"Green exercise" boosts well-being by ProQuest


Abundant scientific evidence shows that activity in natural areas decreases the risk of mental illness and improves the sense of well-being. [...] nobody knew how much time people had to spend in green spaces to get those and other benefits.

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									                                                                                                                                                               inform July 2010, Vol. 21 (7) 409

  The US Department of Agriculture
                                                                                         Health & Nutrition
  (USDA) has moved to eliminate use
  of algal DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)
  and ARA (arachidonic acid) in organic
  baby formula and organic milk. USDA
  is not challenging the safety of the addi-
  tives. Instead, it says the administra-
  tion of President George W. Bush did
  not follow proper procedures when it
  listed the fatty acids as allowable non-
  organic ingredients.
                                               Courtesy of Michael Bernstein, American Chemical Society

       “The USDA plans to issue a draft
  guidance later this year that would
  give food makers a grace period to
  reformulate their lines. The public will
  have 60 days to comment, after which
  the USDA will issue a final decision,”
  an article in The Wall Street Journal
  A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet
  or orlistat therapy combined with a
  low-fat diet led to similar beneficial
  effects on weight, serum lipids, and gly-
  cemic parameters, say US researchers.
  Over 48 weeks, 146 study participants
  (mean age 52 years) with overweight
  or obesity were treated with either
                                                                                                          “Green exercise”                                   effects of nature on human mental health,”
                                                                                                                                                             Pretty said.
  a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet                                                                      boosts well-being                                       From an analysis of 1,252 people (of
                                                                                                                                                             different ages, genders, and mental health
  (initially, 20 g of carbohydrate daily)
                                                                                                          A confession: The following question has           status) drawn from 10 existing studies in
  or with the over-the-counter weight-
                                                                                                          nothing to do with fats and oils. Nonethe-         the United Kingdom, the authors were
  loss drug orlistat (120 mg oral dose                                                                                                                       able to show that activity in the presence
                                                                                                          less, it is of interest to those concerned with
  given three times daily) in combination                                                                                                                    of nature led to mental and physical health
                                                                                                          nutrition and health.
  with a low-fat diet (30% energy from                                                                          And now for the question: How much           improvements.
  fat, 500–1,000 kcal deficit per day).                                                                   “green exercise” produces the greatest                  They analyzed activities such as
  The primary outcome measures were                                                                       improvement in mood and sense of per-              walking, gardening, cycling, fishing,
  body weight, blood pressure, fasting                                                                    sonal well-being? A study in Environmen-           boating, horse-riding, and farming. The
  serum lipid concentrations, and glyce-                                                                  tal Science & Technology (doi: 10.1021/            greatest health changes occurred in the
  mic parameters.                                                                                         es101129n ) finds that just five minutes of        young and the mentally ill, although people
        According to lead author William                                                                  exercise in a park, on a nature trail, or other    of all ages and social groups benefited. All
  S. Yancy Jr. (Veterans Affairs and Duke                                                                 green space will benefit mental health.            natural environments were beneficial includ-
  University Medical Centers, Durham,                                                                           Jules Pretty and Jo Barton of the UK’s       ing parks in urban settings. Green areas with
  NC), mean weight loss was substantial                                                                   University of Essex explain in the study           water added something extra. A blue and
  but similar for the two groups: 11.4 kg                                                                 that green exercise is physical activity in        green environment seems even better for
  for the low-carbohydrate, ketogenic                                                                     the presence of nature. Abundant scien-            health, Pretty noted.
  diet group and 9.6 kg for the group                                                                     tific evidence shows that activity in natural           From a health policy perspective, the
  treated with orlistat and a low-fat diet.                                                               areas decreases the risk of mental illness         largest positive effect on self-esteem came
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