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5 Quick Health Facts for the Body

1. Skipping Breakfast Won’t Help You Lose Weight.

A health study from the University of Bath in the U.K. compared two groups of obese subjects over six weeks – one group ate every morning and the other fasted until noon. The fasting group tended to take in more food later in the day, meaning that both groups got about the same amount of calories overall. Neither group lost weight, but those who ate breakfast were more active in the the morning and could control their blood-sugar levels better.

2. Wearable Health Devices are Not Solutions.

Smartwatches, bands and other consumer gadgets that track health indicators like heart rate and sleeping patterns are popular these days. However, researchers at three British universities – Lancaster, West of England and Nottingham Trent – said that not all devices on the market provide reliable measurements. Two recent studies found error margins of up to 25 per cent between devices’ estimates and the actual number of steps taken or calories burned. If you want an accurate smartwatch, proceed with caution.

3. Quitting Driving Can be Bad for You.

For a variety of reasons ranging from Parkinson’s to poor vision, many seniors give up driving. Even when it’s the right decision, leaving your car behind can contribute to health problems like cognitive decline and depression, since driving often enables social interactions and personal freedom. A review published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society emphasized that people who anticipate they’ll have to stop driving should plan other ways to get around and keep connected.

4. Irrational Fears About Chemicals are Common.

According to a recent paper in Human and Experimental Toxicology, we spend too much time worrying about human-made chemicals. Investigating how synthetic substances affect our bodies is important, but making assumptions can lead to unhealthy choices. For instance, someone who is worried about the amount of pesticides on produce might not eat enough fruits and vegetables.

5. You Should Be Drinking More Water Than You Think.

The amount of water we need to be healthy varies according to factors like physical-activity levels, physiology and climate. As a rough guideline, the Dieticians of Canada suggest nine cups per day for women and 12 cups for men.

Compared to younger people, seniors must take extra care to get enough fluids. Older people also tend to have modest appetites, meaning they receive less fluid from food. And because of declining kidney function, their bodies aren’t as good at conserving the water they do get.