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ICYMI Health features what we’re reading this week.
This week, we sought out simple answers to tough health questions. While such questions require a degree of nuance — if they didn’t, they wouldn’t be tough, right? — consider this an at-a-glance jumping off point to explore the research in more detail.
Read on and tell us in the comments: What did you read and love this week?
Q: Does punishing your children for acting out make them better behaved?
A: Positive reinforcement is a better — but more time-intensive — approach.
“Even a wonderful punishment, gentle punishment like time-out, or reasoning, those don’t work,” Alan Kazdin, director of the Yale Parenting Center, told The Atlantic.
So what’s a parent to do? Kazdin believes that the most effective parents harness positive reinforcement, and the power of perceived choice as tactics to teach their children good behavior.
Of course, the majority of parents don’t have time for that, and fall back on punishment as an efficient way to force their children to behave in a certain way — temporarily, of course.
MORE: The Atlantic
Q: Can spouses from different social classes bridge the gap between their backgrounds?
A: Yes, but it’s harder than couples expect.
Class-based differences can cause people to approach child-rearing, money management and career advancement in fundamentally different ways, according to Jessi Streib, a sociologist who published a book on cross-class marriages last year.
Partners from white-collar professional backgrounds, preferred to carefully plan and manage their lives, while their blue-collar counterparts were more apt to live spontaneously, without self-imposed constraints. These differences permeated nearly every aspect of life, from big decisions like how raise their children to minor things, like how to manage their time on vacation. The invisible bonds of class don’t disappear with advanced degrees and increased tax brackets. Compromises are certainly possible, but couples can never totally leave their backgrounds behind at “I do.”
MORE: The Atlantic
Q: Will lifting weights build you stronger bones?
A: Sadly, no.
Or at least very, very little, according to the New York Times. After rigorous study, scientists found that while bedridden people lose bone mass when confined to bed, there’s no statistically significant evidence that people gain bone mass from exercise.
That’s not to say that exercise is unimportant. Older people who do weight-barring exercise have a smaller risk of bone fractures than people who don’t lift weights. (Although older people with more muscle mass, might be less likely to fall and injure themselves in the first place.)
And weight lifting does have health benefits — including improved sleep, better balance and reduced anxiety — greater bone mass just doesn’t happen to be one of them
MORE: New York Times
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