Posts Tagged ‘Harvard University’

Move It or Lose It!

May 27, 2015


The New York Times recently reported on two large-scale studies which link the role exercise plays on longevity.

One of those studies, conducted by Harvard University, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and The American Cancer Society among others, reviewed aggregated results of six surveys, in which respondents reported thier exercise habits. The over 660,000 adults were then categorized based on their activity levels. The categories were:those who didn’t exercise, those who exercised less than the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate cardio (or just 21 minutes a day), those who exercise two to three times more than that, and those who exercise three to five times the recommeneded amount. They also reviewed 14 years worth of death records for the group.

Those who exercised less than the recommended amount still had a 20% lower mortality rate than those who did not exercise at all. Those who did one to two times more than the minumun recommendation (approximately 42 minutes per day) had a 31% lower rate of mortality, and the group who exercised two to three times the more that the minumum (about 64 mintutes per day) had a 39% lower rate of mortality.

The second study reviewed the mortality rates of those who exercised vigorously, versus those who worked more moderately. Of those who met the minimum guidelines, the people who categorized 30% of their workouts as vigorous lowered their mortaltiy rate by another 9%. When an even higher percentage of their workouts were listed as vigorous, the rate dropped to  13%.

The bottom line? Get up and move! Even a few minutes per day can make a difference. Finding an hour per day, and pushing hard for just 19 minutes of that can reduce your chance of death by a full 39%! Isn’t that worth the effort?

Let’s go!!


photo GIF: Come Alive |Glasshouse Images

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Soda Canned

May 15, 2012

While visiting a friend in the hospital this weekend, I was struck by a sign on a vending machine in the patient’s lounge. It read:

“The health risks associated with obesity, along with the increase in diabetes and heart disease are so substantial, that the Mount Sinai Medical Center has taken the lead and now prohibits the sale of high fructose beverages in our vending machines.”

The vending machine was filled with every flavor of diet soda you can imagine.  Do they really believe that chemically sweetened diet soda is better for you than the original versions? Many renowned researchers disagree.

A recent study from the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute and Harvard University found that the more soda a person consumes, regardless of whether or not it is sweetened with sugar or artificially sweetened, increases one’s risk for stroke.

A previous study, found an increased risk of stroke, heart attack and vascular related deaths in older adults who drank diet soda.

A 2009 Nurse’s Health Study of 3,256 women, found that those who drank 2 or more diet sodas per day had a 30% drop in kidney function.  Although there is no final word on the matter yet, it is thought that artificial sweeteners may scar kidney tissue over time.

The acid content in soda has been found to be harmful to tooth enamel. Both regular and diet soda contain phosphoric and citric acids, which promote carbonation, and eat away at tooth enamel, the main barrier to decay.

Drinking soda can lead to bone loss. The phosphoric acid in soda also causes the calcium in the bloodstream to be excreted more quickly than normal. The bones give up some of their supply, to keep the blood calcium level constant. This results in weakening of the bones over time.

Ironically, diet soda has been associated with obesity, since it is thought that the sweet taste sends the brain a signal, causing it to suggest to the body that high calorie foods are en route. When they don’t arrive, the appetite is increased, as is the “sweet tooth”. Another theory suggests that people believe that they are saving so many calories by drinking diet soda, that they indulge in other fattening foods.

Given the information readily available on the health risks associated with soda intake and artificial sweeteners, it is mind-boggling and irresponsible for a hospital to supply it to their patients and visitors.

What do you think?

photo: Glasshouse Images

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