Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eating Breakfast May Keep Colds & Flu At Bay

Date:
March 6, 2002
Source:
Economic & Social Research Council
Summary:
Overall knowledge about the psychology of the common cold has greatly increased in recent years and one of the main findings has been the link between stress and susceptibility to colds. Research released during National Science Week also shows that other factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and even eating breakfast, are related to susceptibility to colds. Another area of research has shown that colds and influenza impair performance and change mood. A recent project has investigated both factors influencing susceptibility to colds and the effects of these illnesses on mood and performance.

Overall knowledge about the psychology of the common cold has greatly increased in recent years and one of the main findings has been the link between stress and susceptibility to colds. Research released during National Science Week also shows that other factors such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and even eating breakfast, are related to susceptibility to colds. Another area of research has shown that colds and influenza impair performance and change mood. A recent project has investigated both factors influencing susceptibility to colds and the effects of these illnesses on mood and performance.

This ESRC funded research involved two studies at the School of Psychology at Cardiff University. The first study recruited 498 healthy students who were asked to return if they developed an upper respiratory tract infection within six to 96 hours of symptoms developing. "The 188 participants who developed colds were more likely to drink and smoke than those who remained healthy which confirms previous findings," says Professor Andy Smith, author of the studies. "Not only that but smokers and participants who had a lot of stress in their lives became ill more quickly than non smokers," he adds.

The second study was based on participants keeping a diary for 10 weeks and recording illness and problems of memory and attention. A hundred volunteers from the community took part and were sub divided into those who reported a single illness and those who reported more than one. "We found that those who had more than one illness were less likely to eat breakfast and consume alcohol," says Professor Smith. "Those who developed multiple illnesses had also endured more negative life events in the last 12 months," he adds.

Both studies also showed that volunteers who were ill reported more negative mood, slower response times and more problems sustaining attention. The extent of the performance impairments were not related to symptom severity nor to the factors associated with increased susceptibility to illness.

"In summary the results from these two large scale studies have provided evidence of the effects of upper respiratory tract infections on mood and performance," says Professor Smith. "They have also shown that psychosocial factors and health related behaviours may well influence susceptibility to colds and flu and the nature and extent of the symptoms. However, the performance changes do not reflect the severity of the symptoms or the factors associated with increased susceptibility to colds," he adds.

"Further research on the impact of minor illnesses in industry and education is now needed," says Professor Smith. "Awareness of the effects of performing whilst ill should also be increased and possible counter measures considered," he adds. "We are now beginning to understand much more about the mechanisms underlying these effects and further study of the cognitive process which are impaired, the changes in brain chemistry which take place and the role of mediating factors is now needed. Medication also needs to be developed which not only reduces symptoms but improves the performance and mood of people who have minor illnesses such as the common cold," he adds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Economic & Social Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins