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Friday
Mar212014

Pregnant Women Warned About Ultrasound Videos, Heartbeat Monitors

monkeybusinessimages/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Food and Drug Administration is warning women who are pregnant not to risk the health of their fetus by taking ultrasound videos or using Doppler ultrasound heartbeat monitors that can be purchased without a prescription.

The agency says the radiation from these products can produce effects on the body even though they’re generally considered safe to use.

Robert Phillips from the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health explains that ultrasound imaging sometimes results in small pockets of gas forming in body fluids or tissues.

Since the long-term effects still aren’t documented, Phillips feels that keepsake fetal videos just aren’t worth the possible risk to mother and child.

Meanwhile, the FDA is also cautioning that Doppler ultrasound heartbeat monitors ought to only be used under proper supervision by a health care professional. Although it might be exciting to hear a fetus’ heartbeat, Phillips suggested repeated use could cause harm to the fetus.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar212014

Memories of a Workout Can Spur Future Workouts

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Remember that two-mile run you went on and how good it made you feel?

Hopefully, you did feel good afterwards because remembering that experience in a positive light might motivate you to do it again.

That’s what University of New Hampshire researchers discovered after asking student participants to recall either a positive or negative memory about working out while those in a control group weren’t asked about their exercise experience.

A week later, students who remembered working out in a favorable manner reported higher levels of exercise than participants in the control group. Even students who didn’t have a particularly good exercise memory were still more motivated to work out than students in the control group.

The bottom line, according to the New Hampshire University researchers, was that the “results provide the first experimental evidence that autobiographical memory activation can be an effective tool in motivating individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Friday
Mar212014

Increased Cancer Risk for Kids Living in Areas of Heavy Traffic

Fuse/Thinkstock(ATLANTA) -- Inhaling car and truck exhaust fumes isn't healthy for anyone, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports it's especially bad for children living near a lot of traffic.

The CDC's review of several studies published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found children diagnosed with leukemia were 50 percent more likely to live near busy roads than children without the blood cancer.   

Researchers are not sure how much exhaust exposure is too much, but the review's findings may warrant increased precautionary public health interventions and messages that cut prolonged exposure to heavy traffic.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar202014

Christian Ministry Travels to Help Spring Breakers Find Their Way

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Once a year, hundreds of thousands of college students descend on the beaches of the Southern coast for spring break, but on a debauchery-fueled, booze-filled battleground in South Padre Island, one small group is going to parties to spread the word of God.

For the past 34 years, Buddy Young has led a Christian ministry called "Beach Reach" to the Texas island and notorious spring break hotspot to talk about Jesus.

"I'm not on the sin team anymore, I'm not on the party team, but I want to come back and help my party people get to the team they all want to be at," Young said.

And he's not alone. His ministry consists of college-age spring breakers with a much different purpose -- to pray for the partiers. Nate, 23, and his friends drove down to South Padre Island from Michigan, a roughly 30-hour ride.

"I've been pretty hammered," he said, surveying the crowds. "I usually don't get this drunk, but it's spring break... this place is out of control."

Between flights, hotels, car rentals and other expenses, college students spend an estimated $1 billion to go on spring break -- a rite of passage, where there are no rules, only expectations to get drunk, naked and hook up. But sometimes they end up in more trouble than they bargained for.

Fueled by large amounts of alcohol, and sometimes drugs, these vacations quickly can become dangerous. Almost 2,000 college-age kids die every year from alcohol-related injuries.

Young said his ministry's biggest goal is to make sure the students have a safe spring break.

"We realize students come to spring break and they just want to blow off some steam and have fun," he said. "But in the midst of that, there are tons of safety issues."

When the sun goes down and the parties get even wilder, Young and his volunteers go to party hot spots and clubs, offering free rides to partiers with their fleet of vans. Young will even go to the South Padre Island police station to help minors who were ticketed for alcohol possession.

"The object is, of course, to get them from one place to another, get them there safely, but also to have a conversation, 'what's going on in your life? How can we help you?'" Young said. "We're here to pick up the pieces."

His group has a well-thought out operation and makes an effort to talk to anyone who will listen, no matter how much they have had to drink.

"As soon as they come out of the bar we direct them this way," Young said. "We feed them to try and get them sobered up a little bit... because we know that these people, if we're not here, who are they going to talk to, who are they going to go to in their crisis?"

While it may seem to some that Young and his group are just trying to convert people, he denied that's the case.

"We're not here to convert people. We're here to share an opportunity with them to get their life together mentally, physically, spiritually, then that conversation is over," he said.

But not everyone sees their mission as one of love. Some spring breakers said what Young and his ministry were doing made them feel guilty about enjoying their break, and that the beach on South Padre Island was not the right place or time to talk about God. But Young argued that they help spring breakers face the harsh realities of their drunken debauchery.

"It's what happens when you wake up after spring break. That's why we're here," he said. "They wake up the next morning... now all of a sudden reality comes in, 'Did anyone film me or take a picture of what I did? I'm so embarrassed'... we're here to say, 'we understand... we're here to talk you through that anguish you have and that emotional shame you might be experiencing.'"

But Young has another motivation too. As a father, he said he thinks about what would happen if his daughter got into trouble on spring break.

"I would want a man like me that could be there and say it's going to be OK," he said. "So that's why we come to spring break."

On the last day Young's ministry was on South Padre Island, he gathered the converted for a baptism on the beach and told his flock to come together and scream.

"We are going to make the loudest yell we can," Young instructed. "People on the beach are going to think something is going down, fighting or stripping down, and they just come by the droves… all 800 of us plus all the little pied piper ones we bring in are going to walk into the water and then we are going to be able to baptize them and it will be awesome."

All at once, the group let out a massive yell, and the wild partying gave way to collective prayer. Then the crew moved into the chilly waves to begin the baptisms.

"This is our last day here and it kind of culminates with this gracious, joyous celebration of what God has used us to do this week," Young said. "This is the moment we say, 'God we are blessed to be able to do this, we thank you for letting us do this.'"

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar202014

Gwyneth Paltrow Admits She Enjoys Getting Older

Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Put Gwyneth Paltrow in the camp of stars aging gracefully.

The 41-year-old said she doesn’t want to do, “anything to change my face.”

“I like the fact that I’m 41, that I’ve been through everything I’ve been through. And I like my lines,” the actress told the website Pop Sugar.

But, she added, it’s also important to, “look the best version of yourself as you age.”

“You want to age gracefully,” she said. “And I think it’s beautiful to get older, and to embrace the life that you’ve lived, but I also think part of that is wanting to look after your skin a little bit more, and just be a little more proactive.”

Paltrow, who confesses that she’s not much of a product junkie, recently became an ambassador for natural skin care line Restorsea, which she already used because she said it brought “a dewy freshness” to her complexion.

“When they asked me to work with them, I thought it was wonderful because it’s a product that I use every day,” she told Pop Sugar. “It’s a really nice, authentic partnership.”

Mostly, the mother of two takes a common sense approach to taking care of herself.

“I make it part of my life to exercise every day and to try to look after myself,” Paltrow said. “Unless I have something really specific on screen, I wouldn’t do a special diet for a premiere. I try to maintain a healthy, strong body and to look after myself in terms of the food that I’m eating.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar202014

Prom Queen Gives Her Crown to Special Needs Student

iStock/Thinkstock(RIVERTON, Utah) -- When the junior class at Riverton High School in Riverton, Utah, crowned its queen at the junior class prom, they thought the 2014 prom queen was in the school’s record books for good.

Little did they know that just three days later they would have a new prom queen after the classmate they elected made a selfless act.

On Wednesday, Kendra Muller, 16, the junior girl who was named prom queen on Saturday, walked into a classroom and handed her sash, tiara and title to Amanda Belnap, a special needs student who had been voted “first attendant,” or first runner-up.

“Kendra came into Amanda’s class and, in front of her peers and the teachers, said, ‘I thought that Amanda really deserves this honor,’” Riverton High Principal Carolyn Gough told ABC News. “It’s just absolutely one of the neatest things that I could ever imagine.”

Amanda, also 16 and a junior, is a cheerleader and well-known and well-loved by her fellow students, according to Gough.  She and Kendra had never interacted, however, prior to Saturday’s prom.

Kendra, who was paralyzed in an accident nearly three years ago and is in a wheelchair, told Gough she had no idea her generous act would garner all the attention that it has.

“She said, ‘I just did it because I thought it was the right thing to do,’” Gough said.

Amanda, meanwhile, has been relishing in her new title, wearing her tiara and sash around school with a “grin from ear to ear,” according to Gough.

“The thing that is so remarkable about our school in general is that we’re oblivious to disabilities,” Gough said of the 2,050-student school she leads.  “Students are very generous to other students in the school, seeking out ways to help and to serve.”

“How can you see this as anything else but just the most generous character in a student, especially for a student who genuinely deserved it herself,” Gough said. “This is just a bright spot for me.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar202014

Baby Gorillas Are Just Like Us, Kind Of

ABC News(SAN DIEGO) -- From her C-section birth to her baby bottles, the San Diego Zoo’s newest gorilla is a lot like a human newborn -- but not for long.

The baby girl, who has yet to be named, was born by a rare C-section March 12. Her mother, 18-year-old Imani, had been in labor for 12 hours -- a normal stretch for human moms-to-be, but rare for gorillas.

“With gorillas, that’s very unusual,” zoo spokeswoman Christina Simmons told ABC News. “Four hours is long for them.”

The 4-pound, 9-ounce baby was quickly wrapped in a blanket and given a tiny knit hat reminiscent of those seen in human nurseries. She was then moved to a neonatal intensive care unit, where oxygen and fluids kept her strong through treatment for a collapsed lung and pneumonia -- problems sometimes seen in preemies.

But the tiny gorilla is growing faster, stronger (and hairier) than a human baby. Two days after her birth, she could hold her head up -- a milestone typically reached around 3 months in human babies.

“She’s developing normally and very rapidly,” Nadine Lamberski, associate director of veterinary services at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, said in a statement.  ”She’s getting a lot of calories [from infant formula] and you can see that she changes every day.”

The baby is also sucking her thumb and clutching to her human caregivers, just like a human baby...well, almost.

“I would say that there are two things that differentiate her in how she acts compared to most babies that I take care of,” Dr. Dawn Reeves, a human neonatologist with UC San Diego Health System, said in a statement. “First, she’s a lot stronger when she grabs your hand. It’s very difficult to release her grip because that’s her instinct: to grab her mom. …Second, she can grab you with both her hands and her feet, which can be a little troublesome when trying to do procedures or exams.”

Most baby gorillas walk within three-to-six months, according to the National Zoo, and they’re ready to leave their moms by age 3.

By age 7, female gorillas are ready to have families of their own.

The baby gorilla is expected to grow to a whopping 200 pounds. The typical lifespan for gorillas in zoos is 54 years.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar202014

Iowa Man Died for 15 Minutes

Courtesy Tony Collins(CLIVE, Iowa) -- Don Roese collapsed on the dance floor of an Iowa pub just a few bars into the band's rendition of his song request: Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline."

A massive heart attack left the 83-year-old with no pulse, and he wasn’t breathing.

“He just dropped like a brick,” said Clive Fire Department Assistant Chief Tony Collins, who happened to be celebrating his 53rd birthday at the pub on Friday night and rushed forward to start CPR. “He couldn’t have dropped at a better time considering the company he was in.”

Collins, who has 35 years of experience as a paramedic, said his party included an emergency room nurse and an EMT. They rotated in and out, doing chest compressions and giving Roese mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Onlookers sniffled as they watched, Collins said. The band stopped playing. The lights came up.

Roese’s son stayed near his father’s head, and said, “Come on, Dad,” and “Dad, keep fighting,” while Collins worked, Collins told ABC News.

About 15 minutes after they started CPR, Roese tried to take a breath on his own, and Collins felt for a pulse. He found it.

“His arms came up, and he was reaching blindly toward his face,” Collins said.

Soon, they were helping Roese onto a stretcher and heading out to an ambulance.

“The bar erupted in applause,” Collins said. “It was pretty powerful. That just doesn’t happen very often when you drop of a heart attack. He shouldn’t even be here today.”

Of the estimated 720,000 people who have heart attacks in the United States every year, about 122,000 die, according to the American Heart Association. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is important to seek treatment immediately because “Unless treated, a person whose heart has stopped can die within minutes.”

Roese survived the night and was transferred to another hospital a few days later via ambulance. The ambulance driver happened to know Collins, so Roese and the driver gave him a call.

“I couldn’t believe I was talking to him on the telephone,” Collins said. “That phone call made my day.”

Collins stopped by the hospital to visit a few days later, and Roese knew who he was immediately.

“He goes, ‘You gave up your birthday celebration to save my life,’” Collins said. “His eyes got big and he goes, ‘Are you Tony?’ I said, ‘Yes, I am, Don. Last time I saw you, you didn’t look so good.’”

Roese was scheduled to undergo triple bypass surgery on Wednesday, Collins said. Roese had two arteries that were completely blocked and a third that was 50 percent blocked, resulting in a heart attack that is only survivable about 1 percent of the time, Collins said.

“This guy said he’s gonna buy me a beer when he gets out of the hospital,” Collins said. “I said you need to go buy a lottery ticket because you are one lucky man.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar202014

Is Being a Parent Making You Unhappy?

monkeybusinessimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Jessie Thompson is a professional photographer and mother of three who loves her children but admits being a parent is not all smiles and sunshine.

“For me, the lows are feeling sad when my kids feel sad,” Thompson told ABC News.

“We are so self-examining that I think it creates a lot of guilt,” she said. “Society is off-balance.”

While Thompson’s admission that the day-to-day grind of raising little human beings can turn happy people into less happy people is not what Hallmark movies are made of, her acknowledgement is what some experts call the “dirty little secret” of modern parenting.

That secret has been put into plain view in a new book, All Joy and No Fun, by fellow mom Jennifer Senior, whose research shows kids don’t necessarily make life fun.

Senior’s book contains not just anecdotes from stressed-out parents, but scientific data that shows that parents’ happiness levels are lower than non-parents.

The most difficult stages, Senior’s research shows, are the early years and the teenage years. Both are stages where a child is fighting their parents for independence and parents are fighting to not let go of their children.

“The no-fun part I think people are much more reluctant to speak about,” Senior told ABC News. “We know that there is some drudgery associated with parenting.”

“I don’t know if we are fully prepared to talk about how much anxiety we experience as parents,” she said.

Senior believes that the digital age of Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram adds to mothers’ feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

Her prescription is for parents to be realistic and a bit skeptical. “Beware of someone who speaks with that great certainty about what they’re doing,” Senior said. “None of us know. It’s okay to be uncertain.”

Though Senior’s data-driven research shows the struggles all parents face, the author says no scientific study can measure the long-term joy that comes with raising kids.

“Talking about fun is a very thin form of happiness. It is such a thin little layer,” Senior said. “It’s focused on gratification. Joy, it is very different. It’s about a deep abiding connection to someone.”

“I think parents report more highs [and] more moments of meaning,” she said. “They report more structure and focus in their lives.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Mar202014

Don't Bet on Enjoying the March Madness Office Pool

Dave Broberg/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Betting on the NCAA basketball tournament is about as American as apple pie. Although unlike the desert, it might leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Stephen M. Nowlis, a marketing professor at Washington University’s Olin Business School, says that those who enter office pools or make bets online might be cheating themselves out of enjoying March Madness.

Contrary to popular belief, the act of prediction seems to lessen enjoyment. Nowlis conducted four experiments to prove that point and they all came out the same: those who try to predict the outcome of games have less fun than people who don’t.

He goes on to add, “We explain our results in terms of anticipated regret. In fact, removing the source of anticipated regret eliminates the negative effect of prediction on enjoyment.”

Of course, the person who wins the office pool probably won’t agree with that thesis.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio