Health bites

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 November, 2013, 7:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 11 November, 2013, 2:48pm

Light sleepers

There's a new factor in childhood weight gain: sleep. Published in the Pediatrics journal, a three-week study involved 37 children aged eight to 11, a quarter of whom were overweight. In week one, they slept their usual amount. In week two, they were randomly assigned to sleep more or less. In the final week, they were on the opposite schedule. In the week of more sleep, kids consumed an average of 134 fewer calories daily, weighed about 225 grams less, and had lower fasting levels of a hunger-regulating hormone related to body fat - compared with the week of decreased sleep.

Botox a shot in the arm for the treatment of pain

Scientists have modified the anti-wrinkle drug Botox and created a new molecule that can treat neurological disorders such as chronic pain and epilepsy. Nearly two dozen researchers from 11 institutions used elements of Botox and tetanus neurotoxins to develop a molecule with new biomedical properties and no unwanted toxic effects. A single injection could potentially relieve pain for months. The researchers say their finding now has to be tested on humans.

Healthy pizza, any way you slice it

Can a pizza be healthy? Researchers in Glasgow have analysed and reformulated typical pies to make a new pizza recipe that they say is a nutritionally balanced meal. After carefully studying 25 store-bought pizzas containing between 200 and 562 calories, high sodium levels and few essential vitamins and minerals, the researchers concocted a recipe with less salt, whole-wheat flour, and vitamins and minerals. Then they threw in some Scottish seaweed for flavour. The team claims that taste-testing members of the public have given the pizza a thumbs-up for flavour and appearance.