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What's In The News - Breast feeding, Sleep, Mental Health and Psychotherapy

Posted Jan 13 2010 5:22am

As parents it can be hard to know where to look when it comes to information. Sometimes it's information overload, at other times we miss out on important information because of that overload. Here are some of the important issues to parents along with some not so important but never-the-less interesting items.

We know that breast feeding is good for baby. It's also good for mother as well. Research is now showing that babies that are breastfed for more than six months have better mental (read less mental health issues) than those not breastfed or breastfed for less than six months. According to the story:

"The researchers said breastfeeding for six months or longer remained positively associated with the mental health and well-being of children and adolescents even after adjustments for social, economic and psychological factors as well as early life events."

This is interesting since a report out of Chicago suggest that our youth now have more mental health issues than their predecessors. The report stated:

"Overall, an average of five times as many students in 2007 surpassed thresholds in one or more mental health categories, compared with those who did so in 1938. A few individual categories increased at an even greater rate — with six times as many scoring high in two areas:

• "hypomania," a measure of anxiety and unrealistic optimism (from 5 percent of students in 1938 to 31 percent in 2007)

• and depression (from 1 percent to 6 percent)."

Are we placing to much pressure on our children - or is it society in general with television, video and computers stirring the waters.

It doesn't help when our youth received mixed messaged about how they look. One minute they are accused of being anorexic, the next we are told they are overweight. A report claims that psychotherapy may help our teen girls avoid obesity. Note it says avoid - not help to fix any problems that are current. They noted that:

"A psychotherapy program may work better than traditional health classes in preventing teenage girls at risk of obesity from becoming excessively fatter, researchers report."

No wonder our kids are so confused. On a more serious note. Diabetes is on the increase in society in both adults and children. Another study has found that children that receive less than 8 hours sleep at night could be more susceptible to suffering from diabetes. If they are over weight the risk is even higher. But then sleep helps everyone when it comes to general health, the report noted.

"These findings hint that, similar to adults, adequate sleep may help kids, maintain a healthy body weight and an optimal (blood sugar) level,"

That's the latest - give your kids plenty of sleep. Breast feed them beyond six months and send your girls to psychotherapy to avoid obesity. Most of all - just love them for who they are.

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