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Fetus heart races when mom reads poetry

New research findings on the ability of a fetus to recognize its mother’s voice and even distinguish it from other female voices confirms what scientists have speculated about for more than 20 years – that experiences in the womb help shape newborn preferences and behaviour. Dr. Barbara Kisilevsky, a Queen’s University professor of nursing along with a team of psychologists at Queen’s and obstetricians in Hangzhou, China, found that fetuses are capable of learning in the womb and can remember and recognize their mother’s voice before they are even born.

Portion size matters: Given too much, we eat it

Almost nobody can stop eating at just one normal serving if there’s extra food on their plate, Penn State researchers have shown, and this tendency coupled with the spread of megaportions may be contributing to the American obesity epidemic. In the first systematic, controlled study of the response to portion size in adults, the researchers found that the bigger the portion, the more the participants ate. On average, they ate 30 percent more from a five-cup portion of macaroni and cheese than from one half its size ? without reporting feeling any fuller after eating. Dr. Barbara Rolls, who holds the Guthrie Chair of Nutrition in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development, led the study. She says, “Men and women, normal-weight and overweight individuals, restrained and unrestrained eaters, all responded to larger portion size by eating more.”

Calorie listings don’t encourage overeating, study says

You really don't want to knowLabeling foods “low-fat” is suspected of encouraging consumers to overeat. If that box of Ho-Ho’s claims to be low-fat, heck, why not down the full dozen? But a study from Penn State says the same is not true of the listing of caloric content. “Some studies have shown that people take larger portions of foods labeled ‘low fat’ ? using the label as a license to eat more. This study shows that energy density labels are unlikely to undermine the benefits of offering foods with fewer calories per ounce.”