A 2011 British survey found 12% of women would give up two to ten years of their lives just to be their ideal weight, while 29% of men think about their appearance at least five times a day. So what makes an ideal body, and why do we want one so badly?
Food craving is an intense desire to consume a particular food that is difficult to resist. This is different from hunger, as consumption of any number of foods satisfies hunger. Food craving is an intense desire to consume a particular food that is difficult to resist. This is different from hunger, as consumption of any number of foods satisfies hunger.
Many types of red meat and red meat products are available, from farmers' markets, to supermarkets, to restaurants. The impacts of their production and consumption on human health, animal welfare and the environment are complex.
Obesity is a major breast cancer risk factor in postmenopausal women, and scientists believe increased inflammation is an important underlying cause.
We all know exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, and most will agree kids should be doing more of it. However, a recent study found while parents are positive about their children engaging in aerobic activities (running, playing sports), they have much more negative views when it comes to strength exercises.
Everyone loves a study that turns one of our favourite vices into a health benefit. This week, the news headlines tell us “eating chocolate improves brain function” and that it “could help protect against normal age-related decline”.
My heavily pregnant wife went to see her GP last week for a routine check-up. During her appointment, the doctor measured her blood pressure and got a high reading. My wife was surprised by this and insisted that she felt fine, so he took a second reading. But that was high, too. The doctor was concerned enough to book her a follow-up
The list of over-the-counter dietary and weight loss supplements is exhaustive, with the majority based on scant supporting evidence from studies conducted in humans to support their claims. Weight-loss products make up one of the largest growing markets in the world.
Billy Connolly picked up a special recognition award at the recent National Television Awards for 50 years in the entertainment industry – but it was the effects of the comedian’s illness that shaped the headlines.
Marital resemblance is the degree to which we marry people who resemble us in some characteristic or another.Is it true that like attracts like? When it comes to mental health, it seems the answer is yes.
There are many reasons why some people live long healthy lives while others don’t, but one of them is undoubtedly genes. That doesn’t mean we should be negative about our chances of ageing in good health. Although our genes are handed down from our parents, the hand that we are dealt seems to be influenced by our lifestyle, too. Food,
Researchers at CSIRO and University of Queensland have developed an app called Harlie that is designed to chat with humans. Unlike Siri and Google Now – which are designed to answer specific questions – Harlie is designed for small talk.
Who doesn’t like a ready meal once in a while? People in the UK certainly do: consumption of ready meals and convenience meat products has increased five-fold over the last 40 years, according to the latest National Food Survey on UK food-buying habits. High levels of calories and fat in some of these products can
"If you weigh 200 pounds, you will be doing yourself a favor if you can lose 10 pounds and keep it off," Samuel Klein says. "You don't have to lose 50 pounds to get important health benefits."
Cannabis is the most commonly used illicit drug in Australia, with one in three adults using it at some point in their life. It’s legal in some places around the world, and offered medicinally in others. But what does smoking pot do to your mental health?
Over time, excessive drinking can lead to several chronic conditions, such as fatty liver disease and cirrhosis. But there’s new evidence that aerobic exercise may protect the liver.
The story of how psychology framed women for their own assaults began, as so many of psychology’s stories do, with some trapped animals. In the late 1960s, psychologist Martin Seligman conducted a series of behavioural experiments with dogs. He electrically shocked them at random and observed their responses.
One of the great and enduring mysteries of autism is what causes the brain to develop so differently. The behavioural differences of many individuals with autism are so apparent that it seems intuitive that the causes would also be obvious.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has become a byword for unbiased, evidence-based healthcare advice. Its recommendations strongly influence which treatments are made available on the NHS. We wouldn’t expect NICE to make recommendations that are unsupported by evidence or, worse, contain contradictory evidence.
In 2100, I will be 117 years old, and my younger sisters will be 112 and 107. According to the Cambridge academic, Peter Laslett, we can now live to such ages, but those of us who do will be experiencing the fourth age, “an era of final dependence, decrepitude and death”. Not quite the dream
In the film The Martian, Matt Damon’s character, Mark Watney, is stranded on the red planet with nothing to eat but spuds. Now, a 36-year-old Australian is following the same diet, voluntarily. In an attempt to lose weight and improve his relationship with food, Andrew Taylor has decided to eat nothing but potatoes for a year.
Last night’s Four Corners focused on party drugs and the policies Australia is implementing to combat their use. Not only is what we’re doing not working, we’re falling behind the rest of the world and what evidence says is best to ensure we have fewer deaths from illicit drugs.
Every year in the United States, about 226,000 people are hospitalized because of the flu, and 23,000 die. And about 80-90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people over 65 years old.
Passing on our genes to the next generation is the key process in evolution that happens through natural selection. So why do women suddenly stop having periods when they have at least a third of their lives left
In the middle of the last century, popular nutrition author Adelle Davis advised people to eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. Her advice stuck. Recent examination of the merits of adults eating breakfast has raised the question of whether we should indeed eat like kings at breakfast or just skip it all together.
We all know that cola and lemonade aren’t great for our waistline or our dental health, but our new study on rats has shed light on just how much damage sugary drinks can also do to our brain. The changes we observed to the region of the brain that controls emotional behaviour and cognitive function were more extensive than those
"The brain is incredibly complex, so it's reasonable to expect that introducing changes from a different evolutionary path might have negative consequences," says Corinne Simonti.
A common surgery to treat vaginal prolapse using an artificially grafted mesh has more problems than benefits, our Cohrane review has found. Women who underwent the operation had high rates of needing repeat surgery due to mesh exposure, bladder injury and urinary incontinence.
Don’t limit yourself to grapefruit – increasing the amount and variety of fruit and vegetables can help you lose weight. Monday – start diet. Tuesday – break diet! Wednesday – plan to start again next Monday.
Multiple sclerosis affects millions of people worldwide. It’s a neurological disease characterised by inflammatory lesions in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) that cause damage to the myelin sheath – the protective layer around the nerve cells. This causes neurological dysfunction, such as muscle paralysis or loss of sensation.
Do the same rules that govern human attraction also apply to our choices of fruit and vegetables? Plenty of evidence suggests we do look for similar traits in both people and produce, and our perceptions of food are clearly affected by what
A new study has uncovered a strong link between schizophrenia and the likelihood of attempting suicide. The risk is particularly high for women, people with substance abuse issues, and those who were abused when they were children.
Scientists have discovered a way to make a nasal spray flu vaccine safer for those who are at greatest risk of catching the flu, particularly infants under the age of 2.
A new water filter can remove toxic heavy metal ions and radioactive substances in just one pass.
Urinary incontinence is often seen as a degrading condition and women can feel too ashamed to seek help. Urinary incontinence is urine leakage from a loss of bladder control that mainly affects women
What’s the worst thing you could be burdened with this Valentine’s Day? Unrequited love? Unwanted affection? Unpaid invoice from the local florist? How about an itchy dose of pubic lice? Pubic lice, Phthirus pubis, or “crabs” as more commonly...
The ongoing water crisis in Flint, Michigan has highlighted just how harmful lead contamination is. What you may not realize, however, is that lead exposure is a problem throughout the U.S.
Catastrophe is looming for the banana industry. A new strain has emerged of a soil-borne fungus known as “Panama disease” which can wipe out entire plantations – and it is rapidly spreading around the world. Farmers in Australia, Latin America and across Asia and Africa all fear the worst.
Public health authorities are forever telling us how much we should weigh, but one essential element is missing: shape.
No one says it better than Dick Van Dyke in his new book Keep Moving. The secret to maintaining lasting agility lies in joyful movement. Van Dyke turns a very vibrant 90 years old this year, and he continues to not only hit the gym every day, but to dance every chance he gets -- not for the exercise, but simply because he enjoys it!
We have an absolute moral imperative to alleviate human suffering. Most of all for children. How a society treats its children is a benchmark of humanity. And our success in medical science is astounding.
"For some individuals, this simple nutritional supplement might really help reduce the risk of developing autism spectrum disorder. Any progress on the prevention front would be welcome given the number of people affected," says Zhigang Xie.
What do you know about your endocrine system? Possibly not as much as you should, seeing as how almost every organ and cell in the body is affected by it. This under-appreciated collection of glands selects and removes materials from the blood, processes them and secretes the finished chemical products, or hormones, back into the bloodstream.
The world’s oldest man, Yasutaro Koide recently died at the age of 112. Commentators as usual, focused on his reported “secret to longevity”: not smoking, drinking or overdoing it. No surprises there. But speculation on the basis of one individual is not necessarily the most helpful way of addressing this human quest for the Philosopher’s Stone.
It’s that time of year when we raise a glass to celebrate Christmas, the beginning of holidays, the new year, or simply to join with our friends. Many of us will pay a price, even if it’s “just” in the form of a hangover.
Over the last few decades, medicine has witnessed a sea change in attitudes toward chronic pain, and particularly toward opioids. While these changes were intended to bring relief to many, they have also fed an epidemic of prescription opioid and heroin abuse.
From October 2015 to January 2016, there were almost 4,000 cases of babies born with microcephaly in Brazil. Before then, there were just 150 cases per year.
"The simple step of incorporating weight history clarifies the risks of obesity and shows that they are much higher than appreciated," says Andrew Stokes.
People don’t read diet books just to lose weight. They serve as both “myths and manuals” for a better world, a new analysis of contemporary diet books suggests.
Sleeping in over the weekend is one of life’s great pleasures. Yet some of us are much better at it than others. A teenager is much more likely to emerge from their bed at midday than their middle-aged parents – but even within age groups, individual differences exist.
One in every ten babies in Melbourne develops a food allergy during their first year of life. New research has found children who are born with overly active immune cells are more likely to develop allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat and other common foods. This finding could lead to future treatments for babies to prevent childhood food allergies.
Everything happens for a reason, including health challenges of the mind and body. Although this may be difficult to accept, my view is that we make ourselves sick and miserable looking for love and attention outside ourselves.
The British government’s new guidelines advise reducing alcohol consumption to 14 units a week for both men and women and bluntly state that, for some cancers of the mouth, throat and breast, “risk increases with any amount you drink”
Until now, medicine has been a prestigious and often extremely lucrative career choice. But in the near future, will we need as many doctors as we have now? Are we going to see significant medical unemployment in the coming decade?
Scientists are taking a closer look at the main breakdown product of aspirin, called salicylic acid, and its potential to treat neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Thanks to rising annual deductibles and a push toward consumer-driven health care, people are increasingly encouraged to shop around for medical care. Many states or state hospital associations have price transparency initiatives, and there are a number of private companies that also purport to help consumers find value for their health care dollar.
Before i was informed that I was “profoundly dyslexic,” I just thought I was stupid and too weird to cultivate friends. In school, I would get an A for creativity over a D for atrocious grammar. I was having considerable difficulty reading anything, much less a map. I had trouble telling my right from my left, I could not comprehend most directions, I was lost much of the time.
To understand if a new treatment for an illness is really better than older treatments, doctors and researchers look to the best available evidence. Health professionals want a “last word” in evidence to settle questions about what the best modes of treatment are.
With all the noise of society—busy highways, bustling cities, mass media, and television sets blaring everywhere—our minds can’t help but be highly agitated and polluted. I now avoid all this as much as humanly possible, especially the television. It’s now hard to believe that I was a reporter on television for more than two decades.
As a knee surgeon who has helped thousands of patients with knee pain, I know there are treatments and options that can not only reduce the pain, but also postpone knee surgery — or avoid it entirely.
It’s that time of year when many are trying, and some are failing, to live up to their New Years' resolution of losing weight. Many of these probably include resolutions to be more physically active in striving for this goal. But first, there are some common misconceptions about exercise and weight loss that need to be addressed.
Mindfulness, a meditative practice focusing on attention and awareness training, has been shown to have positive effects on mental and physical wellbeing. A recent review of studies has also shown that mindfulness meditation helps people with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder reduce their mental and physical problems.
Everyone loves D, the sunshine vitamin. Doctors, patients and the media have been enamoured with vitamin D supplements for decades. As well as their clear benefit in curing severe vitamin D deficiencies, endless headlines hail their magical ability to reduce a vast range of conditions from dementia to cancer.
Many dread the approaching winter – the darkness, frigid weather and lower energy levels that blow in along with cold fronts and snowstorms.
Most people are aware of the importance of being active and exercising daily. Unfortunately, due to busy schedules, most people are forced to exercise around other numerous commitments. However, the timing of exercise can have profound effects on performance.
It may come as little surprise that taking exercise is a way to lose weight. However, a debate about the best type of exercise for weight loss is likely to divide opinion.
When older parents become frail or disabled, it can place a heavy burden on adult children. But the parent-child relationship appears to be a two-way street—with adult children having a profound effect on their parents’ psychological well-being.
Edible insects are great alternatives to conventional sources of meat as they’re cheap, plentiful and excellent sources of protein and fat, as well as vitamins and minerals.
At the time of Xmas parties many of us may be waking up with regrets, sore heads, fragile stomachs and some heartburn (acid reflux) which in a year can affect over 40% of us and one in five weekly.
This time of year, most fridges are stocked up with food and drinks to share with family and friends. Let’s not make ourselves and our guests sick by getting things wrong when preparing and serving food.
People overeat. And people don’t always make the healthiest food choices. That much is clear. But who is to blame for overeating and poor food choices? And can we do anything about it?
Researchers found a significant association between a patient’s vitamin D levels and the severity of their IBS symptoms, particularly the extent to which IBS affects their quality of life.
In the first year of my illness, one of my all-time favorite healers asked me something along the lines of, “Are you fully expressing your will in your life and your relationships?” A couple of years later, a particularly insightful and opinionated homeopath put it more bluntly: “Are you living a life that you want to show up for?”
In 1809, the French evolutionist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck put forward the theory that acquired traits could be transmitted to the next generation. His theory implies that our health is determined by the chosen lifestyle of our ancestors, long before our own existence. And our latest research adds to the credibility of this long-neglected theory.
Obviously prevention would be the best approach," says Molly Bray, "but there are literally millions of individuals who are currently obese and are in dire need of more effective strategies for long-term weight loss that will ultimately improve overall health
When you think about body fat, it’s probably white fat that comes to mind. That’s where our bodies store excess calories, and it’s the stuff you want to get rid of when you are trying to lose weight.
Depression affects over 80,000 young people in the UK every year. It can have a devastating impact on their daily lives, social and academic functioning, and family. As one young person in our research project put it: “I felt like I was missing out on being a teenager”.
A series of coordinated attacks in Paris left 130 people dead. A week later, armed gunmen stormed a hotel in Mali, seizing hostages while also firing indiscriminately at guests, killing 27 people.
Until fairly lately, it was unusual to see the words “cancer” and “cured” used in the same sentence. Now, it’s much more common. Reports that toddler Layla Richards had been cured of what was thought to be an incurable form of leukaemia were followed with news that former US president Jimmy Carter was cured of brain cancer – a melanoma that had spread from his liver.
The Australian federal court has accused Reckitt Benckiser of misleading consumers. The UK-based company has been marketing products in their Nurofen range for specific types of pain. The truth is, they all contain the same active ingredient: an analgesic drug called ibuprofen. Ibuprofen can’t be targeted at any specific pains.
Most researchers agree that the key difference between human brains and those of other animals is the size and complexity of our cerebral cortex, the brain’s outer layer of neural tissue. We therefore tend to focus our attention on this area, believing that our unique mental life is due to this masterpiece of evolution.
Celia Aguilar wears a long, loosely fitted white dress with touches of red embroidery and red bandanas tied around her head and waist. The 29-year-old Chicana dances alongside men wearing large, feathered headdresses, the seashells on their ankles rattling. Here in El Paso, Texas, they gather in a ritual of Danza Azteca, an Aztec dance preserved in Mexican culture.
Alongside the day’s high and low temperatures, weather reports generally contain a UV alert for a particular time. But what does it actually mean – and what should you do about it?
As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, sometimes it can seem like we barely get a chance to see the sun. For most people, this can be frustrating; and for others, the slide into winter can actually lead to a subset of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.
Intermittent fasting diets involve periods of fasting cycled with periods of feeding. Fasting involves a zero or reduced calorie intake from foods and drinks. Feeding can involve food and drink consumption under strict rules – or not – and can be ad libitum (eating based on your hunger and fullness) – or not.
Suppose your relationship is falling apart and you want to save it. To find the best counsellor, you might search online or ask your friends. It’s no different in agriculture. The rational response to any food or farming dilemma is to test and compare different options to see which is most effective as a solution.
The holidays bring with them an abundance of festivities centered around eating and drinking. And, not to play Scrooge, but much of our favorite holiday fare sits atop the list of those opiate-like "trigger foods." These foods fall in the "naughty" category because they set off chemicals in the brain that make us want to gorge ourselves...
The completion of the first draft of the human genome sequence was announced to rapturous applause in June 2000 to an audience of journalists gathered in the White House and Downing Street.
For most of us, Christmas and its festivities revolve around consuming tasty food and drinks with colleagues, friends and family. Between work Christmas parties, Christmas lunch or dinner, edible presents and New Year’s Eve, it can be an effort not to gain weight.
European societies are living longer but as the older population increases, are these extra years healthy ones? Research we recently published in The Lancet suggests that the answer to this question crucially depends on what you mean by “healthy”.
I once did a survey amongst my close friends and out of 18 friends, 15 admitted that they suffered from seasonal depression. Most of them replied that they would prefer to live anywhere else but in a cold country during winter and...
We’ve known for a long time that aspirin can help prevent damage from a heart attack or a stroke if taken during one of those events. In fact, you might have seen ads about how aspirin can be lifesaving during a heart attack.
The grand political narratives around the COP21 conference in Paris will barely touch on one crucial aspect – food. The Paris talks are of vital importance, not just for climate change itself but for framing what kind of food economy follows. And why does food matter for climate change? Well, it’s a major factor driving it yet barely gets a mention.
There seems to be a shortening gap between studies about diet, nutrition and health. And each starts another conversation about trans vs saturated vs polyunsaturated fats, or this diet vs that, or, as is today’s case, fats vs carbohydrates.
Most of us will have experienced diarrhoea or Delhi Belly and spent an unpleasant 48 hours in bed or on the toilet, often while travelling. Studies show that if severe, these infections can sometimes change your gut microbes permanently.
About one third of people with depression have high levels of inflammation markers in their blood. New research indicates that persistent inflammation affects the brain in ways that are connected with stubborn symptoms of depression, such as anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure.
When you buy commercially baked goods such as pies, pastries, cakes and biscuits, there’s a good likelihood they’ll contain one of the nastier types of fatty acids: trans fats. These unsaturated fats have been chemically altered to give them a longer shelf life and withstand repeated re-heating.
Sulforaphane is found in vegetables such as kale, cauliflower, and cabbage—and in particularly high concentrations in young broccoli sprouts. Sulforaphane also is available as a dietary supplement called BSE.