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Gift-Giving to Kids Can Have Its Pitfalls

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Par­ents love giv­ing presents to their chil­dren almost as much as kids love get­ting them.

How­ever, when moms and dads use mate­r­ial pos­ses­sions to man­age their children’s behav­ior, it can cre­ate prob­lems when their young­sters become adults them­selves, accord­ing to researchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Mis­souri and the Uni­ver­sity of Illi­nois at Chicago.

Based on ques­tions posed to 700 adults about their child­hood rela­tion­ships with their par­ents as well as how they were rewarded or pun­ished, study inves­ti­ga­tor Mar­sha Richins said that peo­ple who con­stantly received mate­r­ial things as rewards for good behav­ior will often grow up think­ing that suc­cess is defined by how much they own.

Richins and her col­leagues also found that adults tended to be mate­ri­al­is­tic if their par­ents showed dis­ap­point­ment with them or failed to carve out time for them.

Fur­ther­more, when children’s behav­iors were man­aged through rewards or pun­ish­ments, they also tended to value pricy pos­ses­sions as adults.

Lan Chap­lin, who also worked on the study, says there’s noth­ing really wrong with par­ents giv­ing chil­dren gifts as long as the kids are taught to show grat­i­tude, espe­cially for the peo­ple in their lives. In that way, they’ll grow up to become more gen­er­ous and less con­cerned about mate­r­ial things.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Men with High Levels of Testosterone Are Spicy Food Lovers

iStock/Thinkstock(GRENOBLE, France) — A manly man likes spicy foods, true or false?

While it seems a bit pre­pos­ter­ous, researchers at France’s Uni­ver­sity of Greno­ble say that a man’s lik­ing of hot and spicy grub may actu­ally prove that he has higher lev­els of testos­terone than guys who reg­u­larly pass on fiery foods.

The proof, as it were, was in the mashed pota­toes or rather, what the researchers offered par­tic­i­pants to put on their potatoes.

Some of the 114 men in the study, ages 18 to 44, opted for spicy pep­per sauce while oth­ers chose table salt. Upon mea­sur­ing their saliva, the researchers dis­cov­ered that men with more testos­terone were the gen­er­ally the ones who favored the spicy sauce.

In one way, it appeared to make sense since the hor­mone is often asso­ci­ated with risk-taking and what could be more risky than food that burns your mouth?

How­ever, the researchers weren’t ready to jump to the con­clu­sion that spicy food also causes men’s testos­terone lev­els to spike even though it seemed to hap­pen when they con­ducted tests on rats.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Warlike Metaphors Make the Cancer Fight Harder

iStock/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — Per­haps we’ve been going about the war on can­cer all wrong.

That’s the find­ing of Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan researcher David Hauser, who says that metaphors used when describ­ing people’s efforts to resist the dis­ease, such as “fight” and “bat­tle,” can detract from cancer-prevention behaviors.

In one exper­i­ment, Hauser had more than 300 par­tic­i­pants read one of two pas­sage about col­orec­tal can­cer. One con­stantly referred to this can­cer as an “enemy” while the other con­tained no such metaphors.

Essen­tially, peo­ple who read the pas­sage with more bel­liger­ent lan­guage seemed less likely to choose pre­ven­ta­tive mea­sures to reduce their risk of con­tract­ing col­orec­tal can­cer such as lim­it­ing red meat, quit­ting smok­ing and other health­ful advice.

While try­ing to boost people’s resolve in deal­ing with can­cer, these war­like metaphors, which are per­va­sive in sci­ence jour­nal­ism, inad­ver­tently have “unfor­tu­nate side-effects,” accord­ing to Hauser.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Most Youngsters Don't Eat Three Meals Daily

iStock/Thinkstock(JONESUU, Fin­land) — Break­fast lunch din­ner. Break­fast lunch din­ner. Break­fast lunch dinner.

By now, you know the drill that three meals a day are impor­tant for opti­mum health, espe­cially when it comes to chil­dren. But since we don’t live in a per­fect world, many young­sters aren’t get­ting three squares daily.

That’s the find­ing of Uni­ver­sity of East­ern Fin­land PhD can­di­date Aino-Maija Elo­ranta who stud­ied the eat­ing habits of more than 500 chil­dren between the ages of six and eight.

Only 45 per­cent of the boys and a third of the girls ate break­fast, lunch and din­ner daily and the meal that they tended to skip the most was din­ner, con­sid­ered the one with the most calo­ries and nutrients.

The study also involved mea­sur­ing the young­sters’ body mass index, waist cir­cum­fer­ence, blood pres­sure and other impor­tant data. As it turns out, those chil­dren who ate three meals had smaller waists and were far less prone to being over­weight than oth­ers who didn’t eat major meals.

How­ever, regard­less of how many meals they con­sumed, snacks were reg­u­larly con­sumed by all chil­dren, pro­vid­ing more than 40 per­cent of their daily calo­ries in some cases.

Elo­ranta doesn’t com­pletely dis­par­age snacks although she wor­ries that they are often high in sugar and low in impor­tant stuff like fiber.

In gen­eral, she says that par­ents should try to feed their kids three meals daily, which can help them to avoid obe­sity and heart prob­lems later in life.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Study: Many Patients Don't Know How to Use Inhalers, Epi-Pens Properly

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study found that many patients with inhalers or epi-pens do not use them correctly.

Accord­ing to the study, pub­lished in the jour­nal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunol­ogy, researchers at the Uni­ver­sity of Texas looked at a small sam­pling of patients and found that 84 per­cent of those with severe food and med­ica­tion aller­gies are unable to use their epi­neph­rine injec­tor prop­erly. They also deter­mined that 93 per­cent of study par­tic­i­pants were unable to use their asthma inhaler properly.

Researchers say that younger patients were more likely to use their device prop­erly when com­pared to older patients, and men were more likely than women to use the devices correctly.

A larger study would be nec­es­sary to ver­ify the per­cent­ages, but the researchers call the fail­ure of many patients to prop­erly use these devices prob­lem­atic. They did note, how­ever, that not all of the errors made in the study would have put a patient’s life at risk.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Clot Removal Linked to Improved Odds of Limiting Disability in Stroke Victims

Jochen Sands/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study shows that remov­ing the blood clot that causes a stroke may improve odds of lim­it­ing dis­abil­ity caused by that stroke.

The study, pub­lished in the New Eng­land Jour­nal of Med­i­cine, notes that while intra­venous alteplase — used to break down blood clots — within 4.5 hours of the onset of stroke symp­toms is the only ther­apy with proof of effi­cacy, intraar­te­r­ial ther­apy — includ­ing the retrieval of the clot — may be more effec­tive at pre­vent­ing disability.

Researchers at 16 facil­i­ties in the Nether­lands looked at 500 par­tic­i­pants whose aver­age age was 65 years old with acute ischemic stroke. Approx­i­mately 90 per­cent were treated with clot-dissolving drugs, and half of the par­tic­i­pants were also treated using a clot-removing device. Each patient was treated within six hours of the start of their symptoms.

Three months after treat­ment, nearly 33 per­cent of those given both the clot-busting drug and the clot-removing devices were func­tion­ally inde­pen­dent. Only about 19 per­cent of those treated only with the clot-busting drug met that same standard.

Researchers also said that there was no sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the mor­tal­ity rate of patients stud­ied whether they received the clot-dissolving med­ica­tion and had the clot removed, or only received the medication.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Pilots Risk Significant UV Exposure

Dig­i­tal Vision./Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Pilots should remem­ber to pack their sun­screen, researchers said, after a study noted that fly­ing at 30,000 feet exposes pilots to sig­nif­i­cant ultra­vi­o­let radiation.

The study, pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion Der­ma­tol­ogy, found that pilots fly­ing at 30,000 feet for 56 min­utes receive the same amount of UV-A radi­a­tion as is received dur­ing a 20-minute ses­sion in a tan­ning bed. The wind­shields on planes block UV-B radi­a­tion, but not UV-A. The research was prompted by recent find­ings that pilots and cabin crew more com­monly suf­fered from skin cancer.

Researchers mea­sured the amount of UV radi­a­tion in air­plane cock­pits dur­ing flights and com­pared it to the amount released in tan­ning beds. Specif­i­cally, radi­a­tion was mea­sured in the pilot seat. Researchers say that pilots and cabin crew should use sun­screen and undergo peri­odic skin checks.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio


Despite Risks, Older Adults More Likely to Use Benzodiaepines for Help Sleeping

Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Older adults are more likely to use ben­zo­di­azepines for help sleep­ing, a new study says, which could put them at risk of injury.

Accord­ing to a study pub­lished in the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Med­ical Asso­ci­a­tion Psy­chi­a­try, older adults are more likely to use ben­zo­di­azepines than young adults. While 5.2 per­cent of Amer­i­cans aged 18 to 80 use the drugs, such as Xanax, Val­ium and Ati­van, the per­cent­age increased along with age. Among adults aged 18 to 35, just 2.6 per­cent used the drugs, while 8.7 per­cent between 65 and 80 years old used benzodiazepines.

Researchers also say that the pro­por­tion of long-term use of the drugs increased with age. Pre­vi­ous research sug­gested that older adults receiv­ing the drugs may lead to increased risk of falls, frac­tures and motor vehi­cle crashes.

Fol­low @ABCNewsRadio
Copy­right 2014 ABC News Radio