WHATS THE BUZZ

Cricket may reduce truancy

Wondering how to disengage your kids from indulging in disruption and truancy? Well, just encourage them to play cricket.
Researchers from Loughborough University have found that children with a boisterous history act in a more ‘sportsman-like manner’ after being exposed to the game for just a few hours.
And thus, they are encouraging schools to crackdown on unruly pupils — by playing cricket.
For the study, the university analysed the results of a three-year schools programme run by the Cricket Foundation charity, and said that pupils displayed better social skills and teamwork compared with those taking part in normal PE lessons.
In addition, the study found that cricket helped girls to overcome “restrictive gender beliefs” and gain confidence in playing sport.
The results of the study have come at a time when fears are raised that cricket may be under threat in state schools because of a lack of equipment and over-crowded timetables.

Noisy roads up high BP risk

Individuals living near noisy roads are at greater risk of developing high blood pressure, according to a new study.
Theo Bodin worked with a team or researchers from Lund University Hospital, Sweden, to investigate the association between living close to noisy roads and having raised blood pressure.
He said, “Road traffic is the most important source of community noise. Non-auditory physical health effects that are biologically plausible in relation to noise exposure include changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and levels of stress hormones”.

Coconut oil can stave off diabetes

Want to stave off diabetes? Eat a diet rich in coconut oil, for a new study has found that it protects against insulin resistance in muscles and fat.
An international team has also found that the diet avoids the accumulation of body fat caused by other high fat diets of similar calorie content, making weight gain and high blood sugar less likely.
The study has also showed that those who incorporate medium chain fatty acids, such as those found in coconut oil, into their diets can lose body fat.
In their study, researchers, led by Dr Nigel Turner of Garvan Institute of Medical Research, compared fat metabolism and insulin resistance in mice fed coconut oil and lard based diets to reach the conclusion.
Turner said: “The medium chain fatty acids, like those found in coconut oil, are interesting to us as they behave very differently to the fats normally found in our diets”.

Recession’s effects on public health

A new study suggests that mortality rates during economic recessions in developed countries decline rather than increase.
The study also suggests that in poor countries where GDP per capita is less than 5,000 dollars, economic growth appears to improve health by increasing access to food, clean water, shelter, and basic health services.
“In terms of business cycles, mortality is procyclical, meaning it goes up with economic expansions and down with contractions, and not countercyclical (the opposite), as expected,” writes Dr Stephen Bezruchka, University of Washington in Seattle, USA.

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