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“Your Wearable Won’t Help You Lose Weight” plus 5 more Health – TIME

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“Your Wearable Won’t Help You Lose Weight” plus 5 more Health – TIME


Your Wearable Won’t Help You Lose Weight

Posted: 20 Sep 2016 08:19 AM PDT

People interested in their personal metrics have long flocked to wearable devices, which track movement and sleep patterns, but a new study reveals they don’t seem to help people lose weight.

“The whole hypothesis was that [wearables] would be helpful, and they worked just the opposite,” says study author John Jakicic of the University of Pittsburgh. “But that makes [the study] even more intriguing.” (Jakicic has ties to Weight Watchers International and has received funding from wearable maker Jawbone Inc. for some of his past research.)

In the new report, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Jakicic and his fellow researchers assigned about 470 people who were overweight into a weight loss group for two years. One was a standard weight-loss intervention group, in which people were assigned a low-calorie diet, increased physical activity and group counseling; the other group did the same thing, but adopted wearable technology six months in. The researchers included people between ages 18 and 35, an age group that would be more likely to embrace technology like wearable trackers, the researchers suspected.

About six months in, text message prompts and telephone counseling were added to both groups. The people in the standard weight loss group started self-monitoring their diet and exercise using a website. The people in the technology group were given a wearable device to monitor their exercise and diet.

The results were surprising to Jakicic and his team. The people using wearables still lost some weight, but significantly less than the people who weren’t using them. People in the standard weight loss group lost 13 pounds on average, whereas the people in the wearables group lost 7.7 pounds on average.

Why the wearables didn’t help people lose more weight than the other group was puzzling. Jakicic and his team don’t have a reason, but they have a few ideas. It’s possible that when the people saw their physical activity throughout the day, they felt a false sense of security that since they had walked so much, for example, they could eat more. On the other hand, Jakicic suggests wearables may not be encouraging for the people in the study. “These are people who are already struggling, and already don’t like activity,” he says. “They look down and see, ‘I am so far away from my goal today, I can’t do it.’ It could be working against them.”

The researchers used BodyMedia Fit activity trackers, which were a common brand when they started the study years ago, but many more wearable tracking devices exist on the market today. “We are going to get criticized for that, but at the end of the day, there are studies that show that after a few months people get bored with them,” says Jakicic.

Jakicic says he hopes what people take away from the study is that there are other key behaviors that are important for weight loss that people should continue to focus on for long-term success, like eating well and exercising. “There’s probably a time and place for wearables, and there’s so much more we need to learn about them,” he says. “For the person who finds wearables engaging, absolutely use them.”

Babies Should Eat Eggs and Peanuts Early to Avoid Food Allergies

Posted: 20 Sep 2016 08:04 AM PDT

When babies eat certain foods early in life—the kinds so many end up allergic to, like eggs and peanuts—they’re less likely to develop allergies to those foods later on, finds a new analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

This is relatively new thinking. Not so long ago, in 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that allergenic foods be kept away from infants until they were at least a year old, and often older. That warning was especially strong for those with a family history of allergies. But, as an editorial published in the same issue of JAMA points out, in the next decade, food allergy prevalence nearly doubled in the United States.

That advice has been amended, and newer evidence has shown that introducing foods earlier is actually better for preventing food allergies. The authors of the just-published study reviewed all of the available evidence on the topic and included 146 studies in their final analysis.

They found evidence of “moderate certainty” that introducing peanuts early, between ages 4 and 11 months, is linked to a reduction in the risk of developing a peanut allergy. Eggs, too, showed this association when they were introduced between ages 4 and 6 months. Early introduction of another common allergen, fish, was also linked to less allergy—possibly due to the anti-inflammatory effects of omega-3s—though evidence for this link wasn’t as certain.

Early introduction didn’t seem to make a difference for autoimmune diseases, at least according to the available evidence; eating gluten young wasn’t associated with the risk of developing celiac disease.

Exactly why is a question researchers are still exploring. “It is not clear that it is the specific early introduction of an allergenic food that renders immunological protection, rather than the accompanying increased diversity in the diet that occurs as a by-product,” writes Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, an allergy and immunology specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado, in the accompanying editorial. More research is necessary to figure out the ideal amounts of these allergens, the optimum times of introduction and the reasons behind the link.

This Interactive Virtual Reality Experience Relaxes You in Minutes

Posted: 20 Sep 2016 04:00 AM PDT

Imagine leaving a stressful day behind and slipping into a magical forest of calming lights and sounds.

That’s the vision of LUMEN, a relaxing virtual reality experience that launches this week through LIFE VR’s new mobile app.

The app lets you calm yourself in minutes while exploring a bioluminescent forest with LUMEN, a self-guided, nonlinear meditation rooted at the intersection of virtual reality and wellness.

This virtual reality experience begins with a short breathing exercise, then places you in a luminous multicolored woodland where you’ll use ‘headset gaze’ to interact with the sights and sounds of your environment—and de-stress in the process. You’ll stimulate tree growth, choose a hue from the sky’s aurora display to customize your tranquil setting, and navigate a lush forest floor—giving colorful life to the dark and sparse landscape. The soundtrack, created by composer Peter Timberlake, evolves with your every interaction.

LUMEN was created in collaboration with Walter Greenleaf, PhD, of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, and Framestore’s VR Studio—and Dr. Greenleaf and other Stanford research scientists at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital will be evaluating how LUMEN can help children who are undergoing difficult surgical procedures. The experience is just the tip of the interactive iceberg when it comes to the power of harnessing VR to better your life.

LUMEN is available exclusively through LIFE VR’s mobile app for iOS and Android, and on Steam for the HTC Vive. To watch full experience and explore more exclusive virtual reality content download the LIFE VR app for iOS and Android or visit time.com/lifevr.

Kellogg Recalls Eggo Waffles Over Possible Listeria Contamination

Posted: 19 Sep 2016 05:33 PM PDT

It might finally be time to let go of that Eggo, after Kellogg Co. announced Monday that it was recalling some of the popular waffles in 25 states over fears that they may have been exposed to listeria.

Some 10,000 cases of Eggo Nutri-Grain Whole Wheat Waffles were recalled, the company announced on its website. Kellogg says that routine testing revealed a “potential for contamination” in the products, but that no incidents of illness have been reported.

“Listeria monocytogenes can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems,” Kellogg wrote in a statement. “The company has received no reports of illness to date but is taking this action as part of its commitment to the health and safety of the people who eat its foods.”

This isn’t the first time that Kellogg’s Eggo brand has faced a listeria recall. The FDA found the bacteria at an Atlanta plant in 2009, according to CNN.

The company says the recall does not impact any other Eggo products.

Miami Neighborhood Now Free of Zika, Officials Say

Posted: 19 Sep 2016 02:45 PM PDT

(MIAMI) — Authorities declared a victory Monday in stemming further infections of Zika in Miami’s Wynwood arts district, but continued to caution pregnant women about traveling to the city and surrounding areas out of concerns for catching the virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted a warning for pregnant women to stay out of the Wynwood neighborhood altogether, saying it was no longer a zone of active transmission. They credited aerial spraying of pesticides targeting the mosquitoes that transmit the virus.

In nearby Miami Beach, meanwhile, health officials have broadened their declared zone of active local transmission.

No new cases of Zika have been reported in Wynwood since early August. Health officials said that over the past several weeks, mosquito control workers there have seen fewer of the insects, the main culprits in spreading the virus.

“The message with Wynwood is it was a huge success,'” said Dr. Lyle Petersen of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC continues to advise pregnant women to consider postponing non-essential travel to all of Miami-Dade County — including Wynwood and Miami Beach.

Wynwood was the first place on the U.S. mainland where mosquitoes began transmitting Zika. CDC officials and Florida’s governor attributed the drop-off in infections there to aggressive aerial spraying with naled, an insecticide that targets adult mosquitoes, and street-level spraying with another pesticide that kills mosquito larva.

“This outbreak would have kept going without the aerial spraying,” Petersen said.

Gov. Rick Scott said residents and business owners who kept their properties clear of standing water also helped.

“We’re doing everything we can to do educate the public and have the same success in Miami Beach as we have in Wynwood,” Scott said.

But despite months of public outreach and aggressive mosquito control measures, including the removal of cylinder-shaped tropical plants that trap water where insects can breed, Florida health officials have continued to find Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Miami Beach, where some residents have objected to the aerial spraying of the naled. The city’s infection zone has expanded from just South Beach to a 4.5-square-mile (12-square kilometer) area encompassing most of 7-mile-long (11-kilometer long) island, Scott’s office announced late Friday.

Miami Beach’s tall buildings and ocean breezes make aerial spraying there more difficult than in Wynwood, Petersen said.

A plane contracted by Miami-Dade County mosquito control officials sprayed naled over South Beach on Sunday. It was the city’s third aerial spraying. A fourth is scheduled Saturday.

Of 83 non-travel-related Zika cases in Florida residents, 31 were associated with Wynwood and 35 with Miami Beach, Florida Department of Health spokeswoman Mara Gabineri said in an email Monday. Another 10 people who aren’t Florida residents also have contracted Zika in the state.

Zika infections are mild for most people but can cause severe brain-related birth defects, including a dangerously small head, if women are infected during pregnancy. Dr. Celeste Philip, Florida’s surgeon general, said the state is trying to speed up processing for Zika tests for pregnant women.

“We have purchased additional lab equipment, and we have additional personnel from CDC. We’ve also hired additional staff to run more tests at the same time,” she said.

Local officials and business leaders joined Scott at a Wynwood art gallery to try and reassure residents and tourists fearful of Zika.

“It’s a great day in Wynwood. Everybody, please come back,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said.

Zak Stern was offering free lunches for pregnant women visiting his Wynwood bakery, Zak the Baker, to celebrate the state’s announcement. He couldn’t estimate how much Zika had impacted his business, but he questioned whether the response to the outbreak was proportionate to the risk.

“The business owners, they were trying to make it seem like it’s not such a big deal. The government was trying to show that they were doing something. The press was trying to show a story. The public was stuck in the middle, misinformed and afraid,” Stern said.

Stern lives just north of the expanded infection zone in Miami Beach, and his wife is due to give birth in about a month. He said the couple has tried to balance Zika with other safety recommendations for pregnant women.

“They tell you that you can’t eat sushi, and they tell you that you can’t eat soft cheese, and they tell that you can’t drink, right? And now they’re telling you that you can’t go outside,” he said. “Zika or no Zika, things can happen.”

Why Young Children Are Dying by Suicide

Posted: 19 Sep 2016 10:51 AM PDT

Suicide in children, though rare, is the 10th leading cause of death for elementary school-aged kids in the U.S. According to a study in a forthcoming issue of the journal Pediatrics, it can’t be explained the same way for kids of all ages.

The researchers used the National Violent Death Reporting System to look at suicide data for children from 2003-2012 for 17 states in the U.S. They then sorted the 693 cases and looked at two age groups: 5-11, which accounted for children in elementary school, and early adolescents ages 12-14.

Past research has indicated that the circumstances of suicide during these two life stages were not the same, so the researchers wanted to find out how they differed for younger children.

Children of both age groups who died by suicide had several things in common. Most were male, most died at home and about one-third of them had diagnosed mental disorders. Children in both age groups also had an identical likelihood —29%—of telling another person their suicidal intentions.

But the researchers found distinct differences, too. Younger children who died by suicide were far more likely to be black than early adolescents—a surprising finding, since suicide rates for young people are consistently higher in white Americans, but one that bolsters recent data finding a rise of suicides in black children and a drop in white children.”Theories surrounding the increase seen in the suicide rate among young black children are yet to be established,” wrote Arielle Sheftall, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Ohio and the study’s first author, in an email to TIME. “We are planning additional studies to investigate potential factors underlying this racial disparity in child suicide.”

An equally stark finding was that most of the children with mental illness who died by suicide had attention-deficit disorder, not depression. While about 60% of children in the younger group had ADD or ADHD, only 33% had depression; in older kids, 66% of them had depression, and 29% had ADD or ADHD. “This finding falls along developmental lines,” Sheftall says. “It suggests that children who die by suicide may be more vulnerable as a group to respond impulsively to interpersonal challenges.”

Younger kids were also more likely than their older peers to have relationship problems with family members or friends, and much less likely to have troubles with girlfriends or boyfriends.

“It’s important to ask children directly about suicide if there is a safety concern,” Sheftall concludes. “Parents, school personnel, and healthcare professionals need to know the warning signs of suicide”—like sudden withdrawal from friends or activities, extended unhappiness or increasing aggressiveness or irritability—”and what steps to take when these signs are present.”

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