Small child­birth change might help pre­vent iron de­fi­ciency in ba­bies: Study Crunchy or smooth? Food’s tex­ture may sway per­cep­tion of calo­ries

Daily Trust - - HAS#TAG -

Chang­ing how new­borns are held im­me­di­ately af­ter birth could boost the use of de­layed cord clamp­ing and po­ten­tially re­duce the num­ber of in­fants with iron de­fi­ciency, ac­cord­ing to a new study.

Wait­ing un­til about two min­utes af­ter birth to clamp the um­bil­i­cal cord al­lows more blood to pass from the mother’s pla­centa to the baby, which low­ers the risk of iron de­fi­ciency dur­ing in­fancy, pre­vi­ous re­search has found.

Cur­rent guide­lines sug­gest that the baby be held at the level of the mother’s pla­centa be­fore the um­bil­i­cal cord is clamped. How­ever, this po­si­tion is awk­ward and un­com­fort­able for the per­son hold­ing the new­born, and it ham­pers im­me­di­ate con­tact be­tween the baby and mother, the re­searchers noted.

These prob­lems could con­trib­ute to low rates of de­layed clamp­ing, re­sult­ing in in­creased num­bers of in­fants with iron de­fi­ciency, the re­searchers sug­gested.

This new study in Ar­gentina looked at how chang­ing the po­si­tion in which ba­bies are held im­me­di­ately af­ter birth af­fected the use of de­layed cord clamp­ing. It in­cluded 197 ba­bies who were held in the cur­rently rec­om­mended po­si­tion and 194 who were in­stead im­me­di­ately placed on the mother’s stomach or chest.

Both groups of ba­bies had sim­i­lar vol­umes of blood trans­ferred from the mother’s pla­centa. This means that plac­ing the baby on the mother’s stomach or chest was as ef­fec­tive as the more awk­ward cur­rently rec­om­mended po­si­tion, ac­cord­ing to the study ap­pear­ing April 16 in The Lancet.

“Iron de­fi­ciency in new­born ba­bies and chil­dren is a se­ri­ous pub­lic health prob­lem in low­in­come coun­tries, and also preva­lent in coun­tries from North Amer­ica and western Europe,” lead au­thor Nestor Vain, of the Foun­da­tion for Ma­ter­nal and Child Health in Buenos Aires, said in a jour­nal news re­lease.

“Our study sug­gests that when um­bil­i­cal cord clamp­ing is de­layed for two min­utes, hold­ing the baby on the mother’s chest or ab­domen is no worse than the cur­rently rec­om­mended prac­tice of hold­ing the baby be­low this level,” Vain said.

“Be­cause of the po­ten­tial of en­hanced bond­ing be­tween mother and baby, in­creased suc­cess of breast-feed­ing and the com­pli­ance with the pro­ce­dure, hold­ing the in­fant by the mother im­me­di­ately af­ter birth should be strongly rec­om­mended,” he added.

Dr. Tonse Raju, of the U.S. Na­tional In­sti­tute of Child Health and Hu­man De­vel­op­ment, wrote an ac­com­pa­ny­ing jour­nal com­men­tary.

This study “should bring a sigh of re­lief from those try­ing to in­cor­po­rate de­layed um­bil­i­cal cord clamp­ing into prac­tice,” Raju wrote. “The re­sults are con­vinc­ing and show that grav­ity did not have an ef­fect on vol­ume of pla­cen­tal trans­fu­sion.”

Creamy but­ter or ice cream ver­sus a crunchy gra­nola bar: A new study sug­gests that the tex­ture of foods in­flu­ences people’s di­et­ing choices.

“We stud­ied the link be­tween how a food feels in your mouth and the amount we eat, the types of food we choose, and how many calo­ries we think we are con­sum­ing,” wrote study au­thors Di­payan Biswas and Court­ney Szocs, both from the Univer­sity of South Florida, and oth­ers.

In one ex­per­i­ment, par­tic­i­pants were asked to sam­ple foods that had soft, smooth, hard or rough tex­tures and then es­ti­mate their calo­rie amounts.

In an­other test, vol­un­teers were asked to watch and rate a num­ber of tele­vi­sion ads, think­ing that was the test. But they were also given cups with bite-sized brown­ies as a “thank you” for their time. Half of the par­tic­i­pants were also asked about the amount of calo­ries in the brown­ies.

Some of the par­tic­i­pants re­ceived softer-tex­tured brown­ies while the other half got crunchier brown­ies. People who had been asked about the calo­ries in the brown­ies which forced them to fo­cus on caloric in­take -ate more of the crunchy brown­ies than soft.

On the other hand, those whose minds weren’t fo­cused on calo­ries tended to eat more of the soft brown­ies, the in­ves­ti­ga­tors found.

“Un­der­stand­ing how the tex­ture of food can in­flu­ence calo­rie per­cep­tions, food choice, and con­sump­tion amount can help nudge con­sumers to­wards mak­ing health­ier choices,” the re­searchers con­cluded.

The study will be pub­lished in the Au­gust is­sue of the Jour­nal of Con­sumer Re­search.

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