Today’s Headlines: Tango, Snacking and Caffeinated Underwear

The tango can help those with Parkinson’s disease. It seems knowing how to match your feet to the music is useful for more than just looking good at parties. New research out this week has found that patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) enrolled in a two-year program where they were taught the tango saw improvements in their symptoms and balance. According to the authors, “participation in community-based dance classes over 2 years was associated with improvements in motor and nonmotor symptom severity, performance on activities of daily living, and balance in a small group of people with PD. This is noteworthy given the progressive nature of PD and the fact that the control group declined on some outcome measures over 2 years.” Tango has been shown in other studies to improve self-esteem, memory and motor coordination. (Washington Post)

Snacking as a meal replacement is on the rise. Normally, it’s snacking between meals that we try to avoid. But new data from global surveys has revealed that snacks are also becoming a meal replacement. “The study revealed people are frequently replacing snacks with meals. Globally, 45 percent of people admit to snacking instead of eating a meal—52 percent of those snack for breakfast, 43 percent snack for lunch, and 40 percent snack for dinner.” While most people eat savory snacks, the kind varies from place to place. “People in the United States and Middle East are enjoying more meat snacks, with dried meat and jerky sales surging 15 percent and 25 percent, respectively. In Europe, sales of dips, including salsa and hummus, rose 6.8 percent, while in Latin America crackers, rice cakes and pita chips sales spiked 21 percent. People in Asia-Pacific countries indulged in dairy products with sales of yogurt, cheese and pudding increasing 6.4 percent.” The researchers hope these findings push individuals to seek out healthier options while also encouraging snack producers to make their snacks more nutritious. (NBC)

Caffeine in your underwear is useless for weight loss. The claims from several companies selling weight-loss clothing with caffeine have been found to be bogus and misleading by the FTC. US regulators have ruled that producers of underwear, girdles and leggings laced with caffeine need to pull their ads and refund money to consumers. “The Federal Trade Commission said Wacoal America and Norm Thompson Outfitters, which owns Sahalie and others, were accused of deceptive advertising that claimed their caffeine-impregnated clothing would cause the wearer to lose weight and have less cellulite.” The ruling was made after the companies were found to have no evidence for any of the claims made. Per the FTC, “If someone says you can lose weight by wearing the clothes they are selling, steer clear. The best approach is tried and true: diet and exercise.” (Fox)