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Speak Up: How Do You Handle New Health Studies?

Each day new research comes out on health topics that are negating or proving something else that you've heard. Take for example, the latest news that having a big booty may protect against diabetes. But I thought having too much fat was a risk factor of type 2 diabetes? Should I just stick to side-bends and sit-ups? And should I, or shouldn't I, drink eight glasses of water a day? It's all very confusing.

I am curious how you guys handle all the new health studies and research that we hear about daily on the news? Do you ignore it completely or do you change what you do frequently with each new study? Perhaps you're a little more levelheaded and take it all with a grain of salt. So speak up and share how you handle health news. I am sure many of us are feeling confused and it would be nice to see we're not alone.


Join The Conversation
tlsgirl tlsgirl 9 years
I've started ignoring them, or only sort of paying attention. They get so frustrating. Should I take Echinacea, or not? Should I drink a lot of water, or limit my intake? Whatever - I do what's worked for me in the past. P.S. Fit - loved that you used a Sir Mix A Lot line in there :)
julibul julibul 9 years
Ehh, when they're phrased like "big booty protects against diabetes" know that's misleading. It's that if you accumulate fat in your booty rather than your abdomen, you have less of a chance of getting diabetes. A big booty doesn't PROTECT against diabetes!
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
I ignore them or else I'm extremely skeptical.
pwrloon pwrloon 9 years
I do my best to listen to my body and ignore the "scientific community".
pamlarouge pamlarouge 9 years
My family has a medical background and being healthy is a bit of hobby for us so we often spend time hashing out the truth of such articles based on our own knowledge and experience. My rule of thumb is to follow the moderation rule-if you don't overdo anything, you'll probably be ok (within reason of course). I also look to my body for pointers on what I should and shouldn't do. When I eat meat, it makes me feel like crap-so I try not to eat meat. Pretty cut and dry. If I don't drink about 65 ounces of water a day for a few days, I start to show signs of dehydration. In the same vein, despite all negative and positive research concerning caffeine, I still have one small cup of coffee(no milk, sweetened with natural cane sugar!)every day-why? Because I LIKE it, science be damned. We all have to experiment with our own bodies and find our right balance-everyone's chemistry is different, so what could be a risk for one, is benign for another and vice versa.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 9 years
I go by my own research; How happy I am and how I feel. If either is off then I take action. I know my body better than anyone else does, regardless of what a "study" supposedly proves.
moonlite moonlite 9 years
Unless they're huge and there's an entire book about them (example: The China Study), I just ignore them. I am vegan and know the basic principles of eating a healthy plant-based diet. I don't need to measure every little milligram of iron that goes into my body, or count the number of glasses of water I drink, etc. I just listen to my body and make good choices. It's not that hard.
Sarah10563 Sarah10563 9 years
Eat a healthy and balanced diet with foods as close to the natural source as possible. Exercise, cardio and strength training. Take part in activities that bring happiness into your life, and the rest is genetics.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
Being a scientist and having designed studies myself, I always look at a few things when a new study comes out: -How many subjects were tested? Were they all the same gender? Age range? Race? Was the study done in humans or on animals? A good study should have a very large sample size and any variables that can be minimized should be. Any study that hasn't been done on a human population I pretty much ignore because animals have different physiology than people do. Just because a mouse's body behaves a certain way doesn't mean mine does. -I always look at the numbers...if a study says having 25 lbs extra fat on your body increases the chance of diabetes by 2%, that's not a very strong statistic. If the study says the chance of diabetes goes up 50%, I'll look at it a little closer. -How often was the experiment performed? Reproducibility is a key factor...if they only tested one or two different groups, how can you be sure that the data is reliable? -What's the placebo factor? A good study will include a placebo group. If the difference between the placebo group and the test group is small, I have a difficult time believing the study. Say 5% of drug takers reported insomnia as a side effect, but 3% of the placebo takers reported it as a side effect as well...I would take that with a grain of salt. Bottom line, I just keep eating healthy and working out and living healthy. That's the best you can do most of the time.
Kyko Kyko 9 years
I took that study in a whole different way! I figured they meant more of WHERE you store the fat protects against diabetes. We KNOW that abdominal fat storage is a bad sign - so if it tends to go to your butt, it's a better deal. It doesn't mean that you SHOULD get a fat butt, and I know that I COULDN'T if I tried - mine goes to my tummy - it just means that if you're one of those lucky folks who only gain in their butt/thighs, you're better off. Same old. And I pay attention to studies, but I take them with a grain of salt.
princessjaslew princessjaslew 9 years
i think that whenever you read about these studies, you need to read and see if they say it is a cause or if its associated. these small differences make a huge difference in interpretation.
emalove emalove 9 years
Take them with a grain of should't suddenly change your entire way of life just because of a study you read. I know some of them are credible, and I do read and learn from some of them. But overall, there's just too many of them popping up everyday. And some of them just sound ludicrous too.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 9 years
I agree with the general opinion already stated. I just continue to eat healthy and exercise.
lelalela lelalela 9 years
i agree with aimeeb - it is sooo frustrating! honestly, i read it and then keep it in the back of my mind but dont always trust it. however, if Dr. Oz tells me to do something based on a study i do it! i guess he has become my unofficial family doctor/expert.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
One study will say one thing then another will come out going completely against it. I just try to eat healthy and all that...
in_a_dream_land in_a_dream_land 9 years
Honestly I don't pay them no mind.I just eat right and work-out
HappyKate HappyKate 9 years
I pretty much just ignore them, honestly most of the time I don't even finish reading the article. I drink water CONSTANTLY and thats because I am thirsty and thats all I know!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I take them with a grain of salt, use common sense and to be honest ignore them for the most part.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
I ignore them
kia kia 9 years
I have a biology background and if a "new finding" interests me enough I'll seek the journal article to go over the methodology and strength of the statistical analysis to figure out how much trust I put in the finding. A lot of studies are short-term, have a limited sample size, or have very few factors to make something conclusive. Some are relevant and interesting, and I enjoy reading those publications.
MindayH MindayH 9 years
I use them as a reminder to keep up with my healthy habits (for example, drinking green tea) that I tend to slip up on when I get lazy. I am pretty confident that if I exercise regularly and eat natural foods, I will maintain pretty good health - but reading about what reasearch studies are showing help keep me on the healthy track and remind me why I make those choices.
mondaymoos mondaymoos 9 years
I agree, Lovely_1. I drink when I'm thirsty, and just try to incorporate as many fresh veggies/fruits and lean meats in my diet as possible. I can't keep up with all these scientific studies.
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Honestly, I just ignore them all and just continue to eat healthly and excerise. My body tells me what I need, and I try to listen to it as best as I can.
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