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Health scan

A snapshot of the current thinking in medicine, fitness and lifestyle trends that impact your life.

health and fitness Updated: Aug 11, 2012 23:05 IST
Hindustan Times

Weight-training lowers diabetes by one-third

Regular weight training can cut the chances of developing type-2 diabetes by up to 34%. Adding aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking or running, can lead to even greater benefits, shows an analysis of data of 32,000 Americans from 1990 to 2008. Of them, 2,278 developed diabetes.

Though even modest amounts of weight training reduces diabetes risk, the most active men — who did more than 150 minutes of aerobics as well as at least 150 minutes of weight training per week — cut their risk the most, by close to two-thirds, reports the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.

Stressed men like plumper women

Body size preferences are flexible and can be changed by environment and circumstance, found a British study that found stressed men prefer overweight women. Compared to a control group, stressed men rated a significantly heavier female body size as the most attractive, and they rated larger female bodies as more attractive in general.

Earlier research has shown that men also prefer heavier body sizes when resources are unpredictable or unavailable. Certain evolutionary theories suggest this may be because when times are tough, a thin woman may be ill, have irregular periods, and may be unable to support pregnancy. The study also found that the stressed men gave higher ratings to a wider range of female figures than did their unstressed counterparts.

Ginger helps regulate spikes in blood sugar

Ginger helps regulate spikes in blood sugar that can create complications for people with type-2 diabetes — which is closely linked to obesity and lifestyle. It occurs when the body stops responding to the sugar regulating hormone insulin.

Ginger extracts increases glucose into muscle cells independently of insulin, reports a study from Australia in the journal Planta Medica. The components responsible for the increase in glucose uptake were gingerols — the major phenolic components of ginger rhizome, which is widely added to food in the subcontinent.

Fewer white lies improve health, lessen tension

Bending the truth can actually cause physical and mental health, concludes a study. It found people who consciously tell fewer white lies were less likely to feel tense or sad and also experienced fewer sore throats and headaches. Truthful people also had better relationships and smoother social interactions overall than fibbers.

Participants of the study avoided falsehoods by telling the truth about their daily accomplishments rather than exaggerating.

Obese mothers stunt baby’s growth

Overweight women’s extra weight, apart from raising their chances of developing other health problems, also affects how their babies grow.

Babies of overweight/obese mothers lag in their initial development — gaining less weight and growing less in length in the first three months — than babies of normal-weight women. The overweight/obese mother’s babies also gained less fat mass —crucial to brain growth and development.

Previous studies have shown that children of overweight mothers usually catch up to their normal-weight-mother peers at some point, but are likely to rapidly gain weight in adolescence to become overweight or obese themselves, which causes health problems.

First Published: Aug 11, 2012 23:03 IST