Today in Research: Giving Up Alcohol May Not Be a Good Idea

Discovered: Bigger babies don't mean fatter kids, why a month-long drinking detox won't save your liver, the in vitro fertilization twin phenomenon, and glaucoma risk factors.

  • Get a new New Year's resolution: going on the wagon doesn't work. After a New Year's weekend bender, a liver cleanse might sound like a good idea. It's not. Giving up alcohol for a short period of time won't improve liver health, said the British liver trust. "People think they're virtuous with their health by embarking on a liver detox each January with the belief that they are cleansing their liver of excess following the festive break," Andrew Langford, chief executive of the trust, said. Instead he suggests resolving to abstain from alcohol a few days a week for the entire year. That sounds completely unsustainable to us -- a resolution bound to fail. [BBC]
  • No link between bigger babies and obesity. A big baby doesn't mean a future fat child. Over the last 80 years, babies in Southwestern Ohio have indeed gotten bigger, found a new study in the Journal of Pediatrics. "What would have been considered a big kid in the 1930s would not have been considered a big kid today," explained researcher Ellen Demerath to Reuters. Babies born after 1970 were about a pound heavier and an inch longer than those born earlier than that. But even though kids are coming out bigger, these large babies don't necessarily turn into obese children. But given the rising epidemic of obesity, there's a good chance that they will. Moms are getting fatter, found the study, with 48 percent of mothers qualifying as obese between 1990 and 2008, up from 18 percent between 1930 and 1949. And just today the New York Times reported that the Coast Guard has had to raise its assumed average weight per person up to 185 pounds from 160. We're still getting fatter, just don't freak out if you have an extra long, extra fat kid: He still might have a chance at a svelte future. [Reuters]

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