7 Things You Need To Know Today (August 17)

Photo: Jessamyn Stanley @mynameisjessamyn

1. Jessamyn Stanley continues to inspire people with her body-positive yoga movement.

The curvy yoga teacher never considered that her body shape or size might be a hindrance to her fitness goals. When asked if she thought yoga could make someone body-positive, Stanley said, “… the real issue that you have to resolve is deeply embedded within yourself … You need to start to ask questions of yourself that you were not asking before.” (The Guardian)

2. Negativity might be healthier than you thought.

Insights into the impact of positivity show that too much positive thinking can actually cause decreased motivation and out-of-control frustration. On the other hand, those who allow room for reasonable cynicism tend to be better negotiators, decision-makers, and have a lower risk of heart attack. (Big Think)

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3. Have you tried teff yet? It could be your new favorite grain.

We've been excited about teff for a little while now, due to its high iron, protein, B vitamin, and calcium content — all wrapped up in one tiny (poppy-seed-size), gluten-free package. It's actually been a staple in Ethiopia for centuries, where 90 percent of it is grown today. There are currently many strict trade laws to prevent Ethiopian farmers from exporting teff, thus keeping it affordable in its native land. (NYT)

4. Race can affect kids' access to mental health care.

A new study in the International Journal of Health Services found that children who are black or Hispanic are less likely to receive mental health services. Even while controlling for insurance and mental health status, researchers found that just 2.3 percent of young black or Hispanic people saw a mental health specialist in a given year, compared to close to 6 percent of white children. (KHN)

5. Lifestyle changes have led to a surge in heart disease in China.

A new Harvard study found that a sharp rise in the rate of heart attacks and strokes was brought about by China's embrace of Western foods, like soda and red meat. Declining levels of exercise (as more people move from the country to the city) and high rates of smoking are also likely to blame. (NYT)

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6. Sorry, but your morning cardio session isn't enough to undo the damage of your desk job.

According the American Heart Association, if you spend the majority of your day sitting, exercising daily isn't enough to protect your heart. Unfortunately, the AHA doesn't have a specific recommendations for counteracting all that sitting just yet, except to "sit less, move more." In other words, try to do as many laps around your office today as possible. (HealthDay)

7. Olympians love their McDonald's.

Although the dining hall in Rio is providing Olympians with some delicious-sounding options, they're not having it. It seems the world's fittest people are much more interested in eating Big Macs since the McDonald's in the village has lines out the door morning and night. (The Washington Post)

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