Mother Knows Best
Mom deserves a lot more credit than we give her. Here are 10 things that she got right.
Mom insisting we wash up before dinner is also a great idea,
especially after caring for farm animals and exotic pets. These loveable
critters have been linked to dangerous outbreaks of E. coli, a bacterial
infection causing bloody diarrhea, fever, vomiting, kidney failure, and even
What about a hot bowl of chicken soup for your cold? An old
wives' tale, right? Not according to Stephen Rennard, MD, a professor of
pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical
Center in Omaha.
Although Rennard has not yet tested in people the healing
powers of his wife's legendary soup recipe, the 'liquid gold penicillin' is
pretty impressive in the lab, preventing movement of white blood cells that
leak into body tissues and cause inflammation.
"This might explain why chicken soup makes us feel better
when we have a cold, because it might prevent symptoms like sore throat, runny
nose, and achy joints," Rennard tells WebMD.
"Button up your overcoat! And don't forget the
galoshes/mittens/muffler!" Don't you just cringe thinking about it?
Turns out that cold weather does stress the immune system and
can lower our resistance to infections, especially if we're not accustomed to
it. So Maree Gleeson, an exercise physiologist at the University of Birmingham
in England, suggests that athletes competing in cold climates protect
themselves by limiting exposure and wearing warm clothing.
Remember when Mom told you to spend less time glued to the TV
and more time outside playing? A study published in the April 2001 issue of the
Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
showed that exposure to TV, video games, and other media is linked to increased
violent and aggressive behavior and more high-risk behavior, including alcohol
and tobacco use and earlier onset of sexual activity.
"TV viewing could contribute to childhood obesity and other
health problems," Jyu-Lin Chen, RN, MS, a doctoral student at the Young
Children's Health Project of the University of California, San Francisco, tells
WebMD. "Planning family activity with your child, such as playing sports or
games, is the best way to help reduce TV-viewing time and decrease its negative
impact on your children's health."
Dietz adds that TV viewing means more than a tendency for less
physical activity: 25% of food consumption in children happens in front of the
TV set. Listen to Mom if you don't want to be a couch potato.