Midday napping may boost pediatric behavior, cognitive performance

Midday napping may boost pediatric behavior, cognitive performance

Children who took naps in the afternoon had reduced behavioral problems; increased happiness, grit and self-control; and higher IQ scores, compared with those without afternoon naps, researchers reported in the journal Sleep. The findings, based on data involving 2,928 fourth- to sixth-grade students, also showed 7.6% better academic performance among sixth-graders with at least three afternoon naps weekly.

The Times of India/Press Trust of India (6/2)

Older women who walk two miles daily may live longer than their less active peers

Older women who walk two miles daily may live longer than their less active peers

Reuters (5/29, Rapaport) reports, “Older women who get in enough steps each day to walk the equivalent of about two miles – far less than the five-mile goal set by many Americans – might still live longer than their less active counterparts,” researchers concluded after having nearly “17,000 women in their early 70s wear accelerometers for at least four days to track their total daily steps and the intensity of their movements.” The study revealed that “compared to women who logged no more than 2,718 steps daily, women who achieved at least 4,363 daily steps were 41 percent less likely to die.” The findings were published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Caffeinated energy drinks may affect heart’s electrical activity and increase blood pressure

Caffeinated energy drinks may affect heart’s electrical activity and increase blood pressure

CNN (5/29, Howard) reports researchers “found that caffeinated energy drinks altered the heart’s electrical activity and raised blood pressure.” The findings were published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. CNN adds that the American Academy of Pediatrics says that children “should not consume” caffeinated energy drinks.

Studies link junk food consumption to increased risk for heart disease, early death

Studies link junk food consumption to increased risk for heart disease, early death

USA Today (5/30, Bote) reports, “Two new studies…show that consuming convenient junk food has been linked to increased heart disease and early death.” One study involving “nearly 20,000 participants” revealed that “those who consumed more than four servings a day of ultra-processed foods had a 62% increased risk of early mortality.” Another study that tracked “nearly 100,000 people’s consumption of over 3,000 items…found a 12% increase in cardiovascular disease, 11% in cerebrovascular disease, which can result in strokes, and 13% in coronary heart disease.” Both studies were published in the BMJ.

Survey shows increase in energy drink consumption among young adults

Survey shows increase in energy drink consumption among young adults

Reuters (5/27, Mishra) reports that “Americans are consuming more energy drinks, with a notable increase among young adults, survey data show.” Researchers “point to high caffeine levels in energy drinks and a ‘rapidly expanding body of literature’ that suggests negative health effects and risky behaviors may be linked to high consumption of the beverages.” Reuters adds that “for adults, caffeine in doses up to 400 mg (about five cups of coffee) is generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, although some people are sensitive to lower doses,” while “higher amounts can cause health effects like high blood pressure, insomnia, irregular heartbeats and other problems.” The study was published online in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.