Health Headlines: The biology of weight loss, kangaroo care, and the link between screens and nearsightedness

nearsightednessBoston Children’s Hospital’s doctors and researchers are constantly working to uncover and understand health and medical questions. Health Headlines is a twice-monthly summary of some of the most important research findings.

Top news this week includes research focused on the link between screens and nearsightedness, a revolutionary new diet theory and a study underscoring the health benefits of skin-to-skin contact for preemies.

More Computer Time May Be Causing Nearsightedness in U.S. Kids

HealthDay News reports children who spend lots of time indoors and on computers and other electronic devices may be raising their risk for nearsightedness, a panel of U.S. ophthalmology experts suggests. Boston Children’s Dr. David Hunter explains what nearsightedness is and how going outside helps your eyes see farther away.

Will The ‘Always Hungry’ Diet Revolutionize Weight Loss? A Q&A With The Author, Dr. David Ludwig

Boston Children’s Dr. David Ludwig, has developed a startling new theory that turns traditional diet advice on its head: overeating doesn’t make you fat; the process of getting fat makes you overeat. In his new book, Always Hungry? Conquer Cravings, Retrain Your Fat Cells, and Lose Weight Permanently, Ludwig lays out his premise that our 40-year embrace of calories in, calories out has actually contributed to weight gain. He recently did a Q&A interview with Forbes.com about his research and how he came to understand that the biology of weight loss was far more complicated than “eat less, move more.”

Post birth skin-to-skin contact reduces up to 36% of infant deaths

International Business Times reports on a study from Boston Children’s Dr. Grace Chan that finds skin-to-skin contact may reduce deaths for infants with low birth weight. Low birth weight infants are particularly vulnerable during their first month of life so the researchers encourage skin-to-skin contact, also known as kangaroo mother care (KMC), especially in developing countries where conventional treatments are not widely available.

Learn more about the Boston Children’s Department of Ophthalmology.