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by Wei Perng, PhD

For Christmas this year, I bought my parents a full-spectrum phototherapy lamp.  As natives of Taiwan, an East Asian country with a subtropical climate and nearly year-round sunshine, my parents now suffer Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), aka the “winter blues,” due to Michigan’s long dreary winters. Although the idea of sitting in front of a light as an alternative to real sunshine seems strange to me, several of my friends and colleagues highly recommended a lamp to help relieve SAD symptoms. I figured, why not. My parents loved it. In fact, they were so enthusiastic that they bought one for me as well! Although I have not yet conjured up the self-discipline to put in my half-hour in front of the lamp every morning, I have been reading the book that came with it: Winter Blues: Everything You Need to Know to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder by Norman E. Rosenthal, MD. I skimmed through the science behind how light therapy provides very specific types of illumination to the retina to influence hormones that regulate of sleep and mood patterns. What does this have to do with obesity and obesity prevention?

 
 
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by Jen Thompson, MPP


Why don’t more U.S. women breastfeed their babies for longer?  Both the World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed – meaning that they receive only breast milk, and no formula, other liquids or solid foods -- until they reach 6 months of age. Yet few U.S. mothers follow these recommendations.  According to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 19% of babies born in the U.S. in 2011 were exclusively breastfed at 6 months.

 
 
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by Mia Serabian


If you are a parent, it may seem like every other student in your child’s classroom has ADHD. Across the globe, the average prevalence of ADHD in children under 18 is between 5.29% and 7.1% (http://www.adhd-institute.com/burden-of-adhd/epidemiology/).  That number is only increasing. So yes, most likely we all know someone who suffers from ADHD, but are we really familiar with its consequences?

 
 
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by Matt Gillman, MD, SM


When you hear the word primordial, does it bring to mind 1) a primeval ooze or 2) the ability to keep babies healthy for a lifetime? If you are interested in #2, read on... 

 
 
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by Renata Smith, MPH

We already know that lack of sleep is bad for your health.  Chelsea Jenter and Elizabeth Cespedes highlighted how screen time limits sleep and that poor sleep is associated with obesity, poor cognition, and children’s behavior. Much of this prior literature has focused on the impact of television screen time on children’s sleep, especially the presence of TVs in children’s bedrooms. But what about small screens (smart phones, iPads, iPods, etc.)?