For years, virtually every new mother has been sent home from the hospital with a gift bag full of free product samples, including infant formula. Now health authorities and breast-feeding advocates are leading a nationwide effort to ban formula samples, saying they can sway women away from breast-feeding. As of 2011, nearly half of about 2,600 hospitals in a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had stopped giving formula samples to breast-feeding mothers, up from a quarter in 2007. Recently, 24 hospitals in Oklahoma agreed to a ban. In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all hospitals stopped free samples. There's no question that breast-feeding had health benefits, experts say. But do samples tempt mothers who could breast-feed exclusively for the recommended six months to use formula when they're exhausted or discouraged? Studies have had mixed results. People on either side of the sample issue agree that hospitals should support breast-feeding in many ways.
Could eating tomatoes help prevent strokes? A Finnish study suggests that high blood levels of lycopene, unlike those of other antioxidants, could be associated with a significantly reduced risk of stroke. Vegetables, especially tomatoes, are a significant source of lycopene. The analysis in the journal Neurology followed 1,031 men ages 46 to 55, measuring their blood levels of five antioxidants and recording incidents of stroke. Men with the highest lycopene levels were 55 percent less likely to have a stroke than those with the lowest. There was no association between stroke and blood levels of the other four antioxidants -- alpha carotene, beta carotene, alpha tocopherol and retinol. Lead author Jouni Karppi, a researcher at the University of Eastern Finland, said, "The consumption of vegetables is good for your health anyway, in addition to whatever protection it offers against stroke."
In a head-to-head contest pitting a pair of psychologist-led "behavioral weight loss" programs against a 48-week membership to Weight Watchers, a study found that Weight Watchers participants stuck with their regimen longer and shed more pounds.
When engaged in what looks like child's play, preschoolers are actually behaving like scientists, according to a new report in the journal Science: forming hypotheses, running experiments, calculating probabilities and deciphering causal relationships about the world.
What do monsters eat? No one knew in the case of Vampyroteuthis infernalis, the vampire squid.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that high levels of urinary BPA — Bisphenol A, a chemical widely used to prevent metal corrosion in food packaging — are associated with an increased risk of childhood obesity.
Management consultants say 60 percent of senior execs experience high stress on a regular basis, and a thriving industry of motivational speakers teaches business leaders how to manage their corrosive burden of stress. But just how uneasy lies the head that wears the crown? Not very, it turns out. A new study reveals that those who sit atop the nation's political, military, business and nonprofit organizations are actually pretty chill. Compared with people of similar age, gender and ethnicity who haven't made it to the top, leaders pronounced themselves less stressed and anxious. And their levels of cortisol, a hormone that circulates at high levels in the chronically stressed, told the same story. The source of the leaders' relative serenity was pretty simple: control. "Leaders possess a particular psychological resource -- a sense of control -- that may buffer against stress," the Harvard University research team reported in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. LOS ANGELES TIMES
Scientists discovered that April quakes were part of never-before-seen event: The splitting of a tectonic plate.
Scientists found that male DNA can linger in mothers' brains for her lifetime. Summary.