Arts notes

Sunday, September 29, 2002

Teens with tattoos linked to risky behavior

A new study suggests that teens and young adults with tattoos and body piercings may be more likely to engage in risky behavior than young people with no body art.

Researchers assessed the behavior of 484 young people ages 12-22 with and without tattoos and piercings in areas other than their earlobes. Those with body art were more likely to have used drugs or alcohol, had sex, considered suicide, been involved in violence, or suffered from an eating disorder. The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that 72 percent of youth with piercings and 90 percent of youth with tattoos had had sex within the last 30 days, compared with 41 percent of their unmarked peers.

Studey: Epidural doesn't increase long-term pain

Women who use epidural pain relief during labor are not likely to increase their risk of long-term back pain, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

The study compared long-term backache in 369 women who received either an epidural � pain relief administered through a needle inserted into the lower back � or other forms of pain relief during labor.

Almost half the women in both groups experienced back pain during pregnancy. Up to two years after delivery, the women who had received an epidural did not experience any more back pain, disability or restricted movement than those who had received other forms of pain relief.

Survey says mothers don't leave work early

Say goodbye to the old myth that working moms skimp on their office hours by coming in late and ducking out early, says Parents magazine. They're more likely to put in their time than women without kids.

A new survey of more than 1,500 women by the AFL-CIO showed that 66 percent of full-time working mothers spend 40 hours or more on the job, while only 60 percent of childless women do.

Recipes offered for quick breakfasts

Research shows that children who consistently eat breakfast do better in school. But finding time for breakfast can be a challenge. Three quick, kid-tested recipes:

� Waffle pizza � Use a whole-grain waffle for crust, peanut butter for sauce and banana slices for pepperoni.

� Cheesy toast � Top an English muffin with American cheese and bake (or pop it in a toaster oven). Serve with fresh fruit and skim milk.

� Smoothie � Blend skim milk, vanilla yogurt, your choice of fresh or frozen fruit (strawberries or bananas work great) and two graham cracker squares.

Days set aside for kids to taste new things

New York � Children might not mind having the same old dinner every night � in fact, many prefer to. But too many children are picking the wrong foods as their favorites, loading up on fast food, candy bars and frozen meals, according to The American Institute of Wine & Food.

To encourage kids to venture into the worlds of fresh produce and natural flavors, the institute is promoting the eighth annual Days of Taste program.

During October, chefs, farmers, food professionals, teachers and parents across the country will bring healthy eating and taste exploration to fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms. Children will learn how and where food is grown and produced.

The curriculum includes an explanation of the fundamentals of taste and a comparison of basic tastes; the preparation of a harvest salad to encourage the appreciation of the seasonality of locally grown foods; and a visit to a restaurant to give students an opportunity to enjoy the sociability of eating a lovingly prepared meal.

Days of Taste is modeled after a European program in which chefs from several countries visit French elementary schools. The U.S. program was launched by the French Consulate and the New York chapter of the American Institute of Wine & Food.

Teenagers buy time with a filler word

New York � A professor at Temple University in Philadelphia has cracked the code that has eluded an entire generation: She has defined the word "like" as used in a teenager's vocabulary.

According to linguistics professor Muffy Siegel, "like" means "What I'm about to say is the best way I can come up with to word what I want to say, but I'm not really sure it's exactly right."

Siegel's 13-year-old daughter prompted the professor to launch her study. She oversaw the interviews of 23 honor students from a suburban Philadelphia high school by a fellow student.

The teenagers were asked, "What is an individual?"

Many of the students used the word "like" as a filler to buy time to think about their answers, and girls used the word more often than boys.

"But that doesn't mean they are more insecure necessarily, or less intelligent. Often, it can mean girls are more comfortable speaking on the spur of the moment. However, boys more often will wait until they know what they are going to say before jumping into a sentence," Siegel says

'Sweet Dreams' campaign to begin

The Consumer Product Safety Commission this month will launch its "Sweet Dreams" campaign, in which the agency recommends that only cribs and playpens are safe places for infants to sleep.

Meanwhile, in the latest issue of Mothering magazine, experts report that infants who sleep alone are at greater risk for SIDS, and that a mother sleeping with or near her baby is not only safe, but beneficial.