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Briefs: Moderate drinking may be beneficial in people 50 and older

50 or older? alcohol may be BENEFIcial

You've heard about the health benefits of red wine, which is rich in antioxidants. Now there's more news for moderate drinkers: Healthy people age 50 and older who drink small to moderate amounts of alcohol appear less likely to suffer from age-related physical disabilities than people who don't drink, according to a recent study from the University of California at Los Angeles. The study defined light-to-moderate drinking as less than 15 drinks per week with a daily maximum of five drinks for men and four for women. People over 50 who drink within these limits have about 25 percent lower chance of being unable to carry out daily activities such as walking, dressing, running errands or doing chores. The apparent health benefits of alcohol do not apply to binge drinkers or to people who are already in poor health. A drink is considered one 4-ounce glass of wine; one beer; or one mixed drink with 1 ounce of liquor. Results were published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Sit down and eat

How many times have you seen someone hurrying to the next meeting, BlackBerry in one hand, coffee or doughnut in the other? Turns out, young professionals and college students are among the worst offenders when it comes to eating on the run, researchers at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis report. In a survey of nearly 1,700 college-age adults, 35 percent of men and 42 percent of women said they lacked time to sit down for meals. People who eat and run too often opt for fast food and consume higher amounts of saturated fat and soft drinks. Those who sit down for meals often have more fruits and vegetables in their diets. Set aside time in your day to take a break for meals with friends or family. Or if you know you'll be dashing about, stash a pack with some fresh or dried fruit, veggies, whole grain crackers and cheese. Results were published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Time for a big bed?

If your toddler is tall enough to get a leg over the top of his crib rail — risking a fall — it is probably time to move on to a regular bed, the American Academy of Pediatrics reports. In general, once kids hit age 2, they are old enough to graduate from their cribs. Some tips to help keep kids safe at night:

• Do not give kids younger than age 2 a pillow. Once they are old enough, give them a pillow that is relatively small and firm.

• Keep drapery cords and electrical cords out of reach to avoid strangulation.

• Encourage your kids to stay put. Young children who get out of bed and wander the house are at risk for injuries. Tie a bell to their door so it wakes you if they wander.

Compiled from Times staff, wire reports

Briefs: Moderate drinking may be beneficial in people 50 and older 02/02/09 [Last modified: Monday, February 2, 2009 2:38pm]

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