Today’s Headlines: Quitting Smoking, Binge Watching TV, and Weight Gain During Pregnancy


Your genetic makeup may be the reason you can’t quit smoking. A recent study has found the genes that relate to the part of the brain that comprehends rewards can determine whether or not a person can quit smoking regardless of other factors. “People inherit either an A1 or A2 version of this gene fragment from each of their parents. That means there are three possible genotypes: two A1s, two A2s or one of each… When it comes to quitting smoking, the helpful type is A2/A2. Compared with Caucasians with one or two A1s, those with two A2s had better odds of kicking the habit. Exactly how much better their odds were is not clear.” While more research needs to be done, these results can help to create better drugs for people that want to quit smoking that can help them based off their specific genetic profile. (LA Times)

Binge watching TV in your 20s could potentially lead to a mental decline later in life. TV combined with lack of exercise has been known to be a combination resulting health problems, but a new study highlights the specific issue with these habits in young adults. “Those who reported watching the most TV (usually more than three hours a day) and doing the least physical activity (usually less than two and half hours a week) had the worst decline in cognitive functioning …But the study’s results are not conclusive. It could be that those who have low cognitive functioning are more likely to sit around and watch a lot of TV. Or that a lot of TV and no moving around lead to some other condition, such as poor heart health, inflammation, obesity or depression, which might be affecting the brain’s performance…” Even with inconclusive results the takeaway is to get off the couch and start exercising to better your overall health and quality of life. (Time)

Weight gain during your second pregnancy could increase the risks for your baby. A new Swedish study found that a twelve pounds or higher weight gain between your first and second pregnancy could result in the risk of stillbirth and infant mortality. “The risk of stillbirth and infant mortality remained small overall, but the relative risk was markedly higher for women who gained weight between pregnancies. For women who kept their weight steady, the infant mortality rate was two per 1,000. That rose to 2.3 per 1,000 for women who started off at a normal weight and put on about 12 pounds (5.6 kilograms).” While the risk is small, researchers believe it could be a valid warning to add the list of other pregnancy issues such as smoking and age. (WSJ)