Discovered: Antibacterials are making us sick in a different way, thinspiration is scientific, do you e-mail a lot? You might be depressed, and a case for mom blogs.
- There is such a thing as too clean. All that gooey-antibacterial stuff you've been slathering all over your body day and night may be making you sick in a different way, at least if you're a child. Looking at kids between the ages of 6 and 18, researchers found a link between allergies and antibacterial use. "We saw a link between level of exposure, measured by the amount of antimicrobial agents in the urine, and allergy risk, indicated by circulating antibodies to specific allergens," explains researcher Jessica Savage. Translation: High OCD levels of usage equals more allergies. It may have something to do with being too clean. Really: "The link between allergy risk and antimicrobial exposure suggests that these agents may disrupt the delicate balance between beneficial and bad bacteria in the body and lead to immune system dysregulation, which in turn raises the risk of allergies," continues Savage. [Johns Hopkins Medicine]
- The science of thinspiration. Science has confirmed the dangers of too-thin imagery on the Internet. When looking at skinny Alberto Giacometti sculptures, like the ones to the right, subjects ate fewer chocolates than when looking at geometric Rothko paintings, which have zero human beings in them. Though the subjects didn't notice the art, according to a questionnaire, the skinny people images made them eat less. Imagine what that says about the power of actual skinny people pictures on the Internet. [Wall Street Journal]
- Do you e-mail a lot? You might be depressed. Yes! Yes we do! Should we be nervous? Though that behavior doesn't necessarily indicate depression, researchers have found very high-email usage correlates with depression. "This perhaps was to be expected: research by the psychologists Janet Morahan-Martin and Phyllis Schumacher has shown that frequent checking of e-mail may relate to high levels of anxiety, which itself correlates with depressive symptoms," write researchers Sriram Chellappan and Raghavendra Kotikalapudi. The entire study is actually cause for concern. "The Internet usage of depressive people tended to exhibit high 'flow duration entropy' — which often occurs when there is frequent switching among Internet applications like e-mail, chat rooms and games," they continue, also noting that lots of video watching, chatting and gaming might indicate depression. Um, we do all of those things all the time. [New York Times]
- A case for mom blogs. Mommy bloggers, science has got your back. "It looks like blogging might be helping these women as they transition into motherhood because they may begin to feel more connected to their extended family and friends, which leads them to feel more supported," explains researcher Brandon T. McDaniel. "That potentially is going to spill out into other aspects of their well being, including their marital relationship with their partner, the ways that they're feeling about their parenting stress, and eventually into their levels of depression," he continues. You keep doing your Internet thing, moms. [Maternal and Child Health Journal]