Nutrition and Lifestyle

There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who eat bugs knowingly and those who eat bugs unknowingly. Oh yes, you eat bugs. Even vegans eat bugs.

While farmers and food processors want our grub to be pure, it is impossible to eliminate every single contaminant in the food supply. Crops are covered with insects, and little can be done to prevent a leg here or an antenna there from making its way into the final product.

The FDA is fully aware of this and even has a handbook that describes the allowable level of food "defects." Peanut butter, for example, can have up to 30 insect fragments per 3.5 ounces.

Wine, too, is not immune to this nuisance. Brown...

Food and nutrition companies always capitalize on whatever fad diets are currently in fashion to shamelessly promote their products. Science is of secondary concern, if it's a concern at all. For instance, Centrum Silver is running an advertisement that brags about its (utterly worthless) multivitamins being gluten- and GMO-free.

Nestlé wants in on the action, too. This company is playing a TV commercial for ProNourish, a nutritional drink. As one might expect, the company eagerly and unscientifically boasts about the product's lack of...

Listen up, slackers: You can no longer use 'work' as an excuse to avoid burning calories during the week. It turns out, you could get your best workout in over the weekend, without lifting a finger Monday through Friday.

According to a recent study, cramming all of your weekly exercise recommendations (or goals) into one or two weekend sessions is just as good as working out during the week, and yields the same significant health benefits. Experts say staying active over the weekend was still enough to reduce the risk of early mortality by a third. 

The observational findings — published in JAMA...

Calvin Trillin tells a story of taking his out-of-town friends and relatives to New York’s China Town to play tic tac toe against a chicken. Frequently, the chicken wins and Trillin reports that the vanquished foes often defend themselves by saying, “But the chicken got to go first” or that “the chicken plays every day.” I love that story, which hides behind a paywall here.

Lori Marino, in Animal Cognition, brings some science to the issue of just how smart that chicken might have been in a meta-analysis of chicken cognitive research. Spoiler alert, if you love fried chicken and knowing that pigs are intelligent interferes with your love...

The famed sue-and-settle group Center for Science in the Public Interest, founded by a former employee of Ralph Nader, are in the news again. This time they are using their "health justice" little sister Praxis Project as the lead and are going after both Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association, claiming they knew all along that soda was harmful and covered it up. You know, like Big Tobacco in the 1950s and '60s.

Bloomberg News sums it up thusly:

  • Federal court complaint alleges Coke downplayed sugar effects
  • Sugary drinks ‘are scientifically linked to obesity, diabetes’

The Praxis Project claims...

My work day last spring had been frustrating; the writing had gone slowly (and not too well). In my desire to write an acceptable paper had I forgotten how my neighbors eat today; I was using too many academic studies with their stark numbers and not enough of today’s eating realities. A reality check of the real world was in order. 

I also wanted a break from the computer screen, the isolation of my cluttered office, and needed the invigoration of people milling around.  I slid my computer chair back, hurried downstairs, and out the back door into the garage, backed my car down the twisting gravel driveway into the oncoming traffic. I abruptly stopped, allowing a runner to slide by the trunk of my car.  

As my car picked up speed, I eyed the runner in passing.  She was...

If anyone embodies the ideals of healthy living and longevity, it appears there's no one better suited for the role than Robert Marchand.

He's been doing all the right things for quite awhile now; eating well, exercising frequently and steering clear of dangerous habits. And as a result, despite his advancing age, there's little to slow him down – including an hour-long bike ride.

Which broke a world record.

At the age of ... 105.

To those who know him, the indefatigable Frenchman once again demonstrated that adhering to the tenets of good health pays off handsomely, this time with a ride of slightly more than 14 miles in 60 minutes, the longest ever for anyone his age. The 5-foot centenarian accomplished the feat at the Velodrome National, France's top...

As if 'lactivists' (lactation activists) didn't have enough fodder for their culture war on working women, a recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition provided yet another reason for them to pile the guilt onto parents who feed their babies formula. 

It claims that exclusive breastfeeding is linked to longer telomeres and the authors are at one of the top medical institutions in the country, the U.C. San Francisco School of Medicine. One of its six authors is a Nobel Laureate - Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn who won the Prize for the discovery of telomeres. 

First, what are telomeres and why are long ones better?

Our DNA is packed into structures called chromosomes - long rod-like structures with both ends capped by structures called...

I can burn how many calories while shoveling?  You don't have to resolve to hit the gym this month, especially if you can easily burn 200-400 calories while doing winter outdoor activities: skiing, snowshoeing, and even shoveling. 

 

 

An untreated iron deficiency could lead to various health problems, one being Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA). Now, researchers have discovered IDA itself could be linked to another potential problem — hearing loss. 

A team of Pennsylvania State University scientists studied the association between IDA and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) - a type of deafness or hearing loss in both the neural and inner parts of the ear. It is reported in about 90 percent of all hearing loss cases. In a retrospective cohort study of more than 300,000 young to elderly adults with IDA, their analysis confirmed increased odds of SNHL and hearing loss.

Another affected part could be the...