PHARMACY

Studies may have found a link between gratification, obesity

BY Allison Cerra

NEW YORK Youngsters who constantly seek instant gratification may become overweight as they get older, new studies suggest.

The two studies, published in the April issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, point out that while it is unclear if the delayed gratification response actually caused the weight issues, it provides insight to how the lack of self-discipline can possibly lead to other behaviors.

“We don’t know if it’s parenting or something innate to the kid,” said Dr. Julie C. Lumeng, lead author of the food study and an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Michigan Medical School. “If you have a child that has difficulty delaying gratification, you could help that child learn those skills.”

Previous studies have linked adult weight problems ? and such accompanying problems as heart disease and diabetes ? with weight issues earlier in life, although few had looked at a possible association with the ability to delay gratification.

For the first study, 805 4-year-olds were put in a room by themselves with one large plate and one small plate of candy, animal crackers or pretzels. They were told they could eat the larger plate if they waited for an adult to return. If they couldn’t wait, they could ring a bell to summon the adult. Forty-seven percent of the participants “failed” the test either by ringing the bell or eating the snacks. Those who failed were 29% more likely to be overweight seven years later, at age 11. They were also more likely to have mothers who were overweight, which could reflect both genetic and environmental factors, the researchers stated.

The second study found similar results in a sample of 1,061 children who were 3 years old ? both with toys and, two years later, at age 5, with food. Like the first study, the children were asked to sit alone in a room with a toy for 150 seconds. If they waited at least 75 seconds to play with the toy, they “passed the test.” At 5 years old, they participated in a similar food test.

Those who weren’t able to wait in both scenarios had a higher body mass index (BMI, a ratio of weight to height) at age 12 and gained weight faster.

“This really gives people who are looking at obesity prevention, which is so critical at this time, something to develop an intervention around,” said Meg H. Zeller, assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “Pediatricians can do it, and parents understand the idea of delaying gratification. We live in such an immediate gratification environment.”

KelloggsDRSNhttp://www.centerstoregrowth.com

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New antidepressant drug now available in the United States

BY Alaric DeArment

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. A new therapy for treating major depressive disorder in adults has become available in the United States, the drug’s manufacturer announced Tuesday.

Sanofi-Aventis U.S. said that Aplenzin (bupropion hydrobromide) extended-release tablets differed from other branded and generic bupropion antidepressants because it provides a unique HBr salt extended-release formulation.

“For patients who show little clinical improvement on lower doses of bupropion, there is a need to take higher doses to treat major depressive disorder,” Duke University Medical Center consulting professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences Prakash Masand said in a statement. “Aplenzin offers patients and physicians an alternative option which only requires one tablet, once a day at the highest bupropion dose. This provides a simple, convenient option for patients that currently need to take two to three tablets daily.”

The Food and Drug Administration originally approved the drug in April 2008. Sanofi licensed the drug from Biovail Corp. in December and markets it in the United States, including Puerto Rico.

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The ASA, MedicAlert join forces to create 24-hour protection system for patients with autism, related illnesses

BY Alaric DeArment

TURLOCK, Calif. The Autism Society of America and MedicAlert will collaborate to create a 24-hour protection system for people with autism-related illnesses and their families.

The ASA and MedicAlert said Tuesday that they would offer the system through the MedicAlert + Safe and Sound program.

“We are delighted by our new relationship with ASA,” MedicAlert president and CEO Martin Kabat said. “MedicAlert was originally founded to protect children in times of medical emergencies, and we believe this program goes right to the heart of our mission and history.”

Each person enrolled in the program will be given a personalized medical ID and wallet card to provide identification information, details on critical medical conditions and life-threatening allergies for emergency responders.

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