These things could be a hazard to your health in the New Year... maybe

Ever wonder why we make New Year’s resolutions?

Many people make New Year's resolutions every year but very few stick to them. Humans have been making New Year's resolutions for thousands of years. Find out where they originated.
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Many people make New Year's resolutions every year but very few stick to them. Humans have been making New Year's resolutions for thousands of years. Find out where they originated.

In the event you are not worried enough about government shutdowns and roller-coaster stock markets and rising interest rates and the Mueller investigation, here’s a few more things to keep you on edge as we approach 2019.

These troubling studies are brought to you by the editors of The Week magazine, who employ scientific research to tell you some of the ordinary things to fear as we head into another year. But please take them with a large grain of salt, assuming salt is still a healthy condiment.


Really? How can we treat our little aches and pains without our ibuprofen? Well, it seems French scientists have found that a 600 mg dose of ibuprofen, taken twice a day for six weeks by men aged 18 to 35, led to a testicular condition that causes infertility.

The Week added that researchers “don’t know why.’‘ We don’t either, and at our age, we’re not much worried about infertility. Sorry, all you young men.

Grilled food

Better alert old dad about this one. Harvard researchers analyzed the diets of some 103,000 people for 16 years and found that those who ate grilled meat or fish more than 15 times a month were 17 percent more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who ate grilled stuff only four times a month. If old dad grills 15 times a month, maybe he ought to get a life. Or a wife.


I don’t wear these anymore, but a German research team tells us that wearing a tie with a Windsor knot cuts off blood flow to the brain. We’re not kidding about this, guys. MRI tests showed that ties reduce blood flow by an average of 7.5 percent and can have a temporary effect on men’s brain functions. Methinks that could explain the ineptitude of some of our neck-tied politicians. The answer: Vote for women! They wear scarves.

Bottled water

At first, this one sounded downright scary. A study of 259 water bottles from the U.S. and eight other countries found that 93 percent were contaminated with pieces of plastic less than 5mm long. The Week quickly adds that researchers don’t know where the plastic comes from or how it affects your body or your health. So, uh, why are you telling us this? Think we don’t have enough to worry about?

Staying up late

Researchers tracked about 230,000 adults and found that night owls had a 10 percent greater risk of early death than those who, say, go to bed around 8 p.m. and wake up around 4 a.m. (Yes, Virginia, that would be me.) The problem, says researcher Kris Knutson, is that staying up late deprives one of needed sleep: “There’s a problem for the night owl who’s trying to live in a morning-lark world.” Cute.

Following sports

Researchers tell us that sports can make us miserable — in case we didn’t know that. British researchers studied three million responses from a “happiness monitor” over three seasons of soccer matches. They found that on a happiness scale of 100, fans’ happiness jumped 3.9 points when their team won and fell 7.8 points when their team lost. I don’t think we needed a study for that. Just check out your local Pittsburgh Steeler fan — I’m pretty sure there’s one in your neighborhood — and you can measure wins and losses by the spring (or slouch) in his step, the joy (or sadness) in his voice. It’s like a built-in happiness monitor.

So anyway, sad or happy, enjoy the New Year. Science aside, it’s gotta be better than 2018.

Contact Bob Bestler at bestler6@tds.net.