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A newborn palm cockatoo, also known as Goliath cockatoo, rests in an incubator at the zoo in Prague. (Petr David Josek/Associated Press)
A newborn palm cockatoo, also known as Goliath cockatoo, rests in an incubator at the zoo in Prague. (Petr David Josek/Associated Press)

Talking points: First-born favourites, virtuous food and stigma of obesity Add to ...

FIRST COMES FIRST

For better or worse, first-born children will always have a special place in the hearts of their parents. CTV News reports on a Canadian study revealing that first-born kids were more likely to be taken to hospital when they had bad reactions to childhood vaccinations. Researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Services and Public Health Ontario tracked more than a quarter-million hospital visits by children in the days after they received routine infant vaccinations at four months old. The results: first-born children were 70 per cent more likely to be taken to hospital than were their younger siblings.

VIRTUOUS FOOD

If you want to trick people into thinking your cooking is delicious, tell them it’s organic. The Daily Mail recaps a study that suggests people believe food is tastier when it comes with a morally virtuous label. Scientists at Sweden’s University of Gavle recently conducted an experiment in which they gave volunteers two cups of coffee and told them one was organic, even though they were identical. When asked which coffee tasted best, the participants overwhelmingly voted for the “organic” brew. Researcher Patrik Sorqvist noted: “In the case of crop products like coffee, consumers could quite easily imagine production differences that could influence taste, such as crop spraying.”

VICIOUS CIRCLE

The hurtful labels attached to overweight people could be the reason the obesity epidemic keeps growing. Salon.com expands on a study that posits that ongoing stigmatization of overweight people is exacerbating the obesity problem. Researchers at the University of California-Santa Barbara conducted an experiment that gave an all-female group of volunteers the assignment of reading a news article that reinforced obesity stereotypes. Afterward, the group was offered a variety of snacks and the women who already classified themselves as overweight ate more than the regular-sized participants. “Social messages targeted at combatting obesity may have paradoxical and undesired effects,” said psychologist Brenda Major.

THOUGHT DU JOUR

One of the biggest lies in the world is that crime doesn’t pay. Of course crime pays.

G. Gordon Liddy, Watergate felon

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