Happy Paradise

Feb 8, 2011 at 15:01 o\clock

Acne Really Is A Nightmare For Some Teens

University of Oslo researcher Jon Anders Halvorsen together with co-authors from Lhasa (Tibet) and Boston (US) studied 3775 adolescents to explore the possible causes of acne. The 18- and 19-year olds were given questionnaires to monitor their diets, lifestyle variables, and mental conditions. Participants reported on their own acne. Lastly, researchers acquired the socio-demographic status of the young people from Statistics Norway.

The study identified crude associations between acne and high intake of chocolate and chips and low intake of vegetables. In girls, there was a significant link between acne and diet low in raw and fresh vegetables. This may indicate that a low-glycemic index could have a protective role in the development of acne.

Dr. Halvorsen said: "Our study shows a possible link between diet and acne. However, when we introduced symptoms of depression and anxiety in our statistical model, the role of diet became less clear. On the other hand the association between acne and mental health problems was still strong when diet was introduced. This underscores mental health problems as an important aspect of young people's acne".

He concluded, "It is too early to give evidence based diet advice to teenagers with acne. Further studies are needed. Luckily, acne is rarely associated with serious morbidity. However, it does cause problems for a high number of young people. I hope that this study will encourage doctors to help adolescents to treat their acne and researchers to find preventive factors. Young people deserve better!"

Feb 8, 2011 at 14:55 o\clock

Lean Mass Better For Developing Bones In Young People

“We were interested in the relative influence of lean mass, which is muscle, versus fat mass on how bone grows as kids grow,” said Howard Wey, an associate professor in SDSU’s College of Nursing.

Wey and professor Bonny Specker, director and chair of the Ethel Austin Martin Program in Human Nutrition at SDSU, are continuing to study the issue. They have analyzed data Specker and her team have assembled by taking bone and body composition measurements of rural Hutterite children in South Dakota.

“There’s a little bit of controversy because weight itself has a positive influence on bone,” said Wey. “Heavier individuals tend to have more bone just to support their weight.”

The SDSU study was designed to look deeper at that issue to see whether there are differences in how lean mass and fat mass correlate with bone development. Wey presented the findings at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Baltimore in early May.

The National Institutes of Health funds that research. The Ethel Austin Martin Endowed Program in Human Nutrition also supports SDSU’s ongoing bone research.

To study fat mass versus lean mass as a factor in bone development, the SDSU researchers gathered two to three measurements over a 36-month period on about 150 male and about 200 female Hutterite children ages 8 to 18.

Because they are growing children, all the children in the study showed increases in bone mass, area and density, Wey noted. But there were clear differences in rates of change.

Feb 8, 2011 at 09:25 o\clock

School Program Cuts Problem Behaviors In Fifth Graders In Half


fifth graders who previously participated in a comprehensive interactive school prevention program for one to four years were about half as likely to engage in substance abuse, violent behavior, or sexual activity as those who did not take part in the program.

The study, supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a component of the National Institutes of Health, will appear in the August, 2009, print issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

"This study provides compelling evidence that intervening with young children is a promising approach to preventing drug use and other problem behaviors," said NIDA Director Nora Volkow. "The fact that an intervention beginning in the first grade produced a significant effect on children's behavior in the fifth grade strengthens the case for initiating prevention programs in elementary school, before most children have begun to engage in problem behaviors."

The study was conducted in 20 public elementary schools in Hawaii. Participating schools had below-average standardized test scores and diverse student populations with an average of 55 percent of students receiving free or reduced-price lunches.

The intervention tested was Positive Action (PA), a comprehensive K-12 social and emotional development program for enhancing behavior and academic achievement. Schools were randomly assigned from matched pairs to implement PA or not. The program consists of daily 15-20 minute interactive lessons focusing on such topics as responsible self-management, getting along with others, and self-improvement. At schools implementing the intervention, these lessons occupied a total of about one hour a week beginning in the first or second grade.

PA is an interactive program that integrates teacher/student contact and opportunities for the exchange of ideas as well as feedback and constructive criticism. The program is school wide and involves teachers and parents as well as students. It takes a positive, holistic approach to social and emotional development rather than focusing on the negative aspects of engaging in substance abuse and violence. Finally, at one hour a week, students' exposure to the program was intensive. "These features likely account for the large effect observed," said Flay.

Flay plans to conduct a follow-up study to determine whether the beneficial effects of the PA program on fifth graders are sustained as the children grow older.

Feb 8, 2011 at 09:24 o\clock

Parents' Influence on Children's Eating Habits Is Limited

The meta-analysis is featured in the December issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

"Contrary to popular belief, many studies from different countries, including the United States, have found a weak association between parent-child dietary intake," said Youfa Wang, MD, PhD, MS, lead author of the study and an associate professor with the Bloomberg School's Department of International Health. "This is likely because young people's eating patterns are influenced by many complex factors, and the family environment plays only a partial role. More attention should be given to the influence of the other players on children's eating patterns such as that of schools, the local food environment and peer influence, government guidelines and policies that regulate school meals, and the broader food environment that is influenced by food production, distribution and advertising." He added, "Parents need to be better empowered to be good role models and help their children eat a healthy diet."

Wang, along with colleagues from the National Institute on Aging and the University of Zaragoza in Spain, systematically reviewed and analyzed relevant studies published in different countries between 1980 and 2009. They compared the correlations between parent-child pairs' dietary intakes, by type of parent-child pairs (for example, mother-daughter vs. father-son), world regions and dietary assessment methods, and over time. They found differences in parent-child dietary intake resemblance, across nutrients and dietary assessment approaches. In addition, the meta-analysis provided evidence that correlations have become weaker over time. Compared to non-European countries, in particular, parent-child correlations in intakes of energy and total fat seem to be weaker in the U.S.

"Findings of this study will help enhance our understanding of the factors that may affect children's dietary intake patterns and provide useful insights for developing effective intervention programs to promote healthy eating in young people," said May A. Beydoun, PhD, a co-author of the review, staff scientist at the National Institute on Aging, and a former postdoctoral fellow at the Bloomberg School. "More research is needed to study the parent-child resemblance in the diet, the differences in the association between population groups, and the determinants."

Researchers from the Bloomberg School and leading obesity experts will examine the latest science and policy initiatives for obesity at Super-Sized World: The Global Obesity Epidemic.

"Do children and their parents eat a similar diet? Resemblance in child and parental dietary intake: systematic review and meta-analysis" was written by Y Wang, M A Beydoun, J Li, Y Liu, and L A Moreno.