Category Archives: In the news

Aside

Earlier this week I wrote about how exercise can reduce the impact of age on health, fitness, and physical function. In many cases, exercise can even reverse the effects of age, literally turning back time. Last week there was a good article … Continue reading

On the topic of sports safety…The importance of concussion diagnosis and treatment.

Earlier this week I wrote about some of the risks athletes face as they prepare for and compete in the fall sports season. Among these was the risk of concussion, especially among football players (although all sports carry a risk of concussions and other injuries).

Coincidentally, an article in the New York Times this week reported on the hazards of athletes returning to play after sustaining a concussion. Specifically, not taking adequate “rest” time after a concussion doubles the recovery time.

Worse, sustaining a second concussion before the first has resolved can lead to catastrophic consequences. This is called second impact syndrome, and is a major reason why athletes who have a suspected concussion must be evaluated by an athletic trainer or team physician before they can return to play.

Unfortunately, many athletes don’t report that they have symptoms that suggest a concussion may have occurred so that can continue to play. This highlights the importance of educating players and coaches about the signs and symptoms of concussion and the seriousness of continuing to play with a suspected concussion.

This is also a reason why certified athletic trainers should be present at every practice and game. The immediate evaluation of head injuries (and other injuries, too) is essential to prevent further damage and long-term consequences.


Nutrition, exercise, and health information can be confusing. 
But it doesn't have to be that way.
What can I help you with?
 drbrianparr@gmail.com | http://twitter.com/drbrianparr

If you would use a parachute when you jump out of a plane, then you should floss your teeth!

My kids were thrilled to see the news this week proclaiming that they didn’t need to floss their teeth anymore. Apparently, there isn’t any good research showing that flossing can prevent cavities or gum disease. In this context,  “good research” means long-term, controlled studies comparing flossing to not flossing.

But most dentists agree that flossing is a good idea, even if there isn’t much research to support it. The bottom line is this: Just because there isn’t research to prove that something is good for your health does not mean that it is necessarily bad!

If you aren’t convinced, consider this: there are no long-term controlled trials examining the effect of parachutes on survival or serious injury during skydiving, but no one (well, maybe one person) would consider jumping out of an airplane without one.

So, flossing, like using a parachute, is something you should do, regardless of the evidence.


Nutrition, exercise, and health information can be confusing. 
But it doesn't have to be that way.
What can I help you with?
 drbrianparr@gmail.com | http://twitter.com/drbrianparr

 

Even more reason to go for a swim.

Earlier this week I wrote about the benefits of swimming for health, fitness, and weight loss. Even if you aren’t swimming laps, spending time playing in a pool, lake, or ocean can be a healthy way to stay cool in the summer heat.

A piece in the New York Times this week explains that swimming also has benefits for the brain as well. This isn’t surprising given that any type of exercise can enhance brain blood flow, boost levels of neurotransmitters, and improve cognitive function. But, as the author explains, swimming seems to have a more pronounced effect than exercise on dry land.

Even more reason to go for a swim!

Source: Pool of Thought – The New York Times


Nutrition, exercise, and health information can be confusing. 
But it doesn't have to be that way.
What can I help you with?
 drbrianparr@gmail.com | http://twitter.com/drbrianparr

How Square Watermelons Get Their Shape, and Other G.M.O. Misconceptions – The New York Times

Earlier this week I wrote about organic food and whether it is really healthier. To be sure, organic food can be a healthy alternative to conventional food, but many times the difference may not be as great as commonly believed. In some cases, organics simply may not be the smartest choice.

GMO corn

One reason why people choose organically produced foods is that they don’t contain GMOs, or genetically-modified organisms. Many people believe that GMOs are dangerous or, at the very least, make foods less healthy.

Unfortunately, just like with organic food, there is a great deal of confusion about GMOs in food. An article in the New York Times addresses some of the misconceptions about GMOs.
In an effort to inform consumers about the presence of GMOs in their food, the U.S. Senate recently passed GMO-labeling legislation that has received much criticism. No doubt this is something we will hear more about in the future.


Nutrition, exercise, and health information can be confusing. 
But it doesn't have to be that way.
What can I help you with?
 drbrianparr@gmail.com | http://twitter.com/drbrianparr

Is that a salad, or a cheeseburger?

I have written previously about restaurant salads that are surprisingly high in calories. This is particularly relevant for people who are trying to lose weight. Ordering a salad seems like a sure way to cut calories but, in some cases, a salad may have more calories than other menu items you are trying to avoid.

Even healthy-sounding salads can be high in calories. A recent example is the new McDonald’s Kale Salad, which has more calories than a Big Mac!

That doesn’t mean that ordering a salad is a bad idea. Even if it is high in calories, at least you are getting a good serving of vegetables, with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that a burger and fries simply can’t match!


Nutrition, exercise, and health information can be confusing. 
But it doesn't have to be that way.
What can I help you with?
 drbrianparr@gmail.com | http://twitter.com/drbrianparr

 

 

Is obesity all in your gut? A NYTimes video

This is an interesting video about how the bacteria that live in our gut may be linked to chronic health conditions, including obesity. In many ways, our gut bacteria may be the missing link between what we eat and our health. It’s certainly worth a few minutes of your time to watch!

Is there a hidden cause of obesity? A professor at Stanford thinks the answer might lie with the 100 trillion microbes living in our bodies.

Source: Is it All in Your Gut? – Video – NYTimes.com


Nutrition, exercise, and health information can be confusing. 
But it doesn't have to be that way.
What can I help you with?
 drbrianparr@gmail.com | http://twitter.com/drbrianparr