Today we review three recent stories from the NYT times on food, movement, and sleep – read them online for free while you still can…
1) Food. Mark Bittman writes about six things that we can feel good about with regard to the changing landscape of food. They include: greater political organization and power around food issues; changing practices among large food retailers (Wal-mart and McDonalds); the growth of farmers markets, food co-ops, and CSAs; an increase in community gardens and urban agriculture; the increased number of small farms (particularly farms being started by younger folks); and the efforts to improve the quality of school lunches.
2) Movement. Gretchen Reynolds describes a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in which exercise (running) appears to have extended the lives and improved the health of mice that carry a (mitochondrial) mutation that results in accelerated aging. In this study, mice who were genetically prediposed to age faster than normal mice and who were forced to run for 45 min three times a week lived longer and exhibited better signs of health as compared to similar mice who were not forced to run. This study suggests several biological mechanisms by which exercise might help slow the aging process.
3) Sleep. Paula Span describes a paper published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in which providing a group of 79 senior citizens who had insomnia with four simple rules for sleep significantly improved their sleep patterns. So, what were the four rules? 1) reduce the time spent in bed (to your sleep time + 30 min, but not less than six hours); 2) get up at the same time every day; 3) do not go to bed unless you are sleepy; and 4) do not stay in bed if you cannot fall asleep.
Have a great weekend folks.