Health Updates 19 April 2011

  • Studies show mindful eating may aid weight loss: “Mindfulness includes noticing the colors, smells, flavors and textures of your food, according to the Harvard Health Letter, which advises chewing slowly and avoiding distractions such as reading or watching TV while you eat.  If you eat too quickly, your body’s signals of being full may reach you after you’ve already overeaten”.  Mindful eating may help people distinguish between emotional hunger and physical hunger.  Some suggestions for developing the practice include setting a timer for twenty minutes and taking that entire time to finish the meal; taking small bites and chewing eat one well; asking yourself if you’re truly hungry before opening the cabinet or fridge; eating silently for a few minutes, thinking about what it took to make that meal, from the sun and rain to the shopping for ingredients to the cook’s work.  (Taste For Life)
  • There is no safe level of exposure to smoke: Cigarettes kill 443,000 people in America every year.  A recent report by the US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, emphasizes that cigarette smoke can cause rapid harm to the body.  “The chemicals in tobacco smoke reach your lungs quickly every time you inhale, causing damage immediately” Dr. Benjamin writes.  And keep in mind that this is a critical question on health insurance applications – in fact, on nearly all insurance applications.  Your smoking status markedly affects your premium rates – if you qualify for the coverage at all.  Quit smoking! (US Dept of Health and Human Services)
  • Hand transplant patient tells her story: “‘It’s crazy how good it looks,’ she said at her occupational therapy session one morning last week at UCLA, where she spends about eight hours a day working on learning how to move her new hand and fingers. ‘I knew the match wouldn’t be perfect, but if you didn’t know what happened, you’d think I just had some kind of orthopedic surgery'”. (LA Times)

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