In the “I Love Lucy” episode “Job Switching,” Lucy and Ethel take a job in a candy factory. When they find themselves on the candy-wrapping assembly line and can’t keep up with the task as the chocolates whiz by, Lucy frantically snatches the sweets from the conveyor belt and stuffs them in her mouth.
The stress of her job drove Lucy to overeat! And that impulse turns out to be quite common. Two new studies show the response to job stress earlier in the day can come back to haunt you in the form of bad eating habits in the evening. Researchers followed more than 200 employees in two groups; one group was in information technology, and the other in customer service. In both studies, participants who experienced higher levels of stress earlier in the day were likely to respond by eating more and making less nutritious choices at night. Lack of sleep the night before went along with making poor food choices too. On the other hand, getting plenty of sleep the previous night seemed to protect workers from eating poorly after a stressful day.
Work stress plagues 80 percent of Americans, and 70 percent are overweight or obese. Both are health problems — and both can be resolved. So, reduce your stress response by getting more and better quality sleep, and take time to meditate, even if it’s at your desk. Then enjoy a healthy meal (no added sugars, sat fats or highly processed foods) and a good night’s sleep.
When parents divert their child’s ADHD meds
In the 2015 Will Smith film called “Diversion” in French and “Focus” in English, Smith’s conman character, Nicky, is diverted from his main focus -- pulling off a successful con -- by his on-again-off-again romance with Margot Robbie’s character, a grifter named Jess.
While diversions may make for amusing plotlines, diverting medications away from a youngster with ADHD -- when the meds are designed to help the child focus -- well, that’s more rotten than almost anything, especially if you’re the child’s parent!
For years docs have warned teens about giving (or selling) their ADHD meds to friends. A national survey in 2006-2007 showed that 6 percent of college students used stimulants, such as Adderall, non-medically in the previous year. But most docs never thought parents might be diverting their kid’s ADHD meds for themselves!
Now, a study in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology reveals that 16 percent of parents with kids on ADHD meds divert those meds to another household member, most frequently themselves! And if the parent was diagnosed with, or suspected of having, ADHD, that rose to 33 percent.
We almost don’t know where to start addressing the problems this causes! First, a child with ADHD must be maintained on prescribed medication without interruption for it to be safe and effective. Second, while diagnosing of ADHD in adulthood is complex, treatment can be effective if you get your own medication, receive behavioral and cognitive therapy and make sure to get daily aerobic activity. Then, everyone will be much happier.
Brush away cancer
Many celebrities are known for their winning smiles, but flashing those pearly whites sometimes requires a little dental work. Check an old picture of Tom Cruise. His two front teeth used to point in different directions and were two different colors, until he got them whitened, straightened and now, reportedly, topped with veneers.
Funny thing, though: How your teeth look doesn’t matter to your overall health or longevity, if you’re not taking good care of your oral health. Gum disease puts you at increased risk for everything from diabetes to cardiovascular problems -- and miscarriage for women. And now a new study has found that older women with periodontal disease have an increased risk of various cancers.
The study in BMC Oral Health looked at more than 60,000 women from age 54 to 86 and found that those with gum disease were 14 percent more likely to develop cancer than those without it. For some cancers, the risk was much higher: Women with gum disease were 33 percent more likely to develop esophageal cancer; 73 percent more likely to have gallbladder cancers; 31 percent more likely to have lung tumors; and 23 percent more likely to have melanoma. The authors think that bacteria from gum infection leads to inflammation, and that makes the body more susceptible to cancer.
So brush after every meal -- or at least twice a day -- and floss daily. See your dental professional twice a year. You’ll be saving your smile, protecting yourself from several types of cancer and achieving a younger RealAge.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.