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healthbriefs
Nature’s prescription for
AdHd
A
new study by the University of Illinois
shows that a dose of nature—a simple
and inexpensive remedy—can make a great
difference in the lives of children who find it
difficult to complete tasks that require focus
and concentration, such as doing home-
MosT MedicATed
work or taking a test. That’s good news for
PoPuLATion
the up to 2.4 million youngsters that might
American children are
have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disor-
about three times more
der (ADHD), diagnosed or not.
Researcher Faber Taylor explains. “From pre-
likely to be prescribed
vious research, we know there might be a link between spending time in nature
psychotropic medication
and reduced ADHD symptoms.” In 2008, he explored the idea by taking children (altering perception, emo-
on walks in different settings—one especially “green” and two less green. He
tion or behavior) than
found that after a walk in the park, children generally concentrated better than
european children. A new
they did after a walk in the downtown area or the neighborhood area.
study led by Julie Zito of
Taylor concluded that the physical environment in which children play
and spend time matters, and that the greener the space, the more their attention
the university of mary-
spans improve.
land’s school of pharmacy
suggests that regula-
Hairspray and
tory practices and cultural
beliefs about the role of
Birth defects
medication in emotional
Pregnant women who are exposed to hairspray
and behavioral problems
containing phthalates have more than double
likely account for the dif-
the risk of a son being born with the genital birth ference.
defect hypospadias, which involves malformation
of the uretha, says new research published in the Source: Child and Adolescent Psy-
journal Environmental Health Perspectives. chiatry and Mental Health, 2008
A Novel that Helps
kids lose weight
T
he first study to look at the impact of literature on obese
adolescents, by Duke Children’s Hospital & Health Center,
produced surprising results. Researchers asked obese girls
ages 9 to 13 who were enrolled in a comprehensive weight-
loss program to read an age-appropriate novel called
Lake Rescue. The book, crafted with the aid of pe-
The Lowdown
diatric experts, includes specific healthy lifestyle
on Ad GLuT
and weight management guidance, as well as
A ban on fast food advertisements
positive messages and strong role models.
in the United States could reduce
Six months later, the girls who had
the number of overweight Ameri-
read Lake Rescue experienced a significant
can children by up to 18 percent,
decrease in their body mass index scores
according to a new report in The
when compared with a control group in
Journal of Law and Economics.
the program who had not read the novel.
Source: Lehigh University, 2008
~ Duke University Medical Center, 2008
12 Phoenix
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