Health Points: Wednesday
- According to The New York Times new research shows health benefits for children playing with weighted toys. Eric Nagourney reports:
For the study, five boys and five girls, ages 7 and 8, took part in sessions in which they were asked to carry blocks across a room and stack them no more than two high for more than 10 minutes. At one session, the blocks were simply hollow cardboard. At the other, the blocks had small steel blocks glued inside that brought their weight to three pounds.
As the researchers encouraged the children to keep moving the blocks, equipment measured their heart and breathing rates.
In addition to helping healthy children keep a bit fitter, the researchers said, weighted toys may also be useful for children with disabilities in which muscle weakness is a problem.
- A new study bucks the popular misconception that fat people are jollier. Apparently obesity can lead to a host of mental health problems. AP medical writer Lindsey Tanner explains:
The study of more than 9,000 adults found that mood and anxiety disorders including depression were about 25 percent more common in the obese people studied than in the non-obese. Substance abuse was an exception — obese people were about 25 percent less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol than slimmer participants.
The results appear in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, being released Monday. The lead author was Dr. Gregory Simon, a researcher with Group Health Cooperative in Seattle, a large nonprofit health plan in the Pacific Northwest.
The results "suggest that the cultural stereotype of the jolly fat person is more a figment of our imagination than a reality," said Dr. Wayne Fenton of the National Institute of Mental Health, which funded the study.
- The Exercise Police Tracy Fober answers some questions about her first year of eating a plant-based diet:
3. Where do you get your calcium? From my fruits and veggies! The whole dairy thing is a big myth--a very profitable one for the US dairy industry. Countries that consume the most dairy have the highest rates of osteoporosis in the world. There are millions of people who've come and gone on this earth without drinking a glass of cow's milk and their bone density has been just fine. Calcium can be obtained just fine with a dairy-free diet. Other variables such as Vit D, Vit K and weight-bearing exercise also impact bone density. A plant-based diet and a good exercise program will keep your bones strong.
4. Where do you get your protein? Again, from all of the foods in my diet. Animal protein is way overrated. And the more animal protein you include in your diet, the higher the incidence of immune-related disease (diabetes, MS) and cancer. My dad has MS; my grandma has diabetes and has had cancer. I stick to plant protein and keep it to about .8 g/kg. Does it look like I need more protein?????
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