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CAT | Heart Health

Poor CreditBefore you go overboard with the holiday spending, you may want to take a moment to think about your heart. Researchers in New Zealand recently found a link between low credit scores and poor cardiovascular health, saying certain personality traits may be to blame.

Using data from the long-term Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, which tracked the health of 1,000 individuals from birth through age 38, analysts saw a clear connection between certain characteristics—including self-discipline as well as the ability to plan ahead—and both optimal financial health and better overall heart health.

In order to draw their conclusions, the research team used a well-known heart health gauge developed for another decades-long health study known as the Framingham Heart Study. The Cardiovascular Disease Risk Score allowed researchers to measure the “heart age” of participants based on physical health factors (such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels) as well as diet and lifestyle habits.

Although the Dunedin study participants were all nearing 40, their heart ages told a different story, ranging between 22 to 85 years old. Not surprisingly, the younger the heart age, the better the credit score. And finally, while researchers say the personality characteristics connected to higher credit scores are typically established in early childhood, it is never too late to start practicing healthy habits—physically and financially!

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candyOh, how we love the sweet stuff—from candy, cupcakes and sugary soft drinks to starchy carbohydrates like grains that break down into sugar in the digestive tract. And while it’s easy to see how that love affair can affect their waistlines, too many Americans are blind to its impact on their overall health.

Now, a team of experts from the University of California are bringing home the hard truth using a website designed to encourage people to kick the sugar habit.

Launched this month, SugarScience.org reveals “the unsweetened truth” about hidden sugar and the health risks associated with a high-sugar diet. Scientists and public health professionals poured through more than 8,000 scientific papers to create a resource of peer-reviewed and -supported research that is easily accessible to the general public.

The SugarScience team says their goal is to help individuals and communities make healthy choices, and it begins with understanding just how dangerous sugar is to human health. For example, too much added sugar from soda and sports drinks can overload critical organs over time, leading to serious diseases, according to a statistic from the website.

Check out SugarScience.org today to learn more!

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