Today’s Headlines: Morning Light, Beans and Paternal Obesity

To slim down, it helps to get up early and see the light, study says: Getting more light could help you lose weight, according to a new study. Researchers asked 54 volunteers to record their diets and wear a wrist monitor to track light exposure and sleep patterns. “People who loaded up on light exposure at the beginning of the day were most likely to have a lower body mass index,” regardless of how many calories they consumed. For every hour that light exposure was delayed in the morning, BMI rose by 1.28. While all light over 500 lux (about as bright as a typical office) had an effect, morning light was particularly powerful, perhaps because it “contains more wavelengths in the blue portion of the spectrum,” which is known to affect the circadian system and metabolism. (The Washington Post)

Beans, lentils, peas: Your recipe for lower cholesterol?: Legumes could be your key to lower cholesterol, a new study reports. The new analysis looked at 26 different studies and found that one daily serving (or 3/4 cup) of legumes, including beans, chickpeas, lentils and peas, could reduce bad cholesterol by 5%. The effect was present for both men and women, but was more marked for men. The new research suggests that simply adding legumes to an everyday diet could significantly lower heart disease risk, according to the study’s authors. (CBS News

Father’s obesity tied to child’s risk for autism: “Paternal obesity may increase a child’s risk of developing autism spectrum disorders,” according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. Researchers looked at 93,000 children and found that children born to obese fathers were almost twice as likely to develop an autism spectrum disorder, though risk in both groups was low. “Overall, a child born to an obese father had a .27 percent risk of developing ASD while a child born to a normal-weight father had a .15 percent risk.” While prior studies have suggested maternal weight may also relate to autism risk, no such connection was found in this study. (Fox News)