Health Buzz: H1N1 Vaccine Expected in September and Other Health News

Red meat's place in a healthful diet; can toddlers be depressed?


WHO Says Swine Flu Vaccine May Be Approved in September

The World Health Organization has announced that it expects vaccines against the H1N1 swine flu virus to be ready for use in September, BBC News reports. Vaccine developers Baxter and GlaxoSmithKline plan to begin clinical trials this month, according to the report. And clinical trials will help determine how many doses of the vaccine are required to protect against infection, Reuters reports.

Here's what experts advise for dealing with the swine flu threat during pregnancy. Many say pregnant women should be among the first to get vaccinated after research showed pregnant women who get swine flu are more likely to develop severe complications that result in hospitalization or even death. Check out 14 things you should know about swine flu and 5 ways to prepare your family.

Can Red Meat Have a Place in a Healthful Diet?

Studies have associated heavy consumption of red meat with a shorter life and with a higher risk of diabetes, colon cancer, and cardiovascular disease. And vegetarian diets, which cut out all hues of meat, are linked with better health and longer life. That doesn't mean, however, that you have to erase red meat from your diet in pursuit of better health, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson reports.

There are many hypothesized mechanisms to explain how red meat might contribute to health problems, and they probably vary by disease, according to one expert. Behind the increase in diabetes risk, for example, seems to be meat's strongly absorbed iron content. As for cancer, carcinogens are produced during high-temperature cooking, especially in charred meat. Or the culprit may be saturated fat, which has been associated with heart disease and some forms of cancer, Hobson writes. But including some red meat in your diet is "perfectly fine," says one expert. Just be sure to pick lean cuts of meat to reduce the saturated fat content, and avoid processed meat, which one study found also increased the risk of heart disease and cancer. Read more.

Learn about the advantages of a "paleo diet," named for what our early human ancestors ate during the Paleolithic era. And here are 6 tips for a healthful vegetarian diet.

Can Toddlers Get Depressed? Yes, and Parents Can Help Them Feel Better

Many pediatricians aren't aware that depression can be a problem for very young children. Many parents aren't, either. To find out how parents can tell if a young child is depressed, U.S. News contributor Nancy Shute talked to Rahil Briggs, a child psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

Any prolonged loss of interest in activities or ongoing disturbance in eating or sleeping is a sign. If your kid brightens up when it's ice cream day, that's not depression. "If they can't express that excitement, that's when I start to worry," Briggs says. Treatment depends on a child's age, but it almost never includes antidepressant medications, Shute writes. Briggs has a conversation with a child who is old enough to talk about feelings and why people feel the way they do. With a child too young to speak, therapists often use play therapy. Always, the treatment needs to include the parents or other caregivers, Shute writes.

Check out 6 ways to get affordable mental-health services for your family. Also, consider how to prevent depression in teens with cognitive behavioral therapy, and learn how to raise kids who can cope.

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