The evidence on giving thanks

As most of us  spend the upcoming week cooking turkeys, gathering with family and friends, and preparing for the holiday season, I found myself returning to a blog post that Karl wrote several years ago about the evidence surrounding gratitude. As my life feels increasingly busy, I find it helpful to remember that giving thanks is not simply a nice sentiment – it’s actually good for you! [Read more…]

Contradicting evidence: How much sleep do we need?

sleepWhen we read a systematic review with a strong conclusion, we believe the answer is accurate. Reviews do, for the most part, encompass all of the data we have on a given topic. The evidence is even more convincing when there is more than one review that draws a strong conclusion. [Read more…]

Artificial sweeteners: Better than sugar?

SweetnLowSweetenerI never know what to think when I see a Diet Coke or jar of jam labeled as sugar-free. On the one hand, I know that consuming sugar leads to weight gain, among other problems. But on the other hand, I’m suspicious of low-calorie sweeteners. What exactly are they made of, and how do they affect the body? [Read more…]

Investigating Daylight Savings: The data on springing forward and falling back

Metric_clockThe vast majority of U.S. residents shifted their clocks back to standard time last weekend, effectively “gaining” an hour of time on Sunday. In my house, it meant that my early-rising daughter was up at 4:30 a.m.
instead of 5:30 a.m.! [Read more…]

The body of evidence on meat and cancer

baconThe media has been full of stories this week about a recent determination by the World Health Organization: That processed meats such as bacon, sausage and ham increase the risk of developing colon cancer. [Read more…]

Is your workplace making you sick?

workersFor a few decades now, major employers across the United States have focused on providing wellness programs that encourage employees to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, such as nutritional eating, exercise and smoking cessation. This is based on the premise  that a healthy workforce will be more productive, and ultimately will help reduce health insurance costs. [Read more…]

The body evidence on curbing gun violence

voteThis is the first post in an occasional series that will provide evidence about issues of interest in upcoming elections. Stay tuned for more data to help inform your vote.

Gun violence is a continuing problem in the United States. So far in 2015, more than 10,000 people have died because of gun-related violence, including nearly 3,000 children and teens.  Personally, whenever I hear about a shooting at a school or church, I’m shocked by the senseless loss of lives. And I wonder what we, as citizens, can do about it? [Read more…]

Tea: It’s good for you!

teaHere at EBL, we’ve covered the health benefits of coffee pretty extensively.  (Surprise:  It’s really good for you!)  But — although it’s hard for this coffee-drinker to believe — there are some people who prefer tea.  And in some parts of the world, tea is the primary beverage. But is tea as healthy for you? [Read more…]

A tough pill to swallow? The evidence on taking medicine

Antidepressant pillsThere are all sorts of medicines on the market today that help us to feel our best, prevent illness and treat disease. The vast majority of them come in pill form. But some people struggle — for a variety of reasons —to swallow pills. [Read more…]

How old is your heart? It matters for your health!

heartIn recent years, public health researchers have developed a novel framework for identifying the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. It’s called “heart age.” [Read more…]

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