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Cell Phones & Brain Cancer - HER Week In Health

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In this edition of EmpowHER's "HER Week In Health" for the week of July 29th, 2011, Bailey Mosier covers a study that has to do with people who maybe a little too attached to their personal possessions, a study the deals with the link between children's use of cell phones and possible brain cancer, and finally a study on whether the number of fast food restaurants in your local neighborhood may affect your child's waistline.

Hi, I’m Bailey Mosier and this is EmpowHER’s HER Week in Health.

Have you ever wondered why some people love material possessions so much? Well in this week’s edition we’ll find out why and we’ll also learn that children who use cell phones aren’t necessarily at a higher risk for brain cancer than children who don’t. And lastly, as fast food restaurants increase in your neighborhood, so too, will your child’s waistline.

We’ve all met one of these people … be it a car, a video game a bicycle or even a gun … someone that is so in love with a material possession, they end up feeling attachment, commitment, passion and even intimacy toward the object. They name the object, refer to it as a ‘he’ or ‘she’ and are territorial over it.

A trio of marketing professors authored a study for the Journal of Consumer Research that points to loneliness as the root of what they call ‘material possession love.’

A sort of chicken or the egg problem, people without a strong social sphere turn to material possessions for comfort, which in itself can further encourage social isolation.

Researchers note that this type of one-sided relationship also fulfills a person’s need to control and that this possession obsession can cost owners a lot of money over the years.

According to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, researchers found that children who do use cell phones don’t seem to face an increased risk of brain cancer, compared to children who don’t use cell phones.

Furthermore, the scientists say that there’s been no evidence from population data on brain tumor occurrence over the past 20 years to indicate that rates are increasing among children or adults, which would be expected if cell phone use caused brain tumors.

Additional studies need to be done, but so far, scientists have not found any significant difference in brain tumors between children ages 7 – 19 who use cell phones heavily and those children who do not. So if you’re feeling lonely, go ahead and pick up your phone and call a friend.

The old adage says ‘You are what you eat’ and now, researchers from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research are introducing a new phrase: ‘You are, also, where you live.’

A 2007 database study of U.S. businesses found that the average California teen has more than seven times as many junk food outlets near the home and school as healthier food outlets. Teens in such neighborhoods were nearly 20 percent more likely to drink soda every day and consume fast food at least twice a week as compared to their peers in healthier neighborhoods.

Fast food and soda consumption means taking in excessive amounts of calories, which can lead to diabetes, obesity, and a slew of other health problems. Experts fear that if something is not done to change this setup, this will be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. It’s that serious of an issue.

The study’s authors recommend a number of policy options to improve the food environments where teens live and go to school, including better zoning near schools and bringing healthier food options into underserved neighborhoods.

That wraps up your EmpowHER HER Week in Health. Join me here, every Friday, as we recap the latest in women’s health.

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