Jim Byard's Health Beat
Health Watch Stories 1 to 6 of 385  
Health Benefits From A Hug
Today marks a "National Hugging Day". January 21st has been deem a day to hug to "Hug it Out" and while it may seem corny, your body actually benefits from a simple outburst of emotion. Doctor Joe Rock with the Cleveland Clinic says studies have shown a hug can be healthy. Doctor Rock says hugging has  a therapeutic effect on people. Researchers say people who experience high levels of social support and get hugged often have a decreased risk of getting sick when stressed. They also found it can lower the output of the stress hormone cortisol and cause a surge of "feel good" brain chemicals. 
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More Evidence Against Keeping Electronics in Kids' Bedrooms
Children who sleep with a television and other small-screened devices in their bedrooms end up sleeping less. A new study by the University of California found that children who slept near TV's and other electronic devices such as phones -- reported sleeping about 21 fewer minutes per night than those who didn't.  Kids who slept near small screens also reported feeling as if they didn't  get enough sleep. Watching television and playing video games where also tied to worse sleep.
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Study Links High-Fiber Diet To Lower Death Rate
Eating more fiber can lower your chances of dying from chronic disease. Researchers in China say their study of nearly a million of people found those who ate the most fiber were 16 percent less likely to die than those who consumed the least. Scientist credit fiber's potential to lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes and certain kinds of cancer. The study results appear in the "American Journal of Epidemiology". 
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No Exercise Twice As Deadly As Obesity, Study Finds
People who don't exercise are twice as likely to die as people who are obese. Cambridge University researchers studied more than a third of a million people over 12 years and found that exercising is more important than body weight for longevity. Researchers estimate that fewer than 350-thousand of more than nine-million deaths of European men and women each year are tied to obesity, but nearly 700-thousand deaths can be attributed to lack of exercise.  Researchers found that even small amounts of exercise, such as a 20-min walk every day, can reduce the risk of early death. The study is published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition".
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FDA Approves Implantable Weight Loss Device To Treat Obesity
A pacemaker-like device to curve hunger pangs could be available to severely obese patients in about five years. The implant called the Maestro has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration and will be tested further. The device works by sending electrical signals to nerves around the stomach to help the person feel full. Researchers found people with a Maestro implant lost close to an average nine-percent more weight after a year than others who got a fake implant. About half of the Maestro patients lost at least 30 percent of their excess weight with the device. The latest figures from the CDC  show more than a third of all U.S. adults are considered obese. Those people have a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and some cancer.  
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Optimism Good For The Heart
A new study finds that being optimistic is good for your heart. Researchers with the University of Illinois found that people that are optimistic scored much higher than pessimistic people on seven American Heart Association measurements for heart health. Fifty-percent had a greater chance of having an intermediate heart health score, and a 75-percent higher chance than pessimistic people scoring in the Heart Association's "ideal" range.  
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