This week on Thrive: June 21- 25

This week on Thrive:

Is Lady Gaga too much for kids? Michael Rich, MD, MPH, is Children’s media expert. This week he talks about music videos’ influence on kids, specifically Lady Gaga. With catchy choruses and an infectious sound, her music is widely popular, even with younger children, but the thinly-veiled sexuality in her lyrics and videos has some parents concerned.

Working parents, please join the discussion! Claire McCarthy, MD, wrote a Thrive post defending working mothers, in response to a study from the UK linking busy schedules to increased rates of childhood obesity. The post generated a lot of discussion and several readers chimed in with some great advice for raising healthy kids while working full-time. What do you think? Here’s one reader’s reaction:

“Thanks Claire for your well-thought out, well-articulated comments. As a FT working Mom, I agree that there are so many factors that can contribute to our children’s health (or lack of). It’s easier to take one correlation and create a scapegoat rather than take a look at all of the contributors. The societal contributions, especially, often seem too daunting or even impossible to change, so we focus on the scapegoats. We all need to take the appropriate amount of responsibility (no more for those already swimming in Mommy guilt and no less for government officials who don’t provide enough funding for all schools to have healthy options and plenty of exercise) and each do our part.” -Michele

Boston Med, the ABC News documentary series about life in three Boston hospitals, aired this week. In a Thrive video exclusive, James Mandell, MD, chief executive officer at Children’s Hospital Boston, introduces some of the Children’s families that will be featured in the series and shares his hope that by allowing cameras inside the hospital, the public will gain a clearer understanding of the inner workings of life at Children’s.

Harvard research shows soda tax might work. Read the Thrive interview with one of the researchers involved in the study. Not everyone is buying into the idea of a soda tax though; check out what some readers said:

“Too much tv time is harmful too. Why don’t you tax TVs and computers 35% too??? Where do you draw the line? Maybe if we taxed cars another 35% – people would walk more. Since the issue seems to be price discrepancy how about discounting the price of the “good for you” stuff rather than adding a tax to the “bad”. After all – not adding sugar should make the product cheaper to make! Nice bicycles shouldn’t cost more than a used car.” Anonymous

“Typical progressive idea…control everyone’s behavior and choices by taxing them to death. Give people information, and let them choose for themselves.”-Taxman

Kids with elevated blood pressure are okay to play sports, but need to monitor their condition closely and adjust workout levels accordingly. At least that’s the stance taken by the AAP, here’s what our expert says on the topic.

Children’s doctor Ofer Levy, MD, PhD, in the Division of Infectious Diseases, is working on new ways to vaccinated babies, which will protect them from disease very early in life. He’s received a $2.4 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help in his work. It’s a controversial topic. Here’s what a few of our readers are saying:

“Enhance or overstimulate the immune system? Isn’t this what’s already done with adjunctives? Will this not inspire autoimmunity?” -Autoimmunity in Oregon

“Most people expressing their negative opinions on vaccines at birth wouldn’t be there if vaccines were not invented. We should stop criticizing without acknowledging that “chemicals” as someone called it, made out lifestyle possible. If you were the parents of a newborn dying from pertussis, then I guess your viewpoint would be different. Vaccines are the single most advance in medicine after clean water.” -Highfly