Every day, we scour the Web looking for compelling wellness stories that provide the information — and inspiration — you need to make good choices. Here are this week’s must-read wellness articles.
Skipping Sleep Gives You the Munchies
Here’s some motivation to get to bed on time: Skimping on sleep could make you eat more during the day. That’s the word from a new study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In the study, people who slept between 3.5 and 5.5 hours a night for up to two weeks consumed an average of 385 extra calories a day. “We need to do more research into sleep as a possible remediable risk factor for obesity and possibly other cardio-metabolic diseases like diabetes, especially in today’s society in which trends are showing that people sleep less,” the lead researcher notes. (Health)
More Than Half of Americans Have At Least 1 Chronic Health Problem
More than half of all Americans suffer from at least one chronic health problem, including a chronic disease, mental illness, or an issue with drugs or alcohol, according to a new study from Emory University.”The health of individuals in the U.S.A. is increasingly being defined by complexity and multimorbidity, the co-occurrence of two or more chronic medical conditions,” say the study authors. (HealthDay)
How Mindfulness Lessens Stress
Many experts have noted that meditation and mindfulness reduces stress, but how exactly does it work? Mindful magazine counts the ways mindfulness practice lessens stress — nine of them, to be exact, including becoming more aware of your thoughts, increasing the care and compassion you feel for yourself and others, and reducing activity in the amygdala, which places a key role in turning on the stress response. (Mindful)
Woman With Ovarian Cancer Awarded $70M in Baby Powder Lawsuit
A California woman who used Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder for years has been awarded $70 million in her lawsuit which claims the baby powder caused her ovarian cancer. About 2,000 women have filed similar suits against Johnson & Johnson. Juries awarded two lawsuits in St. Louis with a combined $127 million; however, two other awards in New Jersey were thrown out by a judge who said there was not enough evidence to link the talc in the baby powder to ovarian cancer. (USA Today)
The Power of Placebo
Quick: What performance-enhancing supplement has no side effects and is totally legal? Belief, notes Science of Us, which looks at recent studies that show that athletes perform better when they receive saline injections or sugar pills they think are performance-enhancing drugs. “The stories we tell ourselves and each other…matter,” notes Science of Us. “It may be a story about a pill, a story about compression socks, a story about all the hard work we’ve completed, or a story about our innate potential. Whatever the case may be, positive yet realistic stories seem to yield positive yet realistic results.” (Science of Us)
Low-Carb Diet Can ‘Block the Path Toward…Pre-Diabetes’
A low-carb diet may prevent diabetes. That’s the finding of a new study, published in PLOS One, that showed that three low-carb meals in 24 hours lowered insulin resistance by more than 30 percent. “What’s remarkable about our findings is they show a simple dietary modification of reducing the carbohydrate content of the meals can, within a day, protect against development of insulin resistance,” says lead author Katarina Borer. “Sustained intake of high carbohydrate diets…lead to increased fasting insulin secretion and resistance.” (Daily Mail)
Is Facebook Going After Pharma Ads?
You may be seeing more pharmaceutical ads when you log into Facebook. According to STAT News, Facebook is going after the billions of dollars that Big Pharma spends annually on advertising. To make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to promote their products, Facebook is allowing drug makers to turn off comments on product pages.”That’s a huge issue for the pharmaceutical industry, which could get in hot water with regulators if it failed to report unverified aches and pains posted by patients in Facebook comments as ‘adverse events’ that could result from taking the drug,” STAT notes. As one observer put it, “Pharma is as anxious to use social media as social media is to sell it to them.” (STAT)