Health bites

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 31 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 31 May, 2011, 12:00am


What the fish?

Not all pisces are equal. For post-menopausal women, baked/broiled and dark is the way to go. According to a new study of more than 84,000 women, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure, those who ate five or more servings a week of baked/broiled fish had a 30 per cent lower risk of heart failure compared with those who ate less than one serving a month. Conversely, eating just one serving of fried fish a week was linked with a 48 per cent higher risk. Passing on tuna, sole, snapper and cod in favour of darker varieties like salmon, mackerel and bluefish was also found to lower the risk of heart failure significantly.

Consider the countryside

Mums-to-be who move away from the city could give birth to healthier babies. Researchers at Queensland University of Technology's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation in Australia have found that women who live within 400 metres of busy roads are more likely to have a premature baby by nearly two weeks. Both air pollution and noise pollution - which disturb sleep and raise stress - were considered possible contributing factors. 'Pre-term and low birth-weight babies stay in hospital longer after birth, have an increased risk of death and are more likely to develop disabilities,' says senior research fellow Associate Professor Adrian Barnett.

'I'm not fat; my skeleton's growing'

Now, that's a valid excuse for those extra kilograms you may be putting on with age. In a study published last week in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, experts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that the pelvis (hip bone) continues to widen through one's lifetime even as vertical growth stops by age 20. A 25mm increase in pelvic diameter could lead to about a 76mm increase in waist size from age 20 to 79, regardless of an increase in body fat. If the rest of the body is widening commensurately, this might account for a significant increase in body weight of about 0.45kg a year that many people experience during the same period, says senior study author, Dr Laurence Dahners.

What a swell idea

As the sea warms up in Hong Kong, it's the perfect time to challenge yourself to an open-water swimming race. There are two coming up. On Sunday, the Sports World Summer Ocean Swim series kicks off with a 1.4-kilometre swim from Repulse Bay Beach to South Bay Beach. It's open to everyone aged eight and over. Sign up at It will be a good warm-up for the Shek O Challenge on Saturday, July 9, which features a 2.2-kilometre swim from Big Wave Bay to Rocky Bay, along with volleyball, frisbee, DJs, dancing and a barbecue. See