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Health scan

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life

health and fitness Updated: Jun 17, 2012 00:21 IST

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life.

Children need dad as much as mum

Father’s love is as crucial to a child’s healthy development as a mother's loving relationship, a new study claims ahead of Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. A review of 10,000 boys and girls across 36 studies from around the world revealed how a cold or distant father can damage a child's life, sometimes for decades to come, reports the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review. One reason for this may be that rejection is more painful when it comes from the parent the child regards as more powerful or respected.
Those rejected in childhood felt more anxious and insecure as well as hostile and aggressive, with a father’s input is particularly important for behaviour and can influence if a child later drinks to excess, takes drugs or suffers mental health disorders.

Belly fat can give you asthma
Belly fat, which was earlier linked with diabetes and heart disease, could also cause asthma, found a study of people between 19 years and 55 years over 11 years. Those with belly fat but not overall obese were 1.44-times more likely to develop asthma. Also, people who were both centrally obese and obese overall were 1.81-times more susceptible to the breathing disorder.
“Our study has highlighted both the individual and combined effect of central obesity and overall obesity on asthma development,” said study author Ben Brumpton.

Mom’s right, eat your breakfast
Making breakfast a routine part of your day could prevent you from developing type-2 diabetes. In fact, the morning meal is so important that even those whose food choices may make mom frown are less likely to develop diabetes than those who skipped breakfast altogether, say researchers.
Those who ate breakfast five or more days a week had a 31% lower risk of diabetes as compared to those who did so one to three days a week, with the risk dropping 5% for each additional day that breakfast was eaten. So how would you like your eggs?

Morning risers happier than night owls
Morning people are happier, healthier and more satisfied with life overall, while night owls are more prone to social jet lag, a new study has found. The study, conducted at the University of Toronto, also suggested
older adults are more likely to be morning larks and they report greater positive emotion than younger adults.
“This could be because they are getting better sleep since they are naturally morning people. It could not only make them feel more alert, but actually impact their immune system,” said Renee Biss from the University. The study was published in the journal Emotion.

Meditation helps in treating mental disorders
A month of regular meditation improves treatment outcome in people with mental disorders by altering brain wiring in a positive way, found research looking into the effects of practicing integrative body-mind training (IBMT) using MRI scans. Meditation led to moderation in mood, anger, depression, anxiety, fatigue and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In the brain, meditating caused nerve fibres known as white matter to become denser and provide greater numbers of brain-signalling connections.