July 4, 2008

DT Friday Freakout: Mom & Apple Pie Edition

Scientists and researchers are always coming up with something for parents to celebrate. Here are some freakouts as American as gatekeeper moms and McDonald's apple pies:

  • Actually, this one doesn't have to be a freakout. A psychology study by researchers at OSU and UofI finds that mothers' attitudes and reactions are closely related to dads' involvement in childcare. This goes for judgmental gatekeeper behavior, but positive encouragement is also associated with increased, positive involvement. "This is the first real evidence that mothers, through their behavior, act as gatekeepers by either fostering or curtailing how much fathers take part in caring for their baby," said co-author Prof. Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan of OSU. So no pressure, ladies. [press release: osu.edu; abstract and full text: apa.org]
  • Junk Food Babies are the new Crack Babies: A UK study shows that eating junk food during pregnancy increases the kid's chances for obesity and related conditions, such as diabetes. Also, junk food babies are born craving junk food. On the bright side, that does mean they're advanced for their age. [report:BBC via dt reader dt; study abstract, including the term "exacerbated adiposity": jp.physoc.org]
  • Delayed pregnancy means more C-sections: A Cambridge study links getting pregnant at a later age with the increased likelihood of cesarean births. Something about the uterine muscles degrading one. tick. of. the. clock. at a time. [press release: eurekalert.org; full report: plosjournals.org]
  • Nice, end with a big ol' freakout headline: "Is tap water safe for expectant mothers?" Short answer: sure, but the kids? ehh... Longer answer: A Taiwanese statistical analysis links chlorine compound levels in drinking water with an increased incidence of three major birth defects: "ventricular septal defects (holes in the heart), cleft palate, and anencephalus (where neural development fails, resulting in the absence of a major portion of the brain, skull, and scalp)." The increased risk is between 50 and 100%, but then, all the conditions are already pretty uncommon. And they're all the kind of thing that'd get spotted in ultrasounds. If you're really freaked out, just get a Brita. [press release: eurekalert.org again]

  • 1 Comment

    Does a Brita 86 the CL2? I can't imagine it does. Hey, whatever happened to all the "fluoride causes bone cancer" stuff a few years back? That was quite freaky.

    Ah, here it is: "Boys who drink fluoridated water have an increased risk of a deadly bone cancer, a new study suggests."

    Thanks, Fox News!

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