Review Category : Health

Video Explaining Child’s Transgender Identification Goes Viral

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A YouTube video with over three million views tells the story of just one child but it has many people talking.

The seven-minute video explains the story of a 6-year-old transgender child, Ryland Whittington, who was born a girl but, according to her parents, began insisting she was a boy as soon as she could speak.

“This is my sister Brynly, and I’m her brother, Ryland,” a young Ryland can be heard saying in the video, posted last week to his family’s YouTube page.

The video’s narrative explains that Ryland’s parents, Jeff and Hillary Whittington, discovered around Ryland’s first birthday that their daughter was deaf. After being fitted with cochlear implants and learning to hear and speak, some of Ryland’s first words were, “I am a boy.”

The Whittingtons, who declined to comment, said they consulted with professionals and soon realized that Ryland’s desire to be a boy was more than just a tomboy phase.

“With phases they just come and go or kids try things on for a little while,” San Diego-based gender therapist Darlene Tando told ABC News. “But with gender identity, when a child is transgender, typically nothing fades in or out. It just really stays the same for a long time.”

The Whittingtons then made the decision to change Ryland’s identity, cutting his hair, referring to Ryland only as “he” and sending a letter to family and friends about the change.

“There are huge benefits of doing this earlier in life,” said Tando. “It’s really just like they have been given this gift that everyone around them starts seeing them for who they are.”

Ryland himself spoke out about his transition at an event last month in the family’s home state of California honoring the Whittington family.

“My name is Ryland Michael Whittington,” he said at the sixth annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast in San Diego. “I’m a transgender kid. I am 6. I am a cool kid.”

“I am the happiest I have ever been in my whole life,” Ryland said at the breakfast. “Thank you to my parents.”

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Marathoner, 91, Smokes the Competition

Brenny Thompson(SAN DIEGO) — Most nonagenarians are happy if they can still tie their shoes. Harriet Thompson not only laced hers up, she smoked the competition at the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon Sunday.

The 91-year-old from Charlotte, North Carolina, finished the 26.2-mile course in a time of seven hours, seven minutes and 42 seconds, shattering the marathon distance record for 90- to 94-year-old women by more than an hour and a half. Her average pace was about 16 minutes a mile.

“I was tired at one point going up a hill and wasn’t sure if I could finish, but then I felt fine,” Thompson told ABC News Monday.

Thompson said her legs are recovering pretty well, especially considering she recently underwent nine rounds of radiation on them for cancer treatment. She raised more than $90,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.

This was Thompson’s 15th appearance in the Southern California race. She made her debut at the age of 76 in 1999. Treatment for oral cancer kept her out of last year’s race. It also prevented her from training as much as she would have liked this year, although she managed to sneak in a 5K race just last weekend.

“She is an amazing woman though I’m not as surprised by her accomplishments as everyone else is,” said Thompson’s son, Brenny, 55, who ran the race with her.

Runner’s World reported that Thompson is the second oldest woman to compete in a marathon, after 92-year-old Gladys Burrill, who completed the Honolulu Marathon in 2010.

“We’re seeing more and more people of all ages entering marathons as they discover that running is something that can keep you fit for a lifetime,” said Tish Hamilton, the executive editor of Runner’s World.

Thompson said she’ll rest up for a few days and begin training again shortly.

“I hope to run the race next year even faster if I’m still around,” she said.

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Diet Before Pregnancy Can Be Crucial

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you are what you eat, an expectant mother’s diet can also have a profound effect on her child.

However, a study published in the journal Nature Communications goes even further by urging women of child-bearing age to begin eating healthy before they conceive and after they know they are pregnant.

Experts say that nutrition during conception is crucial to the healthy development of a baby’s brain.

Among the food choices women should make are those rich in B-vitamins and folic acids, which include green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, breads, pasta and rice.

Doctors also recommend that women either pregnant or trying to get pregnant should take folic acid supplements as well.

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Digital Devices Also Affect Lavatory Habits

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Newspapers and magazines are losing out to digital devices in restrooms too.

Lysol No Mess Max’s survey of 1,000 adults says that Americans spend an average of 16 minutes daily reading from their smartphones and tablets while on the toilet.

Overall, 38 percent say this is a normal routine, while 70 percent of respondents 18-34 admit it’s part of their daily ritual.

Of course, people aren’t just reading the news or a feature while on the pot. Here’s what business they use their digital devices for while doing their “business”:

  • Read a tweet, Instagram feed or Facebook update — 57 percent
  • Purchased clothes online — 54 percent
  • E-mailed a boss, co-worker or client — 36 percent
  • Bought groceries online — 31 percent
  • Viewed a friend’s profile — 27 percent
  • Viewed a family member’s profile — 24 percent
  • Sent a text — 24 percent
  • Posted or “Liked” Facebook content — 17 percent
  • Posted a Vine (Don’t ask) — Five percent

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Let There Not Be Light in the Bedroom

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Here’s a weight reduction tip most people probably aren’t aware of: the darker the bedroom, the better the chance of shedding pounds.

As peculiar as it sounds, too much light exposure during sleep time seems to increase the risk of obesity. That’s according to the Breakthrough Generations Study of more than 113,000 women.

When all other personal habits were taken into consideration, the researchers discovered that the odds of women becoming obese were greater when in bedrooms where more light came through.

Although the exact link hasn’t been established yet, study researcher Anthony Swerdlow from the Institute of Cancer Research in London says, “Metabolism is affected by cyclical rhythms within the body that relate to sleeping, waking and light exposure.”

In other words, light appears to disrupt the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which, in turn, affects mood and alters the way the body processes food.

Previous research has also revealed that people who sleep fewer hours also eat more calorie-packed food than others who get more shuteye.

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Washington, DC Named Most Fit City in US

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Washington, D.C. was named the healthiest and most fit city in the United States according to the annual American Fitness Index.

The annual index, released by the American College of Sports Medicine and the WellPoint Foundation ranks the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. in order from most to least “fit.” The rankings use a composite of preventive health behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions and communities resources and policies to support physical activity.

The 2014 AFI is the seventh annual report released by the ACSM. The Washington, D.C. metropolitan area received a score of 77.3 out of 100, climbing from second place last year to this year’s number one in the country. Minneapolis, which had topped the list for three years in a row, finished in second.

The top five cities remained the same from 2013, though not in the same order, with Washington, Minneapolis, Portland, Denver and San Francisco continuing their reign as the most fit cities.

Memphis, Tenn., finished in last place in the rankings while last year’s least-fit city, Oklahoma City, finished 48th. Those two cities and Louisville, Ky. all remained in the bottom five of the ACSM’s rankings.

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American Cancer Survivors Expected to Reach 19 Million Within 10 Years

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Sunday is National Cancer Survivors Day, and the American Cancer Society says that as of June 1, 2014, there are about 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States.

Perhaps even more impressively, the ACS expects the number of living cancer survivors to climb to 19 million within the next 10 years. That figure includes an estimated 9.3 million men and 9.6 million women.

The ACS’ figures reflect overall population growth while also noting that Americans are living longer with cancer as a result of earlier detection and more effective treatment.

The three most common cancers among male survivors are prostate (43 percent), colorectal cancer (nine percent) and melanoma (eight percent). Among women, the most commonly survived cancers are breast cancer (41 percent), uterine cancer (eight percent) and colorectal cancer (eight percent).

Lung cancer, the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, is the number eight most common cancer in current survivors.

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Boy, 10, Breaks Half-Marathon World Record for His Age

(FALLS CHURCH, Va.) — Reinhardt Harrison began running shortly after he learned how to walk, so it didn’t surprise his parents when he began begging them to let him run a half marathon.

“I said, ‘No, no, you’re not ready,’ and he said, ‘Well, when can I?’” Reinhardt’s father, Dennis Harrison, told ABC News. “Running is his passion.”

Thinking it was a long way off, Harrison told Reinhardt that he could run the 13.1-mile distance when he was 10 years old.

Last week, Harrison, a volunteer youth running coach based in Falls Church, Virginia, had to make good on that promise by letting Reinhardt run the Alexandria Running Festival half marathon in Virginia.

Reinhardt set a new world record for the fastest half marathon run by a 10-year-old, 1:35:02, about 2 minutes faster than the previous record, and he wasn’t even running at top speed because his dad insisted he treat it as a training run.

“He’s actually beating me now,” Harrison, 54, told ABC News. “I keep telling him I still got a few more years. I might be able to get faster. Age is not on my side.”

But Harrison has received the occasional earful from parents and critics who say children shouldn’t run long distances at all. He said it isn’t for everyone, but Reinhardt likes it so much and has been training so gradually for the past seven years that an occasional long race is safe.

Dr. Alex Diamond, a sports medicine expert at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, said attitudes have changed over the years regarding children and distance races.

“Ten or 15 years ago, I think the answer you would have gotten from most of us is no,” Diamond told ABC News. “The trend has definitely shifted to, in a select few, it’s probably OK to do that.”

He said there isn’t scientific evidence to say whether children should or shouldn’t run long distances.

“In a normal, healthy kid with no injuries, there’s nothing we know of right now that says participating in these events would lead to growth plate or other injuries,” Diamond said.

To avoid over-training and burnout, Diamond said increasing distance gradually is a good idea. And making sure the child is self-motivated rather than pushed by parents or a coach is extremely important, he said.

“It sounds like the family really did handle this very nicely,” Diamond said of the Harrisons. “This is a highly motivated, unique kid.”

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Kansas Cardiologist Saves Doctor Who Trained Him

iStock/Thinkstock(OVERLAND PARK, Kan.) — A routine cardiac case earlier this month became personal for Dr. George Pierson, after the Kansas cardiologist realized his patient was his former mentor.

Pierson, a cardiologist at Overland Park Regional Medical Center in Overland Park, Kansas, told ABC News affiliate KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Mo., he was shocked after hearing that his patient was his former instructor, cardiologist Dr. Glenn Hodges.

“My response was, ‘Not Dr. Hodges!” Pierson said.

Hodges was in dire condition and the medical team was attempting to revive him after he had slipped into cardiac arrest.

Pierson said it was nerve-wracking to treat the doctor who taught him so much.

“When it’s somebody you know and respect and has a wonderful mind, you feel this incredible burden to try and bring him back to be intact for his family,” Pierson told KMBC-TV. “So I felt a great deal of personal burden.”

To save his mentor, Pierson and his team used a defibrillator to encourage Hodge’s heart to start working again. After three defibrillator shocks, Hodges started to stabilize.

Now just a few weeks later, Hodges was able to sit with his former trainee and talked about waking up to see his former student Pierson.

“Well, the first time he came into see me after I woke up and it was kind of a big surprise,” recalled Hodges. “Like, ‘OK, did I do a good job?’”

While Hodges may have started directing his medical care after waking up, his former trainee didn’t mind.

“I’m always glad to hear good advice,” Pierson told KMBC-TV.

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Study: Offer Vegetables Early to Kids for Healthy Eating Habits

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The best way to get children to eat their vegetables is to get them while they’re young, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Leeds say parents should have their kids try a new vegetable five to ten times, and the younger the are, the better. Mothers and fathers shouldn’t let facial expressions discourage them either when children are tasting foods for the first time, according to researcher Marion Hetherington.

“You have to get beyond those facial expressions of what you think might be disgust, but are actually just shock,” Hetherington said. “…Be patient and be persistent, but don’t give up after three tries.”

The study examined children from four months to three years old, resulting in the mantra “often and early.” When they’re older, they’re more able to decline the offer.

In addition, the vegetable taste doesn’t need to be masked, according to researchers.

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