Tag Archives: research studies

Something to Chew On: Food Texture Can Make You Overeat

Just like people prefer certain tastes over others, we all tend to have texture preferences when it comes to food. Take for example the chocolate chip cookie. Some will insist the best cookies are thin and crisp, while others will argue soft and chewy is the way to go.

food texture

Texture can influence a lot more than food preference. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research revealed texture can also affect how people perceive the number of calories in food.

Study authors Dipayan Biswas, Courtney Szocs (both of University of South Florida), Aradhna Krishmna (University of Michigan), and Donald R. Lehmann (Columbia University) wrote, “We studied the link between how a food feels in your mouth and the amount we eat, the types of food we choose, and how many calories we think we are consuming.”


Half of Americans Believe in Medical Conspiracy Theories. Do You?

You probably don’t think aliens are among us or secret societies are running the government, but do you believe in conspiracy theories of another kind? A new study from the University of Chicago published in JAMA Internal Medicine indicates you might.


According to that study, nearly half of Americans believe in medical conspiracy theories. The study found water fluoridation, vaccines, cell phones, and alternative medicine, among others, as prime subjects for conspiracy-based speculation.

To test just how much faith people put in the theories, the University of Chicago’s professor J. Eric Oliver and his colleague collected data from 1,351 adults through an online survey. Participants in the survey were presented with popular medical conspiracy theories and then asked to indicate whether they had heard them before, and whether or not they agreed with them.


Push-ups and Squats Cut Diabetes Risk by 1/3

For years doctors have been saying that aerobic exercise and an active lifestyle lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. But scientists have long wondered if strength training combined with cardio can help lower the risk even more. Just as importantly, is just strength training alone enough to lower the risk even a little bit?

weight training

A new study answers this question. Drumroll please…. Indeed, strength training and resistance exercises (even yoga and Pilates!) are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Best of all, when these exercises are done in conjunction with your aerobic exercise, women’s risk drops by one-third!


Vodka Shortening Life Span of Russian Men

A shocking statistic concerning Russian men has garnered some attention recently, though this one has nothing to do with the upcoming Olympic games.

An article posted on TheGuardian.com on Friday, January 31st, detailed how a large number of young Russian men’s deaths have been linked to vodka consumption. Between the years 1999 and 2010, researchers interviewed over 150,000 men in various Russian cities concerning their drinking habits. When the researchers followed up with the same men years later, they had discovered that around 8,000 of them had died since the first interview.


From this initial selection of Russian men, the researchers concluded that approximately 35% of Russian men younger than 55 drink three or more half-liter bottles of vodka a week—which is the equivalent of more than 33 shots of vodka in a seven-day period.


WiFi is a Plant Killer. Should We Quit Nuking Our Veggies?

A Danish high school science experiment is gaining recognition again after going viral earlier this month. Though first reported in May, the experiment has garnered worldwide popularity as a warning against our tech-filled lives. According to the experiment, WiFi could be killing plants. In case you missed it — fruits and vegetables are plants.

plant and wifi experiment

A group of 9th-graders from the Hjallerup Skole in Denmark noticed after sleeping with their cell phones near their heads they had trouble concentrating the next day. Though they didn’t have the resources to test their cell phone theory, they tried to do the next best thing.

Taking garden cress seeds and placing them on wet paper towels, the girls set one plate next to a WiFi router that emitted about the same microwave radiation as mobile phones, and the other in a separate room away from routers. They controlled all other variables — water, sunlight and room temperature — to the best of their abilities to keep the experiment consistent.

When the seeds were checked in 12 days, the seeds from the room without routers had thrived, while the seeds next to routers were brown and shriveled. (more…)

Brushing Your Teeth Can Prevent America’s #1 Killer

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

For years now, scientists have known that periodontal disease increases the risk for heart disease. Now, a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that if you take care of your gums you can reduce a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

brush teeth

A research team led by Columbia University in New York City examined the mouths of 420 middle-aged men and women for periodontal disease. (Periodontal disease is caused when bacterial plaque on the teeth move into the gums causing inflammation. This can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, causing “pockets” that become infected with bacteria, and eventually lead to tooth loss.) Researchers collected gum bacterial samples and used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the carotid arteries, which supply the brain with blood. Artery thickness is a marker for stroke and heart disease; if the carotid arteries get clogged with plaque, you can bet the coronary arteries leading to the heart are clogging as well.

Three years later, people whose oral health improved (read: they had fewer bacteria linked to heart disease in their mouth) had a much slower rate of carotid artery thickening than those whose periodontal disease was worse or remained the same. It doesn’t take much plaque to have devastating consequences. Picture this: a 0.033-millimeter-per-year increase in carotid artery thickness doubles the risk of heart disease and heart attack. In this study, people with gums that deteriorated, developed, on average, a 0.1-mm increase, meaning their heart disease risk shot up six-fold. (more…)

McDonald’s and Burger King Violate Children’s Advertising Agreement Making Up 99 Percent of All Fast Food Ads Aimed at Kids

McDonald’s and Burger King agreed to advertise only healthy food offerings as part of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. Let’s see if they’ve kept their word.


When it comes to child marketing, McDonald’s and Burger King are selling the experience, not the food.

The above study, funded and published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has found the two largest fast food corporations aren’t as dumb as they look. They’ve figured out that showcasing their food is actually a bad idea. Obviously McDonald’s and Burger King cannot self-regulate their ads aimed at children. The facts are anything but elementary, as the tactics of these fast food behemoths are prolonging the childhood obesity epidemic. One-third of our children remain obese.

99 percent of all fast food ads aimed at children came courtesy of two companies.

Any guesses? Not a tough one here, folks. McDonald’s and Burger King placed 44,602 and 37,210 ads aimed at kids, respectively. This is disconcerting. Despite big fast food’s efforts to increase healthy offerings, the burgers, fries, and nuggets peddled in kid’s meals are highly caloric, highly fatty, and highly processed. To this day, no one really knows what McDonald’s chicken nuggets are made of.

Side note: A 3.3oz serving of McDonald’s eggs, which should be one of their healthiest menu items, contains 20 ingredients and 173 percent of your daily cholesterol intake. Just sayin’. (more…)

5 Ways to Eat, Drink and be Less Menopausal

By Team Best Life

Menopause is thought of as just one of those things every woman has to go through, including its less-than-comfortable symptoms. But studies show that women can control just how bad menopausal symptoms are. It all depends on…

What you eat. Want to lower your incidence of hot flashes and night sweats? Avoid foods with refined sugar and high fats (like candy, cake or other sugary snacks). In one Australian study of 6,000 women, these foods correlated with a higher likelihood of hot flashes and night sweats. On the flip side, women whose diet was high in fruit and fish reported lower incidences of these symptoms.

What you drink. The Harvard Women’s Health Study revealed something surprising: Women who drink alcohol—just one drink a day—are less likely to gain weight in mid-life than those who don’t drink at all. (One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1.5 ounces of hard liquor.) Red wine was found to be particularly protective. According to the researchers, this might be because women metabolize alcohol in a way that makes it less likely to result in increased fat. (more…)

Americans Like Their Workouts Solo and Seldom. New Research Finds Only 20 Percent are Exercising

Seventy percent of Americans prefer to workout alone, and they usually only get around to that about once a week. Quick and solo was the general consensus.

That’s the finding in a new study, in which a group of 1,200 adults aged 24 to 44 were asked about exercise habits. Some strong truths were revealed.

woman fit time clock

“We know that among the general population about 20 percent exercise regularly, not say they do but do, and about, 80 percent don’t exercise,” said Dr. Walter Thompson, who studies exercise trends for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), in the published findings at Reuters. The doctor noted that many people exaggerate in their responses and the reality is that the amount of people getting exercise is extremely low.

So low as only 20 percent? That’s the stark reality of this survey. The ACSM recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate cardio exercise each week. And despite what those being surveyed answered, a tiny fraction are actually getting the work done. (more…)

Wealth is Health: Poorest States Trend Highest for Obesity, Cancer, and Poor Dental Health

As Americans, we’re competitive people. It’s in our blood. Speaking of blood and competition, a recently released infographic breaks down state by state statistics in categories like obesity, dental health, STDs, cancer rates, and several other quaint reminders of life’s frailty. Thanks to the Top Masters in Health Care—who meticulously compiled the data—you can now see how much better your state is compared to the other union territories! Naturally, we are most concerned with the obesity and health related numbers, and after a quick look, we noticed a disturbing trend. The statistical data suggested that obesity, loss of teeth and cancer were all closely correlated. How could this be? (more…)