A few months ago, I spoke at a conference attended mostly by fitness trainers and enthusiasts, and I noticed that about 75% of them were wearing activity monitors on their wrists or clipped to their clothing. To be honest, it seemed sort of strange and obsessive, but–hey–everyone needs a hobby. So I feel a little sheepish about admitting to the fact that I am now the proud owner of a Fitbit One and am obsessively watching my daily step count and analyzing my sleep patterns! And I have to say, having an objective way to measure my level of activity really has made a positive difference. If I’ve failed to crack 10,000 steps by 8pm, I’ll go out for a walk instead of sitting down at my computer or popping in a DVD. For more on how “self-quantifiers” are using technology to monitor and improve their health, see this article I wrote for Intel iQ.
Once you start down the self-quantification path, it can be a slippery slope. My Fitbit One can be set up to coordinate with a number of popular online diet trackers, such as My Fitness Pal. But if you’re using one of these to log your calorie or nutrient intake, keep an eye out for this common hazard.
Last week’s podcast delved into a somewhat lower technology solution to persistent digestive problems. Read more about the FODMAP diet and whether it might be the solution to your tummy troubles. Sometimes, of course, tummy troubles are actually caused by food poisoning–but is there any way to know which food was the culprit? More info on that here.
Finally, fluoridation is a controversial topic that’s being debated in communities around the U.S. This week’s podcast reviews the main arguments for and against adding fluoride to the public water supply, along with some thoughts on the so-called “precautionary principle.”