Stress predicts weight gain in both black and white girls, says a new study appearing in Annals of Behavioral Medicine, and it seems to have a greater negative effect on black girls. Researchers pointed to that trend as a potential reason why there are such deep racial disparities in obesity levels.
Another group of researchers found that kids who are obese, no matter their race, have less sensitive taste buds than normal-weight children. HealthDay says the "diminished ability" to taste things that are bitter, sweet, salty, sour and savory may be what drives them to eat more in order to "get the same taste sensation" as kids with working taste buds. The study didn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Before you stick a pacifier in your baby boy's mouth, says the Los Angeles Times, consider this: Three new studies suggest that heavy pacifier use leads to boys' having stunted interpersonal empathy and a diminished ability to put themselves in someone else's shoes.
Parents' reluctance to get their kids vaccinated is becoming more widespread, says HealthDay, pointing to research that says the number of parents who opted out of their kids' school-required vaccines increased between 2005 and 2011. Parents got their exemptions by citing religious reasons (permitted in every state except two) or philosophical beliefs (permitted in 20 states). Researchers say the more avenues there are for parents to skip immunizations, the more parents will take them.
The Times says a new survey of mothers of young children showed one in four believes allowing their kids a sip of alcohol will deter him or her from drinking; four in 10, on the other hand, believe providing a taste will only increase the child's desire to drink it.
Looking for food that can help you combat blood pressure problems? HealthDay says cooking with a sesame oil-rice bran oil combo can work on mild to moderately high blood pressure; U.S. News & World Report says low-fat yogurt may play a role in preventing hypertension from developing in the first place.
Finally, in "Stuff We Already Knew": A new study in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Network confirms that yes, checking up on your ex via Facebook does make it harder for you to move on.
Photo by Frank Guido via Flickr Creative Commons.