Living 2.0

Insights for a Better Life

Month: September 2019 (page 1 of 3)

Optimism is associated with reduced risk of death due to all causes, as well as fewer cardiovascular events

Ashley Lyles at MedPage Today writes »

“The findings suggest that a mindset of optimism is associated with lower cardiovascular risk and that promotion of optimism and reduction in pessimism may be important for preventive health,” the authors wrote.

These findings are consistent with a growing and large literature showing that optimism in particular, and psychological well-being in general, have an independent association with cardiovascular and overall health outcomes, wrote Jeff Huffman, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, in an accompanying editorial.

Read more »

More » Reuters

While e-smokes company Juul suspends advertising in the USA, it’s business as usual in Canada

Juul is suspending all print, broadcast, and digital advertising of it’s popular e-cigarettes in the USA after coming under increase pressure from legislators and the public after a large number of deaths have reportedly been connected to the ‘safer’ smoking alternative.

However, the company is not offering the same consideration to Canadians. It’s business as usual and there does not appear to be any plans to change strategies.

Pete Evans at the CBC News writes »

“Juul Labs is a global company, and this announcement impacts the U.S. only,” a spokesperson for the company told CBC News on Wednesday.

The company advertises in Canada through various means, and has employed lobbyists to meet with politicians to try to influence policy numerous times in the past year, according to the federal registry of officially recognized lobbyists.

The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment from CBC News as to why it saw fit to change the way it does business in the U.S., but not in Canada. The company did say, however, that it complies with all “Canadian regulations, and the company is intentionally conservative in its flavour selection, expansion and naming, to avoid the risk of youth appeal.”

Read more at the CBC »

Certain tea bags shed billions of microplastics in each cup, and the health risks are not known

Emily Chung at the CBC writes »

“We were shocked when we saw billions of particles in a single cup of tea,” she said.

One cup from a single tea bag could contain 11.6 billion microplastic and 3.1 billion nanoplastic particles, the researchers estimated from their results, published Wednesday in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

The bits are so tiny — on average, the size of grains of dust or pollen — that the amount in one cup is about 16 micrograms or one-sixtieth of a milligram of plastic.

Read more »

The many ways indoor and outdoor plants enhance our mental and emotional wellbeing

The review data, collected and analyzed by researchers Charles Hall and Melinda Knuth at Texas A&M University and published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, supports the notion that living in or near green spaces, and spending as much time as possible in both natural settings and cultivated gardens, can improve mood, reduce the negative effects of stress, encourage physical activity and other positive behaviors, improve cognition, reduce aggression, and enhance overall well-being in people of all ages under many different circumstances.

Specifically, the researchers found that people who surround themselves with plant life and other forms of natural beauty, indoors and out, experience emotional and mental health benefits that have a positive impact on their social, psychological, physical, cognitive, environmental, and spiritual well-being,

» Read more at Psychology Today…


Evidence links dog ownership to better heart health

Saumya Joseph, writing for Reuters »

Researchers examined more than 1,700 adults in the Czech Republic and found that dog owners tended to be younger, female and more likely to smoke than people with different pets or with no companion animals. Yet the dog owners were also more active, had better levels of blood fat and blood sugar, and were less likely to be obese, giving them an overall better cardiovascular health profile than the rest.

“If you’re thinking about getting a pet, getting a dog will likely help you with your cardiovascular health goals. This should be a point that will help you make that decision,” said coauthor Dr. Jose Medina-Inojosa of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Dog owners are known to engage in more physical activity and are more likely to have regular exercise habits than those without dogs, the study authors note in Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality and Outcomes. These benefits were recognized in a 2013 statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) that linked owning a pet, especially a dog, with lower risk of heart disease.

Read more »

Lonely? Short of friends? Try looking at it differently

Assuming you don’t spy on your friends via telescope from treetops, you never see them at home alone in their pyjamas, eating pickled onion Monster Munch while watching The X Factor and feeling sorry for themselves. You’re never there when they wake in the dark at 3am, wondering where their lives are headed. Or, likewise, consider those happy throngs you glimpse through the windows of the bar you pass each day on your way home from work: doesn’t it seem like they’re always meeting friends at the bar?

In fact, it’s a mathematical oddity that your friends do have slightly more friends than you do, on average. (Essentially, this is because people with large circles of friends are more likely to have you as a member of theirs.) But the main culprit, this new study confirms, is an observability bias. The more instances of something we encounter, the more significant we naturally assume it to be – and though we encounter our own solitude frequently, we never encounter other people’s. The distorted judgments we reach as a consequence have real emotional effects, the researchers found, leaving people with lower wellbeing and less of a sense of belonging. So, yes, the fact that we only ever experience loneliness when it’s happening to us is blindingly obvious, I suppose. But blindingly obvious in an almost literal sense: it’s so self-evident, we barely ever see it.

» Read more of this article by Oliver Burkeman at The Guardian…

Tammy Roberts has fostered more than 250 children over nearly three decades

The foster mother to more than 250 children in the Northwest Territories is a finalist for the Children’s Aid Foundation’s Lynn Factor Stand Up for Kids national award.

For nearly three decades, Tammy Roberts has provided emergency and long-term care to vulnerable children.

In her words, she is “just trying to make a difference.”

Read More about this amazing woman, Tammy Roberts, in an article by Kate Kyle at the CBC…


Luna Lee covers Jimi Hendrix’s Classic ‘Voodoo Child’ on a traditional Korean Gayageum

Low-income seniors live a better, healthier life if they live in affluent rural areas

A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that where low-income people live plays a key role in their health. Stanford Health Policy’s Maria Polyakova, PhD, and Lynn Hua, a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, found that older, low-income Americans tend to be healthier if they live in more affluent areas of the country.

Not only are they healthier, but their physical well-being is better across the board with a lower prevalence of dozens of chronic conditions, particularly if they live in rural communities. This, despite their income having less purchasing power in those better-resourced neighborhoods.

» Read more from Beth Duff-Brown at Stanford Medicine…

A majority of Canadian voters in almost every riding are worried about climate change

Using more than 9,000 survey responses and validated statistical models, they estimate 83 per cent of Canadians believe the earth is warming — compared to 70 per cent of Americans, as found in a similar project out of Yale University last year.

Fifty-four per cent of Canadians support increased taxes on carbon-based fuels, and 58 per cent support a cap-and-trade system, according to the study.

» Read more by Samantha Beattie at The Huffington Post

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