Health Highlights: Oct. 1, 2015

Health Highlights: Oct. 1, 2015

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Talk Therapy for Depression Not as Effective as Believed: Study

The benefits of talk therapy for depression are overstated, according to researchers.

They analyzed 55 studies funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health between 1972 and 2008 and concluded that talk therapy is about 25 percent less effective than previously thought, The New York Times reported.

Specifically, talk therapy for depression is effective for about 20 percent of patients, rather than the previous figure of nearly 30 percent.

Talk therapy has been regarded as more effective than it actually is partly due to the fact that many studies with poor results were not published in journals, according to study leader Ellen Driessen, VU University in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and colleagues.

Their findings were published Wednesday in the journal PLoS One.

Each year, five to six million Americans receive talk therapy for depression, The Times reported.


England, Wales Ban Smoking in Cars With Youngsters

England and Wales have banned smoking in cars when youngsters are present.

Anyone who smokes inside a car with youngsters younger than 18 could be fined $75. Drivers would face the same fine even if they are not smoking, the Associated Press reported.

The ban took effect Thursday but police are not expected to issue fines until the public gets used to the new rule.

Police will take an “educational, advisory and non-confrontational approach” for at least the first three months of the regulation, according to a National Police Chiefs’ Council statement, the AP reported.

“This would see people being given warnings rather than being issued with fines,” the statement said.

The ban was not introduced in Scotland or Northern Ireland.


Other Foods on Plate Key to Kids’ Veggie Intake: Study

Other foods on the plate influence whether children eat their vegetables, according to a new study.

Texas A&M University researchers looked at nearly 8,500 elementary school students and found that they were much more likely to eat their vegetables if another food on the plate wasn’t so delicious that they focused on it, the Washington Post reported.

For example, vegetables tended to be ignored if there were also chicken nuggets or burgers on the plate. But the students ate more of their vegetables if the other items on their plates were less well-liked, such as deli sliders.

The findings could lead to new ways to get students to eat more of the vegetables that come with school meals, according to the Post.

Ninety percent of American children don’t eat enough vegetables, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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