Do “Brain Games” Sharpen Your Mind?

no-attribution-cc0-public-domain-brain-951874_1920More than 6 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and that number is expected to grow significantly as the U.S. population ages. As a result, researchers across the globe are trying to find ways to strengthen aging brains and prevent dementia later in life. Over the past decade, scientists have zeroed in on “brain training” – puzzles and games designed to improve cognitive skills – as one possible solution. [Read more…]

Do you really need to floss?

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If you’ve paid attention to the news over the past month, you’ve likely read an article or two about the benefits — or lack thereof — of flossing.  These articles have appeared in major news outlets across the country including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and many more. [Read more…]

How to improve sex education

no-attribution-CC0 public domain -classroom-1346491_1920 (1)On the whole, public schools in the U.S. are doing a poor job of teaching sex education to American youth.

A report released last year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16 topics the CDC lists as essential components of sex education. Those topics include how to obtain and use condoms, the benefits of condom use, and the kinds of preventative care necessary to maintain sexual health. [Read more…]

Does social media harm kids?

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It’s a phrase that has been uttered for decades by older generations as youth forge their way through the modern world. Today, the phrase often refers to youth’s use of social networking sites. There’s plenty of times I’ve heard older adults argue that relationships forged through platforms like Instagram and Google chat don’t qualify as “real” social connections. [Read more…]

GMOs: Agricultural improvement or health threat?

dnaAt the grocery store or in the news, you’ve likely come across the controversy over products made with genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs. Scientific advances that use biotechnology to create plants that can resist disease and insects, offer higher yields and include additional nutrients have sparked fear among the public. The worry is that that genetically-modified foods will harm human health and the environment. [Read more…]

Exercise for Weight Loss?

obese1Contestants on the reality television show “The Biggest Loser” exercise for hours a day and follow restricted diets to lose dozens of pounds on the show. But a longitudinal study published this week found very few of them were able to maintain their weight loss in the years following their appearances on the show. (The New York Times published a story this week on the study and the contestants experiences.) [Read more…]

What we know about kids and screen time

kids and screen timeNew findings about screen-time for babies and kids are something I keep a close eye on.  As parent of three young children, I want to do what’s best for them. And yet I’m often tempted to use the television – “just one show” – when I need to get something done. [Read more…]

The evidence on retirement

retirementThe other day, a friend who is nearing retirement age stopped me in the gym locker room.  “I want to know what the evidence says,” she told me. “Is retirement going to be good for me?” [Read more…]

Kids these days…: The evidence on teen behaviors

teenagersAt one time or another, we have all heard someone say, “Kids these days…” in the lofty tone that suggests children from generations past were better behaved, more responsible and less troubled than today’s youth.  Maybe you’ve even said something similar yourself; I know that I have. [Read more…]

What we know — and what we don’t — about standing desks

031030-F-2828D-166 Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld works at the stand-up desk in his office as he goes over his opening remarks prior to a Pentagon press briefing on Oct. 30, 2003. Rumsfeld will give reporters an update on the progress of Operation Iraqi Freedom and take questions during the televised briefing. DoD photo Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway, U.S. Air Force. (Released)

If you pay any attention to news stories about health and wellness, you’ve likely read or heard that sitting for long periods of time can harm your health.

There is evidence to suggest that sitting for hours at a time leads to a host of health problems including heart disease, diabetes, bone and joint problems, poor posture, weak muscles and even some types of cancer. [Read more…]

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