Review Category : Health

Breastfeeding Reduces Recurrence of Breast Cancer

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — The well-documented benefits of breastfeeding include supplying babies with vitamins and nutrients as well as disease-fighting substances.

Mother also get something out of it, namely reducing the risk of developing breast cancer from five to 10 percent.

But that’s not the only way a woman protects her future health. Research scientist Marilyn Kwan at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland says that a study of 1,600 women with breast cancer found that those who breast fed reduced their chances of the disease returning by 30 percent.

Meanwhile, nearly an equal percentage were less likely to die from breast cancer if they breast fed their infants.

What’s more, the types of breast cancer these women contracted are usually less aggressive than those of mothers who bottle-fed their babies.

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Why More Doctors Should Give Cartoons a Shot

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Cartoons, what are they good for except mindless entertainment?

It just so happens that these animated features, much maligned by parents for generations, actually serve a useful purpose when it comes to distracting children from the often traumatic experience of getting immunized.

A new study from Italy published in the journal Nursing Children and Young People states that six-year-old youngsters watching cartoons showed less stress and anxiety when receiving injections than kids given shots without the benefit of this distraction.

To measure the youngsters’ level of stress, the researchers used the Wong-Baker FACES pain rating scale, a visual-numerical scale.

In addition to being an inexpensive way of taking children’s minds off the impending immunizations, the researchers say the cartoon distraction may cut down on the number of kids who develop anxiety before doctor’s visits and/or a phobia of needles.

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Study Examines Personality Traits Linked to Aggressive Driving

iStock/Thinkstock(BEDFORSHIRE, England) — If you’re quick to anger, you might be equally quick to drive aggressively and that could put you and other drivers or pedestrians in danger.

Although a new report from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom doesn’t break any new ground from previous studies, it does represent the first time results in Britain were factored from a wide array of drivers from local communities in the U.K. and Ireland rather than the U.S. college students.

In a questionnaire provided to close to 550 men and women ages 18 to 75, the researchers learned about their subjects’ personal traits as well as whether they demonstrated certain behaviors behind the wheel such as shouting or swearing or going as far as trying to hurt other motorists.

Essentially, qualities such impulsiveness and sensation-seeking along with a short temper, were the best predictors of aggressive driving.

The purpose of the study was to determine how to use the results to develop road safety campaigns aimed at toning down aggression, and at the same time, reducing the risk of accidents.

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An Apple Also Keeps Unhealthy Food Choices Away

iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) — As good as apples are for your physical health, they can also affect you psychologically in a way you probably never thought of.

Cornell researchers Aner Tal and Brian Wansink found that just by having an apple or some other healthy snack before grocery shopping, it can lead to healthier food choices.

To demonstrate this, they had 120 people either eat an apple sample, cookie sample or nothing and then sent them off to shop.

When they were finished, the shoppers who snacked on the apple bought 28 percent more produce than the cookie eaters and 25 percent more fruits and vegetables than the consumers who shopped on an empty stomach.

Tal and Wansink also had other participants do virtual market shopping, essentially duplicating the same results.

Their theory is that it’s the perceived healthfulness of a snack that compels people to make better food choices than the actual health benefits of fruits and veggies.

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Mom Says She Was ‘Lunch Shamed’ by School for Packing Oreos for Daughter

Courtesy Leeza Pearson(AURORA, Colo.) — Leeza Pearson was out of fruit and vegetables one day last week, so she tucked a pack of Oreos in her daughter Natalee’s lunch and sent her off to school at the Children’s Academy in Aurora, Colorado.

Pearson said she was stunned when her 4-year-old came home later in the day with the cookies untouched and a sternly worded note from the school.

“Dear Parents, it is very important that all students have a nutritious lunch. This is a public school setting and all children are required to have a fruit, a vegetable and a heavy snack from home, along with a milk. If they have potatoes, the child will also need bread to go along with it. Lunchables, chips, fruit snacks, and peanut butter are not considered to be a healthy snack. This is a very important part of our program and we need everyone’s participation,” read the note, provided to ABC News by Pearson.

Pearson said she is baffled by how the school handled the situation.

“I think it is definitely over the top, especially because they told her she can’t eat what is in her lunch,” Pearson told ABC News. “They should have at least allowed to eat her food and contacted me to explain the policy and tell me not to pack them again.”

Officials at the Children’s Academy said they have no comment when contacted by ABC News. However, Patty Moon, a spokeswoman for the Aurora Public Schools, which provides funding for some of the children to attend the private pre-school, said a note in the lunchbox is not supposed to be standard practice.

“From our end we want to inform parents but never want it to be anything punitive,” Moon said.

Moon said the school was just trying to promote healthy eating but Pearson said that effort has often been inconsistent. During this year’s Easter holiday, for example, she said the school asked students to bring in candy for the celebration. Her daughter also receives jelly beans as a snack when she stays for after-school care, Pearson said.

“They say I can’t decide what to feed her but then they sometimes feed her junk food,” Pearson said. “Why am I being punished for Oreos when at other times I am asked to bring candy?”

The child was offered an alternative snack, Moon said. But Pearson said this was not the case and her child came home hungry.

“She is not overweight by any means and I usually try to feed her healthy,” Pearson said, noting her daughter’s lunch also included a sandwich and some string cheese. “It’s not like I was offering cookies to the entire class and it’s not like that was the only thing in her lunch.”

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22 Rikers Island Prisoners Sickened By Rat Poison in Meatloaf, Lawyer Says

bhofack2/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Twenty-two Rikers Island inmates in New York City say they ate meatloaf tainted with rat poison, according to their lawyer, who has filed suit against the city, the Department of Corrections and several others.

Several inmates at the Ann M. Kross Center, a housing facility on Rikers Island, were on lockdown on March 3 when they were served meatloaf that they said had a blue-green substance in it, according to the complaint filed by attorney Joann Squillace on the inmates’ behalf.

Soon, they said they began to feel sick, having headaches like nausea, headaches, bloody diarrhea and bloody vomit, but they did not get the medical attention they needed, and their requests to have their blood and urine tested for poison went unanswered, according to the complaint.

“Whether it was intentional or negligence, either way, no there’s no justification for it and the Department of Corrections has to be held accountable,” Squillace told ABC News.

She said one of her clients continues to throw up blood even though this happened nearly two months ago.

She said a department employee oversees the kitchen and is aided by two elected inmates from the housing facility who were not allowed to do their kitchen duties the day of the alleged poisoning.

One of the inmates saved a piece of the meatloaf, which Squillace said she sent off to a New Jersey lab called EMSL Analytical Inc. for testing. It came back positive for brodifacoum, or rat poison, according to the report she provided to ABC News.

Nicholas Paolucci, a spokesman for the New York City Law Department, said Squillace hasn’t submitted her lab results to the city.

“The bottom line here is we don’t know all the facts, and we can’t jump to conclusions,” he said. “It’s an ongoing investigation and we’ll know more as we proceed in the case.”

In a response memorandum, the city said the inmates would “not suffer irreparable harm” because the medical staff treated them when the alleged poisoning occurred and determined they did not show “signs of adverse medical effects of a toxic ingestion.”

They went on to say there were no further incidents, and that in the days following the alleged incident, the kitchen was inspected and no rat poison was found in unsecured areas.

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We Can Thank Cavemen for Our Diet Failures

iStock/Thinkstock(CHEVY CHASE, Md.) — Our inability to stick to diets may not be our fault, at least according to one study from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Researchers there led by Dr. Scott Sternson say that ever since man wandered out of his cave looking for food, we’ve been more or less hardwired to enjoy eating, especially when food is usually only a few steps away.

Back in prehistoric times, however, it was a challenge to find something to eat and our earliest ancestors had to ignore the risks involved in order to keep from starving.

Essentially, then, the brain’s neurons beckon people to eat and the search for food is one way to turn them off.

Unfortunately, however, many of us are slaves to hunger-sensitive brain cells, which explains why dieting is often a lost cause.

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Teens from Broken Homes Prone to Psychosomatic Illnesses

iStock/Thinkstock(STOCKHOLM) — There is nothing quite as a stressful to a child than when their parents separate or divorce, and a new study from Sweden suggests that as a result of a break-up, adolescents are more susceptible to psychosomatic illnesses.

This condition in which people complain of physical problems brought on by mental stress is most prevalent among teens who live mainly with one parent.

Psychosomatic symptoms that include headaches, stomach aches and sleep problems tend to be less severe when there is joint custody of children while the lowest risk of this condition occurs when teens live with both parents.

Researchers from the Center for Health Equity Studies at Stockholm University/Karolinska Institute made these findings by observing 150,000 Swedish youngsters.

Although they did not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship, the researchers still believe that adolescent stress can be reduced when teens remain in close contact with both parents.

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Another Reason Why Working the Night Shift Stinks

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) — People who work night shifts may not be as productive as they think they are, even if they never fall asleep on the job.

Sleep expert Valentina Gumenyuk with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit says that graveyard shift workers experience the highest level of productivity impairment and loss of cognitive function when they’re classified as “alert” insomniacs.

This is as opposed to people regarded as excessively sleepy insomniacs. Strangely enough, it’s people who are more alert that complain of significantly more fatigue.

Gumenyuk and her team arrived at their findings by examining 34 permanent night shift workers, 26 of whom were diagnosed with shift work disorder in which they complain about feeling tired all the time as a result of insomnia or reduction of sleep hours.

As the result of this condition, the researchers emphasized that treating insomnia would improve safety and productivity of overnight workers.

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Beyonce Reveals Dietary Secrets in New Book

Jason Kempin/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Back in January, Beyonce announced a business partnership with exercise physiologist Marco Borges to launch 22 Days Nutrition, a home-delivery meal service that provides plant-based food. Now, she’s helped inspire an accompanying book, The 22 Day Revolution, penned by Borges with a forward by the singer, in which she recalls her experience with a 22-day vegan diet.

“Very proud to be on this journey with Marco! Congratulations on the release of your book, The 22 Day Revolution,” Beyonce writes on Facebook.

In the foreword Queen Bey writes that giving birth to Blue Ivy inspired her to “regain control of my health and my body.” She adds, “I decided I wanted to take a more proactive role in my health, and knowing all the amazing benefits, I knew this was the one. I was ready.”

Beyonce recalls the benefits she and her husband Jay Z experienced on their diets. “It took a few days to adjust, but what I discovered was increased energy, better sleep, weight loss, improved digestion, clarity, and an incredibly positive feeling for my actions and the effects it would have on those around me and the environment,” Bey writes. “I couldn’t believe how much of our health we can control with food.”

“The truth is that if a Houston-born foodie like me can do it, you can too — you just need to try it for 22 days,” Beyonce concludes.

The book is available for purchase online now.

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