By Catherine Steele and Kimberly Kirkpatrick No one chooses to become obese, and yet obesity rates continue to rise in the United States. It is anticipated that obesity rates will reach nearly 50 percent by 2030, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is well known that unhealthy foods can lead to obesity—but such foods may also steal our willpower and make it difficult to make healthy food choices. Our research suggests that diets high in processed fat and sugar may lead to impulsive choices. Recent research has suggested that impulsive choices, which stem from challenges in waiting for better long-term outcomes, may be an important factor in diet-induced obesity (Barlow, Reeves, McKee, Galea, & Stuckler, 2016). An example of an impulsive choice is eating fast food instead of cooking a healthy meal at home. However, because of the correlational nature of human studies, it is difficult to know what causes the relationship between dietary … [Read more...] about How Unhealthy Foods Can Steal Our Willpower
Are dogs "canaries in the coal mine" indicating serious environmental effects on reproduction? A recent study by Richard Lea and his colleagues in Scientific Reports called "Environmental chemicals impact dog semen quality in vitro and may be associated with a temporal decline in sperm motility and increased cryptorchidism" has raised warning flags about what's happening to males of five purebreds. The abstract for this essay, which is available online, reads: Adverse temporal trends in human semen quality and cryptorchidism in infants have been associated with exposure to environmental chemicals (ECs) during development. Here we report that a population of breeding dogs exhibit a 26 year (1988–2014) decline in sperm quality and a concurrent increased incidence of cryptorchidism in male offspring (1995–2014). A decline in the number of males born relative to the number of females was also observed. ECs, including diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and polychlorinated … [Read more...] about Doomsday for Dogs? Are Declines in Fertility Due to Food?
Source: Africa Studio/Shutterstock The way people manage the shocking news that their committed partner has been deceiving them by engaging another lover behind their backs predicts how healthfully they will recover from such a betrayal, whether or not they reconcile with their partner. Here are 5 things not to do if you discover your partner is cheating: 1. Don’t panic. When we perceive danger or a threat, our bodies release excess stress hormones and adrenaline, essentially putting us in a hyper-vigilant, ready-for-action state. Although the chemicals associated with panic make us ache to take action, what we really need to do is take a breather. Pause instead of giving into the panic and throwing your partner’s clothes on the front yard, or making a down payment for a new home. Give yourself the calm and tranquil space necessary for the chemicals to run their course through your nervous system. No one in a panic state, and I mean no one, makes decisions in his or … [Read more...] about 5 Things Not to Do If You Find Out Your Partner Is Cheating
Source: racorn/Shutterstock When people feel poorly about themselves, they often attempt to establish new healthy living habits to overcome these negative feelings. They may go to the gym more often, try to eat healthier foods, promise themselves to make a determined effort to reconnect with friends, or work to adopt other positive life choices. All of which would be to the good, except for this: Many turn to harsh self-criticism when one or more of these approaches don’t click nicely into place. Behavioral interventions fail when people force themselves into routines and habits that they don’t really want to follow, because when people don’t feel they have free will, they rebel—even when that rebellion is self-defeating. This counterintuitive process is a way for those in the stress of doing something they don’t want to do to stay connected with themselves and feel a sense of control. Before starting a new exercise routine or diet or simply … [Read more...] about The Power of Your Internal Dialogue
Source: Westend61/GettyImages "The brokenhearted are the bravest among us—they dared to love." —Brené Brown Most of us have had our hearts broken at some point and in some form or another, whether through the loss of a loved one or the ending of a romantic relationship. The emotional devastation that heartbreak leaves in its wake can be paralyzing, the pain all-encompassing, and the impact on our psychological and physical well-being crippling. In the most severe cases, a breakup can be a trigger for a clinical depressive episode. So why is it that heartbreak is so agonizing? The link between addiction and heartbreak According to psychologist Guy Winch, author of How to Fix a Broken Heart, the emotional aftermath of a breakup neurologically mirrors withdrawal from drugs such as heroin. Studies using functional MRIs, or brain scans, of the brokenhearted have shown the same areas of the brain being activated as those activated during drug … [Read more...] about 5 Essential Steps to Recovery from Heartbreak