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The media’s guide to good parenting

A round-up of the health news headlines on Tuesday 24 July

Two out of three severely obese children show signs of heart disease by age 12, a Dutch study of 500 children has found.

The trial showed they had signs of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood glucose - with the likelihood that the same could be found in British children, who are now developing type 2 diabetes by the age of seven, writes the BBC as well as The Telegraph, Metro and the Scotsman this morning.

 

But don't drag the kids away from their Nintendo games just yet. Researchers believe that the kind of 'brain training' exercises made popular by Nintendo's handheld computer could be the key to curbing the desire to snack, writes the Daily Mail.

The team from the universities of Exeter, Cardiff, Bristol, and Bangor discovered that an individual's brain 'reward centre' response has more of an effect on the amount they ate than their feelings of hunger or how much they wanted the food.

 

In other news, children in care run a much higher risk of developing mental health problems than children brought up in loving homes. Researchers from Harvard have now been able to find a scientific link to why this happens with care children found to have less grey and white matter in their brains than those brought up in a typical home environment.

 

Meanwhile, it may be a good idea to keep Scottish offspring out of the sun, as BBC Scotland writes that the explosion in cheap package holidays and sunbeds in the 1970s may explain the rise in skin cancer in the over 50s.  Keep

Cancer Research UK figures show melanoma diagnoses among middle-aged men and women in Scotland have trebled within 30 years. Lead researcher, Professor Jonathan Rees, said Scottish skin ‘isn't designed for sunshine'.

 

At least, Britons in work are generally healthier compared to five years ago. The Independent reports that the amount of time lost through sickness absence has now fallen to less than 3% in Britain, with employees taking an average of six days off sick last year.

This is equivalent to 2.8% of working time, compared with 3.6% in 2007.

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