Want to avoid temptation? Place treats near less-dominant hand

Desperate for a way to stop yourself from chomping on biscuits while sat at your office desk? A simple solution could be to move them away from your dominant hand, as scientists have found things appear more attractive when in easy reach.

So those who are right-handed will be more tempted by goodies on their right hand side, but when the same goods are placed on the left side the desire for them drops.

On top of this experts believe that how we perceive people is also affected by where they are stood or sat.

Researcher Dr Daniel Casasanto, of Chicago University, points out things close to the side of the body of the hand you use could be favored because there’s less effort.

“If you ask people to judge which of these two job applicants do you think you would hire, righties would on average choose the person on the right, lefties on average, the person on the left,” he explained.

“This become applicable to behaviors like voting where we are all being asked to judge candidates whose names are written on the right and left of the ballot paper. We found in a large simulated election that compared to lefties, righties will choose the candidate they see on the right of the ballot paper about 15 per cent more than lefties. So these kinds of invisible influences could have real impact.”

In addition to these findings, revealed during the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s annual conference, it was discovered that the brain is wired differently in left-handed and right-handed people. Emotional hubs are on different sides, which could play a big part in treating conditions like depression with electric shock therapies that stimulate one side of the brain.

“This discovery has urgent public health implications such treatments for depression and other mental health disorder that affect millions of people were designed for right-handers, and may be detrimental to everyone else,” the expert said.

Dr. Casasanto also found that if a right-handed person wore a heavy glove to make them feel clumsy, they thought more like a left-handed person.

Nine in 10 toddlers aren’t active enough

New figures have revealed more than nine out of 10 toddlers are not doing enough exercise to stay healthy.

Just nine per cent of children aged between two and four are getting the advisable three hours of physical activity per day. The benefits of being active include improving bone health and supporting brain development, while also helping social and mental skills to develop.

Now experts are asking the Government to come up with new ways of supporting more exercise for children.

The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC), based at Loughborough University, are asking politicians to include stipulations for more exercise in policies – encouraging young children at nursery and in their communities to be given more opportunities to stay active.

“This manifesto outlines how we can create an environment for our children that encourages them and stimulates them to be active,” Elaine McNish, director of the BHFNC, said. “This manifesto is a call to policy makers to ensure that early years settings are supported to create active environments.

“We know that active children are more likely to become active adults so it’s vitally important to get it right at the beginning to give children opportunities to play from a young age and develop a lifelong love of being active.”

With obesity proving an increasingly difficult problem to solve among adults, it is believed that encouraging activity from a very young age may help prevent weight problems as the children get older.

“We know that physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle for everyone and the under-fives are no different,” Lisa Young, project manager for prevention and behaviour change at the British Heart Foundation, added.

“Developing a love of being active from a young age is important as we know active children become active adults, and active adults are healthier adults.”

More siblings = behavioural problems?

Growing up with siblings can teach you many lessons about sharing, looking after others and making sure you get to the biscuit tin first. But while there might be plenty of benefits to having brothers and sisters, new research now suggests people who come from a large family face problems at school.

According to a study from the University of Houston, children from big families are more likely to suffer behavioural issues and fall behind in class.

“Families face a substantial quantity-quality trade-off: increases in family size decrease parental investment, decrease childhood performance on cognitive tests and measures of social behaviour,” the research claims.

“Importantly, we find that these negative effects are not merely temporary disruptions following a birth but in fact persist throughout childhood.” The worrying thing is that the scientists think the issues could persist into early adulthood. If this is true, these early experiences could shape people for the rest of their lives.

“A lot of what happens in early childhood has lasting impacts,” co-author Dr Chinhui Juhn said.

“In many respects, this matters more than a lot of things that happen later in (a child’s) life.”

To draw their conclusions, experts looked at data from older children, investigating the time before and after their younger siblings were born.

The more children, the less ‘parental investment’, which is the time spent with individual children, the environment and the resources available, including money and books.

The study also scored mothers on the Armed Force Qualification Test, which reveals information about socioeconomic factors. Mothers with a low score are more likely to be in financial difficulty. The findings were not straightforward, as those with a mother with a median score were less affected by siblings. The study also neglected to investigate fathers.

In conclusion, it seemed that children from large families with financial difficulties suffered the most.

“If you are in a well-resourced family, some of these things don’t apply,” Dr Juhn summarized.

“When the second child comes along, there is less time and attention. But in an environment with more resources, it’s not as binding.”

Sweet skincare: Beauty treats without the calories

Topping the list of most people’s New Year’s resolutions is to ditch the sugary snacks and swap them for healthy fruit and veg. But even if you’ve bid adieu to sweet treats in 2016, we have good news: you can use them in your skincare without putting on a single pound! Here we round up some of beauty’s most delicious ingredients that won’t affect your diet.

Chocolate

Why it’s good for you:

Dark chocolate is packed full of antioxidants, which fight free radicals. This even means it’s OK to eat it every now and again, but for those of you wanting to stay completely off the sweet stuff (we salute you!) it makes a great ingredient in beauty products.

How to use it:

You can make an at-home toning facemask by warming 50g of good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa) and adding to a blended mixture of banana and strawberries. Apply to your face and neck and relax for 20 minutes before washing off. We won’t judge you if you try and lick your face…

There are also tonnes of chocolate-scented products for beauty queens with a sweet tooth. We particularly love Christopher Courtney London’s rich Anti-Oxidant Chocolate Face Cream.

Honey

Why it’s good for you:

“For centuries honey has been one of nature’s best-kept beauty secrets,” CEW Award winning company Bee Good’s beekeeper, Simon Cavill, revealed to Cover Media. “Honey has so many benefits for the skin – in its purest form it’s suitable for all skin types and assists with perfecting, cleansing, and protecting the skin.”

How to use it:

Thanks to its antibacterial properties, honey can be applied to skin issues like acne in its purest form as a natural spot fighter. You can also mix it with coconut oil to make a gentle cleanser – simply rub in, avoiding the eyes, and wash off.

If you’re after honey-based products, look out for healing creams. For example, Calendulis Plus Cream uses Manuka honey to moisturize and help fight eczema and psoriasis.

Sugar

Why it’s good for you:

Sugar is a great base for homemade scrubs as it’s far gentler on skin than ready-made versions with abrasive beads. It’s also a natural humectant, which means it draws moisture into the skin, leaving it hydrated. It also contains glycolic acid, which promotes cell turnover, leaving you radiant.

How to use it:

As mentioned above, you can make your very own scrubs with sugar. Simply mix sugar and coconut oil in equal parts and apply to any rough areas, including the lips. Gently rub and wash off to reveal smoother skin.