What We Leaned From Science About Health In 2015

2015 was a big year for us health nuts, with an abundance of great health studies published. They definitely affect our decisions for nourishment and lifestyle in small and large ways.

The latest scientific health research is helpful in making good decisions.

10 Health Discoveries Scientifically Proven in 2015

1. Highly Processed Foods Linked To Addictive Eating

In February, 2015 a University of Michigan study confirmed that those highly-processed and fatty foods like pizza, chips and sugary chocolate are, in fact, addictive. The study also determined which healthy foods we have more control over.

You can find the most and least addictive foods here.

2. Sleep Is Important For Weight Loss and Optimal Health.

In March, 2015 a study revealed that losing 30 minutes of sleep per day may promote weight gain and unfavorably affect your metabolism.

In June, 2015 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine & Sleep Research Society recommended that people get at least seven hours of sleep per night to maintain optimal health. This was following a 12-month project conducted by a Consensus Panel of 15 of the nation’s foremost sleep experts.

3. Mental Health Prescription: Nature

In March, 2015 the medical journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, discovered that being outdoors and spending time in nature transforms our brain and reduces our risk of mental illness.

The study included two groups of people who walked for 90 minutes, one group in a nature setting and the other beside a busy four-lane road. The researchers measured heart and respiration rates, did brain scans and participants filled out questionnaires before and after walking. They found that the people who took 90 minute nature walks had lower levels of anxiety and had reduced brain activity in an area of the brain which has been linked to mental illness.

4. Carbonated Drinks Associated With A High Risk of Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

In September 1, 2015 the findings of a 6 year study was analyzed and posted by European Society of Cardiology linking carbonated beverages with Out-Of-Hospital Cardiac Arrests (OHCA). The research was done by the cardiology department at Fukuoka University in Japan. Beverage consumption of almost 800,000 people was tracked in Japan for seven years. They found that those who spent more money on carbonated beverages were more likely to suffer cardiac arrests outside of a hospital.

5.  Our Biological Age Is More Important Than Our Chronological Age 

On July 28, a study was published in which scientists traced biomarkers for aging in healthy people in their 20s and 30s to determine how our biological age is related to our chronological age. First you need to know that we have two ages, our chronological age (determined by the year of birth) and our biological age (determined by our lifestyle choices). The one we have control over is our biological age. The scientists found that some people do seem to age faster than others, as often revealed in their physical appearance. Results show that those who look younger actually are younger biologically, according to these biomarkers.


6. Bacon, Hot Dogs And Other Processed Meats Cause Cancer

At the end of October, the World Health Organization announced that bacon, sausages, hot dogs and other processed meats cause cancer. After extensive research and evaluation, they classified bacon and other processed meats as carcinogens. The World Health Organization has evaluated the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. They concluded that one 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18 percent.

7. E-Cigarette Flavors May Cause ‘Popcorn Lung’

Early in December, a study was published by Environmental Health Perspectives where the researchers analyzed the flavoring chemicals found in dozens of flavored E-cigarette compounds previously linked to lung disease. Flavoring chemicals gained notoriety in the early 2000s when inhalation exposure of the flavoring chemical diacetyl was found to be associated with a disease that became known as ‘Popcorn Lung’.

8. Artificially Sweetened Soft Drinks and Secondhand Smoke Linked to Risk Of Early Menstruation

In September, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that some beverages caused girls to prematurely begin their periods. The scientists recruited 2379 girls between nine and ten years of age who had not yet begun menstruating.  They found artificially sweetened and caffeinated soft drinks played an important role in the early onset of menstruation.

In July, another study published at PLoS One, found a link between secondhand smoke and early menstruation in young women. The study was with 20,061 young women who had never smoked; they found a link between passive cigarette smoke exposure and the beginning of the periods in young woman.


9. Practicing Yoga, Meditation Can Result In Fewer Doctor Visits

In October, research was published on how meditation and yoga can help us to be healthier. Research was carried out at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine on 4,400 patients trained to practice deep relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation. A control group of 13,000 patients were studied who were not practicing relaxation techniques. Researchers found after a year, those practicing relaxation had their visits to the doctor dropped by 42 percent, lab tests by 44 percent and procedures by 21 percent. Health service use by the second group remained the same. Also, emergency hospital visits dropped to an average of 1.7 a year from 3.7 in the year before practicing relaxation techniques.

10. Obesity More Dangerous Than Lack of Fitness

On December 21, the results of a study were published on Science Daily dismissing the ‘fat but fit’ concept. What the study found is that high fitness in obese people reduces early death.

What did YOU discover in 2015 that made a difference to you?

The Most Addictive Foods (and Least Addictive) According to Science

Meditation and Yoga Can Result in Less Doctor Visits

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