News Stories

Is Your Boss Eating Too Many Sweets?

Something suspicious is going on: Although they are supposed to be brainy, our bankers have not been making a lot of bad decisions lately. Is this because they've been on a diet?

It's always hard to wait for an investment to pay off, but it's often worth the wait, especially if the reward will be larger. But sometimes the temptation for the smaller, immediate reward becomes too great and we simply cannot resist it. Selecting the immediate reward is known as "future discounting" and often suggests a lack of self-control. Studies have indicated that there may be a link between blood glucose levels and this type of thinking. Making difficult choices uses up cognitive resources (or brain power) and these resources can be restored by increasing blood glucose.

Psychological scientists X.T. Wang and Robert D. Dvorak investigated how blood glucose levels impact the way we think about present and future rewards. Volunteers answered a series of questions asking if they would prefer to receive a certain amount of money tomorrow or a larger amount of money at a later date. They responded to seven of these questions before and after drinking either a regular soda (containing sugar) or a diet soda. Blood glucose levels were measured at the start of the experiment and after the volunteers drank the soda.

The results reveal that people's preferences for current versus later rewards may be influenced by blood glucose levels. The volunteers who drank the regular sodas (and therefore had higher blood glucose levels) were more likely to select receiving more money at a later date while the volunteers who drank the diet sodas (and who had lower blood glucose levels) were likelier to opt for receiving smaller sums of money immediately.

The authors speculate that "reducing the degree of fluctuation in blood glucose may offer a possible means for the treatment and intervention of some impulsive disorders, anorexia, drug addiction, and gambling addiction."

Does dieting put YOU in a bad mood? The KIND of diet you pick may help you feel happier, especially if you add a tiny bit of chocolate. And here's the good news: Health experts say that carrying extra weight on your hips, thighs and rear end is GOOD because it protects you from heart problems.How can being fat (in the right places, anyway) be good for you? Hip fat absorbs harmful fatty acids and contains an anti-inflammatory agent that stops arteries from clogging, BUT waist fat is bad and gives no protection at all. In fact, it can be (especially in women) and indication of incipient heart disease.

BBC News quotes researcher Konstantinos Manolopoulos as saying, "Fat around the hips and thighs is good for you but around the tummy is bad," and reports that some scientists are actually looking for ways to INCREASE fat around the hips!

A new study found that eating about an ounce and a half of dark chocolate a day for two weeks reduced the levels of stress hormones in the bodies of people feeling highly stressed. And after one year, a low-calorie, low-fat diet appears to put dieters in a better mood than a low-carbohydrate plan with the same number of calories. While recent clinical studies have shown that low-carbohydrate diets work, their long-term effects on mood and cognition, have been poorly studied.

One of the reasons for this depression could be the social difficulty of adhering to a low-carbohydrate plan, which is counter to the typical Western diet full of pasta and bread. Also, some researcher think that eating wheat boosts the body's serotonin levels and serotonin is a natural mood-elevator.

We hope you're not eating so much sugar that YOU'RE not making the right decisions, either! For instance, have you decided to come to our extraordinary Dreamland Festival in Nashville June 25-27 and meet all your favorite Dreamland hosts in person? The FIRST 25 people who get tickets to the Dreamland Festival will get a FREE DVD of LAST YEAR'S Festival, but don't wait too long: This special offer will fill up soon!

To learn more, click here, here, here and here.

Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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