Does daycare make kids fat?
This week, Jessica Simpson is back in the news with reports that the mom of 7-month-old Maxwell is already expecting again. Good thing she already accomplished her goal of dropping all of the baby weight from pregnancy No. 1!
In other news:
Does day care make kids fat? Just when working moms thought they could rest easy about their decision (or need) to head back to the office, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Montreal found an unexpected link between kids in day care and those who were overweight as they got older. In the study, kids whose primary care arrangement was in a day care center or in the care of an extended family member between ages 1.5 and 4 were up to 50 percent more likely to be overweight between the ages of 4 and 10 than those who stayed at home with a parent. The key, no matter where your kids spend their days, is to make sure they eat healthy meals, limited snacks and get plenty of physical activity.
Happiness now equals more money later: If you want your kid to grow up to be rich, make sure he’s happy now. A study that analyzed data from 15,000 kids (and followed up with them 10 years later) found that those rated highest on scales of emotional well-being and life satisfaction were more likely to earn higher incomes as adults. One theory on the connection is that happy people may be more likely than unhappy ones to pursue higher education and also more likely, once in the workforce, to get the promotions needed to bring in the big bucks.
Turn on cartoons to tune out anxiety: If your child is having surgery, watching a favorite cartoon first can lower his anxiety level — and possibly help him experience less trauma about the whole experience post-surgery. A study found that 43 percent of kids who watched a cartoon in the operating room (just prior to being given anesthesia) had little or no anxiety — compared with 23 percent who had a favorite toy with them and 7 percent who received no special treatment. Most parents are already well aware of the power of cartoon distraction — and now doctors are too.
More proof that pregnancy and cigarettes don’t mix: As if you need another reason to kick the habit while you’re expecting, researchers have now linked prenatal exposure to cigarette smoke to lower reading comprehension later on. Kids whose moms smoked a pack a day during pregnancy scored 21 percent lower than kids of nonsmoking moms on tests of how well they read aloud and how much they understood what they read.
Teens get extreme about muscle building: Thanks to the barrage of chest-baring photos of buff celebs and sports stars kids see these days, the pressure to get the perfect body is more prevalent than ever. According to a new survey of 2,800 teens in Minnesota, nearly all of the boys reported doing something to enhance their physiques. For 6 percent, that meant they’d used steroids in the past year, and for 11 percent that meant using supplements such as creatine or DHEA. The rest focused on diet and exercise, but the researchers caution that when diet and exercise is used for the sole purpose of getting buff, it’s not necessarily a healthy habit but could actually be an indication that a teen is dealing with body image issues.
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