Profile: Peter Janiszewski

Dr. Peter Janiszewski is a medical writer and editor, published researcher, science blogger and an advocate of new media in scientific knowledge translation.
As a medical writer with an established record of working with international clients in Asia, Europe and North America, Peter produces accurate, creative, and engaging content in the form of peer-reviewed manuscripts, reviews, clinical reports, abstracts, book chapters, grant proposals, educational content, newsletters, slide decks, posters, websites, blogs, and online social media.

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NoteStreams By Peter Janiszewski

How the Navy SEALs’ “40% Rule” Can Help You Do More Than You Thought Possible

I was recently listening to a podcast that was discussing the notion of the 40% rule, popularized by US Navy SEALs, which states that at the point that your mind believes you are done your body still has the capacity to do 40% more.
Do any of us ever really know what we’re capable of?
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Category: Health

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How to Kick-start your Fitness Routine Without Setting Foot in the Gym

Losing weight is the number one resolution people make each year. Getting more exercise or becoming “fit” is usually not far behind in popularity. But if you’ve already fallen off the fitness wagon, and given up on your resolutions, here’s what you can do instead.
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Category: Health

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Are Chopsticks the Secret Behind Japan’s Low Obesity Rates?

As my wife and I finish up the first week of our trip through Japan, one thing is relatively clear; few Japanese have a weight problem.
I can’t help but notice that eating with chopsticks tends to slow down the pace at which you can consume your meal. This is especially true when eating rice, noodles, and the like.
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Category: Health

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Given up on Dead-lifts & Squats in Your Workout? Try These Alternatives

Back in my undergraduate years, as I was learning some judo, I injured by lower back. To be more specific, I had a dislocation at the sacroiliac joint caused by throwing someone over my back when not yet properly warmed up.
Fast-forward some 10 years and at the age of 35 I recently broke my personal best lifts in both deadlifts and squats. How did I do this?
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Category: Health

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People Who Eat Exotic Foods Are Leaner and Healthier

Could opening your palate to exotic foods actually make you healthier?
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Category: Health

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Avoid the Gym in January (Do this Instead)

There's no membership required to get in shape in 2017.
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Category: Health

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Smoking and Body Weight: What’s the Connection?

When people quit smoking, they tend to gain weight. But is this a coincidence, or something we can scientifically prove?
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Category: Health

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Does a Fitbit Make You More Active?

Without detailed evidence of their effectiveness, pedometers have recently become popular as a tool for motivating physical activity.

Category: Health

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Does Weight Loss Reduce Risk Of Early Mortality?

Increased body weight is usually associated with a higher risk of disease. In this study, you’ll find a more detailed explanation about what the body mass index (BMI) is, and what your normal range should be.

Category: Health

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Amsterdam’s Wonderful Bicycle Culture

I recently spent some time in the Netherlands, specifically Amsterdam, while on conference. During the week I was there I became quite enamored with the city.

Category: Travel

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Making TV Viewing a Bit Less Sedentary

If you’ve been reading Obesity Panacea for a while now, you’ll likely be all too aware that sitting too much is literally killing you. As Travis has described before, regardless of how much time you spend at the gym, the more time you spend engaging in sedentary behavior (e.g. sitting) the greater your chance of numerous diseases and premature mortality. So what is one to do?

Category: Health

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Too Much TV Linked To 8 Causes Of Death

Do you have a television in your home? If so, you’re part of the 92% of households in North America that do.
We bucked the trend for quite a while, but recently also caved and purchased a smart TV. We’ve always enjoyed watching movies and documentaries a couple times a week, and were getting fed up with doing so on our computer screens.

Category: Health

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The Science of Starvation

How long can humans survive without food or water?

Category: Science

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The Myth of the Freshman 15

For many recent high-school graduates, the next week or two represent the beginning of a whole new chapter: post-secondary education. Of all the challenges college freshmen need to contend with, worrying about potential weight gain should be the least of their worries. Unfortunately, due to a pervasive myth that has been too often repeated, weight gain may be on the minds of many undergraduate students.

Category: Health

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Water Before Meals = Weight Loss

Over the years, we’ve often recommended the simplest of behavior changes to improve your health: drinking more water during the day. There’s certainly no downside to staying hydrated, plus the increased trips to the bathroom will ensure you get up from your desk a few more times every day. I probably don’t have to convince you any more of the dangers of sitting for prolonged periods – Travis has done a fine job of that. But what if there was more behind the advice to drink more water? What if something as simple as a few more glasses of water resulted in weight loss?

Category: Health

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Are Adventurous Eaters Healthier?

When it comes to food, I’ll try anything at least once.
As I documented before, I’ve dined on tarantula, frog, crickets, snake, raw clams, red ants, and durian fruit – and that was just on a single trip through Asia! When back on home turf, I enjoy oysters, sashimi, tripe soup, beef and salmon tartare, foie gras, and other acquired tastes. For the record, I wasn’t always this adventurous with food; as a kid, I consumed a relatively narrow range of foods – mostly of the eastern European and Greek variety.

Category: Health

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Do Allergy Meds Contribute To Weight Gain?

“Achoo!!”
Some folks have allergies that flare up on a seasonal basis. This spring has certainly not been kind to this group.
But if you’re like me, battling your allergies is a year-round affair.
However, the off-the-shelf antihistamines many of us take to get us through allergy season have an additional effect: they may increase appetite. Despite the fact that increased appetite is a fairly well-known side-effect of antihistamines, the packaging of my allergy meds had no mention of this.
What's going on?

Category: Health

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Do Mini-Packaged Snacks Help You Eat Less Junk?

In recent years countless food manufacturers have been “sub-packaging” their foods into smaller portions in an apparent effort to curb folks from overindulging. You can usually find 100 kcal multi-packs of chips, pretzels, chocolates, and all sorts of junk foods. Despite the very obvious negative environmental impact of all this excess packaging, what, if any, impact does such packaging have on people’s consumption?

Category: Health

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Why You Crave Tomato Juice on an Airplane

I’m writing this seated on a plane heading to San Francisco. We’ve been in the air for under an hour, and the drink cart is just starting to make its way down the aisle. As the cart rolls nearer I’m forced to decide what drink I’ll be having. Since the cups are miniscule, and the liquid is largely displaced by ice cubes if one’s not quick enough to add “no ice, please” to the order, the decision is critical. Despite the fact that I never drink tomato juice on the ground, I’m once again craving the drink in mid air.

Category: Science

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30% of People with ‘Healthy’ BMI are Actually Obese

Although I’ve discussed this issue a number of times over the years, every now and then a new study comes out that provides further evidence of the limitations of body mass index (BMI) as a measure of health, or even adiposity (level of fat in the body). Recall that BMI is the most common metric used to assess body weight status, and to identify the presence of overweight and obesity. While it is great when used in epidemiological studies across thousands of people, it’s a pretty lousy measure on an individual basis. So why does it keep being used?

Category: Health

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The “Good Enough” Workout

Ever notice how much more active you are in the spring/summer? You’re not alone. Research has shown that energy expended during leisure time activity is significantly greater in the warmer months of the year – at least in areas where a distinct four seasons are experienced. In the winter, when you can’t see past the snow outside your window, you’re more likely to reach for the TV remote (and that box of cookies) than to go for a walk outside.
Alas, it is time to get moving again. But how to overcome your feeble motivation?

Category: Health

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New Obesity Medication Now Available in Canada

The very first Obesity Panacea post was written back in November 2008. The topic of that post was the removal from the European market of an obesity medication that had been previously heralded as a potential panacea (but was never approved in US or Canada). That drug was rimonabant (Acomplia), an appetite suppressant that works by blocking the CB-1 receptors of the endocannabinoid system – the same system that induces the “munchies” in response to smoking cannabis.

Category: Health

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Part 2

Like a procession of overdressed zombies holding walking poles, we’ve been staggering uphill on this loose volcanic rock since midnight. My watch reads 4:14 a.m. Although our pace rivals that of a snail, my chest heaves laboriously as my lungs struggle to extract oxygen from the stingy air. The five layers of clothing are strangling me like a Gore-Tex, down-filled anaconda. I can no longer feel my toes. A full moon hangs overhead, but does little to illuminate the barren landscape before us.

Category: Travel

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Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro: Part 1

When most people think of vacations, they envision themselves lounging on a sunny beach, sipping a drink out of a coconut, while hotel staff tend to their every need. Although there is nothing especially wrong with this type of holiday, my wife and I tend to favor something more adventurous and active. This past summer Marina and I took some time off to travel in Africa, visiting Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia and South Africa. One of the highlights of our time in Africa was our summit to the top of Africa’s highest mountain, Mt. Kilimanjaro. In this two-part NoteStream, I will summarize the 8-day hike using notes I made each evening in our tent.

Category: Travel

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Eat Less Meat to Reduce Your Blood Pressure

A systolic/diastolic blood pressure >140/90 mmHg constitutes a diagnosis of hypertension. Across the blood pressure range from 115/75 to 185/115 mm Hg, every incremental increase of 20 mm Hg in systolic or 10 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure is associated with more than twice the risk of cardiovascular disease. Conversely, very modest reductions in blood pressure can lead to significant reductions in the risk of cardiovascular events. For example, as highlighted in the HOPE study, a 3 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure is associated with a 22% reduction in cardiovascular disease-related death, heart attack, or stroke over 4.5 years.

Category: Health

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The Fatter We Get, the Less We Seem to Notice

A significant number of overweight and obese individuals believe their body weight to be appropriate or normal and are satisfied with their body size. Misperception of overweight status is most common among the poor vs. wealthy, African Americans vs. white Americans, and men vs. women. The unfortunate consequence is that overweight individuals who perceive themselves to be of normal weight are less likely to want to lose weight in contrast to overweight individuals with accurate perceptions. Such individuals are also more likely to smoke, have a poor diet, and are physically inactive.

Category: Health

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Why Serve Unhealthy Snacks in a Small Bowl?

It is often stated that the accumulation of excess body weight is a simple matter of energy intake exceeding energy expenditure. While this notion is certainly correct, it does not account for the myriad of factors that drive one to consume more calories than necessary.

Category: Science

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When You Lose Weight, Where Does The Fat Go?

In the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle many of us might include weight loss as a personal goal. While many discussions are based on how to burn fat, do you ever wonder what happens to it when you are successful? When you lose weight, where does the fat actually go? The answer to this question may surprise you.
In fact, according to a recent British Medical Journal article discussing this issue, few health professionals, including doctors, dieticians, and personal trainers know the correct answer.

Category: Health

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How many calories do you burn by laughing?

I have been taking 3-hour classes with 18 other brave souls every weekend for the past month and a half. And it has been an absolute blast. On many occasions, I come home after class with my jaw sore from laughing so much. But I’ve also come home quite hungry and exhausted, which got me thinking: how many calories do we burn when busting a gut over something hilarious? Thankfully, researchers have previously addressed this issue, in what must have been an absolute blast of a study to run and participate in.

Category: Health

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What Day of the Week do you Weigh the Most?

The 7 day week cycle has an impact on many of our behaviors. Take sleep, for example. During the week, we get up regularly at the sound of our alarm, but come Saturday, the alarm clock may be turned off and you allow yourself to sleep in. Your physical activity level is also likely to oscillate based on the day; individuals who actively commute to work may become more of a couch potato on the weekend. People may also be more likely to go out and have a few drinks over the weekend. All these behaviors can have an impact on a person’s energy balance, and subtly, on their body weight. And apparently, that’s exactly what happens.

Category: Health

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Can You Build Ice Cream Tolerance?

Research suggests that those individuals who frequently eat a given highly palatable food derive less satisfaction from the subsequent consumption of that same food, such as ice cream. So how does that actually work?

Category: Health

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Exercise Protects You From Stress

There are few of us who can honestly say they are not stressed out at least some of the time. Too much to do, not enough time, looming deadlines, financial concerns, health problems, etc. can all cause us to feel on edge. So what effect, if any, does exercise have on the negative impact of psychological stress on cellular aging?
Exercise protects you from stress is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Category: Health

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BMI Says Nothing About Your Health

If you go to your physician’s office and inquire about your weight status, he or she will measure your height and weight to derive your BMI (weight in kg divided by height in m squared). But how useful is this measure anyways? What does it tell you about your health? And finally, how helpful is it to measure when assessing the effect of a lifestyle (diet/exercise) intervention?

Category: Health

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