Health Highlights: Feb. 8, 2008

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

Sad Shoppers Often Regret Purchases

Sad and self-focused people who attempt to increase their self-esteem by shopping tend to spend more for the same item than other people and often end up regretting their purchases, according to a U.S. study released Friday at the annual meeting of the Society for Social and Personality Psychology.

"What we think is going on is that sad and self-focused people are feeling pretty bad about themselves and have a decreased valuation of themselves. They want to enhance this valuation, and one way to do this is be acquiring material goods," said study co-author Cynthia Cryder, a doctoral student at Carnegie Mellon University, Agence France-Presse reported.

These people may be seeking to boost their self-esteem by transferring the value of items to themselves. But this kind of purchase often results in later regret.

"A huge key to avoiding decision-effects like this is being aware that you're sad in the first place. But that's rather hard to do," Cryder said. "Participants in studies such as ours usually have no idea that their feelings influence their decisions, so it's impossible to correct."

She suggested people "always re-evaluate major purchases one day or one week after you make them so that you can make sure that whatever you bought is still attractive to you," AFP reported. "That lowers the probability that you'll have an over-priced mistake due to some fleeting influence that you didn't know about and still don't know about. You just know, 'Wow... why did I pay so much for that?'"

    • Sad Shoppers Often Regret Purchases
    • Trek Recalls Girls' Bicycles
    • Longer Sleep cuts Kids' Risk for Weight Problems
    • Merck to Pay More Than $650 Million to Settle Drug Pricing Fraud Charges
    • Expanded Recall of New Era Canned Vegetables
    • U.S. Lawmakers Seek Details on Lipitor Ads Featuring Dr. Robert Jarvik
    • Tobacco Could Kill 1 Billion People This Century: WHO


Trek Recalls Girls' Bicycles

U.S. bicycle maker Trek has recalled about 49,000 MT220 girls' bicycles due to a risk of frame failure during use, which can cause riders to lose control and suffer injuries, said the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The company has received 13 reports of frames breaking, including four incidents that resulted in minor injuries. The recall covers MT220 bicycles from model years 2005 (light metallic blue), 2006 (metallic silver and metallic purple or pink and pearl white), and 2007 (pink and white pearl or metallic purple). The model name is printed on the frame of the bicycle. MT220 bicycles from model year 2008 are not included in the recall.

The recalled bikes were sold from April 2004 through June 2007 for about $300. Consumers should take these bicycles away from children immediately and return them to a Trek dealer for a free replacement bicycle or a $100 discount on a different size Trek bicycle.

For more information, contact Trek Bicycle Corp., of Waterloo, Wis., at (800) 373-4594.


Longer Sleep Cuts Kids' Risk for Weight Problems

The longer children sleep at night, the less likely they are to be overweight or obese, concludes a U.S. study in the February issue of the journal Obesity.

Researchers analyzed 11 published studies and found that the risk of children being overweight or obese declines nine percent for each additional hour of sleep they get per night, CBC News reported.

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