HealthWise at 5 From 2.12 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/12/03

HealthWise at 5 From 2.12

  • Preemies and Mental Development

It's not unusual for very low birth weight babies to have disabilities in the first several years of life. But what happens later? Researchers at the Medical Schools at Yale and Brown Universities, and at Maine Medical Center, followed about 300 very low birth weight babies from birth through age 8, testing them regularly for IQ scores, verbal function and vocabulary tests. Their findings appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The news is very encouraging for the parents of preemies. Their studies indicate that many premature babies who show some signs of retardation at age 3 can actually "grow out of it" by age 8. "At age 8 years we found 66% of the children who had been in the borderline range were now in the normal range and 49% of the children who had been in the mentally retarded range, or IQ's less than 70, were no longer mentally retarded," says Laura Ment, M.D., Yale School of Medicine.

Dr. Ment says this study has important ramifications for school districts, because educating a child who requires special services costs, on average, an extra $6,000 per child, per year. You can find more information about this Jama report by ( clicking here).

  • Hide Your Scale 

A fitness and diet expert says that one key successful weight loss is to hide your scale. Andrew Flach, the author of "Combat Fat" says we are too obsessed with scale numbers. Instead, he recommends weighing yourself once at the beginning of your body makeover. After that you can determine how well you are meeting your goals according to how you feel. Additionally Flach says that be deciding to shift your focus to your health instead of your appearance, you'll be more likely to stick with the program.

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