Healthy Diet Tied to Improved Reading Skills in Youths

Healthy diet tied to improved reading skills in youths

Finnish researchers found that children who mostly ate fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and unsaturated fats had more improved reading skills from first grade to third grade regardless of reading ability at baseline, compared with those whose diets had more sugary foods and red meat. The findings in the European Journal of Nutrition were based on data involving 161 youths in Finland, ages 6 to 8.

HealthDay News (9/19) 


Experts share strategies to reduce pain in child vaccinations

Experts share strategies to reduce pain in child vaccinations

Parents can help make vaccinations less painful for their children by requesting their pediatrician provide topical anesthetics in advance or by using distracting strategies such as breast-feeding for those younger than age 1 and reading stories or blowing bubbles for older youths, experts said. Parents can also make vaccinations easier for their children by preparing them beforehand, experts said.

The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (10/3) 


Fatal Measles Complication May Be More Common Than Previously Believed

The Washington Post (10/28, Sun) reports that subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE), “a complication of measles that kills children years after they have been infected, is more common than previously thought,” researchers found. After examining data from a California outbreak of measles in 1990, investigators discovered that “for babies who get measles before being vaccinated, the rate” of developing SSPE “is one in 609.”

Reuters (10/28, Berkrot) reported that previously, the rate of SSPE was believed to be about one in 1,700, “based on an earlier German study of children under five years of age infected with measles.” The research was presented at ID Week.

Young People With Access To Mobile Devices At Night May Be More Sleep Deprived Than Peers

The Washington Post (10/31, Cha) reports young people with access to mobile devices around bedtime “are more than twice as likely to sleep less than nine hours a night” than their peers who do not have access to such devices, according to a review published in JAMA Pediatrics. The researchers also found that young people who keep such devices in their rooms “are 50 percent more likely to get poor sleep and 200 percent more likely to be excessively sleepy during the day.”

        Reuters (10/31, Doyle) reports researchers reviewed 20 previous studies and found that “kids using portable media devices around bedtime were more than twice as likely as kids who didn’t use them to have short sleep times, but so were kids who had access to such devices at night but didn’t use them.” Medical Daily (10/31, Cara) reports the studies reviewed “involved more than 120,000 children from the ages of 6 to 19.”


Stress in women may erase benefits of a healthful diet

The Los Angeles Times (9/20, Healy) reports in “Science Now” that stress in women may “erase the benefits of a healthful diet,” researchers found. Specifically, the 58-woman study revealed that “suffering a day of stresses…erased the difference between women who got healthy fats and those who got fats more commonly linked to heart disease.” The findings were published Sept. 20 in Molecular Psychiatry.