Did You Know?

Facts on holiday hot spots for the brain, childhood weight gain, flu shots and more.

By PT Staff, published October 1, 2004 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016

Travel and Leisure

Traveling to a warm locale in the middle of winter-or even just stepping outdoors for a half hour to take in a spring day-improves both mood and memory. Basking in a bit of sun also gets creative juices flowing and increases open-mindedness. But not if it's too hot out; blistering temperatures make us think only of hammocks.

The Wrong Way to Help Kids

The best way to keep children from becoming overweight is NOT to make sweet and fatty foods off limits. Restricting children from specific foods is likely to result only in even more weight gain, especially if they're genetically predisposed to pack on extra pounds. Instead of imposing restrictions, experts say, parents should actively promote healthy foods and model good eating behavior themselves.

People Can Change

Characteristics such as narcissism and impulsivity have long been considered stable and enduring personality traits. But new research suggests that these conditions are flexible and can in fact lessen their hold over time. A good thing, too, since about 10% of the population has a personality disorder that may seriously effect social and occupational functioning.

185 million

The number of Americans who should get the flu vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Fewer than half of those actually get the vaccine, and every year an average of 36,000 Americans die of influenza.