December 22, 2009

But is It Really Increasing?

1 1 in 110 Kids Have Autism Says CDC

One in every 110 children have autism or some other autism spectrum disorder, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A previous study pegged the figure at 1 in 150. Autism is characterized by problems with social interaction and communication; other autism spectrum disorders are less severe than autism. Because autism has no concrete physical diagnosis such as a blood test and is dependent simply on behavior observation by experts, diagnosis can be a little soft and unreliable, especially with the less severe levels. Consequently, there is disagreement about whether autism is in fact increasing, or rather is simply better diagnosed and medical records are more complete than in the past, according to CDC researcher Catherine Rice. The latest study is

More at USA Today | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

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Twins Studied

2 Skin Aging Risk Factors Identified

Smoking, overweight, lack of sunscreen use, and previous history of skin cancer are associated with so-called photodamage facial skin aging, according to a new study. Alcohol consumption was associated with less skin damage. Researchers from the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine studied questionnaires completed by 65 pairs of identical and fraternal twins attending the 2002 Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. In addition to soliciting the questionnaires, Clinicians had examined the twins for facial skin damage. Unlike normal facial aging that produces fine wrinkles and skin growths, photoaging from excessive sun exposure produces more coarsely wrinkled skin, pigmentation inconsistency, and dilated blood vessels. What we wonder is why did the drinkers have nicer skin? Did they sle

More at ScienceDaily | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

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Curvy Means Fat

3 Size 4 Model in a Size 0 Profession

In the December Vogue 5-foot 10-inch, 34-24-35, size 4 Dutch supermodel Lara Stone talks about her struggle in a profession dominated by superskinny size 0 women. "What they say is 'curvy,' but you know they mean fat." Described as a cross between Sandra Bernhard and Grace Kelly, Stone is a favorite model of Karl Lagerfeld and has modeled both in advertisements and on the runway for Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs and Hugo Boss. Lagerfeld describes her as having a "gorgeous woman's body," but she describes her experience being cancelled for shows because she often cannot fit into the clothes. "That is their aesthetic. It's not for me to say whether it's right or wrong," she says.

More at Vogue | Hat tip to Deborah at ThatsFit | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

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She Had Flu Symptoms

4 Brittany Murphy: Diabetic, Not Anorectic

AOL's TMZ celebrity gossip Web site is reporting that actress Brittany Murphy's autopsy revealed no signs of foul play and that she was of normal weight and showed no signs of anorexia nervosa. Murphy's mother revealed that she was a type 2 (non-insulin-dependent, adult-onset) diabetic, a condition often, but not always, associated with obesity. Ms. Murphy was experiencing flu-like symptoms prior to her death, and was taking medication for that. Type 2 diabetes in conjuntion with certain prescription medications can sometimes trigger a heart attack. The final determination of a cause of death awaits the results of various lab tests, including toxicology tests.

More at TMZ | Hat tip to The Daily Beast | Posted 8 years ago by Mark

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Walking Your Way to Health

5 Pedometers a Cheap Weight Loss Aid

A Stanford researcher has looked at studies on pedometer use and found that people who use them get more exercise than people who don't, and they also lose weight and lower their blood pressure as well as people who use more expensive medical interventions. People wearing the devices increased their movement an average of 2,000 steps a day, which is about the same as walking an extra mile. Pedometers are cheap and relatively effortless to use, and walking has long been touted as a cheap, easy way to get healthier, particularly for people who are currently sedentary.

More at Washington Post | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

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Even Vegans Have to Face Death

6 Plants Want to Live, Too

"If you boycott silk because you think silkworms are enslaved, then this is not such a big conceptual leap."
- Barry in the comments

Sorry, vegetarians, but you don't get off the moral hook just because you don't eat meat. It turns out that plants deserve our respect when it comes to being complex organisms, too. Researchers keep discovering more about plants that makes them seem like so much more than mere fodder: plants are able to sense competition around them, they have tricks to defend against attack, they even release chemicals that can be interpreted as cries for help. All of which doesn't make it any more morally clear whether we should eat animals, but it does play up the idea that we should be mindful of all that we eat and thankful for the things that were once alive and now aren't so that we can eat them.

More at New York Times | Posted 8 years ago by Sarah E. White

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