Omega-3 May Lead to Improved Behavior in Children: Study

Omega3 FoodsYou probably already know that omega-3 fatty acid is one type of fat you don’t want to cut back on, thanks to its multiple health benefits. And now there’s another reason to add them to your family’s diet: New research, which was published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, has found that consuming an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acid may also lead to fewer behavioral problems in children.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania followed 200 children (aged 8-16) to determine the effects of omega-3 supplements. The children were divided into two groups: one group received regular supplements of omega-3 via a juice drink for six months, while the other group received the same drink with no added supplement. After six months, a blood test was administered to see how the two groups’ omega-3 levels compared—and six months following that the study was repeated for another six months.

The parents and children were asked to complete a series of personality questionnaires and assessments. Researchers found that parents of children consuming the supplemented drink reported a decrease in their child’s antisocial and aggressive behavior after the one year mark.

“The control group returned to the baseline while the omega-3 group continued to go down. In the end, we saw a 42 percent reduction in scores on externalizing behavior and 62 percent reduction in internalizing behavior,” explained the study’s author Adrian Raine.

Further research is needed to determine whether the positive changes shown in the study will last over time.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Best Super Foods for Your  Baby
Best Super Foods for Your  Baby
Best Super Foods for Your Baby

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So Cute: Babies Love to Hear Each Other Babble

Baby babbleSure, your baby loves to hear your high-pitched coos and murmurs—and engaging in such baby talk with your wee one is actually good for her.

But new research from McGill University found that your infant is more likely to be interested in the sound of another baby — even before she’s able to babble herself.

To determine which sound held infants’ attention longer, researchers had 6-month-olds listen to vowel sounds from an adult woman and a baby (watch the adorable video!). While the babies’ faces were often neutral when they heard the adult, they often responded by smiling when they heard another baby’s sounds.

The study, which was published in Developmental Science, concluded that infants listened to the vowels made by other infants about 40 percent longer than the sounds made by an adult.

“This is not a preference for a familiar sound because the babies who took part in the experiment were not yet babbling themselves,” the press release stated. “So the infant-like vowel sounds that they heard were not yet part of their everyday listening experience.”

Researchers believe this could lead to further investigation into the processes that are involved in baby’s language development, which could potentially alleviate problems (like hearing impairment) that interfere with development.

Related: Ways to Encourage Language Development

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

The Dos and Don'ts of Baby Talk
The Dos and Don'ts of Baby Talk
The Dos and Don'ts of Baby Talk

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Are You an Accurate Judge of Your Child’s Weight? (Answer: Maybe Not)

Boy on scaleHere’s one issue when it comes to battling childhood obesity: Parents, it turns out, can be pretty poor judges of whether their kids have a weight problem or not.

New research, led by the NYU Langone Medical Center and published last week in the journal Childhood Obesity, found that even as childhood obesity rates rise, parents tend to think their kids are at a healthy weight—and that perception hasn’t changed much over the years.

The findings were based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which was gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and based on physical examinations and interviews. The researchers studied two different groups of more than 3,000 children each, from 1988 to 1994, and 2007 to 2012.

Parents were asked whether their children (who were all between the ages of 2 and 5) were overweight, underweight, or about the right weight. Nearly all parents in both groups reported that their child was “just the right weight”—especially the parents of overweight boys.

In the first group, 97 percent of parents considered their overweight sons to be “about the right weight,” and the results of the more recent group yielded basically the same results (95 percent).

As for the parents of overweight girls, 88 percent of parents in the earlier study group reported that their daughters were at a good weight, followed by 93 percent in the second group.

Most important to note is that children who participated in the second, more recent group were substantially more overweight than the earlier group; however, parents’ views of their children did not reflect this difference.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

Kids and Chronic Health Concerns
Kids and Chronic Health Concerns
Kids and Chronic Health Concerns

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Division of Household Labor May Not Be As Equal As Parents Think

New parentsAs a modern mama, you probably expect (or at the very least hope) that your partner spends as much time on household chores and various other duties as you do. But new research suggests that the division of household labor grows unequal once the couple enters parenthood.

Researchers at the Ohio State University studied 182 opposite-sex couples before and after having their first child. During the “before” interviews, couples were able to accurately measure how many hours of housework and paid work they were doing— and men and women spent approximately the same amount of time on each duty.

Unfortunately, that didn’t hold true once they became parents. The couples were reevaluated when their babies were 9 months old. Once child care was added in, each partner reported performing approximately 90 hours of total work (that includes paid work, household chores, and childcare) in each week. And while that was an overstimation—both parents actually worked less than that—it turns out that the new dads overestimated their workload more than the new moms, and actually did less. Men reported doing 35 hours of housework and 15 hours of child care, but were actually only doing 9 hours of housework and 10 hours of child care. Women reported doing 27 hours of housework and 28 hours of child care—but in reality were doing 13.5 hours of housework and devoting 15.5 hours to child care.

Typically, with the new addition of child care, women’s workload increases by 21 hours while men’s increases by 13, according to the report.

To combat this eight hour discrepancy, researchers suggest confronting any inequalities in household labor before routines are established and become harder to break.

Working Moms: Best Tips
Working Moms: Best Tips
Working Moms: Best Tips

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The Best (and Worst) Places for Moms Around the Globe: See Where the U.S. Ranks!

Holding HandsWith Mother’s Day just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to reflect on all mothers, not just our own. Save the Children released its 16th annual State of the World’s Mothers report yesterday to shed light on the places where life for mothers can be most improved. The report takes into account the well-being of mothers and their children in 179 countries across the globe.

Multiple factors of women’s well-being, such as lifetime risk of maternal mortality, gross national income, and participation of women in national government, are taken into account, along with a number of factors reflecting children’s well-being—including under-5 mortality rate and expected amount of schooling. The 2015 report focused on the state of mother’s in urban areas—where more than half of the world’s population currently lives. (That number is expected to reach approximately 66 percent by 2050.)

Scandinavian countries rank within the top 10 best countries for mothers and countries in sub-Saharan African rank in the bottom 10. The United States has not ranked within the top 10 in nine years, and ranked 33rd this year—dropping two spots from last year.

In fact, among the report’s more startling finding was that Washington, D.C. has the highest infant-death risk and greatest inequality of any capital city in developed countries, with a mortality rate of 6.6 deaths per 1,000 live births (the U.S. average is 6.1).

Related: Jennifer Garner Wants You to Join the #GlobalMoms Discussion

Overall, urban slums are one of the worst places for mothers to bring up her children. The report states that the poorest urban children are at least twice as likely to die as the richest urban children. This is because of social and economic disadvantages, deprivation and discrimination. Although urban areas have more health facilities, these facilities are often unable to reach those who are in the most need due to lack of funding.

In order to lessen the gap between rich and poor mothers, Save the Children stresses the need for universal health coverage and nutritional services, and the mobilization of resources to end preventable child deaths in urban slums.

Caitlin St John is an Editorial Assistant for Parents.com who splits her time between New York City and her hometown on Long Island. Follow her on Twitter: @CAITYstjohn

The Hungry Home
The Hungry Home
The Hungry Home

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