- Melamine Routinely Added to Chinese Animal Feed: Reports
- Light Drinking During Pregnancy OK, Study Suggests
- More Overweight Women Have Sex: Study
- Women Pay More for Health Insurance: Report
- Vehicle-Animal Crash Deaths Rising
Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by editors of HealthDay:
Melamine Routinely Added to Chinese Animal Feed: Reports
The addition of the toxic chemical melamine to animal feed in China is likely routine and an "open secret," according to reports published Friday in several state newspapers, BBC News reported.
As a whole, the animal feed industry in China seems to have decided to use melamine to reduce production costs while maintaining the protein count for quality inspections, said an editorial in the state-run China Daily.
The Nanfang Daily said the practice of mixing melamine into animal feed is an "open secret."
Experts noted that the articles in the Chinese newspapers were unusual and may amount to a tacit government admission that melamine contamination could affect a large portion of the nation's food supply, BBC News reported.
Melamine-tainted milk killed at least four babies in China and sickened tens of thousands. Last week, Hong Kong officials reported melamine had been detected in Chinese eggs.
Light Drinking During Pregnancy OK, Study Suggests
Drinking small amounts of alcohol during pregnancy doesn't increase the risk of cognitive or behavioral problems in children, according to a study by researchers at University College London in England.
They looked at 12,500 three-year-olds and found that boys born to light drinkers (a range of one drink every so often to two drinks per week) were 40 percent less likely to have conduct problems and 30 percent less likely to be hyperactive than those born to abstainers. Boys born to light drinkers also scored better on vocabulary tests and on identifying colors, shapes, letters and numbers, BBC News reported.
Girls born to light drinkers were 30 percent less likely to have emotional problems than those born to abstainers. The study was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
The researchers said their findings raise questions about recommendations for complete abstinence during pregnancy and suggest the need for further research.
But some experts were alarmed by the study.
"We are concerned that the findings from the UCL study may lull women into a false sense of security and give them the green light that there is no problem with drinking during pregnancy This is not the case," Dr.Vivienne Nathanson, head of science and ethics at the British Medical Association, told BBC News. "The BMA believes the simplest and safest advice is for women not to drink alcohol during pregnancy."
More Overweight Women Have Sex: Study
A U.S. study says overweight women are more likely to have heterosexual sex than normal-weight women, a finding that challenges the common belief that overweight and obese women aren't as sexually active as other women.
Researchers at the University of Hawaii and Oregon State University analyzed data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, which looked at the sexual behavior of more than 7,000 women, United Press International reported.
The study found that 92 percent of overweight women and 87 percent of normal-weight women reported a history of sex with men. The findings were published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
"These results were unexpected and we don't really know why this is the case," study author Dr. Bliss Kaneshiro, of the University of Hawaii, said in a news release, UPI reported.
"This study indicates that all women deserve diligence in counseling on unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease prevention, regardless of body mass index," Kaneshiro said.
Women Pay More for Health Insurance: Report
American women pay much more -- sometimes hundreds of dollars per year -- than men of the same age for individual health insurance, according to data from insurance companies and online brokers.