Archive for the ‘Children’s Health’ Category

In the News: Stress linked to asthma and allergies in children

Monday, June 1st, 2009

Women who are stressed in pregnancy are more likely to have babies who suffer from asthma and allergies (according to a study from Harvard Medical School in Boston and presented earlier this year at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Toronto).

Researchers found that unborn babies exposed to stress before birth have increased tendencies to react to allergy triggers such as dust mites. It is thought that the developing immune system of unborn babies can be changed by maternal stress, probably through stress hormones, like cortisol. The results of the study held true regardless of a mother’s race, class, education or smoking history. This research supports the notion that stress can be thought of as a kind of social pollutant that can influence the immune system.

In the News: Mobile phone link to hyperactivity

Monday, June 1st, 2009

The dangers to an unborn child are even greater if a pregnant women is stressed, possibly by financial and/or relationship problems, and regularly uses the mobile phone. Another recent study from the University of California, Los Angeles – the first of its kind, covering more than 13,000 women – has shown that using handsets, even as little as two or three times a day, is enough to raise the risk of having children with hyperactivity and emotional problems. Letting children use mobiles before the age of seven also puts them at risk, researchers warn. The study was published in the medical journal Epidemiology last year.

Researchers found that women who used phones when pregnant were 54 per cent more likely to report behavioural problems in their children, including hyperactivity and emotional difficulties. Problems were even greater in children whose mothers had used mobiles when they were pregnant and then were allowed to use phones before the age of seven. In fact, they were 80 per cent more likely to have behavioural problems than youngsters who had not been exposed to mobile phone use at all.


The risks increased with the amount of phone use and potential radiation, suggesting a clear link between mobile phone exposure and behavioural problems; although the researchers warned that there were other possible explanations for behavioural problems that need to be taken into account, such as poor diet and maternal neglect.

In the News: Eating breakfast cuts risk of obesity

Sunday, February 1st, 2009

Yet more evidence of the weight loss benefits of eating breakfast to kick start your metabolism (fat burning) for the day ahead have been revealed by a recent study directed by the University of London.


The study of 15,000 children found that one in five was overweight or obese when he or she started school and those five year olds who were not given a bowl of cereal or a slice of toast in the morning were twice as likely to be obese as those who ate breakfast. The researchers suggested that children who miss breakfast are more likely to get hungry before lunch and gain weight because they tend to snack on foods that are high in fat and sugar.


This study confirms the results from other studies that suggest that children who skip breakfast tend to perform less well at school and have poorer test results. The message is simple and clear: to reduce their risk of weight gain and improve their performance at school, children need to sit down to a healthy breakfast every morning.