In Case You Missed It (10/8/15)

Campuses Debate Rising Demands for ‘Comfort Animals’ Comfort/therapy/service animals are unquestionably better than addictive drugs when it comes to treating anxiety and depression. Thankfully, “schools think it’s easier to say yes than no because property damage is cheaper than litigation.” On-campus residences are “bound by the Fair Housing Act, which protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination. Among the act’s ‘reasonable accommodations’ for residents with psychological disabilities are animals that provide emotional support.”

The Big University “Universities are more professional and glittering than ever, but in some ways there is emptiness deep down…But things are changing…Institutes are popping up — with interdisciplinary humanities programs and even meditation centers — designed to cultivate the whole student: the emotional, spiritual and moral sides and not just the intellectual.”

Teaching kids — and parents — the art of mindfulness Mindfulness is "a tool for stress management. Students who have lower levels of stress are also better able to learn." Mindfulness creates space (a "mindful pause") between trigger and response, which enables mindful individuals, children and adults alike, to communicate more effectively. 

Calcium Doesn’t Improve Bone Density, Analysis Finds “Calcium, eaten in foods or taken as supplements, has little or no effect on bone density or the risk of fracture in people over 50, according to two large reviews of studies in BMJ.” As I mentioned in Model Nutrition, perhaps calcium absorption, not consumption, is the issue.

Weight Gain Possibly Tied to Later Bedtimes “There may be a link between later bedtimes and weight gain, new research suggests….After controlling for age, sex, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status, the researchers found that each hour later bedtime during the school or workweek was associated with about a two-point increase in B.M.I.”

Ask Well: Reversing Diabetes Mainstream medicine is finally acknowledging that Type II diabetes is reversible. However, saying reversal requires “extreme measures” is downright misleading. They cite “bariatric surgery and extreme low-calorie diets” but conveniently neglect to mention the benefits of a whole foods plant based diet. The China Study (pp. 145-156) describes a study conducted by James D. Anderson, M.D. in which 24 out of 25 patients with Type II diabetes were able to stop taking their insulin altogether within weeks after switching from the American-style diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association to a high-fiber, low-fat, plant-based diet.

The Decline of ‘Big Soda’ "The drop in soda consumption represents the single largest change in the American diet in the last decade and is responsible for a substantial reduction in the number of daily calories consumed by the average American child. From 2004 to 2012, children consumed 79 fewer sugar-sweetened beverage calories a day, according to a large government survey, representing a 4 percent cut in calories over all. As total calorie intake has declined, obesity rates among school-age children appear to have leveled off."

Here’s why more sex, even on ‘off’ days, may up your chances of pregnancy "The sexually active women's immune systems were preparing in advance to the mere possibility of pregnancy."

Health Benefits of Tea? Here’s What the Evidence Says After reading this, I am more convinced than ever that plant foods, not tea, should be credited with the relative healthfulness in "countries with markedly different tea consumption from our own." Read The China Study. 

Chiropractic Care Grows, and Gains Acceptance “It’s mainstream because it works…it poses very little risk, and there are a lot of real advantages to it in this world of more and more medicine, and more and more opiate addiction.”

Dogs Hurting the Most Have a Special Place to Heal “'We owe these animals because we, as a society, as a species, have so horribly betrayed them and failed them...It’s our responsibility to make sure they live the life they were born to live.'” #truth

California: Number of Starving Birds Rises "The murres’ presence is significant to scientists because they are considered a marker species. That means their movements and numbers signal changes in the ocean’s food supply." Bycatch and ocean acidification should be on everyone's radar. 

Frogs Find Themselves in a Downward Spiral "A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that at least 3.1 percent of frog species have gone extinct, and another 6.9 percent may disappear within the next century." This is terrible news for fellow Kermit lovers. It's not easy being green. 

Stuff Happens to the Environment, Like Climate Change “The next eight years will be critical for the world’s climate and ecosystems, and if you vote for a climate skeptic for president, you’d better talk to your kids first, because you will have to answer to them later.”