WellNews: All the news that's fit
Mar 02,2007 00:00 by Scott_LaFee

MEDTRONICA

The Nutrition Source

www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/

Produced by the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, this Web site offers a solid menu of information on how to eat healthfully, with sidebar analyses of the latest health news and trends.

BODY OF KNOWLEDGE

When you touch a hot stove, your body doesn't wait for nerve signals in your fingers to reach your brain and come back with a response. To keep you from burning yourself, your spinal cord sends a quick message to your muscles, telling them to move your hand. At the same time, a message continues on to your brain, which informs you that you're in pain.

STORIES FOR THE WAITING ROOM

TALL TALES TOLD - Cornell University researchers say online daters frequently do not tell the truth about themselves. Men systematically overstate their height, while women most commonly underestimate their weight, they say. CNS Photo.

MEDTRONICA - The Nutrition Source Web site at www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/ offers information on how to eat healthfully, with additional information on the latest health news and trends. CNS Photo.

In 1658, Thomas Hollier, a London surgeon, removed a bladder stone "as big as a tennis ball" from famed English diarist Samuel Pepys (1633-1703). Pepys recovered but often complained later that he passed "gravel" in his urine, which he tried to cure by drinking turpentine.

BEST MEDICINE

Q: What did the DNA say to the other DNA?

A: Do these genes make me look fat?

OBSERVATION

A man is as old as his arteries.

- Thomas Sydenham, English physician (1624-1689)

TALL TALES, LIGHTLY TOLD

This just in: A Cornell University study, to be published in the Proceedings of Computer/Human Interaction, has determined that online daters frequently do not tell the truth about themselves.

Using a new method to measure actual differences between online profile information and reality, the study reveals that men systematically overstate their height, while women most commonly underestimate their weight, said Jeffrey Hancock, an assistant professor of communication at Cornell.

"Surprisingly, age-related deception was minimal and did not differ by gender."

Hancock said that more than 52 percent of the men in the study lied about their height, as did 39 percent of the women. In terms of weight, 64.1 percent of the women lied, with men not much more honest (60.5 percent lied). Most online daters fessed up to their actual age: 75.7 percent of the men, 86.9 percent of the women.

What constituted a lie, according to researchers? For height, it was a discrepancy of more than half an inch; for weight, a deviation of more than five pounds; for age, a difference of more than a year.

The general pattern of lies was slight, but frequent, said Hancock, who observed that online daters are caught in a bind: They want to be perceived as attractive as possible, but they want to be thought of as honest, too.

GET ME THAT. STAT!

The chances are 2 in 5 that a patient who undergoes weight-loss surgery will develop complications within six months, according to the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Rockville, Md.

PHOBIA OF THE WEEK

Atychiphobia - fear of failure

LAST WORDS

Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) was the 13th president, succeeding from the vice presidency when President Zachary Taylor died of acute gastroenteritis.

Fillmore's life and legacy aren't particularly memorable. Nor were his reported last words. Recuperating after a stroke, he was being fed some soup when he uttered, "the nourishment is palatable" and subsequently died.