NYT: How Salad Can Make Us Fat

Research about how buying healthy food but might make some people more likely to buy some unhealthy ones.

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Can cheap wine taste great? Brain imaging and marketing placebo effects — ScienceDaily

Can cheap wine taste great? Brain imaging and marketing placebo effects — ScienceDaily.

“When consumers taste cheap wine and rate it highly because they believe it is expensive, is it because prejudice has blinded them to the actual taste, or has prejudice actually changed their brain function, causing them to experience the cheap wine in the same physical way as the expensive wine? Research in the Journal of Marketing Research has shown that preconceived beliefs may create a placebo effect so strong that the actual chemistry of the brain changes.”

BBC News – Life choices ‘behind more than four in 10 cancers’

Latest figures from Cancer Research UK show smoking is the biggest avoidable risk factor, followed by unhealthy diets.

 

The charity is urging people to consider their health when making New Year resolutions.

 

Limiting alcohol intake and doing regular exercise is also good advice.

 

According to the figures spanning five years from 2007 to 2011, more than 300,000 cases of cancer recorded were linked to smoking.

 

A further 145,000 were linked to unhealthy diets containing too much processed food.

via BBC News – Life choices ‘behind more than four in 10 cancers’.

Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training

Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training.

Although research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness. Moreover, brief mindfulness training significantly improved visuo-spatial processing, working memory, and executive functioning. Our findings suggest that 4 days of meditation training can enhance the ability to sustain attention; benefits that have previously been reported with long-term meditators.

via Mindfulness meditation improves cognition: Evidence of brief mental training.