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Active kids sleep better

The study of 500 children also found that children who fall asleep faster tend to stay asleep for longer.

To reach the conclusion, researchers looked at 519 seven-year-olds.
The majority fell asleep within 45 minutes, and the average ‘sleep latency’ — the time it took — was 26 minutes, the study found.

Physically active kids tended to take less time to fall asleep, but the more prominent association was between being sedentary and taking longer to drift off.

“As short sleep duration is associated with obesity and lower cognitive performance, community emphasis on the importance of promoting healthy sleep in children is vitally important,” the researchers said.

“This study emphasises the importance of physical activity for children, not only for fitness, cardiovascular health and weight control, but also for sleep,” they added.

Food additive may control diabetes

A food additive commonly used in margarine, mayonnaise, chocolates and baked goods might one day help control diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease risk, say researchers.

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis identified a substance, which is the component of food additive lecithin, in the liver that helps process fat and glucose.

They believe that lecithin may one day be used to control blood lipids and reduce risk for diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease using treatments delivered in food rather than medication.

“Currently, doctors use drugs called fibrates to treat problems with cholesterol and triglycerides,” said the study’s co-first author Dr Irfan J Lodhi, a postdoctoral fellow in endocrinology and metabolism.

Effects of bottle feeding kids

Lack of adequate education on proper bottle-feeding practices might put infants at increased health risk, says researchers.

A systematic review of studies has shown that while mothers recognise the benefits of breastfeeding, those who bottle-feed with infant formula do not receive adequate information and support from their healthcare providers and thus, ultimately put their baby’s health at risk.

“While it is important to promote breastfeeding it is also necessary to ensure that the needs of bottle-feeding mothers are not overlooked,” said the authors.

To help meet this need, the International Formula Council (IFC) has provided helpful online resources, including video and print information that review the basics of safe infant formula preparation.

Keep slim friends to stay trim

Want to stay trim? Well, then do away with your fat pals, mounting evidence suggests.
A new American research has found a strong link between teenagers’ own weight and that of their closest peers.

The journal ‘Economics and Human Biology’ further justifies the notion of imitative obesity — aping of friends who gain weight.

It came to the conclusion after looking at data on nearly 5,000 teenagers, many of whom were later followed up after two-year interval.

After analyses, researchers found friendships between the adolescents tended to cluster according to weight, meaning overweight children tended to hang out together.

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