LifeLines

Health News You Can Use | Vol. 26 No. 2 | Jan-Feb 2016

EXERCISE REDUCES ASTHMA

Regular exercise helps control the symptoms of asthma. According to a new study, engaging in just half an hour of moderate exercise, or even just anything active, increased the chance of people with asthma having good control of their symptoms by two-and-a-half times. While people have been discouraged from exercising due to risks of having shortness of breath attacks, the new evidence shows the benefits to be greater than the risk. Precautionary measures such as using reliever medication and taking time to cool down afterwards can help, but there’s no excuse to not get out and exercise. “Just 30 minutes a day: Regular exercise relieves asthma,” ScienceDaily, sciencedaily.com, October 7, 2015.

LATE NIGHTS AND WEIGHT GAIN

Does staying up late make you fat? A recent study of teenagers and young adults found that getting to sleep an hour later at night was correlated with a 10 percent weight gain, across 5-year study period. This weight gain did not seem to be influenced by how much a person exercised, the amount of time they spent with digital screens, or how many hours they slept per night, according to the study. Rather, the data suggested that just the time a young person goes to bed could significantly influence weight gain. As adolescents transition into their teen years, their natural rhythms of sleeping and waking typically shift to later in the day. It seems, however, that maintaining an earlier bedtime could “set their weight on a healthier course” as they enter adulthood. “Late bedtimes could lead to weight gain,” ScienceDaily, sciencedaily.com, October 1, 2015.

THE DANGER OF SUGAR-LADEN CALORIES

What happens when the empty calories from a child’s diet are taken away? A group of volunteers between the ages of 9 and 18, with at least one metabolic health issue, were recruited and their diets analyzed. A group of scientists then assigned new diets, where the amount of refined sugar consumed was reduced by 10 to 28 percent, replaced instead with starches. Even though the amount of calories was the same, within 10 days the children had lost an average of 2 pounds, and blood pressure, cholesterol, and other metabolic health measures had improved. While the study is very preliminary, the results indicate that reducing sugar intake alone could be very beneficial in improving health, and that calories in themselves are not the culprit. “Cutting sugar from kids’ diets appears to have a beneficial effect in just 10 days,” The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com, October 28, 2015.

THE MEAT/CANCER CONNECTION

Processed meat causes cancer, according to a press release by the World Health Organization. The consumption of 50 grams of processed meat (which is about 2 pieces of bacon, or 2.5 slices of baloney) per day increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent. This report places products such as sausages, ham, canned meat, bacon, and other processed meats and meat products as being “carcinogenic to humans, based on sufficient evidence”—placing them in the same category as substances such as tobacco, outdoor air pollution, solar radiation, and asbestos. Red meat was additionally classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans, based on limited evidence.” The World Cancer Research Fund International recommends eating less than 500 grams (18 ounces) of red meat a week, and very little if any processed meat. “WHO says hot dogs, bacon cause cancer,” The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com, October 26, 2015.

 

Other Articles

Life Lines, Vol. 28 No. 3

– Whole grains healthier.
– Low-carb, high risk weight loss.
– Finding the sleep balance.
– Enhancing memory.

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