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Briefs: '20/20' weighs worth of memory aids like Brainiac

'20/20' program weighs worth of memory aids

Ever wondered whether various products promising to improve your memory actually work? So did ABC's 20/20, which came to Cognitive Research Corp. of St. Petersburg for help testing a beverage called Brainiac. Cognitive Research CEO Thomas Crook, a clinical psychologist who has been researching adult-onset cognitive disorders for 35 years, put the stuff to the test. The program segment is called "Promises Made, Promises Broken,'' so you can guess the outcome. Crook, a frequent source for national media, appears on 20/20 Friday night to talk about Brainiac and what really can help your brain. Tune in at 10 p.m. on WTSP-Ch. 28.

Overweight teens may die early

Likening obesity's risks to those of smoking, a large European study has found that young men who were overweight at age 18 were as likely to die by 60 as light smokers, while obese teens, like heavy smokers, were at double the risk of dying early. The new study, published in this week's British Medical Journal, tracked the death rates of 45,920 Swedish men over 38 years. Other studies have made the risks of obesity clear, but have suggested those who are merely overweight may not be at such risk. Some experts say overweight teens in the Swedish study may have gone on to become obese as adults, so their deaths may actually reflect the risk of obesity, said Dr. David F. Williamson, a visiting professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Adults are considered obese when their Body Mass Index exceeds 30, or about 200 pounds on a 5-foot-9 American.

Poll: Stress affects sleep habits

Stressed by economic uncertainty, nearly 30 percent of Americans say they lose sleep at least a few nights a week, according to the national "Sleep in America" poll. The average adult needs seven hours and 24 minutes, but reports getting just six hours and 40 minutes on a typical weekday, according to the poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation. One in five surveyed said they get fewer than six hours of sleep on average. The number of Americans reporting they get eight hours has declined from 39 percent to 28 percent since 2001. One-fourth of those surveyed said they were unable to work efficiently; 41 percent said they had driven drowsy at least once a month in the past year.

Staff, wire reports

Briefs: '20/20' weighs worth of memory aids like Brainiac 03/04/09 [Last modified: Thursday, March 5, 2009 1:47pm]
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