Living 2.0

Living Better

Month: February 2018 (page 1 of 3)

Are you a late sleeper? Good news. Science is on your side.


Late sleepers are tired of being discriminated against. And science has their back. Some people have a biological clock naturally set to a later time.


Children in the U.K. and U.S.A. are getting fatter


Britain is the most obese nation in Western Europe, with rates rising faster than in any other developed nation.

Obesity prevalence has been increasing in the UK, from 15% in 1993 to 27% in 2015.

Meanwhile: U.S. childhood obesity rates rising again – Lisa Rapaport, Reuters:

Skinner and colleagues examined data from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), looking at data on children’s height and weight collected in two-year cycles starting with 1999-2000 and continuing through 2015-2016.

Overall, roughly 29 percent of kids were overweight and another 20 percent were obese at the start of the study. By the end, about 35 percent of children were overweight and another 26 percent were obese.

German court rules city can ban older diesel cars

This places another nail in the diesel engine coffin. Since the VW diesel scandal, demand for diesel powered vehicles in Europe has plummeted.


German cities can ban the most heavily polluting diesel cars from their streets, a court ruled on Tuesday, a move likely to accelerate a shift away from the combustion engine and force manufacturers to pay to improve exhaust systems.

The court said Stuttgart, which styles itself the birthplace of the modern automobile and is home to Mercedes-maker Daimler, should consider gradually imposing a year-round ban for older diesel models, while Duesseldorf should also think about curbs.

Stuttgart is also the home of Porsche.

A better way to bend over: How other cultures spare their spines

How To ‘Table’ Bend
To hip hinge:
1. Place your feet about 12 inches apart.
2. Keep your back straight.
3. As you bend your knees, allow your pubic bone to move backward.
4. Fold over by allowing your pubic bone to slide through your legs, down and back.

Why do people outside North America bend this why? Check out NPR to find out.


Video: It’s not you. Phones are designed to be addicting.

Step away from it, at least part of the time, every day.

Thinking of taking a walk everyday? Why it’s good for you

Janet Viljoen, The Conversation:

There is no doubt that movement is essential for well being. The general guidelines are that 30 minutes or more of walking every day at a speed of between five and eight kilometres per hour can improve health.

And studies show that even when people don’t quite manage to walk for the recommended 30 minutes a day the benefits can still accrue. This proves that some walking is better than none at all.

For those who still need convincing, here are six reasons to take up a daily outdoor walk.

  • It doesn’t cost a thing
  • It prevents (or delays) Type 2 diabetes
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • It decreases body fat
  • Reduces symptoms of depression
  • No adverse side effects

Olympic cross-country skiers eat 8,000 calories a day

Tara Parker-Pope, The New York Times:

A typical elite cross-country skier will burn about 30 calories a minute during training — by comparison, a 155-pound person on an elliptical machine burns about 11 calories a minute.

Research has shown that a typical male elite cross-country skier must consume 7,000 to 8,000 calories a day — more than three times the caloric needs of an average male — to meet the energy demands of the sport. Female elite skiers must eat about 3,500 to 4,000 calories a day — about double the calories consumed by the average woman. (A Swedish study found that during the hardest training days it can reach 8,126 for men and 4,780 for women — about double the calorie needs of Kenyan marathon runners.)

What does it take to consume 8,000 calories — the equivalent of about 20 plates of lasagna or 40 scoops of ice cream — every day?

Study finds link between aerobic exercise and brain health

This study was different from most, in that it looked at the participants’ maximum oxygen consumption during aerobic exercise — known as the V02 max.

Yet again another study indicates exercise, this time aerobic exercise, is important in slowing the brain’s aging process.

David DiSalvo, Forbes:

What these results tell us about the role exercise might play in slowing the development of Alzheimer’s is difficult to nail down. While studies like this suggest that exercising more strengthens the brain against the debilitation leading to severe dementia, definitive answers are still elusive. We don’t know, for example, the amount of exercise that makes a difference, if specific types of exercise are better than others, or whether starting exercise later in life can forestall the progression of dementia.

What we do have are solid indications that we should think of exercise and brain health in a similar way to exercise and heart health. Some of the same benefits exercise provides the heart—like improved blood flow and lower inflammation—also benefit the brain. More evidence along those lines keeps coming, further supporting the case that staying active is a better policy for brain health than the alternative.

Just how bad is all that sugar for your heart?

File 20180214 174969 8n8h3z.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
By Scott Lear, Simon Fraser University

Still nibbling Valentine’s Day goodies? Munching packaged cereals, pancakes or muffins for breakfast? Enjoying a lunch of processed meats and bread, sweetened pasta sauce, or even a salad drenched in dressing?

Sugar makes all of these foods delicious. It is also an important energy source for our bodies. It’s what we use when we’re doing vigorous activities and it’s the primary source of fuel for our brain. We need it.

The problem is, many of us eat far too much sugar. And we eat it in its simplest, processed form.

This excess of sugar in our diets increases the risks of health conditions such as obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood cholesterol and hypertension.

It also significantly increases the risks of premature death from heart disease.

How our body digests sugar

Our bodies are designed to digest sugar in its naturally occurring form found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In these foods simple sugar molecules are joined together in a chain.

Continue reading

McDonald’s removing cheeseburgers from children’s Happy Meals – in U.S. – but not in Canada

Happy Meal has always been a misnomer. But, it seems, more so in Canada.

Sam Chambers, writing for Bloomberg:

McDonald’s Corp. is removing cheeseburgers from its fabled Happy Meal menus as the fast-food giant responds to a clamor for healthier eating.

All Happy Meals advertised on U.S. menu boards will be 600 calories or less by June, McDonald’s said in a statement Thursday. While the classic cheeseburger will still be available if a customer requests it, the listed entree choice will be a hamburger or a box of chicken nuggets.

The world’s largest fast-food chain established global limits for calories, sodium, saturated fat and added sugar in Happy Meals for the first time. So why not also in Canada?


On Thursday, McDonald’s in the U.S. announced that cheeseburgers and chocolate milk will be pulled from its Happy Meal menu to help reduce calories, sodium, saturated fat and sugar that kids consume at its restaurants.

“In Canada, we haven’t made those specific decisions related to cheeseburgers and chocolate milk,” Adam Grachnik, a spokesperson for McDonald’s Canada, said in an email on Friday.

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