At Cranky Fitness, we generally prefer scientific studies over most other sources of health information. (Not that we don't appreciate late-night infomercials about the need to detoxify our feet, or suggestions from Annoying Bad Breath Neighbor Guy. (Leeches for migraines? Really?)
We especially love it when science tells us that our good healthy habits are paying off. Want to feel cheerful? There's a great round-up over at Mark's Daily Apple about the ways in which exercise and nutritious food choices are good for your brain.
However, while we believe in science, we have our issues with lots of research that goes on. So, we often bitch about these studies. Sometimes we even make up our own!
But mostly, if a study looks lame or it says something we don't want to hear, we just don't cover it. We're one small health blog in a huge blogosphere; we figure you can get your flawed conclusions or your bad news somewhere else.
Today though, for a change of pace, let's take a look at some recent studies and articles I was going to blow off because I didn't like what they said. But hey, changed my mind: they give me something to whine about!
More Things That Are Dirtier Than Your Toilet
The list of things that are dirtier than your toilet keeps growing. We've been told steering wheels, cell phones, and drinking fountains are all more germy and contaminated than toilets. And now, courtesy of Healthbolt comes a study scaring us with alarming news about how contaminated and dangerous and gross our kitchen sinks and sponges are. An environmental microbiology professor even said that according to his findings, "your post-flush toilet bowl is indeed cleaner than your kitchen sink."
But come on: you don't poop in your kitchen sink!
I don't care what the studies say, I refuse to believe that a cell phone or a kitchen sink is nastier than the toilet. If these benign-looking things I touch every day were really such a threat, why am I not good and dead now?
(And perhaps it was just a coincidence that the kitchen sink study was sponsored by Lysol?)
Thing You're Healthy? Weird Signs That You're at Risk
Prevention magazine recently published a compilation of several studies I'd been ignoring individually. The findings are intriguing, but depressing. A quick summary:
- A weak sense of smell (if you are older) suggests you're at 5 times the risk of getting Parkinsons.
- Women who have index fingers shorter than their ring fingers are more likely to get knee osteoarthritis. (They're also more likely to be gay).
- Women taller than 5' 2" are less likely to have a longevity gene that aids in reaching one's 100th birthday.
- Short women were more prone to having elevated enzymes indicative of liver disease.
- Women with short arms were more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.
When Doctors are Not Nice
We already know that doctors sometimes lie about giving you a placebo, or they make up insulting nicknames; but a new study also says doctors (or, in this case, medical residents) have also been known to laugh at you behind your back. A full seventeen percent confessed to having laughed at a patient. (More on this at Vitamin G).
Gosh, next we'll find out that bank tellers sometimes laugh at their customers and cops sometimes laugh at crooks and ministers laugh at members of their congregations. You're not allowed to laugh, ever, at the nutty people you deal with in your job even when they're not there?
As long as the people I deal with are not laughing at me to my face, I'm cool.
It Doesn't Pay To Think Too Hard
Mary Anne in Kentucky sent me a link to this depressing study about eating and thinking a while ago, but then I procrastinated and Healthbolt beat me to it. Basically, it says that doing challenging mental tasks leads to greater calorie consumption than if you were just sitting around vegging out. And no, thinking hard doesn't burn any extra calories, even though it sure feels like it should.
Doesn't that suck? Let's all get off the internet and find something less fattening to do, shall we?
Worship Celebrities, It's Good For Your Health!
I confess: I couldn't even make myself read this Time Magazine article on the mental health benefits of celebrity worship.
Enough. Someone else will just have to report back on how this could possibly be true. I have my limits!