Adolescents enjoy better health when they eat at least one meal a week with an adult in their family. According to a Canadian study of 14,000 Year 9 students, eating with family is associated with less obesity, reduced cholesterol and lower blood pressure, and the results improve the more often they enjoy a family meal in any given week.
Men who were heavy pot smokers in their teens may not live as long as those who were not. The lives of 50,000 men who did compulsory military training in Sweden were followed from 1969 to 2011, during which time approximately 4000 died. According to researchers from the Karolinska Institute, death from accidental injury or suicide was proportionate to the level of cannabis use. Those who were heavy users in their late teens were 40 per cent more likely to have died by the age of 60 than those who had never used.
Eating soy may protect women from the harmful effects of the endocrine disrupter, Bisphenol-A (BPA), during pregnancy. After following the lives of 239 women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation, researchers at Harvard University found that for women not consuming soy, those with the highest BPA levels were 70 per cent less likely to have a successful pregnancy. BPA levels made no difference to live birth rates for women who ate soy, who had a success rate of 44 per cent per cycle.
Rice often contains elevated levels of arsenic because it is grown in fields sometimes flooded with contaminated water. As part of the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study in America, arsenic levels were checked in more than 750 infants at one year of age. In two-thirds of babies who began eating rice or rice products at 4–6 months of age, their arsenic levels were almost four times higher than those of infants who had not yet consumed rice.
Researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, US, interviewed parents of 100 children aged 3 to 7 years about their children’s frequency of exposure to child-directed fast food commercials on TV. One-third of parents reported more frequent visits to the restaurants with child-directed ads, especially if their kids were collecting toys from the fast food chains.
Photo credit: Istock | stock.adobe | !123rf