Imperial College London study: Feeding babies egg and peanut may prevent food allergy, study suggests

25 Sep

More children seem to have peanut allergies. Ross Brenneman wrote in the Education Week article, How Peanuts Became Public Health Enemy #1:

Researchers aren’t sure why, but over the past several years, the number of children reported to have allergies has doubled, to 5 percent of children in the United States. Yet at the same time, in schools and elsewhere, allergies have drawn what some see as an oversized amount of attention. A new paper out of Princeton University explores why that may have happened.

Allergy attacks are awful. I’ve been there plenty of times. Eyes swollen shut, coughing, hacking, sneezing—and that’s just garden-variety pollen. But severe allergic reactions, also known as anaphylaxia, can cause death, even for the constantly vigilant. That’s why the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously last week in favor of a bill that would incentivize states, through a pre-existing grant program, to make sure their schools have a supply of epinephrine (usually an EpiPen) on hand, as well as staff members trained in using it…

One percent. That’s it. One estimate pegs it closer to 1.4 percent for children, but only .6 percent for adults. Either way, it’s small. Not all of those affected are seriously allergic, either. One percent isn’t nothing, but it’s not the kind of number that would suggest a strong cultural reaction, either.
Why, then, have peanut allergies become such a well-known public health menace? Maybe it’s partly from the mystery surrounding all allergies; scientists don’t know why allergies exist and why some people grow out of them. It’s also not clear how much an allergy attack may be exacerbated by asthma; the two often go hand in hand….
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/rulesforengagement/2013/08/how_peanuts_became_public_health_enemy_number_one.html?intc=es

Kids With Food Allergies has some excellent resources.
http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/resourcespre.php?id=62&title=Peanut_allergy_avoidance_list&gclid=CJTC7sfLuLICFWdxQgodxHcAJQ

Kate Wighton wrote in Feeding babies egg and peanut may prevent food allergy:

Feeding babies egg and peanut may reduce their risk of developing an allergy to the foods, finds a new study.

In the research, which is the largest analysis of evidence on the effect of feeding allergenic foods to babies, scientists from Imperial College London analysed data from 146 studies. In total the studies involved more than 200,000 children.

The study, which was commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency, also found feeding children peanut, between the ages of four and eleven months, may reduce risk of developing peanut allergy. In addition, the team analysed milk, fish (including shellfish), tree nuts (such as almonds) and wheat, but didn’t find enough evidence to show introducing these foods at a young age reduces allergy risk.

The research is published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Although previous studies have found feeding children peanut and egg may reduce allergy risk, other studies have found no effect.

Dr Robert Boyle, lead author of the research from the Department of Medicine at Imperial, said: “This new analysis pools all existing data, and suggests introducing egg and peanut at an early age may prevent the development of egg and peanut allergy, the two most common childhood food allergies.

“Until now we have not been advising parents to give these foods to young babies, and have even advised parents to delay giving allergenic foods such as egg, peanut, fish and wheat to their infant.”

Allergies to foods, such as nuts, egg, milk or wheat, affect around one in 20 children in the UK. They are caused by the immune system malfunctioning and over-reacting to these harmless foods. This triggers symptoms such as rashes, swelling, vomiting and wheezing.

“The number of children diagnosed with food allergies is thought to be on the rise”, added Dr Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, a co-author on the study from the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial. “There are indications that food allergies in children have become much more common over the last 30 years.

The number of patients coming into our clinics has increased year-on-year, and allergy clinics across the country have seen the same pattern.”

She added that the reasons behind this rise are still unclear – doctors may be better at recognising food allergy, or there may be environmental factors involved.

In the new study, called a meta-analysis, the team initially analysed 16,289 research papers on allergies and other immune system problems. Out of these, 146 were used for data analysis of when to feed babies allergenic foods such as egg, peanut, wheat and fish.

The results showed that children who started eating egg between the ages of four and six months had a 40 per cent reduced risk of egg allergy compared to children who tried egg later in life.

Children who ate peanut between the ages of four and eleven months had a 70 per cent reduced peanut allergy risk compared to children who ate the food at a later stage. However, the authors cautioned that these percentages are estimates based on a small number of studies……                                                                   http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/newsandeventspggrp/imperialcollege/newssummary/news_20-9-2016-14-46-0

Citation:

Feeding babies egg and peanut may prevent food allergy, study suggests

Date:        September 20, 2016

Source:    Imperial College London

Summary:

Feeding babies egg and peanut may reduce their risk of developing an allergy to the foods, finds a new study.

Journal Reference:

  1. Despo Ierodiakonou et al. Timing of Allergenic Food Introduction to the Infant Diet and Risk of Allergic or Autoimmune DiseaseA Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 2016 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2016.12623

Here is the citation from the Journal of the American Medical Association:

September 20, 2016, Vol 316, No. 11 >

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Original Investigation|September 20, 2016

Timing of Allergenic Food Introduction to the Infant Diet and Risk of Allergic or Autoimmune Disease A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Despo Ierodiakonou, MD, PhD1,2; Vanessa Garcia-Larsen, PhD2; Andrew Logan, PhD1; Annabel Groome, BSc1; Sergio Cunha, MD2; Jennifer Chivinge, BSc1; Zoe Robinson, BSc1; Natalie Geoghegan, BSc1; Katharine Jarrold, BSc1; Tim Reeves, BSc2; Nara Tagiyeva-Milne, PhD3; Ulugbek Nurmatov, MD, PhD4; Marialena Trivella, DPhil5; Jo Leonardi-Bee, PhD6; Robert J. Boyle, MD, PhD1

[+] Author Affiliations

JAMA. 2016;316(11):1181-1192. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12623.

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Supplemental Content

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CME

ABSTRACT

ABSTRACT | INTRODUCTION | METHODS AND LITERATURE SEARCH | RESULTS | DISCUSSION | CONCLUSIONS | ARTICLE INFORMATION | REFERENCES

Importance  Timing of introduction of allergenic foods to the infant diet may influence the risk of allergic or autoimmune disease, but the evidence for this has not been comprehensively synthesized.

Objective  To systematically review and meta-analyze evidence that timing of allergenic food introduction during infancy influences risk of allergic or autoimmune disease.

Data Sources  MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, CENTRAL, and LILACS databases were searched between January 1946 and March 2016.

Study Selection  Intervention trials and observational studies that evaluated timing of allergenic food introduction during the first year of life and reported allergic or autoimmune disease or allergic sensitization were included.

Data Extraction and Synthesis  Data were extracted in duplicate and synthesized for meta-analysis using generic inverse variance or Mantel-Haenszel methods with a random-effects model. GRADE was used to assess the certainty of evidence.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Wheeze, eczema, allergic rhinitis, food allergy, allergic sensitization, type 1 diabetes mellitus, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune thyroid disease, and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Results  Of 16 289 original titles screened, data were extracted from 204 titles reporting 146 studies. There was moderate-certainty evidence from 5 trials (1915 participants) that early egg introduction at 4 to 6 months was associated with reduced egg allergy (risk ratio [RR], 0.56; 95% CI, 0.36-0.87; I2 = 36%; P = .009). Absolute risk reduction for a population with 5.4% incidence of egg allergy was 24 cases (95% CI, 7-35 cases) per 1000 population. There was moderate-certainty evidence from 2 trials (1550 participants) that early peanut introduction at 4 to 11 months was associated with reduced peanut allergy (RR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.11-0.74; I2 = 66%; P = .009). Absolute risk reduction for a population with 2.5% incidence of peanut allergy was 18 cases (95% CI, 6-22 cases) per 1000 population. Certainty of evidence was downgraded because of imprecision of effect estimates and indirectness of the populations and interventions studied. Timing of egg or peanut introduction was not associated with risk of allergy to other foods. There was low- to very low-certainty evidence that early fish introduction was associated with reduced allergic sensitization and rhinitis. There was high-certainty evidence that timing of gluten introduction was not associated with celiac disease risk, and timing of allergenic food introduction was not associated with other outcomes.

Conclusions and Relevance  In this systematic review, early egg or peanut introduction to the infant diet was associated with lower risk of developing egg or peanut allergy. These findings must be considered in the context of limitations in the primary studies.                                                                                                     http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2553447

A physical examination is important for children to make sure that there are no health problems. The University of Arizona Department of Pediatrics has an excellent article which describes Pediatric History and Physical Examination http://www.peds.arizona.edu/medstudents/Physicalexamination.asp The article goes on to describe how the physical examination is conducted and what observations and tests are part of the examination. The Cincinnati Children’s Hospital describes the Process of the Physical Examination http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/p/exam/
If children have allergies, parents must work with their schools to prepare a allergy health plan. See, Journal of American Medical Association study: Consumption of nuts by pregnant woman may reduce nut allergies in their children https://drwilda.com/tag/peanut-allergy/

Resources:

Micheal Borella’s Chicago-Kent Law Review article, Food Allergies In Public Schools: Toward A Model Code
http://www.cklawreview.com/wp-content/uploads/vol85no2/Borella.pdf

USDA’s Accomodating Children With Special Dietary Needs
http://www.k12.wa.us/ChildNutrition/pubdocs/SpecialDietaryNeeds.PDF

Child and Teen Checkup Fact Sheet
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/mch/ctc/factsheets.html

Video: What to Expect From A Child’s Physical Exam

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda©                                                                                                                                     https://drwilda.com/

 

 

Mayo Clinic study: Suicide attempt a stronger predictor of completed suicide than previously thought

24 Sep

People of all ages may have feelings of profound sadness, loss, and depression. There is no one on earth, despite what the ads attempt to portray, who lives a perfect life. Every life has flaws and blemishes; it is just that some cope better than others. For every person who lives to a ripe old age, during the course of that life they may encounter all types of loss from loss of a loved one through death, divorce or desertion, loss of job, financial reverses, illness, dealing with A-holes and twits, plagues, pestilence, and whatever curse can be thrown at a person. The key is that they lived THROUGH whatever challenges they faced AT THAT MOMENT IN TIME. Woody Allen said something like “90% of life is simply showing up.” Let moi add a corollary, one of the prime elements of a happy life is to realize that whatever moment you are now in, it will not last forever and that includes moments of great challenge. A person does not have to be religious to appreciate the story of Job. The end of the story is that Job is restored. He had to endure much before the final victory, though.

Science Daily reported in Suicide attempt a stronger predictor of completed suicide than previously thought:

While a prior history of suicide attempt is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, a Mayo Clinic study finds it is more lethal than previously known.

Researchers find that suicide risk was nearly 60 percent higher than previously reported when based on a population-based cohort focusing on individuals making first lifetime attempts and including those whose first attempts were fatal. This risk was dramatically higher for attempts using firearms. The population sample was identified through the Rochester Epidemiology Project.

“We hoped to address the shortcomings of earlier studies by including two groups previously overlooked by other studies,” says J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a psychiatrist on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus and the lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. “Our study enrolled individuals whose first-ever suicide attempt presented to medical attention. Not only did we include those who survived this initial attempt, but we also included those who died on their first attempt and ended up on the coroner’s slab rather than in the emergency room. These are large groups that have been routinely ignored in calculation of risk.” Since suicide is one of the 10 most common causes of death in the U.S., it is a major public health concern. The study found that nearly 60 percent of people who attempted suicide died on their first attempt….                                                                                                                                https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160912161259.htm

Citation:

Suicide attempt a stronger predictor of completed suicide than previously thought

Date:         September 12, 2016

Source:     Mayo Clinic

Summary:

While a prior history of suicide attempt is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, a new study finds it is more lethal than previously known.

Journal Reference:

  1. J. Michael Bostwick, Chaitanya Pabbati, Jennifer R. Geske, Alastair J. McKean. Suicide Attempt as a Risk Factor for Completed Suicide: Even More Lethal Than We Knew. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2016; appi.ajp.2016.1 DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2016.15070854

Here is the press release from the Mayo Clinic:

  • By Duska Anastasijevic

Suicide attempt a stronger predictor of completed suicide than previously thought

September 12, 2016

ROCHESTER, Minn. — While a prior history of suicide attempt is one of the strongest predictors of completed suicide, a Mayo Clinic study finds it is more lethal than previously known.

Researchers find that suicide risk was nearly 60 percent higher than previously reported when based on a population-based cohort focusing on individuals making first lifetime attempts and including those whose first attempts were fatal. This risk was dramatically higher for attempts using firearms. The population sample was identified through the Rochester Epidemiology Project.

“We hoped to address the shortcomings of earlier studies by including two groups previously overlooked by other studies,” says J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., a psychiatrist on Mayo Clinic’s Rochester campus and the lead author of the study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry. “Our study enrolled individuals whose first-ever suicide attempt presented to medical attention. Not only did we include those who survived this initial attempt, but we also included those who died on their first attempt and ended up on the coroner’s slab rather than in the emergency room. These are large groups that have been routinely ignored in calculation of risk.”

Since suicide is one of the 10 most common causes of death in the U.S., it is a major public health concern. The study found that nearly 60 percent of people who attempted suicide died on their first attempt.

“Almost no other study in the literature includes individuals who die on that first attempt,” Dr. Bostwick adds. “A large part of the reason that such a high proportion of the total suicides occurred on first attempt can be attributed to firearm usage. The results show that it is a 140 time more likely for firearms to cause suicide, compared to all other methods. That means nearly three-fourths of all deaths at first suicide attempt were caused by using firearms. This shows that guns are, unfortunately, but not surprisingly, remarkably effective.”

The study also revealed that the male-female ratio was higher (1.7-to-1) among those making their attempts than what other studies previously purported. Older age in men also is associated with higher suicide risk. Nearly one-third of men over 65 in the study killed themselves.

MEDIA CONTACT: Duska Anastasijevic, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 507-284-5005, newsbureau@mayo.edu

The Rochester Epidemiology Project diagnostic index was searched electronically to identify 1,490 Olmsted County residents whose first suicide attempt came to medical attention between Jan. 1, 1986, and Dec. 31, 2007. The study included 555 males and 935 females followed for three to 25 years.

While the study confirmed previous findings that the risk decreased in survivors given a follow-up psychiatry appointment, the vast majority of survivors, irrespective of gender, killed themselves within a year after the index attempt. This underscores how important it is that survivors have psychiatric follow-up scheduled after the first attempt and how the first year following a suicide attempt is a critical window for a repeat fatal attempt.

Other authors include: Alastair J. McKean, M.D. and Jennifer R. Geske, M.S., of Mayo Clinic, and Chaitanya Pabbati, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego;

###

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to medical research and education, and providing expert, whole-person care to everyone who needs healing. For more information, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/about-mayo-clinic or http://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/.

What Should You Do if You Know Someone Who Thinking About Suicide?

If you are thinking of suicide or you know someone who is thinking about suicide, GET HELP, NOW!!!! The Suicide Prevention Resource Center http://www.sprc.org/basics/roles-suicide-prevention has some excellent advice about suicide prevention http://www.sprc.org/basics/roles-suicide-prevention

Resources:

Suicide Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/youth_suicide.html

Teen Suicide Overview
http://www.teensuicidestatistics.com/

Teen’s Health’s Suicide
http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/feeling_sad/suicide.html

American Academy of Adolescent Psychiatry http://www.aacap.org/AACAP/Families_and_Youth/Facts_for_Families/Facts_for_Families_Pages/Teen_Suicide_10.aspx

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
http://www.sprc.org/basics/roles-suicide-prevention

Teen Depression
http://helpguide.org/mental/depression_teen.htm

Jared Story.Com
http://www.jaredstory.com/teen_epidemic.html

CNN Report about suicide                                                                                                     http://www.cnn.com/2009/LIVING/10/20/lia.latina.suicides/index.html

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
http://www.afsp.org This group is dedicated to advancing the knowledge of suicide and the ability to prevent it.

A\VE – Suicide Awareness\Voices of Education
http://www.save.org SA\VE offers information on suicide prevention. Call (800) SUICIDE

About.Com’s Depression In Young Children                                                                http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psych Central’s Depression In Young Children                                          http://depression.about.com/od/child/Young_Children.htm

Psychiatric News’ Study Helps Pinpoint Children With Depression
http://psychnews.psychiatryonline.org/newsarticle.aspx?articleid=106034

Family Doctor’s What Is Depression?
http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/depression.html

WebMD’s Depression In Children
http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-children

Healthline’s Is Your Child Depressed?
http://www.healthline.com/hlvideo-5min/how-to-help-your-child-through-depression-517095449

Medicine.Net’s Depression In Children                                                                http://www.onhealth.com/depression_in_children/article.htm

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

 

Case Western Reserve University study: Fungus in humans identified as key factor in Crohn’s disease

22 Sep

Heathline describes Crohn’s disease:

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in which an abnormal immune system response causes chronic inflammation in the digestive tract. Crohn’s is often confused with ulcerative colitis, a similar IBD that only affects the large intestine.

According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, about 1.4 million Americans have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Of those, about 700,000 have Crohn’s. In the years between 1992 and 2004, there was a 74 percent increase in doctor’s office visits due to Crohn’s disease. In 2004, Crohn’s disease was the cause of 57,000 hospitalizations.

Who Gets Crohn’s Disease

Anyone can develop Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. However, IBDs are usually diagnosed in young adults between the ages of 15 and 30. Children are twice as likely to be diagnosed with Crohn’s as ulcerative colitis. Boys develop IBDs at a slightly higher rate than girls.

In the United States, males and females get Crohn’s at about the same rate. Caucasians and Ashkenazi Jews develop Crohn’s at a higher rate than other ethnicities. The highest rates occur in Canada. In general, people who live in higher latitudes are more likely to develop Crohn’s than those in lower latitudes. When relocating from a low-latitude to a high-latitude region, the risk of developing Crohn’s matches that of the high-latitude region within a single generation.

In Crohn’s disease, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy bacteria in the GI tract. Chronic inflammation causes thickening of the intestinal wall, which triggers the symptoms. The exact reason this occurs is not clear, but there is a hereditary factor. According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, between 5 and 20 percent of people who have an IBD have a first-degree relative with one. The risk is higher in Crohn’s than ulcerative colitis, and higher when both parents are affected.

There may also be an environmental element. Rates of Crohn’s are higher in developed countries, urban areas, and northern climates. Stress and diet may worsen Crohn’s, but neither is thought to cause the disease. It’s likely that Crohn’s is caused by a combination of factors….      http://www.healthline.com/health/crohns-disease/facts-statistics-infographic#2

See, Epidemiology of the IBD          http://www.cdc.gov/ibd/ibd-epidemiology.htm

Bret Lashner, MD of the Cleveland Clinic describes the symptoms of Crohn’s disease:

Signs and Symptoms

Patients with new-onset Crohn’s disease usually present with inflammatory-type symptoms, with such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, stomatitis, anal fissures, and weight loss. The abdominal pain usually is insidious, is in the right lower quadrant, occurs soon after eating, and may be associated with a tender inflammatory mass. When the inflammatory process affects the large bowel, there may be hematochezia, but bleeding is much less common in Crohn’s disease patients than in ulcerative colitis patients. Extra-intestinal manifesations of disease, such as peripheral arthritis, axial arthritis, and erythema nodosum also may be presenting features. Cigarette smoking is seen much more commonly in Crohn’s disease patients (upwards of 50% of patients) compared to an unaffected adult population.

As Crohn’s disease becomes more advanced, strictures and fistulas may develop (Figure 1)4. Patients with strictures often present the obstructive symptoms, such as severe abdominal pain, distension, bloating, and vomiting. Patients who develop fistulas, or perforating-type complications, may present with perianal fistulas and abscesses, ventral wall drainage, pneumaturia, or intra-abdominal or retroperitoneal abscesses. Children with extensive small bowel involvement with their Crohn’s disease can present with growth retardation and delayed puberty. Interestingly, nutritional support can reverse some of manifestations of growth retardation….              http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/gastroenterology/crohns-disease/

See, Crohn’s Disease            https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/crohns-disease/Pages/overview.aspx

Science Daily reported in Fungus in humans identified for first time as key factor in Crohn’s disease:

A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine-led team of international researchers has for the first time identified a fungus as a key factor in the development of Crohn’s disease. The researchers also linked a new bacterium to the previous bacteria associated with Crohn’s. The groundbreaking findings, published on September 20th in mBio, could lead to potential new treatments and ultimately, cures for the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease, which causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue….

Both bacteria and fungi are microorganisms — infinitesimal forms of life that can only be seen with a microscope. Fungi are eukaryotes: organism whose cells contain a nucleus; they are closer to humans than bacteria, which are prokaryotes: single-celled forms of life with no nucleus. Collectively, the fungal community that inhabits the human body is known as the mycobiome, while the bacteria are called the bacteriome. (Fungi and bacteria are present throughout the body; previously Ghannoum had found that people harbor between nine and 23 fungal species in their mouths.)

The researchers assessed the mycobiome and bacteriome of patients with Crohn’s disease and their Crohn’s-free first degree relatives in nine families in northern France and Belgium, and in Crohn’s-free individuals from four families living in the same geographic area. Specifically, they analyzed fecal samples of 20 Crohn’s and 28 Crohn’s-free patients from nine families and of 21 Crohn’s-free patients of four families. The researchers found strong fungal-bacterial interactions in those with Crohn’s disease: two bacteria (Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens) and one fungus (Candida tropicalis) moved in lock step. The presence of all three in the sick family members was significantly higher compared to their healthy relatives, suggesting that the bacteria and fungus interact in the intestines. Additionally, test-tube research by the Ghannoum-led team found that the three work together (with the E. coli cells fusing to the fungal cells and S. marcescens forming a bridge connecting the microbes) to produce a biofilm — a thin, slimy layer of microorganisms found in the body that adheres to, among other sites, a portion of the intestines — which can prompt inflammation that results in the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

This is first time any fungus has been linked to Crohn’s in humans; previously it was only found in mice with the disease. The study is also the first to include S. marcescens in the Crohn’s-linked bacteriome. Additionally, the researchers found that the presence of beneficial bacteria was significantly lower in the Crohn’s patients, corroborating previous research findings….                     https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160920151435.htm

Citation:

Fungus in humans identified for first time as key factor in Crohn’s disease

Date:         September 20, 2016

Source:     Case Western Reserve University

Summary:

A fungus has been identified as a key factor in the development of Crohn’s disease, an international team of researchers has identified for the first time.

Journal Reference:

  1. G. Hoarau, P. K. Mukherjee, C. Gower-Rousseau, C. Hager, J. Chandra, M. A. Retuerto, C. Neut, S. Vermeire, J. Clemente, J. F. Colombel, H. Fujioka, D. Poulain, B. Sendid and M. A. Ghannoum. Bacteriome and Mycobiome Interactions Underscore Microbial Dysbiosis in Familial Crohn’s Disease. mBio, September 2016 DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01250-16

Here is the press release from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine:

Case Western Reserve-Led International Team Identifies Fungus in Humans for First Time as Key Factor in Crohn’s Disease

Novel Finding Opens Door for Potential Treatment

September 20, 2016

A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine-led team of international researchers has for the first time identified a fungus as a key factor in the development of Crohn’s disease. The researchers also linked a new bacterium to the previous bacteria associated with Crohn’s. The groundbreaking findings, published on September 20th in mBio, could lead to potential new treatments and ultimately, cures for the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease, which causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.

“We already know that bacteria, in addition to genetic and dietary factors, play a major role in causing Crohn’s disease,” said the study’s senior and corresponding author, Mahmoud A Ghannoum, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center “Essentially, patients with Crohn’s have abnormal immune responses to these bacteria, which inhabit the intestines of all people. While most researchers focus their investigations on these bacteria, few have examined the role of fungi, which are also present in everyone’s intestines. Our study adds significant new information to understanding why some people develop Crohn’s disease. Equally important, it can result in a new generation of treatments, including medications and probiotics, which hold the potential for making qualitative and quantitative differences in the lives of people suffering from Crohn’s.”

Both bacteria and fungi are microorganisms – infinitesimal forms of life that can only be seen with a microscope. Fungi are eukaryotes: organism whose cells contain a nucleus; they are closer to humans than bacteria, which are prokaryotes: single-celled forms of life with no nucleus. Collectively, the fungal community that inhabits the human body is known as the mycobiome, while the bacteria are called the bacteriome. (Fungi and bacteria are present throughout the body; previously Ghannoum had found that people harbor between nine and 23 fungal species in their mouths.)

The researchers assessed the mycobiome and bacteriome of patients with Crohn’s disease and their Crohn’s-free first degree relatives in nine families in northern France and Belgium, and in Crohn’s-free individuals from four families living in the same geographic area. Specifically, they analyzed fecal samples of 20 Crohn’s and 28 Crohn’s-free patients from nine families and of 21 Crohn’s-free patients of four families. The researchers found strong fungal-bacterial interactions in those with Crohn’s disease: two bacteria (Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens) and one fungus (Candida tropicalis) moved in lock step. The presence of all three in the sick family members was significantly higher compared to their healthy relatives, suggesting that the bacteria and fungus interact in the intestines. Additionally, test-tube research by the Ghannoum-led team found that the three work together (with the E. coli cells fusing to the fungal cells and S. marcescens forming a bridge connecting the microbes) to produce a biofilm – a thin, slimy layer of microorganisms found in the body that adheres to, among other sites, a portion of the intestines – which can prompt inflammation that results in the symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

This is first time any fungus has been linked to Crohn’s in humans; previously it was only found in mice with the disease. The study is also the first to include S. marcescens in the Crohn’s-linked bacteriome. Additionally, the researchers found that the presence of beneficial bacteria was significantly lower in the Crohn’s patients, corroborating previous research findings.

“Among hundreds of bacterial and fungal species inhabiting the intestines, it is telling that the three we identified were so highly correlated in Crohn’s patients,” said Ghannoum. “Furthermore, we found strong similarities in what may be called the ‘gut profiles’ of the Crohn’s-affected families, which were strikingly different from the Crohn’s-free families. We have to be careful, though, and not solely attribute Crohn’s disease to the bacterial and fungal makeups of our intestines. For example, we know that family members also share diet and environment to significant degrees. Further research is needed to be even more specific in identifying precipitators and contributors of Crohn’s.”

In addition to Ghannoum, other Case Western Reserve University investigators equally contributing to the study are Pranab Mukherjee, Chris Hager, Jyotsna Chandra, Mauricio Retuerto, and Hisashi Fujioka. Other members of the study team are from France and Belgium, as well as the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai in New York City.

###

The research was supported by National Institutes of Health grants R01DE024228 to MAG and PKM, RO1DE17846, the Oral HIV AIDS Research Alliance (OHARA, BRS-ACURE-S-11-000049-110229) to MAG and a Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center (DDRCC) Pilot and Feasibility project (supported by NIH/NIDDK P30 DK097948) to MAG, and R21EY021303 and R21AI074077 to PKM. Funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7-2007-2013) under HEALTH-F2-2010-260338-ALLFUN, the Programme Hospitalier de Recherche Clinique du Ministère des Affaires Sociales, de la Santé et de la Ville PHRC 1918, 2011 Candigène, France, to B.S. the UEG Research Prize 2009 to JFC

For more information about Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, please visit: http://case.edu/medicine.

About Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Founded in 1843, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is the largest medical research institution in Ohio and is among the nation’s top medical schools for research funding from the National Institutes of Health. The School of Medicine is recognized throughout the international medical community for outstanding achievements in teaching. The School’s innovative and pioneering Western Reserve2 curriculum interweaves four themes–research and scholarship, clinical mastery, leadership, and civic professionalism–to prepare students for the practice of evidence-based medicine in the rapidly changing health care environment of the 21st century. Nine Nobel Laureates have been affiliated with the School of Medicine.

Annually, the School of Medicine trains more than 800 MD and MD/PhD students and ranks in the top 25 among U.S. research-oriented medical schools as designated by U.S. News & World Report’s “Guide to Graduate Education.”

The School of Medicine’s primary affiliate is University Hospitals Case Medical Center and is additionally affiliated with MetroHealth Medical Center, the Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the Cleveland Clinic, with which it established the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2002. case.edu/medicine.

Media Contact(s):

Marc Kaplan
Associate Dean, Marketing and Communications
The School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University
Office: 216-368-4692
Marc.Kaplan@case.edu

The Mayo Clinic offers the following advice:

Treatment for Crohn’s disease usually involves drug therapy or, in certain cases, surgery. There is currently no cure for the disease, and there is no one treatment that works for everyone. Doctors use one of two approaches to treatment — either “step-up,” which starts with milder drugs first, or “top-down,” which gives people stronger drugs earlier in the treatment process.

The goal of medical treatment is to reduce the inflammation that triggers your signs and symptoms. It is also to improve long-term prognosis by limiting complications. In the best cases, this may lead not only to symptom relief but also to long-term remission…..                                   http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/basics/treatment/con-20032061

As with any medical condition, consult competent medical professionals.

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City University of New York study: More underrepresented students obtain science degrees and pursue STEM, due to research mentoring

11 Sep

Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.
A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 and http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/15/national/class/OVERVIEW-FINAL.html   Jason DeParle reported in the New York Times article, For Poor Strivers, Leap to College Often Ends in a Hard Fall http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/23/education/poor-students-struggle-as-class-plays-a-greater-role-in-success.html?hpw&_r=0

Social class and background may not only affect an individual student’s choice of major, but their completion of college in that major. Nick De Santis reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Report Examines College Students’ Attrition From STEM Majors:

Twenty-eight percent of bachelor’s-degree students who began their postsecondary education in the 2003-4 academic year chose a major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics at some point within six years, but 48 percent of students who entered those fields during that period had left them by the spring of 2009, according to a report released on Tuesday by the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Education Department’s statistical arm.
The report, which addresses attrition from the so-called STEM fields, also includes information on students pursuing associate degrees. It says that 20 percent of such students had chosen a STEM major within that six-year period and notes that 69 percent of them had left the STEM fields by the spring of 2009.
Of the students who left STEM fields, the report says, roughly half switched their major to a non-STEM field, and the rest left college without earning a degree or certificate. The report notes that fields such as the humanities and education experienced higher levels of attrition than did the STEM disciplines.
The report identifies several factors associated with a higher probability of switching out of STEM majors, such as taking lighter STEM course loads or less-challenging math classes in the first year, and earning lower grades in STEM courses than in others….
http://chronicle.com/blogs/ticker/report-examines-college-students-attrition-from-stem-majors/69705?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

A Cornell University study found that should women remain in STEM programs they might be preferred for tenure-track faculty positions.  http://www.usnews.com/news/stem-solutions/articles/2015/04/13/report-faculty-prefer-women-for-tenure-track-stem-positions

Science Daily reported in More underrepresented students obtain science degrees and pursue STEM, due to research mentoring:

Graduation rates among science majors at a large minority-serving college have nearly tripled since the implementation of an undergraduate research experience (URE) program ten years ago. A new study in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching indicates that undergraduates who participate in mentored research not only graduate more often with science degrees, but also attend graduate school and pursue STEM careers at higher rates.

Established in 2006, John Jay College’s Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math (PRISM) is an URE program that enables undergraduates to carry out guided scientific research. Although undergraduate STEM research has been de rigueur at major research universities, public Minority- and Hispanic-serving institutions like John Jay have historically struggled to provide their students with equivalent experiences and to keep them competitive with their majority peers. Tailored to students and faculty, PRISM has benefited both participants and the college. An extensive case study revealed that graduation rates from science have nearly tripled since PRISM’s inception, that the number of students pursuing graduate degrees has grown nearly ten fold, and that students receive author credit on journal articles more often than at other institutions. Furthermore, John Jay has seen a growth in both external funding and in full-time faculty focused on STEM research…                                                                                     https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/09/160908120344.htm

Citation:

More underrepresented students obtain science degrees and pursue STEM, due to research mentoring

Date:          September 8, 2016

Source:      The City University of New York

Summary:

A new study indicates that undergraduates who participate in mentored research not only graduate more often with science degrees, but also attend graduate school and pursue STEM careers at higher rates.

Journal Reference:

  1. Anthony Carpi, Darcy M. Ronan, Heather M. Falconer, Nathan H. Lents. Cultivating minority scientists: Undergraduate research increases self-efficacy and career ambitions for underrepresented students in STEM. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 2016; DOI: 10.1002/tea.21341

Here is the press release from City University of New York:

Public Release: 8-Sep-2016

More underrepresented students obtain science degrees & pursue STEM, due to research mentoring

The City University of New York

New York, NY – Graduation rates among science majors at a large minority-serving college have nearly tripled since the implementation of an undergraduate research experience (URE) program ten years ago. A new study in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching indicates that undergraduates who participate in mentored research not only graduate more often with science degrees, but also attend graduate school and pursue STEM careers at higher rates.

Established in 2006, John Jay College’s Program for Research Initiatives in Science and Math (PRISM) is an URE program that enables undergraduates to carry out guided scientific research. Although undergraduate STEM research has been de rigueur at major research universities, public Minority- and Hispanic-serving institutions like John Jay have historically struggled to provide their students with equivalent experiences and to keep them competitive with their majority peers. Tailored to students and faculty, PRISM has benefited both participants and the college. An extensive case study revealed that graduation rates from science have nearly tripled since PRISM’s inception, that the number of students pursuing graduate degrees has grown nearly ten fold, and that students receive author credit on journal articles more often than at other institutions. Furthermore, John Jay has seen a growth in both external funding and in full-time faculty focused on STEM research.

To reach these conclusions, researchers made use of institutional and program data collected over three years, interviews and focus groups, and surveys. Notably, the study found that PRISM positively affected students’ decisions to pursue graduate degrees and STEM careers, impacting Black and Hispanic participants more significantly than their White and Asian counterparts. Lead author Anthony Carpi, Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Dean of Research at John Jay College, City University of New York, said, “We were delighted to see the impact that undergraduate research experiences have on our students’ career plans. John Jay has a robust and diverse pipeline of students moving on to post-graduate professional careers in STEM fields, and it is exciting to see these students becoming skilled scientists.”

Norman Lederman, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Science at the Illinois Institute of Technology, said, “It has long been known that actual research experiences in science and mathematics impact students’ attitudes toward science and mathematics as well as the STEM career aspirations of pre-college and college students. It has also been known that under represented students tend to select themselves out of STEM fields for a variety of social and cultural reasons. The PRISM program at John Jay College has produced extremely compelling results and it serves as an impressive model for other universities, especially those that do not initially have high-level research profiles.”

This study represents the initial stage of a multi-pronged evaluation of John Jay’s URE program with subsequent phases focusing on quantitative comparisons. For now, PRISM appears not only to redress some of the education and employment inequities faced by minority students, but also to serve as an example to other institutions that wish to send more underrepresented students into the STEM workforce.

###

The City University of New York is the nation’s leading urban public university. Founded in New York City in 1847, the University comprises 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, seven community colleges, and other professional schools. The University serves nearly 275,000 degree-credit students and 218,083 adult, continuing and professional education students.

For more information, please contact Shante Brooker.

The Cornell study points to the need for good science education to prepare a diverse population for opportunities. K-12 education must not only prepare students by teaching basic skills, but they must prepare students for training after high school, either college or vocational. There should not only be a solid education foundation established in K-12, but there must be more accurate evaluation of whether individual students are “college ready.”

Related:

Girls and math phobia
https://drwilda.com/2012/01/20/girls-and-math-phobia/

Study: Gender behavior differences lead to higher grades for girls

https://drwilda.com/2013/01/07/study-gender-behavior-differences-lead-to-higher-grades-for-girls/

University of Missouri study: Counting ability predicts future math ability of preschoolers https://drwilda.com/2012/11/15/university-of-missouri-study-counting-ability-predicts-future-math-ability-of-preschoolers/

Is an individualized program more effective in math learning?
https://drwilda.com/2012/10/10/is-an-individualized-program-more-effective-in-math-learning

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Pediatrics study: TV Ratings System Downplays Sex, Violence, Smoking

30 Aug

Some one told moi a story about a woman who wanted to introduce her 12 year old son to culture. The way she set about the introduction was to buy tickets for the entire Ring by Wagner. Perhaps, her son thoroughly enjoyed the Ring. More likely, he probably developed a hatred for opera. About the time that school starts around the beginning of September, many arts organizations begin their season. It is good to introduce your child to all types of artistic endeavors, but one should chose wisely by looking for cues as to what the child’s interests are and having an awareness of content. Barbara J. Wilson, Ph.D. wrote the thoughtful article, What’s Wrong with the Ratings? http://www.medialit.org/reading-room/whats-wrong-ratings

Education News reported in Report: TV Ratings System Downplays Sex, Violence, Smoking:

A new study recently published in the journal Pediatrics suggests that the TV rating system currently in place in the United States is inaccurate and does not always reflect the true amount of violence, smoking, and drinking occurring in television shows.

The study found TV Parental Guidelines ratings to be ineffective in three out of the four behaviors studied.  In addition, at least one risk factor was noted in every show, including shows for children as young as seven.

In all, researchers looked at 17 TV shows for instances of violence, sexual behavior, alcohol use, and smoking.  Findings suggest shows that held a rating of TV-Y7, intended for children age seven or older, had similar levels of violence as shows rated TV-MA, meant for mature audiences only.

“From prior research, we know that youth between 8 and 18 years consume, on average, 7.5 hours a day of media content,” said Joy Gabrielli, lead author of the study and a clinical child psychologist at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Gabrielli added that young children and teens watch shows on televisions as well as on additional forms of digital media, such as telephones and tablets.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 mandated the creation of a TV rating system and a hardware, or V-chip, that would allow parents to block any questionable content.  As a result, the TV Parental Guidelines were created in addition to a monitoring board to ensure accuracy, uniformity, and consistency of the guidelines, reports Susan Scutti for CNN.

Violence was found in 70% of all episodes looked at for at least 2.3 seconds per episode minute.  Meanwhile alcohol was seen in 58% of episodes for 2.3 seconds per minute, sexual behavior in 53% of shows for 0.26 seconds per minute, and smoking in 31% of shows for 0.54 seconds per minute.

Shows rated TV-Y7 were found to show significantly less substance abuse.  However, other rating categories did not discriminate substance use as well, which was seen as much in shows rated TV-14 as they were in shows rated TV-MA.

TV ratings were found to be the most effective for sexual behavior and gory violence.

http://www.educationnews.org/technology/report-tv-ratings-system-downplays-sex-violence-smoking/

See, TV rating system not accurate, little help to parents, study says     http://www.cnn.com/2016/08/22/health/tv-ratings-not-accurate-parents/

Citation:

Advertising Disclaimer »

Pediatrics

August 2016

Industry Television Ratings for Violence, Sex, and Substance Use

Joy Gabrielli, Aminata Traore, Mike Stoolmiller, Elaina Bergamini, James D. Sargent

Download PDF

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether the industry-run television (TV) Parental Guidelines discriminate on violence, sexual behavior, alcohol use, and smoking in TV shows, to assess their usefulness for parents.

METHODS: Seventeen TV shows (323 episodes and 9214 episode minutes) across several TV show rating categories (TVY7, TVPG, TV14, and TVMA) were evaluated. We content-coded the episodes, recording seconds of each risk behavior, and we rated the salience of violence in each one. Multilevel models were used to test for associations between TV rating categories and prevalence of risk behaviors across and within episodes or salience of violence.

RESULTS: Every show had at least 1 risk behavior. Violence was pervasive, occurring in 70% of episodes overall and for 2.3 seconds per episode minute. Alcohol was also common (58% of shows, 2.3 seconds per minute), followed by sex (53% of episodes, 0.26 seconds per minute), and smoking (31% of shows, 0.54 seconds per minute). TV Parental Guidelines did not discriminate prevalence estimates of TV episode violence. Although TV-Y7 shows had significantly less substance use, other categories were poor at discriminating substance use, which was as common in TV-14 as TV-MA shows. Sex and gory violence were the only behaviors demonstrating a graded increase in prevalence and salience for older-child rating categories.

CONCLUSIONS: TV Parental Guidelines ratings were ineffective in discriminating shows for 3 out of 4 behaviors studied. Even in shows rated for children as young as 7 years, violence was prevalent, prominent, and salient. TV ratings were most effective for identification of sexual behavior and gory violence.

What’s Known on This Subject:

A voluntary, industry-run TV Parental Guidelines rating system has existed for 20 years to help parents decide which shows are appropriate for children; yet the usefulness of TV ratings in discriminating shows on risk-behavior depiction remains unclear.

What This Study Adds:

Violence was prevalent across all shows, regardless of rating, so parents could not rely on TV Parental Guidelines to screen for this behavior. Only TV-7 consistently predicted lower levels of sex, alcohol, or tobacco, compared with TV-PG, TV-14, and TV-MA.

Almost 20 years have passed since Congress approved the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In Section 551 (“Parental Choice in Television Programming”), Congress noted: (1) “television influences children’s perceptions of values and behavior common and acceptable in society,” (2) “television shows expose children to many depictions of violence,” (3) “children so exposed are prone to see violence as acceptable and have greater tendency for aggressive behavior,” (4) “casual treatment of sexual material on television erodes parental ability to develop responsible attitudes and behavior in their children,” (5) “parents express grave concern over violent and sexual programming,” and (6) “there is compelling governmental interest in empowering parents to limit these negative influences.”1 Congress instructed the telecommunications industry to develop a television (TV) ratings system and TV manufacturers to integrate hardware (the V-chip) to allow parents to block objectionable content

The TV industry responded that year with the TV Parental Guidelines, structured around a similar self-regulatory system previously developed for motion pictures. Shows are rated by the companies that produce them and classified into rating categories based on content and appropriateness for different age groups. The industry established a TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board to “ensure accuracy, uniformity, and consistency of the guidelines.”2 The rating categories were integrated into programming to allow parents to see the rating for each show and to block by rating (or channel) using V-chip technology.

In the ensuing 20 years, research confirms the prescience of Congress’ expressed concerns. Studies have identified relations between viewing media violence and aggression in children.3,4 Prospective studies have strengthened the notion that viewing sexual content on TV affects risky sexual behavior among adolescents and increases the risk of teen pregnancy.5,6 Moreover, studies have documented a robust relation between seeing depictions of smoking and drinking in movies and youth substance use.710 Subsequently, concerns about media effects on youth behavior appear even more justified by the science, and research suggests that parental guidelines should include behaviors beyond sex and violence, such as alcohol and tobacco use.11

As stated in their own documentation, the TV industry recognized that the usefulness of the TV Parental Guidelines for informing parents would be based in part on their “accuracy, uniformity and consistency.”2 In a literature search on “TV Parental Guidelines” we were able to identify studies that either examined, through content coding, the presence of various risk behaviors1214 or how parents perceive and use the ratings system,1517 but were surprised to find limited tests of its accuracy, uniformity, or consistency across risk behaviors. The present research is a first attempt to quantify violence, sex, and alcohol and tobacco use in a sample of TV programs according to the TV Parental Guideline rating category.

Methods

We selected TV shows across 4 rating categories (ie, TV-Y7, TV-PG, TV-14, and TV-MA) as defined by the TV Parental Guidelines.2 TV-Y7 is defined as being “directed to older children” (age 7 years and above). TV-PG is defined as “parental guidance suggested” and may “contain material that parents may find unsuitable for younger children.” TV-14 is denoted as “parents strongly cautioned,” as it is a program that “contains material that many parents would find unsuitable for children under 14 years of age.” TV-MA is listed as “mature audience only,” because it is a program “specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.” Seven shows were purposively chosen because they were popular with youth (identified through the Nielsen list of shows most popular with youth aged 12–17 years), and 10 other shows were purposively chosen given the high likelihood of the presence of risk behaviors with the intent to maximize statistical power to find TV rating effects, if they existed. The 17 shows (154 hours across 323 episodes) with descriptions of air times, ratings, and episodes are provided in Table 1.

TABLE 1

Listing of TV Program Sample

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2016/08/18/peds.2016-0487

Here is the Pediatrics statement on media:

Media and Children

Media is everywhere. TV, Internet, computer and video games all vie for our children’s attention. Information on this page can help parents understand the impact media has in our children’s lives, while offering tips on managing time spent with various media. The AAP has recommendations for parents and pediatricians.

Today’s children are spending an average of seven hours a day on entertainment media, including televisions, computers, phones and other electronic devices. To help kids make wise media choices, parents should monitor their media diet. Parents can make use of established ratings systems for shows, movies and games to avoid inappropriate content, such as violence, explicit sexual content or glorified tobacco and alcohol use.

Studies have shown that excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity. In addition, the Internet and cell phones can provide platforms for illicit and risky behaviors.

By limiting screen time and offering educational media and non-electronic formats such as books, newspapers and board games, and watching television with their children, parents can help guide their children’s media experience. Putting questionable content into context and teaching kids about advertising contributes to their media literacy.

The AAP recommends that parents establish “screen-free” zones at home by making sure there are no televisions, computers or video games in children’s bedrooms, and by turning off the TV during dinner. Children and teens should engage with entertainment media for no more than one or two hours per day, and that should be high-quality content. It is important for kids to spend time on outdoor play, reading, hobbies, and using their imaginations in free play.

Television and other entertainment media should be avoided for infants and children under age 2. A child’s brain develops rapidly during these first years, and young children learn best by interacting with people, not screens.

Additional Resources

https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health-initiatives/Pages/Media-and-Children.aspx?rf=32524&nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token

Here is the press release from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

TV Ratings on Sex, Violence and Substance Abuse Offer Little Help to Parents

8/22/2016

Research shows there is a relationship between young people seeing sexual content on television and the risk of teen pregnancy, seeing violence and teen aggression, and seeing depictions of smoking and drinking and youth substance use, which is why the US Congress asked the entertainment industry to develop a TV Parental Guidelines rating system over 20 years ago. However, a study conducted by researchers at the C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth and published in the September 2016 Pediatrics (published online Aug. 22), “Industry Television Ratings for Violence, Sex and Substance Use,” shows these industry ratings were ineffective in warning parents about content that might not be appropriate for children to view. Researchers compared 323 episodes of 17 television shows for sex, violence, smoking and drinking, and found that only sex and gore were demonstrably more prevalent in mature rated shows. All other risk behaviors were pervasive across most rating categories, especially interpersonal violence (occurring in 70 percent of episodes) and alcohol use (in 58 percent of shows), but also smoking (31 percent). Study authors concluded that in this sample of shows, the ratings system did little to help parents discriminate and limit exposure to these behaviors. More research is needed across more television shows to monitor and improve the TV Parental Guidelines.
###
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 66,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org.

https://www.aap.org/en-us/about-the-aap/aap-press-room/Pages/TV-Ratings-on-Sex-Violence-and-Substance-Abuse-Offer-Little-Help-to-Parents.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR:+No+local+token

What Questions Should a Parent Ask a Venue About Content?

Does a particular venue have a ratings system for content?

What is the model for the ratings system? Is it like film ratings or ESRB?

How descriptive is the rating system, does it give examples of the type of language or situation which might be problematic?

Where is the rating for each production listed? Is it in the descriptive brochure? Is this information on the web site? Are box office personnel familiar with the ratings?

If a family has concerns about a particular production, how should concerns be addressed to the venue if the family finds the production does not match the rating description?

Families have different viewpoints about what is appropriate content for their child or children. Some families seek out a variety of experiences for their children while others are more restrained in what they feel is appropriate. All families need to ask questions about content to find what is appropriate for their child and their value system.

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Princeton University study: A tale of a racist robot and AI from the web

26 Aug

Jenna Goudreau of Business Insider wrote in 13 surprising ways your name affects your success:

If your name is easy to pronounce, people will favor you more….

In a New York University study, researchers found that people with easier-to-pronounce names often have higher-status positions at work. One of the psychologists, Adam Alter, explains to Wired, “When we can process a piece of information more easily, when it’s easier to comprehend, we come to like it more.” In a further study, Alter also found that companies with simpler names and ticker symbols tended to perform better in the stock market.

If your name is common, you are more likely to be hired….

In a Marquette University study, the researchers found evidence to suggest that names that were viewed as the least unique were more likable. People with common names were more likely to be hired, and those with rare names were least likely to be hired. That means that the Jameses, Marys, Johns, and Patricias of the world are in luck.

Uncommon names are associated with juvenile delinquency….

A 2009 study at Shippensburg University suggested that there’s a strong relationship between the popularity of one’s first name and juvenile criminal behavior. Researchers found that, regardless of race, young people with unpopular names were more likely to engage in criminal activity. The findings obviously don’t show that the unusual names caused the behavior, but merely show a link between the two things. And the researchers have some theories about their findings. “Adolescents with unpopular names may be more prone to crime because they are treated differently by their peers, making it more difficult for them to form relationships,” they write in a statement from the journal’s publisher. “Juveniles with unpopular names may also act out because they … dislike their names.”

If you have a white-sounding name, you’re more likely to get hired….

In one study cited by The Atlantic, white-sounding names like Emily Walsh and Greg Baker got nearly 50% more callbacks than candidates with black-sounding names like Lakisha Washington and Jamal Jones. Researchers determined that having a white-sounding name is worth as much as eight years of work experience.

If your last name is closer to the beginning of the alphabet, you could get into a better school….

For a study published in the Economics of Education Review, researchers studied the relationship between the position in the alphabet of more than 90,000 Czech students’ last names and their admission chances at competitive schools. They found that even though students with last names that were low in the alphabet tended to get higher test scores overall, among the students who applied to universities and were on the margins of getting admitted or not, those with last names that were close to the top of the alphabet were more likely to be admitted.

If your last name is closer to the end of the alphabet, you’re more likely to be an impulse spender…

According to one study, people with last names such as Yardley or Zabar may be more susceptible to promotional strategies like limited-time offers. The authors speculate that spending your childhood at the end of the roll call may make you want to jump on offers before you miss the chance.

Using your middle initial makes people think you’re smarter and more competent….

According to research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, using a middle initial increases people’s perceptions of your intellectual capacity and performance. In one study, students were asked to rate an essay with one of four styles of author names. Not only did the authors with a middle initial receive top marks, but the one with the most initials, David F.P.R. Clark, received the best reviews.

You are more likely to work in a company that matches your initials….

Since we identify with our names, we prefer things that are similar to them. In a Ghent University study, researchers found that people are more likely to work for companies matching their own initials. For example, Brian Ingborg might work for Business Insider. The rarer the initials, the more likely people were to work for companies with names similar to their own.

If your name sounds noble, you are more likely to work in a high-ranking position….

In a European study, researchers studied German names and ranks within companies. Those with last names such as Kaiser (“emperor”) or König (“king”) were in more managerial positions than those with last names that referred to common occupations, such as Koch (“cook”) or Bauer (“farmer”). This could be the result of associative reasoning, a psychological theory describing a type of thinking in which people automatically link emotions and previous knowledge with similar words or phrases.

If you are a boy with a girl’s name, you could be more likely to be suspended from school….

For his 2005 study, University of Florida economics professor David Figlio studied a large Florida school district from 1996 to 2000 and found that boys with names most commonly given to girls misbehaved more in middle school and were more likely to disrupt their peers. He also found that their behavioral problems were linked with increased disciplinary problems and lower test scores.

If you are a woman with a gender-neutral name, you may be more likely to succeed in certain fields….

According to The Atlantic, in male-dominated fields such as engineering and law, women with gender-neutral names may be more successful. One study found that women with “masculine names” like Leslie, Jan, or Cameron tended to be more successful in legal careers.

Men with shorter first names are overrepresented in the c-suite.

In 2011, LinkedIn analyzed more than 100 million user profiles to find out which names are most associated with the CEO position. The most common names for men were short, often one-syllable names like Bob, Jack, and Bruce. A name specialist speculates that men in power may use nicknames to offer a sense of friendliness and openness.

Women at the top are more likely to use their full names….

In the same study, LinkedIn researchers found that the most common names of female CEOs include Deborah, Cynthia, and Carolyn. Unlike the men, women may use their full names in an attempt to project professionalism and gravitas, according to the report. …

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-your-name-affects-your-success-2015-8

A Michigan State University study finds that the names of Black males affect their life expectancy.  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160326105659.htm

Mojtaba Arvin wrote in the Machine Learning article, The robot that became racist: AI that learnt from the web finds white-sounding names ‘pleasant’ and …

Humans look to the power of machine learning to make better and more effective decisions.

However, it seems that some algorithms are learning more than just how to recognize patterns – they are being taught how to be as biased as the humans they learn from.

Researchers found that a widely used AI characterizes black-sounding names as ‘unpleasant’, which they believe is a result of our own human prejudice hidden in the data it learns from on the World Wide Web.

Researchers found that a widely used AI characterizes black-sounding names as ‘unpleasant’, which they believe is a result of our own human prejudice hidden in the data it learns from on the World Wide Web

Machine learning has been adopted to make a range of decisions, from approving loans to determining what kind of health insurance, reports Jordan Pearson with Motherboard.

A recent example was reported by Pro Publica in May, when an algorithm used by officials in Florida automatically rated a more seasoned white criminal as being a lower risk of committing a future crime, than a black offender with only misdemeanors on her record.

Now, researchers at Princeton University have reproduced a stockpile of documented human prejudices in an algorithm using text pulled from the internet.

HOW A ROBOT BECAME RACIST

Princeton University conducted a word associate task with the popular algorithm GloVe, an unsupervised AI that uses online text to understand human language.

The team gave the AI words like ‘flowers’ and ‘insects’ to pair with other words  that the researchers defined as being ‘pleasant’ or ‘unpleasant’ like ‘family’ or ‘crash’ – which it did successfully.

Then algorithm was given a list of white-sounding names, like Emily and Matt, and black-sounding ones, such as Ebony and Jamal’, which it was prompted to do the same word association.

The AI linked the white-sounding names with ‘pleasant’ and black-sounding names as ‘unpleasant’.

Princeton’s results do not just prove datasets are polluted with prejudices and assumptions, but the algorithms currently being used for researchers are reproducing human’s worst values – racism and assumption…                                                                                                                 https://www.artificialintelligenceonline.com/19050/the-robot-that-became-racist-ai-that-learnt-from-the-web-finds-white-sounding-names-pleasant-and/

See, The robot that became racist: AI that learnt from the web finds white-sounding names ‘pleasant’ and black-sounding names ‘unpleasant’     http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3760795/The-robot-racist-AI-learnt-web-finds-white-sounding-names-pleasant-black-sounding-names-unpleasant.html

Here is a portion of the draft:

Semantics derived automatically from language

corpora necessarily contain human biases

Aylin Caliskan-Islam1 , Joanna J. Bryson 1,2 , and Arvind Narayanan1

1Princeton University

2 University of Bath

Address correspondence to aylinc@princeton.edu, bryson@conjugateprior.org, arvindn@cs.princeton.edu.

+

Draft date August 25, 2016.

ABSTRACT

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are in a period of astounding growth. However, there are concerns that these technologies may be used, either with or without intention, to perpetuate the prejudice and unfairness that unfortunately characterizes many human institutions. Here we show for the first time that human-like semantic biases result from the application of standard machine learning to ordinary language—the same sort of language humans are exposed to every day. We replicate a spectrum of standard human biases as exposed by the Implicit Association Test and other well-known

psychological studies. We replicate these using a widely used, purely statistical machine-learning model—namely, the GloVe word embedding—trained on a corpus of text from the Web. Our results indicate that language itself contains recoverable and accurate imprints of our historic biases, whether these are morally neutral as towards insects or flowers, problematic as towards race or gender, or even simply veridical, reflecting the status quo for the distribution of gender with respect to careers or first

names. These regularities are captured by machine learning along with the rest of semantics. In addition to our empirical findings concerning language, we also contribute new methods for evaluating bias in text, the Word Embedding Association Test (WEAT) and the Word Embedding Factual Association Test (WEFAT). Our results have implications not only for AI and machine learning, but also for the fields of psychology, sociology, and human ethics, since they raise the possibility that mere exposure to everyday language can account for the biases we replicate here…..

http://randomwalker.info/publications/language-bias.pdf

See, Top 20 ‘Whitest’ and ‘Blackest’ Names      http://abcnews.go.com/2020/top-20-whitest-blackest-names/story?id=2470131

Moi wrote in Black people MUST develop a culture of success: Michigan State revokes a football scholarship because of raunchy rap video.

The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture. See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Values
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts and Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink? https://drwilda.com/2013/05/01/hip-hop-and-rap-represent-destructive-life-choices-how-low-can-this-genre-sink/

Resources:

Culture of Success
http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/culture-success

How Do Asian Students Get to the Top of the Class?
http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/teaching-values/481-parenting-students-to-the-top.gs

Related:

Is there a model minority?
https://drwilda.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
https://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

University of Chicago study: Infants develop early understanding of social nature of food

23 Aug

Patti Neighmond reported in the NPR story, It Takes More Than A Produce Aisle To Refresh A Food Desert:

“The next part of the intervention is to create demand,” he says, “so the community wants to come to the store and buy healthy fruits and vegetables and go home and prepare those foods in a healthy way, without lots of fat, salt or sugar.”
Ortega directs a UCLA project that converts corner stores into hubs of healthy fare in low-income neighborhoods of East Los Angeles. He and colleagues work with community leaders and local high school students to help create that demand for nutritious food. Posters and signs promoting fresh fruits and vegetables hang in corner stores, such as the Euclid Market in Boyle Heights, and at bus stops. There are nutrition education classes in local schools, and cooking classes in the stores themselves….
The jury’s still out on whether these conversions of corner stores are actually changing people’s diets and health. The evidence is still being collected.
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/02/10/273046077/takes-more-than-a-produce-aisle-to-refresh-a-food-desert

In other words, much of the obesity problem is due to personal life style choices and the question is whether government can or should regulate those choices. The issue is helping folk to want to make healthier food choices even on a food stamp budget. See, Cheap Eats: Cookbook Shows How To Eat Well On A Food Stamp Budget http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/08/01/337141837/cheap-eats-cookbook-shows-how-to-eat-well-on-a-food-stamp-budget    A University of Buffalo study reports that what a baby eats depends on the social class of the mother.

Roberto A. Ferdman of the Washington Post wrote in the article, The stark difference between what poor babies and rich babies eat:

The difference between what the rich and poor eat in America begins long before a baby can walk, or even crawl.
A team of researchers at the University at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences found considerable differences in the solid foods babies from different socioeconomic classes were being fed. Specifically, diets high in sugar and fat were found to be associated with less educated mothers and poorer households, while diets that more closely followed infant feeding guidelines were linked to higher education and bigger bank accounts.
“We found that differences in dietary habits start very early,” said Xiaozhong Wen, the study’s lead author.
The researchers used data from the Infant Feeding Practices study, an in depth look at baby eating habits, which tracked the diets of more than 1,500 infants up until age one, and documented which of 18 different food types—including breast milk, formula, cow’s milk, other milk (like soy milk), other dairy foods (like yogurt), other soy foods (like tofu), 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, and sweet drinks, among others – their mothers fed them. Wen’s team at the University at Buffalo focused on what the infants ate over the course of a week at both 6- and 12-months old.
In many cases, infants were fed foods that would surprise even the least stringent of mothers. Candy, ice cream, soda, and french fries, for instance, were among the foods some of the babies were being fed. Researchers divided the 18 different food types into four distinct categories, two of which were ideal for infant consumption—”formula” and “infant guideline solids”—two of which were not—”high/sugar/fat/protein” and “high/regular cereal.” It became clear which babies tended to be fed appropriately, and which did not….
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/04/the-stark-difference-between-what-poor-babies-and-rich-babies-eat/

For a really good discussion of the effects of poverty on children, read the American Psychological Association (APA), Effects of Poverty, Hunger, and Homelessness on Children and Youth                                                                                                                     http://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx

Science Daily reported in Infants develop early understanding of social nature of food:

Infants develop expectations about what people prefer to eat, providing early evidence of the social nature through which humans understand food, according to a new study conducted at the University of Chicago.

The study, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found infants expect people to share food preferences unless they belong to different social groups. Their understanding changes when it comes to disgust toward a food, with infants expecting such reactions to transcend the boundaries of social groups.

“Even before infants appear to make smart choices about what substances to ingest, they form nuanced expectations that food preferences are fundamentally linked to social groups and social identity,” said Zoe Liberman, a University of California, Santa Barbara assistant professor who completed the research while a UChicago doctoral student.

In past studies researchers found infants could watch what other people ate in order to learn whether a food was edible. The new study looks beyond learning objective properties about foods to examine the expectations infants hold around who will agree or disagree on food preferences.

The study has important implications for policymakers working on public health, particularly obesity. The findings underscore the need to look beyond just teaching children which foods are healthy when combating obesity to focus on the social nature of decisions surrounding what to eat.

“For humans, food choice is a deeply social and cultural affair. These new findings show that infants are tuning into critical information for understanding the social world, as well as for reasoning about food,” said Amanda L. Woodward, the William S. Gray Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago.

Additional authors of the study were Kathleen R. Sullivan, social science analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Katherine Kinzler, associate professor at Cornell University….                                                                                                                                           https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/08/160822140701.htm

Citation:

Infants develop early understanding of social nature of food

Study finds preferences follow social groups and language; disgust seen as universal

Date:        August 22, 2016

Source:     University of Chicago

Summary:

A new study finds infants develop expectations about what people prefer to eat, providing early evidence of the social nature through which humans understand food.

Journal Reference:

  1. Zoe Liberman, Amanda L. Woodward, Kathleen R. Sullivan, Katherine D. Kinzler. Early emerging system for reasoning about the social nature of food. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2016; 201605456 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1605456113

Here is the press release from the University of Chicago:

Infants develop early understanding of social nature of food

Study finds preferences follow social groups and language; disgust seen as universal

By Mark Peters

August 22, 2016

Press Inquiries

Infants develop expectations about what people prefer to eat, providing early evidence of the social nature through which humans understand food, according to a new study conducted at the University of Chicago.

The study, published this month in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, found infants expect people to share food preferences unless they belong to different social groups. Their understanding changes when it comes to disgust toward a food, with infants expecting such reactions to transcend the boundaries of social groups.

“Even before infants appear to make smart choices about what substances to ingest, they form nuanced expectations that food preferences are fundamentally linked to social groups and social identity,” said Zoe Liberman, a University of California, Santa Barbara assistant professor who completed the research while a UChicago doctoral student.

In past studies researchers found infants could watch what other people ate in order to learn whether a food was edible. The new study looks beyond learning objective properties about foods to examine the expectations infants hold around who will agree or disagree on food preferences.

The study has important implications for policymakers working on public health, particularly obesity. The findings underscore the need to look beyond just teaching children which foods are healthy when combating obesity to focus on the social nature of decisions surrounding what to eat.

“For humans, food choice is a deeply social and cultural affair. These new findings show that infants are tuning into critical information for understanding the social world, as well as for reasoning about food,” said Amanda L. Woodward, the William S. Gray Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago.

Additional authors of the study were Kathleen R. Sullivan, social science analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; and Katherine Kinzler, associate professor at Cornell University.

In conducting the study, researchers used a method based on the duration infants look to determine their expectations: Infants tend to look longer at events they find relatively more surprising.

For example, monolingual infants in the study consistently looked longer when actors who spoke the same language disagreed on their food choice. The same was true when actors who spoke different languages agreed on their food choice. The reactions suggest monolingual infants expected food preferences to be consistent within a single linguistic group, but not necessarily the same across groups.

Responses were different for infants raised in bilingual environments. Bilingual infants in the study expected food preferences to be consistent even across linguistic groups, suggesting diverse social experiences may make children more flexible in determining which people like the same foods.

When it came to disgust for a food, infants looked longer when actors disagreed over a food being disgusting, even when the actors came from different social groups. The finding suggests infants might be vigilant toward potentially dangerous foods, and expect all people to avoid foods that are disgusting, regardless of their social group.                                                                                                                    https://news.uchicago.edu/article/2016/08/22/infants-develop-early-understanding-social-nature-food

The issue of childhood obesity is complicated and there are probably many factors. If a child’s family does not model healthy eating habits, it probably will be difficult to change the food preferences of the child.

Our goal as a society should be:

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
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