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Drinking More Milk And Less Soda Helps To Build Strong Bones

This article by Elena Conis, at the Los Angeles Times

Want strong bones? Eat foods high in calcium and vitamin D, get plenty of exercise — and maybe steer clear of soda.

In recent decades, as consumption of the beverage has steadily displaced the consumption of others —particularly milk — studies have consistently linked soda consumption with weaker bones. Now scientists are trying to figure out how and why, precisely, drinking soda may affect skeletons.

One theory is that a component in cola may cause bone to deteriorate; another is that people who drink soda simply drink (and eat) fewer nutritious foods.

In the 1990s, several studies suggested soft-drink consumption might be linked to lower bone mass and reduced bone accretion — the process by which bone is built up — in children, especially teens.

In a study of 127 teens that was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in 1994, teenage girls who drank carbonated beverages were three times as likely to suffer bone fractures compared with girls who didn’t drink soda. A study by the same author published in the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine in 2000 showed the same effect — and an even stronger one for girls who drank cola beverages, who were five times as likely to suffer bone fractures.

Researchers surmised at the time that soda took its toll on bones because children who drank soda did so in place of milk. Soda drinking was also seen as a marker for a generally unhealthful diet lacking items that help foster strong bones.

It does seem to be true that soda drinkers have worse diets overall. In a study published this month in the Journal of the American Dietetic Assn., for example, among 170 girls followed from age 5 to 15, those who drank soda at age 5 were less likely to drink milk throughout childhood than 5-year-olds who did not drink soda. And they were more likely to consume diets lacking in calcium, fiber, vitamin D, protein, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.

Such findings are significant because as much as 90% of bone mass is acquired in youth, particularly from age 16 to 25, says Dr. Jeri Nieves, director of bone density testing at Helen Hayes Hospital in West Haverstraw, N.Y.

Children who fail to get enough bone-building nutrients and bone-thickening exercise in their youth end up with increased risk of osteoporosis and fracture as they get older, adds Dr. Robert Murray, director of the Center for Healthy Weight and Nutrition at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

But there is also evidence that drinking sodas — specifically, colas — may take a direct toll on the skeleton, says Dr. Katherine Tucker, professor of health sciences at Northeastern University in Boston.

In a large, well-designed study published by Tucker and colleagues in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006, women enrolled in the ongoing Framingham Osteoporosis Study who drank just three or more colas a week had a 3.7% to 5.4% lower bone mineral density in their hip bones when compared with women who didn’t drink the beverage.

The study also showed what scientists call a dose response: The more soda participants drank, the lower their bone mineral density.

The effect was seen only with colas — non-cola soft drinks, such as ginger ale and orange soda, had no effect on bone density. That finding led Tucker and colleagues to suggest that the phosphoric acid in cola is behind its bone-weakening effects.

Phosphoric acid is added to colas for its tangy flavor. It’s not normally found in the food chain, Tucker says. When ingested, it causes the acidity of the blood to increase; to adjust the blood’s pH, the body draws calcium out of bones and into the bloodstream.

These proposed effects of phosphoric acid on bone are largely theoretical, but they are supported by animal studies and some human research. A Danish study published in the journal Osteoporosis International in 2005 measured the blood levels of bone minerals in a group of men after they consumed a low-calcium diet and 2.5 liters of soda daily for 10 days, and then again after they consumed a normal diet and 2.5 liters of skim milk for 10 days.

During the cola-drinking period, the men had higher blood levels of the bone mineral phosphate, the bone turnover protein osteocalcin and a substance called CTX — results that indicated minerals were being removed from bone, and not replaced, during the soda-drinking period.

Scientists are continuing to test the theory that phosphoric acid in soda harms bones. But even if it turns out that phosphoric acids cause only small or temporary changes in bone composition, these can add up over time, Tucker says.

In the meantime, Nieves suggests, it’s probably wise to limit your intake of soda.

“It’s not like alcohol, where one drink a day is OK,” she says. “Because bone mass is constantly changing throughout life, soda can cause bone loss at any stage.”

Maternity Clothes For All Body Types

When you are pregnant, suddenly your shape and size are changing daily. What looks used to work well and flatter your figure may suddenly look ridiculous or unflattering on your evolving frame. This can be particularly challenging around the Holiday Season or for more dress-up occasions when you really want to look your best and not let pregnancy get in the way. Here are some general guidelines to dressing when pregnant according to you shape.

Generally When Pregnant

When you are pregnant don’t be afraid to show some skin. A pregnant body can be very sensual and you still have great assets. So don’t be shy about showing off great legs or pretty arms, shoulders or going strapless. Be sure to define your shape the way your like it. You want some definition to you pregnant belly without going uncomfortably skin tight. Grecian can be flattering as it can drape over your curves to show off the gist of your belly without showing your belly button in detail. However, too big equates to baggy which only makes you look bigger. An empire waist looks that are more contained look great on almost any pregnant body type. Belting dresses beneath the bust can create this look. Deep shades like teal and plum that are popular this season are flattering on pregnant shapes, particularly if you are further along than busy patterns or metallics

Busty

Maternal America Flutter SkirtIf you are the busty type you are probably three times more busty when you are expecting. Your body has taken on new dimensions and everything you try on seems to be accentuated by your pronounced cleavage. A good look to try to de-emphasize the chest is a flirty dress in one shade. By sticking to one shade of color your figure becomes elongated and you look much leaner and slimmer.

Also going with a more tailored or structured dress that gives you a clear silhouette, you better define your shape. For example, instead of going hippie chic, go with better bust support and strong vertical pleats. A hemmed and pleated knee length flirty dress with a structured chest and wide straps will do wonders for your figure. Finally, always look to support and lift. Forget strapless or backless dresses as you will never find the level of support you need. Always look for a dress or top with wide enough shoulder straps for a supportive bra.

Hippy

Maternal_America_Embellished_DressA skirt or dress with inverted pleats keeps hips looking narrower. An A-line skirt is also a good choice for camouflaging hips. Even just a flared hem de-emphasizes the hips. Again choose structure in defining your silhouette so you show off a small empire waist and don’t get swallowed in something loose and baggy. Remember to show off your best assets, so if you have pretty shoulders, flaunt them with a sleeveless bodice dress, strapless or one shoulder style. Draw attention to your best body parts up high – look for a jeweled neckline or brighter colors around the face or neck. Even wearing some bling jewelry will keep the gaze upwards.

Petite

If you are petite and you don’t want to tower in platform shoes or stilettos when you are pregnant, there are some other tricks to add some length to your frame. If you have great legs, then show them off. Go for shorter hems and sheerer hose to elongate your shape. Show off some skin somewhere- arms and necklines are a great place to start. Pleats and bubble hem can work well if its not overdone – you want to add some volume without looking like a powder puff. Accessorize smartly. A few well chosen pieces that don’t weigh you down is all you need to add some height.

Tall

If you are tall, then you have a lot of choices. Tall frames can get away with prints and patterns, horizontal stripes and all the usual hazards most women need to avoid can actually be more flattering when tall. Do make sure your clothing fits you well. Beware of cuts that tent out and make you appear bigger than you are or that miss your curves. Sleek and fitted always looks better no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy. Do be careful with super short hemlines and minis as they can make you look like a giant whose clothes got shrunk in the dryer. Otherwise, have fun with accessories as you can get away with more to wear as you have more space to fill!

So whatever your shape, find some maternity clothes that fit and flatter your figure and make you feel as beautiful and sexy and as you truly are. Bottom line, if you feel great in the clothes you are in, then you will project that to those around you.

Water babies ‘have better balance and grasping skills’ than non-swimmers

The following article was posted at the Daily Mail:

Teaching babies to swim from just a few months old helps them to develop impressive physical skills later in life.

A university study found baby swimmers balance better and grasped objects more easily than non-swimmers.

This difference persists even when children are five years old, according to the research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
babies

Three-month-old babies can hold a standing balanced position in the water, scientists reported

Professor Hermundur Sigmundsson from NTNU and Professor Brian Hopkins from Lancaster University, compared 19 baby swimmers against a control group of 19 children who had not participated in baby swimming.

The only factor that separated baby swimmers from the control group was swimming. All other factors, such as the parents’ education and economic status, were the same.

The baby swimmers had participated in swimming classes for two hours a week from the age of 2-3 months until they were about 7 months old.

A typical session might involve helping the baby do a somersault on a floating mat, having the baby dive under water, jump from the pool edge, and balance on the hand of a parent while reaching to pick up floating objects.

When they were five the two groups were tested with a number of exercises such as balancing on one foot, skipping rope and catching a beanbag.

The researchers said the results were startling.

‘We saw very clearly that baby swimmers were the best in exercises that related to balance and the ability to reach for things,’ says Professor Sigmundsson.

Professor Sigmundsson says he was simply overwhelmed by what the instructor was able to get the babies to do.

‘The instructor was able to bring three-month-old babies right up to a balanced position, standing on his palm. The babies locked joints – it was amazing to watch,’ he said.

He believes that the survey shows that specific training in young children gives results.

‘It’s incredibly exciting that specific training for young babies has an effect later in life. Development is a dynamic interplay between maturation, growth, experience and learning.

‘Our study shows that we must never underestimate the learning aspect.’

The study was published in the May 2010 issue of Child: Care Health and Development.

Maternity Fashion Trend-Florals

Olian V-Neck Maternity TopFloral prints, while always in style when warm weather approaches, are even more popular this season. From gorgeous maxi dresses to fluttery blouses, floral patterns are in bloom. Whether worn as an addition to an outfit on a purse or shoe or worn as an all over print on a dress, floral designs are making a big statement. A floral print will really bring a fresh feel to your spring and summer wardrobes.

Pregnancy is a great time to experiment with florals as you really are in full bloom with your ever changing body. Match your glow with a floral that is just right for your style and personality. Floral patterns and styles are so diverse now, you can look fresh and fashionable in the right floral style. Keep a few tips in mind when wearing a floral print and you are sure to look beautiful and feel confident!

1) Choosing the right size is always important when it comes to clothes, especially when dealing with floral prints. A simple rule to keep in mind (as Stacy and Clinton always reiterate on What Not to Wear) is to keep the size of the print in proportion with the size of your body. If you are petite, look for smaller flower sizes so that you will not look overpowered. If you are taller or have a larger build many sizes look good, but larger floral prints always look great.

JW_Floral_Maxi_Maternity_Dress2) If choosing to wear a floral print dress, top, or skirt, keep the accessories simple. An all over maxi dress looks stunning when paired with simple sandals or espadrilles. You can easily pull your favorite color from the dress and find a great necklace, bracelet, or shoe in that color. If you choose to wear a great floral top, pair it with a neutral bottom, and vice versa. By keeping the pattern only on the clothing and accessorizing with complimentary colors, a polished look is created.

3) If you are really worried about looking frumpy in florals or can’t get the kitchen curtains out of your mind, then go for the more abstract paisley patterns. This also gives a refreshing crisp look for spring while sure to be modern and a far cry from curtains or your mother’s wardrobe.

4) If wearing an all over floral print is not for you, try accessorizing with florals in a small but stylish way. A great pair of flats, a large ring in the shape of a flower, or a floral print scarf all make great additions to your favorite outfit and will really provide a stylish sense of spring.

JW_2_Piece_ConvertibleFrom dainty flower necklaces to an abstract floral print skirt, there is a way to incorporate the floral style into your wardrobe. Most of all it is important that you feel comfortable in your choice of florals that match your sense of personal style. You can make florals edgy by your shoe and jewelry choice and simply by breaking it up a bit with a pair of leggings for a sleeker look. Feel confident and comfortable in your floral choice and anything you choose will look great!

BelaBumBum Nursing Pajamas and Sleepwear

Finding the perfect pair of maternity or nursing pajamas, or discovering the loungewear that will keep you comfortable throughout the day, is a very important task. First of all, with any pajamas, pregnant or not, you want to feel comfy and at ease so that you can sleep through the night. Once you are pregnant or nursing, any bit of sleep becomes more precious and vital, making your choice of pajamas even more important. Secondly, you want to find a pair that looks great so that you feel great. Luckily, Belabumbum Maternity has discovered the perfect way to combine comfort and style in maternity and nursing sleepwear, as well as in daily loungewear. As a busy expectant or nursing mom, you can feel relaxed while still feel cute and sexy!

For sleepwear, one of my favorite designs from Belabumbum is the Maternity/Nursing Chemise. With these gorgeous nighties, comfort and style are the main focus. 100% cotton gives them a great feel. For easy and discreet nursing access, clips and a double layer of fabric are provided. This makes midnight nursing sessions easy. Another great feature is the adjustable straps, which allow you to fit the chemise specifically to your body, elevating the level of comfort and practicality. Aside from being comfortable and practical, they have made these chemises incredibly stylish. Cut with the always flattering empire waist, the smallest part of the body is accented as the rest of the chemise flows gently away from the body. The Cotton Dot Lotus Nursing Chemise is accented with a lace ribbon and dainty polka dots, creating a fun and fresh look. The Flower Maternity/Nursing Chemise comes in a beautiful olive floral design, giving a sophisticated yet relaxed appearance. Overall, if you want to be practical yet feel wonderful, the Maternity/Nursing Chemise is the way to go.

If you are looking for something that can be worn day or night, try one of Belabumbum’s robes. They are amazing! A huge favorite is the Maternity/Nursing Cotton Lace Robe. This one comes in the cute dotted pattern, just like the chemise, and looks fun and fresh. With super soft and lightweight fabric, this robe is great for layering. One of my personal favorites is the Maternity/Nursing Kimono Lace Robe. The fabric is so soft that you will never want to slip out of it. I love the lace trim around the neckline and hemline. It adds a hint of sophistication and sexiness that so often sleepwear is missing. Hitting at the knee, this kimono style robe is incredibly practical and versatile. It has easy and discreet nursing access which makes it great for late night nursing or early mornings as you get the day started. If you are not pregnant and know someone who is, I would highly recommend the robes from Belabumbum as a gift that any expectant or nursing mother would love.

A final popular product is the BelaBumBum Maternity/Nursing Cami. This camisole is great for so many reasons. First of all, it is comfortable and practical. The soft fabric feels great against your skin while the easy nursing access (by pulling aside the fabric) and built in shelf bra provide practicality. Secondly, this camisole has a very flattering cut. The babydoll style emphasizes the narrowness underneath the chest, and the cute tie at the front adds a unique touch. Finally, I love this top because it looks great paired with anything from sweatpants to your favorite pair of jeans. It can be dressed up by throwing a cute blazer over the top!

Overall, Belabumbum Maternity designs many great staples for the mother’s wardrobe. Whether you are pregnant or nursing, you can be sure to find something that works for you!