Global spread of autoimmune disease blamed on western diet–The Guardian, January 9, 2022
Globally, autoimmune diseases (ranging from type 1 diabetes to rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis) are rising by between 3% to 9% a year, even in countries where they did not exist before. This seems to be correlated with the rate of adoption of western-style diets and specifically fast food, which lack crucial ingredients such as fiber. Such alterations, the science increasingly reveals, affect a person’s microbiome, which in turn triggers autoimmune diseases.
How gym culture went from punishing to meditative–The Cut, January 14, 2022
More than two years of pandemic—which shuttered gyms and fitness studios globally—have quaked the fitness world and created an entirely new landscape. This new mind-set increasingly prioritizes restorative, mindful movement over punitive, aggressive challenges. Fitness companies market themselves as tools for mental health. Top-tier exercise platforms—like Apple Fitness+ and Peloton—now foreground meditation classes. Market forecasters indicate that “holistic fitness”—an approach emphasizing recovery and mind-body practices like Pilates or yoga—is set to become a dominant force in the fitness sector. And there are signs that the most challenging workouts are losing their stronghold.
How health and fitness trackers are about to get a lot more granular–Wall Street Journal, January 12, 2022
Many people use devices to track their steps or heart rate. But that’s just the beginning, as smart tech/wearables are now heading in bold new directions: dental trackers that forecast cavities before they happen; apps that let you watch your glucose levels change in real time as you eat different foods or exercise; new in-home devices that analyze electromagnetic waves to track people’s breathing, heart rate, movement, and quality of sleep…even through walls
What if we just stopped being so available?–The Atlantic, January 14, 2022
Our ‘always-on’ culture has created a ‘spiral of expectations’: We must respond quasi-instantaneously to every call, email, text, or message on social media. This article argues that today’s norms of responsiveness are ridiculous and that we shouldn’t apologize for failing to meet them. It is based on a range of interviews with academics who provide their expert opinions on how to deal with this problem.
A Striking Stat
Roughly two-thirds of US children (aged 12-17) hospitalized with COVID-19 are obese.