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Aug 06, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- CHILDREN UNDER STRESS HAVE UNHEALTHY DIETS

New research shows that stressed-out children have unhealthy diets compared to their less-anxious counterparts. Published in the journal Health Psychology, a British study of more than 4,000 school children showed that they develop less healthy eating habits as their lives become more stressful. "Children in the most stressed category ate more fatty food and more snacks, but they were also less likely to consume the recommended five or more fruits and vegetables or eat a daily breakfast," said Jane Wardle, of Cancer Research UK. The researchers also found ethnicity was associated with eating habits. Asian students -- 8 percent of the sample population -- ate the most healthy diets. Black students -- 19 percent of the sample group -- had the worst diets. Diets of white children -- 62 percent of the participants -- were somewhere in the middle. The researchers also linked higher socioeconomic status with healthier eating.


An expert panel from the National Academy of Sciences urged the federal government to take a larger role in vaccinations nationwide. In its report, the panel said the government should require health insurance policies to cover vaccines and should reimburse insurers for the costs. The government also should subsidize vaccines for people who do not have insurance. The suggestions could allow everyone to have access to new, expensive vaccines, according to the report, including access to vaccines that will be developed in the future. In the works are inoculations that fight multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis and HIV. "We offer a plan that both ensures access to vaccines for those in need and creates incentives for private investment in the vaccine industry that would sustain the development and manufacture of these products in the future," said Frank Sloan, professor of health policy, management, and economics at Duke University in Durham, N.C.


Researchers have found people with little vitamin C in their blood are more likely than people with high levels to be infected by ulcer-causing bacteria. In a study of almost 7,000 adults, researchers tested for antibodies to Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium associated with peptic ulcers and stomach cancer, and they measured vitamin C levels in the blood. White participants with the highest levels of vitamin C had a 25 percent lower prevalence of H. pylori infection, showed the study, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. The researchers recommended that people who test positive for H. pylori increase their intake of vitamin C-rich foods. "The bottom line is that higher levels of vitamin C may have the potential to prevent peptic ulcers and stomach cancer," said Dr. Joel Simon, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.


Consuming alcoholic drinks increases the risk of gum disease in men by 18 to 27 percent, a new study found. Researchers at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine followed almost 40,000 male health professionals between 40 and 75 who were periodontitis free at the beginning of the study. About half were low-to-moderate drinkers, having about a glass of wine or less a day, and 11 percent were considered heavy drinkers. At the four- and eight-year marks, the participants' alcohol intake was assessed, and for the duration of the study, the subjects reported whether they developed gum disease. Researchers discovered that even the participants who drank less than a glass of wine a day or its equivalent increased their risk of periodontitis. The study results were published in the Journal of Dental Research.

(Editors: For more information on STRESS, contact Jane Wardle at For VACCINATIONS, Christine Stencel at 202-334-2138 or For VITAMIN C, Camille Mojica Rey at 415-476-8429 or For GUM DISEASE, Alison Harris at 617-432-3991 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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