Program yourself: Eating an apple before shopping for groceries leads to far healthier food purchases
Walking down the aisle of the grocery can be a daunting task for anyone. For some people, it’s next to impossible to stay away from the snack bar — it’s like your feet are forced to go there!

Did you ever wonder how to get away from that? Researchers at Cornell University may have found a trick to escape the curse of the snack aisle.

Just eat an apple before you shop.

In their research, scientists discovered that people who ate an apple before shopping bought 25 percent more fruits and vegetables over those who did not eat before they shopped. Dr. Aner Tal and Dr. Brian Wansink, authors of the study, proved their hypothesis by conducting three studies. For their first study, 120 participants were randomly given an apple sample, a cookie sample, or no sample before they started shopping. The researchers then monitored the purchases made by the individuals. They discovered that shoppers who were provided with an apple prior to shopping bought 28 percent more fruits and vegetables over those who got cookies before shopping and 25 percent more than those who were not given a sample.

“What this teaches us,” Tal goes on to explain, “is that having a small healthy snack before shopping can put us in a healthier mindset and steer us towards making better food choices.”
Retire from work, not exercise: New study confirms any and all physical activity in elderly helps reduce cardiovascular risk
An 18-year long study is concluding that any physical activity at any level in elderly people is better than being completely inactive in lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease. The researchers wanted to determine whether regular physical activity provides cardiovascular health benefits in elderly people. In the study, the researchers compared the link between different amounts of physical activity and the risk of cardiovascular disease among older people to middle-aged individuals.

To determine whether exercise would be beneficial in lowering cardiovascular risk in middle-aged and elderly people, the researchers studied the data of more than 24,000 adults who were within the age range of 39 to 79 years old when they were recruited from 1993 to 1997. The data gathered came from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) cohort, which was mainly designed to evaluate dietary and other factors of cancer, but data on determinants of cardiovascular disease were also gathered.


Read More...


Get that baby outside: New study finds exposure to high levels of vitamin D in early childhood reduces risk of diabetes
Mornings are not only great, but healthy too. Recent studies show that exposure to high levels of vitamin D, especially in childhood, greatly reduce the risk of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

Research background

In 2004, a multinational study involving 8,676 children began, in order to find out if higher-vitamin D levels reduced the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young, or TEDDY study, involved children with a higher risk of type 1 diabetes from genetic inheritance. The children were from the U.S., Finland, Germany, and Sweden.

The large sample size required the children to visit the clinic every three months between three to 48 months of age, and every six months after they were two years old. As part of the standard procedure during every visit, blood samples were taken. This enabled the researchers to determine the infant’s current vitamin D levels, and if islet autoimmunity (the precursor to diabetes) was present. Researchers found that the 376 children who developed islet autoimmunity had lower levels of vitamin D levels as compared to the 1,041 who did not develop it. (Related: Asthma attacks cut in half by vitamin D supplements, study finds.)

The study does not specify if vitamin D intervention through supplements or diet affected the outcome. However, a 2013 study on 1,000 U.S. military members found that individuals who had a higher intake of vitamin D in their adolescence had a better chance of not getting diagnosed with diabetes.
Read More...

Health and fitness