Summary of “Is It Unhealthy to Be Overweight?”

Many overweight people feel locked in a fruitless battle with their size.
Telling people it’s perfectly fine to be dozens of pounds overweight would be terrible advice-if it’s wrong.
Like many internecine wars, the dispute mostly comes down to one small thing: how you define the “Overweight” population in the study.
Having those individuals in the pool of normal-weight people makes the normal-weight people seem sicker, and the overweight people seem healthier, than they actually are.
“On average, overweight people lose about one year of life expectancy, and moderately obese people lose about three years of life expectancy,” the paper’s lead author, Emanuele Di Angelantonio, told The Guardian.
Some researchers suggest overweight people might be better equipped to fight off certain diseases, with fat serving as a last-ditch fuel for the ailing body.
For one thing, athletes and other very muscular people might be wrongly categorized as overweight, and some scientists now think it’s stomach fat, not hip fat, that’s the dangerous kind.
Medical advice urging heavy people to lose weight is based on the premise that being overweight is unhealthy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “We Need to Talk Some More About Your Dirty Sponges”

You could just as easily contract an illness from poorly prepared food or your cellphone as you could from a dirty sponge, many experts say.
To avoid cross-contamination, wash your hands and give different sponges their own jobs – like cleaning only your counter, floor or dishes.
Dr. Egert doesn’t think his donors gave their sponges a correct washing.
In a 2008 study, Manan Sharma, a microbiologist who studies foodborne pathogens with the U.S.D.A., and his colleagues soaked sponges in ground beef at room temperature for two days to get them extra bacteria-y and then compared common cleaning methods.
She agrees with Dr. Egert: Dispose of sponges at least once a week, or when they smell bad. And if someone is sick in your house, like with cancer, she says to throw away sponges daily.
Reuse disinfected sponges in less hygiene-sensitive spots if you must.
Plenty of companies offer solutions – like bacteria-killing baths for sponges, water-repellent surfaces or antimicrobial materials.
Dr. Sauer says the problem with sponges is that they’re easy to ignore.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How long to do cardio exercise to get benefits”

Aerobic exercise, or “Cardio,” might be the closest thing to a miracle drug that we have.
“Aerobic exercise … has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress,” the authors of an article in the Harvard Medical School blog “Mind and Mood” wrote.
Aa recent paper looked at the exercise habits of hundreds of breast cancer survivors who were experiencing symptoms like “Chemo brain,” which involves memory loss and trouble focusing.
The researchers found that as little as 30 minutes of an aerobic exercise like walking was linked with significantly better performance on cognitive quizzes.
A study in the British Medical Journal found that in adults over 50, the best results for the brain appeared to come from a routine that combined aerobic exercises with resistance training and lasted at least 45 minutes.
Researchers still aren’t sure why this type of exercise appears to provide a boost to the brain, but some studies suggest it has to do with increased blood flow, which provides our minds with fresh energy and oxygen.
One recent study in older women who displayed potential symptoms of dementia also found that aerobic exercise was linked with an increase in the size of the hippocampus, a brain area involved in learning and memory.
Joe Northey, the lead author of the British study and an exercise scientist at the University of Canberra, said his research suggests that anyone in good health over age 50 should do 45 minutes to an hour of aerobic exercise “On as many days of the week as feasible.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Peak age for intelligence: Math, vocabulary, memory, etc.”

Like the ability to read others’ emotions or do basic arithmetic, don’t arrive until middle age or beyond.
“At almost any given age, most of us are getting better at some things and worse at others,” Joshua Hartshorne, an MIT cognitive science researcher and the lead author of a study looking at how intelligence changes as we age, told Business Insider.
Their results suggest that no matter your age, there’s almost always a new peak on the horizon.
Overall brain processing power and detail memory peaks around age 18.
Young people don’t appear to be as saddled by this issue, though – a 2011 study found that humans are best at learning new names in our early 20s. Concentration abilities peak around age 43.
Having trouble focusing? A 2015 study from researchers at Harvard University and the Boston Attention and Learning Laboratory suggests that our ability to sustain attention improves with age, reaching its peak around age 43.
Peak ability to learn and understand new information also occurs around age 50.
Similar to the way your ability to do basic math peaks at age 50, your ability to learn and understand general information – like historical events and political ideas – doesn’t reach its pinnacle until around the same age, according to Hartshorne’s study.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Your Smartphone Can Reduce Your Brainpower, Even If It’s Just Sitting There”

Over the course of the next 90 minutes I will check my phone for texts, likes, and New York Times push alerts at every pang of boredom, anxiety, relaxation, satiety, frustration, or weariness.
A smartphone can tax its user’s cognition simply by sitting next to them on a table, or being anywhere in the same room with them, suggests a study published recently in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.
Even if a phone’s out of sight in a bag, even if it’s set to silent, even if it’s powered off, its mere presence will reduce someone’s working memory and problem-solving skills.
These effects are strongest for people who depend on their smartphones, such as those who affirm a statement like, “I would have trouble getting through a normal day without my cell phone.”
Few participants in the study reported feeling distracted by their phone during the exam, even if the data suggested their attention was not at full capacity.
“In a situation where you’re doing something other than, say, using your name, there’s a pretty good chance that whatever your phone represents is more likely to be relevant to you than whatever else is going on.”
In the first experiment, some participants were told to set their phones to silent without vibration and either leave them in their bag or put them on their desk.
In the second experiment, students were asked to leave their phones on their desk, in their bag, or out in the hall, just as in the first experiment.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Peak age for intelligence: Math, vocabulary, memory, etc.”

Like the ability to read others’ emotions or do basic arithmetic, don’t arrive until middle age or beyond.
“At almost any given age, most of us are getting better at some things and worse at others,” Joshua Hartshorne, an MIT cognitive science researcher and the lead author of a study looking at how intelligence changes as we age, told Business Insider.
Their results suggest that no matter your age, there’s almost always a new peak on the horizon.
Overall brain processing power and detail memory peaks around age 18.
Young people don’t appear to be as saddled by this issue, though – a 2011 study found that humans are best at learning new names in our early 20s. Concentration abilities peak around age 43.
Having trouble focusing? A 2015 study from researchers at Harvard University and the Boston Attention and Learning Laboratory suggests that our ability to sustain attention improves with age, reaching its peak around age 43.
Peak ability to learn and understand new information also occurs around age 50.
Similar to the way your ability to do basic math peaks at age 50, your ability to learn and understand general information – like historical events and political ideas – doesn’t reach its pinnacle until around the same age, according to Hartshorne’s study.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The secret to creativity may lie in experience”

Two years ago, the New York Times reported on a whimsical new trend on college campuses: studying creativity itself.
Creativity is a characteristic born in Homo sapiens by virtue of extended cortical development, which served to privilege environmental influences on the brain over a genetic determinism.
Generating responses is part of what the study of creativity teaches.
Creativity is often mistaken for a universal trait, but in order to arrive at a creative solution to any problem, we have to have knowledge and understanding of the factors, institutions, and phenomena at play.
If creativity relies on knowledge of a subject plus all that fluent, I-got-it-from-the-Muse brainstorming, then studying creativity for creativity’s sake might feel progressive-but it’s actually quite narrow.
Any effective creativity training program should focus on both aspects of the creative process: “Convergent” thinking, and “Divergent” thinking.
People who find it easiest to arrive at those “Novel works” that our vague working definition of creativity provides are able to achieve psychological “Flow”-being completely immersed in a task.
A creative studies minor can be useful for the first part of “Being creative”-the convergent phase.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Chronic Fatigue Syndrome’ Severity Linked To Several Proteins Of Inflammation”

Many patients see the name “Chronic fatigue syndrome” as trivializing and misleading, giving the impression that they’re simply tired or depressed.
Now, the Stanford researchers have linked ME/CFS to variations in certain cytokines, immune-signaling proteins, that track with illness severity.
Out of 51 cytokines investigated via sophisticated fluorescence-based testing, only two of the cytokines differed, in their total concentrations, between the ME/CFS and control groups.
Levels of 17 of the cytokines varied dramatically between the patients with mild versus severe ME/CFS symptoms.
According to Dr. Anthony L. Komaroff, a Harvard internist and epidemiologist who has written a commentary to accompany the study, “For many years medical scientists have speculated that the symptoms of ME/CFS might be caused by cytokines, molecules that the immune system use to wage war against foreign invaders of the body. Past studies have shown high levels of many cytokines but it was not clear that these high levels were causing symptoms.”
What the latest research shows, Komaroff tells Shots, is that “Levels of many cytokines do correlate with symptoms: The higher the blood level, the worse the symptoms. That supports the theory that the cytokines are a cause of the symptoms.”
Two classic laboratory measures of inflammation are sedimentation rate – the ability of red blood cells to clump together, which isn’t a factor in ME/CFS – and C-reactive protein, which reflects levels of a single cytokine that wasn’t one of those linked to severity in this study.
The multidisciplinary Stanford team is now working on developing a panel that could be used commercially, that would test for around five of the 17 cytokines and would likely involve the doctor first classifying patients by severity in order to interpret the results.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Best exercise for your brain and body”

A wealth of recent research, including a new study published this month, suggests that any type of exercise that raises your heart rate and gets you moving and sweating for a sustained period of time – known as aerobic exercise – has a significant, overwhelmingly beneficial impact on the brain.
At the end of a week, people who’d done aerobic exercise every day were not only significantly less tired than those who did little to no exercise, but also did significantly better on the app’s quizzes.
“The message for cancer patients and survivors is, get active!” said Diane Ehlers, the lead author on the study and a professor of exercise psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, in a statement.
Still, the evidence that aerobic workouts have a wide range of potential beneficial impacts on the brain – from reducing the symptoms of depression to strengthening connections in parts of the brain linked with memory – is robust and growing.
If you’re over 50, a study in the British Medical Journal suggests the best results come from combining aerobic and resistance exercise, which could include anything from high-intensity interval training, like the 7-minute workout, to dynamic flow yoga, which intersperses strength-building poses like planks and push-ups with heart-pumping dance-like moves.
Researchers still aren’t sure why this type of exercise appears to provide a boost to the brain, but studies suggest it has to do with increased blood flow, which provides our minds with fresh energy and oxygen.
One recent study in older women who displayed potential symptoms of dementia found that aerobic exercise was linked with an increase in the size of the hippocampus, a brain area involved in learning and memory.
Joe Northey, the lead author of the British study and an exercise scientist at the University of Canberra, said his research suggests that anyone in good health over age 50 should do 45 minutes to an hour of aerobic exercise “On as many days of the week as feasible.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can sugar make you sad? A new study shows a link between sugar and depression”

In addition to being linked to conditions like obesity, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, eating high levels of sugar has been associated with mental illnesses like depression.
In a study published July 27 in Scientific Reports that followed over 8,000 adults over 22 years, researchers from University College London found that men who reported consuming foods that contained 67 grams of sugar per day or more were 23% more likely to be diagnosed with clinical depression after five years from when the study began.
After the first five-year follow up, men who ate the most sugar, which the authors categorize as 67 grams or more per day-almost twice the amount of sugar intake recommended by the American Heart Association, and roughly three and a half regular sized Snickers bars-had higher rates of mental health diagnoses than those who ate less sugar, regardless of whether or not they were overweight.
Even during years when participants reported eating less sugar, levels of mental illness stayed the same, which suggests that previous sugar habits had led to depression or anxiety and not the other way around.
In this study, the relationship between sugar and mental illness wasn’t well-defined among women.
The only thing that could would be a randomized controlled study, which would be unethical to perform knowing the links between sugar and other health consequences, Knuppel says.
James Gangwisch, a psychologist at Columbia University who found a link between sugar and depression in postmenopausal women, has postulated that foods high in sugar that are easy to break down may cause our blood sugar to immediately rise, and then plummet.
It’s worth considering how much added sugar is in your own diet beyond what’s found naturally in foods like fruits, which don’t give us the same blood sugar spike that foods like candy do.

The orginal article.