Are Antibiotics Making Us Fat?

We take antibiotics to treat bacteriological problems of all types. It may be surprising to learn that ranchers use antibiotics to stimulate rapid growth in farm animals. Could antibiotics be stimulating unwanted growth in our bodies too?

The Miley Cyrus Workout

Transitioning from a teen to an adult is not easy for anyone. Add the pressures of being constantly in the public eye, and that transition becomes nearly overwhelming. Miley Cyrus is no stranger to paparazzi flashbulbs and constant attacks on her body image. How does she cope? With a personal trainer and a serious dedication to keeping in shape.

Dying To Try That Supplement?

Everyone would like to find an easy cure. Especially if it didn't require a trip to the doctor. The Internet has opened a vast 24-hour pharmacy that offers a pill for every ill; cheap, anonymous and without the need for those pesky prescriptions. Too good to be true? Maybe so.

Can You Be Too Thin With Diabetes?

Most of us associate type II diabetes with obesity.  That’s not surprising, given that 85% of people with type II diabetes are overweight. Surprisingly, though, being thin with diabetes is far more dangerous than being fat.

The Dr. Oz Ultimate Diet

The always-popular Dr. Oz has endorsed a diet that can “reboot” your body and put you on the path to better health. With the “Dr. Oz’s Ultimate Diet” you change far more than your meal plan. Here is what you need to know.

The Hunter Farmer Diet Versus The Digest Diet

Two of the most popular diets in mainstream America today are the Hunter Farmer diet and the Digest diet. These two diets have more differences than similarities. What drives their popularity?

Sleeping Your Way To A Longer Life

Ask anyone who has lived a long life about their secret, and you are sure to get an interesting story. The answers can cover a broad range, from “drink a scotch every day” to “sleep with a silver dollar under your pillow.” Finally, someone has tallied up these secrets to a long life and reported on some common factors.

The medical insurance provider UnitedHealthcare interviewed 100 people who were at least 100 years old. They asked a wide range of questions, trying to find common themes among their answers. Here are a few tips for making it to your golden years.

First, get more sleep. Nearly three quarters of the centenarians said that they regularly got eight hours or more of sack time. This was incredibly consistent, yet our modern life makes that ideal pretty hard to achieve. In fact, less than half of working age adults get eight hours of sleep on any sort of a regular basis.

The second theme was also expected yet equally challenging: eat a good diet. 80% of the golden-agers reported that they ate a balanced diet. That is a full dozen percentage points better than the working population.

The third key to a longer life? Staying connected. Nearly 90% of the centenarians said that they were in touch with friends and family every day. Two thirds pray or meditate daily and half exercise daily. That is a lot of interaction and stimulation, with time reserved for reflection and introspection.

It seems that treating your body like a fine automobile may be the secret to achieving high mileage. OK, sorry, that wasn’t very good. But taking time for rest, eating the right food, and keeping in touch with family, friends and our spiritual life all seem to come together to yield a long and happy life. Sounds like a pretty reasonable recipe!

Think Skinny Is Healthier? Maybe Not!

It seems that we are bombarded by exhortations to lose weight. Everything will be better if we can just lose some weight. Surprise! It turns out that being too skinny is far more unhealthy than being to fat.

A recent medical study, published in the American Board of Family Medicine, looked at over 50,000 adult Americans and their health over a period of six years. The research correlated each person’s Body Mass Index (BMI) with their likelihood of death. Adjustments were made for health factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes as well as smoking and socioeconomic factors.

The results of the study were surprising. People with BMIs below 20, considered to be “underweight” were the most likely to die. That's right: being too thin increases your risk of death. Their mortality rate was about double that of obese (BMIs over 35)  or overweight people (BMIs between 30 and 35) and 2.5 times that of people with “normal” BMIs of 25-30.

This is not an endorsement for overeating. Diabetes (type II) and high blood pressure can be brought on by being overweight. These diseases can shorten your life, but this study adjusted out their influence.

Other influences on mortality were noted. Not too surprisingly, it is healthier to be wealthy than poor. Wealthy people had a 30% lower mortality than poor people. 

People with public health insurance had higher mortality rates than people with private insurance, and even died more often than people with no insurance at all. The Midwest was the healthiest region in which to live and college graduates had 35% lower mortality than high school drop-outs.

What can be made of all of these statistics? Ideally you should become a college-educated, wealthy person of average or somewhat higher-than-average weight living in Iowa. Don’t smoke, watch your hypertension and blood sugar and have lots of friends. With this formula, science predicts a long and happy life!