Global Warming may Lead to Depletion in Fish Growth

It has been long suspected that global warming has contributed to rising temperatures. However, not very many scientists have really studied the impact that global warming will have on the ocean and its billions of inhabitants.

A team of ichthyologists from the Fisheries Centre at the University of British Columbia have published studies suggesting that drastic changes in oceanographic conditions could lead to the rapid depletion of fish populations.

The study surmised that if global warming continues at the current rate over the next 40 years, the marine environment could be altered to the extent that most fish species and water invertebrates will no longer be capable of maintaining the energy needed for sustainable growth.

The primary problem is the reduction of oxygen content in the ocean. Rising temperatures decreases the water’s ability to hold onto oxygen. Oxygen is critical for a fish’s metabolic and respiratory functions. Less oxygen also impairs a fish’s behavioral and biochemical processes and impedes its ability to swim and even to lay eggs.

Aside from a decrease in population, the size and weight of fish may also gradually begin to decrease by up to 10 percent within the next 40 years. Scientists project that tropical areas and particularly the Indian Ocean will suffer the gravest consequences. Additional factors such as pollution and overfishing can further exacerbate the problem.

Global Warming continues to be a heated debate. Skeptics claim it is a myth caused by hysteria and the liberal media and has no scientific basis. Believer, on the other hand, have cautioned that climate change is directly responsible for severe droughts and variations in weather patterns.

If global warming is as serious as some scientists contend it is, then our scaly friends in the ocean will suffer the dire consequences just as much as we will.

Video Games can have a Healthy Impact on Children

Some parents have told their children millions of times that video games will rot their brain. Like watching television or spending hours online, video games have often been linked to weight gain and obesity. While these activities don’t cause an unhealthy lifestyle directly, those who spend more time doing these things tend to spend lesser time exercising or on activities that involve physical movement.

Parents have often been urged to limit their children’s time behind a television screen. However, new research suggests that allowing your children to spend more time playing video games may not actually be a bad thing after all. Video games may actually help to increase the amount of energy your child expends daily.

By video games, the study is referring to games like the Wii, which requires the player to get off the couch and mimic movements on the screen. Children who engage in active video games increase their heart rate and oxygen intake.

The study consisted of 18 children who either played an active video game or a normal one that used a traditional controller with a directional pad and buttons. Those who played the active video games increased their energy expenditure by as high as 263 percent and burned nearly twice as many calories as those who played the traditional games.

While it is unlikely that these types of video games alone is enough to meet a child’s recommended daily physical activity, it can certainly contribute to a child’s physical activity levels in the short run. This is certainly positive news given the fact that obesity among children has skyrocketed within the last three decades. About one-third of children and teens in the U.S. are now classified as overweight or obese.

While playing the Wii may qualify as exercise, children should still be encouraged to get exercise outdoors. Health experts recommend that an hour or so of moderate exercise is ideal for young children and teens.

Being Overweight may not be as Harmful to Your Health as Previously Thought

Obesity has long been associated with heart disease and scores of other health maladies. However, a study is beginning to challenge this idea. A researcher has discovered that people of normal weight who develop type 2 diabetes are in fact twice as more likely to die from the disease than diabetics who are overweight.

The study
was done by Mercedes Carnethon who does research for diabetes at Feinberg School of Medicine. Her discovery is being called the obesity paradox. In further twists, multiple studies have shown that those who develop chronic diseases who are also overweight or obese tend to live longer than those who are within their recommended weight range. Separate studies have shown similar results for patients with dialysis and coronary disease; those who were overweight fared better and had an overall lower mortality rate than their normal weight counterparts.

Researchers are scrambling to find an explanation. One theory is that once a disease develops, the body will begin to use more energy and calorie reserves, which overweight people have more of stored in their body. Once those reserves are expended, the person will become malnourished.

Other researchers suspect genetics as the culprit. It is believed that thin people who develop health problems have gene variants that make them more vulnerable to the harmful effects of the illness.

Another study in 2005 showed that those who face the biggest risk of premature death were from the extreme ends of the weight spectrum: those who were either extremely obese or underweight. Those in the overweight category, however, had the lowest mortality rate of all, while those in the moderately obese category were no more at risk than those in the normal weight category.

The findings are truly puzzling and may completely change the way we think about weight and its association with disease and early death. Perhaps having those love handles may not be as bad after all.

Coconut Water may not be Worth the Hype as Previously Thought

Every now and then, a certain type of food makes headlines after research suggests that it is rich in antioxidants and contains nutrients that can fight off disease and premature aging. Some of these foods include pink salmon, wild berries, dark chocolate and flax seeds. For the most part, most of these foods are well deserving of its reputation. However, once in a while, some foods and supplements also make it on the list that could probably benefit from a little more research before it earns a spot among the list of wonder foods.

Coconut water is one beverage that is being touted for its health benefits though some experts are beginning to suspect that most of the claims by manufacturers are mostly fluff and hype. Most brands of coconut water are derived from the liquid in ripe green coconuts. To enhance the flavor, sugar and additional ingredients have been added in some brands.

Coconuts contain a high amount of potassium, so coconut water found on store shelves do actually contain some nutritional benefits. The problem is whether the benefits warrant the high cost. A 14 ounce bottle of the beverage from a popular brand can run as high as $3.50. You have to wonder whether such a beverage is worth that price when other foods like bananas and potatoes contain just as much potassium and are also much cheaper.

At an annual meeting held by the American Chemical Society, researchers submitted findings that showed that coconuts also contain electrolytes, which makes it a useful pre and post workout beverage. It is also a low glycemic food, which means it will not cause your blood sugar to spike.

Coconut is a legitimate health food; as long as you choose a brand of coconut water that is sugar-free and have no issue with the high price tag, then it is something that you can definitely benefit from. Just keep in mind that the nutritional content found in coconuts can also be easily found in most other foods at a much lower cost.

Study Shows that Organic Foods are No More Nutritious than Non-Organic Foods

Organic food has often been touted as being superior to conventional foods, which have been extensively modified through the spray of pesticides and being genetically modified in laboratories. Despite costing more, more people are beginning to spend more on organic produce, dairy and meat for their perceived superior health benefits. However, those perceptions are now being challenged after a study concluded that organic food is no more nutritious than normal foods.

The study was conducted at Stanford University where the nutritional content of organic fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat and nuts were tested and compared with their conventional counterparts. The results showed that in terms of nutritional content, the organic foods were no better than the normal ones.

Does this mean that consumers are throwing their money away by buying organic? Not quite; while organic and conventional foods may be equal in terms of vitamins and nutrition, organic options are free of fertilizers and synthetic pesticides as well as artificial hormones and antibiotics. Organic farms are also required by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to allow their livestock to graze freely in pastures instead of keeping them cooped up in cramped cages and stables.

The study did, however, conclude that most organic foods do have a slightly higher concentration of phosphorus. Organic chicken and milk also had slightly higher amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. Furthermore, conventional produce and fruits did show higher traces of residue from pesticides. In addition, organic meat and poultry were less likely to contain traces of bacteria that were resistant to antibiotics.

The verdict is still out there on the validity of organic foods and whether it is really worth the extra cost. That is something the consumers have to decide for themselves. The study, however, does give shoppers something to think about when they make their next trip to the grocery store.

Airline Company Designs Compostable Food Boxes

Everything from cereal boxes to egg cartons should be disposed of in the recycle bin rather than being dumped in the garbage. A little recycling can really go a long way in helping the environment. Aside from individuals, some companies are also striving to make their products more sustainable. A Swedish Airline company is now going a step further in making their food boxes compostable.

Malmo Aviation is an airline agency based in Sweden. It has recently released a new form of food boxes that are made from a special type of paperboard that is not only compostable but also saves space and helps extends the shelf life of the food it holds.

The paper is made from a material called Invercote, which was designed by Malmo Aviation along with the catering company Pcknick and Omikron. Invercote is designed to keep the food inside it fresh and prevent the contents from fogging. It is made from bioplastic, which means that it also can be thrown into the compost heap along with other scraps of food. This makes it far more efficient than the standard food box container.

Aside from being environmentally friendly, they are also smaller in size and weight. This makes them easier to handle, load and serve to passengers during a flight. Tony Noren, who is the CEO of Omikron, commented that the new food boxes can reduce the need for storage space by half in airliners. In addition, the food will also retain its freshness longer and is less impactful on the environment.

With Invercote boxes, the packaging is just as biodegradable as the food itself. This means that it can be used for composting with the material being returned to the source from which it was derived from. This way, nothing is gone to waste and everything is reused and returned to the environment.

Eating Eggs as Bad for Your Health as Smoking?

Whether you enjoy them scrambled, hard boiled or sunny side up, eggs are enjoyed by people all over the world. In addition, they are also a good protein source for vegetarians. Eggs are normally vilified for its high cholesterol content though there is some debate whether the cholesterol in eggs really contributes to bad cholesterol in your body. The health implications of eating eggs are being questioned once again as a new study suggests that too much eggs for breakfast can actually be as detrimental to your health as smoking.

The study consisted of over 1,200 participants who were questioned about the amount of eggs they consumed per week. On Average, those who ate two or more showed slightly higher levels of plaque building up around their arteries, a problem that is exhibited by those who regularly light up. Through this study, some would conclude that egg consumption contributes to the hardening of the arteries.

Does this mean eggs should be eliminated from your diet? Not necessarily, according to Alan Aragon, M.S., a nutrition consultant for Men’s Health magazine. He cites that previous research have showed no correlation between egg consumption and heart disease. Aragon also points out that the study was an observational one, which shows that while egg yolk may have some sort of association with plaque formation, it does not mean that they cause plaque in the arteries.

This is sure to be a sigh of relief for egg lovers. In fact, if you love eggs, then you may also be pleased to learn that other studies have shown that eggs may actually contribute to the increase of HDL, which is often referred to as the “good” cholesterol in your body. If you normally crack an egg into the frying pan every morning, then it looks like there is no need for you to stop.

Lance Armstrong Relinquishes Titles Amid Doping Allegations

It has happened so often that every time an athlete blows away the competition, you just can’t help but wonder whether he or she resorted to any form of illegal substance to gain an unfair advantage. Doping allegations have plagued so many star athletes that it is hardly ever a surprise anymore. It certainly wasn’t much of a surprise when Lance Armstrong was hit with the allegations.

After extensive investigations by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and Armstrong fervently maintaining his innocence, the Tour de France bicyclist has finally relented and announced that he will no longer be fighting the allegations.

By giving up the legal battle, Armstrong will be required to relinquish his Tour de France titles, all seven of them. He will also have to give up his bronze medal, which he earned at the 2000 Olympics. On top of that, he will be banned from competition for life.

Armstrong took home seven Tour de France titles, which he won from 1999 to 2005. However, his victories came under heavy scrutiny after fellow cyclists spread stories of doping and steroid use of which they claim Armstrong was a part of. One of his accusers was none other than one of his former teammates, Floyd Landis, who was himself stripped of a title.

Armstrong continues to maintain his innocence and says that he is giving up on the case because of the toll it has taken on his family and on his work for the cancer foundation he is running. He also took a swipe at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and slammed it for not taking into consideration the many drug tests he submitted and passed with flying colors.

Armstrong was not only a celebrated athlete, but also an inspirational hero to some. He emerged as a champion cyclist despite battling life threatening cancer. His inspirational life story will now be forever marred by the allegations of doping.

Olympic Shot Putter Stripped of Gold Medal in Light of Positive Drug Test

There is a reason anabolic steroids are banned in the Olympic games as well as in all other areas of professional sports. Steroids give the athlete an unfair advantage over other players who are trying to compete completely based on their own natural ability. Furthermore, steroids, if used too often, can have dangerous side effects and cause irreversible damage to the organs.

Just hours after the 2012 Olympics came to a close in London, the International Olympic Committee has already taken measures to weed out the athletes who have tested positive for illegal substances found in their bloodstream.

Nadzeya Ostapchuck, a female shot putter from Belarus, was one of the first to be tested with the results returning positive. Ostapchuck put on an impressive performance at the games and took home the gold medal. However, the revelation of her doping will cost her dearly. The IOC has already announced that Ostapchuck will be stripped of her medal. This means that Valerie Adams of New Zealand now be the official gold medalist winner.

Being stripped of her gold medal is only one of Ostapchuck’s many concerns. The IOC Disciplinary Commission has also decided to revoke her accreditation card and Olympic identity. She will also be required to return her diploma and medalist pin. This is all only the tip of the iceberg; in the coming days, Ostapchuck may face further sanctions.

For Ostapchuck, this was her third Olympic appearance. She came in fourth in 2004 and took the bronze at the Beijing games in 2008. With her testing positive, it may not be such a surprise if she does not return for a fourth time for the games in Rio De Janeiro in 2016.

The IOC is sending a clear message to all the athletes; even though the drug tests may take weeks, anyone using any form of banned substances will be caught and exposed as a cheater.

Telling Lies can be Detrimental to Your Health

It has been drilled into our heads over and over that for optimal health, you should exercise daily and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. A new research now suggests that you can improve your health even further by telling less lies.

Whether it is a big lie or a little white lie, everyone lies from time to time. However, the accumulation of all those lies may have a negative impact on your health, a study finds.

The research was done at Notre Dame University and consisted of 110 participants, half of which were instructed to refrain from lying as much as possible for a period of 10 weeks. The other half were given no such instruction. The findings showed that the no-lie group exhibited fewer instances of anxiety, tension, sore throats and headaches.

Previous research shows that people on average tell about 11 lies per week. This can range from little white lies and minor embellishments to much more serious lies like filing a false complaint or infidelity.

What’s more, the Notre Dame study also showed that those who lied less also reported an improvement in their personal relationships with their spouse, children, friends and coworkers.

All the participants were between the ages of 18 and 71 and were from various ethnicities and income levels. At the end of each week, each subject would report the number of lies they told and the severity of each one. Those in the no-lie group also reported having to devise clever ways to get around lying, such as avoiding questions or answering a question with a question of their own.

There appears to be a lot of internal guilt associated with lying, which can eat you up inside. While no one is expected to be truthful 100 percent of the time, it appears that being honest as much as possible can lead to a more stress-free life.