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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: Nov 17, 2012 23:14 IST

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

Fish eating prevents asthma
Babies who first ate fish between the ages of six months and one year have a lower risk of developing asthma later on than babies who ate fish before six months or after their first birthdays.

These findings are based on more than 7,000 children in the Netherlands and support previous studies that showed early exposure to certain fatty acids in fish protects against the development of asthma.

"Introduction of fish between six and 12 months but not fish consumption afterward is associated with a lower prevalence of wheezing," wrote lead author Jessica Kiefte-de Jong, at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam in the journal Pediatrics.

Meditation cuts heart, stroke risk
Transcendental Meditation, made popular by the Beatles during the flower power era of the 1960s, could cut heart attack rates by half. It involves making a sound repeatedly and it lowers death rates from heart attack and strokes.

A new study suggets that people with heart disease who practised transcendental meditation for 20 minutes twice a day were 48% less likely to have a heart attack, stroke or die from all causes compared with those who attended a health education class for more than five years.

Those who meditated also lowered their blood pressure and reported less stress and anger. And the more regularly patients meditated, the greater their survival.

Food shows prompt viewers to eat junk food
Watching your weight? Then you'd better not be watching MasterChef or Nigella Kitchen. More than making you have a go at cooking, cookery programmes make most of us more to eat unhealthy calorie-laden food. The findings apparently hold true even if the show is promoting healthy cooking.

Television viewers are more likely to munch on junk food if they are watching a cookery show than if they have tuned into a nature programme, found American scientists.

Parkinson's linked to head injury, pesticides
Adults who reported ever having had a head injury and who were exposed to the herbicide paraquat had nearly a three-fold increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a survey by the UCLA's Fielding School of Public Health.

The survey published by the journal Neurology said that the Participants with the disease were nearly twice as likely as those without the disease to report having had a head injury in which they lost consciousness for more than five minutes.

Hardwired to drink more
Scientists think they may have solved the mystery of why that one glass could turn into a drinking problem - it is all down to how our brain is wired to cope with stress.

The pleasure we get from drinking alcohol activates the reward centres of the brain.

This study found a desire for pleasure coupled with a low sense of risk could lead to problems with alcohol in future.

While coping with problems such as failing exams and bad relationships, only those with a heightened drive to seek immediate reward coupled with a weaker sense of risk were likely to consume increased amounts of alcohol.

Washing your face the right way
Washing your face is as simple as using soap and water, right? Not quite, say dermatologists.

How you wash your face can make a difference in your appearance. Never scrub the skin or use harsh products as doing so irritates the skin, which makes skin look worse.

Use a gentle, non-abrasive cleanser that does not contain alcohol. Wet your face with lukewarm water and use your fingertips to apply cleanser.

Using a washcloth, mesh sponge or anything other than your fingertips can irritate your skin. Rinse with lukewarm water, and pat dry with a soft towel.

Apply moisturiser if your skin feels dry or itchy.