- Protein supplements are pretty much a waste of your time and money, says new research.
- A survey by the Girl Scouts shows that nine out of ten teenage girls feels pressured to be unrealistically skinny.
- If you think the church basement MMA poll is a little creepy, how about the news that a 4th grade teacher in Queens held boxing/wrestling matches in his classroom?
- Also, did you know that in India you can get out of jail early if you take prison yoga classes?
- A judge in DC just upheld the arrest of woman who was busted for leading a group of 18 people wearing headphones in a silent dance in the Jefferson Memorial. Our hope: Mass organization of "impromptu" patriotic protest dances at every presidential memorial.
- Instead of dumping the tea into the harbor, American men should drink it. New research shows American men who drink more than two cups of tea a day have trimmer waistlines than men who drink coffee or nothing at all. No explanation yet for this effect (pinky raising burns lots of calories?) but the finding unfortunately doesn't hold true for women.
- Forget about fancy sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays. The next big thing is UV-blocking contact lenses. In a recent study, rabbits wearing UV-blocking contact lenses didn't suffer any UV eye damage when exposed to 16-hours a day of sunlight.
- More evidence that barefoot running beats running in fancy sneakers: A study published in Nature today shows that barefoot running dramatically reduces the force of impact of each step, which can reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries.
- America's dogs and cats are overweight too, and a new study shows that inadequate or misleading pet food nutrition labeling is part of the problem.
- Strength training can make you smarter, says new research.
- James Ray, the guru at the center of Arizona Sweat Lodge deaths, just gave his first interview since the retreat. He says his remarks to retreat goers that "you might think you are, but you're not going to die" have been taken out of context.
- Horizon Fitness and LIVESTRONG Fitness have recalled more than 18,000 Elliptical trainers because of a default in the pedals. You'd kind of hope Lance Armstrong would get pedals right.
Modernity-in-crisis news of the day: We're working out more than ever before. We're quitting smoking in record numbers. We're even getting more flu shot and HIV tests. So why are we unhealthier than ever? That's the question that arises from the latest National Center for Health Statistics report. The New York Times took a look at the numbers and reports that despite our plentiful efforts, obesity is way up, so is diabetes, and the number of us who drink to excess has been steadily rising. So what gives? Is it just the ever-increasing amount of corn syrup we're consuming to keep the industrial food complex afloat? Is it that we say we're working out, but we're lying? Have we been breeding for hand-eye coordination at the expense of brawn? Unclear, and depressing, but enough to make you think that our Paleo friends might not be that crazy. And that maybe more dancing really could help save the world.
A new law is working its way through Spain's parliament: No ads for diet products, or any products and services that "encourage the cult of the body," on TV before 10 P.M. Ad Age reports that the law has already passed in the lower chamber of parliament and is expected to pass the upper chamber in the coming weeks. Spain is already more aggressive than most countries when it comes to combatting warped presentations of the human body. In 2007, they struck a deal with major clothing stores in the country, banning mannequins smaller than size 6.
Here's what the bill actually says:More...
New York City has found a new revenue stream — ticketing bicyclists who use the sidewalk. Fines for first time offenders are $100, reports the Post, and last month cops started a crackdown in Chelsea and Gramercy. No more dodging hellbent restaurant delivery bikers! Now if only they could start ticketing over-aggressive stroller pushers...
Scientists at MIT have invented a "food printer." It's like five ingredient cooking, but with robots and chemicals. The printer's canisters contain foods and flavors, you press a button, and they squirt into the heating and cooling chambers, and shortly thereafter, out comes your dinner. Very brainy, but also a little obtuse. Reminds me of a very smart girl I knew in college who had a similar impulse to streamline her eating — she consumed nothing but Easy Mac for a whole summer (no time for food, only time for thesis) and ended up with scurvy. Though if you're hanging out in a basement lab at MIT all day surviving on a diet of Pop Tarts and Fiddle Faddle, you can see how this could be an improvement.
The Saudi Arabian health ministry has shut down a women's fitness center in Jeddah, enforcing the country's ban on women exercising in gyms — even women-only gyms. "Anyone who violates regulations governing the running of health facilities would be punished severely," the ministry told the press. "Because this involves people’s health.”
More pregnancy news. The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology (ESHRE) has a new official position: If you're a woman who drinks too much, smokes, or is obese, the ESHRE says your doctor should refuse to provide you with fertility treatments. Or, that is, they should refuse to provide you with reproduction assistance until you lose weight, stop smoking, and agree to drink less during your pregnancy. Kind of uncomfortable to agree — whiffs of China one-child and Nazi master race, etc. — but still, kind of makes sense. If only because losing weight and quitting smoking have been shown to increase fertility naturally, so it's the least invasive form of treatment.