”

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Two Americans With Ebola to Be Flown Back to US

iStock/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) — Two American patients stricken with Ebola are to be flown from Africa to the United States, ABC News has learned.

There are plans to transfer a patient with Ebola virus infection to Emory University Hospital’s special facility containment unit within the next several days, hospital officials said today in a statement. Officials added that it’s unclear when the patient will arrive in Atlanta.

“Emory University Hospital has a specially built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases,” hospital officials said. “It is physically separate from other patient areas and has unique equipment and infrastructure that provide an extraordinarily high level of clinical isolation. It is one of only four such facilities in the country.”

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Consumer Reports: FDA Should Make Painkillers Safer

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Consumer Reports is calling on the Food and Drug Administration to make painkillers safer.

According to Consumer Reports, every day, 46 people die and more than 1,000 go to emergency rooms because they’re taking legal drugs to kill pain.

Consumer Reports says it’s time for the FDA to require mandatory training so doctors know how to prescribe opioid painkillers — like oxycodone and hydrocodone — and also how to properly monitor patients for signs of tolerance, abuse, and dependence.

According to Lisa Gill, deputy content editor of Consumer Reports, there should also be tighter regulations on acetaminophen — the main ingredient in Tylenol — because too much can lead to liver failure.

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Why We Don’t Have an Ebola Vaccine Yet

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Though Ebola was first discovered nearly four decades ago, there’s still no vaccine that’s regularly administered to humans to prevent it.

But why?

“There’s always the layperson’s query of ‘Why don’t they rush this? ‘Why don’t these guys work a little later at night?'” said Dr. Willian Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. “It’s a little more complicated than that.”

Because Ebola cases are so rare, drug manufacturers hadn’t been interested in investing in finding its vaccine, Schaffner said. In addition, Ebola’s rarity makes it impossible for scientists to do field studies, which they were able to do with viruses like measles, which people were likely to be exposed to anyway because it was so common.

Before this current outbreak, there had been only about 2,000 cases in total since it was discovered in 1976, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health.

However, the current Ebola outbreak in Africa has infected 1,323 people in three countries and killed 729 of them, making it the largest Ebola outbreak to date, according to the World Health Organization.

The dire situation in Africa has prompted more than 4,500 people to sign a Change.org petition to fast track Ebola vaccines and drugs within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — something that’s actually been in the works since March, Fauci said.

The NIH’s Ebola vaccine has been studied in monkeys and is set to begin its first phase I clinical trial in humans sometime in September, Fauci said. If it is successful, it will take until mid- to late-2015 before a limited number of vaccine doses would be ready to administer to health care workers, he said.

The clinical trial participants won’t be exposed to the Ebola virus, Fauci said. Instead, they’ll stay in the U.S., where they’ll be given a dose of the vaccine and tested to see if their antibody levels match the levels shown in monkey studies to protect the monkeys from Ebola. Scientists will also be watching for adverse reactions to the vaccine to make sure it is safe.

Since the locals already fear the health care workers, wrongly blaming them for bringing Ebola to their villages, Schaffner and Fauci said making sure the vaccine is safe is extremely important.

“That’s the case whenever you have terror and fright and death and people being extraordinarily frightened of things they don’t understand,” Fauci said.

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