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Stress News — ScienceDaily
Hereditary trauma: Inheritance of traumas and how they may be mediated
Extreme and traumatic events can change a person — and often, years later, even affect their children. Researchers have now unmasked a piece in the puzzle of how the inheritance of traumas may be mediated. The phenomenon has long been known in psychology: traumatic experiences can induce behavioural disorders that are passed down from one generation to the next. It is only recently that scientists have begun to understand the physiological processes underlying hereditary trauma

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Health and Fitness – The Huffington Post
The Sweet Precedent of Flavored Milk
Being from the great state of Wisconsin, I of course grew up consuming milk. No matter which meal of the day, milk was always offered as a beverage option. If you are able to digest dairy and enjoy the flavor, milk can play an important role in providing nutrition. Nonetheless, most nutrients found in milk are available from plenty of other sources. You can have a healthy diet with or without the consumption of milk. The health issue surrounding milk that I want to address is the process of adding four teaspoons of sugar to milk, while still calling it a “healthy” beverage for children. The main drawback with sweetened milk, commonly referred to as flavored milk, is that it sets the precedent for overly sweet foods.

During my two years of public service through FoodCorps teaching children nutrition education, I experienced firsthand the sweet palettes of modern kids. Items like blueberries and garden fresh tomatoes are now not sweet enough. This sugary preference was often a limitation for them appreciating the average sweetness of fruits and vegetables. Children are learning that this is how food should taste and anything unsweetened is not enjoyable.

If chocolate milk were promoted as a treat, I’d be less concerned. This however is not the case. Too many times, I have walked into a cafeteria and seen posters exclaiming the health benefits of sweetened milk. I would also be less worried if flavored milk was consumed in a context of an overall less sweetened diet. Unfortunately, sugary breakfast cereals, fruit juice, and fruit juice sweetened canned fruit are the current norm for school breakfast and lunch menus. Currently there are no set limits for the amount of sugar for school meals. On average, one 8oz sweetened carton of milk contains 4 teaspoons of added sugar. The consumption of one carton already exceeds the daily sugar allotment recommended for children by the American Heart Association.

The common argument you will hear is that without sweetened varieties kids would not drink milk. As I stated previously, a healthy diet may or may not include milk. Children do not need to consume milk to be healthy. Also, the underlying assumption of sweetened milk is the concept of adding sugar to food until a kid enjoys it. This is a flawed logic and is not preparing students to develop a life long healthy relationship with food.

I’m not arguing for nutrition perfectionism and I strongly believe in enjoying indulgent foods, however, sweetened milk is often consumed on a daily or a twice daily basis. I’m not na├»ve and have seen how much students prefer sweetened milk. Of all the milk consumed in schools, 71 percent of it is sweetened. I’ve also read the stories of kids revolting and other issues with the removal of sweetened milk. A recent Cornell University study found that the removal of sweetened milk from schools led to a 8 percent decrease in milk sales and 29 percent of non-sweetened milk to be thrown out. These issues are connected to social norms that start with schools and families, so let’s begin to realize that we have the power to change the precedent.

To start the transition to more health promoting social norms, it is important for nutrition programs to promote incremental change. School districts can begin by making sweetened milk less prevalent in the milk cooler and less accessible. School advertisements promoting flavored milk as a healthy choice should be removed. Parents and nutrition education can assist in the promotion of such beverages as treats rather than staples. School food operations can make sweetened milk a dessert and only offer it once a week.

Accordingly, as new generations of children begin school, the option to choose sweetened milk can be slowly limited. Students expect these products because we currently make it socially acceptable to consume them. Children learn our cultural norms and preferences, and currently we are telling them that food has to be overwhelmingly sweet, setting them up for a lifelong preference which could negatively impact their future health.

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Stress News — ScienceDaily
Domestic abuse linked to mental health problems in new mothers
Domestic abuse is closely linked to postpartum mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, in mothers, new research confirms. The research also found that specific types of abuse are associated with specific mental health problems. “The sheer scope of the mental health problems and types of abuse that we found tells us that we need to take a broader approach to tackling these issues,” states a co-author. “And this is clearly not a ‘lower class’ problem — medical professionals everywhere need to pay attention.”

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Stress News — ScienceDaily
Life stressors trigger neurological disorders, researchers find
When mothers are exposed to trauma, illness, alcohol or other drug abuse, these stressors may activate a single molecular trigger in brain cells that can go awry and activate conditions such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and some forms of autism. Until now, it has been unclear how much these stressors have impacted the cells of a developing brain. Past studies have shown that when an expectant mother exposes herself to alcohol or drug abuse or she experiences some trauma or illness, her baby may later develop a psychiatric disorder later in life. But the new findings identify a molecular mechanism in the prenatal brain that may help explain how cells go awry when exposed to certain environmental conditions.

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Stress News — ScienceDaily
Intravenously administered ketamine shown to reduce symptoms of chronic post-traumatic stress disorder
For the first time, evidence that a single dose of IV-administered ketamine was associated with the rapid reduction of symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in patients with chronic PTSD was demonstrated in a proof-of-concept, randomized, double blind crossover study. These findings could be the first step toward developing new interventions for PTSD.

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Relationships News — ScienceDaily
Our relationship with God changes when faced with potential romantic rejection
Easter is a time when many people in the world think about their relationships with God. New research explores a little-understood role of God in people’s lives: helping them cope with the threat of romantic rejection. In this way, God stands in for other relationships in our lives when times are tough.

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Stress News — ScienceDaily
Boosting depression-causing mechanisms in brain increases resilience, surprisingly
New research uncovers a conceptually novel approach to treating depression. Instead of dampening neuron firing found with stress-induced depression, researchers demonstrated for the first time that further activating these neurons opens a new avenue to mimic and promote natural resilience.

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