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25 Mar

Can You Trust COVID-19 Information On Social Media?

Warning: Not All Sources Are Created Equal.

24 Mar

Limiting Screen Time May Boost Your Child's Language Skills, New Study Finds.

But time isn't the only thing that impacts the understand and use of words.

Health News Results - 65

Junk Food, Booze Often Star in America's Hit Movies


If there was an Oscar for "most unhealthy food in a leading role," many of America's most popular movies would be serious contenders.

That's the conclusion of a new review of food content featured in 250 top-grossing U.S. movies. More often than not, the fictional food choices were so bad they wouldn't make the cut of real-world dietary recommendations, the ...

Pandemic Precautions: The TV News You Watch Might Matter

Masks or no masks? Social distancing or not?

New research suggests that the media Americans consume matters when these decisions are made. The study found that folks drawn to conservative-leaning TV news were much less likely to follow COVID prevention guidelines.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 4,800 U.S. adults who took part in a nationwide online survey between ...

Losing Some TV Ads Might Reduce Childhood Obesity

Limiting TV ads for sugary, salty and high-fat foods and drinks might help reduce childhood obesity, British researchers suggest.

They looked at advertising of these products between 5:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. If all such ads were withdrawn during those hours, the number of obese kids in the U.K. between the ages of 5 and 17 would drop by 5% and the number of overweight kids would fall...

Another COVID Hazard: False Information

Be careful that the COVID-19 information you're getting is accurate and not opinion masquerading as the real McCoy, says the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Watch out for bold claims and instant cures touted on social media or by friends. Get health and medical information from experts like the ACEP and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the physicians' gr...

Many Americans Pause Social Media as National Tensions Rise

The coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have prompted some Americans to take a break from social media, new research finds.

The national survey by Ohio State Wexner Medical Center of 2,000 people found that 56% changed their social media habits because of tensions brought on by current U.S. events.

While 29% said their social media use increase...

'Trigger Warnings' May Do More Harm Than Good, Study Finds

Trigger warnings are meant to alert trauma survivors about unsettling text or content that they might find potentially distressing.

But these words of caution at the start of films or books may provide no help at all -- and might even hamper a traumatized person's ability to grapple with deep psychological scars, a new study reports.

"We found that trigger warnings did not ...

Did the Movie 'Joker' Reinforce Prejudice Against Mentally Ill?

The movie "Joker" won multiple awards and broke a box office record, but a new study is questioning whether it also fueled prejudices against people with mental illnesses.

Researchers found that shortly after viewing "Joker," moviegoers showed an uptick in negative feelings toward the mentally ill. In contrast, there was no such change among people who saw a film that was similarly vi...

Screen Time for Tiniest Tots Linked to Autism-Like Symptoms

Letting a baby watch a smartphone, tablet or TV at 12 months increases the odds the child will develop autism-like symptoms during the next year, new research suggests.

On the other hand, if parents spent active play time with their child every day, the odds of autism-like symptoms decreased.

"At 12 months, watching TV or DVDs was associated with more autism symptoms a...

Your Media Use & Coronavirus Precautions Are Probably Linked, Survey Shows

Americans who are young, liberal and heavy consumers of news are most likely to follow COVID-19 safety recommendations, a new online survey reveals.

Three-quarters of the 1,000 U.S. respondents said they followed a majority of recommended social distancing behaviors such as keeping 6 feet apart and limiting trips to stores, the University of Delaware researchers said.

Slight...

Beware of 'Media Overload' During Coronavirus Crisis, Experts Say

If you feel like the news about coronavirus is growing worse by the hour, then it might be time to take stock: How much do you really need to know?

As the pandemic unfolds, and people routinely wake up to uncertainty, it is necessary to stay informed, psychologists say.

At the same time, they caution, remember that media overload is real. And it may raise anxiety to a level...

An Expert's Guide to Fact-Checking Coronavirus Info Online

With bogus information about the new coronavirus spreading fast online, how can you separate fact from fiction?

A communications expert at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg said identifying reliable and useful sources of information is key. Here's her advice:

"Be skeptical of social media posts about the COVID-19 virus, even those that have the superficial look of news items, and...

Too Much 'Screen Time' Could Slow Your Toddler's Language Skills: Study

Everyone is glued to some sort of media these days, but for young kids, that screen time could delay or limit their language skills, a new research review suggests.

"Our findings are really consistent with the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics [AAP], and the bottom line is that kids should use screens in moderation and parents should try to prioritize using screens t...

Celebrity Suicides Spawn 'Copycat' Tragedies, Study Shows

When the media report on a celebrity's suicide, especially in a sensationalist way, it may fuel "copycat" tragedies, a new review finds.

In an analysis of 20 studies from more than a dozen countries, researchers confirmed a phenomenon sometimes called "suicide contagion." It happens when vulnerable people identify with a person who died by suicide, and then see that route as a viable ...

Hit by Coronavirus Panic? Look for Data Not Drama, Experts Say

MONDAY, March 16, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Are you scared and confused over the threat of coronavirus? You're not alone: Every day, every hour, new media reports can have you worrying about worst-case scenarios.

Experts say panic is a natural -- if unhelpful -- response to major crises like COVID-19. But there are ways to stay both informed and calm.

It's not alway...

As Health Worsens, Facebook Posts Often Change

Could clues to future health emergencies be found in Facebook posts?

Maybe so, according to a new study that discovered there are changes in users' posts before they seek emergency care.

For the study, researchers analyzed the Facebook posts and medical records of more than 2,900 patients at a U.S. urban hospital, including 419 who'd had a recent emergency department visit f...

Skipping Sleep to Watch Sports Is the Real March Madness

No matter whether your favorite team wins or loses, March Madness will likely put a slam dunk on your sleep habits.

For many Americans, staying up late to watch NCAA basketball tournament games is a much-anticipated annual rite. But the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) warns that those late-night games can cause problems.

"A lack of sleep can lead to trouble making ...

Social Media Stokes Myths About Vaccines

Nearly 1 in 5 American adults has mistaken beliefs about vaccines, and misinformation is more common among those who rely on social media than on traditional media, a new study finds.

Researchers surveyed nearly 2,500 adults nationwide in the spring and fall of 2019, when the United States was dealing with its largest measles outbreak in decades, and found that up to 20% of respon...

How 'Stranger Things' Widened Awareness of a Rare Disorder

Teenage actor Gaten Matarazzo III was born with a rare genetic disorder that affects bone development. And ever since his Netflix series "Stranger Things" became a hit, public interest in the condition has shot up, a new study finds.

The disorder, called cleidocranial dysplasia (CCD), affects only about one in a million people, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Caus...

Coronavirus in America: Keep Your Panic in Check

A deadly virus that's surging through a foreign country makes its way into the United States, carried into this country by an unwitting traveler.

In response, Americans panic, convinced the pathogen will soon sweep through the nation -- even though only a handful of people in the United States have fallen ill.

That may sound like the current state of affairs with the new cor...

Vaping Is the Darling of Instagram

Vaping has been deemed hazardous for your health by public officials across America, but you wouldn't know it by scrolling through Instagram.

Instead, researchers discovered that Instagram posts that promote use of the devices outnumber anti-vaping content by a shocking ratio of 10,000 to 1.

Nearly one-third of U.S. teens use e-cigarettes. In 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Adm...

TV Can Be a Good Influence on Kids' Eating Habits

Can television teach kids how to eat healthy?

Maybe, suggests new research. Watching cooking shows that featured healthy recipes seemed to encourage healthy eating in children, the study showed.

"The findings from this study indicate cooking programs can be a promising tool for promoting positive changes in children's food-related preferences, attitudes and behaviors," said ...

Expectations for New Star Wars Movie Could Sway Your Viewing Pleasure

Millions of Americans have filled movie theaters over the holidays to watch the latest in the Star Wars saga, but a new study suggests that enjoyment of the film may be governed by prior expectations.

To see how expectations affect viewing pleasure, researchers surveyed 441 people before and after they saw "Star Wars: Episode VIII -- The Last Jedi" in 2017.

Based on the resu...

Your TV, Smartphone Screens May Send Toxins Into Your Home

Your smartphone, television and computer screens may be contaminating your home with potentially toxic chemicals, a new study suggests.

An international team of researchers found the chemicals -- called liquid crystal monomers -- in nearly half of dozens of samples of household dust they collected.

Liquid crystal monomers are used in a wide number of products ranging from fl...

More Teen Time on Social Media, More Eating Disorders?

The more often young teens turn to social media, the more prone they are to eating disorders, new research suggests.

While the study does not prove social media use causes eating disorders, it raises a red flag, said study author Simon Wilksch. He's a senior research fellow in psychology at Flinders University, in South Australia.

The study looked at close to 1,000 middle sc...

Smallest Tots Spending Too Much Time on Screens

Even infants are now watching screens, and as they grow so does the time they spend doing it, two new studies show.

In fact, watching TVs, computers, smartphones, tablets or electronic games occupies about an hour a day of an infant's time and increases to more than 150 minutes by age 3. That's way beyond what's recommended, the researchers said.

"Since screen-time exposure ...

Too Much Screen Time May Be Stunting Toddlers' Brains

Toddlers who spend loads of time looking at tablets, smartphones or TVs may be changing their brains, and not for the better.

A new study using brain scans showed that the white matter in the brains of children who spent hours in front of screens wasn't developing as fast as it was in the brains of kids who didn't.

It's in the white matter of the brain where language, ot...

Media Reports on Celeb Suicides Could Trigger Copycats

How the media reports on celebrity suicides may increase the risk for copycats, a new study suggests.

But following guidelines on the reporting of these suicides can reduce the risk of others following suit, researchers added.

"Suicide needs to be reported on as a public health issue every single time, rather than a story focused on the celebrity's death and the method of...

Stress of U.S. Politics Taking Mental, Physical Toll on Americans

U.S. politics has been incredibly divisive in recent years, and will likely only grow worse as President Donald Trump faces possible impeachment over the Ukrainian scandal.

So it's no wonder the stress of ugly national politics has started to affect the emotional and physical health of some citizens, as a new study suggests.

Nearly two out of every five Americans say politic...

Here's How Too Much Social Media Can Harm Girls

Bingeing on social media isn't good for any teen, but new research has pinpointed three ways in which hours spent on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook may harm the mental health of young girls in particular.

"Almost all of the influence of social media on mental health could be explained by the three mechanisms examined -- namely experiencing cyberbullying, sleeping for less t...

Too Much Social Media a Depression Risk for Teens

Too much social media might be too much for the mental well-being of teenagers, new research suggests.

The more that teens used social media and watched television, the greater their risk of depression, the study found.

"Our research reveals that increased time spent using some forms of digital media in a given year predicts depressive symptoms within that same year," said s...

Addicted to Video Games? This Treatment Might Help

Know someone who just can't put down the controller in the middle of online games like Fortnite or League of Legends?

German researchers think they've developed a way to help break the compulsive habit.

In a new study, the research team reported that they've developed a short-term type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat gaming addictions. It combines components ...

Social Media a Big Driver of Teen Vaping Craze: Study

Social media is helping spur the e-cigarette epidemic among America's teens, a new study suggests.

Nearly 15,000 Instagram posts related to Juul, the most popular e-cigarette brand, were released between March and May 2018, researchers found.

More than half the posts focused on youth culture or lifestyle-related content that would appeal to teens, according to results publis...

Selfie Craze Has Young Americans Viewing Plastic Surgery More Favorably: Study

You might be more apt to seek out a face-lift, a new nose, hair implants or a boob job if you're a fan of posting selfies on social media, a new study reports.

Adults who regularly use social media are more likely to consider getting plastic surgery to improve their online appearance, particularly if they prefer photo-heavy sites and apps, the researchers found.

Furthermore,...

Just How Harmful Is TV for Your Health?

Cautions about TV viewing are as old as television itself, but how bad is it really?

A number of studies cite health risks due to the link between a sedentary lifestyle and the number of hours spent watching the tube.

Young adults who watch three or more hours of TV a day and get little exercise have a greater chance of cognitive issues in midlife, according to a 25-year st...

Instagram 'Self-Harm' Posts Give Rise to Copycat Behavior

Being an Instagram influencer isn't always a good thing. New research found that vulnerable young people who see online posts of self-harm -- like cutting -- may copy those destructive behaviors.

Almost one-third of teens and young adults who reported seeing self-harm posts on Instagram said they had performed the same or similar self-harming behavior afterwards.

Seeing th...

TV Not a Good Sleep Aid for Young Kids

Many parents think that watching TV helps their young children fall asleep, but new research finds the opposite is true.

Researchers looked at 470 children aged 3 to 5 in Massachusetts and found that those who watched less than one hour of TV per day got 22 more minutes of sleep at night -- nearly 2.5 more hours per week -- than those who watched more TV on a daily basis.

"P...

Millennials Believe 'Narcissist' Label, But Don't Like It

Young Americans tend to accept the popular notion that their generation is self-centered and entitled, but they also resent those labels, new research suggests.

In a series of surveys, researchers found that most people -- regardless of age -- believed the narcissistic stereotype often assigned to millennials and Generation Z.

Young adults, themselves, generally bought into ...

Americans Sitting More Than Ever, and Tech Is to Blame

America's couch potatoes are becoming ever more deeply rooted, and computers are the reason why.

The amount of time people spend sitting around has increased in recent years, driven largely by more leisure time spent with a computer, federal survey data shows.

Total daily sitting time increased about an hour a day for teenagers and adults between 2007 and 2016, the research...

Celebrity 'Fat-Shaming' Affects All Women, Study Finds

You've probably seen headlines screaming that a favorite star is packing on the pounds. Tyra Banks, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lawrence -- no matter how thin, no celebrity seems immune from "fat-shaming."

Now, research shows the trend could have a ripple effect, making the non-famous feel bad about their bodies, too.

"Fat-shaming is socially acceptable and it's so common we d...

Is Your Smartphone Making You Fat?

Mindlessly switching from your smartphone to other media devices and back again might lead to added pounds, scientists say.

A small, new study found that heavy-duty media multitaskers also tended to be heavier, weight-wise.

It's possible that these devices are actually changing the brain, theorized lead author Richard Lopez, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at Rice Uni...

Eye-Soothing Tips for Computer Users

Screens: They're at work, at home and even in the palm of your hand. But stare too long at them and your eyes -- and mind -- could pay a price, experts warn.

For example, too much screen time can lead to problems such as eye strain, dry eye, headaches and insomnia, the American Academy of Ophthalmology warns.

"Eyestrain can be frustrating. But it usually isn't serious and go...

Nix That TV in Your 4-Year-Old's Bedroom

Thinking about a TV for your young child? Based on new evidence, you might want to reconsider that.

Preschoolers who had a TV in their bedroom were at increased risk for poor eating habits, overweight/obesity and social/emotional struggles in their teens, Canadian researchers say.

"The early years are a critical period in a child's development," said study author Linda Pagan...

Mental Health Woes Are Rising in Young Americans -- Is Social Media to Blame?

Young Americans may be more vulnerable to depression, distress and suicidal thoughts or attempts than their parents' generation, and social media might be fueling that troubling trend.

So claims a review of a decade's worth of data on roughly 200,000 teens between the ages of 12 and 17, and 400,000 young adults over 18.

Investigators found that beginning in the mid-2000s, th...

Too Much TV Might Dull the Aging Brain

The old saying, "TV rots your brain," could have some validity for folks as they age.

In a new study, middle-aged people who watched television for more than 3.5 hours a day experienced a decline in their ability to remember words and language over the next six years, British researchers found.

What's worse, it appears that the more TV you watch, the more your verbal memory ...

Painless Ways to Limit Your Kids' Screen Time

If you're in a frequent tug of war with your kids over turning off their gadgets, it could be the tactic you use when you try to persuade them to disengage.

It turns out that giving 1- to 5-year-olds a time warning that screen viewing is about to end makes the transition away from a tablet, smartphone TV or other device more painful, according to University of Washington researchers.<...

Taking a Bite Out of Food Ads Targeted to Kids

Kids can be as strongly influenced by TV commercials as by the shows themselves, and many studies have found that tempting food ads have a particularly harmful effect, contributing to childhood obesity.

While the government has stepped in with nutrition guidelines for manufacturers, these are largely voluntary and, therefore, not enforceable. So it's up to parents to be vigilant.

...

Screen Time for the Very Young Has Doubled in 20 Years: Study

The electronic babysitter is alive and thriving in the new digital age.

A new study says it all: Children under the age of 2 spend twice the amount of time in front of a screen each day -- almost three hours, to be exact -- as they did 20 years ago.

Kids are being exposed to far more screen time than recommended by pediatric experts, the researchers added.

That scr...

Does Social Media Push Teens to Depression? New Study Says No

Time spent on Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook probably isn't driving teenagers to depression, a new study contends.

In fact, Canadian researchers found the relationship worked in the opposite direction -- teenage girls who were already depressed tended to spend more time on social media, to try to feel better.

These findings run counter to a series of recent studies that sai...

The Reality of Watching Reality TV

When it comes to analyzing the effects of watching reality TV, well, it's complicated. While some see these shows as a brief escape from daily life, they can have negative effects on some viewers, including impressionable teens.

Researchers asked 1,100 girls aged 11 to 17 about their viewing habits. On the one hand, watching reality TV was tied to increased self-esteem and the level o...

Too Much TV Raises Women's Odds for Early-Onset Colon Cancer: Study

Binge-watching series after series might be fun, but too much TV could raise a middle-aged woman's odds for colon cancer, a new study finds.

Reporting Feb. 5 in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, researchers tracked data for more than 89,000 U.S. women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study.

The investigators found 118 cases of "young-onset" colon cancer -- diagnosed under age 50 --...

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