Obesity Panacea 2018-11-13 07:00:48

Today’s post comes from PhD Candidate Emily Bremer.  More information on Emily can be found at the bottom of the post. The phenomenon Major League Baseball (MLB) batting titles are won more often by left handed hitters in comparison to those who bat right, suggesting a clear advantage to batting left in baseball. There are a number of possible explanations for this phenomenon including: being closer to first base after hitting the ball, and for…

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Formatting – but at what cost?

Journal formatting is something that researchers discuss surprisingly frequently.  Every journal has a different format, which requires that you format your text, tables, figures, and references in a very specific way.  Take for example Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (MSSE), a well regarded journal in my field.  The MSSE Instructions to Authors is 16 pages and 6,700 words long, which I would say is par for the course.  That level of detail means there are many…

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How fitness gurus use fake weights to showcase super-human strength and attract a following

Want to quickly gain a following on social media as a fitness expert? Time for some fake weights. For those unaccustomed to visiting the weight room, here’s a bit of background. Most straight barbells used for exercises such as squats, dead lifts, and bench press weigh a standard 45lbs (some smaller ones meant for bicep curls and the like can be 25lbs). On each side of the barbell one can add any combination of 2.5lb,…

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Do Instagram celebrities motivate you to become active?

A female in her early 20’s enters the gym in full make up, perfect hair, and a latex-thin outfit of pants and matching bra. An older woman, who looks to be her mother, follows closely behind. Both women are armed with their cellphones. Over the next hour, the younger woman proceeds to do a few repetitions of some very basic exercise (bench dips, anyone?), meanwhile the mother takes pictures and records videos. In between these…

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SBRN Membership Survey

Regular readers of Obesity Panacea will be well acquainted with the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network (SBRN).  As the name suggests it is a network of researchers and clinicians interested in the health impact of sedentary behaviour. Membership is free, and there are now 1,500+ SBRN members worldwide (Disclosure: I am a founding member, and actively involved in SBRN projects). The most recent large SBRN project was the Terminology Consensus Project, which developed consensus-based definitions of…

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Are sedentary kids less physically literate?

Physical literacy refers to the skills, motivation, and knowledge required to live an active lifestyle.  The idea is that kids who lack any of those things are less likely to be physically active.  This is an idea we’ve been talking about on Obesity Panacea for a long time. Physical literacy as a concept makes a lot of intuitive sense – if you can’t skate, you can’t participate in a wide range of ice-based activities.  If…

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Exercise as Effective as Medication for Treating Depression

During a recent medical conference, I learned the unfortunate statistic that physicians have the highest rates of suicide out of any profession, apparently having supplanted dentists. It was jarring to think that these professionals, often idolized in television dramas, and envied by the general population are often struggling with depression, anxiety, and mental and physical burnout. Although the medical profession may be associated with the highest levels of depression and suicide, mental health issues are…

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Break out the tin – it’s our 10 year anniversary

It is hard to believe, but as of this month Obesity Panacea is 10 years old.  There has been a lot of change in that time. When we began, Peter was a year into his PhD, and I was only halfway through my MSc.  At the time we were sharing a small office (and our lunches) at Queen’s University.  The past 10 years have seen several moves for both of us, and we’re now wellllllllll…

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Digital literacy does not mean schools should have kids use screens all the time

Screens are not good for kids’ physical or mental health.  To me, the research is pretty clear.  A systematic review led by Dr Val Carson in 2016 concluded that kids with higher levels of screen time (and especially TV time) were more likely to be overweight, have worse metabolic health, lower fitness, less self-esteem, and exhibit less pro-social behaviour.  There is also a wealth of research suggesting that screens in the classroom can impede learning, mostly…

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Vote for the 2018 Canadian People’s Choice Awards

Exciting news from the folks at the Canadian science blogging network Science Borealis – Obesity Panacea has been named a finalist for their 2018 People’s Choice Awards for Canada’s Favourite Science Blog. If you are so inclined, please feel free to go vote for  any of the deserving blogs at Science Borealis. Thanks to Science Borealis and the Science Writers and Communicators of Canada for promoting Canadian science communication.  

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