Binge drinking is a growing public health crisis − a neurobiologist explains how research on alcohol use disorder has shifted

Nikki Crowley, Penn State (from The Conversation) With the Amy Winehouse biopic “Back to Black” in U.S. theaters as of May 2024, the late singer’s relationship with alcohol and drugs is under scrutiny again. In July 2011, Winehouse was found dead in her flat in north London from “death by misadventure” at the age of 27. That’s the official British term used for accidental death…

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Loneliness can kill, and new research shows middle-aged Americans are particularly vulnerable

Frank J. Infurna, Arizona State University from The Conversation. Middle-aged Americans are lonelier than their European counterparts. That’s the key finding of my team’s recent study, published in American Psychologist. Our study identified a trend that has been evolving for multiple generations, and affects both baby boomers and Gen Xers. Middle-aged adults in England and Mediterranean Europe are not that far behind the U.S. In…

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“Ultra-processed foods damage health and shorten life”

“Ultra-processed foods … encompass a broad range of ready to eat products, including packaged snacks, carbonated soft drinks, instant noodles, and ready-made meals. These products are characterized as industrial formulations primarily composed of chemically modified substances extracted from foods, along with additives to enhance taste, texture, appearance, and durability, with minimal to no inclusion of whole foods.” “Analyses of worldwide ultra-processed food sales data and consumption…

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Effect of exercise on depression

“Major depressive disorder is a leading cause of disability worldwide and has been found to lower life satisfaction more than debt, divorce, and diabetes and to exacerbate comorbidities, including heart disease, anxiety, and cancer. Although people with major depressive disorder often respond well to drug treatments and psychotherapy, many are resistant to treatment. In addition, access to treatment for many people with depression is limited, with only 51% treatment coverage for high…

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Students could get more sleep and learn better if school started a little later

Joanna Fong-Isariyawongse, University of Pittsburgh (from The Conversation) Nearly three-quarters of high school students do not get enough sleep on school nights, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that teens sleep for eight to 10 hours per night. But various factors hinder this, including early school start times and shifts in adolescents’ circadian rhythms – the biological…

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Air pollution: one of the world’s greatest public health threats

“Air pollution is one of the world’s greatest public health threats, reducing global life expectancy more than smoking, alcohol or childhood malnutrition. Recent studies estimate that fine particulate matter called PM2.5—pumped out by cars, factories, woodstoves and wildfires—causes nearly nine million premature deaths annually.” [Greenspan, J. (2023). Air Pollution Is Really Dangerous, Even More New Evidence Shows: Dirty air has been linked to poor health outcomes, ranging from suicidality…

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