Entries in New Year (4)


Will You Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution?

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Millions of people have made resolutions for 2013, but if past resolution behavior is any indication of future performance, close to one-third of them will give up on their pledge within the first 30 days.

A survey conducted by the global research firm Kelton for self-help author Rory Vaden reveals that one-in-two Americans made a resolution in 2012, but 48 percent gave up at some point.

Thirty-one percent of all 2012 resolution-makers confessed that they stopped following through on their pledges within the first 30 days.

However, the survey did find that for those folks who made it past Jan. 30, more than three-quarters of them were still sticking with their resolutions in December.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Moms Push to Have First Babies of New Year

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Sarah Grillo was lying on an operating table last New Year's Eve as doctors prepared for her cesarean section when she heard people singing "Auld Lang Syne" down the hall.

"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, they could really be New Year's babies," she said, adding that her water had broken about five weeks before her twins were due.  "We weren't looking to be the first of the year."

Ten minutes later, baby Grace and her one-minute-younger brother, Luke, became Boston's first babies of 2012.

But in other cities, like Chicago, a 12:10 a.m. baby would probably be too late to be crowned first baby of the year, said Dr. Karen Deighan, the director of OB/GYN at Gottleib Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

"People will be, like, 12 midnight and two seconds," she said.

Since so many babies seem to be born seconds after midnight in Chicago, Deighan said she thinks it's probably "a little artificial."  A normal day will have eight deliveries over 24 hours in her hospital, though a day without births isn't unheard of.

Dr. Lauren Streicher, who was an OB/GYN for more than 20 years in Chicago, said she'd left a party to deliver a baby one New Year's Eve and realized it was close to midnight.  She told her patient she had a choice: She could either give one final push or wait five minutes.

At midnight, the mother gave one last push, but she was a few seconds too late, Streicher said.  Another baby made it out first because that mother was holding back, too.

"They were all doing it.  They were all panting, panting, panting," said Streicher, a clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University's medical school.  "Particularly if someone has had an epidural, they can hold back.  Many times, someone is trying not to deliver, waiting for the doctor to get there, waiting for the husband to get there.  In most times, there's more control than you think."

Although most years Streicher's patients aren't interested in having the first baby, she said she recalls one other patient who wanted to wait the 30 seconds before midnight to deliver.

"She wanted me to put a hand on the baby's head and hold it," Streicher said, adding that the patient was having a hard time controlling her pushing.  "It was 30 seconds.  The baby's heart rate was fine."

The odds of having a baby in the first minute of the year aren't far from the odds of getting struck by lightning, said Dr. Jennifer Austin, an OB/GYN at Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco. 

According to the National Weather Service, the odds of getting struck by lightning are 1 in 775,000.  Because there are 526,600 minutes in a year, the odds of giving birth at 12:01 on Jan. 1 are 1 in 526,600.

"Unless you're having a scheduled c-section, it's impossible to predict exactly when and where your baby will come," she said.  "And no doctor is going to do a scheduled c-section in the middle of the night.  It's not safe."

Births are rarely scheduled for New Year's Eve because hospitals have reduced holiday staffing, Streicher said.  More likely, they're scheduled for the last few days of the year so mommy and daddy can get a tax break.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Alcohol, Caffeine May Be Risky New Year's Mix

John Nordell/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- If you're thinking about using energy drinks to stay up into the wee hours to welcome in the New Year, take caution: the whopping caffeine dose and other additives in those drinks may be more harmful than you think.

"Unintentional caffeine overdoses have resulted in serious illness and rare deaths from caffeine poisoning," says Dr. Kent A. Sepkowitz, a physician at Weill-Cornell Medical College in New York, in an editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association.  "Caffeine poisoning has only recently been characterized."

Considered "dietary supplements" by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, energy drinks do not have to conform to the same regulations as traditional caffeinated sodas or over-the-counter caffeine pills. 

The same additives that give energy drinks their special status may also interfere with the body's ability to metabolize caffeine.  This could lead to increased or prolonged levels of caffeine in the blood.

Alcohol can also be very dangerous when added to the equation, experts say.  Very little is known about the combined effect of alcohol mixed with energy drinks -- or AMED, for short.  These include cocktails mixed at bars -- like the popular RBV, or Red Bull and vodka -- and alcohol and energy drinks consumed separately but within the same night. 

Premixed caffeinated alcoholic drinks (like the original Four Loko and Sparks) were essentially banned by the FDA in 2010.

The current theory is that the high dose of caffeine in energy drinks offsets the sedating effect of alcohol, making your brain think you're less drunk than your body feels.  This disconnected and inebriated version of you might be more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as drunken driving or sexual assault.  The masked intoxication may also lead people to drink more than they would normally.

However, there is very little evidence to support these theories.  Studies show that compared to the usual alcohol drinker, people who drink AMED are more likely to leave the bar drunk, try to drive drunk or engage in other risky behavior. 

In another JAMA editorial, lead author Jonathan Howland at the Department of Emergency Medicine at Boston University said that AMED consumers may be "inherently more prone to risk-taking behaviors.  It is possible that personality traits such as impulsivity and sensation seeking cause AMED consumption, rather than AMED causing risky behavior."

Although the studies on these products are inconclusive, 2012 has not been a good year for energy drinks.

"The swift change in public perception of energy drinks from harmless mild stimulant to lethal, unregulated drug is unprecedented," said Sepkowitz in his editorial.

After reports of illness, injury and death after consuming energy drinks, the FDA reinvigorated its investigation of these products.  Even the Air Force is concerned, launching a survey of 12 bases to better understand energy drink use.

Recently, the FDA reported that Monster energy drink may have been involved in five deaths.  Additionally, the 5-Hour Energy drink, a popular energy shot loaded with caffeine, may have played a part in 13 deaths and 33 hospitalizations over the past four years.

According to Sepkowitz, "To reach the possibly lethal dose of 3 grams of caffeine, a person would need to ingest at least 12 of the highly caffeinated energy drinks within a few hours."

Despite the bad publicity, energy drink makers will not likely lose their buzz -- sales of energy drinks in the U.S. were $9 billion in 2011.  Six percent of young American men and 45 percent of U.S. troops overseas consume energy drinks daily.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Most Americans Have No Resolution for 2011

Photo Courtesy -- MaristPoll.Marist.Edu(POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y.) – A majority of Americans are not planning to make a New Year’s resolution for 2011, according to a recent Marist poll.

Of those polled, 56 percent say they are not likely to set a goal for themselves going into the new year. Forty-four percent say it is possible they will set a resolution.

For those who plan to make a resolution, however, losing weight and quitting smoking are at the top of the list.

Although an equal amount of men and women – 44 percent – say they will make a resolution, the percent does vary by age. Among younger people -- those under 45 -- 58 percent say they plan to make an improvement this year. Only 34 percent of those 45 and older say they will make a resolution.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio