News You May Not Have Wanted To Know!!

by DavalosMcCormack on August 27, 2009

If you smoke or are having a problem losing weight you may not want to read this. But then again, if you smoke or are having a problem losing weight maybe you should read this. It may be the incentive you need to finally make a change.

First, more on the obesity blues. A study in the journal Human Brain Mapping (no, I’ve never heard of it either) found that an expanding waist line may be an indicator of a shrinking brain.

The researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine compared the brains of people who were obese with the brains of people who were normal weight. They found that obese people had 8 percent less brain tissue than people with normal weight. Overweight people had 4 percent less brain tissue than normal weight ones.

That smaller size may seem relatively minor but it can have a major impact on your cognitive reserves, according to the researchers. In layman terms that means you are more at risk for Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.

In short, losing weight could help you prevent losing your mind. If you ever needed an incentive to really, finally, and once and for all lose weight, that’s it.

Cigarettes Smoke Your Taste Buds

Remember those old 1940’s movies where everyone looked so cool smoking cigarettes, well now we know why everyone¬† in those movies looked so thin and gaunt – except of course for Sidney Greenstreet and if you have to ask who he is you need to watch more movies.

A study in the journal BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders, found that smokers have fewer and flatter taste buds than non-smokers.

Here’s the fun part of the study. Well, fun if you weren’t one of those taking part that is. The study was done by researchers at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece. Now Thessaloniki is a really cool place, it was the first place I ever visited in Greece and I remember to this day how I almost gagged when I drank a cup of coffee there that was as thick as mud and sweeter than a pound of sugar. Who knew they pumped five sugar cubes into an espresso!

Anyway, that’s got nothing to do with this.

So, these researchers in Thessaloniki applied an electrical current that generated a metallic taste to the tongues of 62 Greek soldiers (see, I told you this was fun. Can’t you just see the scene, a parade ground in Athens with a Sergeant Major shouting “OK, I need 62 volunteers, you, Smokealotolis, step forward”). 28 of the squadies were smokers, 34 were not.

The researchers found that non-smokers needed less current to detect a taste than the smokers, suggesting that smoking reduced your ability to taste things from food to.. well, whatever you want to taste.

Quite frankly I think anytime it takes less of an electrical shock to get you to experience something that has to be a recommendation.

But back to movie stars and smoking. So the reason Lauren Bacall was thin as a whip was simply because smoking had destroyed her taste buds so she didn’t want to eat. Makes sense to me.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Stacy August 27, 2009 at 9:32 am

Great post. As a social smoker I always seem to make excuses for why I smoke; oh, it’s just once in a while, oh, I exercise, oh, it won’t harm me….But now I feel like I’m missing out by not tasting food as intensely as those who do not smoke…So, I will make a concerted effort to stop; exercise more; and stop to taste the rose petals. Thanks!


Davalos/McCormack August 27, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Conscious smoking….good!


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