DW′s Health News: Why fish pedicures are a bad idea | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 11.07.2018
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DW's Health News: Why fish pedicures are a bad idea

Did you know that fish pedicures can cause deformations in your toenails? Or that if you feel young, your brain has probably stayed young, too? DW brings you this week's health news, all in one handy guide!

Fish pedicures – A bad idea!

If you've ever wondered what it's like to get a fish pedicure don't. The treatment uses "doctor fish," known as Garra rufa, that nibble dead skin off your feet. It trended about 10 years ago and is still popular, despite some concerns over hygiene. The hot water tub that you place your feet in is often re-used, as are the fish patient after patient and various fungi and disease-causing bacteria have been detected at fish pedicure spas.

On top of that, a new report in the journal JAMA Dermatology suggests your toes may effectively stop growing after a fish pedicure. This seems to have happened to a 20-year-old woman, who presented with a six-month history of abnormal toenail growth after a fish pedicure. Researchers think the fish may have caused the nail plate to temporarily stop producing, a condition called Onychomadesis. So you might want to rethink the whole fish-pedicure-treatment idea.

Johanna Quaas Senioren-Turnerin (picture-alliance/dpa)

92-year-old Johanna Quaas from Germany is the world's oldest gymnast. And she's fit as a fiddle!

Feeling young makes your brain young

People who feel younger than their age seem to show less signs of aging in their brain. Researchers in Korea used the common magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology to scan the brains of 68 healthy people aged 59 to 84. They also asked them a series of questions. Their results showed people who felt younger than their age scored better in memory tests, considered themselves to be healthy and were less likely to report symptoms of depression.

In short, the brains of people who felt younger had more structural characteristics of a younger brain. "If someone feels older than their age, it could be a sign for them to evaluate their lifestyle, habits and activities that could contribute to brain aging, and take measures to better care for their brain health," Dr. Jeanyung Chey of Seoul National University said.

Übergewicht bei Kindern (Colourbox)

A healthy diet is the key to preventing obesity in adults and children

How moms can prevent obesity in kids

Mothers who want to strongly reduce their children's risk of becoming obese have to develop five healthy habits themselves: eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight, drinking only in moderation and not smoking.

Researchers from Harvard University discovered that children whose mothers followed these habits were 75 percent less likely to become obese than children whose mothers didn't follow a healthy lifestyle. When children and mothers worked together to follow these five healthy habits, the obesity risk was 82 percent lower.

This discovery is important because global childhood obesity is on the rise. In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that more than 41 million children under the age of five were overweight. Overweight children often grow into overweight adults, who are more likely to develop diabetes, cardiovascular and other diseases. 

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