Eggs are back on the menu and other health news
The latest in health news from eating eggs to the link between sleep and weight gain.
Sleep and weight gain
Research has established that people who get inadequate sleep are more likely to develop obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. For this new study researchers set out to see what link there was for women between sleep quality and diet quality. The study looked at women aged between 20 and 76 and examined time taken to fall asleep, sleep quality and insomnia. This was then correlated with types and amounts of foods eaten. Results showed that this with poorer overall sleep quality consumed more added sugars. Women who took longer to fall asleep also had a higher kilojoule intake and ate a greater quantity of food. Women with poor quality sleep tend to overeat and make poor food choices. It’s unclear as to the exact nature of the relationship, but if you aren’t happy with your weight, you should look to your sleep.
Source: Journal of the American Heart Association
An egg a day
For a while eggs were vilified because they contain cholesterol. Although research has indicated it’s not dietary cholesterol that elevates blood cholesterol, the stigma lingers in some minds. That stigma should be gone in light of a new study which looked at data gathered from a series of studies involving more than 170,000 people across 50 countries, three continents and differing socio-economic levels. The results showed that there was no association between egg consumption and blood cholesterol. Additionally, moderate egg consumption (one egg per day) did not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease or death, even in people with a history of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Since the data from these studies comes from a range of cultures and socio-economic levels, the results are thought to be applicable to a wide range of people. Eggs (genuinely free-range) are deservedly back on the menu.
Source: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Height and dementia
Identifying people who are at risk of dementia is important, as it can allow them take preventive measures. With this in mind, Danish researchers analysed data on 666,000 men born between 1939 and 1959, including more than 70,000 brothers and 7300 twins. Around 10,600 men developed dementia in later life. Statistical analysis showed a 10 per cent reduction in risk of developing dementia for every 6cm above average height a man was as a young adult. The relationship between height and dementia held true even when taking into account intelligence and education, although it did reduce slightly. It also held true for brothers with different heights suggesting that genetics and family characteristics alone do not explain the height–dementia link. It’s a tall tale, but true.
10,000 steps to weight loss
Perhaps because it’s a nice round figure, 10,000 steps has caught on as the benchmark for adequate activity in a day. This is the number of steps touted as what you need to lose weight and maintain healthy weight. If that’s true, then more steps per day should be even better, right? This is what was tested in a new study that examined first-year university students who counted their steps. It’s a known phenomenon that first-year students gain one to four kilos. Participants in the study walked either 10,000, 12,500 or 15,000 steps per day. The results showed that participants gained an average 1.5 kilos over the 24 weeks of the study. Interestingly, weight gain was not reduced among the higher step groups. However, the 12,500 and 15,000 steps groups did spend less sedentary time per day and that has a range of other health benefits.
Source: Journal of Obesity
No “normal” heart rate
Although we talk about “normal” heart rates, research tells us that resting heart rates can differ from person to person by as much as 70 beats per minute. Age, sex, BMI, sleep duration and even the season can affect heart rate, but allowing for all of this, “normal” heart rates are hugely individual.
Source: PLOS ONE