General Health

Daily Dose: 12/4/12


Put Your Phone Down: A new study suggests the urges behind cell phone addiction may be the same as a shopping addiction. Researchers from Baylor University and Seton Hall University discovered materialism and impulsiveness are the key factors behind constant cell phone use. Cell phone addiction isn’t defined in the DSM, but experts characterize it as feelings of withdrawal, compulsive checking, and using it to boost self-esteem. The Mobile Phone and Instant Messaging Addictive Tendencies Scale were metrics used in a questionnaire given to 191 college students. The questionnaires analyzed levels of impulsivity, materialism, and addiction to instant messaging. The researchers discovered a relationship between impulsivity and materialism. Americans check their phones at least once an hour, according to a recent study and three out of four would feel “panicked” if they lost their cell phone.

Preventing Obesity at Birth: Researchers from Imperial College London developed a set of factors that can determine if a child will become obese.The baby’s birth weight, the body mass index of both parents, the mother’s professional status, and whether she smoked during pregnancy are included in the formula. Researchers hope this formula is used to identify high-risk infants and educate parents to prevent their children from becoming obese. Researchers created the formula from a 1986 study of about 4,000 Finnish children. They found that non-genetic information easily available at birth was accurate in predicting obesity. According to their findings, the top 20 percent of children identified to be at the highest risk made up 80 percent of obese children. Researchers emphasized identifying obesity as early as possible is the best strategy for prevention.