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Parent-Child Communication in Childhood Enhances Brain Development

Communication with parents boosts child's brain development

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Parent-Child Communication in Childhood Enhances Brain Development.
Parent-Child Communication in Childhood Enhances Brain Development. Pixabay

Good communication with parents promotes in a child the development of a brain network involved in the processing of rewards and other stimuli that, in turn, protects against the over consumption of food, alcohol and drugs, says a study.

The findings of the 14-year study, published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, suggest that robust parent-child communication has an impact on health behaviour in adulthood.

“These findings highlight the value of prevention and intervention efforts targeting parenting skills in childhood as a means to foster long-term, adaptive neurocognitive development,” said study co-author Allen Barton from the University of Georgia in the US.

In 2001, the research team began a longitudinal study involving rural US families with a child 11 years of age.

Representational image.
Representational image. Pixabay

Between the ages of 11 and 13 years, participants reported on interactions with their parents, including the frequency of discussions and arguing.

When the participants reached 25 years of age, a sub-sample of nearly 100 participants was recruited from the larger study to take part in a neuroimaging session that measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Specifically, the researchers used fMRI to study a network of brain connections called the anterior salience network (ASN). The participants also answered questions about harmful alcohol use and emotional eating at age 25.

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Greater parent-child communication in early adolescence predicted greater connectivity of the ASN at age 25, the researcher said.

Greater ASN connectivity was, in turn, associated with lower harmful alcohol use and emotional eating at age 25, they added.  (IANS)

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1 in 3 Children Under the Age of 5 Undernourished or Overweight

In addition, 340 million children suffer deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals and 40 million under five were overweight or obese, a problem that has exploded in recent years

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Indians, Fatter, Undernourished
More Indians are getting fatter but fewer are undernourished as the nation goes from lessening the impact of hunger to developing the new health issue of obesity. (Representational image). Pixabay

At least one in every three children under five years of age is undernourished or overweight, according to a new Unicef report that sounds the alarm on the consequences of poor diets around the world.

In the report published on Monday, the Unicef warned that millions of children were eating too little of the food they need and too much of what they don’t need, adding “poor diets are now the main risk factor for the global burden of disease”, reports Efe news.

The result, according to Unicef, is that many of them are at risk of poor brain development, learning problems, poor immunity and increased infections and disease.

“Millions of children subsist on an unhealthy diet because they simply do not have a better choice,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore.

malnutrition
Experts demand actions against poor diets to eradicate any ways of malnutrition by 2030, a global goal set by the Agenda for Sustainable Development. Pixabay

The report described the triple burden of malnutrition: undernutrition, hidden hunger and overweight.

In 2018, according to Unicef data, 149 million children under five years of age worldwide were stunted, and just under 50 million were wasted.

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Contrary to common belief, most wasted children were concentrated in Asia rather than in countries facing emergencies.

In addition, 340 million children suffer deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals and 40 million under five were overweight or obese, a problem that has exploded in recent years. (IANS)