The cost of frequent flier miles on your health

Maybe someday you’ll be able to use frequent flier miles for a co-pay or prescription, but until then, frequent travelers might just have to accept the health consequences of traveling. An InsightCity poll indicated that 79% of you have traveled for business in the past year. We’re not going to tell you your business, but a NY Times articles suggests that “people who travel the most and people who don’t travel at all have the worst health.” (Airplane, The Movie clip: get a hold of yourself) An alternative to slapping other passengers can be found in a not-so-recent Psychology Today article that gives some options to improve your health when traveling. Readers, please don’t resort to pulling a Tom Hanks and use your cart return quarters to buy Burger King, the travel itself is taking a toll.

Want to be healthier? Help people

It’s a win-win, there’s long-term synergy, and you don’t have to think too far outside the box (just in case you are playing business bingo). There are several studies supporting the notion that helping others has a positive impact on the helper’s mental and physical health. According to Dr. Richard Davidson, “When we do things for ourselves, those experiences of positive emotions are more fleeting. They are dependent on external circumstances and when we engage in acts of generosity, those experiences of positive emotion may be more enduring and outlast the specific episode in which we are engaged.” It looks like Fernando got it wrong. So, don’t worry, help someone and be happy.

Menu marketing tricks could lead to healthier meals

What’s in a name? Research from Stanford recently found it is human nature to prefer the unhealthy option. Measuring the habits of ~28,000 diners in the university cafeteria showed that vegetables prepared exactly the same fared quite differently among consumers when given different names. An indulgent name, like “twisted citrus-glazed carrots” sparked 25% more people to select the vegetable when compared to its basic name “carrots,” and 41% more people selected the indulgently named veg when compared to a healthy restrictive name like “carrots with sugar-free citrus dressing.” How do we use this info for good, not evil? We recommend names like sinful sweet potato alfredo and a 22 oz. slab o’ cow flesh.

Do you really need your beauty sleep?

Ever roll out of bed and look in the mirror after a few late nights in a row and just think “Gross?” Unfortunately, you’re right. Everybody thinks you’re gross. According to a study by The Royal Society, acute sleep deprivation and looking tired are related to decreased attractiveness and health, as perceived by others. Researchers took photos of participants after both good and bad nights of sleep, then had those photos rated by strangers, judging the subject’s attractiveness, health, and trustworthiness. The images after bad nights of sleep scored lower on attractiveness and health, as well as the strangers noting they would be less likely to socialize with tired looking individuals. So go take a nap. InsightCity said it’s ok. How much do you sleep?

3. That time you had an alien in your stomach

Researchers at MIT have designed an origami meat robot (their language, not ours!) to patch stomach wounds, deliver medicine, and remove dangerous foreign objects (perhaps ancient alien parasites) from patients.  Built from a type of dried pig intestine used in sausage casings, the robot is folded into an ice capsule that melts on its way into position in the patient’s stomach.  Once in position, and with the capsule fully dissolved, the robot unfolds.  A physician then guides the robot into position using a magnetic field.  The robot responds to changes in the field by rotating and pivoting on small fixed feet.  In tests within a pig’s stomach, the robot has been able to attach itself to and remove swallowed batteries.  Aliens, you are next!