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December 29, 2017

Long weekend reads: The health benefits of an unmade bed

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Is your bed a mess? That might be good for your health. An unmade bed might help deter dust mites, which are associated with asthma and other allergies, according to a study from Kingston University. For the study, researchers created a computer model to examine how different conditions within the home can curb dust mites in beds. The researchers found that the warm and dry conditions of an unmade bed make it difficult for the bugs to survive. Stephen Pretlove, one of the researchers on the study, explained, "We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body. Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die."

    Calcium and vitamin D pills might not actually strengthen your bones. Adults aged 50 or older who take calcium and/or vitamin D are no less likely to have a hip fracture that those who do not use the supplements or who received a placebo, according to a research review in JAMA. For the study, researchers assessed clinical trials, systematic reviews, and other reports released since 2006—which together involved 51,145 people—that examined whether calcium and/or vitamin D prevented bone fractures. After accounting for gender, bone fracture history, and the amount of calcium in participants' diets, there was no sign that the supplements helped prevent bone fractures, the researchers concluded.

    Rachel Schulze's reads

    The fight to save kids from junk food in India. Rahul Verna became aware of the rising toll junk food on India's youth when he saw a young girl at a doctor's office who had become overweight by compulsively eating potato chips. Compelled to take action, Verna and his wife in 2010 filed a public interest to ban junk food and soft drink sales in and near schools in India. According to the New York Times' Geeta Anand, the situation is particularly challenging in India: By 2040, an estimated 123 million Indians will have diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Foundation. But while the Vernas' case brought court-ordered food industry regulations "to the doorstep of the government," Anand reports, "they have languished" for years, stalled by pushback from the All India Food Processors Association, which represents many soda and sweets food manufacturers.

    But how big was the bowl? A Chinese food company has set a new Guinness record for the longest noodle in the world. It measures 10,119 feet, or nearly 2 miles. The noodle was cut into pieces and eaten. 

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