What We Know About Fasting For Weight Loss

Fad diets come and go as often as trains in a busy station and many suggest completely different approaches to weight loss. Protein-based diets encourage participants to forgo processed foods and carbohydrates. Programs like Weight Watchers prescribe a healthy diet with a variety of foods but restrict calories for weight loss. And plant-based diets eliminate animal products including meats and dairy foods. [Read more…]

How much alcohol is too much?

A glass of wine with dinner. A beer at a barbecue.

For decades, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines advised that drinking in moderation would not lead to medical problems for healthy adults and may even improve heart health. But a new analysis published last month in the British journal The Lancet calls into question the idea that an alcoholic drink or two a day is harmless. At the same time, critics say the review does not account for other factors – such as diet, exercise, and socioeconomic status – that may influence a person’s overall health. [Read more…]

How to Prevent Older Adults From Falling

Falls are a serious problem among older adults. Approximately one in every four people over age 65 fall each year, and 20 percent of those lead to a serious injury such as a broken bone or head injury.  Falls are the most common reason that older adults are admitted to the hospital. [Read more…]

What’s the Best Way to Treat Mental Health Problems in Kids?

No one knows for sure, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 13 and 20 percent of youth ages 3 to 17 experience a mental health problem each year. This includes diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, autism spectrum disorders and Tourette syndrome. [Read more…]

What Do We Really Know About Mindfulness?

The concept of mindfulness is in the media constantly. We’ve written about it several times on the Evidence-based Living blog. Many people see meditation as a magic bullet that can reduce pain, relieve depression, and sharpen our focus. [Read more…]

Are Nutrition Labels an Effective Weapon Against Obesity?

Millions of Americans make goals to lose weight every year. Diet books, weight-loss apps, and meal supplements abound. But research shows changing our environments may have a more significant influence on our food choices, and ultimately our health. [Read more…]

Boost Your Health With a Pet

The saying “a dog is a man’s best friend” originated hundreds of years ago, but its sentiment continues today. Nearly 70 percent of U.S. households own a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association, with dogs and cats being the most popular. [Read more…]

New Evidence Finds Vitamins Are Often Unnecessary

Americans spend more than $36 billion a year on vitamins and nutritional supplements – all in the hopes for leading healthier lives. More than half of Americans take at least one vitamin a day, and millions take more than that. But do vitamins actually improve your health? [Read more…]

Meditation Does Not Make You a Better Person

Many people think of meditation as a magic bullet that can improve our health, sharpen our focus, and make us better people overall.

But in reality, the evidence on meditation is mixed. According to reviews by the Cochrane Collaboration, there is little evidence that mindfulness can help improve health problems such as fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and neck pain. There are some credible data that demonstrate meditation can improve risk factors for cardiovascular disease. And research on brain function shows that meditation can reduce feelings of pain. [Read more…]

New Evidence Links Sugary Drinks and Obesity

You have, no doubt, heard the statistics about obesity in the U.S: Nearly forty percent of adults and nineteen percent of youth are obese, the highest rate the country has ever seen, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics. We hear all sorts of reasons why people gain weight such as too many sugary drinks, not enough physical activity, and a lack of access to healthy foods. [Read more…]

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