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How Do Your Eating Habits Stack Up?

Part of the fun of running is comparing yourself to other people. (Why else would sites like Strava and Athlinks exist?) If you’d like to go beyond PRs and compare your eating habits to those of the general populace, a review published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics will let you do just that.

The review encompasses six national surveys taken over the past 40 years. The earliest took place between 1971 and 1974 and the most recent took place between 2007 and 2010. Here, a few of the more interesting highlights of the (extremely detailed) review:

See the rest of the article at: Runner’s World Newswire.

Beware Super Calorie Consumption During Super Bowl

Super Bowl alert: If you’re trying to reduce your daily calorie consumption this year, now’s the time to double down. New research indicates that Americans buy and consume more calories during Super Bowl weekend than at any other time of the year, including the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The paper, published in PLoS One, reveals other surprising consumption habits. For example, despite our best intentions and New Year’s resolutions, most of us don’t eat fewer calories in January.

Instead, we purchase a little more healthful food than usual, and allow these foods to provide a “halo effect” to our dietary habits. In other words, we let these purchases trick us into thinking we are eating healthier. Meanwhile, we continue to consume just as many non-healthful foods, while adding a modest amount of the healthful foods. Result: more total calories.

See the rest of the article at: Runner’s World Newswire.

Core Work on Unstable Surfaces Might Not Have Additional Benefits

Doing core strength exercises on unstable surfaces increases balance, coordination, flexibility, and muscular endurance, but not necessarily more so than doing the exercises on stable surfaces, according to research published inBMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Researchers had teens do a basic core strengthening workout twice a week for six weeks. The workout was a 30-minute circuit session, rotating among three key core exercises: cross curl-ups, side bridges, and bird dogs. Half of the teens did the exercises in the conventional manner on a stable surface.

See the rest of the article at: Runner’s World Newswire.

Keeping Warm Might Lower Risk of Catching Cold

From the science-backs-folk-wisdom department comes news that keeping your body warm and your nose covered might lower your risk of catching the common cold.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Yale University report their finding that the common cold virus can reproduce itself more efficiently in the cooler temperatures found inside the nose than at core body temperature.

Earlier studies have established that the rhinovirus, the most frequent cause of the common cold, replicates more easily in the cooler environment of the nose than in the lungs, where the temperature is higher. Using mice as subjects, this study examined the relationship between the temperature in which rhinovirus exists and the body’s immune response.

See the rest of the article at: Runner’s World Newswire.

Many Americans Misinformed About Weight Loss Supplements

A new Consumer Reports survey confirms what a lot of Runner’s World readers already know: If you’re looking to lose weight, your best bet is to focus on diet and exercise, and avoid attempting to shortcut the process by taking weight losssupplements.

The survey of almost 3,000 Americans found that nearly one in four people take weight loss supplements, the supplements aren’t particularly effective, and many people are misinformed about their risks.

“The barrage of advertising leads us to think there’s a magic way to melt away 10 pounds—even when we have no evidence that supplements work,” says Pieter Cohen, a physician at Harvard Medical School, told Consumer Reports.

See the rest of the article at: Runner’s World Newswire.