News Roundup November 19

The First Solid Foods for American Babies Depends Very Much on The Mother’s Socioeconomic Background This recent study, “Sociodemographic differences and infant dietary patterns,” was published last month in Pediatrics. Scientists at the University of Buffalo studied the first solid foods eaten by American babies in their first year to find insight into whether or not they will develop obesity as they get older, as well as slower gain in length-for-age scores from 6 to 12 months. “We found that differences in dietary habits start very early,” says Xiaozhong Wen, MBBS, PhD, assistant professor in the UB Department of Pediatrics and lead author on the paper.  “From six to twelve-months is a critical period for babies, it’s when infants learn the tastes of different foods,” he says. The UB researchers found that dietary patterns of children aged 6 and 12 months old vary according to the racial, ethnic and educational backgrounds of their mothers. Read more about their findings here.

Early Literacy is Found to Rely More on Quality than Quantity of Words A new study presented at the White House conference “Bridging the Word Gap” found that among 2-year-olds from low-income families, quality interactions involving words were a far better predictor of language skills at age 3 than any other factor, including the number of words a child heard. Lead author of this study, Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek of Temple University says, “It’s not just about shoving words in. It’s about having these fluid conversations around shared rituals and objects, like pretending to have morning coffee together or using the banana as a phone. That is the stuff from which language is made.”  Read the New York Times article here.

Diet and Exercise During Pregnancy has Benefits In this study, the largest in the world of its kind, researchers at the University of Adelaide found that overweight and obese women who received diet and lifestyle advice and interventions during pregnancy had significant benefits and outcomes for babies. “Our hope is that by following some simple, practical and achievable lifestyle advice, pregnant women can improve their health and the outcomes for their babies. We would, of course, recommend that these lifestyle changes be adopted as much as possible before women become pregnant,” Dr Grivell says. You can find the full article here.

Pre-eclampsia May Not be Caused by the Placenta, but by Meeting the Oxygen Demands of the Fetus The findings of this study from research at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, suggest Pre-eclampsia may be caused by problems meeting the oxygen demands of the growing fetus and the researchers are calling for the name of this condition to be changed. “Referring to it as hypertension caused by pregnancy, rather than the historically outdated name of pre-eclampsia, would mean that women worldwide could be better informed and counseled about the condition”, said a consultant cardiologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. Read more about this research and position here.

This News Roundup was compiled and co-authored by Jean Kurnik, M.A.



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