What's the buzz

What's the buzz

Moms struggling to serve healthy meals

A survey has found that more than half of Australian mothers are struggling to serve healthy meals to their children every day, and many are worrying that their kids are too inactive.

The survey of more than 16,000 mums, which comes amid growing concern about childhood obesity, has revealed widespread concern about their children’s diet and exercise levels.

It revealed that 36 per cent of mothers feared their children weren’t getting enough physical activity, and that 43 per cent said they tried to give their kids balanced meals, but were finding it difficult.

Another 10 per cent of mothers were either confused about what to serve up or couldn’t get their children to eat the healthy meals they prepared.

“Mealtimes can be a challenge,” said Louisa Begley, a Brisbane mum with three school-age children including one fussy eater and another who wants a lot of variety in the weekly menu.

Misinformation spreads quickly via Twitter

A new study has revealed that misinformation about antibiotics can travel to large audience through social networking sites like Twitter.

Experts from Columbia University and MixedInk (New York) examined the health information content of Twitter updates mentioning antibiotics to determine how people are sharing information and assess the proliferation of misinformation.

The investigation explored evidence of misunderstanding or misuse of antibiotics.
“Research focusing on microblogs and social networking services is still at an early stage. Further study is needed to assess how to promote healthy behaviours and to collect and disseminate trustworthy information using these tools,” Daniel Scanfeld and colleagues said.

The authors stressed that because health information is shared extensively on such networks, it is important for health care professionals to have a basic familiarity with social networking media services, such as Twitter.

They add that such services can potentially be used to gather important real-time health data and may provide a venue to identify potential misuse or misunderstanding of antibiotics, promote positive behaviour change, and disseminate valid information.

Optimism good for body’s immune system

Optimism may be good for your health, say researchers, claiming that feeling better about the future might help you feel better for real.

In a new study, Suzanne Segerstrom, University of Kentucky and Sandra Sephton, University of Louisville, studied how law students’ expectations about the future affected their immune response. 

Earlier studies found that people who are optimistic about their health tend to do better, but it’s not clear how optimism affects your health — or whether pessimism makes you less healthy.

“I don’t think that I would advise people that they should revise their expectations to be unrealistic. But if people have slightly more positive views of the future than is actually true, that’s adaptive,” said Segerstrom.