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Evidence-Based Living blog now on Psychology Today web site

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In a sea of often-conflicting advice and information, the BCTR's Evidence-Based Living blog presents scientifically-accurate information on topics that effect our daily lives. When each day seems to bring a new study, reversing a previous study, the Evidence-Based Living blog takes a wider view, drawing from meta analyses and systematic reviews of multiple studies to give the most comprehensive picture of current scientific knowledge on a topic.

The blog will now be cross-posting on the Psychology Today web site, reaching a wider audience. The blog will continue to be posted in its original location, maintaining that audience and community.

 

 

 

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The impacts of military deployment

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A recent post on the BCTR's Evidence-Based Living blog looked at the long-term effects of military deployment on veterans' health, citing meta-analyses from the journal Epidemiological Reviews, finding,

Even though Operation Enduring Freedom – the war to combat terrorism in Afghanistan and across the globe – has officially ended, there are still about 15,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. All U.S. service members who have served abroad will likely feel the effects of their deployment for decades.

0089_12_003.jpgThe post quotes Brian Leidy, director of The Military Projects, regarding new research showing that often the impacts of post traumatic stress disorder aren't evident until later in life, saying,

In dealing with the aftermath of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, there are many reasons to believe the worst is yet to come.

The impacts of military deployment - Evidence-Based Living

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Is obesity really a disease?

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"Last month, the American Medical Association classified obesity as a disease in its own right for the first time. (Previously, it had been categorized as a symptom or risk factor.) There is plenty of evidence that shows people who are obese are more likely to develop diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But does that make obesity a disease in its own right? What about being overweight, but not obese?

"It turns out, there is a substantial body of evidence that shows being overweight or slightly obese is not as harmful as most of us might believe."

Continue reading this story over on the BCTR's Evidence-Based Living blog:

Is obesity really a disease?

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Gaps in evidence: Gun violence in America

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"News stories about the problem of gun violence in America have dominated media outlets across the country over the past year. The tragic school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut continues to fuel an on-going debate about the laws surrounding violence and safety in our society. It’s a sensitive subject, and many people across the nation hold opposing viewpoints about what should be done. But one thing is clear: gun violence is a critical public health problem."

Read the rest of this post over on the BCTR's Evidence-Based Living blog:

Gaps in evidence: Gun violence in America

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More evidence on why you should get a flu shot

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"Yes, summer is in full swing. But the next flu season is just a few months away. We’ve written before about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. Now a new analysis from the U.S. Center for Disease Control has calculated the approximate number of hospitalizations which have been avoided thanks to the flu vaccine from 2005 to 2011."

Continue reading on the Evidence-Based Living blog:

More evidence on why you should get a flu shot

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Proven methods to quit smoking

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"One in five deaths in the U.S. can be credited to tobacco, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control – a statistic that makes it clear: Smoking is a huge health problem.

"But there is good news: today America has more former smokers than current smokers, and more than half of current smokers say they want to quit. But according to the evidence, what’s the best way to break the habit?"

Read the rest of the post on the BCTR's Evidence-Based Living Blog:

Proven methods to quit smoking

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Update: New evidence on Parkinson’s disease

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"According to the National Institutes of Health, at least 500,000 Americans suffer from Parkinson’s disease, and about 50,000 new cases are reported each year. The disease is a progressive neurological disorder that is caused by the degeneration of neurons in a region of the brain that controls movement. Tremors are the most common symptom, but others include rigid limbs and slow movement.

"Here on EBL, we’ve previously written about a potential cause of Parkinson’s disease – namely exposure to pesticides. This summer, there is new evidence about possible causes of the disease, and one way to reduce the risk of developing it."

 

Update: New evidence on Parkinson's disease

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How to identify emotional abuse and neglect in preschoolers

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"The evidence is clear that developing skills early-on – especially before children enter kindergarten – is essential for success later in life. Unfortunately, children face consequences throughout their lives when they do not get the support they need as babies and preschoolers. Physical and behavioral problems and delays in social and communication skills are just some of the poor outcomes.

"For young children who experience neglect and emotional abuse, there are intervention programs proven to work. But first educators and health care providers must identify which children need help."

Read the rest of the post on the BCTR's Evidence-Based Living blog:

How to identify emotional abuse and neglect in preschoolers

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Summer learning loss: Do kids miss out?

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"For most kids, summer vacation has begun. This typically means more time spent at the park, swimming pool or beach, and often in front of the TV as well. It also means less time engaged in educational pursuits like reading, math and problem solving.

"Many teachers say that our school schedule of long summer vacations leads to a “summer slump,” where students forget some of what they learned over the previous school year. But what does the evidence say about summer learning loss?"

Read the rest of the post on the Evidence-Based Living blog:

Summer learning loss: Do kids miss out?

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The evidence on hands-free cell phone devices while driving

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"Whether it’s a quick call to ask what’s needed from the grocery store or catching up with a long-distance friend – people everywhere talk on cell phones while they’re driving.

"It’s long been recognized that talking on the phone while driving increases your risk of being involved in a crash. But in recent years, car and technology companies have marketed hands-free devices as a safer way to talk while driving.

"Now a growing body of evidence suggests using hands-free phone devices such as ear pieces and Bluetooth is equally as dangerous as talking on a cell phone normally."

Read the full post on the BCTR's Evidence-Based Living blog:

The evidence on hands-free cell phone devices while driving

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