Medical notes this week…

A kid’s picky eating could be a sign of autism. A study in the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders shows that certain eating habits in children as young as one year old could signal that a child needs to be screened. While it’s true that many kids are picky eaters, researchers say a child with autism won’t grow out of a narrow diet and hypersensitivities to food texture, color, and temperatures. The link between food choices and autism could help with early detection and treatment.

Medication dispensing limits are supposed to save money, but a study on VA beneficiaries in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine shows that may not be the case for birth control pills. Currently about 24,000 women receive oral contraceptives from the VA, refilled in three-month increments. But sometimes people miss refills—even quarterly ones. Researchers estimate that dispensing the pill in a year long prescription would prevent nearly 600 unplanned pregnancies a year, and save the VA about $2 million annually.  

And finally, shrinking screens could be distorting your view of the news. More and more people rely on smartphone screens to watch the news, and a study in the journal Information, Communication, and Society finds that when we watch news videos on smaller screens, we are less attentive, less engaged, and the news seems less important.

Check out this week’s Medical Notes!

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