The health benefits of shopping
— Why Shopping Can Be Good for Your HealthDespite its benefits, retail therapy is shunned by many consumers. “I think it’s unpopular these days to say you shop for pleasure because we’re supposed to be in some stoic state in this post-recession economy,” says Kit Yarrow, a professor of psychology at Golden Gate University in San Francisco who studies consumer trends and behaviors. “I think shopping serves as a healthy purpose for a lot of people. If it works for you, you should not feel guilty. Do it, enjoy it and don’t overdo it.”
STUDY: Infants who were highly exposed to traffic pollution were likely to develop ADHD
The study is the latest to suggest that pollution may play a role in the developing brain. Previous studies found that particulate matter associated with pollution can find its way into the brain, and that people who are exposed to high levels of air pollution might develop brain swelling. Children exposed to high levels of traffic pollution have also shown decreased memory performance and decreased scores on cognitive tests, and some studies suggest that pollution may play a role in the development of autism.— Study: Pollution Exposure Associated With ADHD in Children
Thinking of drinking heavily this Saturday? Might want to go for a jog first.
People who exercised often did not show a “strong relationship between white matter damage and heavy drinking,” unlike those who drank but did not exercise much, according to Hollis Karoly, a researcher at the University of Colorado, Boulder and lead author of the study, which was published Tuesday in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. White matter is one of the main components of the brain and is involved with learning, processing, cognition and communication between different regions of the brain. In the past, “heavy alcohol exposure [has been] significantly associated with decreased white matter fiber quality,” according to the study. The study asked participants to self-report their drinking and aerobic exercise habits, which include running, walking, cycling and other light-to-moderate intensity activities.— Report: Exercise Might Prevent Alcohol’s Brain-Damaging Effects
If red wine is so good for you, why don’t we have a red wine pill?
As a pharmaceutical, resveratrol [which can be found in red wine] has issues. Sinclair calls it “a dirty drug,” meaning it has too many targets in the cell. But that may be moot, because it seems to have extremely low “bioavailability” in humans. (Translation: Most of it exits via your bladder.) That doesn’t stop people from spending $30 million a year on resveratrol supplements, including Sinclair himself (as he told the Times in 2006). But relatively few human studies have been done on resveratrol, and the results are modestly positive, but far from overwhelming, particularly in healthy adults.— Dude, Where’s My Red Wine Pill?
Roughly 75 percent of worldwide deaths associated with soda consumption happen in low- and middle- income countries, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean. About 25,000 deaths in the United States in 2010 were linked to sugary drink consumption. Report: Soda Associated With 180,000 ‘Preventable’ Deaths Each Year
SCIENCE: Being informed of how long it would take you to burn off calories causes you to eat less food
Choosing what to eat or drink based on calorie numbers alone is challenging for some restaurant-goers, according to Anthony Viera at the University of North Carolina (U.N.C.) at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. “It requires a computation that many people might not find easy to make at the point of decision,” he says. So Viera and his colleagues conducted an online survey of 802 individuals randomly presented with one of four hypothetical menus. One of the menus provided only calorie counts, another supplemented this with information about the number of minutes one would need to walk to burn those calories whereas the third menu showed calorie numbers plus the distance necessary to walk them off. The fourth menu had no nutritional data whatsoever. All of the physical activity labeling for walking was based on the energy expenditure of a 160-pound adult walking at a rate of 30 minutes per mile—so a “regular burger” was, for example, listed as containing 250 calories, the equivalent amount burned in 2.6 miles, or 78 minutes of walking. People who viewed the menu without nutritional information ordered a meal totaling 1,020 calories, on average, significantly more than the average 826 calories ordered by those who viewed menus that included information about walking-distance.— Tread Lightly: Labels That Translate Calories into Walking Distance Could Induce People to Eat Less
The man who thinks he can live on nothing more than a powdered drink
I don’t think we need fruits and veggies, though – we need vitamins and minerals. We need carbs, not bread. Amino acids, not milk. It’s still fine to eat these whenever you want, but not everyone can afford them or has the desire to eat them. Food should be optimised and personalised. If Soylent [a powdered drink he created] was as cheap and easy to obtain as a cup of coffee, I think people would be much healthier and healthcare costs would be lower. And I think this is entirely possible.— THIS MAN THINKS HE NEVER HAS TO EAT AGAIN
Adults aren’t the only ones who see a decrease in stress as a result of exercise
There was no difference in the cortisol levels at home between children who were active and those who were less active. But when the researchers gave the children a standard psychosocial stress test at a clinic involving arithmetic and storytelling challenges, they found that those who had not engaged in physical activity had raised cortisol levels. The children who had moderate or vigorous physical activity showed relatively no rise in cortisol levels. Those results indicate a more positive physiological response to stress by children who were more active, the researchers said in a study that was published this week in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. The children who were least active had the highest levels.— Exercise May Help Protect Children From Stress
Sleep loss itself leads people to expend more energy because the body needs more to keep it awake,” says Kenneth Wright, lead author of the report and director of the University of Colorado Sleep and Chronobiology Laboratory. “People eat more in response to these needs, but they eat more than they really need to, which leads to weight gain. Study: Lack of Sleep Causes Weight Gain in Just a Few Days
The best weight loss strategy? Getting paid
The participants were told to achieve the goal of losing 4 pounds per month up to a predetermined goal weight. The researchers kept track of their body weight every month for almost one year. The researchers told the participants in the incentive groups that they would receive $20 per month if they achieved the goal. And those who failed to achieve the goal would need to pay $20 each month that gets into the bonus pool. Participants in both incentive groups who finished the study were entitled to win the pool by lottery. The researchers noticed that 62 percent of the participants in the incentive group achieved the goal, while just 26 percent from the non-incentive group hit the target. The mean weight loss of participants from the incentive group was 9.08 pounds and the mean weight loss for the non incentive group was 2.34 pounds.— Weight Loss can be Achieved by Financial Incentives: Study
Of the nearly 2,000 people surveyed, more than 80 percent said they support government intervention to prevent cancer, heart disease, help people control diabetes, and prevent childhood obesity. Three-fourths of respondents said they support laws that would reduce tobacco use or laws that would prevent obesity in adults; 70 percent of respondents said they’d support laws to curb alcohol consumption. Study Finds Widespread Support for Anti-Obesity Laws
Studies have shown that school-age children are more likely to consume flavored milk over regular milk, so if the downward trend in milk consumption in schools is to be reversed, there need to be better options available for lower-calorie flavored milk. Why Your Kids May Soon Be Drinking ‘Diet Milk’
Is a decline in housework and cleaning responsible for a rise in obesity?
— What Housework Has to Do With Waistlines[Edward Archer] and his colleagues pulled data from diaries about how many hours the women were spending in various activities, how many calories they likely were expending in each of those tasks, and how the activities and associated energy expenditures changed over the years. As it turned out, their findings broadly echoed those of the occupational time-use study. Women, they found, once had been quite physically active around the house, spending, in 1965, an average of 25.7 hours a week cleaning, cooking and doing laundry. Those activities, whatever their social freight, required the expenditure of considerable energy. (The authors did not include child care time in their calculations, since the women’s diary entries related to child care were inconsistent and often overlapped those of other activities.) In general at that time, working women devoted somewhat fewer hours to housework, while those not employed outside the home spent more.
New research from the University College of Cork in Ireland recently published in the peer-reviewed, open-access research journal PLOS ONE shows that as many as half of the self-reported BMI scores for men and women in the obese and overweight categories may be wrong—down from 80 percent when the Irish survey began 10 years earlier. Lying About Your Weight
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