For quite a while some experts believed that a little extra body fat would not necessarily trigger health problems. There was even talk of an “obesity paradox,” meaning that some people could derive certain benefits from being obese. But all that may just be fantasy, according to new studies. Whether being overweight is immediately harmful depends on a number of factors, including a person’s genes, activity level, hormonal functions, and the source of calories.
Once in a while there’s some good news for people who want to eat right and keep their weight in check but are also tired of hearing about all the foods they can or should no longer enjoy because of health concerns. What’s the good news? Nuts! Consuming all sorts of nuts, including peanuts, which are actually legumes, is good for you, according to a study that was recently published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
It is a widespread belief that the aging baby boomer generation is going to break the bank when it comes to medical costs. But while it is true that the elderly on average have greater healthcare needs than younger people, it is not where the bulk of the money goes. There are mainly two factors that make the American healthcare system the costliest in the world. One is that prices of medical and administrative services as well as drugs and devices have risen astronomically over the last decade or so. The other is that treating patients with chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease is expensive, no matter what their age is.
American workers put in longer hours and take less time off than their counterparts in almost any other country in the developed world. Unlike in Europe, for example, where four to six weeks paid vacation time is mandatory, there are no comparable laws in the United States. But in addition to the lack of recreation, most Americans don’t stay home even when they are sick.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a new report with frightening statistics on how antibiotic resistant bacteria are affecting the population, and cautioned consumers on the spread of “superbugs.” Antibiotic resistant bacteria can be spread through medical procedures, the overuse of antibiotics, and personal contact. The overuse of antibiotics in humans for illnesses like cold or flu is typically the first thought that comes to mind. But what about antibiotics in meat?
As the obesity crisis continues to spread around the world, nutrition scientists keep looking for answers why millions of people eat more than they should. One possible explanation, some have suggested, is food addiction, an inability to stop eating, even when it makes us sick. And there is indeed some scientific evidence that a link between excessive food consumption and addictive behavior exists.