Contributor: Peggy Rowland
Maybe it's not such a good idea to always know what wonderful things your friends are up to these days. A recent study from Nanyang Technological University, Bradley University and the University of Missouri Columbia revealed that use of Facebook may lead to envy and then sadness. The study of 736 college students showed that users may have symptoms of depression after experiencing envy brought about by reading Facebook updates by friends. Researchers found that Facebook users who reported envy of their Facebook friends were also more likely to report feeling depressed. However, Facebook users who didn't compare their lives to those of their friends didn't experience negative effects. The study was published in Computers in Human Behavior.
Worry About Numbers at 35
Young people don't get a pass for having high cholesterol, say researchers. Time reports on the most recent heart study of healthy people followed for an average of 15 years. The findings show that having mildly elevated levels of cholesterol can increase risk for later heart problems by up to 40 percent. The study was published in Circulation. Researchers now say that having high cholesterol for a long time, even if it starts at a young age, should be a new risk factor for heart disease. The study found that people who had high cholesterol for 11 to 20 years (starting near age 35) experienced a 16.5 percent greater risk of having a heart attack around 15 years later. Those with normal cholesterol levels in middle age had only a 4.4 percent increased risk of heart attack later in life.
Obesity Prevention That Works
Kids who began the Head Start program as overweight or obese achieved a more healthy weight by kindergarten than kids in the comparison group, find researchers. Published in Pediatrics, the study found that kids who entered Head Start at an unhealthy weight ended up with a significantly healthier body mass index (BMI) before kindergarten compared with kids who were seen for pediatric well-child checks. In addition, underweight children experienced an increase in weight gain. Lead author Julie Lumeng, M.D., of the University of Michigan's C.S. Mott Children's Hospital says that while Head Start is often at risk for cuts in funding, the program is "associated with robust, early and sustained beneficial changes in children's BMI."
Break Out the Medicine Balls
Preventing falls can be fun for seniors! New research found that seniors who played catch with a weighted medicine ball experienced improved balance, which may help prevent falls. The University of Illinois at Chicago study was published in Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology and in Experimental Brain Research. Researchers say that as we age, we can lose the ability to maintain balance, but training with a ball improves the body's ability to generate anticipatory postural adjustments for fall prevention. Researchers now plan to study the long-term effects of training with a ball, but they know that the research participants had fun. "It seems that most people have very positive memories associated with playing catch," says Alexander Aruin, professor of physical therapy at UIC.
US Eggs Safe from Change
Cadbury Creme Eggs are changing and fans are raging. The chocolate eggs filled with yellow and white fondant are only sold from January until Easter, but this year Cadbury Creme Egg fans in the UK got a nasty surprise. While the recipe change occurred in the UK, many across the pond can hear the screaming. Eggs sold in the UK are no longer made with Cadbury's Dairy Milk chocolate. Instead, they're made with a "standard, traditional Cadbury milk chocolate," reports CNN. Another change for the UK: Only five eggs in a pack instead of six! However, the egg packaging and recipe will remain the same for Cadbury Creme Eggs sold in the US. Apparently, US eggs, made by Hershey, were never created with that special Dairy Milk chocolate anyhow.
Arterial Stiffness REduced Too
Enjoying one cup of blueberries daily could reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, find researchers. Since both blood pressure and arterial stiffness are associated with cardiovascular disease, blueberries may reduce cardiovascular disease risk, suggest researchers. The study involved postmenopausal women who had prehypertension and stage 1 hypertension. At the end of the eight-week study, women who had blueberry powder on average had a 5.1 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure, a 6.3 percent reduction in diastolic blood pressure, and a 6.5 percent reduction in arterial stiffness. Published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the new research suggests that regular consumption of blueberries may delay prehypertension from turning into hypertension.
IPhone Close Keeps Anxiety Away
Offices and schools that ban iPhones may want to think again after new research found that iPhone separation is linked with poor cognitive performance and anxiety. The study, published in Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, revealed that separation from phones may have serious physiological and psychological effects on iPhone users. Researchers believe that iPhones become an "extension of ourselves," so when separation occurs, we may experience a "lessening of 'self' and negative physiological state." The researchers say iPhone users should avoid being without their phones in situations that call for a lot of attention like meetings, finishing important work assignments or taking tests. Being without a phone in those situations may cause poorer performance.
Nearly Double the Risk
Women who have PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, are almost twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as women without the stress disorder, finds a new study from Columbia University and Harvard. The new study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found that the greater the severity and number of symptoms of PTSD, the higher the risk for developing type 2 diabetes. The data, provided by the Nurses Health Study II, showed that by age 60, almost 12 percent of women with the highest rates of PTSD symptoms developed type 2 diabetes, compared to 7 percent of women with diabetes and no exposure to trauma. Higher body mass index and antidepressant use accounted for almost half of the increases in diabetes among women with PTSD.
Look to the Hass
If you're trying to lower your LDL "bad" cholesterol, adding an avocado a day to your moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet may provide some results. Researchers recently learned for the first time that additional LDL lowering occurs when one daily avocado is included as part of a cholesterol-lowering diet with moderate fat. The avocado diet lowered LDL cholesterol 13.5 mg/dl, compared to a decrease of 8.3 mg/dl for a moderate-fat diet without avocados and 7.4 mg/dl for a low-fat diet without avocados. Reported in Journal of the American Heart Association, the study used Hass avocados, the smaller, darker variety with bumpy skin and a higher nutrient content compared to Florida avocados. Researchers note that we should start thinking of new ways to incorporate avocados into meals.
Sorry, past Presidents, but you'll likely be forgotten within 50 to 100 years! New research published in Science found that less than 20 percent of people can remember more than the last eight presidents in the order they served. Also, fewer than 25 percent of Americans can remember more than the first five presidents in order. "By the year 2060, Americans will probably remember as much about the 39th and 40th presidents, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, as they now remember about our 13th president, Millard Fillmore," says study co-author Henry L. Roediger III, PhD, a human memory expert at Washington University in St. Louis. The study involved presidential-recall tests given to college students in 1974, 1991, 2009 and 2014.
Hint: Eating Doesn't Help
If you have the blues, there are four proven ways to lift your mood. Psych Central reminds us that when you feel a bit sad, there's a cure! One way to lift your mood is to become more physically active. A second way to stomp out the blues is to limit your sugar intake, and consume fresh produce and healthy fats instead. Third, try expressing yourself with a journal or by talking with a friend. And fourth, begin a new project! (Yes, cleaning out your car counts.) Of course, these methods only work with the blues. If you have symptoms of serious depression like fatigue and feelings of worthlessness, consult your doctor.
The More, the Worse
Trans fat could be harmful to your memory. Researchers found that the more trans fat you consume, the less you could remember! Presenting at the American Heart Association's recent scientific conference, researchers said that their study examined the diets of around 1,000 healthy working-age males. Men who had a lot of trans fat in their blood remembered fewer words during a memory test. Specifically, for each additional gram of trans fat consumed daily, the adult in the study recalled .76 fewer words during the memory test. Participants who consumed the most trans fat remembered around 10 percent fewer words compared to men who ate the least amount of the fat. The findings held even after researchers considered age, education and depression.
Scalp Sensors Tell All
While imagining things, or daydreaming, information in the brain flows in the opposite direction from information associated with reality. Researchers used sensors (EEG) placed on the scalp to measure electrical activity and discern between the different areas of the brain's network. They found that during imagination, there's an increase in flow of information from the the brain's parietal lobe to the occipital lobe. However, when visual information is absorbed by the eyes, such as while watching a video, the flow is in the opposite direction -- from the occipital lobe to the parietal lobe. The study, published in NeuroImage, may be useful for developing new tools that can untangle the events in the brain during sleep and dreaming, or study how the brain encodes short-term memory.
Troponin T Reveals Damage
Obesity can lead to heart muscle damage and increased risk for heart failure even in the absence of overt heart disease, say researchers. The findings show that obesity can cause heart muscle injury independently of other risk factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. Researchers at Johns Hopkins found the heart damage using an ultrasensitive blood test that shows measurements for the protein troponin T, which is released from damaged heart muscle cells. Researchers found that levels of troponin T rose as body mass index, or BMI, increased. The research is published in Journal of the American College of Cardiology: Heart Failure.
Big Price Tag
Obesity's effects aren't cheap as new research finds that obesity-attributable absenteeism for U.S. adults can cost as much as $8.65 billion per year. That figure is more than 9 percent of all absenteeism costs. The study, published in Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, is the first to provide estimates for how much obesity is costing each state when workers have to call in sick. For example, obesity-attributable absenteeism in California costs $907 million. The study was completed by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
Your Urine Tells
Around 20 to 50 percent of North American and European women may experience reduced hot flashes with soy consumption thanks to their ability to produce the soy metabolite equol, find researchers. The study of women in America found that soy doesn't help women without the ability to produce equol after consuming soy. Bacteria in the gut metabolize equol with the help of the soy isoflavone diazden. The research, published in Menopause, involved a survey of women ages 45 to 55 in the Seattle, Washington area. The women didn't use hormone therapy (HRT), but they did eat soy foods a minimum of three times a week. Hot flashes were measured with a skin monitor, and urine tests revealed which women could produce equol.
Reach for Rosemary and Oregano
A spice blend added to meals can help lower triglyceride levels. Researchers found that adding a blend of antioxidant-rich spices and herbs can help lower triglyceride concentrations as much as 30 percent compared to the same meal without the blend. The blend includes black pepper, cinnamon, garlic powder, rosemary, oregano, cloves, paprika, turmeric and ginger. The findings, completed by Penn State nutritionists, are available in a supplement to the current Nutrition Today. The research was supported by the McCormick Science Institute.
Don't Sweat the Small Gain
Gaining weight after kicking your smoking habit may not be such a bad thing, suggest researchers. According to a small study in Japan, those who quit smoking didn't experience an increased death risk after gaining weight. The research, presented during American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions, compared deaths from all causes among 1,305 Japanese adults who quit smoking to the deaths of 2,803 Japanese smokers. Researchers found that 362 men and women had no weight gain after quitting, and 458 gained no more than 4 pounds and 6 ounces. Smokers who quit and gained no more than 4 pounds and 6 ounces had a 49 percent lower risk of death compared to smokers, and those who quit with no weight gain had a 34 percent reduced risk. Those who gained more weight had a 26 percent reduced risk.
Waiting Is Good
Cookie Monster can help teach preschoolers about self-control, found a study from University of Iowa. The research found when preschoolers watched videos of Cookie Monster trying to control his desire to eat cookies, the kids showed more self-control. Cookie Monster sings, "Me want it, but me wait." Preschoolers who watched Cookie Monster practicing self-control were able to wait four minutes longer than peers who watched a different Sesame Street video. Children who viewed the Cookie Monster videos were also able to better control the impulse to shout out character names, and they remembered and repeated longer number sequences. The new Cookie Monster curriculum from Sesame Street aims to enhance working memory, teach self-control and improve ability to switch gears between activities.
Designer Treats Make You Think
Care to put a cactus in your mouth, or how about E. coli? Chinese designer Wei Lei is hoping to find brave souls for her Dangerous Popsicles, a collection of frozen treats. Dangerous Popsicles feature confections in the magnified shapes of viruses like the influenza, chicken pox and E. coli. And there's also the prickly cactus-shaped popsicle! Wired reports that Lei says when she picked germs or diseases for her popsicles, she went with commonly known shapes that were interesting and unique. However, the designer wisely decided to skip the Ebola shape!
Big Risk from Small Pod
Thousands of children under 6 were exposed to laundry detergent pods from 2012 to 2013. The study, published in Pediatrics, used information from the National Poison Data System, which confirmed one death due to exposure to the pods. Researchers found that 17,230 kids under 6 years old were exposed to detergent pods, with 79.7 percent of the kids ingesting the detergent inside the pods. Children under 3 accounted for 73.5 percent of exposure cases. Some children were hospitalized (4.4 percent), while others (7.5 percent) experienced either a moderate or major medical outcome. Researchers say that 102 patients who were exposed via ingestion, aspiration, or a combination, required tracheal intubation. Researchers concluded that the pods pose a "serious poisoning risk" for young children.
High Rate of Insomnia Is Problem
Insomnia is a persistent and prevalent issue for addicts during early recovery, and it could lead to an increased risk for relapse, say researchers. Published in Journal of Addiction Medicine, the report cites evidence that the incidence of insomnia during early addiction recovery could be five times higher than in the general population. Insomnia during recovery may also last for months or even years. Researchers also note that doctors should be aware that prescribing drugs for insomnia could be "incongruent with or unpalatable to" addiction treatment programs focusing on abstinence.
Packed Lunches Exceeded Fat Rec
School lunches may offer better nutrition compared to packed lunches, suggests a new study. Virginia Tech researchers followed three rural Virginia elementary schools during lunch for five days. The study compared National School Lunch Program (NSLP) lunches with packed lunches for pre-K and kindergarten students. Researchers found that while both packed and NSLP lunches almost entirely met nutrition standards, there were some differences. Packed lunches exceeded both fat and saturated fat recommendations, while NSLP lunches were below energy and iron recommendations. Packed lunches were also found to have more sugar, but NSLP lunches contained more sodium. Overall, researchers believe that NSLP lunches, with increased exposure to veggies and fruits, offered greater nutritional quality.
French Group Issues Warning
Children under 6 years old shouldn't have access to 3D content, warns the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety, or Anses. The group issued their warning after reviewing research on the potential impact of 3D imaging on young, still-developing eyes. Anses believes that processing the 3D effect requires eyes to view images in two separate places at the same time before the brain can translate what it sees into one image. The groups warns that this "vergence-accommodation conflict" may be more severe for young children since their visual system is still developing.
Trials with Primates Offer Hope
A nasal vaccine being developed by University of Texas at Austin researchers may offer hope for long-term protection from the Ebola virus. Researchers say that results from a small pre-clinical study with non-human primates show the only currently existing proof that one dose of a non-injectable vaccine for Ebola may give long-lasting protection. Given the costs of syringe distribution and safety, a nasal spray is more practical for immunization, note researchers. Researchers plan to move forward with a Phase I clinical trial to test the effectiveness of the vaccine in humans. The current pre-clinical findings will be presented on November 5 during the 2014 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) Annual Meeting and Exposition.
Ebola's Been Around a Long Time
Ebola virus was identified in 1976 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), but the drug industry didn't develop a vaccine or find a cure, and the World Health Organization (WHO) says that a drive for profit is to blame. New York Times reports that Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of WHO, said that the organization's warnings about drug industry greed were ignored for decades. According to WHO, the drug industry doesn't invest in drugs for markets that can't afford to pay. Since Ebola was first discovered in an impoverished nation, the drug companies had no incentive to develop a vaccine, alleges WHO.
Ten Brands Recalled
Nutek Disposables, Inc. has announced a voluntary recall of all baby wipes manufactured under the following names: Cuties, Diapers.com, Femtex, Fred's, Kidgets, Member's Mark, Simply Right, Sunny Smiles, Tender Touch, and Well Beginnings. Nutek is recalling the wipes after they found the bacteria Burkholderia cepacia (B. cepacia) in some of the products. The recalled baby wipes were sold prior to October 21, 2014, at Sam's Club, Family Dollar, Walgreens, Fred's and Diapers.com. While B. cepacia poses a small risk to healthy individuals, those with weakened immune systems or chronic lung diseases are especially at risk, and should contact their doctors if they've used the recalled wipes.
Only 6 Percent Feel Ready
Just 6 percent of hospitals in the United States indicated that they're well-prepared to receive an Ebola patient. The figure comes from a survey of 1,039 infection prevention experts at hospitals in the U.S. The survey, from the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), was conducted October 10 to 15. Only five percent of respondents felt that their hospital was unprepared to receive a patient with the Ebola virus. Most respondents said that they were somewhat prepared. "The Ebola outbreak illustrates why facility-wide infection prevention programs are critical and require adequately trained, staffed, and resourced infection control departments," noted Katrina Crist, MBA, APIC Chief Executive Officer.
What a Pain
Bariatric surgery could be a risk factor for spontaneous intracranial hypotension, which causes severe headaches. The new study was published in Neurology. The research found that both gastric banding surgery and gastric bypass surgery were associated with the development of spontaneous intracranial hypotension. However, only a small percentage of people who had bariatric surgery went on to develop the condition. Spontaneous intracranial hypotension is typically caused by the leakage of cerebrospinal fluid outside of the spinal canal. "It's important for people who have had bariatric surgery and their doctors to be aware of this possible link, which has not been reported before," noted study author Wouter I. Schievink, MD, of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Obama Says No to Travel Ban
President Obama said Thursday that he may name an "Ebola czar" to handle the government's response to the virus. While only three people have been diagnosed with Ebola on American soil, anxiety is growing over the deadly virus. While some leaders have called for a travel ban to and from areas of West Africa affected by Ebola, Obama said, "If we institute a travel ban instead of the protocols we put in place now, history shows there is a likelihood of increased avoidance [finding other ways to enter the U.S. with no screening]. People do not readily disclose their information." Obama also said that a travel ban may result in less treatment for the sick.
Get Out Your Teal Paint
Teal Pumpkin Project aims to make Halloween fun again for kids with food allergies. Participants place a teal-painted pumpkin outside their door. The teal pumpkin indicates that the person living in that house will open the door with non-food treats, such as stickers. The Teal Pumpkin Project is gaining traction, and the goal is very simple: Allow kids with food allergies to enjoy Halloween like their friends. Experts warn that Halloween can be an especially tricky time for kids with food allergies. Parents should understand that some mini-sized products, which are safe in their normal size, may be contaminated with allergens due to being processed on shared equipment.
Anything for Donations
Fracking (hydraulic fracturing), a controversial practice used to obtain gas and oil from shale rock, just got pink for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Baker Hughes, an oilfield services company based in Houston, has partnered with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to donate $100,000 for the sale of 1,000 pink drill bits to be used for fracking. The campaign is called "Doing Our Bit for the Cure." According to Mother Jones, the irony of the campaign is that fracking injects potential and known carcinogens into the ground and surrounding environment. These chemicals include formaldehyde, benzene and sulfuric acid.
Dogs Can Probably Get Ebola
Excalibur, a dog in Madrid that belonged to an Ebola-infected nurse, was destroyed yesterday. New York Times notes that the animal's death took place among protests from animal rights activists who surrounded the home where the nurse and her husband lived with the dog. Around 390,000 signed an online petition to save the dog's life. While there have been no known cases of Ebola among dogs, experts believe that it's possible for dogs to become infected with Ebola. Excalibur had shown no symptoms of Ebola. The rescue dog was 12 years old.
And Decrease Insulin Levels
Grapefruit juice could hold the key to preventing weight gain and decreasing blood glucose levels and insulin levels. According to new research on mice fed a high-fat diet, diluted grapefruit juice stemmed weight gain by 18 percent compared to drinking water. Researchers used clarified, no-pulp grapefruit juice sweetened slightly with saccharin. The study also found that mice who were fed grapefruit juice had improved levels of insulin, glucose, and triacylglycerol, a type of fat. Mice that drank grapefruit juice had a threefold decrease in insulin levels, as well as a 13 to 17 percent decrease in glucose levels. The study from the University of California, Berkeley was published in PLOS ONE.
Losing Control with Sexting
Nearly 20 percent of teens in high school have sent nude photos of themselves via a cellphone, and 38 percent have received such photos. Researchers also say that one in five of those who received nude photos forwarded them to someone else. The sexting research from the University of Utah was published in Computers in Human Behavior. The study involved 1,130 undergraduate students who reported on their sexting experiences in high school. Researchers say that their findings are nearly identical to their 2013 study on teen sexting, indicating the validity of the findings. Dangers of sexting include losing control of the image once it's sent, unwanted sexual advances, blackmail, cyberbullying, and even felony charges for pornography trafficking if minors are involved.
Six New Genetic Variants
Habitual coffee drinkers can now blame it on their genes! A new study from Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital found six new genetic variants that they've associated with habitual coffee consumption. The research, a genome-wide meta-analysis of more than 120,000 regular coffee drinkers, was published in Molecular Psychiatry. Researchers say that their findings will help to identify subgroups of patients who may reap health benefits from either increasing or decreasing their coffee consumption.
Police Mistake Okra for Cannabis
Dwayne Perry was only growing okra on his property in Cartersville, Georgia, but Bartow County deputies descended on his home in a raid that was conducted by the governor's drug task force. Apparently, okra looks like cannabis when viewed from the air in a police helicopter. Perry, who is retired, didn't appreciate the presence of the deputies, guns, drug dogs and police helicopters that were part of the supposed raid. The confusion isn't easy to understand. Okra plants have only five leaflets per plant, while cannabis plants typically have seven or nine.
Others See Premiums Increase
Walmart, the largest private employer in the U.S., is eliminating health benefits for around 30,000 part-time employees who work for fewer than 30 hours weekly. The cuts apply to about 2 percent of Walmart's American workforce. CNN explains that the cuts came after more employees signed up for health benefits than the company had anticipated. Those employees who lost coverage through Walmart may now be eligible for subsidies from the government to be used on Obamacare exchanges. However, for those still covered by Walmart's health benefits, premiums will rise.
Men Grabbing Crotches Everywhere
Feeling Nuts Challenge for testicular cancer has gone viral. The challenge, which you can read about with the hashtag #feelingnuts, asks men to examine their testicles for lumps. The challenge is helping to make men aware of testicular cancer. More common among young men, testicular cancer is considered highly treatable when caught early. Celebrities who've participated in the Feeling Nuts Challenge include Hugh Jackman, Ricky Gervais, Jamie Oliver and William Shatner. Hugh Jackman tweeted: "I accept #feelingnuts raising awareness for testicular cancer. I nominate @ActuallyNPH @michaelstrahan @rickygervais."
No Reason to Delay Treatment
While it seems unlikely, chemotherapy and radiotherapy are safe for babies in the womb. Researchers say that infants exposed to radiotherapy or chemotherapy while in the womb don't suffer negative impacts on cardiac development or mental development. Presented at European Society for Medical Oncology 2014, the research examined the outcomes of unplanned pregnancy during cancer treatment, and the impact of in-utero exposure to radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Researchers note that when chemotherapy was given after the first trimester of pregnancy, there were no noticeable problems. "Fear about the risks of chemotherapy administration should not be a reason to terminate a pregnancy, delay cancer treatment for the mother, or to deliver a baby prematurely," said lead author Dr Frederic Amant.
Good for Your Brain, Maybe
Xanthohumol, a flavonoid present in beer, may aid with cognitive function, say researchers who studied the effects of beer on young mice. The study, published in Behavioral Brain Research, found that if you give young mice enough beer, cognitive flexibility is improved. However, to gain the same effect in humans, you'd have to consume around 2,000 liters of beer a day! Plus, the beneficial brain effects were not observed in older mice. Researchers say that the study suggests that beer contains a flavonoid that may be useful in helping you form memories. They believe beer flavonoids deserve further study, right along with flavonoids found in blueberries, dark chocolate and red wine.
Clinton Global Initiative Pledge
Dr Pepper Snapple Group, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola all made a pledge to cut the amount of calories in sugary drinks by one-fifth in the next decade. This pledge, made at the 10th annual Clinton Global Initiative, is expected to be honored through a combination of distribution, packaging and marketing. New York Times reports that this pledge was an acknowledgment by the soda companies of their role in the obesity crisis facing America, as well as the accompanying increasing rates of diabetes and heart disease. It's believed that sugary soft drinks currently account for around 6 percent of the average person's daily calories.
Smart Brains in Trouble
Human brains could be capable of compensating for some changes that take place during early Alzheimer's disease, suggest researchers from the University of California. The study findings, published in Nature, suggest that some individuals can recruit more nerve power to aid with their ability to think. While experts say that more research is needed, they also hope that the findings help explain why only certain people with early symptoms of Alzheimer's disease go on to experience severe memory problems. The small study involved 71 adults and brain scans to check for amyloid deposits, protein deposits associated with Alzheimer's disease.
Even Public Transport Is Better
Not only are walking, cycling or taking public transportation better for the environment, they're better for your psychological wellbeing! Researchers found that people who stopped driving to work and walked or cycled instead experienced improved wellbeing. People who walked or cycled to work reported that they felt an improved ability to concentrate paired with less stress. The researchers also found that those who took public transportation also experienced improved wellbeing compared to driving. The research used 18 years of data on nearly 18,000 British commuters aged 18 to 65 years. The study is published in Preventive Medicine.
Obesity's Hidden Problem
Obesity resulting from consuming a diet high in fat might increase the risk for developing Parkinson's disease, new research suggests. The study, conducted on mice, found that a diet high in fat can significantly accelerate the onset of neurological symptoms in mice that had a genetic predisposition for Parkinson's disease. The findings suggest that an unhealthy diet can cause brain damage, as well as negative effects on glucose and insulin regulation. Researchers say that more study is needed to discover the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the process. The research is available in The Journal of Neurochemistry.
Longer Hours, Greater Risk
Working more than 40 hours a week could increase your risk for developing coronary heart disease, suggest researchers. The study found that the longer hours employees worked, the greater their chances of developing coronary heart disease in 10 years. Individuals who worked 61 to 70 hours had a 42 percent increased risk of developing heart disease, and those who worked 71 to 80 hours had a 63 percent increased risk. Adults who worked more than 80 hours a week had a 94 percent increased likelihood for heart disease. Coronary heart disease is the narrowing of vessels supplying blood and oxygen to the heart. The research, which involved 8,350 Korean adults, was published in American Journal of Industrial Medicine.
Extra! Extra! Get Your Protein.
Consuming a high-protein diet may lower your risk for developing hypertension, suggest researchers. Published in American Journal of Hypertension, the study showed that adults consuming the highest amount of protein (average 100 grams daily) enjoyed a 40 percent reduced risk of high blood pressure compared to adults with the lowest intake of protein. Researchers say that after four years of follow-up, the adults who consumed more protein from either plant or animal sources had statistically significantly lower systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure levels. The beneficial effects were seen for both overweight and normal weight individuals.
Weight Discrimination Woes
Individuals who experience weight discrimination may be more likely to put on more weight, say researchers from University College London. Published in Obesity, the study found that adults who reported weight discrimination gained more weight than those who didn't report weight discrimination. Researchers believe that making people feel ashamed about their weight (fat shaming), may lead to comfort eating. Examples of discrimination include receiving poor service, being harassed and being treated disrespectfully. The four-year study, which included almost 3,000 adults aged 50 and older, examined data from normal weight to obese adults who were part of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing.
Aerobic Activities Do the Trick
Aerobic activities may be just what the doctor ordered for reducing ADHD symptoms during school. New research found that offering daily aerobic activities before school may aid in reducing ADHD symptoms in younger at-risk children. This reduction in ADHD symptoms following before-school exercise extends to the home too! The 12-week study involved 200 early elementary school children in kindergarten to second grade. ADHD symptoms include moodiness, trouble getting along with others and inattentiveness. The study is available at Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
15 Percent Increase
Having prediabetes could put you at increased risk for cancer, say researchers. A large meta-analysis study of nearly 900,000 from different areas of the world found that prediabetes increases the risk for cancer by 15 percent overall. There was no significant difference for cancer risk among the different definitions of prediabetes: impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG). Since obesity is also linked to cancer development, researchers controlled for BMI, and found that prediabetes was still associated with an increased cancer risk. The study was published in Diabetologia.