Why health journalism often gets it wrong

typingContradictory tips and strategies about how to improve our health fill the airwaves, magazines and newspapers year-round. Drink coffee; don’t drink coffee. Eat whole grains; avoid carbohydrates of any kind. Vitamin supplements are good for you; wait, no they’re not.  All of these news stories claim they are based on “evidence.” So what’s the deal?

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What we know about eating wheat

wheatIf you’re at all interested in losing weight, you’ve likely come across the en vogue advice to avoid eating wheat. People across the country are following diets that avoid wheat including the paleo and gluten-free diets. Now a new systematic review answers the question, is eating wheat bad for us? [Read more...]

More evidence on the perils of smoking

smokingIt’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health.  In fact, it was 50 years ago that the U.S. surgeon general released the first report warning the American public about the dangers of smoking. Since then, thousands of studies and hundreds of systematic reviews have documented a long list of health problems related to smoking. [Read more...]

Meditation: powerful medicine for depression

meditationApproximately one in ten Americans suffer from depression, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and more than 40 million Americans have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. There is new evidence released last week that offers an alternative treatment for these patients. A meta analysis published last week in the Journal of American Medical Association found that meditating for 30 to 40 minutes was effective in reducing the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.

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A resolution to exercise? It’s good for body and spirit

It’s well documented that fitness centers across the nation will see their busiest days this month as people embark on New Year’s resolutions to exercise more.

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Tips on avoiding holiday weight gain

The holiday season is officially here – with its decorated cookies, happy hours and workplace lunches.  We’ve already established that gaining weight has a negative impact on your health. So what can you do to avoid putting on the pounds at this time of year?

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New evidence: The internet and self-harm

As the Internet and social media continue to transform our society, today’s youth are growing up in unchartered waters. For young people who confront problems like depression, the Internet is a particularly tricky issue to navigate.

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New evidence: Obesity is always unhealthy

Here at EBL, we’ve spent plenty of time writing about the evidence on obesity -  and for good reason: millions of Americans are considered obese, which leads to diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

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New evidence on kids and exercise

We’ve all heard the reports that children today spend too much time in front of TVs and computers, and therefore are less physically fit compared to children in decades past. But what does the evidence say on the matter?

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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...]