Observations of a blown mind

Posts tagged “Children

High BPA levels means kids with higher risk of obesity

Effects of chemical used in childrens products like baby bottles, plastic toys examined in study

Children who have higher levels of Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical previously used in many products for kids, like baby bottle and plastic toys, had a higher odds of obesity and adverse levels of body fat, according to a new study from University of Michigan researchers.

The U-M team studied the levels of BPA found in children’s urine and then measured body fat, waist circumference, and cardiovascular and diabetes risk factors, in a study published today in Pediatrics.

BPA was previously widely used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate and epoxy resins used in a variety of products for children, including baby bottles, protective coatings on metal food containers, plastic toys, and dental sealants.

“Studies in adults had shown an association between high BPA levels and obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, but little was known about its effects in children,” says Donna Eng, M.D., lead author of the study and recent graduate of the Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

The study found that higher odds of obesity, defined as a BMI above the 95th percentile on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention growth curves, was associated with higher levels of urinary BPA. Researchers also found that children with higher BPA levels also were more likely to have an abnormal waist circumference-to-height ratio.

The study did not find significant associations of BPA with any other chronic disease factors, including abnormal levels of cholesterol, insulin or glucose levels.

“Our study suggests a possible link between BPA exposure and childhood obesity. We therefore need more longitudinal studies to determine if there is a causal link between BPA and excess body fat.” says Eng.

Manufacturers have been voluntarily recalling BPA products due to suspicion about the toxic effects on children and other vulnerable populations. Many countries, including Canada and members of the European Union, as well as several U.S. states, have banned BPA use in products frequently used by infants and young children.

In July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that baby bottles and children’s drinking cups could no longer contain BPA; however, this restriction does not apply to other BPA containing products.

“We were surprised that our study did not find an association between BPA and measures of cardiovascular and diabetes risk, which has been established among adults,” says Joyce Lee, M.D., M.P.H, associate professor of Pediatrics at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.

“Based on these results, BPA may not have adverse effects on cardiovascular and diabetes risk, but it’s certainly possible that the adverse effects of BPA could compound over time, with health effects that only later manifest in adulthood,” says Lee, an investigator in U-M’s Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit and assistant professor of Environmental Health Sciences in the U-M School of Public Health.

Investigators hope the study will prompt more research into BPA’s effects that can inform future policy regulating children’s consumer products.


Additional authors: All of the University of Michigan. Of the School of Public Health: John D. Meeker, ScD, Karen Peterson, DSc, and of the Medical School: Achamyeleh Gebremariam, M.S., Vasantha Padmanabhan, Ph.D.

Journal reference: doi:10.1542/peds.2013-0106


Should America ban firearms?

Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a reported shooting there Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.  (AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks)

Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a shooting there Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Newtown Bee, Shannon Hicks)

My heart goes out to the parents and families of all those affected by the atrocities today at Sandy Hook school.

After the awful events today in Newtown, Connecticut which comes not that long off the back off the shooting at the movie theatre in Colorado. Is now the time for Obama to make the move other presidents have mooted at, but not acted upon, and ban personal firearms in America?

I have my opinion but what about you? Get involved; have your say on the NEW Forum;

CLICK >>> https://www.facebook.com/100UsesForMuesli

‘New’ section

It’s been there for a while, but I have recently updated parts of it and added a few video’s.

I speak of the section entitled Autism. I implore you to please take some time to read through it.

Click here.

Thank you.


Xmas is coming, get over it!

“Merry Bloomin Christmas”

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas

I for one have a chuckle and allow myself a little eye roll at all of these folks moaning about how much earlier retailers begin their pre-christmas sales pitch each and every year. I mean for a start it signals the start of a season of jolly happy smiling materialism! But seriously, Xmas is for kids! It’s really not about religion, it’s not about how much you spend, it’s about spoiling your children, having fun as a family, and regaining a bit of our own lost innocence from youth.

Sure the retailers are there just to empty our pockets and then bleed us of a little more money, what do you expect they’ve had a shit 24 months! But without wishing to state the bloody obvious minus these money grabbing bastards you’d be up crap street without a paddle! I mean you’d have to sit down each evening with the kids in bed and actually spend time away from the TV and use your grey cells to creatively dream up something your kids actually wanted! Let’s face it that’s nigh on impossible. Even in our house where TV is strictly monitored and the Disney channel and CBeebies rule, there are the odd times one of the god of toys adverts is on and at least one little voice pipes up “I wish I could have that!” despite the fact that the ever growing mountain of toys has most of the house in its domain!

Actually my eldest pleasantly surprised me by packing up a black bin bag full of toys she felt were good enough to donate to the local charity shop. He reasoning was that other children may not get anything so she wanted to make space for her new toys and also help other less fortunate kids. My heart swells with pride. Admittedly some of them were a little worse for wear, but most will fetch £2-5 each.

So back to the plot.

Life is what you make it and so is Xmas. It can be a pain in the arse, or an absolute pleasure. You won’t avoid the expense, you won’t avoid the odd mishap or argument. But if you go at it in the right spirit you’ll come out with a broad smile upon your face.

So don’t be a Scrooge, get the decorations out, treat yourself to a new bauble or two and get in the spirit!

Here’s to Xmas, the 3 month long season of excess!

Whoop whoop!

I can’t wait…so my list starts below:


Blondes, Brunettes, Redheads, Black, Asian, Caucasian, Chris likes them all Santa!


The interweb is great for bringing folks together.

It’s also good for drawing attention to good causes, charities, sounding off or socialising. It can even make you think.

What’s missing?

So what is missing from this image of our planet?

International borders! Yes, from this view you can’t see any.

Life’s like that isn’t it? You have a problem or gripe with someone and it seems huge, all consuming even. War, what’s it good for? Absolutely nothing. After ‘Remembrance Sunday’ and the solemness and dignity of the day, and having sat with my children explaining what it was all about, I got to thinking.

I truly am thankful and respectful of our troops wherever they may be and yet could it be as simple as taking a step back may give us clarity? I don’t know. After all we aren’t born racist, we aren’t born a certain religion. Perhaps as parents this is the best gift we cab give to our children, to let them grow up with out our preconceived pre-programmed bias? I for one will certainly attempt it.

After the September 11th attacks in 2001 a lot of people said to me “Makes you think about what’s really important in life” and yet those same people are still supporting mass consumerism, materialistic and working all hours under the Sun just to be ready for Xmas.

Don’t get me wrong Xmas is a big deal in the Welch household, with 5 kiddies it will be for a good few years to come!

But it is so easy to forget what is really important.

Take a moment to re-evaluate.


Science and Medicine save Twins

Surgeons separate conjoined twins who shared intestine
Rosie and Ruby Formosa, who who were born joined at the abdomen

Little Rosie and Ruby Formosa, who who were born joined at the abdomen.
Conjoined twins who shared an intestine have been successfully separated by top surgeons. Rosie and Ruby Formosa, who were born joined at the abdomen, needed an emergency operation to separate them. The pair underwent the operation at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital on 27th July – just a day after they were born.

Despite doctors’ warnings that survival chances were low, the sisters are now doing well and are smiling “bubbly babies”.  Their mother Angela had already had a normal pregnancy with her first daughter Lily who is now five years old, so was shocked to find out the twins were joined.

She said: “At an early pregnancy scan they said the twins looked very close together so I went to King’s College for another scan. Between 16 and 20 weeks we found out that they were joined – I didn’t know what to think, I was shocked and I felt sad.”

Angela and Daniel Formosa hold their baby girls, centre, with surgeon Edward Kiely, left, and Professor Agostino Pierro, right

Angela and Daniel Formosa hold their baby girls, with surgeon Edward Kiely, left, and Professor Agostino Pierro, right.

“We didn’t know what to expect until they were born – the doctors could not tell where they were connected. They decided to deliver them early at 34 weeks. I went into University College Hospital and had the C section and the doctors decided that the girls should go for their operation quite soon. Within a couple of hours they had been taken to Great Ormond Street Hospital. I stayed at UCH overnight then discharged myself the next day so I could be with the girls.”

The girls were operated on the next day by a team of specialists led by paediatric surgeon Professor Agostino Pierro.

“In this case, the twins were joined by the abdomen at the level of the umbilicus and shared part of the intestine,the operation to separate the twins had to be performed as an emergency because of an intestinal blockage.” He said.

“We are delighted with the outcome of the operation. The babies will need further treatment in the future, but we expect that they will both be able to lead happy and normal lives.”

Angela, said that she and husband Daniel, 36, were “happy and relieved” to have the girls, now 12-weeks-old, at home.

She said: “They are really well, they are putting on weight. They are normal bubbly babies who are starting to smile and cry when they want something.”

Great Ormond Street Hospital is one of the most experienced centres in the world for the treatment of conjoined twins.

Many children come to GOSH with complex conditions, sometimes life threatening and in need of specialist care and pioneering treatments.

With your help they can give hope to the children and continue to make Great Ormond Street Hospital the special place that it is. Click on the GOSH and see what a difference you can make to a child’s life.