Eating for the sake of eating is bad for health

The tendency to eat without the natural urge to eat increases glucose level in blood to dangerous levels, warns a joint study carried out by American and Dutch scholars from Cornell University and University of Groningen. The scholars enlisted 45 undergraduate students and asked them to rate their level of hunger and then take a carbohydrate rich meal. Their blood glucose levels were assessed at regular intervals after the meal. They found that participants who were hungry before the meal had lower blood glucose levels after the meal compared to those who ate despite not feeling hungry. The researchers noted that blood glucose levels tend to rise after carbohydrate intake and can damage cells if one eats without the natural urge to eat. The study was published in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research. Read more here.

Socially active elders sleep better

Elders who are regularly involved in community programmes are more likely to sleep soundly, research suggests. Researchers from University of Missouri and University of Chicago examined a previous study which recorded social involvement of older adults and its impact on their sleep patterns and rhythms between 2005 and 2011. The researchers found that those who were active in their community, attended religious ceremonies, did volunteer work and attended meetings regularly recorded better actigraphic sleep. Actigraphy is a non-invasive method of monitoring human rest and activity cycles. For it users have to wear an actimetery sensor so their movements can be recorded continually. Sleep related issues are very common in old age and lack of good sleep is often seen as a warning sign for serious chronic illnesses and even death. The study will appear in the journal Social Science and Medicine. Read more here.

Normal delivery and breastfeeding builds child’s immunity

Normal delivery and breastfeeding is good for baby’s health in later years, shows study. Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Ohio found that breast feeding and normal delivery encourages healthy transfer of gut microbes from mother to infant which is crucial for the child’s immunity and would protect them from diseases such as asthma, obesity and neurological disorders when they grow up. “A mother’s womb is not sterile. This means that not only do we have to consider the microbiome of the child but also that of the mother," said lead researcher Sharon B. Meropol. The study appeared in the journal Birth Defects Research. Read more here.

Smokers more likely to be prescribed antibiotics

Doctors tend to prescribe more antibiotics to smokers than those who don’t smoke, study suggests. Overuse of antibiotics makes bacteria resistant to them over time rendering the drugs less effective. The researchers examined data gathered from 8,307 doctor visits between 2006 and 2010 by smokers and non-smokers for various infections. Half of the visits for infections were given antibiotics, but compared to non-smokers, smokers were 20% more likely to get an antibiotic prescription. Those who had infection related to lungs the chances of getting an antibiotic was 30% higher. Though the study doesn’t say why smokers are more likely to get antibiotics, one of the researchers pointed out it may be because a lot of doctors tend to believe that people who smoke are more susceptible to infections. The study was published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Read more here.:

Compiled by Abhijit Ahaskar