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Health scan

health-and-fitness Updated: Sep 04, 2010 22:17 IST

Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Parental guidance necessary
Media portrays sex unrealistically and sends out irresponsible messages to adolescents and teens, said the American Academy of Paediatricians, pointing out that 70 per cent of teen shows contain sexual content.

The US entertainment industry is the biggest exporter of popular media — music, movies, television shows, magazines and internet —that sets trends among teenagers across the world, including India. Current programming almost never includes responsible content, such as the consequences of sexual behaviour.

Children spend seven hours and more a day using various types of media in the US, which leads the western world in teen pregnancy rates and sexually-transmitted diseases — one in four teens are infected.

Smokers' salvation diet
Smokers worried about dying of lung cancer should different types of fruits and vegetables every day. Data on more than 4,50,000 adults from 10 European countries shows that an apple a day or a salad for lunch protects some smokers from lung cancer.

The study found that people who ate a diverse mix of fruits and vegetables — not just banana for breakfast and carrots for dinner — had a 27 per cent lowered risk of lung cancer.

The study included 40 different fruits and vegetables, ranging from spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, root vegetables, mushrooms, onions, garlic and eggplant. Vegetables did not include legumes, potatoes and other tubers. The 14 fruits tracked included fresh, dried and canned fruits but excluded nuts, seeds and olives.

Tip of the week
Fall-proof your home

Falls in the home can lead to serious injury, including broken bones and concussions.

Here's how you can minimise the risk of falling:

Keep steps and stairs well-lit and have handrails on both sides
Avoid loose rugs and carpets if there are children and elderly people at home
Make sure furniture and decorations don't block corridors
Keep all cords neat and out of the way to avoid people tripping
Rugs and mats in the shower and kitchen should be slip-proof and areas with high water use should have non-skid strips on the floor

Lonely at the top
Scrambling to reach the top of the pyramid has different fallouts for men and women. Girls who compete to win have fewer friends and are more prone to depression and loneliness, but competing to surpass personal goals improves the self-esteem of both girls and boys.

Researchers defined 'competing to win' as trying to dominate and out-perform others, and 'competing to excel' as performing well and surpassing personal goals. Though teenage boys competed to win more than girls, they were much less likely to have depression, loneliness or lose close friendships as a result.