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  • iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical ContributorCoconut water has been consumed by folks in tropical climates for centuries, and today, many people drink it for its taste and claimed benefits.Often referred to as "Nature’s Sports Drink," coconut water is packed with electrolytes and is good for hydration. And while it's a good substitute for sugary drinks, it does contain a small amount of sugar and salt. The drink is believed to be good for a number of health related ailments, like lowering blood pressure, weight loss and increased athletic performance. It's also thought to boost energy, lower cholesterol and reduce cellulite. But to be honest, there’s not enough scientific data to support most of these claims. Bottom line: If you like the taste of coconut water, go for it but don’t expect any health miracles just yet.
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  • Phoebe Kannisto(CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y.) -- One family in Cheektowaga, New York donated more than 17 feet of hair to an organization that helps kids in need.Phoebe Kannisto along with her six sons -- 10-year-old Andre, 8-year-old twins Silas and Emerson, and her 5-year-old triplets Herbie, Reed and Dexter -- ventured to a local hair salon, Hizair Hair Salon, to do the big chop.The family, which also includes Kannisto's husband of nearly 11 years, Eric, and their 2-year-old daughter Marah Taylor, later donated the hair, which totaled approximately 17 feet, to Children with Hair Loss, a non-profit organization that helps children with medically-related hair loss.Kannisto, who has donated her hair since she was a teenager, decided to get her children involved in 2015."Three years ago a friend of mine lost her son to cancer and he was also a twin and very similar in age to my twins," she recalled to ABC News. "So on the first anniversary of his passing my three oldest sons donated their hair in his memory and that’s kind of how it started."Kannisto said although her younger children "have a simpler grasp on the concept, they understand that they’re helping sick kids who don’t have hair and can’t grow hair."And because it's a family affair, they're already gearing up for their next donation as Kannisto's youngest child -- 2-year-old Marah Taylor -- wants to donate."We promised her we'd all go again so she could do it with us," the mom added with a laugh.Kannisto said it's imperative for her to donate to kids who are fighting cancer, in particular, since her husband is a cancer research scientist."Cancer hits close to home for everybody," she said. "Everybody knows someone who’s affected by cancer."
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  • Courtesy Katherine Schreiber(NEW YORK) -- Since she was in elementary school, Katherine Schreiber, 28, remembers struggling with body issues. Sometimes these feelings were so severe she felt she was "too ugly" to go to class.Schreiber told ABC News she felt "so self-conscious, obsessed with imperfections."As a teenager, she thought she found a solution to counteract her feelings of self-hatred: exercise."If I exercised, I could control that feeling," Schreiber explained. "[I] got into exercise in high school, started twice a week, then became three times a day."
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  • iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- There may be a link between the common parenting practice known as "emotional feeding," or using food as a means of comforting or rewarding children, and the development later in life of "emotional eating," or the habit of eating to comfort or reward oneself, a new study suggests.A team of researchers based out of Norway examined the eating habits of a group of 4-year-olds in Norway and then followed up every two years until the group turned 10.The scientists found that among the sample of 801 children they examined, there was a "reciprocal relation between parental emotional feeding and child emotional eating," the study states in the abstract.Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News' chief women's health correspondent, discussed the warning for parents live on Good Morning America Wednesday, saying that with any parenting technique you want to lead by example."There are some good habits that we can establish in childhood, like are you eating as a family,” which Ashton said has been shown to reduce the risk of obesity. Ashton also recommended that parents "avoid using food as punishment or a reward and you want to talk about your emotions."Both emotional feeding and emotional eating habits do not necessarily link eating to when one's body feels hunger.The association between emotional feeding in young children and emotional eating in school-age children was only weakly positive, but remains statistically significant.The study said that association may have important implications later, since analyses also revealed a connection between emotional eating and children's body mass index, a measure of overweight and obesity.
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  • iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor
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