Discovered: Why your baby is a pot-head, soda isn't making kids fat, here's something that does contribute to obesit, and a cure for Ebola?
- Why your baby might test positive for THC. No, your baby is not smoking weed, or more realistically, teething on some weed brownies. And, no it has nothing to do with your recreational drug use. Babies who had exposure to Johnson & Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, J&J Bedtime Bath, CVS Night-Time Baby Bath, Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash and Aveeno Wash Shampoo, for some reason cause them to test positive for THC. "It's not marijuana in any way, shape or form," explains researcher Catherine Hammett-Stabler. Then what is it? The researchers haven't figured that part out yet. But at least for now, parents can rest easy. "We really did this to help protect families from being falsely accused [of drug use]," she added. [UNC Chapel Hill]
- Soda isn't the real reason kids are fat. Amid all this talk about a possible New York City soda ban, here are some useful stats from science. "We found sweetened drinks to be dominant beverages during childhood, but saw no consistent association between beverage intake patterns and overweight and obesity," explains researcher Susan J. Whiting. "Food and beverage habits are formed early in life and are often maintained into adulthood. Overconsumption of sweetened beverages may put some children at increased risk for overweight and obesity. Indeed, boys aged 6-11 years who consumed mostly soft drinks were shown to be at increased risk for overweight and obesity as compared with those who drank a more moderate beverage pattern," she said. Rather, science, found the main predictors of childhood obesity in children aged 6-11were household income, ethnicity, and household food security. These numbers come from Canada, however, but Canada is like America-lite, right? [Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism]
- Speaking of obesity, here's a real factor. Supermarkets. "We found there is a relationship between the prevalence of obesity and the growth of the supermarket economy," explains researcher Hernán Makse said. "While we can't claim causality because we don't know whether obesity is driven by market forces or vice versa, the obesity epidemic can't be solved by focus on individual behavior," he added. The researchers mapped obesity prevalence and compared it with other environmental factors, such as availability of supermarkets. Areas with above-average concentrations of food-related businesses had higher-than-normal prevalence of obesity and diabetes, they found. "The basic idea is that if a non-communicable disease is spreading like a virus, then environmental factors have to be at work," he said. "If only genetics determined obesity, we wouldn't have seen the correlations." [Scientific Reports]
- A cure for Ebola? At least for monkeys, which sounds promising since they are our brethren and all. When given a cocktail of three anti-bodies, the monkeys got better within 24 hours. "The antibodies slowed replication until the animals’ own immune systems kicked in and completely cleared the virus," explains researcher Gary Kobinger. And, really, this might work for humans. "The therapy could be far more effective than others currently available," explains researcher Thomas Bowden. "This is certainly a viable strategy and they have only a few steps before they can go through to humans," he added. [Nature]