August 8, 2013

When Stressed, Habit Rules

1 “Comfort” Foods Are Whatever's Familiar

According to a new study by Empirica Research, people under stress do not compulsively crave high-calorie "comfort" food, but instead turn to whatever foods they normally eat, out of habit, whether those foods are healthy or not. The study found that when both healthy snacks and fatty or sugary treats were offered to MBA students at UCLA during stressful midterm exams, the students chose the items they normally ate as a matter of routine. "Habits," said the lead researcher, "cause us to disregard rational or motivational drivers," and instead make choices under pressure that are familiar and semi-automatic. The findings suggest that a primary reason that switching to a healthier diet is so difficult is simply that it requires breaking old habits which "are 45 percent of daily life."

More at Eurekalert.org | Posted 4 years ago by Robert S. Wieder

Tags: Comfort Foods, Eating and Stress, Stress and Overweight, Habitual Eating, Eating under Pressure, Empirica Research

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (54%) / No! (46%)

Including Alzheimer’s Disease

2 High Blood Sugar Raises Dementia Risk

High blood sugar, even levels much lower than those in diabetes, ups the risk for dementia including Alzheimer’s, says a study funded by the Nat’l. Institute on Aging. The study followed 2,067 people, 65+, 232 of whom had diabetes, for 7 years. Blood sugar tests were monitored and participants were given cognition tests every 2 years. At the end of the study, 524 participants had developed dementia, mostly Alzheimer’s. Diabetics with the highest blood sugar levels were 40% more likely to develop dementia than those with low levels and among participants without diabetes, those with higher glucose levels were 18% more likely to develop dementia. Researchers say that, until a cure is found, maintaining healthy blood sugar and cholesterol levels is “our best bet” to try to ward off dementia.

More at MSNBC.com | Posted 4 years ago by Melody Lesser

Previously: Gene Linked to Obesity May Lead to Dementia

Tags: Alzheimer's Disease, Blood Sugar, Dementia, Diabetes, National Institute on Aging, Blood Sugar and Dementia

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (53%)

Sorry About Past Views on Weed

3 Gupta Changes Mind, Backs Medical Marijuana

Dr. Sanjay Gupta has apologized and changed his mind about medical marijuana use, which he now favors. Gupta says that he didn't look far enough before, when he wrote his 2009 Time article about why he would vote "no" on weed. Now working on a documentary entitled "Weed," Gupta has traveled around the world to speak with medical leaders, as well as marijuana growers and patients. In his recent CNN article, Gupta writes, "I apologize because I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't' look far enough." Gupta also writes that he was too dismissive of the "loud chorus of legitimate patients" who experienced improvement while using medical marijuana. Gupta also reviewed papers from "smaller labs in other countries." He notes that those smaller labs are doing some "remarkable research."

More at CNN | Posted 4 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Government Frowns on Marijuana Research

Tags: Marijuana and Health, Marijuana Legalization, Gupta Views on Medical Marijuana, Gupta Changes Mind Weed

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (47%) / No! (53%)

Yawn, and Your Dog May Yawn Back

4 Dogs Catch Our Yawns

Dogs are more likely to catch yawns from their owners than from other people, say researchers in Tokyo who carried out controlled experiments with 25 different dog breeds. The research was published in PLoS One. WebMD for pets reports that the research also showed that dogs are less likely to respond to fake yawns as opposed to real yawns! Researchers used heart monitors on the dogs to ensure that they weren't yawning because they were anxious or stressed. They found that dogs were copying their owner's yawns, a possible sign of their ability to bond with others and show empathy.

More at Pets WebMD | Posted 4 years ago by Peggy Rowland

Previously: Hormone Spray Can Affect Kids and Pets

Tags: Contagious Yawning, PLoS ONE, Dog Catching Yawns Humans, Dog Yawning Reasons, Why Dogs Yawn, University of Tokyo, Dog Bonding, Fake Yawn

Comment on This | Was this Interesting? Yes! (48%) / No! (52%)

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