PWG thinks you should know…news that’s good for you

We are looking for information about our health online

The numbers are staggering:  80 percent of Internet users, or about 93 million Americans, have searched for a health-related topic online, according to a study released Wednesday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.Jul 16, 2019

But science can move fast, and all that internet browsing can be overwhelming.  How can you recognize a good study and weed it out from the not-so-good ones? What studies have just been published that could impact your family’s health? What is your pediatrician reading? Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could just collect all that information and put it in one place instead of having to jump from site to site!

At PWG our doctors do just that…scanning multiple journals to stay current on trends/reports/breakthroughs. We have an internal journal club to discuss medical topics and wanted to extend that idea to all of you. We’re rolling this out as a curated list of articles that we think you should know about. We’re including a brief synopsis and reasons for why we think they’re important, feel free to share or delete as you see fit. Our hope is that they spark curiosity, some conversations, and maybe even a deeper dive into a subject matter that can help you and your family. Thanks and happy reading from all of us at PWG.

Do you really need to get that tongue tie clipped? From a July 11, 2019 study published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery

Why it’s important: There has been a 10-fold increase in tongue-tie and upper lip tether release surgeries in the US between 1997 (1,279 surgeries) and 2012 (12,406 surgeries) without strong data that shows these are effective for breastfeeding. The study looked at 115 newborns that had referred for tongue tie clipping, after going through a thorough multidisciplinary evaluation 63% did not have the surgeries and did fine. Tongue tie clipping has real potential downsides: pain and infection for the baby, significant out-of-pocket costs for the family. Their conclusion? Frenotomy may help some babies, but a large number could be helped by less invasive methods.

Social media can be hazardous to your (mental) health from a July 15, 2019 study published in JAMA pediatrics

Why it’s important: social media is here to stay, and even though it was created as a way to help foster social connections the news keeps getting grimmer about what unintended consequences it can have.

Bottom line? For every additional hour that a young person spends on social media or watching TV, the severity of depressive symptoms they experience goes up. High levels of computer use or TV watching are also associated with depression, but in this study the key was that an increase in the amount meant an increase in the depression symptoms. There is a growing national conversation about the importance of mental health in all ages, this is yet another reason to “power off”.

Plastic chemicals that replace BPA may not be any safer from a July 25, 2019 study published in the Journal of the Endocrine Society

Why it’s important: BPA [bisphenol A] is being phased out because of safety concerns that it is an endocrine disruptor and linked to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and ADHD. Now we read that proposed substitutes may not be any safer; some have estrogen-like activity and some are still inked to obesity. What can you do to avoid bisphenols? The non-profit Environmental Working Group advises us to: eat fewer processed foods and more fresh ones; choose frozen or dried foods over canned, or foods sold in glass or other alternatives to cans and plastic; avoid hard, clear plastics with the recycling code 7 or marked “PC”; ask for electronic receipts; wash your hands after handling paper receipts.