Another PSA from my Mom where she notes that “brisk walking can increase production of new brain neurons“. In the Journal of Gerontology as reported by United Press International (via ClariNet):

Scientists believed older brains could not reverse brain shrinkage, but a U.S. study finds brisk walking can increase production of new brain neurons.

Three hours of brisk walking per day can trigger biochemical changes that increase production of new brain neurons, according to researchers at University of Illinois.

Another study shows that a structured exercise program may boost the physical well-being of sedentary seniors who are at risk of losing independent functioning, according to the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders pilot study.

She also notes a Tufts (Boston) research study stating that, “people who eat too much white bread have larger waistlines than their friends who eat whole grains instead“.  This was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:

“Waist circumference was very much associated with this high-refined-grains pattern,” lead study author Katherine Tucker, an associate professor of nutritional epidemiology at Tufts, told AP. Tucker’s team examined 459 healthy, middle-age people in Baltimore, Maryland who had a variety of eating habits. Specifically, they examined five different diets where one type of food was prominent: healthy food, white bread, alcohol, sweets, or meat and potatoes. And the people who ate the most white bread were also the fattest.

The Tufts researchers found that calories from refined grains settle at the waistline, which translates into a half-inch a year for people who just had to have their white bread. At the end of the study, those who indulged in white bread had three times the gain in the gut as did their peers who ate whole grains. This is serious stuff.

People who have bigger waists have a higher risk of heart disease than those who weigh the same but don’t carry the extra weight around the belly. Why? That has doctors stumped.