Livin' on the MDedge

Please interrupt me, but don't heat your fish


Bother me, I’m working

Although some of us have been comfortably functioning in a virtual work environment, others are now trickling back into the office. And you know what that means? People come to your desk to show you pictures of their cat or tell you about their kid’s birthday party. You may sneer at the interruption, but a study shows you actually like it.

Workers and employers talking Rawpixel/Thinkstock

A team of researchers at the University of Cincinnati surveyed 111 full-time employees twice a day for 3 weeks about their work experience. They asked about mental exhaustion, workplace interruptions, sense of belonging, and overall job satisfaction. They found that employees had a higher sense of belonging and job satisfaction when interrupted with a social versus work interruption.

“Interruptions can actually benefit individuals from an interpersonal perspective – people feel like they belong when others come and talk to them or ask them questions, even while being distracted from their tasks,” said Heather C. Vough, senior investigator and a former university faculty member.

Chitchatting at work is often seen as a distraction, but this study suggests that it’s not like heating up fish in the breakroom microwave.

So the next time someone hits you with the “Hey, do you have a sec?,” do yourself a favor and enjoy the interruption.

A smorgasbord of science

It’s probably difficult to recruit patients for some medical trials. Try this new drug and potentially get all sorts of interesting and unpleasant side effects. Pass. We suggest the approach a group of researchers from the University of Kansas took for a recent study into weight gain: Invite a bunch of 20-something adults to an all-you-can-eat buffet. They’ll be beating down your door in no time.

buffet pxfuel

Their study, published in Appetite, focused on hyperpalatable food – the sort of food you can keep eating – and compared it with high-energy-dense food and ultra processed food. The test patients had their body composition measured, were let loose on the buffet, and were measured again a year later.

The patients who favored salty/carbohydrate-filled hyperpalatable food (such as pretzels or popcorn) were much more likely to gain weight, compared with those who focused on salty/fat-filled food of any variety. As a matter of fact, those who stuck to fatty food during the buffet had no change in weight over the 1-year study period. The researchers noted that those who ate the carb-filled food tended more toward hedonic eating, or the act of eating simply for pleasure.

The study is no doubt helpful in the long battle against obesity and overeating, but it’s also a very helpful guide to getting the most bang for your buck at the buffet. Stay away from the cheap salty snack food. Go for the steak and seafood. Get your money’s worth. In the long run you won’t even gain any weight. No promises about tomorrow though.

There’s a cheat code for that

For a large percentage of kids and young adults, and maybe even older adults (we don’t judge), a storm warning means a cozy night in playing video games. Staying inside is probably the safest bet when there’s a storm, and the weatherman never says to avoid playing video games when there’s lightning.

lightning xresch/Pixabay

Maybe he should, though, since a man from Tennessee reportedly got struck by lightning through his game controller. Emergency crews determined that lightning either hit the man’s house or struck near it and went through the controller. The type of console was not revealed, even though some people may want to know the specifics before playing during the next storm.

Luckily, the man was not seriously hurt and did not need to go to the hospital. This is apparently not unheard of, as a professional gamer was shocked through a wired controller last year, causing burns on her hands and a broken controller.

This might be our cue to do less electrical types of activities during thunderstorms, like knitting or reading by candlelight.

Freeze, squeeze, and enjoy … cramping

As you were ingesting last week’s installment of the never-ending buffet that is LOTME, you probably wondered: What’s going on? Where’s the latest bodily insult being perpetuated by the gang over at TikTok?

honey dipper and jar sitting on a log Daria-Yakovleva/Pixabay

honey dipper and jar sitting on a log

Have no fear, good readers. We would never make you go 2 straight weeks without serving up some hyperpalatable TikTok tidbits.

Our bodily insult du jour is frozen honey, and it’s exploding all over TikTok … and a few other places. “The hashtag ‘#FrozenHoney’ has been viewed nearly 600 million times, and the hashtag ‘#FrozenHoneyChallenge’ has been viewed more than 80 million times,” NBC News recently reported.

After a few hours in the freezer, honey can be squeezed out of a plastic bottle as a semisolid, toothpastelike goo – it’s stiff enough to rise out of a container that’s pointed straight up – and bitten off in large chunks. And therein lies the problem.

Some people are overdoing it. “Honey is great, but having it in small amounts to sweeten is really a healthy relationship with food, and using it to get a lot of followers and a lot of attention and having it in excess amounts is crazy,” Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, told NBC.

Besides the possible weight gain from eating massive amounts of sugar, experts warned that “gobbling up bottles of frozen honey” could lead to stomach cramping, bloating, and diarrhea. Some TikTokers, NBC noted, said that they “were running for the bathroom.”

As we said, it’s a trend that is exploding.

Be sure to tune in next week, when we learn how TikTokers use ground meat as a skin moisturizer.

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