Please don’t use screens for classroom management

As I mentioned in a recent post, I have a lot of conversations with teachers and parents about screen use.  My wife is an elementary school teacher, so we have a lot of these conversations around the dinner table as well. One practice that comes up a lot is that screens are used frequently to help with classroom management.  This can be done in a few different ways – by showing videos at lunch time,…

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Here’s why you crave tomato juice on a plane

I’m writing this seated on a plane heading to San Francisco. We’ve been in the air for under an hour, and the drink cart is just starting to make its way down the aisle. As the cart rolls nearer I’m forced to decide what drink I’ll be having. Since the cups are minuscule, and the liquid is largely displaced by ice cubes if one’s not quick enough to add “no ice, please” to the order,…

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Should kids be required to do their homework on a computer?

Given the focus of my research, I have a lot of conversations with teachers and parents about screen use, and its impact of kids’ health.  We talk about the variety of reasons why screens are bad for kids – negatively impacting sleep, increasing food intake, etc.  And they inevitably ask whether computer-based school work is “better” than other forms of screen use.  As far as I can tell, there is no reason why educational screen use…

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Is the falling popularity of smoking contributing to increasing obesity prevalence?

This summer, my wife and I visited the country of my birth, Poland. Two things I always notice when visiting Europe (that differ from North America) are how many people smoke, but how few are overweight or obese. This was again true in Poland, despite that country’s preference for big portions, dessert with every meal, and lots of simple carbohydrates. Although I was aware of this association for years, I wanted to see what the…

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This year, give the gift of less screen time

You have many options for screen-based Christmas presents.  I strongly suggest that you ignore them.  Instead, buy your kids (or spouse) a device that will limit their screen time. I go on and on (and on) about screens, especially with respect to kids.  The evidence suggests that they are pretty bad for kids’ physical and mental health.  But the important question is what can parents do to help their kids reduce their screen time?  Setting consistent…

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Why you should eat exotic foods

When it comes to food, I’ll try anything at least once. As I documented before, I’ve dined on tarantula, frog, crickets, snake, raw clams, red ants, and durian fruit – and that was just on a single trip through Asia! When back on home turf, I enjoy oysters, sashimi, tripe soup, beef and salmon tartare, foie gras, and other acquired tastes. For the record, I wasn’t always this adventurous with food; as a kid, I consumed…

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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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