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Survey Shows Americans Feel Stressed

By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Mass shootings, health care and the 2020 presidential election are significant causes of stress for American adults, a new survey finds.

The poll of more than 3,600 U.S. adults found that 71% of them said mass shootings are a major source of stress, an increase from 62% in 2018. Hispanics were most likely to say mass shootings are a significant source of stress (84%), followed by blacks (79%), Asians (77%), Native Americans (71%) and whites (66%).

Health care is a significant cause of stress for 69% of the respondents. Among the 47% who experience stress about health care at least sometimes, the cost of health care is the most common source of that stress (64%).

Adults with private insurance (71%) were more likely than those with public insurance (53%) to say the cost of health care causes them stress. Overall, 55% worry that they won’t be able to pay for health care services they may need in the future, according to this year’s Stress in America survey from the American Psychological Association (APA).

The online survey, conducted by The Harris Poll, also found that 56% of respondents have significant stress about the 2020 presidential election, an increase from 52% in the period before the 2016 election.

Stress related to climate change rose to 56% this year from 51% last year. Stress associated with widespread sexual harassment rose to 45% this year from 39% last year.

Immigration was cited as a stressor by 48% of respondents in the new poll, which was conducted between Aug. 1 and Sept. 3, 2019. It was most likely to be a source of stress among Hispanics (66%), followed by Asians (52%), Native Americans (48%), blacks (46%) and whites (43%).

Discrimination is a source of stress for 25% of respondents in the new poll, compared with 24% in 2018, 21% in 2017, and 20% in 2016 and 2015.

The majority of people of color (63%) in the 2019 survey said discrimination has hindered them from having a full and productive life, and a similar proportion of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) adults (64%) said the same thing. In 2015, 49% of people of color said discrimination prevented them from having a full and productive life.

Continued

The new poll also found that while only 38% of respondents feel the United States is on the path to being stronger than ever, 73% feel hopeful about their future.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in our world right now — from mass shootings to climate change. This year’s survey shows us that more Americans are saying these issues are causing them stress,” Arthur Evans Jr., APA’s chief executive officer, said in an APA news release.

“Research shows us that over time, prolonged feelings of anxiety and stress can affect our overall physical and mental health. Psychologists can help people develop the tools that they need to better manage their stress,” he said.

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Sources

SOURCE: American Psychological Association, news release, Nov. 5, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Tying the Knot Is Tied to Longer Life Span, New Data Shows

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Oct. 10, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Married folks not only live longer than singles, but the longevity gap between the two groups is growing, U.S. government health statisticians report.

The age-adjusted death rate for the married declined by 7% between 2010 and 2017, according to a new study from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Not only is the rate for married lower, but it’s declining more than any other group,” said lead author Sally Curtin, an NCHS statistician.

Statistically, death rate is the annual number of deaths for every 100,000 people. It’s adjusted so that a 26-year-old and an 80-year-old married or widowed or divorced are on equal footing.

The new study reported that the death rate for never-marrieds declined only 2%, while that for divorced people hasn’t changed at all.

Worst off were the widowed, for whom the death rate rose 6%. They have the highest death rate of all the categories, researchers said.

Married men in 2017 had an age-adjusted death rate of 943 per 100,000, compared to 2,239 for widowers. The death rate was 1,735 per 100,000 for lifelong bachelors and 1,773 for divorced men.

Married women had a death rate of 569 per 100,000, two-and-a-half times lower than the 1,482 rate for widows. The death rate was 1,096 for divorcees and 1,166 for never-married women.

Part of the marriage benefit could be explained by the fact that people in good health are more likely to marry, said Katherine Ornstein, an associate professor of geriatrics and palliative medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Once you’re in a marriage, there are a host of tangible and intangible benefits that give you a health advantage, experts said.

Married people are more likely to have health insurance, Ornstein said, and therefore, have better access to health care.

Being married also means you have someone looking out for you and reinforcing healthy behaviors, said Michael Rendall, director of the Maryland Population Research Center at the University of Maryland.

Continued

“Having somebody there who’s your spouse will tend to promote positive health behaviors — going to the doctor, eating better, getting screened,” he said.

This is particularly true of men, who previous studies have shown derive more health benefits from marriage than women.

“Men tend to have fewer skills than women in terms of looking after themselves,” Rendall said.

Finally, the companionship of marriage staves off health problems associated with loneliness and isolation, Ornstein said.

“Social support and the social engagement that comes with being married is a huge benefit for mental health and physical health,” she said.

All these benefits also explain why widowed people tend to do so badly after the death of their spouse, Ornstein said.

Widows and widowers have to deal with heartache, loneliness and financial stress, she said. They no longer have a partner looking after them, so they are more likely to neglect their health.

The study found some gender differences in trends.

While the death rate for married men and women declined by the same 7%, women’s overall death rate was much lower.

But the death rates among men in all other marital categories remained essentially the same between 2010 and 2017, researchers found.

On the other hand, the death rate for widowed women rose 5%, while the rate for never-married women declined by 3% and remained stable for divorced women.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Sally Curtin, M.A., statistician, U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Hyattsville, Md.; Katherine Ornstein, Ph.D., M.P.H., associate professor, geriatrics and palliative medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York City; Michael Rendall, Ph.D., director, Maryland Population Research Center, and sociologist, University of Maryland, College Park; NCHS’sHealth E-Stats, Oct. 10, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Evidence Shows Optimism Might Lengthen Your Life

By Alan Mozes        
       HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Sept. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) — A sunny outlook on life may do more than make you smile: New research suggests it could also guard against heart attacks, strokes and early death.

In the review of 15 studies that collectively involved almost 230,000 men and women, the findings were remarkably consistent, the study authors added.

“We found that optimists had a 35% lower risk for the most serious complications due to heart disease, compared to pessimists,” said lead author Dr. Alan Rozanski, a professor of cardiology at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital in New York City.

That mind-body connection held up across all age groups, said investigators, ranging from teenagers to those in their 90s. That “suggests that optimism may be an asset, regardless of age,” Rozanski noted.

The studies also found the more positive one’s outlook, the less one’s risk for heart trouble or death.

Ten of the studies specifically looked at positivity’s impact on heart health, while nine looked at how a person’s outlook affected their risk of dying from a wide range of illnesses.

Many of the investigations asked basic questions touching on expectations of the future. In response, some participants indicated that they generally felt upbeat despite the uncertainty of what’s to come. Others said they never assume that things will pan out well down the road.

Over time, those who held more positive viewpoints were more likely to remain heart-healthy.

Yet, despite suggesting that “the magnitude of this association is substantial,” Rozanski and his colleagues stressed that the review can’t prove that optimism directly protects against heart disease and premature death.

Still, the team pointed to a whole host of potential reasons why positivity — directly or indirectly — may help stave off illness.

Some of the studies in the review indicated that optimistic people are more adept at problem-solving, better at developing coping mechanisms, and more apt to realize goals. And those are the kind of skills that could drive someone to take a more active interest in monitoring and maintaining their health, the researchers said.

Continued

“Consistent study has shown that optimists have better health habits,” Rozanski noted. “They are more likely to have good diets and exercise,” and they may be less likely to smoke.

“Increasing data also suggests that optimism may have direct biological benefits, whereas pessimism may be health-damaging,” he added. “This biological connection has already been shown for some other psychological risk factors, such as depression.”

Positivity may also work its magic by lowering inflammation and improving metabolism, the authors suggested.

This is not the first study to find such a link. Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in August found an upbeat view of life boosted the odds of living to a ripe old age.

Looking ahead, Rozanski’s team pointed to the potential for developing new mind-body treatments, likely in the realm of behavioral therapy, designed to cut down on pessimism and boost optimism.

“However, further research will need to assess whether optimism that is enhanced or induced through directed prevention or intervention strategies has similar health benefits versus optimism that is naturally occurring,” the report cautioned.

The findings were published Sept. 27 in the journal JAMA Network Open.

Dr. Jeff Huffman, director of cardiac psychiatry research at Massachusetts General Hospital, cowrote an editorial that accompanied the study.

The review provides “yet more evidence that optimism seems to be an independent predictor of superior cardiac health,” he said.

As to why that is, Huffman agreed that optimism is “associated with more physical activity, healthier diet, and a range of other healthy lifestyle behaviors, and it is likely this association that explains a lot of the benefit.”

But optimism also impacts biological processes, he added. And ultimately, “the mechanism by which optimism leads to better health is likely a combination of biology and behavior.”

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Alan Rozanski, M.D., professor, cardiology, department of cardiology, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital, New York City; Jeff Huffman, M.D., director, cardiac psychiatry research, Massachusetts General Hospital, and associate professor, psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Sept. 27, 2019,JAMA Network Open

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Staring at seagulls can stop them stealing food, research shows

FILE PHOTO: Seagulls fly over the Palace Pier in Brighton, southern England March 7, 2009. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s seaside towns are at war with their seagulls, urging visitors not to feed the birds in an effort to stop them snatching titbits like potato chips from tourists’ hands.

Warning signs deck promenade railings from Scarborough to Broadstairs and beyond but now research from the University of Exeter has suggested an easy way for holidaymakers to deter the gulls – just stare at them.

The research showed that with a human staring at them, herring gulls took 21 seconds longer to approach a bag of chips then when left apparently unobserved.

“Gulls are often seen as aggressive and willing to take food from humans, so it was interesting to find that most wouldn’t even come near during our tests,” said lead author Madeleine Goumas, of the Center for Ecology and Conservation at Exeter’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall.

The researchers tried to test 74 gulls but most flew away or would not approach. Just 27 approached the food and 19 completed the “looking at” and “looking away” tests.

“Of those that did approach, most took longer when they were being watched,” Goumas said. “Some wouldn’t even touch the food at all, although others didn’t seem to notice that a human was staring at them.”

Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Americans Are Spending Even More Time Sitting, Study Shows

FRIDAY, July 26, 2019 — The United States has grown a bumper crop of couch potatoes in recent years, a new study reports.

The amount of time people spend sitting around actually increased after the initial release of the federal Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans in 2008, researchers have found.

“Over the past 10 years, there was no significant change in physical activity levels, but there was a significant increase in the time we sit around,” said senior researcher Dr. Wei Bao. He’s an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

As a result, the proportion of people who didn’t get enough aerobic exercise and also sat around for more than 6 hours a day rose from 16% to nearly 19% between 2007 and 2016, according to the study published online July 26 in JAMA Network Open.

An inactive lifestyle has been linked to many chronic diseases.

Sitting around too much increases your risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, anxiety and even certain cancers, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Because of this, federal health officials released the activity guidelines, which recommend adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity exercise.

Moderate-intensity activity can include mowing the lawn, playing tennis, enjoying a leisurely bike ride, engaging in a brisk walk, or doing heavy housework like vacuuming, mopping or washing windows.

Vigorous exercise includes jogging, bicycling fast, playing basketball or soccer, shoveling dirt or carrying heavy loads.

To see how many Americans meet these recommendations, Bao’s team reviewed data from a series of federal studies that track health trends among U.S. adults and children.

The investigators found that time spent sitting increased from 5.7 hours a day in 2007-2008 to 6.4 hours a day in 2015-2016.

The increase in sedentary behavior was seen in nearly every major subgroup of the U.S. population, the study authors said.

At the same time, there was no real change in Americans’ physical activity. About 65% of people met guidelines for aerobic activity in 2015-2016, compared with 63% in 2007-2008, the study found.

American life is designed to be cushy, so it’s natural that folks settle in and relax rather than get up and go, Bao said.

“This will be a natural phenomenon for a convenience society, for a modern society like the United States,” he said. “I think sitting down is a natural desire for humans. When people are tired at work and go home, the first thing is to lie down on the sofa and watch TV for another two hours.”

American jobs have also gotten less physically demanding, said Donna Arnett, dean of the University of Kentucky College of Public Health, in Lexington.

“If you look at physical activity from occupational energy expenditure, that has been going down dramatically over the past three to four decades,” she said. “Our jobs are getting more automated. There’s much less physical activity at work.”

The proliferation of screens at work and home hasn’t helped, she added.

“The automation in our lives — at home and at work — is also likely related to the increased use of screen time. People are spending more time looking at their phones and working on their computers, even after hours,” Arnett said.

So why haven’t the Physical Activity Guidelines been more inspiring?

It could be that folks simply don’t know about them.

Only about one in three Americans said they were aware of the guidelines in a 2009 survey, and fewer than 1% could say what the guidelines recommend, researchers said in background notes.

Bao suggested that “there should be more effort to communicate this information and to have people fight against sitting down.”

Smart technology also might help, Arnett said. Devices like Fitbits and Apple Watches can be programmed to regularly remind wearers to get up and move around.

Clever outreach could be key, too. Arnett said someone told her that while binge-watching Netflix, an ad from the American Heart Association appeared urging the viewer to take a break, get up and move around.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about the health risks of inactivity.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Elbows Key to Your Walking Efficiency , Study Shows

FRIDAY, July 12, 2019 — Do you pump your arms while walking?

Keeping your arms straight while walking is much more energy-efficient than walking with bent arms, but arm position doesn’t make much difference when running, a new, small study finds.

The study included eight university students — ranging from casual runners to marathoners — who were filmed while they walked and ran with bent and straight arms while on a treadmill.

“The hardest thing was running with straight arms,” and all of the participants found the movement strange, said Andrew Yegian, a graduate student at Harvard University.

The participants repeated the running and walking tests again two weeks later, but this time breathed through a mask to measure their oxygen consumption. This enabled the researchers to calculate the participants’ energy consumption with their arms in different positions.

The results were published online July 9 in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Holding the arms bent while walking increased energy consumption by 11%, proving that walking with straight arms is by far the most energy-efficient option, the study authors said.

But there was little difference in energy consumption when having arms straight or bent while running.

“We didn’t find any evidence that the energy cost was different between arm postures when running,” Yegian said in a journal news release.

He said he had suspected that running with bent arms would be more efficient, “since that’s what almost everyone does.”

The findings don’t provide an answer as to why runners bend their arms, but there must be some benefit unrelated to energy output, Yegian said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases explains the benefits of walking.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: July 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

How Much Work Brings Happiness? Not Much, Study Shows

By Amy Norton

HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, June 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Having a job can be a boon to mental well-being, but for many of us, it only takes one day of work per week, a new study suggests.

The study, of more than 70,000 adults in the United Kingdom, found that when unemployed people found a job, their mental health typically improved. But, on average, it only took eight hours of work per week — with no sign of extra benefits with more time on the job.

The one-day work week may not be a reality any time soon. Nor would it likely satisfy people who thrive on the job.

But the findings do suggest that when it comes to mental health, many people would be fine working less than the standard 40 hours, according to researchers Brendan Burchell and Daiga Kamerade-Hanta.

“We aren’t advocating an immediate jump to one-day work weeks,” Burchell said. “Our results came as a surprise to us.”

But it makes sense to consider what the standard work week should look like in the future, the researchers said. In time, they argue, “automatization of jobs” will result in fewer work opportunities; if everyone were to work less than the 40-hour norm, that could open up more jobs.

That, in turn, could bring a number of benefits, like “less consumerism” and more family time, Burchell said.

“There is some evidence for this in countries where there has been a reduction in average working hours over the past few decades, such as Germany,” he noted.

Still, people do not work solely for their mental well-being, he acknowledged. There are practical matters like paying for housing and food, and saving for the kids’ college tuition. But, Burchell said, some people can afford to work fewer hours — like “empty nesters” with higher incomes and savings.

The University of Cambridge researchers based their findings on data from a long-term health study of more than 70,000 Britons. All were surveyed at least twice between 2009 and 2018.

Among other things, the participants completed a questionnaire asking about issues like anxiety, depression, sleep problems and difficulty with concentration.

Continued

The study focused on people who, at some point, were either unemployed or not working because they were caring for family or had an illness or disability. The researchers found that when those people later found paid work, their mental well-being typically improved.

But on average, it only took one to eight work hours per week, the findings showed.

And among employed people, those working less than a standard 37- to 40-hour work week were as healthy mentally as those with standard hours.

The researchers tried to account for various explanations: For example, are people who work eight hours per week feeling good because their spouse makes enough money to support the family?

But household income and marital status did not explain the finding — nor did the number of children in the family, the person’s age or physical health.

Of course, the study is looking at averages in a large group.

James Maddux, a senior scholar with the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., pointed out that “it’s impossible to make conclusions about any individual person.”

Much would depend on personality, according to Maddux, who reviewed the findings. For example, he said, there’s what psychologists call the “conscientious” personality. Those people might need more paid work in order to feel like they’re contributing to society.

For others, Maddux said, work gives needed structure to the day or social connections.

“There’s also a difference between a job and a career,” he said. Those on a career path might only be happy when they are improving their skills and climbing the proverbial ladder.

Another question is whether the findings would be similar in the United States, where health insurance and other benefits are tied to work hours, and where views about work may differ.

It’s been said, Maddux noted, that “Americans live to work, while Europeans work to live” — though that’s a gross generalization, he added.

Burchell said his team is now studying whether the pattern holds true in other countries, though the United States is not among them.

The findings were published online June 18 in the journal Social Science and Medicine.

WebMD News from HealthDay

Sources

SOURCES: Brendan Burchell, Ph.D., director of graduate education in sociology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, U.K.; Daiga Kamerade-Hanta, Ph.D., senior lecturer, University of Salford-Manchester/University of Cambridge, U.K.; James Maddux, Ph.D., professor emeritus and senior scholar, Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.; June 18, 2019,Social Science and Medicine, online

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Annecy: DreamWorks Unwraps ‘Kipo’ and ‘Fast & Furious’ Shows

Today, as part of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, DreamWorks Animation released the following:

  • A first look teaser and title reveal of its highly anticipated Netflix original series Fast & Furious: Spy Racers
  • An all new Netflix original series Kipo & the Age of Wonderbeasts from executive producers Radford Sechrist and Bill Wolkoff

Fast & Furious: Spy Racers expands the high-octane action in all-new animated series as teenager Tony Toretto follows in the footsteps of his cousin Dom when he and his friends are recruited by a government agency to infiltrate an elite racing league serving as a front for a nefarious crime organization bent on world domination. Tim Hedrick (Voltron Legendary Defender) and Bret Haaland (All Hail King Julien) will serve as executive producers and showrunners. The series is also executive produced by Vin Diesel and Chris Morgan who also serve as producers on the live-action Fast & Furious franchise. The series is slated to debut globally on Netflix later this year.

Watch the teaser here:

Kipo & the Age of Wonderbeasts, coming to Netflix in 2020

After spending her entire life living in an underground burrow, a young girl named Kipo is thrust into an adventure on the surface of a fantastical post-apocalyptic Earth. She joins a ragtag group of survivors as they embark on a journey through a vibrant wonderland where everything trying to kill them is downright adorable. The series is executive produced and created by Radford Sechrist (How to Train Your Dragon 2) and executive produced and developed for TV by Bill Wolkoff (Once Upon a Time).

A short teaser features series star Karen Fukuhara (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power) as the voice of Kipo.

Watch the teaser here:

The announcements were made during  the DreamWorks Animation TV Studio Focus presentation at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, which also included updates from the studio on the critically-acclaimed Netflix original series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, as well as the original series Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny for Prime Video. Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny is also competition in the TV Films category at the festival. Additionally executive producer Lane Lueras provided a sneak peek of the recently announced Netflix original series, Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous debuting globally on Netflix in 2020.

Fast & Furious: Spy Racers

Fast & Furious: Spy Racers

Animation Magazine

‘Dad Shaming’ Is Real, Survey Shows

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 — It’s not just Moms: Just ahead of Father’s Day, a new survey finds that about half of American dads say they’ve been criticized about their parenting styles.

The way they enforced discipline topped the list of things naysayers called them to task on, with two-thirds of critiques focused on that subject.

Forty-four percent of the time, the criticism came from a family member, often the other child-rearing partner, the findings showed.

“Addressing a child’s misbehavior is one of the greatest challenges of parenting, and parents aren’t always on the same page when it comes to expectations and consequences,” said survey co-director Sarah Clark, of the University of Michigan.

That could prove problematic for families, Clark said.

“Inconsistency between parents in responding to a child’s behavior can send mixed messages to the child, and result in conflict and criticism between parents,” she explained in a university news release.

The next big topic for dad shaming involved the kinds of food men gave their kids (40% of critiques).

Not paying enough attention to the children was also an issue of contention, as was the accusation that dad-child playtime could get too rough — about one-third of fathers said they’d felt judged for these two things.

Other issues raised had to do with how a dad’s parenting style impacted a child’s sleep habits, safety or overall appearance.

The new data comes from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health. This analysis was drawn from data gleaned from 713 fathers of kids up to the age of 13.

There’s a fine line between well-meant parenting advice and destructive shaming, Clark said. In about half of cases, fathers said they had responded to criticism by making a change to their parenting style. But in other cases, criticisms backfired.

“While some fathers say criticism prompts them to seek more information about good parenting practices, too much disparagement may cause dads to feel demoralized about their parental role,” Clark explained.

In fact, more than one-quarter of dads surveyed said these negative judgments undermined their parental confidence, while 20% said that it discouraged them from getting more engaged with parenting. Roughly four in 10 said they thought many criticisms from partners or outsiders were largely unfair.

Clark’s advice: “Family members — especially the other parent — should be willing to acknowledge that different parenting styles are not necessarily incorrect or harmful.”

Fathers tended to rate themselves rather highly, with nine in every 10 saying that they thought dads typically did a good job at parenting. But about one in every 10 also felt that outsiders — teachers, doctors, nurses — automatically assumed dads weren’t knowledgeable about their child’s needs or behaviors.

“Some fathers say they feel that professionals who interact with their child are dismissive of their parental role,” Clark said.

That’s definitely counterproductive, she noted.

“Even subtle forms of disparagement can undercut fathers’ confidence or send the message that they are less important to their child’s well-being,” Clark said. “Professionals who work with children should avoid negative assumptions about fathers’ level of involvement or interest in parenting.”

Besides partners, grandparents were the next greatest dad critics (24%), followed by fathers’ own friends (9%).

Why do some people believe fathers need their “helpful” advice?

“In some instances, this may be a reflection of historical gender roles, where mothers are viewed as more natural caregivers, and fathers as having limited parenting capabilities that need supervision or correction. When this occurs, minor differences in parenting style can cause conflict over the ‘best’ way to parent,” Clark said.

“Cultural norms, family dynamics and prior experience with his own father can also shape a dad’s parenting style and influence the expectations of others,” she added.

More information

The American Psychological Association has more on the challenges of parenting.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: June 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Ariana Grande Postpones Shows Due to Tomato Allergy

THURSDAY, May 30, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Pop singer Ariana Grande postponed two shows in Florida this week due to a tomato allergy.

“Tampa and Orlando, I woke up incredibly sick today, ran to the doctor here and have been told to postpone these shows tonight and tomorrow,” Grande, 25, wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday afternoon, People reported. “I’m so beyond devastated.”

On Wednesday, she said her illness was actually a tomato allergy.

“Update: we discovered .. that .. i had an unfortunate allergic reaction to tomatoes and my throat pretty much closed. still feels like i’m swallowing a cactus but slowly making progress! thank u all for your love and understanding. can’t wait to get back to performing and to make it up to Tampa and Orlando in November.”

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WebMD Health

Trees Really Do Help Keep a City Cool, Study Shows

FRIDAY, May 3, 2019 — Trees are cool — and for cities, the more, the better.

That’s because cities are heat islands, meaning they’re significantly hotter than the rural and semi-rural areas around them.

Trees help reduce this heat island effect, and the cooling effect is strongest in neighborhoods with large numbers of trees, researchers discovered.

“We found that to get the most cooling, you have to have about 40% canopy cover, and this was strongest around the scale of a city block,” said Carly Ziter, assistant professor of biology at Concordia University in Montreal.

“So if your neighborhood has less than 40% canopy cover, you’ll get a little bit of cooling, but not very much. Once you tip over that threshold, you really see large increases in how much you can cool areas off,” she explained in a university news release.

The temperature difference between neighborhoods with a heavy tree canopy and those with no trees can be as much as 7.2 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit, even within a few hundred yards.

“Once you have a certain critical mass of canopy, then each tree becomes more important when it comes to cooling temperatures. That has serious implications for how we design our cities and plan our neighborhoods,” said Ziter, who did the research while completing her doctorate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

While shade provided by trees plays a role in cooling neighborhoods, it isn’t the only way trees lower temperature.

“Trees transpire. They give off water vapor, almost like a little air conditioner,” Ziter said.

Transpiration occurs mainly during the day. That’s why there’s a much smaller temperature difference at night between neighborhoods with significant tree canopy and those without.

Ziter said her findings can help guide public policy and city planning.

She said tree planting efforts would be most effective in reducing temperatures in neighborhoods that are near the 40% threshold. Cities need to maintain their existing tree canopy, and officials should consider equity when deciding where to plant, because wealthier neighborhoods typically have more trees, Ziter added.

Along with lowering temperatures, planting trees in lower-income neighborhoods would also improve the physical and mental health of residents, she said.

“We know that something as simple as having one nice big tree nearby can have a huge host of benefits on people who live in the city,” she said.

The study was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

More information

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has more on using trees and vegetation to reduce heat islands.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: May 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Gum Disease Shows Possible Links to Alzheimer’s

SUNDAY, April 7, 2019 — Regular brushing and flossing can save your teeth into old age.

Could it also save your brain?

The bacteria involved in gum disease might play a key role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests.

DNA from the bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis is more often found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, said lead researcher Jan Potempa, a professor at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry in Kentucky. P. gingivalis is one of the causes of periodontitis, the most serious type of gum disease.

“The DNA can be found in the Alzheimer’s brain, but less frequently at a lower level in the brain of people who died at the same age from causes other than Alzheimer’s,” Potempa said.

Alzheimer’s-affected brains also contain higher levels of a toxin secreted by P. gingivalis called gingipain, he said.

Potempa and his colleagues think the bacteria and its toxins might be connected with Alzheimer’s disease, a suspicion supported by their research involving laboratory mice.

Researchers infected the mouths of mice with P. gingivalis and found that the bacteria did spread into the brain. The infection appeared to increase production of amyloid beta, a protein linked to Alzheimer’s, and also caused inflammation in the brain.

The researchers also found that a drug targeting gingipain blocked movement of the bacteria into the brains of the mice.

The experimental drug, known as COR388, reduced the amount of P. gingivalis in mouse brains, with an accompanying decrease in amyloid beta production and brain inflammation, researchers reported.

A phase 1 clinical trial is underway to see if COR388 can prevent Alzheimer’s, researchers said. The company Cortexyme Inc., based in San Francisco, developed the drug and is supporting the research.

There are several routes by which P. gingivalis could get into the brain, Potempa said. It could be carried through the bloodstream, by cell-to-cell infection, or through the nervous system.

“There a lot of nerves going into our mouth which have direct connection to the brain,” he added. “If the bacteria gets into these nerves, it can translocate directly into the brain.”

If this theory of Alzheimer’s disease proves true, then it could be that the amyloid plaques that are thought to disrupt brain function might actually be the brain defending itself against infection, Potempa said.

“Beta amyloid has an antibacterial function,” he said. “It’s not just there to form the plaques. It can kill the bacteria. These beta amyloid plaques may be essential for defending the brain against bacteria.”

About 46% of adults 30 and older have gum disease, with about 9% having very severe disease, Potempa said.

You can avoid gum disease by brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing regularly to remove plaque between teeth, and visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings, according to the U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

This study is part of a growing field of research looking into whether viral or bacterial infections might be associated with Alzheimer’s, said Keith Fargo, director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association.

Another well-respected research team is investigating possible links between herpes virus and Alzheimer’s, he said.

“It’s actually receiving a lot of attention over the past couple of years. If you’d have asked me three years ago, I would have said it’s a fairly fringe idea,” Fargo said.

But a direct cause-and-effect relationship has yet to be established between any infectious agent and Alzheimer’s, Fargo said.

He said it’s possible that bacteria like P. gingivalis are found at higher levels in Alzheimer’s brains because those brains are weakened and less able to defend against infection.

“As the brain gets sick with Alzheimer’s disease or with something else, it becomes less able to fight off these things,” Fargo said.

Dr. Ronald Petersen, director of the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer’s Research Center, agreed that the link between bacterial infection and Alzheimer’s is still “quite speculative.”

“I certainly wouldn’t worry a group of readers that this is the cause of Alzheimer’s, or if you’ve got gum disease you’re more likely to develop dementia later in life,” he said.

Petersen said the mouse evidence is interesting, but still a step removed from Alzheimer’s in humans. Research on animals does not always produce the same results in humans.

“That would argue this is plausible but again, it’s genetically engineered mice and it’s kind of far from human reality at this point,” he said.

Potempa presented his research Sunday at the 2019 annual meeting of the American Association of Anatomists, in Orlando, Fla. Research presented at meetings is typically considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has more about gum disease.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: April 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

Emma Thompson’s Exit Letter to Skydance Shows What Solidarity Looks Like

In the latest ripple in the ongoing John Lasseter controversy — which began when the ousted Disney-Pixar chief was swiftly hired on by newcomer Skydance Animation despite the multiple inappropriate behavior and hostile workplace allegations against him — two-time Academy Award-winning actress Dame Emma Thompson has departed the studio’s upcoming debut feature, Luck.

Following the reports of Thompson’s exit earlier this month (she officially withdrew January 20), a letter she sent to Skydance management has been published by the Los Angeles Times. In it, she thoughtfully lays out the concerns and questions that lead to her decision, which means putting aside a project and a director she had been keen on. You can read the letter in full below.

Thompson is voicing a part for Laika’s Missing Link this year, and Polynesia the Parrot in Universal’s live-action The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle in 2020. Prior animation roles include Queen Elinor in Pixar’s Brave and Captain Amelia in Disney’s Treasure Planet.

As you know, I have pulled out of the production of “Luck” — to be directed by the very wonderful Alessandro Carloni. It feels very odd to me that you and your company would consider hiring someone with Mr. Lasseter’s pattern of misconduct given the present climate in which people with the kind of power that you have can reasonably be expected to step up to the plate.

I realise that the situation — involving as it does many human beings — is complicated. However these are the questions I would like to ask:

  • If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave “professionally”?
  • If a man has made women at his companies feel undervalued and disrespected for decades, why should the women at his new company think that any respect he shows them is anything other than an act that he’s required to perform by his coach, his therapist and his employment agreement? The message seems to be, “I am learning to feel respect for women so please be patient while I work on it. It’s not easy.”
  • Much has been said about giving John Lasseter a “second chance.” But he is presumably being paid millions of dollars to receive that second chance. How much money are the employees at Skydance being paid to GIVE him that second chance?
  • If John Lasseter started his own company, then every employee would have been given the opportunity to choose whether or not to give him a second chance. But any Skydance employees who don’t want to give him a second chance have to stay and be uncomfortable or lose their jobs. Shouldn’t it be John Lasseter who has to lose HIS job if the employees don’t want to give him a second chance?
  • Skydance has revealed that no women received settlements from Pixar or Disney as a result of being harassed by John Lasseter. But given all the abuse that’s been heaped on women who have come forward to make accusations against powerful men, do we really think that no settlements means that there was no harassment or no hostile work environment? Are we supposed to feel comforted that women who feel that their careers were derailed by working for Lasseter DIDN’T receive money?

I hope these queries make the level of my discomfort understandable. I regret having to step away because I love Alessandro so much and think he is an incredibly creative director. But I can only do what feels right during these difficult times of transition and collective consciousness raising.

I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women’s bodies whether they like it or not is not going to change overnight. Or in a year. But I am also aware that if people who have spoken out — like me — do not take this sort of a stand then things are very unlikely to change at anything like the pace required to protect my daughter’s generation.

Yours most sincerely,

Emma Thompson

[Source: Los Angeles Times]

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