New York Times: Breast-Feeding Linked to Lower Cancer Risk
Some potentially good news for new moms with a family history of breast cancer: “There is new evidence that breast-feeding is associated with a lower incidence of breast cancer among a group of younger women who are at particularly high risk: those with breast cancer in the family. Although several studies have found that lactation is protective against breast cancer, the new report found little effect for premenopausal women over all. But for women with an immediate relative, like a mother or a sister, who had breast cancer, those who breast-fed had a 59 percent lower risk of premenopausal breast cancer. That is closer in line with the risk for women who had no disease in the family, the study found.”
China Daily (via Shanghaiist): Chinese still aren’t breastfeeding enough
On a related note, Chinese moms still tend to favor formula: “China is still lagging behind national and global breastfeeding targets, according to China Daily. Just 45.3% of newborns were breastfed for a full for months and only 20% of mothers breastfeed their infants for at least six months. WHO targets suggest that all infants six months or younger be fully breastfed. Part of the reason has been the "aggressive promotion of baby formula products" which misled young mothers through exaggerations that their product make babies "smarter" and "healthier." This is despite the whole melamine scandal, which seems to have little impact despite all the unfortunate deaths.”
USA Today: Average dog has mental abilities of 2-year-old child
Your dog is smarter than you might think: "Studies conducted on dogs in the U.S. and Canada indicate the average dog has the smarts of at least a 2-year-old human. According to study findings, canines can understand up to 250 words and gestures, can do basic calculations, and can even count to 5. This was established by putting the pooch participants through a battery of tests that would determine IQ. Stanley Coren, a professor and canine expert said, “We all want insight into how our furry companions thin, and we want to understand the silly, quirky and apparently irrational behaviors [that]Lassie or Rover demonstrate. Their stunning flashes of brilliance and creativity are reminders that they may not be Einsteins but are sure closer to humans than we thought.” When canine math skills were examined, their abilities trump a 3- or 4-year-old child and the social skills of man’s best friend are at the teenage level."
Beijing Youth Daily: Avoid using too much baby powder on your tots this summer (article in Chinese)
Perhaps a bit of tit-for-tat (remember all those health scares last year in the West surrounding Chinese-made children’s products?), but worth keeping an eye on all the same: "Many mothers like to apply baby powder on their kids after bath time in the summer, but the Korean Food and Drug Safety Administration recently discovered that 30 types of baby powder, including Germany’s NUK baby powder, contain asbestos. China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision says they have instigated an urgent investigation of baby powders sold domestically and businesses around Beijing are considering how to deal with this issue."
Beijing Youth Daily: Don’t towel off too hard (article in Chinese)
Some bad news for people who like a vigorous scrub down with towels (cuo zao, 搓澡, a.k.a. ‘exfoliating’): “This past summer, Ms Zhang bought a new towel and used it to vigorously scrub down her skin, but later discovered her skin had broken out in small red spots, which was later diagnosed as a molluscum virus. Although many people enjoy using towels for vigorous scrub downs, this practice can, in fact, be harmful to the body due to the protection your skin offers against a whole host of microbes, germs and other nasties …”