Resolving to be kinder in 2013: pre-teens happier and more popular for being kind to others, study finds

How are you doing with your New Year’s resolutions? Lifestyle choices commonly feature on such lists of course, with Christmas excesses and the ‘clean slate’ effect of starting a new year prompting us to resolve to eat more healthily, drink less alcohol and more water, and take more exercise. Here in the UK we look [read the full story…]

Your life, your health – researchers invite you to share what they know about how life gets under your skin

I’m really excited today as I’ve been looking at a wonderful example of research that’s relevant to us all, presented in an accessible way. The team at the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) know they have really interesting findings and want to share them with everyone. They also want your feedback and encourage anyone who’s [read the full story…]

Getting children to eat their greens (and reds and yellows): a new Cochrane review

I was a very fortunate young elf as one of my worst memories is of being made to sit in front of a plate of marrow until I ate it, which isn’t going to make much of a misery memoir, is it? The marrow got colder and (I swear) slimier. I still hate marrow. Still, there is [read the full story…]

Can incentives help children resist starting smoking?

Who doesn’t like the chance to win a prize? I can still remember the thrill of taking my turn at the Egg & Bacon competition at our summer féte, when I was a very small elf. You had to choose an egg from a box, all looking the same, but only some were still whole. [read the full story…]

More evidence that obese children are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease

If you’re an overweight adult, you are at increased risk of a load of health problems you don’t want, including cardiovascular diseases (CVD). These affect the heart and blood vessels and include coronary heart disease and stroke. As for children, evidence for a similar association is building up but the link is less well understood, including the [read the full story…]

Interventions increased children’s physical activity by just four minutes

When we’re asked to recall things, how near to the truth do we really get, even when we’re reporting the very recent past? For example, the other day I was travelling with Mr Elf to another, far off woodland, and due to a slight navigational difficulty we found ourselves making something of a detour. Mr [read the full story…]

Longer, more intensive aerobic exercise programmes more effective for obese children

We finish up the week with a critical appraisal from Health Evidence Canada, on a meta-analysis of studies on improvement in aerobic fitness in obese children and adolescents, following a variety of interventions, which was published in the International Journal of Pediatric Obesity last year. They assessed the review as being ‘strong’ in terms of how well it was [read the full story…]

Alcohol misuse prevention programmes: reviews show some may work, but we need better trials

Here in the European Union, we drink more alcohol than anywhere else in the world (11 litres of pure alcohol per adult each year) and this makes for huge problems in terms of health and wellbeing. It’s staggering to learn that more than one in four deaths amongst men aged 15-29 and one death in [read the full story…]

Giving teens life skills plus information looks a promising combination in preventing substance misuse

When it comes to encouraging youngsters to make healthy lifestyle choices and to resist the temptations of addictive and harmful substances such as tobacco, drugs and alcohol, schools can play a vital role. But how can they best do that? An appraisal of a systematic review on school-based marijuana and alcohol prevention programmes targeting ten to [read the full story…]

Computer and web-based interventions can improve eating behaviour and/or diet related physical outcomes in children and adolescents

The ‘silver surfers’ in the woodland have been keener than ever to get online this week since our post on eHealth Literacy in the older generation.  I thought it was time now that we turned our attention to the younger generation and how they might benefit from telehealth intervention. There has been a steady rise [read the full story…]