A vegan diet appears to lower the risk of prostate cancer. More than 26,000 men involved in the Adventist Health study in America were grouped according to their dietary pattern (non-vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian, lacto-ovo vegetarian, vegan). Those following a vegan diet were about 35 per cent less likely to develop the disease than other participants. Researchers think more fibre, soy, fruits and vegetables, and less saturated fat, animal protein and growth factors from dairy may be the reason.
A Canadian study asked a group of girls aged 7–10 years to sit for three hours and play on iPads or watch movies. Half the girls had to get up each hour and slowly pedal a stationary bike for 10 minutes. The other half had to remain seated throughout. Researchers found the relaxation of arteries was reduced by 33 per cent during inactivity. If these changes were sustained in adults the risk of cardiovascular disease would rise by 13 per cent.
There’s less chance of obesity if kids eat two breakfasts than if they don’t eat one at all. Almost 600 students attending schools with a free breakfast and lunch program were asked if they usually ate breakfast. Those who skipped breakfast were more than twice as likely to be overweight or obese as those who ate breakfast at home and then again when they got to school.
A new study at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, found that the standards used for calculating kilojoules burned while walking on flat ground have been too low for the past 50 years. A new equation has been developed that is at least twice as accurate.
Regular exercise may prolong life for those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The medical records of more than 2000 people in California who were hospitalised for COPD indicate that patients doing moderate or vigorous exercise are half as likely to die within the next 12 months as those who are inactive. And those doing minimal activity reduce their risk of death by 28 per cent.