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Posts Tagged "diet"

Anthropology in Practice

Editor’s Selections: Properties of eyeliner, Rituals, Tales told by pottery, and Roman diets

The selection for this week covers the last two weeks: We might not give much thought to eyeliner today, dismissing it as a beauty product that highlights and enhances the eye, but the ancient Egyptians had a different purpose for lining their eyes: preventing eye infections. At Body Horrors, Rebecca Kreston has the scoop on [...]

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@ScientificAmerican

The Basics of Good Health Is the Subject of New E-Book–Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

While many of us strive to live healthy lives, the task can be daunting and the information overwhelming. Should we be more concerned with our diet or with keeping our weight down? How important is exercise? What kinds of diseases should we really be worried about? In this eBook, “Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy,” we’ve [...]

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Brainwaves

The Food Fight in Your Gut: Why Bacteria Will Change the Way You Think about Calories

There’s a food fight in your guts. Not the Tater-Tot-chucking, spoonful-of-mashed potato-flinging, melee-in-the-cafeteria type of food fight. Rather, your intestines are the site of an ancient and complex war between your own cells and trillions of bacteria—a war over what happens to your food as it moves through your body. Some of the bacteria form [...]

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Cross-Check

Thin Body of Evidence: Why I Have Doubts about Gary Taubes’s Why We Get Fat

When someone divides a complex phenomenon into two basic categories, he invariably oversimplifies and distorts reality. Anyway, there are two basic styles of science journalism, celebratory and critical. Celebratory journalists help us appreciate the cool things scientists discover, whereas critical journalists challenge scientists’ claims. Gary Taubes practices critical science journalism, although calling Gary "critical" is [...]

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Food Matters

Resistance from the Rear – Hospital Effluent and the Growing Antibiotic Crisis

Not the actual sewer pipe in this story. Click for source.

If you ever worry that you’re a bit too optimistic about the future, try reading Maryn McKenna’s posts about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance. The primary tools we’ve had to combat microbial disease for the past century are failing, and it’s largely our own fault. Antibiotic resistance genes (or ARGs) are spreading fast, and [...]

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Food Matters

An Open Letter to Dr. Oz: You’re Cheering for the Wrong Team.

Screen Shot 2014-06-20 at 9.34.04 AM

Dear Dr. Oz: I caught the senate hearing earlier this week during which you answered for using “flowery language” to describe a number of weight-loss supplements that do not have (as you admit) the scientific backing for your claims. I’d like to think that you mean well. You are called “America’s Doctor.” You have huge [...]

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Food Matters

Follow #SodaSummit14 For a Few Thousand Reasons Not to Drink Sugary Beverages

sodaSummit500

Today marks the beginning of the 2014 National Soda Summit, a conference hosted in Washington D.C. by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The summit runs through June 5th. Researchers, policy makers, and public health advocates are gathering to share the latest science, policies, and practices related to reducing sugary beverage consumption. If [...]

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Food Matters

What if we all just stopped trying to lose weight? (video)

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By focusing on weight, we may be missing the broader picture of what it means to be healthy. Brian Mattson is not the picture of health. Few would look at him and say: “There’s a healthy fellow.” But that’s a shame, because Mattson is a pretty healthy guy. In fact, by a number of measures, [...]

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Food Matters

Biased But Necessary: Single Case Studies

Like a kid who skips the copyright information that precede iPad games, I go straight to the clinical cases in the New England Journal of Medicine whenever I get my hands on a copy. Recently I browsed through a bunch of cases in the online archives. In 1823, the journal called these vignettes “hospital reports.” [...]

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Food Matters

Sexually Transmitted Food Allergens

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A few years ago, while casting out to twitter asking for immunology-themed post ideas, Christie Wilcox mentioned that a friend of hers seemed to have an allergic reaction after having sex. It turns out, “seminal plasma protein allergy” (or SPPA) is actually quite common, and I wrote a post about it. While doing research for [...]

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Food Matters

The other selfie: a single case study experiment on “clean eating”

Bean varieties for sale at a New York City greenmarket.

Since I began routinely reading Scientific American comments online and in the magazine’s letters to the editor, I’ve encountered a recurring theme: Readers lament that the celebrated publication isn’t as scientific as it once was in the fifties or the nineties (depending on who is writing). Complaints pile up. Teeth gnash. But no disgruntled reader, [...]

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Guest Blog

Can sitting too much kill you?

We all know that physical activity is important for good health—regardless of your age, gender or body weight, living an active lifestyle can improve your quality of life and dramatically reduce your risk of death and disease. But even if you are meeting current physical activity guidelines by exercising for one hour per day (something [...]

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Observations

What Ultramarathons Do to the Body

Image: "Mike" Michael L. Baird/Wikimedia Commons

It’s hard for many people to imagine running (or walking) a standard marathon of 26.2 miles, let alone topping that distance with a so-called ultramarathon that could stretch to as much as 100 miles or more. And researchers still know very little about what such grueling treks can do to the human body. A new [...]

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Observations

New View into Our Guts Reveals Microbiome’s Murky Links to Health

human microbiome gut health

What is living in your gut? It might depend less on your diet, exercise habits, weight and sex than you think, according to new findings. Our health is tied to trillions of organisms that live in and on us. But the extent of their impact has only recently come into focus. And scientists are just [...]

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Observations

Food Delivers a Cocktail of Hormone-Like Signals to Body

The chicken pesto pasta on your plate is more than just tasty fuel to keep you going. The dish has carbohydrates, fats and proteins to be sure, but it also contains other nutrients and chemicals that send subtle cues and instructions to your cells. More and more researchers are arguing that to better grasp how [...]

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Observations

Adaptation to Starchy Diet Was Key to Dog Domestication

Dog

They work with us, play with us and comfort us when we’re down. Archaeological evidence indicates that dogs have had a close bond with humans for millennia. But exactly why and how they evolved from their wolf ancestors into our loyal companions has been something of a mystery. Now a new genetic analysis indicates that [...]

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Observations

How Corn Syrup Might Be Making Us Hungry–and Fat

fructose brain hunger obesity

Grocery store aisles are awash in foods and beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup. It is common in sodas and crops up in everything from ketchup to snack bars. This cheap sweetener has been an increasingly popular additive in recent decades and has often been fingered as a driver of the obesity epidemic. These fears [...]

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Observations

Early Childhood Obesity Rates Might Be Slowing Nationwide

early childhood obesity decrease

About one in three children in the U.S. are now overweight, and since the 1980s the number of children who are obese has more than tripled. But a new study of 26.7 million young children from low-income families shows that in this group of kids, the tidal wave of obesity might finally be receding. Being [...]

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Observations

Intensive Weight Loss Programs Might Help Reverse Diabetes

Intensive weight loss lifestyle diabetes remission

Type 2 diabetes has long been thought of as a chronic, irreversible disease. Some 25 million Americans are afflicted with the illness, which is associated with obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, as well as high blood pressure. Recent research demonstrated that gastric bypass surgery—a form of bariatric surgery that reduces the size of the stomach—can [...]

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Observations

Can We Shrink Portions (and the Obesity Epidemic) with Psychology?

perception portion psychology full weight loss

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Eating might seem, principally, like a simple, primal act. We get hungry; we eat; we’re full. But surprising new research suggests that our habits, previous experiences, and our desire to conform to social norms helps determine not only how much we eat, but also how full we feel later on. The findings were [...]

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Observations

Can Personal Technology Stop the Obesity Epidemic?

mobile health cell technology fight obesity

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—So much of our information from—and interaction with—the world is now mediated by computers, cell phones and tablets that health experts have been practically running themselves ragged trying to find ways to use these conduits to help people make healthier choices. Great success stories have come out of parts of the developing world, [...]

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Observations

Novel Food Labels and Dinner Plates Could Improve Our Diets

plate size food labels portion obesity

SAN ANTONIO, Texas—Choosing what foods—and how much of them—to eat can be an annoying or even anguishing decision, with confusing labels and health stats vying for your attention. Or it can be too much of a no-brainer, with your hand reaching for whatever is closest without much of a second thought. With more than two [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Health: Are Octopuses Rocking Too Much Heavy Metal?

octopus

Octopuses are a popular entrée for plenty of predators—including us humans. And for good reason. Octopuses are nutritious, with loads of lean muscle in those amazing arms, and plenty of good minerals. But are they also harboring hazardous heavy metals? Surprisingly, “there is no information on the levels and magnitude of octopus contamination by heavy [...]

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Octopus Chronicles

Mating Octopuses Prefer Crab Legs

octopus diet

Male octopuses don’t usually wine and dine prospective mates. But prior to mating, both males and females do seem to be in the mood for one date-worthy food: crab, according to new research published online in the Journal of Shellfish Research. Scientists studied two-spot octopuses (Octopus bimaculatus) in the Bay of Los Angeles in the [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

A Surefire Way to Sharpen Your Focus

peaceful scene, village by the water

How many times have you arrived someplace but had no memory of the trip there? Have you ever been sitting in an auditorium daydreaming, not registering what the people on stage are saying or playing? We often spin through our days lost in mental time travel, thinking about something from the past, or future, leaving [...]

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Symbiartic

Hello!? This is Your Conscience Speaking…

12-038SugarGram

Good ol’ visual.ly. They always know how to ruin a perfectly good Thanksgiving binge! I wonder where mom’s pecan pie fits in… by visually.Browse more infographics.

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Talking back

Got (Skim) Milk?: Maybe a Recipe for Obesity and Cancer

The USDA, the American Academy of Academy of Pediatrics and other august institutions recommend that all calorie-containing beverages, except low-fat milk, should be limited in people’s diets. The dairy industry made the “Got Milk” slogan one of the most famous of all time—and guidelines for healthy eat/drink incorporate that entreaty: three cuppa a day, less [...]

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