Many campaigns across the world promote exercise as a key part of programmes to tackle childhood obesity. But a new study may turn the assumption that exercise prevents obesity on its head. Professor Terry Wilkin from the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth, England heads the Early Bird diabetes study. He has been following children over a decade and has found that although fatness does lead to inactivity, inactivity doesn’t lead to fatness. What implications do these counterintuitive findings have for tackling obesity in children?

When a baby is born prematurely some mothers find they’re unable to produce breast milk. Meanwhile some mothers of full-term babies find they have more than enough. So the women with plenty of milk can donate it to the premature babies of women without. There are breast banks in many parts of the world, but the country with more than any other is Brazil, where there are nearly 200. Paulo Cabral reports from a bank in Sao Paulo.

In the Philippines many girls have their first baby not long after puberty. In an attempt to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and the incidence of sexually transmitted infections, a government initiative is introducing sex education lessons to 160 schools for the very first time. But there is vocal opposition from the Catholic Church. The BBC’s reporter in the Philippines Kate McGeowan explains.

What is it about a charismatic person that draws you in to what they are saying? If we think someone has charisma, neuro-scientific research can reveal that we lower our guard and trust them just that little more than we might have done otherwise. Uffe Shudt, a researcher at Arhus University in Denmark has been investigating what happens in the brains of Christian and secular participants who were listening to prayers by speakers they’d been told had special healing powers.

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Sun 18 Jul 2010 21:32 GMT

Zika: a new pandemic?

Zika virus emerggency talks

The explosive spread and impact of the mosquito-borne virus.