I hope you’re not stuck inside reading this today, as it seems that summer has finally arrived in the last week of September!
In addition to these, here’s some more reading from around the web:
Reebok have been fined $25 Million for false advertising of their “Easy Tone” trainers. Reebok claimed that simply walking around in their special trainers with air pockets in the sole would increase activation in the hip and thigh muscles, thereby leading to a toning effect. This was rightly pointed out as utter nonsense, and the company have been instructed to compensate all the customers that purchased the shoes under false pretences.
The question is, are these shoes just ineffective, or are they potentially dangerous? There is growing evidence that shoes in general are bad news for your posture and joints, and a study on basketball players found that trainers with an air pocket in the sole increased injury risk four fold. Hopefully this is the first of many such cases. Let’s hope that Fit Flops and MTBs soon get the same justice, and maybe one day we’ll see the end of cushioned basketball trainers and running shoes too!
Scientists have been investigating a couple of my favourite foods and beverages – Chocolate and Coffee. Oh oh, are they about to slap some misplaced tax on my favourite treats, or worse yet, get them banned? Haven’t they got anything better to do like listening to koals bellow?
Fortunately the findings are fairly positive, and a good source of confirmation bias for chocolate and coffee lovers like myself.
The health advice off the back of this study (though not mentioned in this particular report) was that “People that don’t currently eat chocolate, shouldn’t start, but those that already do perhaps shouldn’t worry about it too much” (Sorry, lost the link to the original version of the article I found).
This may sound like a sit on the fence answer, but it is in fact as sensible response. Though I’m sure chocolate lovers around the world are jumping for joy, one must bear in mind that this is an observational study, and therefore means very little.
My advice regarding chocolate, is to ensure if you do consume it, you are actually eating chocolate! Much of the stuff sold as chocolate in the UK and US hardly deserves the name. A common practice by unscrupulous food manufacturers is to remove the coco butter to sell to the cosmetics industry and replace it with vegetable oils. Much of the “chocolate” we are sold is little more than vegetable oil and sugar, with a little coco thrown in – A recipe for cancer and all the other diseases of civilisation!
If there are any actual physiological benefits to chocolate consumption, it would come from eating real chocolate, with a low sugar content – My personal favourite being Green and Black’s 85% (though having recently been bought out by Kraft how long will it be until it’s also full of junk?)
Ok, so the headline of the article is that Coffee consumption may reduce risk of depression in women, but it could have just as easily been that it reduces women’s faith in religion!
The study also found that:
Regular coffee drinkers were more likely to smoke and drink alcohol and were less likely to be involved in church, volunteer or community groups. They were also less likely to be overweight and have high blood pressure or diabetes.
I’d be interested to see the proposed mechanism for why coffee consumption makes you less likely to be involved in church! Of course, there is no mechanism, and there could well be no mechanism for the link between coffee and depression either – This is the problem with observational studies.
Another thing to consider is that there have previously been links between caffeine withdrawal and depression – Perhaps some of the low coffee consumers had previously been high consumers? I know I’d be depressed if I had to quit! Perhaps in this case the previous advice of “don’t start, but don’t stop either would be quite fitting…
I came across this cool picture on facebook – A piece of stencilled graffiti art snapped in New York:
Check out this trailer for a new film coming out exposing the dark side of the industrial meat production industry, and showing that there is another, better way!