December 20th, 2013
11:06 AM ET
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
Text messages could improve your health
R u eatin ur vegetables? Would you if you had a personalized text message sent to your phone to remind you?
Researchers at the University of Michigan asked 1,800 people to sign up for a 14-week pilot program called txt4health, which sends diet reminders to type 2 diabetics and those at risk of developing the disease. While only 39% of the participants stayed enrolled for the entire program, those who did say they changed their diets significantly - drinking more water, eating fruit for dessert and consuming fewer fried foods.
Read more from Medical Daily
2,000 steps a day keeps the doctor away
Walking an extra 2,000 steps, or about a mile, every day could significantly reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, researchers in the United Kingdom say.
They gave 9,306 pre-diabetic adults around the globe pedometers, and recorded their average step totals at the beginning of the study and again 12 months later. Participants who increased their daily distances by at least 2,000 steps saw a 10% difference in risk.
The benefits were seen regardless of the participants' body weight or starting activity levels.
Read more from TIME.com
You're probably picking the wrong health care plan
About 80% of people will over-estimate their health insurance needs and pick a plan for 2014 that costs too much, research from Columbia Business School suggests. Doing so will cost the average consumer an extra $611, and cost taxpayers billions in government subsidies.
Read more from Science 2.0
Black women have to do more to lose weight
For years, researchers have wondered why African-American woman struggled to lose as much weight as their Caucasian counterparts in diet and fitness studies.
"At first, it was thought that perhaps the African-American women didn't adhere as closely to their calorie prescriptions or that the interventions were not culturally sensitive," said James P. DeLany, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. "But even in research projects that were designed to address those possibilities, the difference in weight loss remained."
In a new study, DeLany and his colleagues found black women need fewer calories daily than white women because they have a lower resting metabolic rate. So African-American women need to eat fewer calories - or burn more - to lose the same amount of weight in the same time frame.
Read more from Philly.com
Chewing gum makes teens' heads hurt
The chomping, popping, bubble-blowing guy sitting next to you on the train may be giving you a headache, but it's nothing compared the pain some teens feel while chewing gum. Researchers at Tel Aviv University-affiliated Meir Medical Center had 30 adolescents with frequent headaches quit their chewing habit; 26 reported a significant improvement. When 20 went back to chewing gum, their migraine-like pain returned.
Lead study author Dr. Nathan Watemberg believes frequent chewing may cause stress to the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, where the jaw meets the skull.
Read more from ScienceDaily
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.