Research Collected: July 2014

sleep, low-carb diets, team sports, mobile devices, pollution and cognition, organic foods

  • Just think: The challenges of the disengaged mind
    • “In 11 studies, we found that participants typically did not enjoy spending 6 to 15 minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do but think, that they enjoyed doing mundane external activities much more, and that many preferred to administer electric shocks to themselves instead of being left alone with their thoughts. Most people seem to prefer to be doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative.”
  • The iPhone Effect: The Quality of In-Person Social Interactions in the Presence of Mobile Devices
    • “conversations in the absence of mobile communication technologies were rated as significantly superior compared with those in the presence of a mobile device, above and beyond the effects of age, gender, ethnicity, and mood. People who had conversations in the absence of mobile devices reported higher levels of empathetic concern.”
  • Retrospective study on the efficacy of a low-carbohydrate diet for impaired glucose tolerance
    • “The subjects were 72 patients with [impaired glucose tolerance (IGT)] (36 in the [low-carbohydrate diet (LCD)] group and 36 in the control group) who were enrolled from April 2007–March 2012 and followed for 12 months… In 69.4% of the LCD group, blood glucose was normalized at 12 months… In addition, the incidence of diabetes was significantly lower in the LCD group than in the control group at 12 months (0% versus 13.9%, P=0.02).”
  • Fine Particulate Matter Air Pollution and Cognitive Function Among U.S. Older Adults
    • “We use cross-sectional data on non-Hispanic black and white men and women aged 55 and older from the 2001/2002 Americans’ Changing Lives Study (N = 780). EPA air monitoring data were linked to respondents using census tract identifiers. Cognitive function was assessed with tests of working memory and orientation… Older adults living in areas with high concentrations of [particulate matter air pollutionhad an error rate 1.5 times greater than those exposed to lower concentrations…”
  • Effects of a 5-month football program on perceived psychological status and body composition of overweight boys
    • “Twelve boys (8–12 years; body mass index ≥ 85th percentile) participated in a structured 5-month football program, consisting of four weekly 60–90 min sessions… [football group (FG)]. A control group (CG) included eight boys of equivalent age from an obesity clinic located in the same area as the school. Indicators of perceived psychological status included body image, self-esteem, attraction to participation in physical activity, and perceived physical competence measured with standardized questionnaires. Body composition was evaluated using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. From baseline through 5 months, FG improved (P < 0.05) in all indicators of psychological status [compared with CG]. Changes in percentage body fat and lean body mass, however, did not differ between FG and CG. The findings suggest that a 5-month football intervention program was effective in improving the psychological status of overweight boys but did not significantly alter body composition.”
  • Effects of one night of induced night-wakings versus sleep restriction on sustained attention and mood: a pilot study
    • “61 healthy adults (40 females; aged 20–29years) underwent home assessments of sustained attention and self-reported mood at two times: after a normal (control) sleep night, and after a night of either sleep restriction (4h in bed) or induced night-wakings (four prolonged awakenings across 8h in bed)… Induced night-wakings and sleep restriction both resulted in more [online continuous performance test] omission and commission errors, and in increased depression, fatigue and confusion levels and reduced vigor compared to the normal sleep night. Moreover, there were no significant differences between the consequences of induced awakenings and sleep restriction.”
  • Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses
    • “In the present study, we carried out meta-analyses based on 343 peer-reviewed publications that indicate statistically significant and meaningful differences in composition between organic and non-organic crops/crop-based foods. Most importantly, the concentrations of a range of antioxidants such as polyphenolics were found to be substantially higher in organic crops/crop-based foods… Additionally, the frequency of occurrence of pesticide residues was found to be four times higher in conventional crops, which also contained significantly higher concentrations of the toxic metal Cd… In conclusion, organic crops, on average, have higher concentrations of antioxidants, lower concentrations of Cd and a lower incidence of pesticide residues than the non-organic comparators across regions and production seasons.”

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