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Courtesy Ashley Bartyik(NEW YORK) -- An elderly Canadian couple has finally been reunited after being forced to live in separate nursing homes for more than eight months, according to their granddaughter.

The reunion, which was filled with "tears of joy," came after Wolfram Gottschalk, 83, and Anita Gottschalk, 81, were photographed crying in late August during a visitation a few months after they were first separated, according to their granddaughter, Ashley Bartyik.

"This is the saddest photo I have ever taken," Bartyik, 29, captioned the photo posted to Facebook.

At the time, Bartyik told ABC News she and her family had been pleading with Fraser Health Authority, which manages the assisted living residences, to allow her grandparents, who had been married for over 62 years, to live together.

Bartyik added that that she was worried her grandparents' heartbreak and stress "could literally kill them."

Fraser Health previously said that it had been working to get the couple together but space was unavailable.

"We certainly understand how heartbreaking this is for the family," Fraser Health spokeswoman Tasleem Juma told ABC News partner CTV News at the time. "It’s upsetting for us as well."

But nearly a month later -- and after the heartbreaking photo of Wolfram and Anita had been shared more than 10,000 times on Facebook -- the couple's wishes have been finally granted, Bartyik announced on social media last week.

Wolfram was moved into the same facility as Anita on Thursday, Sept. 22, and the two were captured smiling, kissing and embracing in heartwarming photos and video Bartyik posted to Facebook.

"They can now be under the same roof for their remaining years, and we couldn’t be more grateful," Bartyik wrote in her post on Facebook. "They would like to thank Fraser Health for this reunion, and also the media for helping to get their story heard. They also wish to thank everyone around the world that liked, shared, or discussed their story."

The 29-year-old added that though her grandparents were now reunited, "the story isn't over" and that she would continue advocating for other couples separated by the health system in the British Columbia area.

Fraser Health cared "deeply about reuniting couples in long-term care as quickly as possible," Juma told ABC News in a statement Tuesday, adding that the health authority was happy to be able to reunite Wolfram and Anita.

Juma explained that Fraser Health had been working with Bartyik's family "for some time to ensure we were able to reunite their loved ones as quickly as possible." She added that health authority had "presented the family with options for reunification and they chose the option that suited them best until a bed became available at their preferred site."

"Couple reunification is a priority for us," she said. "This can sometimes take longer when individuals need different levels of care, and especially when families have a preference for a particular site. Still, we do everything in our power to bring couples together quickly."

Bartyik did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for additional comment Tuesday.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Hayden Bird/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The window for helping certain stroke patients with a potentially life-saving blood clot removal surgical treatment may be longer than previously thought, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Traditionally stroke is treated with medications that stabilize or diminish blood clots in the brain. In select patients surgical intervention to remove the clot may be possible to mitigate effects of the stroke.

Currently, the American Stroke Association advises that blood clot removal for some patients -- an emergency procedure called endovascular thrombectomy recently developed and increasingly used in addition to medical therapies -- should be done within six hours after stroke symptoms to lower the amount of disability patients will face later. But this analysis showed that the time for treatment could be slightly longer -- up to 7.3 hours.

This study could affect the current guidelines on treating stroke patients, according to Dr. Cathy Sila, Director of the Comprehensive Stroke Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. She said there is "compelling rationale to move that window a little bit."

As a result of having lost blood flow to the brain for an extended time, stroke victims often suffer physical disabilities and lose varying degrees of their independence. They often require longer-term care and therapies.

"Long-term disability of stroke is more expensive than cost of hospitalization," Sila told ABC News Tuesday.

Authors from multiple institutions including the University of Calgary, pooled data from five studies on stroke treatments to see if providing endovascular thrombectomy in addition to standard medical treatment past six hours would help patients. They analyzed those studies for patients who have had large blood vessel strokes, seeking to understand how much of an effect blood clot removal surgery performed after six hours would have on their longer-term recovery. They used a benchmark of three months after the stroke to assess patients' level of disability.

In total, 1,287 patients were enrolled in the five trials studied. The researchers examined clinical data and brain imaging in addition to the patients’ physical function. They found that the patients who received standard medical therapy along with an endovascular thrombectomy up to 7.3 hours after developing stroke symptoms were less likely than patients who were treated with only medications to report disability three months later.

When they examined the patients three months after the stroke, each hour delay in receiving the treatment corresponded in worse outcomes for the patients, including more severe disability and less functional independence.

This meant that even the patients who received the treatment outside of the generally accepted 6 hours cut off up to the 7.3 hours point tended to report less disability during their recovery. However, if people received the treatment after 7.3 hours from onset of symptoms there was no statistical improvement.

Dr. Mayank Goyal, a co-author of the study and professor of Radiology, University of Calgary, said he hopes the study will help raise awareness about the importance of getting prompt treatment for a stroke and having an efficient system to provide this procedure.

"Time is brain," Goyal told ABC News. "The faster we can re-establish blood flow to brain, the higher the likelihood of the patients having a good outcome and going back to independent living."

Sila said further study is needed to find out if these kinds of procedures could benefit people even after the 7.3 hours from symptom onset. She pointed out that these studies are important since they can help change guidelines and push insurance companies to cover the procedure for more patients.

"We need to have this kind of data so third party payers would have it to base [costs] on," she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Johannes Simon/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the first three months of 2016, slightly more U.S. adults say they had at least one “heavy drinking day” in the past year – 25.4 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Using a large national survey, CDC researchers found that the percentage of men who had at least one day of heavy drinking was 32.4 percent (higher than the 2015 figure of 29.9 percent) and 18.9 percent of women said the same (the 2015 figure was 17.4 percent, but the female figures are close enough that they might be due, statistically, to chance).

For both sexes, the numbers are significantly higher than they were a decade ago.

Although the report from the CDC only provides new data, it could spark more discussions about alcohol and binge drinking.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Allie Casazza(NEW YORK) -- Allie Casazza was drowning -- in toys.

“I had this huge room in my house, dedicated to toys,” she told ABC News. “Bins overflowing with stuff. A $150 light-up unicorn no one played with. The playroom was the bane of my existence.”

She describes a scene familiar to many moms.

“I’d send the kids into the playroom and they’d dump out a few things. They’d be back moments later, saying they were bored and asking for snacks," she said.

Trying to keep herself sane, she would clean up the toys and the room several times a day, just to have it destroyed again.

“I didn’t enjoy motherhood,” the Bentonville, Arkansas, mom said. “I didn’t enjoy [my kids]. They were a bother to me.”

Every day she would wait for nap time and bedtime.

“I thought that was ‘just the way it was,'” she said. “I was in survival mode.”

One day, Casazza had enough. She gave nearly every toy in the house away. Not as a punishment, she said, but for the good of the family. That one action "saved my motherhood, my marriage," she said.

Her struggle is common. It turns out that an excess of stuff can have a negative effect on moms. A 2012 study from UCLA’s Center on the Everyday Lives of Family found managing the volume of possessions “was such a crushing problem in many homes that it actually elevated levels of stress hormones for mothers."

Casazza waited for the temper-tantrums from the kids. Instead, they were excited she had cleaned out the room. And literally overnight, she said, things in her home changed.

“I had been so resentful of my husband, telling him, ‘you have no idea what I go through all day,’ but after the toys were gone I immediately felt lighter. I had so much less stress," she said.

And the whining about being bored? No more.

Noelle Swift, a mom from Wood-Ridge, New Jersey, told ABC News the decision to limit her 28-month-old’s toys was made before he was born. He has plenty of books, but his toys can very easily fit on two shelves. As a result, Swift said, he can play with one toy for hours on end. And since everything has a very clear place, he also puts his toys away.

“I want him to value the toys he has,” she said.

Beth Becher is a mom and the owner of B Organized, a professional organization service. She said her clients’ lives are “forever changed” when they finally get rid of the clutter. A major theme among moms having trouble clearing the toys is guilt, she said.

“It’s always, ‘but my mother-in-law gave my son that for his first birthday,’ even if it’s broken,” she said.

Her mantra is: “If you don’t need it, use it or love it, get rid of it."

Her daughter has very few toys, and she sets limits with family when it comes to gift giving.

Some clients, she said, can’t go into a store with their kids because they will inevitably leave with a new toy.

“We’re hurting our children,” she said. “It has to stop.” When she leaves a client's home and returns to her own, she feels like she can "breathe.”

She also said finding a place you can feel good about donating to is the first step to alleviating some of the guilt of letting go.

Casazza’s toy toss led to a greater household-wide purge and the family decided to downsize. Without all the things that were weighing them down, Casazza said, she was able to start her own business. The Purposeful Housewife is dedicated to living minimally. She even decided to homeschool her kids. It’s a far cry from the mom who counted the moments until nap time.

She said her four kids are exceptionally close, and they use their imaginations to make up games with things as simple as a broomstick.

“That’s all they do all day. Together. There’s no more ‘I was playing with that,’" she said, “because they don’t have those things anymore.”

Today she loves being a mom. “It’s such a short season when your kids are young. Now I can enjoy it," she remarked.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

You've probably already heard that having sex has health benefits. But there is currently little data looking specifically at how sex affects wellness in older people.

Researchers have now found, however, that women who found sex with their partners to be extremely satisfying had a lower risk of high blood pressure five years later. On the other hand, men who found sex extremely pleasurable and satisfying had a higher risk of cardiovascular events.

The research suggests this uncovers a need for healthcare providers to talk to their patients about the risks of sexual activity.

My prescription: Definitely discuss sex with your doctor. If he or she doesn't ask about it, you should bring it up -- it's an important part of your physical and emotional wellbeing.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — As the opioid epidemic has continued to grow in multiple parts of the country, extremely potent synthetic forms of the painkillers -- especially fentanyl and carfentanil -- have become more common among everyday users, according to U.S. authorities.

Last week, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) issued a public warning to law enforcement about the safety risks of taking or interacting with synthetic opioids, especially carfentanil and fentanyl. The agency warned the drugs can be deadly, even in very low quantities.

"Carfentanil is surfacing in more and more communities," DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a statement on Friday. "We see it on the streets, often disguised as heroin. It is crazy dangerous. Synthetics such as fentanyl and carfentanil can kill you. "

In Ohio, rates of opioid overdoses have been growing and one public health official issued a public health warning after police linked carfentanil to opioid overdoses in August and September.

"Fentanyl and heroin have already killed 300 people this year and we are headed for double the number of fatalities as 2015," Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said in August. "The detection of carfentanil here is a very disturbing development in the ongoing illegal opiate crisis. This drug is intended for use as an anesthetic in large animals and veterinarians take special precautions just handling it. Small amounts are rapidly fatal."

This past weekend, seven fatal drug overdoses were reported in Cuyahoga County, leading Gilson to issue another public health warning, although the cases have not been connected to a particular drug.

"This cluster of deaths is deeply concerning. Although there is no clear link between the individuals, this number clearly raises the possibility of a very deadly drug in our community," said Gilson in a statement Monday.

When synthetic opioids are introduced, they create a tranquilizing effect by attaching to certain brain receptors, according to Dr. David Edwards, Clinical Service Chief for Chronic Pain Service at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. An overdose can occur because the same receptors also affect basic survival functions.

"The opioids are acting on these opioid receptors, they're reducing your brain's perception of pain," Edwards explained.

"But these same receptors are controlling your breathing and controlling your transit of food through the GI tract," he added, which "blocks transmission to the brain's receptor and stops the drive to breathe."


Fentanyl is used primarily in operating rooms and is thought to be 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin. It's a synthetic opioid first created in the 1950's and used as an intravenous anesthetic, according to medical literature.

When used intravenously, the drug starts working in one minute compared to five minutes for morphine, according to a 2011 published review in the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health.

Edwards explained that since it works so quickly, fentanyl can cause a potentially fatal overdose much faster than other opioids.

"Morphine takes 20 to 30 minutes to peak," in the bloodstream said Edwards. Fentanyl, "it peaks in your blood within five minutes."

Edwards said he's heard of drug dealers warning users to not experiment with fentanyl since it's so dangerous in such a small amount.

Ray Isackila, an addiction and recovery services specialist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, said synthetic fentanyl is cheaper to make than heroin. Drug dealers or users sometimes mix it with heroin to reduce cost or give more punch to lesser quality heroin, creating "tainted" batches.

"People started mixing fentanyl in with not-so-pure heroin to make it more powerful," said Isackila. He said that drug users are usually unaware of when the drugs have been tainted with fentanyl, so they may not know how the drug will affect them.


Carfentanil is a variation on fentanyl developed for animal, not human, use. It was developed as an anesthetic for large animals, including elephants, and its potency is thought to be "2,500 times more than heroin," according to the Cuyahoga County public health commissioner.

"It is suggested to be 10,000 times stronger than morphine," said Isackila. "It takes a microscopic amount of this drug to kill a person."

The drug is so dangerous the DEA warned law enforcement last week to take protective measures if they think they have encountered synthetic opioids, especially carfentanil, since the drug can be absorbed through the skin.

"Carfentanil and other fentanyl-related compounds are a serious danger to public safety, first responder, medical, treatment, and laboratory personnel," the DEA said on its website. "These substances can come in several forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets, and spray –- they can be absorbed through the skin or accidental inhalation of airborne powder."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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ABC News(NEW YORK) — One mom is advocating for a laid back approach to parenting, calling out “free-range” and “helicopter” parents and suggesting that moms and dads drop the labels and embrace being average.

Blogger Ilana Wiles stopped by Good Morning America Tuesday to discuss her new book, The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting and shared her tips for letting go.

"I think there's so much pressure to be a perfect parent today that a lot of moms actually feel like bad parents, so I think embracing remarkably average is actually inspirational," said Wiles. "You know, you see all these pictures of perfect parenting on Instagram and things like that and those people are just good photographers and good art directors--they're not necessarily having a different experience than anybody else."

She added: "I do it, I post perfect pictures."

Wiles suggests having low expectations and a selective memory, meaning taking the positive out of every parenting situation.

"I took my kids to the amusement park and we had a fabulous time the whole day and at the end, my oldest daughter flipped out because we were leaving," Wiles said. "She had a total meltdown and I can choose to remember that day as the meltdown that happened at the end or I can remember her beautiful smile when we were on the roller coaster for the first time and everything was great. It's kind of up to me what I take away from that day."

The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting is out now.

ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

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iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) — Kristen O'Meara chose not to vaccinate her young daughters as she was a big believer in anti-vaccination research. That changed when all three were stricken with a case of rotavirus, which causes acute stomach distress.

"It was awful and it didn't have to happen because I could have had them vaccinated. I felt guilty, I felt really guilty," she told ABC News.

O'Meara and her husband also fell ill.

O'Meara, a teacher living outside Chicago, added that she had "scoured everything" about why vaccines might be harmful and had become "pretty convinced." She chose not to vaccinate based upon the results of her research, but had only read the materials that cast doubt.

"I put my kids at risk,” she said. “I wish that I had taken more time to research from both sides before my children were born.”

Her three children -- all under the age of seven -- are now fully vaccinated after an aggressive regimen to bring them up to date on recommended shots.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends vaccinations for practically every child, but in a study published last month the group says the number of parents who are refusing to vaccinate their children appears to be on the rise. In 2013, 87 percent of pediatricians surveyed had encountered patients who refused a vaccine for their child, up from 75 percent in 2006, according to their research

Among the most common reasons cited by parents for their refusal to vaccinate their children was their belief that vaccinations were unnecessary, the report said. Parents also cited a purported link between vaccinations and autism -- a link that has been repeatedly disproven because the research it was based on was proven fraudulent.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and dozens of other public health groups have stressed for years that vaccines are safe and necessary. They also say that the large majority of children must be immunized from diseases such as measles, mumps and chicken pox in order to protect both individuals and communities with so-called "herd immunity.”

After her frightening wake-up call, O'Meara is now encouraging others to vaccinate their children.

"I'm here because I wanted to share my personal story ... and if it does help someone change their mind, then that's great," she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Alicia Salas(RICHMOND, Texas) -- One grandmother in Texas always celebrated her birthday with a mariachi band. But after her husband passed away seven years ago, there were no more mariachi bands -- until this year.

Josie Reza, of Richmond, Texas, turned 85 last Monday and celebrated with dozens of family and friends. This birthday was even more memorable for Reza.

"At her birthday parties, she would always have a mariachi band," her granddaughter Alicia Salas told ABC News. "This year ... it was the first time she had [a band perform] since my grandfather passed away."

"When the mariachi band first came out, my grandmother pulled my uncle to the side and she asked him to go inside the house," Salas, 18, recalled.

Reza asked him to retrieve a portrait of herself with her late husband, Phillip. They were married for 45 years before he died 2009.

Salas explained that her grandmother wanted "a little piece of him. It was a bittersweet moment because she was sad but happy at the same time."

The teen took two photos of her grandmother clutching the portrait and shared them on Twitter. The photos quickly went viral.

Along with inspiring the internet, Salas said her grandparents' love has also inspired her.

The teen told ABC News that the moment reminded her "that there's someone out there for everybody."

"Their love still goes on even if one of them is not here," Salas added. "I think that's so beautiful to me."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms in pregnancy, affecting up to 80 percent of pregnant women. Some studies have suggested that these symptoms, as unpleasant as they are, may be good news for the pregnancy.

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine evaluated the relationship between symptoms such as nausea/vomiting and pregnancy loss in high risk women who had already experienced one or two past pregnancy losses. Researchers analyzed previously collected data on a total of 797 pregnant women, 188 of whom ultimately experienced another pregnancy loss.

They looked at symptoms such as nausea and vomiting that these women experienced, based on the required diaries these women kept. The study revealed that in women with nausea, the risk of pregnancy loss was slashed in half. Women with both nausea and vomiting had a 75 percent lower risk.

The findings seem to suggest that having nausea and vomiting is linked to a lower risk for pregnancy loss, at least in these high-risk women.

It is important to note that these plausible findings likely exaggerated the effect of nausea and vomiting on pregnancy loss, given that the study is done on this group of particularly high-risk women. In this study alone, the rate of pregnancy loss in this particular group was as high as 23.6 percent.. The study also does not control for many factors such as whether these women took any medication to alleviate these unpleasant pregnancy symptoms.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Do you have an older loved one you're doing your best to keep safe and healthy? Then do whatever you can to eliminate their chances of falling.

A new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds falls are the number-one cause of injuries and deaths from injury among older Americans. They experienced 29 million falls in 2014 alone, causing seven million injuries.  

It's costly to taxpayers, too -- annual Medicare costs to treat fall-related injuries are an estimated $31 billion.

And it's only going to get worse as more than 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day.

Increased inactivity, more severe chronic health conditions, reduced muscle strength and increased use of prescription medications are risk factors for falls among older Americans.

The CDC recommends a few common-sense steps to take to reduce the risk of falls, including eliminating obvious fall hazards. But some medications can also increase the risk of falling, so a chat with your doctor is also in order. Same goes for your eyes -- get them checked at least once a year, to ensure you can see where you're going.

And lastly, exercise as much as you can. The stronger you are, the less likely you are to fall, or to be injured if you do.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Courtesy Alisa Bowman(MACUNGIE, Pa.) -- A 12-year-old transgender boy from Pennsylvania recently received a standing ovation and an "overwhelming amount of support" after delivering a powerful speech to his school board in an effort to counter what he saw as hateful and ignorant rhetoric about trans students, according to his mother.

Alisa Bowman told ABC News Monday that her son, Ari, gave the speech on Sept. 12, just a few weeks after a fellow student allegedly said she would rather fail gym class than change with transgender students in the locker room.

"Ari and I really felt like if we didn't speak ... this ignorance and hate would end up winning," she said. "It was incredibly important for my son and I to set the record straight and explain who transgender people are."

Bowman recorded Ari's speech to the board on video and uploaded it to Facebook, where it has since gone viral, with 40,000 views as of Monday.

"Hello, my name is Ari. I'm transgender," Bowman's seventh-grader begins in the video. "You might not know that from the look of me, but I enjoy normal things. I play soccer, I like video games -- just like anybody else."

Ari later explains in the video that "the hate the transgender community has been receiving recently has been terrible." He adds that "people say things without an open mind and as if we're not human beings like they are."

Ari also addresses the the bathroom and locker room controversy, saying that he changes in the boys' locker room and that he has "seen zero genitalia."

"If you think that genitalia will make someone uncomfortable, then think of the story I told earlier about the girls not letting me use the bathroom," he adds, referring to a time in first grade when girls didn't want to let him use the girls' bathroom.

"They didn’t care that I’ve had female genitalia," he says. "They cared that I looked masculine and was male at heart. They didn’t care about my body parts. What made them uncomfortable was my looks."

Toward the end of the speech, Ari says that his life "doesn't revolve around me being transgender. It revolves around my family, my friends, everything I love."

"As my mom likes to say, people are afraid of the things that they don’t understand," he adds. "I hope you understand what being transgender means. It doesn’t make me any less or any more. It make me me, and no one can change that."

After the speech, Ari got a "loud standing ovation," Bowman told ABC News. She added that she was "really touched" when the superintendent came over to Ari and shook his hand.

"It was really so beautiful to watch, like watching a baby bird flying out of their nest," Bowman said.

Lower Macungie Middle School wrote on Facebook that it was "[s]o proud of our own 7th grader Ari Bowman who spoke with our school board Monday night!"

East Penn School District did not immediately respond to ABC News' requests for additional comment.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- High school students who get little physical activity continue not to move enough as they become young adults, according to a new study published in Pediatrics.

Researchers followed the physical activity levels of more than 500 10th grade students for four years using accelerometers – devices that measure participants’ daily movement. They found that less than 9 percent of students got the recommended 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, and that those students who got little exercise in 10th grade continued to have low levels of physical activity after graduation.

Students who reported planning to exercise were more likely to be physically active, and adolescents were more active during weekdays than they were on weekends. Students whose Body Mass Index (BMI) increased over time had lower levels of physical activity, suggesting that interventions to promote physical activity may be most important for this group.

Following the adolescents over time, the researchers found that low levels of physical activity in 10th grade were predictive of low levels of physical activity later on, suggesting that exercise patterns start to solidify during high school.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Unfortunately for children and parents, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has announced it is not recommending the nasal mist form of the flu vaccine for kids this flu season.

This comes on the heels of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study that found the mist form of the vaccine was not effective in preventing influenza.

To be crystal clear here, the AAP is still recommending that every child above the age of 6 months gets the injectable form of the flu vaccine.

My medical take on this: It's a good thing that our country's top doctors are always reevaluating data. In doing so, we can continue to learn in medicine and in science.

Please talk to your children's pediatrician about the flu vaccine for this season.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


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Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A nutrition manager at a Texas elementary school lost more than 100 pounds by simply eating the same foods she encouraged her students to consume for breakfast and lunch.

"I was 260 pounds and I got a job as a nutrition manager but then I realized I wasn’t very nutritious so I decided to make a change," Tammy McRae said Monday on Good Morning America. "That’s what made me want to lose the weight -- for my kids that I had to inspire to eat better."

She added, "I thought, well, let me join them."

McRae said she started eating breakfast and lunch from the cafeteria menu at Carver Elementary School in Baytown, Texas, every single day.

"I just stuck to the menu at our school," McRae said when asked if she made any other lifestyle changes to lose the weight.

McRae started out as a dishwasher at the school before being promoted to a manager. It took her around one year to lose the weight and she said it is life-changing.

"I am now part of my own life," she said. "I go fishing. I mow my own lawn."

McRae's advice to others looking for weight loss inspiration?

"I just say, for anyone else out there that is thinking of making a change, go for it," she said. "Be a part of your own life."

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.








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