Auto-correct texting feature presents challenges, those with allergies and obesity suffer more from bullies, obesity rates dip among children from low-income families. Read more about these stories and other public health news in headlines for today, Dec. 26, 2012.

Reuters‘Dystextia’: Gibberish texts sound stroke alarm
Imagine you were a devoted husband, waiting to hear from your wife about her due date after a visit to the obstetrician, and you saw these on your phone:
“every where thinging days nighing”
“Some is where!”
That’s what happened last December to a Boston-area man, who knew that autocorrect – known for its bizarre replacements – was turned off on his 11-week-pregnant wife’s phone.

ABC NewsAllergies, obesity an open goal for bullies
Bullying over health issues is common, according to two studies looking at kids with food allergies and those going through weight-loss programs. In one study, almost 32% of children with food allergies reported bullying or harassment specifically related to their allergy, often involving threats with food, Eyal Shemesh, MD, of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, and colleagues found. In a second study, 64% of teens at weight-loss camps reported weight-related victimization, not just by schoolmates but often by friends, coaches, teachers, and parents too, Rebecca Puhl, PhD, of Yale University, and colleagues reported. Both studies appeared online in Pediatrics.

New York TimesStudy finds modest declines in obesity rates among young children from poor families
A new national study has found modest declines in obesity among 2- to 4-year-olds from poor families, a dip that researchers say may indicate that the obesity epidemic has passed its peak among this group. The study, by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drew on the height and weight measurements of 27 million children who were part of the federal Women, Infants and Children program, which provides food subsidies to low-income mothers and their children up to the age of 5.

U.S. NewsToday’s US soldiers fitter than decades ago: Report
U.S. service members who died in Iraq and Afghanistan had been healthier than troops in previous wars, military researchers report. Although almost 9 percent of those autopsied had some degree of atherosclerosis (or “hardening”) of their coronary arteries, which can lead to heart disease, this was far lower than seen in soldiers who died in Vietnam or Korea, researchers say. Similar studies had shown that 77 percent of soldiers in the Korean War and 45 percent in the Vietnam War had atherosclerosis, Webber’s group noted.