Fascinating Things We Learned About Health

Fascinating Things We Learned About Health.
Fascinating Things We Learned About Health

This year has been a big year in health. Not only did the government (not-so-smoothly) launch a website to help give all Americans access to health care, but study after study taught us new things about our minds and bodies. We picked some of our favorite, and most controversial, health headlines for a intriguing recap of wellness information we gathered in 2013.

Bras Actually Make Your Boobs Sag

In April, a French study involving 330 volunteers between the ages 18 and 35 found that bras don't help your breasts resist gravity. Researchers measured their breasts using a slide ruler and a caliper and found that women who did NOT wear bras actually had a 7-millimeter lift.

Size Does Matter

Sorry guys, but a study confirmed that women do, in fact, prefer larger penises. Published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study created 49 different computer-generated male figures in the buff, each with various heights, shoulder-hip ratios and flaccid penis sizes.

These images were shown to 105 young Australian women, and the women were asked to rate the attractiveness of the figures as sexual partners on a scale of 1-7. Even when controlling for other factors, there was a positive correlation between penis size and attractiveness.

Clenching Your Fist Boosts Brainpower

A new study found that clenching your hands into fists may help you retain certain memories when you clench your fist in the future. The body-mind connection may open the door for future studies on the topic. "The findings suggest that some simple body movements -- by temporarily changing the way the brain functions -- can improve memory," study researcher Ruth Propper told Huffington Post in April.

Stand Up to Prevent Diabetes

We know that being sedentary is bad for our health, but this study, published in Diabetologia showed that standing for just 90 minutes a day may give you a serious health advantage when it comes to avoiding diabetes.

Yelling at Teens Doesn't Help

Most parents don't resort to physical discipline anymore, but this recent study found that shouting, cursing and insulting your child might be as harmful to teens as hitting them. Comparing more than 900 adolescents in middle school, the study found that the negative effects of verbal punishment were similar to physical abuse – even if you are an otherwise supportive parent.

Exercise Is Still Good for Everything, Especially Your Mind

As if you need another excuse to break a sweat! You know regular workouts keep you slim and prevent a bevy of chronic conditions, but an October study published in Cell Metabolism found that exercise might make you smarter. Researchers discovered that mice that exercised regularly produced a specific protein, and placing that protein in non-exercising mice increased the production of nerves in the area of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

And it's OK if you don't log hours on the treadmill. A September study found that every minute of intense (aka sweat-inducing) exercise decreased the risk for obesity for both men and women, by 2 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Late Bedtimes Hurt Your Waistline

Even if you're healthy, a late bedtime (and lack of sleep) can hit your where it hurts – your waistline. Why? According to the researchers, the later you stay up, the more tempted you are to sneak in a midnight snack, or two. Though sleep-deprived participants ate more calories overall, their late-night meals had a higher fat content than other meals.

Trans Fats Are Officially Banned

We've known for years that trans fats cause big cardiovascular problems. Though many restaurants and food labels were already phasing out these heart health killers, the FDA put the nail in trans fats' coffins in November. Your microwave pizzas and donuts may taste different, but your heart will thank you.

We're Happiest at 23 and 69

A British study that involved more than 23,000 people, ages 17-85, and found that happiness spikes in our early twenties, only to dip in middle age (especially in the mid-fifties) and then rise again in our late sixties. The researchers speculated that young, recent graduates were filled with hope towards their future. That rosy outlook and idealism quickly dissipates as reality hits, leaving some with regrets about big life decisions. Luckily, we seem to make peace with our life as we age, leading to another spike in happiness in the golden years.

5 Mental Disorders Share a Link

Though we're still trying to discover the causes of mental illness, this year researchers had a breakthrough. They discovered that individuals with certain genetic mutations were more likely to have bipolar disorder, autism, major depression, schizophrenia or attention deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD). The researchers also discovered that four distinct DNA regions with a small risk of psychiatric disorders. Two of these four regions monitor calcium channels – pathways used when neurons send signals to the brain – so scientists are now trying to develop a drug that will regulate these channels.

1 Teaspoon Less of Salt Could Save Your Life

If everyone decreased their salt intake by just one teaspoon, between 280,000 and 500,000 lives in the U.S. would be saved, according to a recent study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Hypertension. Cut back on sodium by avoiding packaged processed foods like chips, crackers and by purchasing low-sodium soups and broths.

Fascinating Things We Learned About Health Fascinating Things We Learned About Health Reviewed by Astronomy on April 26, 2020 Rating: 5

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