Monthly Archives: March 2010

Ready, set, calculate your calories burned

Ever wonder how many calories you’re burning during exercise?  Or by performing household activities?

A handy guide in the Chicago Tribune will quickly calculate the energy you expend after entering your weight, activity and activity duration. Once on the Trib site, click on the highlighted area to bring up the calculator.

For example, if you’re 165 pounds and raking the yard for an hour, you burn 323 calories. If you’re 200 pounds and do an hour of light housecleaning, you burn 227.

And if you’re 250 pounds and watch an hour of TV, you burn 114. Provided you don’t eat a bag of chips, too.

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Employing nannies may send wrong message

Mothers who outsource the care of their sons to other women may be inadvertently raising adulterers. Or so claims Dr. Dennis Friedman in a book that has kicked up a bit of a ruckus in Britain, according to a story on Yahoo! News.

A Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Friedman argues that men become womanizers because their mothers left them with nannies.

According to Friedman, having two women care for a baby boy may cause his little brain to internalize the idea that there are multiple females to meet his needs.

“It introduces him to the concept of the other woman,” he said in London’s Daily Telegraph.

His book is named, “The Unsolicited Gift: Why We Do The Things We Do,” and it explores how a mother’s love for her offspring can determine how those children behave as adults. 

Girls are affected by nannies, too. Not having her mother around creates in the infant female a “vacuum of need,” said Friedman, which she might try to fill in later life with substance abuse or promiscuity, presumably with those married men in her social circle who were also raised by nannies.

Eating to beat the (metabolic) system

Here’s an idea that’s gaining traction in some circles – eating smaller, more frequent meals will stimulate the metabolism, keeping it going at a faster pace and thereby burning more calories.

According to a story in the New York Times, some studies have found modest health benefits to eating smaller meals, but often the research involved extremes, like comparing the effects of two or three large daily meals with those of a dozen or more snacks. Six meals, according to some weight-loss books and fad diets, is a more realistic approach.

But don’t count on it. As long as total caloric and nutrient intake stays the same, then metabolism, at the end of the day, should stay the same as well.

Playing the victim card

How do you explain people who repeatedly pursue a path that leads to pain and disappointment? Perhaps there is a hidden psychological reward, according to a story in the New York Times.

Psychiatrist Dr. Richard A. Friedman explores the puzzling world of self-defeating behavior, when people blame others for their misfortune and feel victimized by bad luck.

Friedman told of a woman in her early 60s who complained about her ungrateful children and neglectful friends. As she spoke, it was clear she felt that all the major figures in her life had done her wrong. In fact, her status as an injured party afforded her a psychological advantage: she felt morally superior to everyone she felt had mistreated her.

It was a role she had no intention of giving up.

Some aspects of health care bill go into effect immediately

Most of the major provisions in the health care legislation do not take effect for months, if not years.

Even some popular changes that were being touted as “immediate benefits,” such as allowing adult dependent children to remain on their parents’ insurance policies, do not actually take effect for six months, according to a story in the New York Times.

But once President Barack Obama signed the bill into law Tuesday,  some provisions took effect instantly.

For example, at the moment the bill becomes law, states will be required to maintain their existing Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program coverage based on policies currently in effect.

While states can expand their programs, they are not allowed to cut back on eligibility and are not allowed to put in place any paperwork requirements that would make it harder for people to sign up for coverage, according to Jocelyn A. Guyer, co-executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University.

Events to surround start of construction of new OMHS hospital

Owensboro Medical Health System has several events planned around the start of construction on its new hospital on Daniels Lane, which figures to take place within the next two weeks, depending on the weather and ground conditions.

On April 14, OMHS will hold a gathering at Meadow Lands Elementary School to acknowledge the construction kickoff on Daniels Lane. The Meadow Lands event will include OMHS representatives as well as the school’s staff and students, the project building team, elected officials and health officials, according to Gordon Wilkerson, the hospital’s spokesman.

Also at that time, OMHS will announce a community challenge for a walk-run competition leading up to its June 5 community event. On April 14, OMHS and Meadow Lands will recruit teams to log minutes walking or running between April 19 and May 30.

The June 5 community event at the new hospital site will be open to the public. Details of that day’s activities are still being worked out, but it will include a walk-run.

“The walk-run and training program is another way to improve the health of our community and promote health and wellness,” Wilkerson said. “In addition to providing medical care, the new hospital will be designed as a place people can utilize in other ways to improve their health.”

The new hospital is expected to cost $385 million for a nine-story core facility with 447 patient beds on a 160-acre site. Completion is slated for 2013.

Aimless internet surfing linked to depression

Though almost everyone uses the internet to conduct business, connect with people, pay bills or find information, the people who spend hours each day aimlessly surfing the net appear more likely to be depressed.

Psychologists at the University of Leeds in Britain evaluated the internet use and depression levels of 1,319 people ages 16 to 51. Of the group, 18 people were classified as internet-addicted, according to the Chicago Tribune. When the 18 people were compared with 18 similar people who were not internet-addicted, the researchers saw striking differences in depression.

The 18 non-addicted people were not depressed while the 18 internet-addicted people were classified, as a group, as moderately to severely depressed.

The addicted people tended to use the internet more for sexual gratification, gaming and chat rooms, compared with the non-addicts.

The authors of the paper, published in the journal Psychopathology, concluded that these people were replacing real-life socializing with internet surfing