Smoke Gets in Their Thighs

By Scott LaFee

November 26, 2014 4 min read

It's not quite the same as saying smog is fattening, but a study out of the University of Southern California suggests that children who are routinely exposed to air pollution or tobacco smoke may have a higher risk of obesity.

The researchers studied 3,000 children who lived near major roadways or whose mothers smoked. In both cases, they found a higher rate of later obesity in these children than in control subjects who lived away from major roads or whose mothers did not smoke. The effect was substantially greater if both factors were present.

The study did not identify the precise cause, such as a particular pollutant in automobile exhaust or cigarette smoke, of the effect. The researchers said additional studies are needed.

Body of Knowledge

Gums are renewed every one to two weeks.

Get Me That, Stat!

Each year, Americans make nearly 1 million visits to the doctor for eye infections, resulting in $175 million in direct health care costs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a first-of-its-kind study. The CDC said wearing contact lenses is the largest single risk factor for developing an eye infection.

Number Cruncher

One Butterball turkey patty (151 grams) contains 240 calories, 99 from fat. It has 11 grams of total fat, or 17 percent of the recommended total fat intake for a 2,000-calorie daily diet, according to the Calorie Count database.

It also contains 105 milligrams of cholesterol (35 percent), 680 milligrams of sodium (28 percent), 2 grams of total carbohydrates (1 percent), 1 gram of sugar and 31 grams of protein.

Doc Talk

Champagne tap: a successful lumbar puncture with no red blood cells present, which means it is as clean as possible. The Champagne reference comes from the custom of celebrating the difficult feat with a bottle of Champagne.

Phobia of the Week

Koumpounophobia: fear of buttons.

Never Say Diet

The speed-eating record for frozen custard is 5 pounds, 8 ounces in six minutes, held by Ian Hickman. Warning: Most of these records are held by professional eaters; the rest are held by people who really should find something better to do.

Medical History

This week in 1945, Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first U.S. city to begin fluoridating its drinking water to help reduce tooth decay.

Last Words

"The bastards tried to come over me last night. I guess they didn't know I was a Marine." — Pfc. Edward H. Ahrens

Note: During the Battle of Tulagi in the Solomon Islands (May 1942), Ahrens was mortally wounded while single-handedly fending off a group of Japanese soldiers attempting to infiltrate Allied lines. After his superior officer discovered Ahrens the next morning surrounded by dead Japanese troops, Ahrens whispered these words and died.

To find out more about Scott LaFee and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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