A 15-minute computer-based counseling program helped educate women about the benefits of taking folic acid before pregnancy to prevent birth defects. Researchers say on-screen sessions have many advantages over printed pamphlets, especially for women who don't read well.
Public health officials fear the economic downturn could mean an upswing in obesity, as people turn to cheaper packaged and high-fat fast food instead of healthy fresh fare. University of Washington professor Adam Drewnowski says people spend less money but eat more with inexpensive calorie-rich and nutrient-poor foods.
A study of more than 40,000 U.S. women and their infants found that gaining more than 40 pounds during pregnancy almost doubles the risk of delivering a baby that weighs 9 pounds or more. Heavy babies are programmed to become overweight or obese later in life, the lead researcher said.
A study of more than 30,000 postmenopausal women found those who were at normal weight and exercised vigorously reduced their breast cancer risk by 30%. Overall, the women who exercised the most were 13% less likely to develop breast cancer.