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Life Lines

Health news you can use

It’s Bedtime, Children

Irregular sleeping patterns in children could trigger worse behavior, slow development, and health issues. A study published by Diabetes Care indicates that even an hour’s difference has a significant effect, as it increases the chances of having metabolic syndrome by 27 percent, thereby raising the risk of heart disease.

For better physical and mental health, consistency lies not solely on the time one goes to bed, but on the amount of sleep one gets per night as well. Sleep-deprived children are more likely to be overweight, cranky, tearful, prone to tantrums, and hyperactive.

Children who had enough and consistent sleep registered higher academic performance than those who didn’t, pointing to improved brain development. Irregular bedtime disrupts children’s circadian rhythms, causing sleep deprivation, and undermines brain maturation. On the other hand, a scheduled bedtime leads to marked improvements in behavior, health, and intellectual performance. “Children who don’t have a regular bedtime behave worse & develop slower,” Your Modern Family,, June 8, 2019.

Healthy Diet, Healthy Planet

The saying “you are what you eat” has taken a new shift as scientists now show that what we eat actually affects our planet too! To help the planet combat climate change and decrease environmental degradation, scientists have crafted a dietary plan that could help prevent up to 11.6 million premature deaths by reducing chances of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, and diabetes, reports the Lancet journal.

This revolutionary diet emphasizes a twofold increase in intake of grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables in meals, and a global movement in reducing sodium, red meats, and sugar by more than 50 percent. A shift to this diet plan could help with decarbonization of the world’s energy by decreasing the emission of nitrous oxide and methane emitted by livestock waste. A lesser demand for meat will translate into a lower supply of farm animals. This calls for an agricultural revolution. “New ‘planetary health diet’ can save lives and the planet, major review suggests,” CNN,, Jan. 21, 2019.

It’s What We Aren’t Eating That’s Killing Us

In a world where people live to eat, poor diet is the number one factor causing deaths around the world. In 2017, it was reported that one in five deaths (about 11 million people) occur globally due to excessive intake of sodium, trans-fats, sugar, and red meats, and a corresponding low intake of whole grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables!

The driving factor in this phenomenon is the unavailability of clean water and fresh farm produce, while unhealthy food is within reach and at a lower cost. Therefore, the predominant cause of death is a low intake of healthy food rather than overconsumption of unhealthy food. In order to break free from this chain, global effort needs to be made between public policy makers, food growers, marketers, and distributors. It will take a complete change in the economics of food production and distribution for a change in diet to occur. “What we aren’t eating is killing us, global study finds,” CNN,, April 3, 2019.

It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising, New Study Shows

According to a recent study, it has been discovered that older people who are not accustomed to exercising are capable of producing muscle mass just like “highly trained master athletes” of the same age.

In the examination, two groups, who were both in their 70s and 80s, were compared. The first group consisted of athletes, wherein the other group included healthy men who were not active in exercise throughout their life.

After taking an isotope tracker (which reveals how proteins develop within the muscle) and later completing one round of exercise, each participant was tested to evaluate the muscle responses to the physical activity. Surprisingly, the results showed that both groups had the same ability to increase muscle mass through regular exercise. Muscle strength was also developed through everyday activities, including gardening, lifting shopping bags, and using the stairs. “It’s never too late to start exercising, new study shows,” Science Daily,, Aug. 30, 2019.