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Extra weight may be a plus for older adults

The term “overweight” is generally thought of in an unhealthy light, but new research reveals that may not be the case for older adults. The study looked at the risk of death among older adults relative to their BMIs. It found the lowest mortality risk among those with a BMI around 27.5, which is considered overweight. By contrast, those with a weight considered normal with a BMI between 20 and 23 were more likely to die. The research showed that 23 to 33 appears to be the best range when it comes to reducing risk of death. This conflicts with the recommended BMI of 18.5 to 25.


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Acupuncture treatment for seasonal allergies

While acupuncture can’t cure your allergies, it can restore your body’s strength and make it less likely to react to triggers. When acupuncture is used in partnership with herbs, foods, and lifestyle changes, it can provide relief from allergies rather than suppression of the symptoms, which is how Western medicine treats them. The Western approach looks at the triggers, such as pollen, and aims to treat the body’s reaction to them. However, Chinese medicine looks at one of the root causes of allergies- a decrease in the functioning of the immune system, largely due to the way we live today.


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Exercise can support your diet habits

Think of everything involved in making decisions about food. You have to not only control your impulsive behavior, but also draw information from memory and practice adaptability with your healthy eating guidelines. All of these factors pertain to the brain. When you exercise, you’re supporting brain health and enhancing those connections. It wards off cognitive fatigue so you can think and plan your meals much easier. It also combats stress and anxiety so you can avoid emotional eating. 


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Your genes control the impact of fried food

If your genes predispose you to obesity, they may also make you more susceptible to the effects of fried food. A recent study found those with the genetic predisposition for obesity saw up to double the effects of fried food on their BMIs as those with a lower genetic predisposition. The researchers believe genes play a role in contributing to weight gain for those who consume fried foods, but they also suspect the fried food has an effect on the genes. Fried foods may modify the genes that influence obesity. More data is needed to bolster the results, but the study opens the door for future research. 


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Muscle mass tied to increased lifespan

Having more muscle may decrease your risk of dying, according to a new study that analyzed data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between 1988 and 1994. Researchers took information on total muscle mass gathered between these years and compared it to a follow-up in 2004 that looked at how many participants had died. They found that those with the highest muscle mass were least likely to have passed away. This shows an association between muscle and death, not cause and effect. However, it does suggest that body composition is more accurate for determining overall health than just BMI, which measures height and weight.


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