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TO YOUR HEALTH





Eating and Walking –
A Recipe for Overeating   

Multitasking during meals is a no-no, yet most of us do it every day. A new study published in the Journal of Health Psychology has identified walking as the very worst activity to mix with your meals.

Researchers at the University of Surrey in England studied three groups of women to test multiple forms of distracted snacking. One group watched a five-minute video while eating a cereal bar; another ate that cereal bar while walking; and the third ate the bar while sitting opposite a friend and talking. After the experiment, all of the groups were asked to complete a questionnaire and
taste-test chocolate, carrot sticks, grapes, and potato chips. When the study participants left, the researchers measured how much of each snack each group ate, and found that the women who had been asked to eat while walking consumed five times more chocolate than the other groups. 

 Susan Albers, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, says she thinks that walking while eating causes overeating because of the number of distractions that can pop up while you’re on the go. “When you’re walking, you’re engaged in so many activities, like paying attention to where you’re going and trying not to run into things,” Albers said. “It’s next to impossible to actually focus on what you’re eating, which can keep you from processing how it’s having an impact on your hunger.”

The study authors also hypothesized that because walking is a form of exercise, it may be used as form of justification for eating more later on.

If you can’t avoid eating while walking, Albers suggests wearing headphones. She explained that headphones “can help block out external noises and minimize the number of distractions, which means you can be more mindful about what you’re eating.”

Job Stress Tied to Stroke Risk  

Having a high-stress job, particularly one that is demanding but offers little personal control, may raise the risk for a stroke, Chinese researchers report.

The findings are based on an analysis of six previously published studies from several countries, in which nearly 140,000 people
were followed for up to 17 years. The researchers found that those with high-stress jobs had a 22 percent higher risk of stroke than those with low-stress jobs. Among women, the increased risk was even higher – 33 percent, the researchers reported.

 “High-stress jobs may lead to unhealthy behaviors, such as poor eating habits, smoking and a lack of exercise,” said lead researcher Dr. Yuli Huang.

Huang and colleagues grouped jobs into four categories based on how much control workers had over their job, and how hard they worked or the psychological demands of the job. The categories included passive jobs,
low-stress jobs, high-stress jobs and active jobs. Those with passive jobs included janitors, miners and other manual laborers, who had little demand and little control. Low-stress jobs included scientists and architects, who had low demand and high control, according to the study. High-stress jobs, which have high demandand low control, included waitresses, nursing aides and other service industry workers. People with active jobs, like doctors, teachers and engineers, had high demand and high control, the researchers said.

People in high-stress jobs were 58 percent morelikely to have a stroke caused by a blood clot in the brain – an ischemic stroke – than those with low-stress jobs. Those with passive and active jobs did not have any increased risk of stroke, Huang said.

Previous studies have shown a link between work stress and heart disease, but this is the first research to show that association for stroke. However, the new study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between work stress and stroke.

Exercise May Be
the Most Effective Weapon Against Aging 

Keeping active may be the secret to staying young for both mice and men. 

Researchers from Canada’s McMaster University discovered that endurance exercise could halt the aging process in a group of mice, even though they were genetically engineered to age faster. The laboratory mice continued to exhibit the same youthful appearance as normal mice after engaging in a treadmill exercise routine over a period of several months. In addition, the exercise program prevented premature aging in almost every organ of the morphed mice. 

The results of the analysis indicate that not only can exercise help to prevent an early death, it can also delay the aging process. The researchers said that the exercise routine provided nearly 100 percent protection against graying fur, hair loss, brain and muscle atrophy, and more.

The mice in the study were genetically engineered to have an age-inducing defect in their cell powerhouses, known as mitochondria. As mitochondria age, less energy is generated for cells in the body to run on. The mice were assigned to either an exercise or non-exercise group. The exercise group was forced to jog at a brisk pace on a treadmill for 45 minutes, three times weekly.

After a five-month period, the researchers found that prevention of prematureaging had occurred among all the mice in the exercise group. While these mice remained active and looked as young as ever, the sedentary mice were inactive and less fertile, and they were found to be balding and turning gray. Whereas the muscle tissue of the active mice was found to be completely normal, the tissue of the inactive mice showed signs of damage.

The researchers noted that the results of the study are applicable to humans, and they expressed hope that the outcome for the exercising mice will motivate people to get on the move.