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Bibs & bobs — 25 August 2019

By Mums At The Table 1 min read

Teenage girls are feeling pressured to get pregnant | The secret to better heart health | Scientific proof that children notice everything—and we mean everything

Teenage girls are feeling pressured to get pregnant

An American study has found that nearly one in eight girls between the ages of 14 and 19 had experienced reproductive coercion within the last three months. Forms of such abuse included tampering with condoms and a partner threatening to leave. The study also found that 17 per cent of teens reported physical or sexual abuse; girls who experienced reproductive coercion had four times the odds of also experiencing other forms of relationship abuse; and girls exposed to both relationship abuse and reproductive coercion were more likely to have a sexual partner who is five or more years older. Researchers urge parents to "open the door for their teen to disclose abuse by having a conversation with them about healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviours, including those that interfere with their decision making about their own reproductive health". —Michigan State University

The secret to better heart health

"There might be some variability in terms of individual foods, but to reduce cardiovascular disease risk, people should eat more vegetables, nuts, wholegrains, fruits, legumes and fewer animal-based foods," says lead researcher, Dr Casey M Rebholz, assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA. His study also found that those who ate more plant-based foods had a 25 per cent lower risk of dying from any cause compared to those who ate less of these foods. —American Heart Association

Scientific proof that children notice everything—and we mean everything

Researchers surprised adults and four- and five-year-old children participating in a study by making information that was irrelevant at the beginning of the experiment suddenly important for a task they had to complete. "Adults had a hard time readjusting because they didn't learn the information they thought wouldn't be important," said Vladimir Sloutsky, co-author of the study and professor of psychology at The Ohio State University, USA. "Children, on the other hand, recovered quickly to the new circumstances because they weren't ignoring anything. I'm sure a lot of parents will recognise that tendency of children to notice everything, even when you wish they wouldn't." The results show that children tend to distribute their attention broadly, while adults use selective attention to focus on information they believe is most important. Distributing attention may be adaptive for young children. By being attentive to everything, they gather more information which helps them to learn more. —Ohio State University