Healthy Helpings

By AFM Staff – December 1, 2016
illustrations by Eleanor Grisebaum

Holiday Weight Gain

It’s not just in your head—you’re gaining weight during the holidays. The first 10 days after Christmas lead to the highest weight gain, an average of 1.3 pounds in Americans, according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. And don’t think your New Year’s resolution will be the answer to your prayers: the study also found that it takes people about five months to lose their holiday weight. Although it’s natural to pack on a few pounds during this celebratory time, health professionals suggest making an October resolution rather than pushing it off until Jan. 1.


December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month

The holidays are a time to spend with family and celebrate age-old traditions. Take a moment to learn about dangerous toxins that may be lurking in vintage holiday items, or decorations that could be exposing your friends and family to health risks.

Holiday Decorations

Make sure that any fake snow, vintage wreaths, statues, and keepsakes that are chipped or damaged do not contain asbestos.

Stocking Stuffers and Gifts

Stay clear of crayons and toys containing asbestos, as well as beauty products with ingredients such as parabens, phthalates, and formaldehyde.

Around the Home

When bringing decorations down from the attic be sure that you are not damaging any asbestos containing materials such as insulation, ceiling tiles, and flooring.

Cookware and Cooking

Retire any crock pots or oven mitts containing asbestos and teflon cookware. Buy organic fresh fruits and veggies on the “Dirty Dozen” list, and avoid canned goods containing BPA.

For more information, please visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance:

Long Yawns

Winter months can be such a bore—cue the yawns. But, there’s no reason to ever hide your yawn again! A recent study suggests that the length of a yawn can indicate how big your brain is. A team of researchers studied over 205 yawns across 24 species of animals and found the only correlation to be differences in brain sizes. They found that mice, on average, had the shortest yawns and humans had the longest. Camels and dogs followed closely behind humans. 


New Year's Resolutions

They are easier to make than they are to keep, but New Year’s resolutions are a tradition as old as time. With a chance at actually keeping your 2017 resolution right around the corner, let’s take a look at last year’s top 5.

1. Enjoy life to the fullest

2. Live a healthier lifestyle

3. Lose weight

4. Spend more time with family and friends

5. Save more, spend less



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