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Friday
Dec212012

Young Adults Tweet #YOLO When Reckless

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When 21-year-old rap artist Ervin McKinness died in a car accident this fall, his fans were quick to notice one final message from his Twitter account: "Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #F***It YOLO."

Less than an hour later, the driver of the car ran a red light, lost control and slammed into a wall, according to Ontario, Calif. police. Four passengers were pronounced dead at the scene. A fifth died at the hospital.

"What is YOLO?" was among the top searches in the United States this year, according to Google, but Twitter users certainly know what it is. It stands for You Only Live Once. According to Topsy, a Twitter analytics company, about 36.6 million tweets have included the YOLO acronym since it first appeared in October 2011 -- and a good percentage of them involved young people doing something dangerous or risky.

"There's something about the way the teenage brain functions that may tend to make poor decisions when other people are present," said child psychologist Dr. Mary Romano, who works at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. "Tie that into social media and even when you're alone, it almost artificially creates the presence of an audience because you sort of assume your actions are on display."

Over roughly three hours one morning last week, 34 people tweeted about the prior night's drunken antics with the YOLO acronym, an ABC News search found. A handful of YOLO-ers asked whether it was too early in the day to start drinking. Another 10 woke up that morning and tweeted that they didn't study for tests they had to take. Their tweets all included YOLO, or, as a Twitter hashtag, #YOLO.

"It was probably the most popular phrase on Twitter, I think," said Jamie de Guerre, the vice president of product at Topsy. He said Twitter users tweeted the #YOLO hashtag 388,000 times a day at the peak of its popularity in March. It's still used tens of thousands of times a day.

Since the YOLO trend began, about 408,000 YOLO-tagged tweets had something to do with "texting while driving," according to Topsy.

Trumpeting dangerous behavior is part-biological, part-environmental, Romano said.

Romano said the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex, which is involved in reasoning and planning, doesn't fully develop until someone is about 25 years old. And while the reasoning part of the brain is undeveloped, the thrill-seeking part of the brain thrives.

"In terms of why teens make risky decisions, there's biological evidence," Romano said.

A 2010 study showed that teens were more likely to make poor driving decisions when they were in cars with other teens, proving what mom, dad and insurance companies have known for years, Romano said. And the near-constant connectedness that comes with Twitter, which many users have installed on their phones, means that teens are rarely alone anymore.

No one has researched whether Twitter causes risky behavior, so it's not possible to conclude that YOLO has actually contributed to risk-taking, said anthropologist Jordan Kraemer, who recently earned her doctorate from the University of California, Irvine.

"Generally, social media provides a new venue for actions that are often the same kinds of actions both young people and adults are already engaging in," Kraemer said."It's hard to know if what we're seeing online is causing new or more risky behavior or if we're just seeing it more because it's more visible."

However, social media do help spread tastes when it comes to movies and music, she added.

It's also possible that people tweeting about dangerous behavior are lying, Indiana University anthropologist Ilana Gershon said. Some users create Twitter personas as a sort of experiment, she added.

"It's not just the act of doing it, it's the act of announcing it publically," Gershon said. "For some people, it's really fun to lie about risky behavior. They get to see what a certain kind of response would mean without actually doing it."

Gershon wrote a book about how Facebook affects relationships. She is now researching how people create personas on Twitter tailored to landing certain jobs.

"People constantly believe other people's profiles, and admitted to me a great deal to which they lie on their own," she said.

Canadian pop artist Drake coined the acronym in a song called "The Motto." YOLO's popularity online began in California last October before spreading to Florida and Texas, up the East Coast and then to the rest of the country, according to Google Trends, which maps search term popularity over time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec212012

Many Santas Are Now Ho Ho Ho-bese

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Adele Saidy, owner of Adele’s of Hollywood, has been designing custom Santa suits for St. Nick stand-ins all over the world for more than four decades.  And she’s seen some changes to the seasonal costumes -- big changes.

“They are getting larger and larger,” she said.  “Last year and this year, 25 percent of my Santas -- oh, I don’t want to say it -- they are really overweight.”

When Adele started out, the roomiest Santa suit she sold was designed to fit someone who weighed between 200 and 275 pounds with a girth of about 50 inches.  Now, she notes, very few of her customers need any extra padding to pull off the fat and jolly look.

The largest size she made this season fits someone who is 300 to 425 pounds and up to a 76 inch girth.  She filled six such supersized orders.

Other Santa suit sellers are noticing the same trend.

In 1996, the biggest outfit sold at Santasuits.com was 2X, and sales of oversized suits accounted for just 12 percent of business.  Today, the company offers a 4X, and plus-sized outfits are a third of their business.  

An original 1948 pattern owned by Western Staff Services Company in California has expanded inch by inch until it now accommodates a St. Nick who exceeds 300 pounds and a 50-inch beltline.

Santa Suit Express, based in Loraine, Ohio, doesn’t even bother catering to slender Santas anymore.

“We sell thousands of Santa suits a year, and we don’t get too many requests for the smaller sizes,” noted Aimee Gibson, the company’s customer service happiness manager.  “Only a few skinnier Santas have called to complain.”

Santa Suit Express’ smallest size is a 42.  The professional, their biggest suit, can be purchased in a size 70, or XXXL.

Outfitting that extra large bowl full of jelly comes at a cost.  Saidy said her larger suits go for about $800.  Upsizing at Santa Suit Express adds $10 to $20 per size to the price.

“It takes lots and lots of extra fabric and hours and hours of extra work to make the bigger sizes, so the prices are much higher,” Saidy said.

Health experts are concerned that if Santa continues on with these “season’s growings,” he’ll no longer be able to squeeze through chimneys -- or fit in mall chairs.

Assuming Santas are like most of us, they gain about a pound each holiday season -- a pound that sticks with them long after their suits go back into the closet.  So a few decades’ worth of eggnog and candy canes can result in a pretty significant beltline.

Santas and other individuals who are already obese are the most likely to suffer from accumulated holiday cheer, research shows.  One Nutrition Review paper found that about 14 percent of overweight and obese individuals gain five pounds or more during the holiday season.

“Maybe he could get out of his sleigh and walk once in a while or at least do some butt squeezes or calf raises while he’s just sitting there to burn off a few extra calories,” said registered dietitian and certified personal trainer, Alysa Bajenaru, tongue firmly planted in cheek.

In all seriousness, Bajenaru recommended that anyone trying to keep holiday weight gain under control -- including Santa Claus wannabees -- should have a plan for keeping up a regular exercise routine and eating their favorite seasonal treats in moderation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec212012

Conjoined Twins Separated in Time for Christmas

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Twins Allison June and Amelia Lee Tucker sat on Santa’s lap at just 10 months old.  The jolly man in the red suit held one girl in each arm.

It was a sight that would have been impossible a few weeks ago because the girls were born joined at the chest.  It took a team of 40 doctors working seven hours to separate them.

On Monday, Allison -- the smaller of the two -- went home.  Amelia will stay in the hospital through the holidays.

Both girls are expected to live full, healthy lives.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec212012

IQ Is Not Linked to Math Achievement, Researchers Say

Fuse/Getty Images(MUNICH, Germany) -- IQ may not be the only thing that determines how well students perform in math class.

Researchers studying school-age children in Germany have found that a higher IQ is associated with better math ability when the child is young, but IQ made no difference on the growth of achievement later on.

The researchers at the University of Munich and the University of Bielefeld assessed the math ability of more than 3,500 students in grades 5 to 10.  They looked at how factors such as study skills, level of motivation and intelligence impacted student achievement in mathematics over five years.

As it turns out, motivation and learning strategies played the most important role for math success. Students who felt confident were more motivated to use summary skills and make connections among given materials.

"Our study suggests that students' competencies to learn math involve factors that can be nurtured by education," said lead study author Kou Muayama, according to Science Daily. "Educational programs focusing on students' motivation and study skills could be an important way to advance their competency in math as well as in other subjects."

The study, published Thursday in the journal Child Development, highlights the importance of focusing on motivation and study skills to improve academic performance, even with children who might not perform well initially.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec202012

Surgeons Still Make Preventable Mistakes

Image Courtesy The Turkewitz Law Firm(NEW YORK) -- There are certain mistakes that should never happen to you during surgery.  The surgeon should never accidentally leave a sponge in your body after he sews you up, perform surgery on the wrong part of your body, or perform the entirely wrong surgery on you.

These mistakes are known as “never events” because the medical community has agreed there is no legitimate reason for their ever happening.  But new research finds that they still do occur at unacceptable rates, costing the healthcare system millions of dollars each year.

Using the National Practitioner Data Bank, an electronic warehouse of medical malpractice claims, researchers at John Hopkins University estimated the number of times that “never events” occurred within the past 20 years.  They found that there were close to 10,000 reported instances when a foreign object was left in a patient, the wrong surgery was performed, or the surgery was performed on the wrong patient or wrong part of the body.  These surgeries cost the healthcare industry an estimated $1.3 billion in malpractice payments over that same time period.

“It’s a rare event but it’s still an event that is entirely preventable,” said Dr. Martin Makary, the lead investigator of the study published this week in the journal Surgery.

He and his team believe these figures underestimate the actual number of errors that occur, since prior studies have shown that most patients don’t file medical claims when a mistake is made.  Although the annual number of reported “never events” is on the decline, Makary and his team believe that even a single preventable error is one too many.

“There have been a lot of efforts over the past several years to make significant changes in patient care,” said Dr. Sonali Desai, ambulatory medical director for patient safety at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.  She lists the creation of surgical safety checklists, improvements in communication and team training, and the development of better technology as key steps in ensuring that patients are safer.

“Surgeons are the captain of the ship, but it’s a team effort,” said Dr. Jeffrey Port, a cardiothoracic surgeon at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell who invented a product that uses radio-frequency technology to confirm that a patient’s body is 100 percent sponge-free.

Mandatory safety procedures prior to the start of surgery were a nuisance at first, but over time proved valuable at ensuring patient safety, according to Port.

“I don’t think we’ll ever see zero [errors], but we can get very close,” he said.

The study is not without its limitations, according to Dr. Desai, who points out that evaluating claims data through the National Practitioner Data Bank is only the tip of the iceberg.  Hospital-based safety reporting systems keep track of not only medical malpractice claims, but also those medical errors that never make it into the legal system.  This individualized hospital data may be more comprehensive, but it is also more difficult to aggregate and analyze on a national scale.

Makary acknowledges that the data sets are not perfect, and can only provide a rough estimate of the amount of preventable medical errors made every year, but the study serves to highlight the need for more accurate record keeping.

“Healthcare is operated by good people, but they’re still human,” he said.  “The better able we are to remove errors from the system, the safer healthcare can be for everybody.”

Check out your hospital’s error rate at http://www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec202012

Is Expensive Workout Gear Worth the Money?

lululemon(NEW YORK) -- You may have noticed it at the gym. But just as likely, you've seen it on the streets.

It's the logo that looks a little like a horseshoe, but with curly edges. It's the logo of lululemon, the leader in designer workout gear. The brand started as just one store in Vancouver, B.C.. Today it boasts 175 stores in the U.S. and many more worldwide.

The company ranked fourth among the most profitable stores in the U.S., according to research company RetailSails. Who beat lululemon? You may have heard of them: Coach, Tiffany and Apple. Sales for lululemon were $1,800 per square foot.

And on a recent Saturday at the lululemon store in New York's Union Square, there were a few people waiting to get into the store before it even opened at 10 a.m. Over the next few hours, there was consistent traffic: lines at the register and plenty of people shopping.

The question: Why is everyone so keen to pay $100 for yoga pants?

"We have a propriety fabric called luon," said Amanda Casgar, area community manager for the brand. "It's four-way stretch, moisture wicking. Every seam is flat, and we put a gusset in the crotch to avoid camel toe."

And fitness experts agree the gear isn't just a gussied-up version of something you could pay a fraction for at Old Navy or Target.

"The apparel options today are supersonic," said Annbeth Eschbach, CEO and Founder of Exhale. "You now can get apparel that's not just comfortable but makes you look good. It's not just functional but it's supportive and it's high tech and it looks great."

But the cult of lululemon is part of a larger trend of women -- and to a lesser degree men -- taking care of themselves.

"These are women who are really proud of what they're doing," said Eschbach. "So if I do boot camp or I do core fusion, I want to be defined by that, and my purchases are going to reflect that as a badge of honor."

But ultimately, you have to do the work. Casgar thinks the gear is another way to get you to the gym.

"It makes you feel great, putting on these pants, putting on a top. Going into a class, you are judging yourself and others, that happens", she said. "The point of a yoga class or spin is to feel amazing in body or mind after. If [the clothes] create another opening for you to go to a class and feel great from the inside as opposed to this other esoteric place, that's perfect, that's amazing."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec202012

Curvy Women: Hollywood's Hot Trend That Might Last

AMC TV(LOS ANGELES) -- You may have noticed them on Mad Men, starring in their own sitcoms, or rocking the red carpet at the American Music Awards: curvy women, from Christina Aguilera to Christina Hendricks, are raising their profile in Hollywood.

But according to America's first plus-sized supermodel, Emme Aronson, the rise of full-figured women is more about their talent than their curves.

"The actresses don't want to say, 'I'm curvy,'" Aronson told ABC News. "These actresses want to shout, 'I'm talented.' If they continue doing their incredible work, they're in it to win it."

Still, there's been a shift. Take Aguilera and Lady Gaga, who both recently gained weight and aren't trying to hide it.

"They're bragging about it. Attitude changes everything," Merle Ginsberg, a senior writer at The Hollywood Reporter, told ABC News. "Beyonce and Rihanna are not reed thin, but they are wildly sexy. I think multi-culturalism has affected this and it all trickles down from television and media."

Aronson believes that for this trend to continue, curvy women need to score more substantial parts, like Lena Dunham and Mindy Kaling's roles as star and creator on their TV series, Girls and The Mindy Show.

"We need to see good parts, well-written scripts that's not always the Melissa McCarthy being a fat girl," she said.

The trend on screen reflects what's happening in the real world. The average weight of an American woman over the age of 20 is 166 pounds, according to the CDC. The average size waist is 37.5 inches, which corresponds to a size 16 to 18.

Magazines such as Seventeen and Glamour have already started showing diverse women of all sizes along with female empowering articles. For its November issue, Cosmopolitan Australia featured plus-size model Robyn Lawley in a swimwear photo shoot.

"These women are particularly bold," Ginsberg said. "They've probably, without knowing it, reinvented sexiness in America and with the help of ladies like Jennifer Lopez and Mariah Carey, brought back the 1950's bombshell."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec202012

Are Mealworms the Future of Farm-to-Table Dining?

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The practice of insect-eating or, entomophagy, as it is formally called, has been commonly touted in the media as an eco-friendly source of protein for a human population increasingly hungry for animal meat.  Yet no published scientific studies have ever examined the full environmental effect of mass insect production from start to finish.  That is, until now.

In a new study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE, researchers in The Netherlands examined the environmental effect of mealworm production and compared it to that of more traditional animal products.  They found that production of one kilogram of edible mealworm protein created significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions and required much less land, when compared to beef, pork, chicken and milk production.

More than 1.7 billion animals are used in livestock production worldwide, consuming more than one-fourth of the Earth’s land, according to a 2010 report by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations in collaboration with several other leading environmental organizations.  

The entire livestock sector accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, more than the total amount created by the world’s transportation sector, which accounts for an estimated 14 percent.  These emissions are thought to be an important cause of global warming.

“The livestock industry is huge,” said Harold Mooney, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Woods Institute for the Environment and one of the key editors of the 2010 collaboration.  He points out that excessive gas emissions along with large land and energy requirements are all problematic for the industry’s long-term sustainability.

Eating mealworms might help solve some of these problems, according to Dennis Oonincx and Imke de Boer, the new study’s authors.  

The researchers calculated that mealworm farming cut both carbon dioxide emissions and land use by about one-half to two-thirds when compared with milk, chicken and pork production and by about 90 percent when compared with beef production.  Energy requirements were roughly equal for mealworms, pork and beef, and were slightly less for milk and chicken.

“Over the course of the past 15 years, interest in eating insects has grown incredibly, even exponentially,” said David George Gordon, the once self-proclaimed “Martha Stewart of bug chefs” and author of the Eat-a-Bug Cookbook.

The emergence of increasingly popular gourmet dining events featuring insects as the star of the menu and a bevy of Internet blogs, YouTube videos and Facebook groups have all contributed to an explosion in insect-eating interest in the United States, adds Zack Lemann, chief entomologist at The Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans.  Men and adolescents are more likely to explore insect-eating than women or older adults, according to informal studies done at the center.

Unlike in The Netherlands, however, where food wholesalers stock their shelves with freeze-dried locusts and mealworms, mainstream insect-eating has been slow to catch on in the United States.

“The cultural barrier to eating mealworms is pretty high,” Mooney said.  “I really don’t think it’ll be part of our normal diet anytime soon.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec202012

Study: Rock, Pop, Rap Stars Die Young

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Though their music may never die, rock, pop and rap artists do.  And according to a new report in the British Medical Journal, they die young.

The study, led by Mark Bellis of the Centre for Public Health in Liverpool, found that the average lifespan of American musical superstars in these three genres is only 45.  European stars, meanwhile, don't even make it to 40 -- they die, on average, at age 39.

You don't have to think very hard to come up with high-profile examples of musicians who lived fast and died young: Amy Winehouse, Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Kurt Cobain are all part of "the 27 Club" -- famous musicians who died at age 27.  

Whitney Houston passed away earlier this year at the age of 48.  And the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, lived to celebrate his 50th birthday -- apparently a ripe old age by pop star standards.

Bellis said it's hard to pin down exactly how many years someone's life may be cut short when he or she shoots to fame in the music world.  That's because "rock god" and "rap impresario" are fairly recent job descriptions, and many of the musicians who now top of the charts are still relatively young.

"We can show how much higher or lower the chance of dying is compared to a similar person in the population if they weren't a pop star," he explained.  "So for instance at the extreme, a North American pop star 40 years after fame has a chance of survival of only around 87 percent of what would be expected in the matched general population."

Bellis said his team reviewed the lives of nearly 1,500 rock, pop and rap stars, including artists who found success on top 40 charts and in international popularity polls.  They gleaned details about their deaths, personal lives and childhoods from websites, published biographies and anthologies.

During a 50-year period, from 1956 to 2006, 137 of their subjects -- almost 10 percent -- passed away.  Solo performers were twice as likely to die before their time as someone who played in a band.  Gender and the age they skyrocketed to fame didn't affect life expectancy but ethnicity did: Non-white stars were the most likely to die at an early age.

The most common causes of death?  Many died of cancer and cardiovascular disease, which Bellis pointed out could very well be the result of living a hard-charging life.  

The younger a star died, the more likely it was the death was related to a risky behavior like drugs and alcohol, or violence or suicide.  Nearly half of those who died as a result of drugs, alcohol or violence had at least one unfavorable factor in their childhoods -- for example, child abuse, domestic violence, or a close family member with mental illness.  Four out of five dead stars with more than one of these childhood experiences died violently or from substance abuse.

What Bellis found interesting is that in the past, researchers suspected fame and fortune encouraged stars to throw caution to the wind.  But it could be that risk-taking and wild behavior predate fame as a way to cope with a difficult past.

"A career as a rock or pop star may be attractive to those escaping an unhappy childhood, but it may also provide the resources to feed a predisposition to unhealthy and risky behaviors that may not necessarily be available to other people so easily," he said.

He also said he suspects musicians who play with bands live longer because their bandmates help buffer negative influences and provide emotional support.

Bellis said the results of his study and the short lives of pop divas and guitar heroes should serve as a lesson for aspiring musicians: "It is important that children recognize that substance use and risk-taking may be rooted in childhood adversity rather than seeing them as symbols of success."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec202012

Allergic to Christmas: Trees, Treats Can Trigger Reactions

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The holiday season is in full swing.  And while many people around the nation gear up for a joyful time with family and friends, those with allergies prepare for an onslaught of wheezes and sneezes that can wreck the holiday fun.

"The winter holidays are a particularly difficult time for people with allergies," said Mike Tringale, vice president of external affairs at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.  "There are respiratory allergies.  There are food allergies.  There are skin allergies.  There are eye allergies.  The list goes on."

But with a few simple tips and tricks from the experts, surviving and thriving during the season can be easier than cooking the holiday meal.  The secret to success is planning in advance, well before common food, pet and mold allergies turn Christmas and Hanukkah into a Halloween nightmare.

The Tree

A Christmas tree is a smoking gun for people with allergies, according to Tringale.  Real trees harbor mold spores that can trigger reactions, and fake trees are often stored for months or years in dusty attics and basements.  They can also be coated with allergy-inducing chemicals.

The Fix: Keep fresh trees in the home for less than two weeks and wipe the trunk thoroughly with a solution of warm water and bleach (one part bleach to 20 parts water).  Consider hosing off a fake tree outside and letting it dry before bringing it indoors.  And when the holidays are over, store the fake tree with a protective air-tight covering to prevent next year's dust mite invasion.

The Fireplace

"Fireplaces are great for Santa's visit, but the burning wood, which can be moldy, dusty and have chemicals, also causes respiratory symptoms," said Dr. Marjorie Slankard, director of the allergy clinic at Columbia-New York Presbyterian Medical Center.  The wood smoke from the fire can also trigger itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, or a scratchy throat.

The Fix: Stack your firewood outside and bring new logs in only when you are ready to use them in your fireplace or wood-burning stove.  And make sure the fire burns in a well-ventilated area to avoid unnecessary smoke inhalation.

The Food

'Tis the season of candies, cakes and cookies.  But for those with food allergies, decadent holiday parties can be a set-up for serious missteps.  Common holiday ingredients like eggs, milk, soy and nuts abound, and can cause potentially life-threatening allergic reactions if accidentally consumed.  Even if a food does not seem to contain allergens, it may have been cross-contaminated if it was prepared alongside known allergens.

The Fix: Ask what's in the buffet before you eat.  If you're unsure of the ingredients of a certain food, completely avoid it.  Consider making and bringing your own food to a holiday potluck.  And most importantly, you should always have your emergency epi-pen ready in case of an unexpected emergency.

The Cat

Your aunt's cat Fluffy may be adorable, but you'll need to steer clear if you're sensitive to the numerous allergens spread by domestic pets.  "A frequent issue is that pet-allergic individuals visit homes of relatives and friends where there are pets, which can cause nose and eye reactions as well as asthma with cough, wheezing and shortness of breath," said Dr. Mark Dykewicz, director of allergy and immunology at Wake Forest University.

The Fix: If you're hosting a party, clear the air of pet dander with the aid of a HEPA air filter.  If possible, minimize the time that pets and guests are indoors together.  But if exposure is inevitable, Dykewicz recommends taking over-the-counter antihistamines, like nasal cromolyn, 15 to 20 minutes before entering an allergic environment and every six hours thereafter, until the party ends.

The Makeup

Holiday party season inspires many women to apply makeup more frequently, but extra layers of foundation and cover-up could lead to dry and irritated skin, according to Dr. Neeta Ogden, an allergist in New York City.  Not only can this "holiday skin" be socially isolating, but when compounded with cold weather, it can trigger uncomfortable eczema flares in those who suffer from the condition.

The Fix: People with sensitive skin should use only small amounts of makeup.  Don't over-cleanse and dry out the skin, but do moisturize frequently.  And if you have known eczema or other serious skin conditions talk to your doctor about ways to prevent winter flares.

The Centerpieces

Strong odors from potpourri, candles, incense, and scented decor can wreak havoc on allergies and can even exacerbate asthma, according to Dr. Tara Carr, director of the adult allergy program at Arizona Health Sciences Center.  Being trapped indoors with heavily-perfumed family and friends can also make for an uncomfortable celebration.

The Fix: Besides the obvious advice to not buy products with strong odors, the best way to avoid this one is to talk to your doctor or see an allergist about preventative medications you can take for up to a week prior to exposures.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio