The information you get from “fitness” bands may be off by as much as 40 percent, according to Gregory Welk, an Iowa State University kinesiology professor, who tested seven of them. The top two bands were off just over 15 percent and the worst one was off 40 percent. There were $1.4 billion worth of these fitness trackers sold last year and the market continues to be hot. Professor Welk admits they’re still a valuable tool to achieve fitness.
NutritionFacts.org has the best videos we’ve ever seen on health topics, including heart disease and cancer. Today we learned that while pesticides are found almost universally in the blood of people eating conventional foods from grocery stores, it’s not clear whether this causes health problems. Surveys are difficult, because there are so many variables. Fruit flies are easier to study, for example, but not surprisingly, insects eating insecticides fare poorly. We also learned the most effective way to remove surface pesticides from fruit and veggies: put a little salt in the water when you wash them.
Forty percent of people who bought fitness trackers, such as Fitbit, stop using them within six months, according to a survey of 5000 people by NPD Group. Joy stopped using the Misfit Flash after losing it, and is only one month into the Garmin VivoFit (original version). The survey claimed people are more likely to use the waterproof and rugged versions. Joy likes how the VivoFit reminds her to get up and move around for two minutes every hour.
We read about a guy who lost 140 pounds playing “Ingress,” a free Android/iPhone game that gets you moving about in the real world (whatever that is). You the player can choose to be on the side of the “Enlightened” or the “Resistance” as you search for power nodes that connect with another universe.
“This for That: Visual Schedules” is designed to help children with autism. It’s free through April for iPhone/iPad or 99 cents for Android. It helps break down tasks into easy-to-follow steps, helps ease the transition between activities, and gives them rewards for good behavior.
We spotted some great recipes in a “WebMD” magazine in the doctor’s office, including one for “Tofu-Pineapple Stir Fry.” (OK, Joy thought it sounded great, Bob still prefers grilled cheese.) But when we tried to subscribe, we discovered that the print version is only available in doctor’s offices. (We think rioting in the streets might be appropriate here.)
We were burned when we signed up for the “prime” version of Health Tap, after they offered us a free two-week trial of their doctor on demand service. We didn’t remember that they had our credit card, so it was a big shock to learn we’d been dinged $109 per month for three months. This has become a “business model,” as they say, and it’s a nasty practice.