Mental Attitude: Control Over You Own Life?
When people were provided with scientific evidence that supported the ability to predict the future, they felt a greater sense of control over their lives. One group of study participants read a paragraph stating that researchers had found evidence supporting the existence of precognition, while another group read a paragraph that refuted these findings. On a subsequent survey, people who read the paragraph confirming the ability to predict the future agreed more strongly with statements like “I am in control of my own life”; “My life is determined by my own actions”; and “I am able to live my life how I wish.”
PLOS ONE, August 2013
Health Alert: Taxing Sugary Beverages?
Obesity rates in the United States are 36% for adults and 17% for children. Medical costs associated with obesity are ~$147 billion per year. A sugary beverage tax may reduce the consumption of soda but will likely lead to an increase in calories, salt, and fat intake from untaxed foods and beverages.
American Journal of Agricultural Economics, August 2013
Diet: Comfort Food Preferences?
Researchers found that rats exposed to heightened levels of stress during their first few days of life were more likely to be prone to anxiety and stress in later life and preferred sugary and high-fat foods. This is the first study to demonstrate that comfort food preference could be enhanced by such an early stress exposure.
Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, August 2013
Exercise: Teenaged Physical Fitness Reduces Suicide Risk in Adulthood.
An analysis of over one million Swedish men found a link between physical fitness at age 18 and suicide risk up to 40 years later. Young men who performed poorly on an exercise bike test had an adulthood risk of suicide nearly 1.8 times that of their peers who were deemed physically fit.
Psychological Medicine, June 2013
Wellness/Prevention: Breastfeeding and Alzheimer’s.
Mothers who breastfed their children have a reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Researches have two theories on why this may be the case: 1) Breastfeeding deprives the body of progesterone and progesterone is known to desensitize the brain’s oestrogen receptors. This may increase the amount of oestrogen in the brain, a hormone that may play a role in protecting the brain from Alzheimer’s. 2) Breastfeeding restores a woman’s insulin sensitivity after pregnancy. Alzheimer’s has been characterized as a resistance to insulin in the brain so much so that it has even been referred to as type 3 diabetes.
Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, August 2013