The Friday Roundup

Men Can Be Binge-Eaters, TooNPR  
While most people think of eating disorders as a woman’s issue, the truth is more and more men are also suffering from what is a debilitating and potentially fatal illness. According to a new study conducted by Wesleyan University men are almost as likely to suffer from binge eating and women. Binge eating is a serious health condition in which someone eats in a way that feels out of control and then often feels the need to compensate by fasting or working out excessively. Along with the health risks there are also emotional side effects such as guilt, depression and anxiety. In a study of 46,351 people, researchers found that about 11% of women and 7.5% of men reported behaviors associated with binge eating. Unfortunately, because of the social stigma surrounding eating disorders, men are far less likely to seek treatment than their female counterparts.


GPS shoes for Alzheimer’s patients to hit USThe Boston Globe
GTX Corp has announced that their first shoes with built in GPS will be launched on the U.S. market this month and marketed for seniors suffering dementia. The shoes will sell for around $300 a pair and will allow caregivers and family members to set up a monitoring service so that if a senior suffering from Alzheimer’s becomes disoriented or lost they will be able to locate them. Already 5 million American’s suffer from Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to quadruple in the coming years. Establishing a way to locate those suffering from dementia will hopefully allow them to retain their independence and stay more active.


Pythons’ big hearts hold clues for human healthUSA Today
Pythons and their highly unusual digestive system may provide some answers to improving heart health in humans. Researchers have discovered that after a python eats, its heart and other organs grow larger and its metabolism speeds up by an amazing 40-fold. Within three days of eating the snakes heart can grow up to 40% and its not just swelling it is building muscle much the way that Olympic athletes develop larger hearts. Scientists have already tried injecting mice with plasma from a recently fed python and found that their hearts grew larger in a healthy way as well. The hope is that with further research scientists will be able to apply these finding to humans, spurring growth in those with heart disease.


Study Shows Why It’s Hard to Keep Weigh OffThe New York Times 
Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight has found that losing is only half the battle, its keeping those pounds off where the real challenge come is and thanks to a new study scientists are getting a better idea of why this is. After tracking a group of dieters, Australian researchers discovered that even a full year after substantial weight loss, dieter’s hormones and metabolism had still not returned to their pre-diet norms.  Hormones that control appetite and stimulate hunger rise when someone is on a diet and their metabolism slows down, perhaps as an evolutionary response to prevent starvation, confirming what most of us already knew, that keeping the weight off requires more than just  a little will power.