Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

11 Oct

Overpriced Running Shoes: Guess Which Brands

shoesIf you’re forking over extra cash for the high-end exercise kicks, save your money. Researchers performed a series of extensive tests with runners and discovered that the cheapest shoes offered by three top brands (they’re keeping mum on which ones – for now) were not only just as good as the priciest shoes, some of them were actually better! There was no appreciable difference in cushioning, support, quality or comfort. Not even pro runners could figure out the sneaker difference in a blind test.

Three brands…let’s take a guess, shall we?

Keep reading…

10 Oct

Microsoft HealthVault: Empowering People to Lead Healthy Lives?

HealthVault

If you’ve read Mark’s Deconstructing Healthcare in America: A Modest Proposal or one of our other healthcare rants you know Mark’s Daily Apple has a lot to say about America’s ailing and defunct healthcare system. Huge improvements are needed, so we are thrilled to see anything that nominally resembles a step in the right direction.

Last week Microsoft launched the beta version of their new health records portal, HealthVault. Could HealthVault be the long awaited 21st century introduction to electronic health records that the medical establishment has been in dire need of for years? It is too early to tell, but it does look intriguing.

Keep reading…

10 Oct

Is Having a Job Bad for Your Health?

bangheadIs it time to move to the Bahamas? A new study finds that the risk of a repeat heart attack increases if you’re in a stressful job (stop the presses!). This reinforces an earlier study which concluded that job stress is a major risk factor for cardiac events.

From the study:

“A job was defined as stressful if it combined high psychological demands (heavy workload, intense intellectual activity and important time constraints) and little control over decision-making, including a lack of autonomy, creativity and opportunities to use or develop skills.”

What’s your definition of stress? It isn’t typically realistic to completely eliminate stress, but we all have different response levels to stress and therefore, different needs for coping with it.

Keep reading…

9 Oct

Another Nail in the Low Fat Coffin

lowfatA prescient excerpt from the Times – it’s what we’ve been saying all along:

“In the case of fatty foods, that confident voice belonged to Ancel Keys, a prominent diet researcher a half-century ago (the K-rations in World War II were said to be named after him). He became convinced in the 1950s that Americans were suffering from a new epidemic of heart disease because they were eating more fat than their ancestors.

There were two glaring problems with this theory, as Mr. Taubes, a correspondent for Science magazine, explains in his book. First, it wasn’t clear that traditional diets were especially lean. Nineteenth-century Americans consumed huge amounts of meat; the percentage of fat in the diet of ancient hunter-gatherers, according to the best estimate today, was as high or higher than the ratio in the modern Western diet.

Keep reading…

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