Health Headlines of the Week: June 18-22

Featured Article, Healthy Living
on June 20, 2012

A Toast to Pregnancy?

A Danish study released this week revealed that mothers who consumed one to six units of alcohol per week while pregnant gave birth to children who are just as intelligent and well-developed as those born to mothers who did NOT drink during pregnancy. The study followed 1,628 women from pregnancy to when their children reached age 5, and researchers found no major differences in the children even when mothers consumed alcohol up to nine times a week. This isn’t a pregnant woman’s passport to party, though, as it is still advised that pregnant women abstain from drinking alcohol while pregnant.

From the Mouths of Babes

There have been plenty of shock-tactic attempts to drive home the fact that smoking is bad. The horrifying images on cigarette packs … and remember The Truth folks and all their orange? But it’s the release of this Thai anti-smoking campaign commercial that has people thinking twice about lighting up. The video features children carrying cigarettes and walking up to smokers to ask for a light. When the adults provide reason after reason why the children shouldn’t be smoking, the youngsters then inquire why it’s okay for the adults to do so. The children then hand off an informative pamphlet, and off they go. Simple yet apparently effective, the campaign has ignited a 40 percent increase in calls to the Thai national “quit smoking” hotline since the video’s release.

Boxers or Briefs?

This clip from Seinfeld is one of the most memorable: Kramer opts out of underwear after learning it could render him infertile. Turns out, Kramer’s notion is still relevant. A fertility study in Great Britain that was posted online recently established contributing factors that affect a man’s fertility, and the causes were categorized into unalterable—or factors that can’t be changed—and modifiable … ones that can be changed. The unalterable group listed factors like testicular surgery, mumps after age 13 and being of a non-white race as affecting a man’s fertility. In the modifiable category were manual work and, as Kramer already knew, brief-style underwear.

What’s the Weather? Pass the Aspirin!

A newly published Taiwanese study found that weather can trigger migraines, particularly mild migraines. Researchers at the Taipei Veterans Hospital in Taiwan worked with a group of 66 people for one year. Participants recorded all of their migraine triggers for the duration of the study, and the results showed that slightly more than half reported a weather-related trigger. The connections were more often made on cold days versus hot ones, and the migraines triggered were more commonly mild than severe.