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Am Fam Physician. 2007;75(10):1438


According to study results published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood, children consume nearly one third more snack food when they eat in large groups. Researchers analyzed the dietary patterns of 54 children 2.5 to 6.5 years of age. They found that those who ate in groups of nine children consumed 30 percent more food than when they ate in groups of three children. All groups were given the same amount of time to eat. The results suggest that the children consumed their food faster in the large group because they were not as relaxed and socialized less than those in a small group. The researchers suggest that parents of children who are overweight should monitor how many times a day their child eats in a large group setting. (Arch Dis Child, February 2007)


Do you “havidol”? A New York multimedia art exhibit featuring mock television and print advertisements, billboards, and a Web site for Havidol, a nonexistent drug that claims to treat dysphoric social attention consumption deficit anxiety disorder, has become controversial because some people think the drug is real. The disorder, of course, also is a satirical invention of the artist. The parody advertisement, which the artist says is in reply to pharmaceutical companies' advertising tactics, lists extraordinary thinking, excessive salivation, and a terminal smile as some of the drug's side effects. In addition to the usual crowd of interested artists, physicians and medical students have inquired about the exhibit. (Scientific American, February 16, 2007;, accessed February 19, 2007)


Women 18 to 64 years of age who experience intimate partner violence have higher health care costs and use health care services more often than those without a history of abuse, according to study results that were published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Intimate partner violence, which the authors define as physical abuse (e.g., hitting, kicking, forced sexual intercourse) and nonphysical abuse (e.g., controlling behavior, threats), was reported by 1,546 of the 3,333 women studied. Women with a history of intimate partner violence had 19 percent higher health care costs—$439 more each year—than women who had not been abused. Women who reported intimate partner violence, regardless of whether it happened recently or a long time ago, also were more likely to need access to mental health and substance abuse services, acute inpatient care, hospital outpatient care, and emergency department care. Although health care use decreased after the abuse stopped, it was still 20 percent higher five years after the intimate partner violence occurred compared with women who had not experienced any form of intimate partner violence. (Am J Prev Med, February 2007)


Mobile clinical assistants, which are lightweight tablet personal computers, could replace clipboards and paper records in some British hospitals. Each unit will cost $2,340 and have 30 to 60 gigabytes of memory, a digital camera, a bar code reader to check a patient's prescriptions and dosages against his or her wristband, and Wi-Fi capability to connect to hospital databases. The units won't break if dropped, and patient data cannot be accessed if the unit is lost or stolen. According to one expert, the units may save physicians one hour a day in paperwork and are expected to pay for themselves in the first year of service. (Reuters, February 22, 2007)


The world's only “flying eye hospital,” which was converted from a McDonnell Douglas airplane into a hospital, will perform free eye surgeries to children in India, a country with the largest population of people who are blind. The plane, which has a waiting area, consultation room, training room, technical support area, and operating rooms, has made possible the treatment of more than 4 million people in 80 developing countries during its 25 years of service. In addition to performing eye surgeries free of charge to its patients, Orbis, the nonprofit organization that owns the plane, also has staff who train health care professionals in developing countries to spread awareness about avoidable blindness. (Yahoo!, April 3, 2007)

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Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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