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Category Archives: Health Facts
Everybody knows that sitting for long periods of time is unhealthy. Studies have shown that prolonged physical inactivity is one of the biggest causes of obesity – even more so than a poor diet. It follows that a sedentary lifestyle could lead to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, stroke, sleep apnea, early mortality and many other conditions. Too much sitting has even been linked with higher rates of cancer. With so many jobs now requiring employees to sit in front of a computer for hours every day, sedentary lifestyles are becoming more and more prevalent. It’s believed that a whopping 82.7 million Americans were completely inactive in 2014. Luckily, however, even small amounts of physical activity can be beneficial. According to a new study, as little as two minutes of light activity every hour could be quite effective.
Binge drinking is defined in several different ways. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines binge drinking as “a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL.” They point out that it usually takes around five drinks for men and four drinks for women over a period of around two hours to be considered “binging.” The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines binge drinking as consuming “five or more alcoholic drinks on the same occasion on at least one day in the past 30 days.” Using the first definition, the CDC reports that one in six adults in the U.S. binge drinks around four times every month. College students, the group perhaps most notorious for binge drinking, only make up part of the problem – 70 percent of binge drinkers are over the age of 26. According to a new study, things are getting worse.
When it comes to treating obesity, health professionals often stick to two main points: diet and exercise. And while those are indeed the two most healthy and effective strategies for reducing body weight, it’s not always best to use the same treatments for any person who has a certain condition. For instance, there are seven different types of colorectal cancer, and no doctor would ever think about starting a treatment plan before determining exactly which version of cancer a person has. With this idea in mind, researchers from the University of Sheffield in the UK gathered health data from over 4,000 obese patients. They examined each person’s age, ethnicity, gender, lifestyle habits, and other health conditions to see whether or not obese individuals could be categorized based on general behavioral characteristics.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Americans are currently living longer than ever. While this is great news, it also signals a need for increased understanding of elderly health issues and resources for dealing with them. In particular, longer life spans necessitate a continued need for research into cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s prevention. As of now, 5.3 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s, and it’s the sixth leading cause of death. Plenty of studies suggest different methods for preventing Alzheimer’s, such as learning a second language or making sure you get enough vitamin D. However, not everybody develops Alzheimer’s as they get older – but many elderly people will experience cognitive decline of some sort. What can be done in those cases? A new report from the non-profit Institute of Medicine describes some prevention strategies.
Heart disease can by caused by a number of fairly controllable factors. Eating a diet high in fat and cholesterol, smoking, and having high blood sugar are big risk factors that a person can avoid to an extent. High blood pressure due to poor diet or high levels of stress is also a somewhat controllable cause of heart disease in both men and women. Unfortunately, there are also several factors that a person cannot control whatsoever. For example, family history can play a large role in heart disease risk. When a link between height and heart disease was suggested all the way back in 1951 by a now-famous cardiologist named Paul Dudley White, the idea wasn’t taken very seriously for decades. Now, however, it turns out that a gene associated with short stature may also be related to a higher heart disease risk.
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