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Dear Dr God

health and fitness Updated: Aug 07, 2010 23:41 IST
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Like in the Beatles song, when you find yourself in times of trouble, thinking about God reduces distress. This works only for believers, though, as atheists become more stressed when primed with God-related ideas.

Thinking about religion and God helps the brains of believers respond, differently to stress and helps them take mistakes and setbacks in their stride, reported a study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The study found that when people with faith were primed to think about God, brain activity decreased in the anterior cingulate cortex, an area of the brain that regulates arousal and alerts the body to things going wrong.

Eighty-five per cent of the world has some sort of religious beliefs.

Colour me red

Women find men in red more sexually attractive, showed a study of women in the US, England, Germany and China. “Red was thought to be a sexy color for women, but our findings suggest that the link between red and sex also applies to men,” said study-author Andrew Elliot in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Get up, stand up

Hitting the gym every day does little to decrease your risk of death if you spend the rest of your time sitting down. The results of a study show that the time people spend on their derrieres is associated with an increased risk of death, regardless of their physical activity level. So along with working out, spend more time on your feet.

Is that baby fat?

Are you overweight? You can now partly put the blame on your mother.

Women who gain too much weight during pregnancy have big babies and put them at risk of becoming overweight later on.

A large study of 513,000 women and their 1.1 million infants showed that women who gained more than 24 kg had heavier babies at birth than infants of women who gained only 10 kg.

A normal-weight women should gain 11 to 16 kg during pregnancy, and overweight women 5 to 11 kg.

Pox gets asthma

Kids who get chickenpox are less likely to develop atopic dermatitis and asthma when they are older than their peers who don’t get chickenpox, including those that are vaccinated against it, suggests a new study. The study, however, clarifies that the findings do not challenge the benefits of the chickenpox vaccine, which prevents disease and death in lakhs every year. Both asthma and atopic dermatitis (skin rashes) are hypersensitivity disorders caused by allergic reaction.