* Obesity in children in the United States is becoming such a problem that doctors are being recommended to start blood pressure readings when the child reaches the age of three, and to give cholesterol checks from the age of five (Circulation, 2002; 106: 143-60).
* Otitis media, or glue ear, cannot be treated with antibiotics, a new study has discovered. Unless the child is vomiting or has a fever, the standard antibiotic treatment will be of very little benefit (BMJ, 2002; 325: 22-5).
* The body mass index (BMI) is too high to gauge health risks among Asians. A BMI of 30 is usually used to determine if someone is obese, but this should be lowered to 23 to cater for the different body type of Asians, concluded a WHO report (Lancet, 2002; 360: 235).
* The urban myth that recirculating air on airplanes can cause infections such as colds has been confounded by new research that tracked the health of 1100 passengers on various flights from San Francisco (JAMA, 2002; 288: 483-6).