Health bites

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 October, 2011, 12:00am


It's not you, it's us

Replacing 'I' with 'we' in self-talk could be the secret to success, according to Michigan State University researchers. 'By focusing on the team, you include yourself without putting the focus or extra pressure on yourself,' says Deborah Feltz, co-author of the study published in the Journal of Sports Sciences. Eighty subjects were randomly assigned to three groups before completing a team-based dart-throwing activity: one used neutral self-talk; another used self-talk focused on one's personal abilities; and the third used self-talk focused on the group's abilities. Overall, the last group had the greatest performance indicators and team confidence. 'Reinforcing the sense of team and focusing on a team goal can help someone change health behaviour or reach sales goals,' says Feltz.

Bright, but not so early

Students who do poorly may improve significantly after a few years. Researchers have found that one's IQ, the standard measure of intelligence, is not constant. The study, published in the journal Nature, tested 33 healthy teens in 2004 between the ages of 12 and 16, and again four years later. Results showed that IQ can rise or fall markedly during one's teens, with associated changes in brain structure detected by magnetic resonance imaging, according to the experts at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London and the Centre for Educational Neuroscience. 'We have a tendency to assess children and determine their course of education relatively early in life, but here we have shown that their intelligence is likely to be still developing,' says lead researcher Professor Cathy Price.

Sweetness and light

It seems that constant chocolate craving not only means you have a sweet tooth, but it's also likely you're a sweet person. That's the finding of researchers from North Dakota State University, Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania and Saint Xavier University in Chicago, after five studies. In one study, participants who ate a sweet food (chocolate) were more likely to volunteer to help a person in need than one who ate a non-sweet food or nothing. In another study, people believed a person who liked sweet foods most among the four taste types was more agreeable or helpful, and not more extroverted or neurotic.

A lesson in labels

Having trouble understanding food labels? Learn how at a series of workshops next month organised by the United Christian Nethersole Community Health Service. Conducted in Cantonese by an Australian-accredited practising dietitian, the classes will cover the definitions of terms, nutrition labelling tricks, selection of healthier snacks, and more. Classes cost HK$320 and are on November 15, 22, 29 and December 6, from 3.30pm to 5pm, at the Jockey Club Wo Lok Community Health Centre in Kwun Tong. To sign up, call 21720727.

Green pickings

Here's a tasty way to load up on your five a day: fancy salad concoctions by celebrity chefs. Think chipotle chicken, created by TBLS' Que Dang; yuzu tofu cha soba by Sushi Kuu's Satoru Mukogawa; and seared tuna with grilled pineapple and fennel (right), by Liberty Exchange's Vicky Cheng. The three salads will be on one-week rotations starting November 1 at Dressed. From HK$78.