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Majority of moms hide snacks from their family, study finds

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Did you ever feel like your mom was hiding all the really good treats and snacks in some hidden treasure trove? According to a new survey, she was.

Two-thirds of American moms have a secret snack supply that they keep hidden from the family, according to new data.

The survey found 66 percent of moms polled admit they hide the really good snacks to avoid sharing them with their partner and children.

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The secret snacking habits emerged as part of a wider study of 2,000 women aged 21-45 across the country and found nearly three quarters (73 percent) admit to having a quick snack “in secret.”

While snacking is an exceedingly normal thing to do, it seems that a high number of women have resorted to enjoying an in-between meal indulgence incognito.

In fact, sadly, seven out of 10 women between the ages of 21 and 45 have felt guilt over simply eating a snack, with 42 percent even reporting they were embarrassed about their snacking habits.

The poll, which was conducted by freeze-dried fruit manufacturer Crispy Green, also found that one in four women say they currently have some type of snack ‘hidden’ in their home or apartment.

Two-thirds of respondents say they have a specific snack they struggle to resist, even though they know they should stop eating it, and more than half of women have done some secret snacking while on a diet.

While there is guilt associated with snacking, most women (58 percent) are not embarrassed by their overall eating habits. This just goes to show that women may actually be looking for some peace and quiet, which is why they find snacking in bed to be a comfort they don’t want to give up.

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Furthermore, the majority of women (52%) said they don’t tend to eat more when they are sad. This shows that women are able to control their emotions and not use food, specifically unhealthy snacking, as a coping mechanism.

According to Lindsey DeCaro, RDN, LDN, “Snacks actually provide a great opportunity to both curb your hunger and get the nutrients you need to be healthy. No guilt involved—just make the time to snack smartly and you’ll make wise choices for your overall health.”

Results also showed that simple hunger and cravings are the top reasons for in-between meal munching. As for factors that help reduce feelings of guilt around snacking, grabbing something on the healthier side is enough to solve the problems for 64 percent of respondents.

“No one should feel guilty about grabbing a bite between meals to keep them going, but if it’s a matter of looking after your health, it can be as simple as just having the right things on hand,” added Angela Liu.

The average woman snacks between two and three times per day, with the most popular times being 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Nearly all respondents of the survey (92 percent) say that they have a snack food in their house or apartment at the moment, with 83 percent saying that they snack predominantly at home.

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One in five women would describe their snacking habits as “often” unhealthy, while the majority of respondents admitted that their snacking is at least occasionally unhealthy.

The top snacking foods among American women between 21 and 45 include chips (70 percent), candy (60 percent), and cookies (58 percent), followed by fruits and veggies in fourth place.

Top snacking foods among women between 21 and 45:

1. Chips
2. Candy
3. Cookies
4. Fruits/Veggies
5. Nuts
6. Popcorn
7. Crackers
8. Ice cream
9. Yogurt
10. Pretzels

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Hillary Clinton: ‘fun to watch FOX when it’s someone else being blitzed’

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Jason Decrow / AP

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is interviewed during a gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Dec. 4, 2013, in New York.

Step aside, Jon Stewart. There’s a new political satirist in town.

Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and a potential Democratic presidential candidate, took an apparent shot at Fox News during the Super Bowl on Sunday.

The tweet, which had been retweeted more than 30,000 times by the start of the game’s fourth quarter, was apparently a reference to the cable news channel’s coverage, which has been highly critical of Democrats and the September 2012 terror attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Clinton has come under fire for the State Department response to the attack.

The Fox broadcast network — which aired the Super Bowl — and the Fox News Channel are both owned by the Fox Entertainment Group subsidiary of 21st Century Fox, a division of News Corp.



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Racial discrimination in teen years could mean health problems later

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Racial discrimination isn’t just a civil rights issue — it can also affect teenagers’ health, a new study suggests.

Adolescents who experienced frequent racial discrimination without emotional support from parents and peers had higher levels of blood pressure, a higher body mass index, and higher levels of stress-related hormones at age 20, placing them at greater risk for chronic disease as they get older.

While other studies have looked at perceived racial discrimination and health among adults, this study, published Monday in the journal Child Development, is the first of its type to track the effects in youth. The good news: Teens who did receive emotional support didn’t show the biological effects of racial discrimination.

Researchers wanted to look at the relationship between racial discrimination and what scientists call allostatic load, basically the “wear and tear” on the body over time caused by frequent and repeated stressors. Frequent activation of the body’s stress response causes a cascade of problems including high blood pressure, cardiac disease, stroke and increases in the body’s inflammatory response. The researchers also wanted to determine whether parental and peer support would help mediate that stress, leading to potentially better health outcomes. 

The study involved 331 African Americans, all of whom lived in the rural South, who were asked to rate the frequency of perceived discrimination at ages 16, 17 and 18. These discriminatory events included racially based slurs and insults, disrespectful treatment from community members, physical threats, and false accusations from business employees or law enforcement officials.

When the adolescents turned 18, the youths were asked to assess their peer emotional support during these years. Caregivers, too, were surveyed regarding the emotional support they provided, with questions including “If my child talks to me I have suggestions about how to handle problems,” and “If my child needs help with school or work, she/he can ask me about it.”

Blood pressure, body mass and stress-related hormones were assessed when youths turned 20. The researchers controlled for variables including low economic status, depression, or unhealthy behaviors such as drug use, for example, all of which can affect health.

Although many African Americans, as well as other minorities, experience discrimination as a stressor, only a small percentage show increases in the biological havoc that stress can cause.

“People ask why is that, and one reason we’ve shown is that it’s due to emotional support, which is important at all times in life, but especially during adolescence,’ says lead investigator Gene Brody, Regents Professor and Director of the Center for Family Research at University of Georgia. “These kinds of relationships can be a protective barrier from stress-changing biology.”

In recent years, racial discrimination as a stressor affecting biology has been the subject of numerous studies, mostly involving adults, says David Williams, a professor of public health at the Harvard School of Public Health. Other research has shown that racial discrimination and resulting health problems are a global phenomenon.

“It is not just an African-American problem, it is a universal problem, affecting the health of disadvantaged populations across the world,” adds Williams, the developer of “The Everyday Discrimination Scale,” which is widely used to assess perceived discrimination. “When a person’s sense of human dignity is violated, there are physiological consequences.”

Although the study does have some limitations since researchers still must determine the mechanism by which parental or peer involvement actually worked in reducing the stress response, it challenges researchers to explain “the how” of their findings, says Megan Gunnar, Regents Professor and Distinguished McKnight University Professor, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota.

“While we are working out the how this comes about in the body, this study provides us with rich targets for increasing resilience in youth and, as if we needed them, more arguments for working to reduce racism and discrimination in our society.”

For caregivers the message is simple. “Just sitting with them, gauging how they are doing is not race specific, it is important across all races, and can have a powerful effect in buffering the effects of discrimination,” says Brody. 

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Child, 4, dies after being pulled from Norwegian Cruise pool

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Richard Drew / AP

People pause to look at the Norwegian Breakaway on the Hudson River in New York in May 2013. A 4-year-old child died after being pulled unresponsive from a swimming pool on the Norwegian Breakaway on Feb. 3, 2014.

A 4-year-old child died after being pulled unresponsive from a swimming pool on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship off the coast of North Carolina on Monday, cruise line and Coast Guard officials said.

Crew members were able to revive a 6-year-old boy also found in the pool. He was airlifted to a hospital, where his condition was unknown.

The two children were found in the morning on the Norwegian Breakaway, the cruise line said in an announcement on its Facebook page. The statement did not give the ages of the children, but Coast Guard Petty Officer Adam SanSoucie said they were 4 and 6.

An emergency medical team on the ship gave both children CPR, but the younger child died, the cruise line’s statement said. The older child, a boy, was airlifted with his grandmother and a nurse to a hospital, the company said. It did not identify the gender of the younger child.

SanSoucie said the boy was taken by Marine rescue helicopter to Carteret General Hospital in Morehead City, N.C. The boy was then transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. A spokeswoman there didn’t immediately return a phone call Tuesday. 

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this extremely difficult time and are providing full assistance and support,” the cruise line said in its Facebook statement. “The family is in our thoughts and prayers and we ask that you please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well.”

The 4,000-passenger ship was bound for Florida. The Norwegian Cruise Line website describes the Norwegian Breakaway as the “newest and largest ship embarking from NYC” to winter destinations including the southern Caribbean, Bahamas and Florida.

— The Associated Press

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