In a whopper of counterintuitive research, and another reason to look askance at that supposed wonder of modern food science olestra (Olean), a study published by the American Psychological Association shows that synthetic fat substitutes used in low-calorie potato chips can backfire and contribute to weight gain more so than their fatty counterparts. How do we know? Researchers at Purdue fed Pringles to lab rats. Yes, the mathematically perfect, Einstein-inspired Pringles. Here’s how it worked: Read More »
So, yesterday I wrote about the handful of studies that have been done showing that large sporting events do not lead to higher rates of hospital visits, or for that matter, deaths or public violence. The latest study comes from Canada, and showed that during the 2010 Olympic gold medal ice hockey match between the U.S. and Canada, that emergency room visits declined by 17 percent in Canada. I thought it was a pretty good indication of how much Canadians love ice hockey, and also of the tranquility with which they seem to consume it. I imagined an entire country transfixed by the game on their TV sets, peacefully watching their countrymen beat the world in their most-beloved sport.
But then I saw this: “Vancouver Fans Riot After Stanley Cup Loss” And read this:
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Rioting hockey fans clashed with police officers, set vehicles ablaze, smashed windows and looted stores and set several fires in downtown areas here on Wednesday night moments after the Vancouver Canucks lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals to the Boston Bruins.
Local hospitals reported eight people treated for stab wounds, according to Alyssa Polinsky, a spokeswoman for Vancouver Coastal Health, the regional hospital authority.
Sports fans are nuts, right? Prone to erratic, irrational behavior when their team is playing. You’d think that during the Big Game, violent behavior would spike, and maybe lead to higher rates of emergency room visits and even deaths? Not true. A number of studies show that big sporting events do not increase the number of patients admitted to emergency rooms, and in some cases, hospital visits and even heart attack rates have been shown to decrease during a major sporting event. Unless, of course, your team is losing.
The latest study in this vein, published this week in the Journal of Open Medicine, comes from Canada, where researchers examined emergency room visits during the 2010 Olympic gold medal ice hockey game between the U.S. and Canada. The game ended in a 3-2 overtime win by Canada and was seen by roughly half the country, some 16.6 million people, making it the most popular TV broadcast in Canadian history. The study found that the rate of total emergency room visits during the game decreased by 17 percent, compared with corresponding hours for 6 control days.
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This effect extended throughout Canada’s largest province, amounted to a decrease of about 136 fewer patients per hour, appeared accentuated for adult men living in rural locations, and was most evident for those with milder triage severity scores presenting with abdominal pain, musculoskeletal disorders, or traumatic injuries.
A new study finds that unemployment “increases the risk of premature mortality by 63 percent.” Eran Shor, one of the study’s authors, believes there’s a causal relationship: “In past research on the topic, Shor said it was hard to distinguish whether pre-existing health conditions, such as diabetes or heart problems, or behaviors such as smoking, drinking or drug use, lead to both unemployment and a greater risk of death. In the new study, controls were included to account for those factors.” Read More »
New research by an FDA economist shows that overweight adolescents who are surrounded by overweight family and friends, don’t consider themselves to be overweight. Read More »
What happens to eating habits in the face of unemployment? Nothing good, according to a new working paper by Dhaval M. Dave and Inas Rashad Kelly. Read More »
Is it likely that we’ll follow the perfectly rational incentives designed by benevolent governmental guardians to reduce obesity? Fat chance. Read More »
Vitamin D: should we take less or triple that intake? Whatever you do, don’t just read this headline and run with it. Read More »