Monday, 23 July 2007

75% of Americans overweight by 2015?

Filed under:

If you're the type who gets motivated to change by hearing scary statistics then here's a doozy: experts predict that if Americans continue gaining weight at the current rate by the year 2015 (that's only 8 years from now!) 75% of us will be overweight or obese.

That's not only a majority, but a major majority. Every group in society (kids, adolescents, adults) is steadily gaining weight, and considering that 66% of adults were overweight or obese in 2004 I guess it's not really a big stretch that we'll hit 75% by 2015. How depressing!

The magic of placebos -- Why do they work?

Filed under:

What is it about placebos that gives them the power to work like the real thing in so many cases? The University of Michigan Health System spent some time trying to figure out why, and it seems the answer is that for some people just thinking about getting relief from medicine is in many cases enough to trigger brain responses like the release of dopamine and other chemicals. Some of the people in the research groups even got better relief from the placebo effect than from the actual medication.

It's an interesting article, and pretty much confirms what most people already know -- just how powerful our minds really are.

Teaching your kids the right way to workout

Filed under:

Child obesity is a huge problem, so if your kids want to start tagging along with you to the gym, you should let them -- it's a great way to build healthy habits at an influential age. But here's the thing -- Kids won't be able to build strong muscles until puberty hits, so the emphasis should be on their form. They can improve muscle tone but they won't be able to bulk up -- and trying to can put them at a risk for injury.

With the help of a personal trainer, youngsters can use light weights to improve their posture and muscle tone, and it's a good introduction to a life of healthy habits. But check with your gym first -- some have age minimums.

Do you work out with your kids?

The science behind cravings

Filed under:

It's often thought that cravings are a result of a nutritional deficit. For example, if you crave sweets, you need some glucose. But this might not be the case: In a study where people craving chocolate were given capsules containing chocolate's properties, people still craved the real thing. I don't blame 'em -- who wants a tasteless pill in place of heavenly chocolate? Plus few of us are truly lacking in glucose or salt or whatever else we're craving.

So scientists have used this information to further study the science behind cravings. Cravings activate 3 parts of the brain--the hippocampus, insula and caudate--and these are also active in drug addiction. What's more, cravings appear to be evolutionary. We usually crave high-calorie foods, which our body stores as fat. This stored fat, though pesky today, was lifesaving when food was scarce. For more information on cravings,

Find inspiration where you can: Country Music

Filed under: ,

I'm an urban girl at heart -- more comfortable surrounded by buildings and people than open spaces and nature. And while most people like me will proclaim an immediate disdain for the twangy, broken-hearted verses of country music, I like country music and it's vibrant energy.

As a writer, I have a passion for words, whether in song lyrics, novels or blogs, and I think we can take a lot of valuable lessons from country music. Country music isn't all broken hearts and rednecks -- many remind us of the importance of living life to the fullest and finding beauty in every moment. So when I saw this article, which gives examples of inspiring country songs and how they can be applied to a healthy life, I decided to make my own. Here are three lessons I learned from Country music:

Continue reading Find inspiration where you can: Country Music

Daily Fit Tip: Take up dancing

Filed under:

If you've never tried active ballroom dancing or something similar, you're really missing out on something that's good for the soul and the body. In fact, in some recent dancing classes I've witnessed, many were there simply to get their daily workout while having a load of fun.

What a novel idea! Make exercise fun (and really not even exercise, and it becomes more like a socially binding daily activity than the drudge of everyday exercise.

Be prepared to sweat and be tired a little, but dancing (in almost any form) gets those legs thumpin' and those hearts pumpin' -- and there's nothing wrong with that.

Jumpstart Your Fitness: 5 ways to get motivated

Filed under: ,

If the words "jumpstart your fitness" sound like something that applies to you then what you probably need is renewed motivation. Motivation is the gas that keeps your workout plan moving -- and although it's cheaper than the gas that moves your car (it's free!) the trade-off is that it's much harder to come by. There's no one way to motivate everybody -- heck, there's not even one way that will always work for motivating one same person. It's all about your mood, and your current situation. What helped you drop that last 5 pounds two summers ago may not mean anything to you at all this year, and maybe you've got other things in your life on top of it all that you didn't have to deal with before, like children or a new job.

It's tricky to figure out what's going to trip your trigger and get you moving again, especially when it feels like you've been dieting and exercising forever and you just want to rest. Remembering that being healthy and getting in shape is about making permanent lifestyle changes can help, and if losing weight feels like true exhausting 'work' to you then maybe you need to make some changes on how you're going about it. Not to say it will always be a totally easy piece of cake, but you shouldn't be miserable either.

Continue reading Jumpstart Your Fitness: 5 ways to get motivated

Not a treadmill, but a treadwall?

Filed under: ,

If the treadmill has gotten too boring for you, maybe you should consider trying the treadwall instead. Nope, that's not a typo -- it's basically a vertical treadmill with grips and steps on it to make a climbing wall that moves with you. It's adjustable for speed, and since you're never more than a couple feet off the floor there's no need for fancy harnesses or a second person right there to catch you.

Not as convenient as some equipment for your home (doesn't look like it will slide under the bed) but I think it looks awesome for the gym -- and it made the Forbes list of next generation gym gear so it must be cool.

Faith Hill and Redbook: Controversial photo re-rouching

Filed under:

Faith Hill is on the cover of Redbook this month, and it's generating a lot of controversy. It seems that the image that appears on the cover was majorly touched-up -- any signs of wrinkles were removed and a bunch of flesh was skimmed off her arms (click here to see a comparison of the photos on Diet Blog.)

What do you think of the photos? I think she looks great before the touch-ups -- she looks much more natural. Her arms in the 'after' picture look impossibly small. And Faith Hill unbelievably gorgeous and quite thin without any airbrushing - why do they feel the need to make her look more perfect, more slender? Why mess with perfection?

Jenny McCarthy's secret diet splurge is...

Filed under:

Nachos. Jenny McCarthy's secret diet splurge is none other than nachos -- she even calls them her "once a month nachos" because that's about how often she has them. Obviously Jenny works hard at her figure, but she's still pretty down to earth and has a lot of the same "vices" many women do. In this article she confesses to not only using her home gym equipment for hanging and drying clothes, but also to the indulgence of enjoying room service at hotels and often ordering eggs benedict in the morning.

HIV patients still outnumbering treatments

Filed under:

In an unfortunate admission, health officials have stated that the number of new HIV infections in developing countries is continuing to outpace efforts to bring treatments to all those infected with HIV.

That's a sign, to me, that preventative measures through education and materials may not be happening as efficiently as could be. Of course, this is no small feat in developing countries where trying to implement anything nationwide is a huge challenge.

It's really not a good day when a quote like this comes about: "...for every one person that you put in therapy, six new people get infected." What can be done? Are after-the-fact drugs the only answer in the future?

What is sequential eating?

Filed under: ,

tomatoes and cheeseA recent health tip from Chet Day got me thinking about sequential eating. He explained it as eating the food on your plate in groups, starting with the least dense, like salad, and ending with the most dense, the meat or protein source. If you eat this way, it is supposed to be better for digestion.

I did a little digging on this concept and found out that Dr. Stanley Bass writes about it in his book, Ideal Health through Sequential Eating. He describes it a bit differently, in that you should eat the food containing the most water content first, ending with the food with the least amount of water. His reasoning is that by eating this way, each food will get the exact amount of the correct enzymes that it needs to digest properly.

Interesting. My guess? There is probably something to this. For me, though, it would be very hard to follow.

I am a foodie, and I love how different foods taste together. Some of the combinations they say to avoid, like mixing dried sweet fruit or bananas with nut and seeds, are my favorite combinations.

Has anyone tried sequential eating? What were your results?



Permalink | Email this | Comments

Burn more fat by putting your feet up!

Filed under: ,

It's hard to find the time to exercise, so being as efficient as possible is important to all of us. If you could burn more calories in the same amount of exercise time just by taking a break in the middle, would you do it? Because that's what recent research in Japan found -- people get a calorie-burning and fat-metabolizing boost when they take a 20 minute break in the middle of a one hour workout session, as compared to working out for one hour straight without a break.

Although it does add 20 minutes to the overall workout time I have no problem putting my feet up and catching my breath -- and I'm sure I can find something I can cross off my to-do list during that down time, like paying a few bills or something.

Your brain really does help you find things

Filed under:

We've all had those days where we just seem to forget all kinds of things: where the car keys are, where the wallet is or what time we need to be somewhere. When it comes to actually finding an object, the human brain pulls out quite a bit of power to help you, a new study reveals.

From reading this news, I can't help but wonder if the brain is exercising itself at top form when we are trying to remember where we placed something and then doing the actions that lead the effort to find it.

Forget physics I guess -- just start losing things. Just kidding -- but the human brain's capacity to spring into action to help up with the seemingly smallest tasks in life continues to astonish me.

Healthify your water: Contrex

Filed under: ,

Water is the healthiest drink out there. But is there a way to make water even healthier? How about natural mineral water that is fortified with Calcium and Magnesium? It's called Contrex and the French, who are renowned for being healthier than us North Americans, have been drinking it for yeas, according to Fitsugar. Like regular water, it has zero calories but unlike water, it apparently has a taste that's all its own.

I'm not against making water healthier, but I can't say I'm sold. People with a healthy diet should be getting enough calcium and magnesium anyway, so this seems like a pretty blatant marketing ploy. What do you think? Have you tried Contrex?

How healthy and environmentally friendly is it to shop at Whole Foods?

Filed under: , , , , , ,

whole foodsWhen we moved about two years ago, one of the things I mourned the most was the loss of a local Whole Foods market. I just couldn't imagine shopping at a conventional supermarket again, after having so many natural food choices right down the street.

Well, sure enough, I adjusted. Belonging to a food coop helps, as does our seasonal membership at a local CSA farm.

A recent article about Whole Foods made me think about my experiences there. Whole Foods is being criticized because they don't carry foods with artificial coloring or trans fats, but they will carry anything else. I found this to be a point of criticism I always had as well. It really is like shopping at any other supermarket in that respect. You need to be a staunch label reader to make sure you are getting the best and healthiest foods.

Continue reading How healthy and environmentally friendly is it to shop at Whole Foods?

Need a quickie workout?

Filed under:

Quickie workouts that don't need any equipment are good for doing when you have a few spare minutes at the office, while on vacation, or during a hectic day at home when your regular routine just isn't going to happen. Click here for a series of moves that will energize you, rejuvenate you, and get your blood pumping all in just 12-15 minutes. Designed to exercise multiple body parts at the same time, it includes push ups, chair squats, ab crunches, close-stance wall push ups, and a move called the 'ab vacuum.' Performing one after the other and shooting for 20-25 reps of each should do the trick.

A billion people are not taking in enough vitamin D

Filed under:

The difficulty of making sure you ingest all the recommended daily vitamins and minerals can be a hassle and a nuisance for some. As a result, the "multivitamin" was developed. Now, that's a billion-dollar industry.

However, taking certain vitamins in the correct proportions for metabolistic synergy is something I rarely see reported on, but I believe it's just as important as actually taking vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, one vitamin is not getting into the diets of over a billion people worldwide.

Vitamin D deficiency continues to be a worldwide issue, and with the amount of vitamin D in many supplements I've inspected, that's no surprise. There is one free source many people know about, and it's sun exposure. The sun is not bad (unless you overexpose yourself), and it can stimulate natural vitamin D production easily. Ever wander outside for about 10 minutes with a lot of exposed skin and a shining sun?

Obese girls less likely to attend college

Filed under: , , , ,

At this point, you'd have to be living under rock not to at least be aware of the obesity epidemic in the United States -- especially amongst children. You're also most likely familiar with at least some of the negative side effects obesity has on a person's physical health, but a recent study finds that, for teenage girls, weight issues could be effecting every facet of their lives -- even their academic careers.

The study, that will appear in an upcoming issue of Sociology of Education, finds that obese girls are half as likely to attend college as their non-obese peers -- particularly if those girls went to high school with a small number of obese students.

Surprisingly, the same did not hold true for obese boys, suggesting that obesity is especially damaging to the self-image of young women.

I can only imagine the difficult task facing parents of teenage daughters. On the one hand, you want your child to be healthy, and to avoid the health problems that come with excessive weight gain. But at the same time, putting too much focus on her weight issues is likely to severely impact her self-confidence, which -- if this survey is any indication -- could have life long consequences.

Nike Maxsight: Sunglasses and contacts merged into one

Filed under: ,

When I read about Nike Maxsight contacts today I thought it was especially interesting since I had just read this article on sunglasses versus UV contacts a few days ago. UV contacts are made to filter UV rays, but Nike Maxsight lenses take it one step further and throw a sunglasses-like tint into the lenses so you get all the benefits of wearing polarized shades but without the inconvenience of glasses that can fall off or get in the way during sports or athletic activities.

Available in two colors (grey/green for golf, running, training and amber for sports like tennis, baseball, football, and rugby), Fitsugar has some good pictures of what they look like compared to regular contacts if you're curious. And Nike is offering a free trial so you can see how big of a difference they make before committing -- I for one can't wait to try them!

Pediatricians feel useless when trying to help kids live healthy

Filed under:

In a recent set of face-to-face interviews with eight St Louis area pediatricians it came to light that doctors feel pretty useless when it comes to helping obese children and their families lose weight and get healthier. Those that are successful come to the doctor's office already motivated to make changes and the doctor simply needs to answer questions and get them on the right track, but families that do not walk in raring to go are frustrating for doctors because often there's nothing they can say to get them instantly fired up and motivated towards lasting change.

The results of this study seem to point out that finding ways to get families to take an interest in getting healthy on their own, before they go in to see the doctor, is key. Then they can use their time with the doctor for questions and guidance, and they'll have the necessary motivation to keep the momentum going in the months after they've left the pediatrician's office.

iLimb: The world's first commercially available bionic hand

Filed under:

The iLimb, from Touch Bionics, is now generally available and has been successfully fitted to patients all across the U.S. and in Europe. The iLimb is a big deal because it not only looks like a real human hand but it acts like one too, with 5 individually powered fingers and the ability to sense when enough pressure has been applied in delicate situations like picking up a glass or holding someone's hand. And it can even be adapted to fit people who only need a partial hand due to missing fingers from accident, war, or congenital defect.

This iLimb totally looks like something out of the movie iRobot, don't you think? Must be the white plastic.

75% of Americans overweight by 2015?

Filed under:

If you're the type who gets motivated to change by hearing scary statistics then here's a doozy: experts predict that if Americans continue gaining weight at the current rate by the year 2015 (that's only 8 years from now!) 75% of us will be overweight or obese.

That's not only a majority, but a major majority. Every group in society (kids, adolescents, adults) is steadily gaining weight, and considering that 66% of adults were overweight or obese in 2004 I guess it's not really a big stretch that we'll hit 75% by 2015. How depressing!

The magic of placebos -- Why do they work?

Filed under:

What is it about placebos that gives them the power to work like the real thing in so many cases? The University of Michigan Health System spent some time trying to figure out why, and it seems the answer is that for some people just thinking about getting relief from medicine is in many cases enough to trigger brain responses like the release of dopamine and other chemicals. Some of the people in the research groups even got better relief from the placebo effect than from the actual medication.

It's an interesting article, and pretty much confirms what most people already know -- just how powerful our minds really are.

Teaching your kids the right way to workout

Filed under:

Child obesity is a huge problem, so if your kids want to start tagging along with you to the gym, you should let them -- it's a great way to build healthy habits at an influential age. But here's the thing -- Kids won't be able to build strong muscles until puberty hits, so the emphasis should be on their form. They can improve muscle tone but they won't be able to bulk up -- and trying to can put them at a risk for injury.

With the help of a personal trainer, youngsters can use light weights to improve their posture and muscle tone, and it's a good introduction to a life of healthy habits. But check with your gym first -- some have age minimums.

Do you work out with your kids?

The science behind cravings

Filed under:

It's often thought that cravings are a result of a nutritional deficit. For example, if you crave sweets, you need some glucose. But this might not be the case: In a study where people craving chocolate were given capsules containing chocolate's properties, people still craved the real thing. I don't blame 'em -- who wants a tasteless pill in place of heavenly chocolate? Plus few of us are truly lacking in glucose or salt or whatever else we're craving.

So scientists have used this information to further study the science behind cravings. Cravings activate 3 parts of the brain--the hippocampus, insula and caudate--and these are also active in drug addiction. What's more, cravings appear to be evolutionary. We usually crave high-calorie foods, which our body stores as fat. This stored fat, though pesky today, was lifesaving when food was scarce. For more information on cravings,

Find inspiration where you can: Country Music

Filed under: ,

I'm an urban girl at heart -- more comfortable surrounded by buildings and people than open spaces and nature. And while most people like me will proclaim an immediate disdain for the twangy, broken-hearted verses of country music, I like country music and it's vibrant energy.

As a writer, I have a passion for words, whether in song lyrics, novels or blogs, and I think we can take a lot of valuable lessons from country music. Country music isn't all broken hearts and rednecks -- many remind us of the importance of living life to the fullest and finding beauty in every moment. So when I saw this article, which gives examples of inspiring country songs and how they can be applied to a healthy life, I decided to make my own. Here are three lessons I learned from Country music:

Continue reading Find inspiration where you can: Country Music

Daily Fit Tip: Take up dancing

Filed under:

If you've never tried active ballroom dancing or something similar, you're really missing out on something that's good for the soul and the body. In fact, in some recent dancing classes I've witnessed, many were there simply to get their daily workout while having a load of fun.

What a novel idea! Make exercise fun (and really not even exercise, and it becomes more like a socially binding daily activity than the drudge of everyday exercise.

Be prepared to sweat and be tired a little, but dancing (in almost any form) gets those legs thumpin' and those hearts pumpin' -- and there's nothing wrong with that.

Jumpstart Your Fitness: 5 ways to get motivated

Filed under: ,

If the words "jumpstart your fitness" sound like something that applies to you then what you probably need is renewed motivation. Motivation is the gas that keeps your workout plan moving -- and although it's cheaper than the gas that moves your car (it's free!) the trade-off is that it's much harder to come by. There's no one way to motivate everybody -- heck, there's not even one way that will always work for motivating one same person. It's all about your mood, and your current situation. What helped you drop that last 5 pounds two summers ago may not mean anything to you at all this year, and maybe you've got other things in your life on top of it all that you didn't have to deal with before, like children or a new job.

It's tricky to figure out what's going to trip your trigger and get you moving again, especially when it feels like you've been dieting and exercising forever and you just want to rest. Remembering that being healthy and getting in shape is about making permanent lifestyle changes can help, and if losing weight feels like true exhausting 'work' to you then maybe you need to make some changes on how you're going about it. Not to say it will always be a totally easy piece of cake, but you shouldn't be miserable either.

Continue reading Jumpstart Your Fitness: 5 ways to get motivated

Not a treadmill, but a treadwall?

Filed under: ,

If the treadmill has gotten too boring for you, maybe you should consider trying the treadwall instead. Nope, that's not a typo -- it's basically a vertical treadmill with grips and steps on it to make a climbing wall that moves with you. It's adjustable for speed, and since you're never more than a couple feet off the floor there's no need for fancy harnesses or a second person right there to catch you.

Not as convenient as some equipment for your home (doesn't look like it will slide under the bed) but I think it looks awesome for the gym -- and it made the Forbes list of next generation gym gear so it must be cool.

Faith Hill and Redbook: Controversial photo re-rouching

Filed under:

Faith Hill is on the cover of Redbook this month, and it's generating a lot of controversy. It seems that the image that appears on the cover was majorly touched-up -- any signs of wrinkles were removed and a bunch of flesh was skimmed off her arms (click here to see a comparison of the photos on Diet Blog.)

What do you think of the photos? I think she looks great before the touch-ups -- she looks much more natural. Her arms in the 'after' picture look impossibly small. And Faith Hill unbelievably gorgeous and quite thin without any airbrushing - why do they feel the need to make her look more perfect, more slender? Why mess with perfection?

Jenny McCarthy's secret diet splurge is...

Filed under:

Nachos. Jenny McCarthy's secret diet splurge is none other than nachos -- she even calls them her "once a month nachos" because that's about how often she has them. Obviously Jenny works hard at her figure, but she's still pretty down to earth and has a lot of the same "vices" many women do. In this article she confesses to not only using her home gym equipment for hanging and drying clothes, but also to the indulgence of enjoying room service at hotels and often ordering eggs benedict in the morning.

HIV patients still outnumbering treatments

Filed under:

In an unfortunate admission, health officials have stated that the number of new HIV infections in developing countries is continuing to outpace efforts to bring treatments to all those infected with HIV.

That's a sign, to me, that preventative measures through education and materials may not be happening as efficiently as could be. Of course, this is no small feat in developing countries where trying to implement anything nationwide is a huge challenge.

It's really not a good day when a quote like this comes about: "...for every one person that you put in therapy, six new people get infected." What can be done? Are after-the-fact drugs the only answer in the future?

What is sequential eating?

Filed under: ,

tomatoes and cheeseA recent health tip from Chet Day got me thinking about sequential eating. He explained it as eating the food on your plate in groups, starting with the least dense, like salad, and ending with the most dense, the meat or protein source. If you eat this way, it is supposed to be better for digestion.

I did a little digging on this concept and found out that Dr. Stanley Bass writes about it in his book, Ideal Health through Sequential Eating. He describes it a bit differently, in that you should eat the food containing the most water content first, ending with the food with the least amount of water. His reasoning is that by eating this way, each food will get the exact amount of the correct enzymes that it needs to digest properly.

Interesting. My guess? There is probably something to this. For me, though, it would be very hard to follow.

I am a foodie, and I love how different foods taste together. Some of the combinations they say to avoid, like mixing dried sweet fruit or bananas with nut and seeds, are my favorite combinations.

Has anyone tried sequential eating? What were your results?



Permalink | Email this | Comments

Burn more fat by putting your feet up!

Filed under: ,

It's hard to find the time to exercise, so being as efficient as possible is important to all of us. If you could burn more calories in the same amount of exercise time just by taking a break in the middle, would you do it? Because that's what recent research in Japan found -- people get a calorie-burning and fat-metabolizing boost when they take a 20 minute break in the middle of a one hour workout session, as compared to working out for one hour straight without a break.

Although it does add 20 minutes to the overall workout time I have no problem putting my feet up and catching my breath -- and I'm sure I can find something I can cross off my to-do list during that down time, like paying a few bills or something.

Your brain really does help you find things

Filed under:

We've all had those days where we just seem to forget all kinds of things: where the car keys are, where the wallet is or what time we need to be somewhere. When it comes to actually finding an object, the human brain pulls out quite a bit of power to help you, a new study reveals.

From reading this news, I can't help but wonder if the brain is exercising itself at top form when we are trying to remember where we placed something and then doing the actions that lead the effort to find it.

Forget physics I guess -- just start losing things. Just kidding -- but the human brain's capacity to spring into action to help up with the seemingly smallest tasks in life continues to astonish me.

Healthify your water: Contrex

Filed under: ,

Water is the healthiest drink out there. But is there a way to make water even healthier? How about natural mineral water that is fortified with Calcium and Magnesium? It's called Contrex and the French, who are renowned for being healthier than us North Americans, have been drinking it for yeas, according to Fitsugar. Like regular water, it has zero calories but unlike water, it apparently has a taste that's all its own.

I'm not against making water healthier, but I can't say I'm sold. People with a healthy diet should be getting enough calcium and magnesium anyway, so this seems like a pretty blatant marketing ploy. What do you think? Have you tried Contrex?

How healthy and environmentally friendly is it to shop at Whole Foods?

Filed under: , , , , , ,

whole foodsWhen we moved about two years ago, one of the things I mourned the most was the loss of a local Whole Foods market. I just couldn't imagine shopping at a conventional supermarket again, after having so many natural food choices right down the street.

Well, sure enough, I adjusted. Belonging to a food coop helps, as does our seasonal membership at a local CSA farm.

A recent article about Whole Foods made me think about my experiences there. Whole Foods is being criticized because they don't carry foods with artificial coloring or trans fats, but they will carry anything else. I found this to be a point of criticism I always had as well. It really is like shopping at any other supermarket in that respect. You need to be a staunch label reader to make sure you are getting the best and healthiest foods.

Continue reading How healthy and environmentally friendly is it to shop at Whole Foods?

A billion people are not taking in enough vitamin D

Filed under:

The difficulty of making sure you ingest all the recommended daily vitamins and minerals can be a hassle and a nuisance for some. As a result, the "multivitamin" was developed. Now, that's a billion-dollar industry.

However, taking certain vitamins in the correct proportions for metabolistic synergy is something I rarely see reported on, but I believe it's just as important as actually taking vitamins and minerals. Unfortunately, one vitamin is not getting into the diets of over a billion people worldwide.

Vitamin D deficiency continues to be a worldwide issue, and with the amount of vitamin D in many supplements I've inspected, that's no surprise. There is one free source many people know about, and it's sun exposure. The sun is not bad (unless you overexpose yourself), and it can stimulate natural vitamin D production easily. Ever wander outside for about 10 minutes with a lot of exposed skin and a shining sun?