Month: March 2008
A study released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that Americans are carving out too little time for sleep.
Published in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the study surveyed 19,589 adults living in Delaware, Hawaii, New York and Rhode Island about how many days in the prior month they had gotten insufficient rest or sleep. Researchers did not provide definitions to survey respondents about what was considered “sufficient” sleep and did not ask respondents to report how many hours they slept per night.
Among the respondents, 10% reported that they did not get enough rest or sleep every day in the past month, while 38% reported that they had not slept well seven or more days in the prior month.
One of the standard defenses uttered by those who desperately cling to the fast food and couch-potato lifestyle is, “why should I live like a hunter-gatherer? Their average lifespan was only 35 years.” Ipso fatso, if we clearly weren’t designed to live long, why make all those diet and exercise sacrifices?” This common faulty assumption that our hunter-gatherer ancestors lived “nasty, brutish and short” lives has always bugged me. Research suggests that Grok and his family were actually generally healthy (robust is the term), productive – and even so appreciative of their lives that they felt the need to express themselves through art. There are recent studies that suggest there may even have been a selective benefit within tribal units for grandparents – meaning that getting older may have actually had a selective benefit far past procreating. So, if they were so robust and if our genes truly evolved to allow us to live long lives, then why was the average lifespan relatively short? I had always assumed that it was things like deaths during childbirth, infections, accidental poisoning, even tribal warfare that brought the average lifespan down. But then I got a real-life experience of what might have affected the average more than anything else. And it’s really mundane, folks.
In response to last week’s “Encore on Omegas” post, reader dunim asked this question about alternative protein sources:
Mark, how can an active person who doesn’t eat meat or fish and wants to eat minimum soy get good quality protein? Would you suggest whey supplements in case the protein requirements are not met? How much whey is too much?
As everyone and their grandmothers know, I strongly advise a meat and fish eating diet for the most complete nutrition. That said, I know that vegetarians won’t die of protein deprivation. However, they need to make more of a concerted effort to get the full “family” of amino acid building blocks. There are 22 amino acids that the human body uses to manufacture muscle and other vital tissue. Together, these 22 are essential for the body’s repair and regeneration needs. For vegetarians, getting enough of all 22 amino acids generally entails consuming more protein-containing carbohydrates and more calories to get the full amount of necessary protein.
Study results released just today from the Ohio State University Medical Center suggest that, while people may ?feel better? with the use of aromatherapy, the physical evidence doesn?t stack up. A team of scientists from the medical center traced heart rate, blood pressure, stress hormones and immune function in a group of 56 study volunteers. Following ?mild stress? administered by the scientists, subjects were then exposed to one of three substances: lavender, lemon or distilled water. The result: to the scientists? surprise, ?no measurable benefits? were observed with either of the aromatherapy scents.
Recognizing the growing role of fast food in our culture, researchers at the VITAL Lab at Ohio University developed Nutrition Game, a simulation game that exists in the online virtual world of Second Life that allows users to virtually experience the effects that fast food can have on their short- and long-term health.
Before we dig any deeper, perhaps now is a good time to talk a little bit about Second Life. Launched in 2003, Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely created by its Residents (and, if you watch lots of Law and Order, featured relatively frequently in their story lines!). When in this virtual world, users can socialize, connect and communicate – either by voice or through instant chats – as well as purchase, trade and sell items with other residents (which can then be converted from the Second Life’s Linden Dollar system to actual U.S. dollars).
Remember that one time when Mark ripped Big Pharma a new one. Or when he gave us the lowdown on fats. Or maybe that time when he answered a reader’s question about chronic cardio. That was awesome. Yeah. Those were the days. (Taking a moment to fondly reminisce.) Luckily, you can still enjoy all those great memories and revisit them anytime you would like! Here are some of the best posts of February put together in a nice little condensed batch for your perusal. Enjoy!
Big Pharma: Bad Science and Bad Business – Feb. 1
Dear Mark: Chronic Cardio – Feb. 4
Choose Your Own Salad Adventure – Feb. 6
Nature Tops Nurture? Scientists Wrong Again… – Feb. 8