Today in Research: Eat Your Memories Away; Kids Need Sleep

Discovered: What eating does to the brain, estrogen makes male snakes crazy, and nobody knows anything about kids' sleep.

  • How to eat your memories away. Another point against gluttony. On top of overeating leading to obesity and its many related health problems, big eaters now have to contend with possible dementia. Those who consume between 2,100 and 6,000 calories a day (that's around four to 11 Big Macs), double their risk of memory loss, finds research out of the Mayo Clinic. "We observed a dose-response pattern which simply means; the higher the amount of calories consumed each day, the higher the risk of MCI [mild cognitive impairment]," explained researcher Yonas E. Geda. Just a correlation, but maybe limit it to three Big Macs per day? If possible, no pressure. [American Academy of Neurology]
  • Nobody knows anything about sleep. Science has no idea how much sleep kids need. Parsing 32 sets of sleep advice, researchers found one that provided any reasoning for its guidance. All the rest had no basis. "No matter how much sleep children are getting, it has always been assumed that they need more," the researchers explain. And, as children have "needed" more sleep, they've gotten fewer hours over the years. Have kids known all along that this "need sleep" thing is a crock? [Reuters]

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