Dr. Missaghi’s Newsletter for the month of December

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Dr. Bahareh Missaghi, DC

2700 East Foothill Blvd. Suite 302

Pasadena, CA  91107

(626) 449-0510

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Gift Wrapping Can Cause Back Pain

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As one of the biggest U.S. shopping days of the year approaches, the Colorado Chiropractic Association says gift wrapping can hurt your back. Since there is no "ideal" position for wrapping gifts, the most important thing to remember is to take breaks often, said officials with the CCA and the American Chiropractic Association.

The groups suggest that while wrapping presents, holiday shoppers should:

§         Get up and stretch, or go make some hot apple cider.

§         Do not wrap packages while sitting on a hard floor, as it can wreak havoc on your posture.

§         Always stretch before and after wrapping gifts.

§         Stretch the opposites: if you are leaning forward when wrapping your gifts, stretch backward when you are done.

§          If experiencing pain or discomfort from holiday shopping, apply an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes, then                                           take it off for a couple of hours.

Copyright 2005 – UPI

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Pets Beneficial to Health

Owning a pet is linked to health and well being, particularly for older people and patients recovering from major illness, says a British journal.

Research suggests that pet ownership is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, lower use of family doctor services and a reduced risk of asthma and allergies in young children, reports the British Medical Journal.

Explanations for the association between pet ownership and human health include social benefits and emotional support and some studies have shown that support from pets may mirror some of the elements of human relationships known to contribute to health, according to the journal.

Article City - Copyright 2005



Many Kids Go Without Breakfast

Thirty percent of U.S. elementary school children are going to school at least one day per week on an empty stomach, a report finds.

The 2005 Report Card on America's Breakfast Habits -- by the PTO, a national parent/teacher organization and American Cereal Council -- shows 20 percent are now going to school without breakfast twice a week, the same as last year. However, the chances of children skipping breakfast were reduced by two-thirds if mom had breakfast.

Research shows children who skip breakfast lose up to a quarter of their daily recommended intake of critical vitamins and minerals, directly affecting energy levels, memory and focus. Children who start the day hungry score lower on achievement tests and have higher absenteeism rates than children who eat breakfast.

"Parents are the most influential role models in their kids' lives," said Tim Sullivan, president of PTO Today. "That's why it's crucial for them to stress the importance of eating breakfast to help prepare their kids for school each day."

eContent Matters.com

Copyright 2005



High-Fiber Breakfast Helps Girls

Maintain Healthy Weight

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For decades, doctors have stressed the importance of having a healthy, nutritious breakfast each morning. This is especially important for children, as a good breakfast provides nutritional benefits, establishes good eating patterns, and can lead to improvements in learning and thinking skills. A new study has found that eating regular breakfasts consisting of high-fiber foods such as cereal not only gives children plenty of vitamins and minerals; it also helps them maintain their weight during adolescence.

In the study, scientists tracked the eating habits and weights of 2,379 girls over a 10-year span. At various times each year, the girls were asked to complete a three-day food record, which the scientists used to document how frequently they ate breakfast (including cereals versus other foods), along with intakes of fat, fiber, calcium, iron, folic acid, vitamin C, and zinc.

Girls who ate breakfast cereal at least three days a week had an average body mass index of under 25. In comparison, the average BMI of girls who never ate breakfast had an average BMI of 27. The researchers also found that on average, the fat content in cereal breakfasts 60.4 percent lower than in noncereal breakfasts.

Although this study focused on weight control, a high-fiber diet has been shown to give additional benefits, such as lowered blood cholesterol levels and reduced risk of heart disease. Good sources of dietary fiber include nuts, whole grains, and most fruits and vegetables. Make sure to incorporate these items into your diet whenever possible - your body will thank you for the effort!

Barton BA, Eldridge AL, Thompson D, et al. The relationship of breakfast and cereal consumption to nutrient intake and body mass index: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study. Journal of the American Dietitic Association, September 2005;105:1383-89.

Republished with permission
from ChiroWeb.com

Cranberry Juice Fights Cavities

Unsweetened cranberry juice acts like Teflon and keeps cavity-causing bacteria from sticking to teeth, a University of Rochester scientist says.

"Something in the cranberry juice disarms the pathogens that cause tooth decay," said oral biologist Hyun Koo. He said cranberries may fight tooth decay the same way they fight urinary tract infections, by "inhibiting the adherence of pathogens on the surface of the bladder." Koo's team found that cranberry juice disrupts formation of glucan, the building body of dental plaque, and stops more bacteria from "glomming on to the ever-growing goo."

While Koo said the berry shows promise, he did not recommend people fight cavities with typical sugar-added cranberry juice. Instead, he hoped to isolate the anti-cavity compounds to add to toothpaste and mouthwash. The study, one of nine cranberry tests funded by the National Institutes of Health, is to be published in the January issue of Caries Research.

Copyright 2005 – UPI

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More Follow-Up Needed on Kids' Hearing

Pediatricians who test children for hearing problems often ignore the results, a doctor at St. Louis University has found.

Dr. Donna R. Halloran, an associate professor of pediatrics at the medical school, and her colleagues evaluated the screening results of 1,061 children at five private practices and three academic ones in Alabama. Halloran and her colleagues found that 10 percent of the children failed the hearing test and 59 percent received no further evaluation.

Hearing problems, if ignored, can cause delays in speech development at age 4 that may not be caught until a child enters school and may be irreversible, Halloran said. In many cases, hearing aids could correct the problem.

The study was published in the October issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.


Article City
Copyright 2005


Exercise Ups Quality of Life in Elderly

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The elderly who
remain physically active have higher self-esteem and a better quality of life, a University of Illinois study finds.

A research team headed by Edward McAuley, a professor of kinesiology, tracked a group of previously sedentary adults for several years after putting them through a six-month exercise program of walking, stretching and toning exercises. Participants were assessed a year after completing the exercise program and five years later.

Those who remained active were "fitter, had higher levels of self-efficacy and physical self-esteem, expressed more positive affect and reported, in turn, a better quality of life. "The implications of our work are that not only will physical activity potentially add years to your life as we age, but the quality of those years is likely to be improved by regular physical activity," McAuley said. The results were published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

Copyright 2005 – UPI

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Most Unaware of Analgesic Use Risks

Alabama scientists say over-the-counter and prescription analgesics are often used inappropriately by people ignorant of any potential harm. A study conducted by the University of Alabama-Birmingham is said to be the first to look at attitudes and behaviors of people who frequently use painkillers.

Of the 807 people surveyed who used patented and prescription painkillers, also known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, 54 percent were not aware of the potential side effects of the drugs. And nearly 30 percent said they didn't consider themselves at risk for any side effects associated with painkiller use. The American Gastroenterological Association says more than 36 million people take over-the-counter or prescription NSAIDs daily for pain relief, headaches and arthritis, with nearly 25 percent exceeding the recommended dosage. The study appears in the November issue of the Journal of Rheumatology.

eContent Matters.com

Copyright 2005


Family Meals Help Cut Obesity

Teenagers who eat meals with their families are less likely to be overweight. The finding is one of the results of a long-running health study -- the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy. Researchers began collecting data on Brisbane mothers and their children in 1981.

Dr. Abdullah Al Mamun from the university's School of Population Health said regular family meals appear to reduce snacking and make for healthier eating habits.

"Eating together will enable the parent to have better knowledge of the child's food choices and amount that they tend to eat," Mamun said.

Researchers found teens with mothers who think family meals are important are less likely to be overweight even when they eat a lot of meals away from home. The study appears in the latest edition of American journal Obesity Research.


Article City
Copyright 2005



Nearly 6000 Teens Yearly in Car Crashes

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of U.S. teenagers with nearly 6,000 teens killed each year, according to a study by the Allstate Foundation.


The study also found that 55 percent of U.S. teen drivers drive over the speed limit and nearly half say they drive more safely without friends in the car.

The survey also found that teens don't believe a safe driver is necessarily a good driver. Many teens believe a good driver is skilled enough to drive faster and more recklessly.


Teens also frequently engage in high-risk behaviors, such as speeding or driving after using alcohol or drugs. Teens are also more distracted while driving.

Another key reason for high traffic fatalities among this age group is that they have lower safety belt use rates than adults. Many high school students fail to use their safety belts even when riding with adults who are buckled up.

Copyright 2005 – UPI

All rights reserved


Pregnant Women Need More Exercise

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A study says doctors need to do a better job of encouraging women with uncomplicated pregnancies to exercise.

Terry Leet, a study author and associate professor of community health at Saint Louis University School of Public Health, said only one of every six pregnant women is meeting the current recommendation -- 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week.

The research, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. The findings support a recent newsletter article by Dr. Raul Artal, lead author of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology's 2002 guidelines for exercise during pregnancy. "The hesitance of obstetricians to recommend exercise to pregnant women is rooted in old-fashioned notions of pregnancy as a time of confinement," Artal wrote in the September issue of Ob.Gyn News. Brisk walking for 30 or more minutes at least five days a week is considered moderate exercise and meets the current physical activity recommendation for pregnant and non-pregnant women.

Article City
Copyright 2005


People Trust Similar Faces

A study by Aberdeen University in Scotland has suggested people are more likely to trust others who look like themselves, the BBC reported. Psychologists showed photographs to 144 students and asked them to select the faces they found to be the most trustworthy. The researchers found most subjects selected faces that looked the most like their own to be the most trustworthy.

"This supports the idea that people detect facial resemblance," said researcher Lisa DeBruine. "It means to them that this person is `family' and they are more trusting of them." However, when it came to sexual attraction, most subjects chose faces with different facial characteristics than their own.

Copyright 2005 – UPI

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Sleep Loss Causes Classroom Problems

Too little sleep at night for elementary and middle school students can spell big problems in the classroom, researchers said.

Less than eight hours of sleep at night among children in those two groups results regularly in learning and attention problems, researchers at Brown Medical School and Bradley Hospital found in a study.

The study -- the first to ask teachers to report on the effects of sleep restriction -- points up the importance of sleep when assessing the causes of, and treatments for, learning difficulties in children.

"Just staying up late can cause increased academic difficulty and attention problems for otherwise healthy, well-functioning kids," said Gahan Fallone, the study's lead author.

Teachers were not told the amount of sleep students received when completing weekly performance reports. Still, they rated those with eight hours or less as having the most trouble recalling old material, learning new lessons and completing high quality work. The study's findings appear in the December issue of the journal SLEEP.

Article City
Copyright 2005


Working Moms Need More Sleep

Working mothers in Britain say they get just 3.5 hours of sleep a night, which harms their work and makes them more irritable with their partners.

The survey by Mother & Baby magazine found working moms get less sleep than their mothers' 5 hours and their sleep is interrupted more often. Seventy-seven percent of working mothers said sleep deprivation affected their work and half said their bosses showed little sympathy.

Two in three also said they were more irritable with their partners. More British women work today than their mothers in the 1960s and 1970s, yet have less family support, The Independent reported. Fathers, however, have stepped up to the plate to handle crying children at night -- 55 percent said they did today vs. 30 percent in the 1970’s.


Copyright 2005 – UPI

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