Avid TV viewers are at greater risk of death from deep vein thrombosis (pulmonary embolism—clots in the veins or lungs). A Japanese study of 86,000 people found that each additional two hours of TV viewing was linked to a 40 per cent increase in death-dealing clots.
The Virtual Infant Parenting program, which is designed to reduce teen pregnancies, may actually do the opposite, according to a recent study in Western Australia. The lives of almost 3000 teen girls were followed from ages 13–15 through to 20 years old. Those who attended the Virtual Parenting program, which includes taking a baby doll home for the weekend, were twice as likely to have a teenage pregnancy and 30 per cent more likely to undergo an abortion, than girls who received standard health education.
Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day is dangerous! But a review of 16 studies across some one million people (US, Europe, Australia) shows that 60 minutes of moderate exercise is enough to reverse the increased death rates from cardiovascular disease and cancer seen with prolonged sitting. People getting even 30 minutes of exercise a day showed improvement.
Secondhand marijuana smoke causes a 50 per cent loss of blood vessel function—similar to the effect of regular cigarette smoke, according to a recent animal study. However the blood vessels of rats took 90 minutes to recover from the marijuana smoke compared to 30 minutes from tobacco. Since similar effects are seen in humans with tobacco smoke, it is likely that secondhand marijuana smoke would cause a similarly impaired cardiovascular function.
Eating meals irregularly or closer to bedtime may be associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, overweight and hypertension. In one study, people who began to eat meals at the same time each day, saw an improvement in insulin and cholesterol levels within two weeks. Other studies suggest that shifting calories to earlier in the day is associated with less obesity.
Nerida McKibben is the host of Hope Channel’s health and wellness show, Go Healthy For Good. To find out more, go to www.hop.ec/gohealthyforgood.