Today’s Headlines: Calling Girls Fat, Medical Marijuana and Brain Age

Calling girls ‘fat’ may result in weight gain: “Young girls who have been called ‘too fat’ are more likely to be obese as young adults, according to a new research letter.” The study asked a group of 10-year-old girls the following question: “Have any of these people told you that you were too fat: father, mother, brother, sister, best girlfriend, boy you like best, any other girl, any other boy, or teacher?” Of the approximately 2,000 girls polled, 1,188 said yes. Girls who answered yes were more likely to have a BMI in the obese range ten years later than girls who answered no, even when researchers took their weight at age 10 and other factors into account. “The early stigma of being labeled that way may worsen the problem rather than encouraging girls to become healthier, but more research is needed to be sure, the study authors say.” (Reuters)

Medical marijuana may treat MS symptoms, ineffective for other brain disorders: A new study suggests that medical marijuana in pill or oral spray form may improve certain symptoms of multiple sclerosis, including “spasticity, certain types of pain and overactive bladder.” However, “the drug was not very successful at treating drug-induced movements from Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, there was insufficient evidence to support whether or not marijuana can treat motor problems in Huntington’s disease, tics in Tourette syndrome, or seizures in epilepsy.” However, researchers also noted that side effects such as “nausea, increased weakness, mood changes, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations, dizziness and fatigue, and feelings of intoxication” were more common in marijuana users. (Fox News)

Diabetes ages the brain by two years, says study: “Patients with type 2 diabetes may be more prone to brain degeneration, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.” Researchers found that people with more severe diabetes had less brain tissue, even if their blood pressure was under control. “And for every 10 years a person has diabetes, the brain looks two years older than those of similar aged people without the disease.” Diabetes may affect the brain both by reducing blood flow to brain tissue and by accelerating how fast brain tissue shrinks. “Normally, humans lose about 1.5 to 2 cc of brain volume a year; diabetic patients, Bryan and his team calculated, lose about twice as much.” (TIME)