https://www.economist.com/international/2019/07/10/children-make-parents-happy-after-all, posted 12 Oct by peter in health parenting science
FOR THE past twenty years or so, social scientists have affirmed what parents think when they are at their most exasperated and dyspeptic: children make you miserable. In 2004 Daniel Kahneman of Princeton University and others discovered that parents thought that looking after their children was about as enjoyable as doing the housework. Two meta-studies (studies of studies) in 2012 found that, in most of the research, self-reported “life satisfaction” (a measure of happiness) was a bit lower when there was a child in the house.
The effect was not large. But there is something odd about these findings. In rich countries at least, people decide to have children. A few children are doubtless unplanned but only a few. If children make parents unhappy, why do they keep having them? The puzzle, says Letizia Mencarini of Bocconi University, is why isn’t fertility even lower in countries where people have a choice? Parents far outnumber the childless at every stage of adulthood. A new generation of research helps answer that question, and suggests that children are more likely to make parents happy than was once thought.
https://www.economist.com/christmas-specials/2010/12/16/the-u-bend-of-life, posted 14 Aug by peter in cognition health
When people start out on adult life, they are, on average, pretty cheerful. Things go downhill from youth to middle age until they reach a nadir commonly known as the mid-life crisis. So far, so familiar. The surprising part happens after that. Although as people move towards old age they lose things they treasure—vitality, mental sharpness and looks—they also gain what people spend their lives pursuing: happiness.
https://www.uclahealth.org/news/eating-microwave-popcorn-increases-the-level-of-pfas-in-body, posted 23 Jun by peter in food health science
Studies have linked PFAS to adverse health effects, including high blood pressure, decreased fertility in women, liver damage, cancer, low birthweight and an increased risk of asthma and thyroid disease. The use of some of the more common PFAS was gradually phased out in the United States between 2000 and 2015. However, other variations of the chemicals have taken their place. The newer PFAS tend to have shorter chains of the carbon-fluorine bond, and are thus more rapidly eliminated from the body. But the FDA says they continue to present a concern for human health.
Research suggests that people who regularly consume microwave popcorn have markedly higher levels of PFAS in their bodies. A study published in 2019 analyzed a decade of data about the eating habits of 10,000 people, which was collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 2003 and 2014. Blood samples from the study participants were also collected. The researchers found that people who ate microwave popcorn every day over the course of a year had levels of PFAS that were up to 63% higher than average.
https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200127-how-a-vegan-diet-could-affect-your-intelligence, posted 2021 by peter in food health science
"There are some tragic cases of children whose brains failed to develop because of their parents being ill-informed vegans," says David Benton, who studies the link between our diets and brain chemistry at Swansea University. In one example, the child was unable to sit or smile. In another, they slipped into a coma.
Later in life, the amount of B12 in a person's blood has been directly correlated with their IQ. In the elderly, one study found that the brains of those with lower B12 were six times more likely to be shrinking.
Even so, low B12 is widespread in vegans. One British study found that half of the vegans in their sample were deficient. In some parts of India, the problem is endemic — possibly as a consequence of the popularity of meat-free diets.
With COVID-19, vaccines still fulfill their primary role: protecting against severe disease. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinated people who catch the Delta variant are 25 times less likely to have a severe case or die. The overwhelming majority who do catch it will have mild or no symptoms.
But growing evidence suggests that, with the Delta variant, fully vaccinated people can still transmit the virus.
Most countries have land borders and voters. For them isolation was never feasible. Instead, they have adopted a confusing, illogical mess of rules. America bars travellers from Britain and the European Union, its closest allies and trade partners, and also two of the most vaccinated big places in the world, while admitting those from South-East Asia, where the Delta variant is rampant. Thailand bans entry from some countries and requires all other travellers to submit to a two-week quarantine. Yet of 21,038 cases identified on August 10th, only 19 were imported. Once a variant of the virus has started to spread in the local population, infections double every couple of weeks. Entry bans make very little difference to the total caseload.
One conspiracy site even claimed vaccinated people were dying at higher rates than those who had not received the jab, which is untrue.
This site and others use real figures in a misleading way, to arrive at a completely false conclusion - that the vaccine may not be working or even doing more harm than good.
Herbs are a fantastic addition to your Parrot's diet, not only for their abundance of health benefits, but also in the variety they provide as part of a balanced diet. They can be presented in a chop, threaded through the cage bars, or even strung together as a shredding toy.
https://rootsofprogress.org/devanney-on-the-nuclear-flop, posted 2021 by peter in energy environment health opinion
The standard story about nuclear costs is that radiation is dangerous, and therefore safety is expensive. The book argues that this is wrong: nuclear can be made safe and cheap. It should be 3 c/kWh — cheaper than coal.
https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/coronavirus-excess-deaths-tracker, posted 2021 by peter in covid19 health statistics visualization
As covid-19 has spread around the world, people have become grimly familiar with the death tolls that their governments publish each day. Unfortunately, the total number of fatalities caused by the pandemic may be even higher, for several reasons. First, the official statistics in many countries exclude victims who did not test positive for coronavirus before dying — which can be a substantial majority in places with little capacity for testing. Second, hospitals and civil registries may not process death certificates for several days, or even weeks, which creates lags in the data. And third, the pandemic has made it harder for doctors to treat other conditions and discouraged people from going to hospital, which may have indirectly caused an increase in fatalities from diseases other than covid-19.
One way to account for these methodological problems is to use a simpler measure, known as "excess deaths": take the number of people who die from any cause in a given region and period, and then compare it with a historical baseline from recent years. We have used statistical models to create our baselines, by predicting the number of deaths each region would normally have recorded in 2020.