Your Debt, Your Diet and Other News

by DavalosMcCormack on August 13, 2009

As if being in the red wasn’t bad enough, now a new study says that being in debt can mess up your diet and increase your risk of being overweight or obese. In other words heavy debt, heavy you.

Now, it’s long been known that being poor puts you at increased risk of being overweight, but no one had ever looked at the role that being in debt might play, a glaring gap in our knowledge considering the current perilous state of our economy and many people’s finances.

This study – published in BMC Public Health was done by researchers in Germany. They compared almost one thousand Germans who were in debt, with a representative sample of other Germans. They found that, over the course of four years,  those who were in debt were more likely than financially sound folks to be overweight and even more likely to be obese.

It makes sense really. When you have money troubles you often end up cutting out the things you need to stay healthy such as gym membership, healthy foods etc, increasing your risk of health issues.

Positively Good News

Some people see a glass and think it’s half empty. Some see it and think it’s half full. I think it’s just twice as big as it needs to be. But, putting that aside, a new study says those who think it’s half full could be protecting themselves against heart disease – even if the glass doesn’t have red wine!

A study of some 97,000 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative found that postmenopausal women who had a positive attitude, were generally optimistic and not cynical, were more likely to be heart healthy than other women who were more pessimistic and cynical.

  • Optimistic women were 9 percent less likely to have heart disease and 14 percent less likely to die of any cause than pessimists.
  • Women with a high degree of pessimism and hostility were 16 percent more likely to die of any cause than other women.

The news was even better for African American women who were 33 percent less likely to die of heart disease or other causes if they were optimists.

That’s certainly something to smile about. And if you don’t, you could be heading for trouble!

Beetroot To Yourself

Sorry, couldn’t resist the pun. Here’s an odd study. Drinking beetroot juice may boost your stamina and endurance.

First of all, who drinks beetroot juice? Secondly, have you ever seen it in a store? Ever? Me neither. But apparently some researchers at the University of Exeter in England found enough to do this experiment.

They gave a bunch of men (ok, eight) between the ages of 19 and 38 some beetroot juice to drink six days in a row, and then put them through a series of moderate and high-intensity tests on an exercise bike. They gave the men a few days off then repeated the experiment but instead of drinking beetroot juice they were given a placebo blackcurrant cordial drink.

End result, when the men drank beetroot juice they were able to ride 92 seconds longer than when they drank the blackcurrant. And the men also had a lower resting blood pressure measurement on the beetroot juice. 

Why was that? Well, the researchers think it’s because the beet juice is rich in nitrates which the body turns into nitric oxide which can help improve athletic performance.

So, what does that mean? Not a darn thing unless you can find a jug of the stuff at your local supermarket. But maybe it’s one more reason to eat fresh veggies like beets more often. It can’t hurt.

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