Putting the 'P' in 'Pool': Americans and Unhealthy Pools

PoolA survey conducted by the Water Quality and Health Council in the U.S. revealed that 47% of Americans engage in unhygienic pool behaviours, with almost 20% admitting that they urinate while swimming and 78% believing their fellow swimmers are doing so. The online survey collected data from 1000 U.S. adults between April 30 and May 3, 2009.

Despite media reports warning against a possible “pandemic,” only a third of swimmers have the cleanliness of the water in mind when entering a pool. In a report posted at LiveScience.com, staff at the Centers for Disease Control noted that chlorine levels protect against germs, but swimmers’ behaviour “makes it harder for chlorine to do its job.” Other findings of the survey:

  • 35% of respondents don’t shower before swimming
  • 73% say their fellow swimmers pass the showers by
  • 63% were unaware of the possible health risks of breathing, swallowing, or coming into contact with contaminated pool water

Anatomy of “No Time for Flash Cards” (Episode 98)

Allison McDonald

Allison McDonald, No Time for Flash Cards

Doctors Brian and Giuseppe talk with Allison McDonald, creator of No Time for Flash Cards, about experiential learning, art, the benefits of doing crafts with kids, and balancing parenting with other interests.

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Here are links to the books that Allie mentioned on the show:

Website of the Week Website of the Week: No Time for Flash Cards

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Note: Posts on Family Anatomy are for education only, and are not intended to replace professional or medical advice. If you need to talk to someone about family or mental health issues, you can get a referral from your family doctor.


Breastfeeding Associated With Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer Among Women With Family History

Carolin Zehetmeier, Morphosys AG, Germany by GE Healthcare

SCIENCE SOURCE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARYCHICAGO – Women with a family history of breast cancer appear to have a lower risk of developing the disease before menopause if they have ever breastfed a child, according to a report in the August 10/24 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

More women around the world develop breast cancer than any other malignancy, according to background information in the article. Established risk factors include a family history, beginning menstruation at an early age and not having children or having a first child at a late age.

Alison M. Stuebe, M.D., M.Sc., then of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and now of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues used information from 60,075 women who had given birth and who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study between 1997 and 2005. Each woman completed a detailed questionnaire on demographic characteristics, body measurements and lifestyle factors, with follow-up questionnaires every two years. Breastfeeding history was assessed in detail on the 1997 questionnaire, and on each subsequent follow-up the women were asked to report whether they had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Facebook linked to lower grades

The Family Anatomy Facebook PageNew research being conducted at Ohio State University suggests that university students who regularly use Facebook have lower grade point averages than those who do not use the service. Researchers surveyed 102 undergrads and 117 graduate students, and found that 148 of the 219 participants had Facebook accounts. Eighty-five percent of undergraduates used Facebook, compared to 52 percent of graduate students. There was a striking difference in the amount of time devoted to studying between those with and without accounts, with Facebook users reporting 1 to 5 hours of study per week compared to non-users who studied for 11 to 15 hours. The Grade Point Averages (GPAs) of users generally ranged from 3.0 to 3.5, while non-users achieved GPAs of 3.5 to 4.0.

Aryn Karpinski, a doctoral student in education who co-authored the study, admitted that the results do not indicate that Facebook use leads to lower grades, only that a connection exists. She said that, although it is possible that time spent online was distracting students from their studies, the same students might have found other distractions if Facebook didn’t exist. The results are also clouded by the disproportionate number of graduate students in the non-user group; when averaged over the groups, grad students in general have higher GPAs than undergrads.