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Top Pediatricians Group Urges Metric System to Solve Dosing Problems

vectomart/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Each year, more than 70,000 kids visit the emergency room as a consequence of unintentional medication overdose.

The American Academy of Pediatrics believes one major reason for overdose is that liquid medication is prescribed in the form of teaspoons, a practice ripe for inaccuracy, according to researchers,  since a run-of-the-mill teaspoon in the kitchen may hold more than an actual Imperial tablespoon of medicine.

Researchers also say that people do not know the difference between tablespoon and teaspoon.  

In light of this, the AAP is encouraging pharmacies and doctors to use the metric-based system, specifically the milliliter, when measuring out doses for kids.

The group is also calling on pharmacies, hospitals, and health centers to distribute appropriate milliliter-based dosing devices, such as syringes.

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Inside Parents' Struggle to Choose Risky Prenatal Surgery

Courtesy Ross Family(PHILADELPHIA) -- Luelle Ross seems like a typical 1-year-old girl in many ways, playing with her toys and going for a ride in her stroller. But while her life is just getting started, it has already been a long journey for her parents.

Before Luelle was even born, she was diagnosed with spina bifida, and her parents, Shelly and Bobby Ross, decided to take the radical step of having their daughter operated on while she was still in the womb.

Spina bifida, a developmental spinal condition, is one of the most common birth defects. It affects roughly 1,500 babies in the United States each year, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Diagnosed within the first few weeks of pregnancy, spina bifida occurs when the backbone and the spinal column do not form properly, leaving a gap in the spine. Left untreated, babies with the condition could be born with developmental problems, nerve damage or even be paralyzed.

“We were terrified,” said Shelly Ross, 27. “They said your options are to terminate, to get this historical post-birth surgery for spina bifida or there is this newer surgery that they will do in-utero that you could maybe qualify for.”

That new surgery, performed while the baby is still in the mother's womb, and Luelle’s birth are documented in a new three-part series airing this week on PBS, starting Tuesday at 8 p.m., titled Twice Born: Stories from the Special Delivery Unit.

The docu-series highlights the doctors of the Special Delivery Unit of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, known as “CHOP” for short, and follows four families from across the country for 14 months as they undergo life-changing procedures to correct birth defects.

CHOP is one of only a few hospitals nationwide that perform fetal surgery. Out of roughly 4,000 fetal surgeries conducted in the United States, about 25 percent have been done at CHOP.

Just this year alone, the unit at CHOP will evaluate more than 1,500 pregnant mothers and conduct 150 to 200 prenatal surgeries, according to hospital officials.

Dr. Scott Adzick, the chief of pediatric surgery at CHOP, has been performing fetal surgeries for more than 30 years. He helps families decide if the surgery is right for them.

“Personally I try to put myself in the place of that parent, for what I would want for my child,” Adzick said. “But if you put the family and the child up like this, and you do the very best you can for them in an honest way and compellingly and frankly, and then you know they can decide, and what they decide I think will be the right thing for them.”

But it’s not always an easy decision for parents to opt for the in-utero surgery, especially for a family like the Rosses, who are deeply religious.

“It was hard,” Shelly Ross said. “You want a doctor to say, ‘Here are your options, this is the best one and we can guarantee this,’ but they couldn’t, on either surgery. They couldn’t say that they could guarantee that [Luelle] would walk or that ‘we can guarantee that she will survive.’ They both had risks, so it was really hard.”

In the end, Shelly and Bobby decided to go ahead with the surgery because they said they wanted to give their daughter the best chance they could at a better quality of life.

“Shelly said, ‘We had to turn off the emotions and go by facts,’” said Bobby Ross, 33.

Dr. Julie Moldenhauer, an attending physician at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment and the director of the CHOP Special Delivery Unit, is often the bearer of bad news for families grappling with these difficult situations.

“A good day for me is when I don’t make anybody cry,” she said. “That’s a good day.”

Moldenhauer is tasked with counseling parents every day on how to treat their baby’s condition. She was also the doctor who walked the Rosses through their decision to go through with the in-utero surgery.

“It’s really hard to tell parents the news that you know that they don’t want to hear,” Moldenhauer said. “Every pregnancy is met with expectation and what’s the life going to be like for your child. What happens in that room, over that course of one hour when you sit down and explain what this course is going to look like in a few years, you can imagine it takes the breath out of a family.”

For those mothers who qualify for fetal surgery, the procedure takes place between 19 and 25 weeks of pregnancy.

“The reason why we chose to do it is because it did improve the outcome by 50 percent,” Bobby Ross said. “So there was enough success for us to justify the gamble.”

For the spina bifida in-utero surgery, while the mother is under anesthesia, doctors locate the safest place to make an incision in the uterus, just enough to reach the baby. Once the uterus is open, the baby’s back is revealed and the hole in the baby’s spine is closed to prevent further damage to the spinal cord.

The highly skilled team of specialists at CHOP performed the in-utero surgery on Shelly and Luelle for only about an hour, but risks to both mother and baby could have been fatal, doctors noted. Shelly could have experienced complications during the procedure, from bleeding and tearing to breathing problems.

Shelly’s surgery was a success, but afterwards, Shelly developed complications. At 34 weeks into her pregnancy, she was admitted to CHOP, and remained there until she gave birth. The family packed up their lives in Massachusetts to move to Philadelphia so they could be together full-time.

After weeks of constant hospital supervision, Shelly gave birth to Luelle, who was born at 6 pounds, 12 ounces, and with a small scar on her back from the in-utero surgery.

“The lu- derivative means light and -elle means bright and shining, so she is a bright and shining light,” Bobby Ross said.

For patients like Luelle who suffer from spina bifida, the surgery is only the beginning. She will have to endure years of monitoring and medical attention as she grows older. It’s a condition that will follow her for the rest of her life.

“Fetal surgery for spina bifida is not a cure,” said Dr. Adzick. “Under the proper circumstances it can make the baby better -- better chance to walk, better chance for normal mental development....We also need to follow these kids make sure that the benefits are durable.”

But for this young family, Luelle is a light that will only get brighter in the years to come.

“She’s going to be the type of person who will endure the worst this life has to throw at her with a smile because she’s endured a lot already,” Shelly Ross said. “And yet the moment I walk in the door, the moment she walks in the door smiling and ‘Hi,’ you know she’s already been a light.”

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Why You Should Care About GNC's New Supplement Guidelines

GNC / PR Newswire(NEW YORK) -- After being one of four companies to be accused of selling phony dietary supplements, GNC announced Monday that it will institute better testing guidelines.

Health experts say consumers should still be vigilant when picking out their herbal pills and remedies.

Here's what you need to know:

What happened?

The New York State attorney general sent cease-and-desist letters to GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart in February, barring them from selling store-brand supplements in the state. The attorney general's office noted at the time that it had tested these supplements for plant DNA listed on the bottles, such as echinacea, ginseng and St. John's Wort, as part of an ongoing investigation. The attorney general's office said it found that 79 percent of the products either had none of the plant DNA listed or were contaminated with unlisted ingredients.

"When consumers take an herbal supplement, they should be able to do so with full knowledge of what is in that product and confidence that every precaution was taken to ensure its authenticity and purity," New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Monday as GNC announced its more stringent testing guidelines.

"When it comes to consumer health, we expect companies to reach a high safety bar. Without tests and safeguards, including those that rule out dangerous allergens, these supplements pose unacceptable risks to New York families," Schneiderman added. "I urge all herbal supplements manufacturers and retailers to join GNC in working with my office to increase transparency and put the safety of their customers first."

GNC and Schneiderman announced on Monday that they had come to an agreement about more rigorous company-wide testing standards that dig deeper into the supply chain. GNC said that further internal and third-party testing has found it to be in line with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's current good manufacturing practices.

"As our testing demonstrated, and this agreement affirms beyond any doubt, our products are not only safe and pure but are in full compliance with all regulatory requirements," said GNC's CEO, Michael Archbold.

It is the first of the four companies to make such a move, but Walgreens Inc. released the following statement: "As we said earlier, we take these issues very seriously. We continue to review this matter and also intend to continue cooperating and working with the attorney general of New York."

Walmart weighed in as well: "Walmart has been complying with the New York Attorney General’s legal requests by submitting information and we will continue to work with his office. The specific products called into question were tested by the manufacturers during and at the end of production and the results confirmed that the ingredients on the label were present and the products were not adulterated."

Target did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

Why are supplements different from other drugs?

Clinical dietitian Lisa Cimperman, who works at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, said consumers should remember that dietary supplements are not subject to the same safety and efficacy testing as drugs.

A 1994 law called the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act made supplement manufacturers responsible for safety and proper labeling -- not the FDA. The FDA does not approve these supplements before they hit shelves, according to the agency's website.

"We don't know that anything you're taking is actually going to do anything," Cimperman told ABC News. "At the very least, you might be wasting money. At the worst, you might be taking something potentially dangerous."

What's the danger?

"A lot of people might think, 'Oh, it's not a big deal,'" Cimperman said of people taking supplements, adding that patients can't even remember everything they're taking. "It's a false sense of safety and security thinking these things are completely innocuous, they're just vitamins. Anything in very, very high doses or if it's been adulterated can have negative outcomes."

Some patients can have severe allergic reactions to undeclared allergens, but that's not the only thing to worry about, Cimperman said. She pointed to the case of a weight-loss supplement that sent people to the hospital with liver failure in recent years. Some needed liver transplants as a result, she said.

"It's certainly true as well that not all of them are bad and adulterated," Cimperman said. "But wading through and sorting out the good from the bad is difficult."

What should you do?

First, Cimperman said it's crucial to keep your doctor in the loop regarding supplements you're taking. Even if they're perfectly labeled, they can react with your prescription medications. For instance, vitamin K cancels out the effects of some blood thinners, she said.

She said to look for labels that say USP, for U.S. Pharmacopoeia, which independently tests and certify dietary supplements, she said. The four store brands in the the New York attorney general's investigation do not carry this seal.

"We really need to be informed consumers," Cimperman said. "We need to do some digging before we actively start taking these supplements. You really need to involve the doctor in the conversation."

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What the Inside of Your Fridge Says About You

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Show us your fridge!

That's the popular demand of users on Periscope, Twitter's new live-streaming app released last Thursday.

Showing the contents of your fridge apparently gets you lots of "hearts," users say, and no one -- not even self-professed paranormal investigators -- are free from fridge viewing requests.


No one is safe from fridge Q's on Periscope, not even paranormal investigators.

— Leah Herbert (@itfeltfar) March 28, 2015

And the obsession over the contents of a person's refrigerator probably stems from the fact you can tell a lot about someone based on what's inside their fridge, according to marketing expert John Stonehill.

Stonehill is also a self-proclaimed "Refrigerator Dating Expert," and he runs the blog "Check Their Fridge," where he analyzes the fridges of people's dates and predicts their compatibility.

"It's true that we are what we eat," Stonehill told ABC News. "From someone's fridge, you can get a true idea of their health, lifestyle, income and even what kind of romantic partner they'll be."



A look inside the @GMA studio fridge – can you tell we love our coffee? #FridgeView #SocialSquare

— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 30, 2015

The first thing Stonehill usually examines is the model and condition of someone's fridge, which tells a lot about their social class and income, he said.

"When I was first getting started in my career, I had this really crappy fridge I shared with my roommate that we held together with duct tape," he said. "Of course, common sense tells us that people with higher-end models are probably richer and farther along in their careers."

Once inside, a fridge's hygiene says a lot about someone's personality and quality of life, Stonehill said.



I've decided I'm just going to use Periscope for stupid stuff and press events. Thanks for tuning into my fridge tour

— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) March 30, 2015

"A messy chaotic fridge means you probably have an equally chaotic life," Stonehill said. "But a regularly empty fridge is also probably a sign a person is constantly busy and won't be an available partner."

"And if you see someone with an extra clean fridge with all their meals for the week labelled and planned out, you also want to stay away," Stonehill added. "That person is probably really controlling."

And from the brands inside someone's fridge, Stonehill said you can figure out where they're from, what they like to do and their social views.



Yes! Another #fridge!!! #Periscope #fridgeFriday

— José Antonio Márquez (@joseeight) March 28, 2015


"Certain brands are popular in certain geographical areas," Stonehill said. "There's also lot of politics in the food world, and you can sometimes tell what social causes people support based on what brands they do and don't have in their fridge."

"If someone has a lot of organic foods and reusable containers, they're likely environmentally conscious," Stonehill added. "And if you see three different brands of beers and appetizer foods, that person is probably very social and hosts a lot of gatherings and parties."


watchin your fridge periscope like

— Lizzie O'Leary (@lizzieohreally) March 29, 2015


Your fridge can also be an accurate reflection of your health, according to ABC News Nutrition and Wellness Editor David Zinczenko.

"Your refrigerator tells you how much control over your food, body and health you really have and how much of that control you're ceding to the food industry," Zinczenko said.


Watched a guy on #Periscope showing off his fridge.

— Prasoon Singh (@PrsnSingh) March 29, 2015

An empty fridge with lots of shelf space means you likely have a more heavily stocked pantry, which usually stores processed foods that don't go bad for a long while, Zinczenko said.

"That means you're likely to have a lot of empty calories in your diet," he explained.

The average American now gets 60 percent of his or her calories from processed food, Zinczenko added, citing a recent study by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Our #London office is now #addicted to #Periscope - we've shown the contents of our fridge at least 8 times this morn!! #havas @HAVASLYNXEU

— Sarah Price (@_sgprice) March 30, 2015

If you see a lot of takeout containers, you're probably the kind of person that likes to let other people make decisions and think for you, Zinczenko said, adding that takeout people probably have a lot of excessive salt, sugar and fat in their diets.

"The leftover quesadillas from last week's takeout are never coming back to style," he said. "When it comes to food, nostalgia is not a good thing."

On the other hand, a fridge full of a variety of dairy, vegetables, meats and fruits is a good sign, Zinczenko said.

If that's the case, "chances are you're the kind of person who has control over what he or she eats, and who primarily eats real food," he said.



Quite possibly the best #fridge seen on @periscopeco thus far

— Jonathan Haysom (@JonoH) March 28, 2015

And if you're this person with a Tide to-go pen in your fridge?



People put Tide in their fridge? #periscope

— Dr Nic (@drnic) March 29, 2015

"If you need a stain remover inside your refrigerator, you're basically admitting that you can't get food from the refrigerator to your mouth without something really messy happening in between," Zinczenko said.


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Billboards to Welcome Newborns Gaining Popularity With Parents

Henrico Doctors' Hospital(RICHMOND, Va.) -- That rented stork you have on your lawn? Oh, baby please.

Parents of newborns are taking birth announcements to new heights -- literally.

With the help of the hospitals they deliver in, parents can see their baby's name in lights. Or more specifically on a billboard, along with all the pertinent details of their newest arrival's birth.

Henrico Doctors' Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, is the latest to offer the option to new moms and dads. The service is free to parents. The hospital makes out by getting the opportunity to promote themselves next to adorable photos of newborns.

Hospitals in Illinois, South Carolina and New Jersey offer similar services to interested parents.

"It's a brand reminder," said Kelly Woody, marketing manager. "We want to bring attention to our services."

The hospital said they deliver more babies than any other in central Virginia, so there's a lot of cuties to choose from.

One of the latest was Laughton Mikula, born on March 4. Mom Elizabeth Mikula said she has "an emotional reaction" to seeing her baby's photo on Interstate 195. She got lots of calls and messages from people wanting to congratulate her once they too saw the billboard. "Some messages were from people we hardly know," she said. "There was an outpouring of love and support for her and for us."

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Quadruple Amputee Dog Receives Life-Changing Prosthetics

Better Paws for Brutus(NEW YORK) -- Brutus the Rottweiler had a bit of trouble getting around because he became a quadruple amputee when he was just a puppy.

"He was left outside by his breeder," said Brutus' rescuer Laura Aquilina. "I don't know if it was on purpose, but it was admitted that he lost his paws because of frostbite."

After his limbs were removed, Brutus, now 2 years old, was rescued by a good Samaritan who Aquilina said met the dog when the breeder attempted to sell him in a parking lot.

Because Brutus couldn't move around well, Aquilina, who lives in Loveland, Colorado, took Brutus to be fitted for prosthetics by OrthoPets Denver, a company that she had heard of through a fellow dog rescuer.

"He's able to walk on softer surfaces like carpeting, but on something really hard like concrete he's much more comfortable in the prosthetics," she told ABC News, noting that Brutus was fortunate to be relatively close to the Denver company.

"Before this, we never heard of OrthoPets. We are really grateful for them and their expertise," Aquilina said.

Each year, OrthoPets Denver provides prosthetics for 250 animals worldwide, according to the company.

Brutus is the second case the veterinary clinic has seen of a quadruple amputee.

"Brutus first received the prosthetics about 5 months ago," said OrthoPets co-founder Martin Kaufmann. "On the medical side, part of the challenge was when dogs lose their paws, their joints are increasingly unstable. He was more susceptible to injuries and additional pain associated with those injuries."

"The large goal that we’re accomplishing is being able to get him outdoors walking on hard surfaces. Above anything else, he has comfort," Kaufmann said.

With his prosthetics, Brutus is now able to walk, run and play his favorite game, tug-of-war.

"When you take him out without his prosthetics, he knows that he can't walk on certain surfaces," Aquilina said. "When you put them on, he takes off. He even tries to chase squirrels in them. They give the ability to be a dog so I think he’s happy being able to do more things with them on."

"Brutus is super sweet, ridiculously smart, and has a very forgiving nature," said Aquilina, who has been fostering Brutus since July 2014. "You would think a dog like him who's been through so much wouldn't trust people, but he's a very gentle soul."

She said she and her husband have decided to keep him and the adoption will be finalized as of next week.

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American Ebola Patient's Condition Improves to Fair

NIH(BETHESDA, Md.) -- An American health care worker who is being treated for the Ebola virus at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Maryland continues to show improvement.

The NIH announced on Monday that the patient's condition has been upgraded from serious to fair.

The patient, who has not been identified, contracted the disease while volunteering at an Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone. The patient was flown in isolation on a chartered plane back to the states and admitted to the clinical center on March 12.

The patient is the second to receive treatment at the NIH Clinical Center. The first, Dallas nurse Nina Pham, contracted the virus while treating Thomas Eric Duncan.

Pham was the first person to catch Ebola on U.S. soil in connection with the outbreak in West Africa. She was admitted to the NIH facility in October and later released Ebola-free.

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An Apple a Day May Not Keep the Doctor Away After All, Study Finds

Top Photo Group / Thinkstock(HANOVER, N.H.) -- An apple a day probably won’t keep the doctor away, but it may keep you out of the pharmacy, a new study has found.

Researchers from Dartmouth Medical School decided to find out whether the old adage about eating the crunchy fruit daily and staying healthy is actually true. To do so, they followed the apple eating habits of more than 8,000 people for three years, according to the study they published in Monday’s JAMA Internal Medicine.

Roughly 9 percent of the group munched a small apple a day on a regular basis, the researchers found. And, although 39 percent of the apple lovers avoided seeing a physician each year, compared to 33 percent of the non-apple eaters, once the investigators adjusted for factors like education, age and other health habits, the researchers said the difference wasn’t all that significant. However, apple lovers did fill marginally fewer prescriptions for medications, the researchers reported.

The study, while entertaining, did have some limitations. The fact that all the information in the investigation was self-reported and the number of doctor visits couldn’t be explicitly linked to munching on apples are two of the more serious ones, noted Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes, cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Hayes added that the researchers didn’t look into why people went to the doctor.

“The apple eaters were highly educated and less likely to smoke,” Hayes said. “It could be that their visits to the doctor were for preventive reasons rather than illness.”

Hayes pointed out that the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” originated in the late 1800s, a time when going to the doctor was always associated with illness. But these days, seeing a doctor could lead to finding undetected medical problems and avoiding poor health, she noted.

Besides, the average price nationally for red delicious apples was $1.21 per pound last week, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s retail report.

“Apples probably won’t cure the woes of our health care system, but they’re cheap enough and they certainly won’t hurt,” Hayes said.

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Cats Ought Not to Be Fat and Dogs Shouldn't Look Like Hogs

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Although a lot of attention is being paid to the obesity epidemic in this county, millions are neglecting to see how it affects other members of their households, namely, pets.

The Association of Pet Obesity and Prevention (APOP) in its annual report of the problem says that a whopping 58 percent of cats are overweight in the U.S., and dogs aren't far behind.

The group's National Pet Obesity Prevalence Survey finds that 53 percent of dogs are also carrying too much weight for their own good.

Perception, or actually, the lack thereof, is at the crux of the problem. The survey says that 95 percent of overweight dog owners and nine out of ten owners of fat cats think their pets appear normal.

Dr. Steven Budsberg, a veterinary orthopedic specialist and APOP member, advises people who regularly bring their pets in for medical check-ups to simply ask their vets if their dog or cat is obese.

Doing so can prolong the lives of their pet, according to Budsberg, who contends that dogs of normal weight live two-and-a-half years longer than obese mutts while cats that are overweight once they get to be ten are four times more likely to die than slimmer kitties.

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Millennials Claim Sex Assaults Are Rampant in College and High School

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Most young adults in the U.S. believe that sexual assaults are a regular occurrence in both college and high school.

A survey of 2,300 Americans ages 18-to-35 conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute finds that close to three-fourths of this group agree with the statement that sexual assault is “somewhat” or “very” common on college campuses.

Perhaps more shockingly, just over half say that it is “somewhat” or “very” common to find sexual assaults taking place at high school.

The 2015 Millennials, Sexuality and Reproductive Health Survey by the Washington-based institute also reveals that 15 percent of women between 18 and 35 claim to have been sexually assaulted while a third say they're aware of a relative or close friend who has been attacked.

As for preventative measures, 60 percent say not enough is being done to combat sexual assaults on the college level while 53 percent feel that high schools should also be doing more.

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Oklahoma Reports First Case of Measles Since 1997

RidvanArda/iStock/Thinkstock(STILLWATER, Okla.) -- The Oklahoma State Department of Health announced on Friday the state had received the first confirmed measles case in Oklahoma since 1997.

Officials said the person is a spouse of an Oklahoma State University student who lives off-campus, and recently traveled out of the country.

State health officials are working with the Payne County Health Department, Oklahoma State University and local medical facilities in the investigation.

Officials however warned that the infected person visited the following locations in Stillwater, and may have exposed others to the virus:

  • Aldi (1188 N Perkins Rd) - March 13.
  • Crepe Myrtle Market (613 S Lewis) - March 13.
  • Food Pyramid (421 N Main St) - March 13.
  • Boba Fusion Café (211 N Perkins Rd) - March 13.
  • China Wok (917 N Perkins Rd) - March 14.
  • Jimmy’s Egg (811 W 6th Ave) - March 16.
  • University Health Services on March 17 or 19.

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed is asked to review their immunization records and contact their local health department with any questions.

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Restaurants May Lack Healthy Meals for Kids

Jack Hollingsworth/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The “kid’s menu” at your local restaurant may fall short when it comes to nutritious fare, according to a new study that looked at restaurants in two states in the southeastern United States.

Researchers at Virginia Tech looked at nearly 140 children menus from various restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia in a study published Thursday in Preventing Chronic Disease.

Researchers found that even though restaurants offered on average five meal options in the kid’s menu, barely one in 10 menus included at least one healthy option.

While 39 percent of the restaurants reviewed offered fruit, only 23 percent offered fruit without added sugar, and 33 percent of the restaurants offered a healthy drink option.

Although some restaurants turned to milk as their healthy substitute, researchers say only 28.5 percent of the restaurants reviewed offered low-fat or skim milk as an option.

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Indiana Couple Welcomes 'One in a Million' Set of Triplets

WRTV(GREENFIELD, Ind.) -- An Indiana couple is celebrating an extra-special arrival with the birth of their identical triplet daughters.

Ashley and Matt Alexander of Greenfield, Indiana, were surprised weeks ago when they learned they were expecting three new additions to their family during a routine sonogram, according to ABC affiliate WRTV-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana.

"She was checking [Ashley] and right away there were twins, and she goes, 'Let me check for a third,'" Matt Alexander told WRTV-TV in an earlier interview. "I'm like, she's just joking. I said, 'You're joking,' and she said, 'No, we don't joke about this stuff.' So [Ashley] about came off the table."

The couple, who already have a son, had conceived the triplets naturally, so they were not expecting to see three heartbeats on the sonogram.

Ashley Alexander told WRTV-TV she has a plan to tell the girls apart.

"I'm painting their nails," she said. "One's going to be pink, one purple, and the other probably pale blue."

Dr. William Gilbert, the director of women's services for Sutter Health in Sacramento, California, said in an earlier interview with ABC News there was no definite rate for the number of identical triplets born every year.

"It's hard to calculate a conservative estimate," Gilbert said about the rate of naturally conceived identical triplets. "One in 70,000 - that would be on the low end. The high end is one in a million."

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Germanwings Crash: How Often Pilots Commit 'Aircraft-Assisted Suicide'

ABC News / Flight Aware(NEW YORK) -- Although authorities said the co-pilot of the Germanwings flight that crashed earlier this week in France intended to “destroy the plane” with 150 people on board, so-called “aircraft-assisted suicides” are rare, according to researchers who reviewed decades of crash data. Still, they’ve occurred in the past, and sometimes, the pilots expressed their intentions beforehand, according to their study.

Of the 7,244 fatal airplane crashes in the United States from 1993 through 2012, 24 were the result of aircraft-assisted suicide, the authors concluded in the 2014 study published in the journal Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine.

That's 0.33 percent, and they noted that most of these flights were private, not commercial.

But the study's lead author, Dr. Alpo Vuorio of the Mehilainen Airport Health Centre in Finland, said their findings show a need for greater transparency by the pilots’ when it comes to self-reporting their psychological conditions. He said five of the eight pilots involved in aircraft-assisted suicides in the United States from 2003 through 2012 somehow voiced their suicidal thoughts beforehand, investigators uncovered after the crashes. Yet those suicidal thoughts were not disclosed to aviation doctors or the airlines by the pilots or those who knew of their suicidal thoughts.

"Somebody knew," Vuorio said. "They’re [crash investigators] not saying the aviation doctor knew. That information was there, but it wasn't spoken about and that's sad.”

The Federal Aviation Administration requires pilots to undergo medical evaluations at least once a year, but Seattle-based aviation analyst Todd Curtis, said psychological conditions are mostly self-reported.

"If you self-identify that you have certain things wrong with you, you can be denied license," he said. "If you can pass a medical exam where there's very little vetting of information outside the exam, sure, you can fly."

Until five years ago, U.S. pilots weren't allowed to take most antidepressants. Today, most psychological conditions require an FAA decision before pilots can be allowed to fly, according to the administration's guide for aviation medical examiners. Conditions including psychosis, bipolar disorder and a prior suicide attempt are grounds for denying or deferring a pilot’s license. It’s up to the FAA to make a final decision.

The FAA was not immediately available for comment.

In Europe, pilots "may" be required to undergo psych evaluations and those with "schizotypal or delusional" disorders will not be allowed to fly, according to published guidelines.

Notable suspected aircraft-assisted suicides involved commercial flights such as Silk Air Flight MI 185 in 1997 and LAM Mozambique Airlines Flight 470 in 2013. And according to Curtis, who founded in the mid-1990s in order to track airplane accidents, there are others that officials determined to have been sabotaged by pilots or are suspected of having been downed by their pilots.

Japan Air Lines in 1982

In 1982, a Japan Air Lines pilot reportedly "lost his senses" and crashed a plane carrying 150 people into Tokyo Bay, killing 24 of them but not the pilot, according to the New York Times. There was reportedly a fight in the cockpit before the plane went down.

Silk Air in 1997

In 1997, all 104 people aboard Silk Air flight MI 185 died when the flight went down in Indonesia. Contradicting findings by Indonesian authorities, which ruled out a suicide, U.S. investigators determined that the crash was intentional.

"The accident can be explained by intentional pilot action," they said in a letter to Indonesian investigators in 2000. "The evidence suggests that the cockpit voice recorder was intentionally disconnected."

EgyptAir in 1999

Egypt Air Flight 990 went down near Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 1999, killing all 217 people on board, ABC News reported at the time. Investigators concluded that there was nothing wrong with the plane itself -- as EgyptAir suggested -- and wondered whether the crash was intentional.

The NTSB led this investigation and wrote in its final report, "The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the EgyptAir flight 990 accident is the airplane's departure from normal cruise flight and subsequent impact with the Atlantic Ocean as a result of the relief first officer's flight control inputs. The reason for the relief first officer's actions was not determined.

LAM Mozambique Airlines in 2013

All 33 people aboard LAM Mozambique Airlines flight 470 died in 2013 after the pilot put the plane into a "dangerously steep dive, seemingly on purpose" in Namibia, according to Vuorio's study.

The accident remains under investigation.

Malasia Air in 2014

Malaysia Air flight 370 disappeared last March carrying 277 passengers and 12 crew members. About an hour into the flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, air traffic controllers lost contact with it, and investigators believe it flew thousands of miles off-course.

Despite more than a year of searching, the plane has not been found.

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School Tells 'Tiny' Girl Her Body Mass Index is Too High

Hemera/Thinkstock(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- A Missouri mother is livid after her daughter came home from elementary school with a note saying that her body mass index was too high despite her lean frame.

"She goes, 'Does this mean I'm fat?' and I said, 'No, this does not mean you are fat,'" Amanda Moss, of Belton, Missouri, told KMBC, ABC's Kansas City affiliate.

Moss's daughter Kylee is 7 years old, 54 pounds, 3-foot-10, Moss told the station.

According to the BMI calculator on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website, her BMI is 17.9, making her overweight. But Moss says Kylee is an active, thin second grader.

"She is tiny," Moss told KMBC. "She has no body fat at all."

The school calculated students body mass indexes, which are a measurement of height, weight and age, as part of a grant program, Belton School District Superintendent Andrew Underwood told ABC News. In the future, he said parents will be allowed to opt out.

"We do the body mass index on our students for positive reasons to try to promote healthy habits as far as what the kids eat and their activity," Underwood said. "There was no malicious intent by this."

BMI is a controversial measurement because it does not distinguish muscle mass from fat mass, said Dr. Naveen Uli, a pediatric endocrinology at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. Uli has not treated Kylee.

Knowing the average BMI for a student population can be helpful in making administrative changes such as increasing physical activity time or adding healthier options to the cafeteria menu, but it may not be as helpful on an individual scale, Uli said.

"[I]t may in fact be psychological[ly punishing, since school personnel may not be familiar with details regarding that child's health," he said in an email to ABC News. "This is best addressed by that child's healthcare provider. That being said, if the school is in a neighborhood with limited access to healthcare, the child might not be seeing a pediatrician regularly. In that scenario, the school report to the child's parents on BMI might be a much needed wake-up call."

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