Pennington research dispels health myths

New research, published in the Jan. 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, busts a number of myths about obesity.

Belief in the myths — seven were identified — can lead to poor policy decisions and inaccurate recommendations for public health, according to Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

Dr. Steven Heymsfield, executive director of the research center, was part of an international team of researchers that analyzed articles published in the scientific and popular press, to separate myths from facts.

Some of the myths uncovered: setting realistic goals for weight loss works better than making grander goals and rapid weight loss is linked with poorer long-term results than gradual weight loss.

Researchers also found that, while breastfeeding infants provides many benefits for the child, it’s a myth that breastfeeding is protective against obesity for the child.

And, researchers said, one episode of sex might burn about 14 calories, instead of the myth that intercourse burns up 100 calories to 300 calories for each participant.

Researchers analyzed “popular media and scientific journals ... including social media, websites, mainstream TV news and nutrition textbooks via the Internet to write the study,” according to Pennington.

The research also identified six presumptions, or widely accepted beliefs, and nine evidence-supported facts related to the formation of sound public health policy, the news release said.

Student will speak for diabetes cause

Madison Perri Martin, 12, of Denham Springs, has been invited by the American Diabetes Association to take part in its annual “Call to Congress: Stop Diabetes” program, March 5-7, in Washington, D.C.

Participants will meet with their senators and representatives to speak about the need for continued diabetes research and funding.

Martin was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, when she was 15 months old, said her mother, Lisa Martin, who will be traveling to Washington with her daughter.

Her daughter “has been an amazing advocate for diabetes awareness,” Lisa Martin said.

This past May, Madison Martin spoke before the Louisiana Legislature and committee meetings, in support of legislation that ultimately passed unanimously, her mother said.

Among other things, the legislation allows students with diabetes to take their medical supplies with them to class and to take care of themselves, as needed, during the school day, Lisa Martin said.

Woman’s marks milestone in births

In January, Woman’s Hospital marked the delivery of the 300,000th baby born there, since the hospital delivered its first infant in November 1968.

The baby boy was delivered on Jan. 10, 2013, at 5:58 a.m., according to a news release from the hospital.

Woman’s Hospital delivered its 100,000th baby in August 1985 and its 200,000th baby in September 2000, according to the hospital.

The hospital is celebrating its new milestone by asking everyone who was born or had a baby at Woman’s over the past 44 years to “share our 300,000 ‘Babies Badge’ on Facebook,” the hospital said.

Compiled by Ellyn Couvillion Advocate staff writer