ultra-processed foods

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Urban gardening may improve human health — a one-month indoor gardening period increased the bacterial diversity of the skin and was associated with higher levels of anti-inflammatory molecules in the blood.

sidewalks and green space […] multilane highway and power lines [..] those neighborhood characteristics correlate with different health outcomes. […] The researchers collected nearly 1.4 million Google Street View images from all the main streets across Utah, then used computer vision models to extract neighborhood characteristics like greenery, sidewalks and non-single-family homes—indicators of walkability and mixed land use—from those images. They merged that data with health stats, including diabetes diagnoses and obesity incidence, from the state’s population database. […] After examining records from nearly 2 million people, including 1 million siblings and 14,000 identical and fraternal twins, the team found that positive built environment characteristics were associated with 15-20% reductions in obesity and diabetes rates.

For decades, the best drug therapies for treating depression, like SSRIs, have been based on the idea that depressed brains don’t have enough of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Yet for almost as long, it’s been clear that simplistic theory is wrong. Recent research into the true causes of depression is finding clues in other neurotransmitters and the realization that the brain is much more adaptable than scientists once imagined. Treatments for depression are being reinvented by drugs like ketamine that can help regrow synapses, which can in turn restore the right brain chemistry and improve whole body health.

study reveals a significant link between high consumption of ultra-processed foods and an increased risk of developing depression

When the Brazilian nutritional scientist Carlos Monteiro coined the term “ultra-processed foods” 15 years ago, he established what he calls a “new paradigm” for assessing the impact of diet on health. […] Studies of UPFs show that these processes create food—from snack bars to breakfast cereals to ready meals—that encourages overeating but may leave the eater undernourished. […] In 2019, American metabolic scientist Kevin Hall carried out a randomized study comparing people who ate an unprocessed diet with those who followed a UPF diet over two weeks. Hall found that the subjects who ate the ultra-processed diet consumed around 500 more calories per day, more fat and carbohydrates, less protein—and gained weight. [..] food and soft drinks-related companies spent $106 million on lobbying in 2023, almost twice as much as the tobacco and alcohol industries combined. Last year’s spend was 21 percent higher than in 2020, with the increase driven largely by lobbying relating to food processing as well as sugar. […] The food industry, dominated by global conglomerates such as Nestlé, PepsiCo, Mars, and Kraft Heinz, likes to project itself as committed to public health. “Our strategy is all about nutrition, health, and wellness,” Paul Bulcke, the chair of Nestlé, told investors at the company’s annual meeting in April. […] In Mexico, companies including Kellogg’s and Nestlé have sued the government over the introduction of front-of-package warning labels and other restrictions including the use of children’s characters in marketing. […] In Brazil, the industry has argued that regulation could limit consumer options and make food more expensive.

Google scrambles to manually remove weird AI answers in search

Google’s AI really is that stupid, feeds people answers from The Onion

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What goes on in artificial neural networks work is largely a mystery, even to their creators. But researchers from Anthropic have caught a glimpse.

NASA estimates that a crewed mission to Mars would take 2–3 years and be full of dangers for the astronauts. The biggest threats are the weak gravity, space radiation, as well as procuring enough food, water, and air. NASA is currently developing the technologies to meet these challenges.

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