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Archaeologists have long believed that they were heaved into position along a network of purpose-built tracks. But now an archaeological expedition may upset a 50-year-old consensus about the role played by the island’s ancient road system.
The team analysed the toppled minimalist statues, which researchers have long believed were abandoned on the roadside after they could not be hauled from inland quarries to their final vantage points overlooking the coast. There are nearly 1,000 statues on the island, most on platforms on the island’s perimeter, with others inland in an apparently random fashion.
In 1958 Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdhal suggested ancient Polynesians had simply left the broken statues beside the track and they had no specific spiritual purpose.
But new evidence gathered by researchers has shattered this theory. According to the team, each of the tumbled statues had a stone platform and would have had an important position on the road system as part of a religious avenue.

Obesity tied to depression in teen girls
A new study has found that obesity is a risk factor for depressive symptoms, but not for clinical depression, suggesting that weight status could play a part in the development of depression in some teenage girls.
“This is important, because depressive symptoms are considered a precursor to major depression,” said lead author Kerri Boutelle, associate professor of paediatrics and psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.
Knowing that the teenage years are often a tumultuous period in a young person’s life, Kerri and her colleagues set out to determine whether obesity contributes to the development of depression among youth.
Using a structured psychiatric interview test, assessors gathered responses from almost 500 girls between the ages of 13 and 16 years, of various ethnicities.
To receive a diagnosis of depression, the girls had to report the presence and severity of at least five symptoms. At each of four yearly assessments, the girls were weighed and measured. Data from the interviews indicated that obese status was associated with an increase in depressive symptoms, but not Major Depression.

Cut back on sugary drinks to lower BP
A new study has shown a surprising link between sugar in drinks and blood pressure.
The research, led by Liwei Chen, assistant professor, public health, LSU Health Sciences Centre New Orleans, has found that by cutting daily consumption of sugary drinks by just one serving a day, people can lower their blood pressure.
The research analysed dietary intake and blood pressure of 810 adults measured at baseline, 6 and 18 months. After known risk factors of high blood pressure were controlled for, a reduction in sugar-sweetened beverage consumption of one serving per day was associated with a drop of 1.8 mm Hg in systolic pressure and 1.1 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure over 18 months.
After additional adjustment for weight change over the same period, a reduction in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages was still significantly associated with blood pressure reduction.

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