Health Buzz: Delayed Umbilical Cord Cutting May Benefit Baby

A 76-year-old basketball champ shares how to age well; Plus, are there really 'healthier' processed foods?


Study: Infants May Gain Health Benefits When Cord is Cut One to Three Minutes After Birth

During pregnancy, the umbilical cord has a big job: providing the developing baby with nutrients and oxygen, according to the Mayo Clinic. But how important is the cord after birth? Often, the cord is clipped and then cut within a minute or so of birth, with the hopes to reduce the mother's risk of bleeding. However, a review released Thursday from The Cochrane Library suggests that waiting a bit longer before snipping could benefit the newborn, without adding risk of hemorrhage for the mother. Researchers analyzed 15 randomized trials involving 3,911 pairs of women and infants. When comparing early cord clamping (within the first 60 seconds of birth) and late cord clamping (generally between one and three minutes), researchers saw no significant difference in rates of postpartum hemorrhage, the study says. However, researchers did see advantages for delayed clamping in healthy-term infants, including higher birth weight, higher hemoglobin levels and increased iron reserves for up to six months after birth.

A 76-Year-Old Basketball Champ Shares How to Age Well

They play with broken fingers, black eyes and bruises. They're scrappy, they're intimidating – and yes, they're grandmas.

Fierce, national championship-winning grandmas, who storm the basketball court with "swagger" and are the first to tell you they've got plenty of it.

"We play to win," says Mavis Albin, 76, captain of the Celadrin Tigerettes basketball team in Louisiana. "We don't leave anything on the court. We're ordinary grandmothers, just doing extra-ordinary things."

Their rivals surely agree. Later this month, Albin and her team will chase an eighth gold medal at the National Senior Games in Cleveland, Ohio. Every two years, about 300,000 athletes ages 50 and older compete in the Olympics-esque tournament and qualifying events. Albin has been participating for 21 years, and her current team has been together for 16. Their record hovers around 200 wins and 5 losses. [Read more: A 76-Year-Old Basketball Champ Shares How to Age Well]

Are There Really 'Healthier' Processed Foods?

The answer to the question of healthier processed foods will be based on how you define "healthier," writes U.S. News blogger Yoni Freedhoff. If your definition is simply a processed food that contains a smaller quantity of an unwanted component, or more of a wanted one, then no doubt there are many "healthier" processed foods – and no doubt, too, consumers are flocking to them. But are they truly healthier?

A recent survey conducted by the Food Marketing Institute in conjunction with Rodale and Prevention explored shoppers' attitudes toward more healthful eating. Looking at the data, it would appear as if the survey's definition of what constitutes healthful differs from mine. The survey suggests that healthy eating involves foods that are "organic," or "with no artificial ingredients" or fortified "with enhanced nutritional components."

The report shows that shoppers are buying healthier foods with labels such as: vegetarian, no-fat, sugar-free, whole-grain, multigrain, low-fat low-sodium, natural, soy-based, gluten-free and no high-fructose corn syrup. But are the foods these front-of-package claims help to sell really healthier, or would they be more fairly described as "less bad?" [Read more: Are There Really 'Healthier' Processed Foods?]

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