Lettuce vs. Bacon: Which is Worse in Greenhouse Gas Emissions
December 15, 2015 07:07 AM - Shilo Rea, Carnegie Mellon University
Contrary to recent headlines — and a talk by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference — eating a vegetarian diet could contribute to climate change. In fact, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per calorie.
If you're a young adult, curb your TV time!
December 3, 2015 08:03 AM - THE JAMA NETWORK JOURNALS via EurekAlert
Watching a lot of TV and having a low physical activity level as a young adult were associated with worse cognitive function 25 years later in midlife, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
Few studies have investigated the association between physical activity in early adulthood and cognitive function later in life. Coupled with the increasing prevalence of sedentary or screen-based activities, such as watching television, these trends are of concern for upcoming generations of young people.
How to Eat and Stay Healthy this Holiday Season
November 23, 2015 07:23 AM - Patti Verbenas, Rutgers University
When it comes to maintaining healthy lifestyles, people tend to fall off the wagon from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day. Then, they set “get in shape” and “lose weight” as New Year’s resolutions. That’s not the best idea, says Charlotte Markey, a Rutgers University-Camden psychologist who teaches a course titled “The Psychology of Eating” and studies eating behaviors, body image and weight management. Overeating during the holidays, she notes, is not a matter of if, but when. People need to approach their goals in a smarter way.
Rutgers Today spoke with Markey, the author of Smart People Don’t Diet: How the Latest Science Can Help You Lose Weight Permanently, about a more realistic and sustainable strategy to losing weight and living healthier.
Happiness and frequency of sex linked, to a point
November 18, 2015 08:42 AM - SOCIETY FOR PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY, via EurekAlert
More sex may not always make you happier, according to new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology.
"Although more frequent sex is associated with greater happiness, this link was no longer significant at a frequency of more than once a week," lead researcher Amy Muise said. "Our findings suggest that it's important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don't need to have sex everyday as long as you're maintaining that connection."
Some previous studies, and a plethora of articles and self-help books, have claimed that more sex equals more happiness. But this study, based on surveys of more than 30,000 Americans collected over four decades, is the first to find that association is not there after couples report having sex more than once a week on average. The study was not designed to identify the causal process, so does not tell us whether having sex up to once a week makes couples happier, or being in a happy relationship causes people to have more frequent sex (up to once a week).
America Recycles Day November 15th
November 13, 2015 10:13 AM - JustMeans, Justmeans
Thousands of creative recycling events are being planned for America Recycles Day (ARD), a Keep America Beautiful initiative, which takes place on and in the weeks leading up to Nov. 15.
America Recycles Day is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. In its 18th year, ARD educates people about the importance of recycling to our economy and environmental well-being, and helps to motivate occasional recyclers to become everyday recyclers.
A number of ARD special events are focusing on this year’s theme of “Bathrooms, Bags & Gadgets." They include:
Why do more people commute using their bikes in Europe?
November 11, 2015 05:25 AM - Anum Yoon, Triple Pundit
Though cycling to work has the potential to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your overall health, you’re probably not doing it. In many communities, bike lanes simply don’t exist, making it difficult or downright dangerous to battle automobile traffic to bike to work.
Cities like Washington, D.C., and New York have installed bike paths for commuters, and the investment has paid off. In D.C., bike commuting has increased by 120 percent, and in New York ridership has doubled, all thanks to offering cyclists appropriate infrastructure. While it’s certainly good news, the sad fact remains that the U.S. still lags far behind European nations when it comes to bicycle commuting.
A tale of two continents
Low-energy sweetners do help reduce calorie intake
November 10, 2015 08:25 AM - University of Bristol
Use of low energy sweeteners (LES) in place of sugar, in children and adults, leads to reduced calorie intake and body weight – and possibly also when comparing LES beverages to water – according to a review led by researchers at the University of Bristol published in the International Journal of Obesity today.
For the first time, all available science was integrated into a single review to evaluate the real impact of LES, such as saccharin, aspartame, sucralose and stevia, on energy intake (EI) and body weight (BW) over the short- and long-term. A considerable weight of evidence confirmed that consuming LES instead of sugar helps reduce relative energy intake and body weight.
Do you get the Winter blah's? Light therapy might not be the best treatment.
November 5, 2015 08:02 AM - UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT via EurekAlert
A new study to be published online November 5 in the American Journal of Psychiatry casts a shadow on light therapy's status as the gold standard for treating SAD, or seasonal affective disorder.
While the treatment was effective at addressing acute episodes of SAD, a SAD-tailored version of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was significantly better at preventing relapse in future winters, the study found. Led by University of Vermont psychology professor Kelly Rohan, the research initiative, funded by a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, is the first large scale study to examine light therapy's effectiveness over time.
Nuclear waste site near St Louis threatened by landfill fire
November 3, 2015 07:49 AM - Véronique LaCapra/St. Louis Public Radio, NPR
Imagine you are a parent, and that out of the blue, you get a letter from your child's school telling you not to worry — that they're ready to evacuate or shelter in place if an underground fire at a nearby landfill reaches radioactive waste on the same property.
That's pretty much what happened recently in suburban St. Louis.
Landfill fires are pretty common. But this one is different: It's only about a thousand feet away from nearly 9,000 tons of nuclear waste — and there's no barrier in between.
Dancing makes you feel good and help bond with others
October 28, 2015 08:49 AM - Universtiy of Oxford
Dancing in time with others raises your pain threshold, Oxford University researchers have found.
A team from the University's Experimental Psychology and Anthropology Departments wanted to see whether our feelings of social closeness when dancing with others might be linked to endorphins – the body’s 'feel good' chemicals.
Endorphins are neurotransmitters that form part of the brain’s pain control system, but they are also implicated in social bonding. Dr Bronwyn Tarr explained: 'Dance is an important activity around the world, and it could be a way to connect with other people and feel socially bonded. We wanted to see the effect of high and low energy, and synchronised and unsynchronised dancing had on both pain threshold and the sense of bondedness to fellow group-members.'