Smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette

Cigarette smoking has been defiled, as have smokers themselves. There is no question that cigarette smoking is among the most significant behaviours that diminished lifespan. But it was not always frowned upon. At one time, smoking was not just cool, but it was also celebrated. Check out this film clip to listen to ‘smoke, smoke, smoke that cigarette’.

A tobacco industry exposé

Life style factors have considerable sway on how long we live, and the disease we might die from. Without question, the tobacco industry encouraged risky behaviours, despite their claims to the contrary. John Oliver, as only he can, provides a remarkable exposé regarding tobacco related behaviours and diseases.

E-cigarettes. Risk or not?

Industries have repeatedly engaged in bait-and-switch routines to get us to change our behaviours from one that is risky to another that is risky (e.g. the use of artificial sweeteners rather than sugar). They have also been trying to convince us that E-cigarettes are a good (and not unhealthy) alternative to regular cancer-inducing cigarettes. Want to know a bit more about E-cigarettes described in a very understandable way? This Risk Bite video does that. It seems that E-cigarettes deliver some stuff that might not be good for us. This said, there have not yet been studies to assess the long-term effects of this alternative to regular smokes, but recent cases have indicated that it can have short-term ramifications among young people, even causing death.

How come we’re still here?

There are so many hazards out there, and so many risks that we encounter, it is amazing that civilization has not destroyed itself (yet) through the toxins that have been created. This Risk Bites video examines what ‘toxicology’ is about, and defines when and how to protect ourselves from harmful chemicals.

Alternative medicine

This is really the best. A great Tim Minchin story that you have got to watch. However, if you are into herb and nuts, astrology, anti-vaccine, holistic medicine or talking to those on the other side, you might not like this at all.

Self-medicating in the animal world

So, do you think that humans are alone in self-medicating in an effort to diminish feelings of physical or psychological illness? Well, animals do this as well. This SciShow clip provides several examples of how some animals do this. Think about how this could have developed in their behavioural repertoire.

How the food you eat affects your brain

Mia Nacamulli

When we eat, we focus on either abating our hunger or the good tastes we are enjoying. Rarely would we be thinking about what the foods are doing for or to our brain. This video tells you what certain foods do to our brain functioning. A chocolate éclair will never be the same.

Power foods for the brain

Neal Barnard | TEDxBismarck

Most everyone believes that unhealthy eating can promote the development of several diseases. Can certain foods also favour the development of dementia or even less severe forms of cognitive functioning? In this TED talk Neal Barnard will convince you to change your eating choices and he will let you know how to get the chemicals you need.

Stress eating

Does stress make you lose your appetite or does it cause you to dig in, especially into comfort foods. Self-medicating to diminish distress occurs in a significant subset of people, and when they engage in drowning their sorrows they do it through yummy quick fixes, such as donuts, chips and all manner of carbs. Rarely will the distressed person reach for a piece of broccoli to minimize their feelings of distress or anxiety. Check out this SciShow video on this topic.

What to eat? I’m confused

There are, as we have said, many perspectives of what to eat and what to avoid. Grains are good for us, whereas meat is bad….. very, very, bad. Right? Well, not everybody agrees with this view. This link provides an interesting TEDx talk by journalist Nina Teicholz. As in her book, she makes a point of exposing flawed science and the nefarious influences that affect research.

Eat anything you like?

Here is a tongue and cheek video on what you can eat to stay healthy. Obesity has become more widespread, but what led to this? In this SciShow video several possible explanations are offered, including events experienced during early school years, sleep-related issues, as well as various hormones that contribute to eating and craving for certain foods.

Homeopathy screwing with our children

One of the greatest health-related scams that has been around for decades is homeopathy. There are, of course, lots of scams, but this one really bothers me. Not only does it upset me because it does not work, but also because some practitioners actually make every effort to undermine proper treatments being adopted. Some naïve people who trust too much fall victim to the scam, losing their money and potentially undermining their own health and that of their kids by selecting homeopathy rather than vaccination. This report and the accompanying video are from the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp) program, Marketplace. It is an absolutely remarkable exposé.

A few natural products (and bacteria) that are deadly

As we have seen, not everything that is natural is good for us. This SciShow video clip describes the five deadliest poisons, of which four are natural products, and the fifth is a bacterial agent, which is natural, too.

Eat right – eat Mediterranean

Do not miss this absolutely wonderful description of what should and should not be eaten, all to the Hotel of California. It cannot be beat for having information being transmitted in an inspirational manner. Dr James MacCormack is a genius in the field of knowledge transfer. Enjoy the video.

If you liked the previous video, then check out a slightly more serious (but still entertaining), and appreciably longer video from. Again, do not miss this!

It’s not just about food – what about exercise?

What happens inside your body when you exercise?

This very simple video produced by the British Heart Association describes a few of the benefits produced by exercise, even if the exercise amounts to as little as 150 min a week.

The brain-changing benefits of exercise

Wendy Suzuki

Yes, exercise has multiple effects on the brain, even influencing neurons that affect memory, mood and attention. Wendy Suzuki will convince you that exercise is a great medicine and preventive agent to thwart disease occurrence.

Exercise is brain food | Angela Ridgel | TEDxKentState

Can exercise improve brain functioning? Angela Ridgel says that it can and may alter neuronal plasticity so that it can act enhance well-being among people with Parkinson’s disease.

Sleep & health

Sleep is a basic need, so that without it (or even too little sleep) we are in big trouble. These two videos might convince you how important sleep is for different biological functions and are essential for learning and memory. The second video, a TED talk provided by Matt Walker, shows the specific brain changes that occur with sleep or conversely a lack of sleep.

How to make diseases disappear

Rangan Chatterjee | TEDxLiverpool

Lots of poor lifestyles undermine health. Even specific diseases may come about through different processes. What we eat, lack of exercise, poor sleep, can all influence processes that lead to disease. Rangan Chatterjee provides an exciting description of how lifestyle can affect specific processes that underlie symptoms of some diseases, and how these can be attenuated or even reversed. As he says, ‘Genetics are not our destiny. Genetics load the gun, but lifestyles pull the trigger.’