Mom’s Favorite, Once and Forever

“You were always Mom’s favorite!” The taunt that siblings hurl at one another apparently turns out to be true. Even with adult children, moms tend to favor one child over the others, and the golden child often remains the same over the years, according to J. Jill Suitor, a sociology professor at Purdue University. That favoritism impacts both mother and adult children in negative ways, especially as moms age. When ailing mothers are not cared for by their favorite child, …

When It Comes to Politics, the Nose Knows

In the endless search to make sense of American politics, scientists have determined that smell matters. Individuals who are attracted to the body odor of others (including spouses), it turns out, are more likely to share their political and ideological views. This from a new study (“Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues”) published in the American Journal of Political Science. >> AARP Voter Education Guide The three authors of the study write that olfaction — the sense …

Wake Up and Go to Sleep

I have just returned from an all-night study of my sleep habits that should have been called an all-night study of my awake habits, because all during the study there’s no getting any sleep. You lie there as tense as death, hooked up to 17 electrodes that in turn are hooked up to electronic devices that study exactly how your body and your inner organs are doing while you are struggling to go to sleep, a struggle that keeps you …

Low Vitamin D May Double Risk of Dementia

As with so many other perplexing questions about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, researchers are unsure why there seems to be a link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of developing these brain diseases. Now one of the largest studies yet finds that link is even more worrisome: Too little of the vitamin may, in fact, double the risk of developing the devastating conditions. The new research, which followed nearly 1,700 adults over the age of 65 for …

The Year’s 9 Highest-Calorie ‘Xtreme’ Restaurant Meals

How high can those numbers go? That’s the question each year as the nutrition watchdog group Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) spotlights the restaurant-chain meals that pack in the highest calorie, fat and sodium counts. And just when you think those numbers can’t soar any more, consider this year’s “Xtreme Eating” awards: At the top spot is a  3,540-calorie Red Robin Gourmet Burgers “Monster” meal with a double burger, “bottomless” fries and Monster shake. The sodium alone …

Brain-Healthy Lifestyle Works to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease; U.S. Dementia Rates Drop

After just two years, older people who exercised, socialized and ate a healthy diet improved their memory, focus and other signs of brain health, according to a breakthrough study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week. In another piece of good news, researchers announced at the conference that dementia rates are dropping in the United States – quite possibly because people are getting the message that healthy living can protect brain health. “These findings show that prevention …