TODAY   |  May 06, 2013

Spit-cleaning pacifiers may help prevent asthma

The TODAY anchors chat about the hot topics of the day, including a new study from Sweden suggesting that by sucking your child’s pacifier clean and giving it back to them, you could help them avoid eczema and asthma.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> welcome to "today" on this monday morning, may the 6th, 2013 . pretty good looking day outside the plaza, inside studio 1a i'm willie geist along with tamron hall . natalie is in london and al is in l.a., i've called in reinforcement, msh mb my friend and co-host of msnbc's " morning joe " and author of "obsessed" we came across the street.

>> ran across the street.

>> just finished one show and doing this. comcast is getting its money's worth.

>> working hard .

>> working hard for the money.

>> we'll talk about her new important book in a minute. we begin take three by checking in with al and natalie separated by half a world this morning. natalie in london , hey nat.

>> what's up, guys? looks like you've been having fun . i had a blast in london . we were here earlier to talk with the cast of "fast and furious" out with their sixth movie so the action continues. it never left off as you can imagine a lot of fun with the cast, but then also i'm here laying groundwork for royal baby, two months to go just in case you're wondering. i know you're counting down. and i'm most excited getting on a plane and headed to sweden next to go to the abba museum which is opening tomorrow.

>> yeah! how cool.

>> i got to ask you your favorite aba song so i can make sure i have it ready.

>> " mama mia " or is it "fernando"? that's a good one. it's on my play list but can you bring back a t-shirt, an abba museum t-shirt.

>> how cool is that, wow, fantastic.

>> al, what is your favorite song?

>> we're begging for gifts. this is very pathetic.

>> you don't get an abba t-shirt every day. meanwhile al is hanging out in hollywood.

>> natalie laying groundwork for a new baby?

>> i'm delivering the baby, al.

>> checklist "fast and furious" baby watch and abba museum .

>> watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat.

>> al what is your tough assignment?

>> i came out here early this great new show on nbc this summer called "hollywood game night " hosted by jane lynch , produced by sean hayes , you remember him from "will & grace."

>> you want me to stick around or am i clear?

>> a house party hanging out playing games, having a good time. i did that last night.

>> cool.

>> and then today my pal, savannah, is coming out here, we're going to be actually in the audience of "the voice" and doing some back stage stuff and then we're going to have some of the winners and losers and we're hoping a couple of the coaches tomorrow morning on "today". so it's a blocked night.

>> quick, when you talk about house games are we talking a key party , do they get weird?

>> no, no, come on.

>> i was asking.

>> you don't even want to know had i said a key party you would have been all over me.

>> i'm asking on behalf of the audience.

>> nobody is asking that question. it's not the '70s.

>> it's like playing charades, you know, things like that, those kind of games.

>> family games.

>> family games except you're playing in this house and --

>> like connect four.

>> and coming up in 15, less than 15 minutes george lop is going to be here, new book, we're going to be talking to george lopez .

>> we'll check back with you. take two the guest of honor mika brzezinski , the new book is

called "obsessed: america's food addiction and my own." mika , we know the numbers, two in three americans overweight or obese, a huge problem. you go to any playground in america you can see the childhood obesity is a problem. you wrote this from a personal point of view.

>> it was inspired out of a conversation with a friend of mine who over the course of 15 years of knowing her went up to 256 pounds and i confronted her about that, and then she confronted meack about how thin i was, and i began to pour out my stories, involves years of having eating disorders and running and exercising and being on this cycle of trying to stay thin and doing it at terrible cost. we found out we had a lot in common.

>> you talk about being a young woman and overeating, scarfing down burgers, all o this in an attempt to deal with pain? what was it?

>> there's a lot of reasons why a lot of women do it and they all have different reasons.

>> what was your reason?

>> well, i personally think it's the only thing that loved me back or i felt did. i blamed this on no one, but i think what links us and even obese people and very skinny women and those who have food problems is the science that i see growing behind it and that is the salt, the sugar and the fat put in most of the food we eat, developing this brain reward and we look at studies that looked at brain scans and the pleasure center of the brain would light up when they would eat these foods laced in all these ingredients that are i say addictive. it would be the same type of lighting up as the brain would to cocaine, and so i link this to addiction, and then we look at obesity, her obesity and i challenged her, write the book with me, i'll pay you to lose weight , to write the book with me and lose weight . she has lost, my friend diane smith, who is an emmy award winning journalist who gained this weight over all the years, 75 unds.

>> there she is.

>> you talk about the addiction and i think about people who are struggling to lose weight and they lose a couple of pounds but get discouraged. it's almost as if the game is rigged against you.

>> it is rigged against you. that's what i find everyone says you're so judgmental to people who are obese. what this book does is stop that stuff. it stops, it cuts it because if you look at the science behind how we eat and you look at all the factors that play into obesity i don't think we look at this enough and we talked to a lot of very high profile people who deal with this problem and also the discrimination against them. chris christie is insulted every day, the governor of new jersey , foreing obese. you think he wants to live that way? do you think my friend diane wanted to be the way she was and still struggles not to be today? it's something more, and it's something that i think science will prove to be an addiction just as bad as alcoholism, drugs or cigarettes.

>> and a lot of high profile people speak out about their struggles.

>> there are solutions, too, real ones.

>> sound the alarm.

>>> take three, binkis and bacteria. there's a study in the journal "pediatrics" finds if you suck your child's pacifier clean as a parent you may be helping your kids avoid exczema and asthma. 65% reported sucking the pacifier to clean it, stockily reduced when they were examined at 18 months of age. we talked toome of our producers before who don't have kids and say that's disgusting. those of us who have kids it's ten times a day, right back into the kid's mouth.

>> you don't have a place to clean it you're not going to give it back to the crying kid dirty. from that to your mom licking the finger to get something off the face. saliva does the body good.

>> you're a good parent.

>> i've done it.

>> how old is your son?

>> 3, he's out of binkie phase but when they were little. he eats other things, not the binkie.

>> i love that, beyond that it's linked to possibly helping with eczxma.

>> now i'm going to give it back to you.

>> no, please.

>> she won't do it.

>> she was prepared to do it.

>> who gave her the props?

>> i asked for it.

>> mika comes prepared.

>> they told me there was a binkie story, you need a binkie for willie.

>> and mika asks for a binkie a binkie appears, right, louis?

>> " morning joe " start talking to me, interrupt me.