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Food system is responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Photo: iStockphoto
Food system is responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. Photo: iStockphoto

Diversity in food can avert diabetes and obesity

Eating more fruits and vegetables and less of meat can reduce greenhouse emissions and overweight women face greater risk of depressionstudies and research tips for a healthier you

Switching to a vegetarian diet can cut emissions and save more lives

Eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables can avoid 5.1 million deaths every year by 2050, a British study suggests. Researchers at Oxford University claim following the guidelines on meat consumption will cut food-related emissions by 29% and adopting a full-time vegetarian diet can reduce emissions by 63%. Breeding livestock is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gases. It leads to emission of methane gas which is more harmful than CO2 emissions. The study points out that food system is responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions and unhealthy diet and obesity are two of the leading causes of early mortality. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more here.

Lack of variety in diet can lead to diabetes and obesity

Eating the same set of food items regularly can weaken the ecosystem of gut bacteria and lead to metabolic diseases such as obesity and type-2 diabetes, a US study shows. Researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Centre pointed out that gut bacteria function as an endocrine organ. They metabolise specific nutrients from the diet and with increased variation comes increased adaptability and an increased range of physiological responses. The study stresses on the importance of having a balanced and diverse diet. The study was published in the journal Molecular Metabolism. Read more here.

Seeing isn’t required to gesture like a native speaker

Hand gestures made by people while talking do not emerge from watching other speakers but comes from learning the language itself, a study by Georgia State University shows. The researchers enlisted 40 congenitally blind adults out of which 20 were native English speakers and 20 were native Turkish speakers. They also recruited 40 speakers who could see and spoke the two languages. The participants were asked to explore a series of figurines using their hands. When they were asked to describe the scene, it was noted that the pattern of gestures made by English speakers was different from speakers of Turkish. However, the gestures made by blind speakers resembled the gesture made by participants who spoke the same language. The study appeared in the journal Psychological Science. Read more here.

Overweight women face higher risk of depression

Women with a higher body mass index (BMI) are two times more likely to feel depressed compared to women with normal weight, irrespective of their educational qualification, a US study suggests. Researchers at Rice University enlisted 1,928 women in the age group of 35 to 80 years. After measuring their BMI they were asked a series of standardized questions on demographic traits, medical history and diet. The findings suggest that the risk of depression was 43% higher in women with BMI of 18.5-24.9 and 57% greater in women with BMI of 25-39.9. The study was published in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice. Read more here.

Fitness trackers are not always reliable

Fitness trackers are often inaccurate when it comes to keeping tab on how much energy a user has burned, a US study warns. Scientists at the University of California compared the accuracy of 12 fitness trackers such as Fitbit Flex and Jawbone Up24 with two established methods of monitoring energy loss. In the first method people were locked in a room to assess every calorie consumed and burned. In the second method people were asked to drink specially treated water so the energy output can be calculated through a urine test. When compared to the first method, the fitness trackers underestimated energy burned by 278 calories. In comparison to the second method, the fitness trackers underestimated energy burnt by 69 to 590 calories. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Read more here.

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar

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