Medical Notes this week…

Suicide rates are rising sharply across the United States. A new report finds that nearly 45,000 suicides occurred in the U.S. in 2016, more than twice the number of homicides. Experts say suicide is not only a mental health problem but also a public health issue. In the 27 states that use the National Violent Death Reporting System, 54 percent of suicides were by people without a known mental illness.  

Pediatricians are coming down hard on spanking. A survey published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics finds three out of four pediatricians disapprove of spanking. The survey of doctors shows 78 percent of pediatricians thinks spanking never or hardly ever improves children’s behavior. Parents, however, may disagree. a survey in the journal Child Trends shows that 76 percent of men and 65 percent of women think spanking is a necessary form of discipline.  

And finally, is your favorite restaurant playing “mind games” with you? A study published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Sciences finds diners who are exposed to loud music order foods that are significantly higher in calories. High volume sounds are proven to impact heart rate and arousal, so louder music ignites excitement, stimulation and stress. That means restaurants can manipulate customers and contribute to their unhealthy eating habits.

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