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Tagged with health


With the Kickstand desk, you never have to leave your bike, even for work

bike desk
Kickstand Furniture

If you love biking so much that the idea of getting off your bike to do work makes your stomach curl just a little bit, here is your solution. It's called a Kickstand desk, and it lets you hook your bike up to your work surface so you can ride while you do your TPS reports.

Its designers have nothing but the purest of intentions:

We're cyclists. We want to ride, but we have to work. Unless you're riding for work, you're not riding at work.

Read more: Living


Peanut butter was once a locally produced health food

peanut butter
Marisa McClellan

Peanut butter isn't exactly good for you. Here's the list of reasons why -- it includes neurotoxins and rat feces. Even organic or natural peanut butter has its problems, like, oh, palm oil, added sugar, and the occasional salmonella outbreak. But once, long ago, it was a trendy health food, like avocados or chia seeds, as the new book Creamy & Crunchy documents. The New Yorker explains:

Peanut butter … originated as a health food of the upper classes. First created for sanitariums like John Harvey Kellogg’s Western Health Reform Institute, it satisfied the need for a protein-rich food that did not have to be chewed.

It also would have fit in well with today's food trends: It was "mostly produced for regional markets" within (let's just say) 100 miles of the people who ate it. But a century ago, that was a bug, not a feature:

It was the development of hydrogenation in the nineteen-twenties that led directly to the industrialization of peanut-butter production, the rise of the Big Three national brands, and the arrival of peanut butter in America’s lunch boxes. (In raising the melting point of peanut butter so that it is solid at room temperature, hydrogenation stops the separation of peanut oil and solids in the container and extends the product’s shelf life.)

The real villain in this story is Procter & Gamble, which changed "Big Top" branded peanut butter into Jif and added an embarrassing amount of sugar, oil, and molasses to the recipe.

Read more: Food


You will eat more cookies if you’re told they’re ‘medium’ instead of ‘large’

You, my friend, are a healthy person. You don't need the NYC soda ban to keep you from over-consuming unhealthy, corn-syrupy soda. You don't get the Big Gulp soda. You don't get the large. You get the medium.

But what does that actually mean? Do you know?

Probably not. As NPR's The Salt writes, although people make decisions based on size labels, they don't really know how much food or drink they're consuming. University of Michigan Professor Aradhna Krishna proved this (with science!):

In one experiment, she gave people cookies that were labeled either medium or large, and then measured how much they ate.

The catch? The cookies were identical in size.

What happened? You guessed it. People ate more cookies when they were labeled "medium." Rather than trust what their stomachs were telling them, in other words, people went by the label.

It's sort of like when McDonald's tells you their new wraps are "healthy," because, hey, they're not a burger. You tend to believe that they are healthy, even though there is the same breaded, fried chicken in it as in a sandwich.

Read more: Food


Map shows where the biggest couch potatoes live (and it’s NOT the U.S.!)

A group of researchers looked at health surveys covering 89 percent of the world's population and came to a surprising conclusion -- Americans are not the least active people on the planet.

Six in 10 of us get "30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week," "20 minutes of vigorous exercise three days a week," or a combination of the two, the Economist reports.

The most physically inactive people are the Maltese, 72 percent of whom do not get enough exercise. The second and third least-exercising countries are Swaziland and Saudi Arabia.

Read more: Living


Scientists create world’s healthiest airline meal

Oh, those scientists -- they’re always trying to ruin hackish comedians’ most reliable material. You plan a whole routine about how airline food is shitty, and they go and make it good. In the United Kingdom, a team of scientists have made an airline meal that meets all 222 possible E.U.-endorsed health claims. (Making prepackaged, super-nutritional meals -- so hot in Europe right now.) That means it's made of foods that boost digestive systems, promote heart health, support normal blood cholesterol, and generally make up healthwise for the fact that you’re hurtling through radiation rays at 30,000 feet.

What's in this mile-high supermeal? According to Take Part, healthy passengers should be eating:

A fresh and smoked salmon terrine, a mixed salad with extra virgin olive oil dressing, a high-fiber multigrain roll and a chicken lentil casserole. Dehydrated from your long flight? They’ve got you covered with water or a tasty-sounding cranberry, raspberry and elderflower drink. Sadly, there’s no chocolate cake for desert [sic]. No pie, either. Instead, you’ll be served a live yogurt blancmange (think custard).

Read more: Food


Finally, a pizza you can eat three times a day

Dreams do come true: Eating pizza for every meal could be perfectly healthy.

Only catch: You'd have to be eating the "first nutritionally balanced pizza." A pizza that has seaweed in the crust. Which is to say, not exactly the pizza you'd want to eat if you were going to eat pizza every day.

Created by a Scottish nutritionist, the pizza contains a third of all the vitamins and minerals an adult is supposed to need and a third of daily recommended calories, protein, and carbs. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it looks like it doesn't have all that much cheese on it.

Read more: Food


New York kids need a doctor’s note to use sunscreen in school or at camp

Once upon an innocent American summer, sun-kissed cheeks were all the rage for lithe, beautiful children freckling in the clean air. But now we know that evil sun rays will kill you -- not now, but later, with skin cancer -- and that kids should wear sunscreen pretty much any time they go outside for more than five minutes. New York state, though, apparently still has one foot in the 1950s. State law requires that a kid bring in a doctor's note in order to use sunscreen at school or at summer camps, the Democrat and Chronicle reports.

Steve Hendrickson, recreation supervisor for the town of Victor, said children need a doctor’s note to have sunscreen at his town’s summer camp program, in accordance with state law.

“With short programs, like soccer or whatever, obviously they’re only out there an hour or so, so the parent usually applies it. But for summer camp, where they’re out there for a full day, we need a doctor’s permission and you need it in writing,” Hendrickson said.

Read more: Living


Obama wants to give white children asthma, says blogger

You might think that air quality controls are about mitigating the health effects of breathing in pollution. If you're a staunch Republican, you might think they're about destroying capitalism. But blogger (and birther) Daren Jonescu knows what air quality controls are really about: Giving white children lung diseases. (And destroying capitalism.)

Jonescu wrote a piece in the ironically named American Thinker laying out the problems with big government trying to legislate our children's lungs, and he did it by picking apart the language of an Obama administration report about childhood asthma.

Read more: Clean Air


Beverage industry to NYC: Ignore the mayor. Soda’s totally cool

Well, that didn't take long. Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced yesterday that NYC would be banning sugary drinks if they came in containers bigger than 16 ounces. And today, the American Beverage Association is pushing back with an ad that says, basically, "Do not believe that science over there! Believe this science that says soda is tooootally fine for you."

Click to embiggen.
Read more: Food


Sugar might make you stupid

At this point, the message about eating too much processed sugar is clear: That stuff screws up your body in serious ways. But a new study suggests that too much sugar could do more than that. It could mess up your brain, as well.

Technically, what this study found is that too much sugar can screw up rats' brains. The study let rats OD on high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and found that it disrupted their ability to learn, think, and remember. Here's what Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, the UCLA neurosurgery professor who led the study, had to say about it:

Read more: Food