Discovered: Bigger babies don't mean fatter kids, why a month-long drinking detox won't save your liver, the in vitro fertilization twin phenomenon, and glaucoma risk factors.
- Get a new New Year's resolution: going on the wagon doesn't work. After a New Year's weekend bender, a liver cleanse might sound like a good idea. It's not. Giving up alcohol for a short period of time won't improve liver health, said the British liver trust. "People think they're virtuous with their health by embarking on a liver detox each January with the belief that they are cleansing their liver of excess following the festive break," Andrew Langford, chief executive of the trust said. Instead he suggests resolving to abstain from alcohol a few days a week for the entire year instead. That sounds completely unsustainable to us -- a resolution bound to fail. [BBC]
- No link between bigger babies and obesity. A big baby doesn't mean a future fat child. Over the last 80 years, babies in Southwestern Ohio have indeed gotten bigger, found a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics. "What would have been considered a big kid in the 1930s would not have been considered a big kid today," explained researcher Ellen Demerath to Reuters. Babies born after 1970 were about a pound heavier and an inch longer than those born earlier than that. But even though kids are coming out bigger, these large babies don't necessarily turn into obese children. But given the rising epidemic of obesity, there's a good chance that they will. Moms are getting fatter, found the study, with 48 percent of mothers qualifying as obese between 1990 and 2008, up from 18 percent between 1930 and 1949. And just today the New York Times reported that the Coast Guard has had to raise its assumed average weight per person up to 185 pounds from 160. We're still getting fatter, just don't freak out if you have an extra long, extra fat kid: He still might have a chance at a svelte future. [Reuters]
- Twins even help each other out in the womb. We've heard of twin ESP stuff before. But the connection goes all the way back to the embryonic level, found new research. With the proliferation of in vitro fertilization, we've seen more twin and triplet babies. Now researchers think two embryos succeed because they help each other out, with the stronger embryos helping the weaker ones survive, found a recent study by a group of Spanish researchers. They call it "embryo assistance." [MSNBC]
- The link between latitude and glaucoma. Bad news for women, people not of Norwegian descent and northern dwellers. New demographic research has found that those are some risk factors for developing exfoliation syndrome, which leads to glaucoma. The findings have led these researchers to believe that northern latitudes have something to do with developing the eye disease, probably something to do with (lack of) sunshine and cold temperatures. "This large prospective cohort study demonstrates that there is a positive association between latitude and ES risk that is robust and not related to demographic features or other systemic covariates," researcher Louis Pasquale explained. They also found that eye color has nothing to do with it and those of Southern European descent have nothing to worry about either. [Eureka]