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Oddities, musings and news from the health world

Category: body image

Book Reviews: 'The No Om Zone,' 'The Yoga Body Diet' and 'Healing Yoga for Neck & Shoulder Pain'

June 26, 2010 |  2:57 pm

Some people use yoga to strengthen, stretch and relax muscles; others delve into its lifestyle and spiritual aspects. Here are three new books with varying approaches to the 5,000-year-old practice.

Noomzone “The No Om Zone” bills itself as a “no-chanting, no-granola, no-Sanskrit practical guide to yoga.” This book by Kimberly Fowler, founder of the L.A.-based YAS Fitness Centers, is geared to athletes and others who want to improve muscle tone and flexibility, take away aches, alleviate pain and calm the mind. Fowler promises you won’t have to go sit on a mountaintop and chant to achieve these results.

The former triathlete started doing yoga in 1983 to rehabilitate after an injury and became a fan after seeing the benefits to her body and athletic performance. She was turned off, however, by "elitist" classes targeted to the few who could do pretzel poses and handstands. Today, the motto in her yoga classes is “safe, fun and effective.”

Her book offers short workouts for 13 parts of the body, including the neck, arms, core/abs, lower back, hips and knees. Each body part gets its own chapter describing and showing the anatomy of the area, common injuries, recommended yoga poses for it and a workout routine typically lasting about 10 minutes. Poses are accompanied by photos, step-by-step guides, difficulty ratings, descriptions of benefits, tips and modifications to make them easier.

Fowler does manage to slip some mind-body material into the book. The first body part addressed is the head, for example, and here she talks about the benefits and practice of meditation and describes how to do yoga breathing.

This is a good book for those who want yoga workouts targeted to individual body areas as opposed to a one-size-fits-all workout. Fowler also offers a "No Om Zone" DVD containing three 15-minute workouts.

Yogabody “The Yoga Body Diet,” by Kristen Schultz Dollard and John Douillard, is everything “The No Om Zone” is not. Not only is it not a no-granola book, it even includes recipes for granola.

Dollard, digital director at Self magazine, is a yoga teacher and former editor of Douillard directs LifeSpa, an ayurvedic retreat center in Boulder, Colo., and has written and produced numerous health and fitness books, CDs and DVDs.

Their pretty book – generously illustrated with colorful pen-and-ink drawings – says it can help you get a “yoga body” in four weeks through eating, exercising and de-stressing according to the principles of yoga and ayurveda.

The book describes ayurveda as yoga’s sister science, one of the world’s oldest medical systems practiced by 80% of India’s population today. Dollard and Douillard say their mission is to present “ayurveda’s greatest hits” and teach you how to use it for weight loss.

“Yoga Body” kicks off with a quiz to determine what ayurvedic “type” you are: vata (airy), pitta (fiery) or kapha (earthy). Each type is told what kinds of foods to eat and avoid, yoga moves to do and lifestyle changes to make. Recipes for chai tea, pad Thai, roti pizza and other dishes include variations for each ayurvedic type.

The book’s illustrated yoga pose guide is easy to follow, with about 75 positions that range from the simple corpse pose to the more challenging revolved half-moon.

The book at times has the feel of an overly simplified greatest hits compilation as it offers its take on ayurvedic practices. Some of the recommendations – such as to stop snacking and eat only three meals a day – may not work for some or even have proven benefits. But those interested in the ayurvedic philosophy may find the book an approachable starting point to determine whether they want to go further into the practice.

Healingyoga “Healing Yoga for Neck & Shoulder Pain” zeroes in on the area of the body where many people feel the effects of stress. Author Carol Krucoff, a yoga therapist at Duke Integrative Medicine in Durham, N.C., writes that neck and shoulder tension, tightness and discomfort are the top complaints of her students. Krucoff says she’s been successful in helping people find lasting relief with yoga, though it doesn’t happen overnight.

Krucoff, a former Washington Post journalist, looks at the practice of yoga through this lens, exploring the science of neck pain and yoga; the anatomy of the spine, shoulders, neck, face and jaw; the role of stress and emotions in neck and shoulder pain; and the best postures for sitting and standing.

She explains how, where and when to do yoga; how to breathe properly; and how to do 38 poses to help the neck and shoulders. Simple line drawings illustrate the mostly gentle exercises. Some of the stretches can be done in an office chair. 

“Healing Yoga” is a good introduction for those who want to focus on this part of the body, or ease into yoga for physical reasons or lack of familiarity with the practice. The book’s production values are basic, but the writing is clear, informative and inspiring.

Krucoff writes that the best healing comes when people bring the lessons of yoga into their daily lives.

“Rather than muscle your way into a yoga pose, you learn to relax into it -- using the tools of gravity, patience, and the breath -- to allow the pose to deepen and unfold,” she says. “Over time, with regular practice, the lessons learned on the yoga mat begin to influence how you live in the world.”

-- Anne Colby

Photos, from top: "The No Om Zone: A No-Chanting, No-Granola, No-Sanskrit Practical Guide to Yoga," Kimberly Fowler, Rodale Books, $19.99; "The Yoga Body Diet: Slim and Sexy in 4 Weeks (Without the Stress), Kristen Schultz Dollard and John Douillard, Rodale Books, $21.99; "Healing Yoga for Neck & Shoulder Pain: Easy, Effective Practices for Releasing Tension & Relieving Pain," Carol Krucoff, New Harbinger Publications, $17.95


Book Review: 'Gold Medal Fitness'

Book Review: 'The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough'

Book Review: 'Denise's Daily Dozen'


Book Review: 'Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat' by Nancy L. Snyderman

June 12, 2010 |  8:15 am


The Information Age has not been kind to the dieter. The sheer volume of nutritional data available today can be overwhelming. And dietary advice seems to change with the season -- eat more carbs, don't eat carbs, count calories, don't count calories, cut back on fats, eat all the fats you want. Who can keep up?

NBC News chief medical editor, physician and author Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman attempts to bring some sanity to the table with her book "Diet Myths That Keep Us Fat," now out in paperback.

In it, she examines the many diet and nutrition beliefs floating around today -- some that she says are true and others that are anything but. She looks at popular weight-loss strategies and describes their origins, how they work, whether they're effective and how they stack up medically and nutritionally. 

Snyderman's perspective is both personal and professional. She writes about gaining the typical "freshman 15" when she started college -- and how she kept gaining until she eventually tipped the scales at 200 pounds. She experimented with fad diets to lose weight and spent years going up and down in weight. She writes, "I've starved myself, and I've pigged out; I've binged, dieted, skipped meals, and lived to tell about it."

She eventually saw a therapist and gained insight into her overeating. "Although I still consider myself a work in progress, I learned to lay the foundation for a healthier life, in much the same way I was laying a foundation for my medical career," she writes. Today she looks at food as fuel, eating foods she likes in moderation and letting herself indulge in treats now and then. She exercises regularly with activities that are convenient for her and that she enjoys. For her, this is an effective and healthy way to keep off the extra pounds.

It's this relaxed approach to eating and exercise that she brings to "Diet Myths." Written in a conversational style, the book is engaging even as it's discussing the glycemic index, the pros and cons of diet drugs and surgeries and how hormones can influence your hunger and weight.

One of Snyderman's major points is that calories do count. (High-protein, low-carb diets, she says, work primarily by restricting calories.) She offers easy ways to think about calories and keep track of them without feeling as if you're doing so. She does the same thing with carbs -- and emphasizes that because our bodies need them to function properly they shouldn't be eliminated from our diets.

Continue reading »

People who are certain they stink, and the psychiatrists who sense this may be a disorder [Updated]

May 25, 2010 | 12:20 pm

Psychiatrists meeting this week in New Orleans at their annual confab got a first look at a largely unresearched patient population beset with a deeply distressing delusion: that they smell bad -- really bad.

Patients with the proposed diagnosis of "olfactory reference disorder" (sometimes referred to as a "syndrome") are certain beyond doubt that they stink, when in fact they smell no worse than is average for a 21st century American. According to Dr. Katharine Phillips, director of Rhode Island Hospital's Body Image Program, four in 10 people who likely have the disorder have sought out medical treatments for what they believe to be bad breath, foul body odor, stinky feet or residual fecal or urine smell. Their worry preoccupies them for between three and eight hours a day, on average, and impels patients to shower for hours, consume bars of soap or gallons of mouthwash in a single day -- even to drink perfume in an effort to eradicate the imagined smell.

A slight majority -- 60% -- of sufferers appear to be women, Phillips told her colleagues, and most began to suspect that they emitted foul odors at around 15 to 16 years of age. 

For people afflicted with this delusion, social situations can be a gantlet of shame and self-consciousness, said Phillips: When people with whom they come into contact innocently scratch their noses or a stray allergen causes someone to sniff, people with this unique bodily delusion report they feel certain it is in response to their own foul body odor. Another person's move to open a window or door in a stuffy room will fill such a patient with fear that he or she has stunk up the place. When they confide their fears to others and are assured they smell perfectly fine, these patients do not believe it: They suspect a friend is just being nice or has a poor sense of smell, Phillips said.

Not surprisingly, 40% report they have remained housebound for at least a week out of fear of offending others. Two-thirds have contemplated suicide, and a third have attempted it, Phillips reported. The vast majority suffer from depression or some other mental disorder, and substance abuse -- possibly an effort to "self-medicate," according to Phillips -- is common.

"I'm just so struck by the incredible distress they're feeling, the incredible sense of social ostracism," Phillips said. 

Is it real -- not the body odor, but the psychiatric disorder? That is something psychiatrists will likely begin to explore over the next decade: The American Psychiatric Assn. has proposed adding "olfactory reference disorder" to the appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual (DSM) V as an entity worthy of further research and consideration. Among the many questions that must be explored before the nation's psychiatrists would consider conferring on "olfactory reference disorder" the full status of a diagnosable disease: How widespread are these symptoms in the general population? How impairing is it? How does it start and manifest itself over a patient's life? Are these symptoms more closely related to compulsive behavior, depression, body dysmorphia? And what therapies does it respond to?

On this last point, Phillips said there is early evidence that cognitive behavioral therapy -- a form of "talk therapy" that is narrowly focused on problematic behavior and the thought processes that contribute to it -- can be helpful to some sufferers. She said antidepressants that are in wide use -- known as SSRIs -- may help some as well.

An article in the Journal of Family Pracitice is a good overview of the condition. If you think you may suffer from this, you could take this test. For a Los Angeles-based treatment program, see here.

-- Melissa Healy

[Updated at 12:15 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated the number of people who have sought out medical treatments for "olfactory reference disorder."]

Book Review: 'The Stress-Eating Cure' by Rachael F. Heller and Richard F. Heller

May 15, 2010 |  1:57 pm


Many dieters will see themselves in the portraits of overeaters presented in “The Stress-Eating Cure,” by Rachael F. Heller and Richard F. Heller, authors of the popular “Carbohydrate Addict” books. 

The Hellers write in their new book about the anxiety-induced stress eater, the task-avoiding stress eater, the person who eats on the sly. They describe people whose overeating is triggered by social situations, those who eat to reward themselves for self-sacrifice and others who eat on the run, barely tasting their food.

The 11 types of stress eaters they identify have something in common, they say: Their overeating, cravings and weight gain are caused not by a lack of discipline and willpower but by a hormonal imbalance.

Unlike those whose bodies produce the right amount of hormones in the face of unpleasant circumstances, stress eaters -- who often are more sensitive to their environments -- respond to stress with “trigger-quick” hormonal reactions, the Hellers say. The hormones at play are ghrelin, serotonin, oxytocin and leptin as well as insulin, cortisol and adrenaline. 

Each type of stress eater is prone to surges and deficiencies in these hormones in different combinations, the authors say. The Hellers offer a diet they say will help bring these hormones back into balance and relieve stress, plus behavioral modification programs that are tailored to each type.

Continue reading »

Book Review: 'The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough' by Sean Foy

February 13, 2010 |  9:00 am
10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough cover It’s an appealing idea. Work out vigorously for 10-minute periods and burn more calories and get in better shape faster than with much longer sessions of moderate exercise.

Too good to be true? Not according to personal trainer Sean Foy, who has developed an exercise program that he says can do just that.

After working with clients who struggled to find time to incorporate longer workouts into their daily lives, Foy looked for faster ways to get the same benefits. He became interested in interval or “burst” training, which he says has been shown to maximize the metabolism and burn body fat long after the exercise session is over and can be more effective than more leisurely workouts. 

In “The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough,” Foy takes readers through the “fast fitness" exercise program he came up with. His 4-3-2-1 workout, as he calls it, is made up of four minutes of high-energy aerobic training that alternates periods of intense and moderate activity, three minutes of resistance exercise, two minutes of core-strengthening exercises and one minute of stretching and deep breathing.

Foy leads off the book with chapters that function like a pep talk: He sells the concepts of exercise and eating right, shows success stories and directs readers to find their motivation and set goals. He looks briefly at nutrition and talks about building healthful meals.

He then launches into his exercise program. He starts by outlining fitness tests that readers can do themselves to determine how fit they are and how vigorously they should begin exercising. Think of the kind of testing you might get from a personal trainer at a gym -- a one-mile endurance walk, a push-up test, a flexibility test, a blood pressure reading.

His program offers three levels of intensity, each with four workouts. At the back of the book, the workouts are repeated in handy tabbed cutouts that can be flipped to mix and match exercises.

This is an exercise book truly designed to use while exercising. It’s spiral bound, which makes it easy to lay on a table or the floor to reference while doing the workouts. Step-by-step exercise directions are clearly written and pictures are captioned to tell exactly what each part of the body should be doing with each move.

But exercise and diet are only part of what Foy covers. In some ways, the book’s “Total Body” title is selling it short. Foy makes clear that the mental, spiritual and social aspects of fitness are just as important in his program as exercise and diet.

A list of questions prompts readers to evaluate things such as their stress levels, relationships, family life and self-esteem. A “daily instructions” section coaches them on how to “move” (exercise more), “fuel” (eat better), “renew” (rejuvenate mind and body) and “connect” (attend to social and spiritual needs) each day. Foy calls this section the "heart and soul" of his program.

One day’s “connect” instruction, for example, is to forgive someone who may have offended or hurt you. Another day’s “renew” directive suggests buying some soothing music. There are inspirational quotes and “journal” spaces for each day to jot down thoughts and notes. The instructions cover 28 days for each of the three levels.

Will most readers be able to start and maintain a program like this on their own, with just a book to guide them? After all, the appeal of a personal trainer is having someone there to nudge and motivate you to work out and push harder. But Foy has at least laid out a game plan for getting started.

-- Anne Colby

Photo credit: “The 10-Minute Total Body Breakthrough” by Sean Foy, Workman Publishing, $22.95


'The Big Breakfast Diet'

'The Mayo Clinic Diet'

'Denise's Daily Dozen'

Book review: 'The Mayo Clinic Diet'

January 30, 2010 |  9:00 am

MayoClinicDiet Some dieters want to drop a few pounds to look better in a bathing suit. Others are trying to undo years of bad eating and exercise habits and are in need of education. Still others seek weight loss on a doctor’s orders to avoid serious illness, such as heart disease or diabetes.
All of these people may find things to like about “The Mayo Clinic Diet,” a new book from the respected medical institution. But those in the last two groups could find its program –- the first diet developed by Mayo Clinic -- especially helpful.
There are no claims to magic fat-burning ingredients in this book, no nutritional supplements to buy. “The Mayo Clinic Diet” offers sound, health-focused information on how to eat better, move more and change ingrained habits that contribute to overweight and obesity.

The book leads off with "Lose It," a quick-start plan to help dieters drop 6 to 10 pounds in two weeks. In this phase they add five habits (such as eating a healthy breakfast), break five habits (eating in front of the TV) and adopt five bonus habits (keeping food and activity records). The second phase, "Live It," is a lifetime plan designed for weight loss of a pound or 2 a week until the desired weight is reached and can be maintained.
The book offers the usual good dieting and exercise advice, but it goes further. 

Mayo Clinic proposes its own healthy weight pyramid, making fruits and vegetables the foundation and putting exercise at the center. (Studies show that people who lose more than 30 pounds and keep it off for five years exercise an hour each day, mostly by walking, according to the book.) 

One chapter gives strategies for getting through weight-loss plateaus and relapses. Another is devoted to sticking to the diet when eating out and includes suggestions on how to eat at ethnic restaurants (avoid the fatty spareribs at Chinese restaurants; go for the hot and sour soup). A photo spread on portion control shows common foods eaten at breakfast, with pictures illustrating typical serving sizes compared with Mayo Clinic-suggested servings (8 ounces of orange juice versus 4).

There's an illustrated guide to reading nutrition labels and a checklist of warning signs for when to stop exercising (pain in an arm or the jaw, an irregular heartbeat). An endocrinology specialist, one of several Mayo Clinic professionals who contribute essays to the book, explains in easy-to-understand language some of the science behind nutrition and weight control. 

"The Mayo Clinic Diet" is written in a conversational, no-nonsense tone. It's colorful and graphically pleasing with lots of photos, sidebars and tips in bite-size chunks. Also available is "The Mayo Clinic Diet Journal," to use for tracking goals and progress.

-- Anne Colby

Photo: “The Mayo Clinic Diet,” Mayo Clinic, Good Books, $25.99 hardcover. Not pictured: “The Mayo Clinic Diet Journal," Mayo Clinic, Good Books, $14.99 plastic comb binding.


Book review: 'Denise's Daily Dozen' by Denise Austin

A weighty issue for political candidates

January 28, 2010 |  3:01 am

If President Obama is worried about his lackluster approval rating, a pair of researchers from the heartland have some surprising advice – put on some weight.

Male political candidates who were obese were viewed more favorably than candidates who had identical demographic, political and policy positions but were of healthy weight, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Obesity.

Candidate1 Candidate2 A psychologist and a political scientist from the University of Missouri-Kansas City created profiles of fake candidates, who ranged from liberal Democrats to conservative Republicans. Volunteers were asked to read the candidates' bios and assess whether they were likable, competent, strong leaders, moral, intelligent, lazy, dishonest or unreliable, among other qualities.

Here’s the twist: Half of the volunteers got bios with photos of trim-looking candidates, and the other half received the same bios with photos that had been morphed to make the candidate look obese.

The researchers anticipated that obese candidates would be penalized for their extra weight. After all, obesity bias has been well documented among employers, teachers, healthcare providers and average folks. But to their surprise, the researchers found that a large body size was an asset for men running for office.

The same wasn’t true for the hypothetical female candidates – the obese ones were viewed more negatively than their slim counterparts, the study found.

The researchers said they plan to expand on their findings by examining vote totals from real congressional races and looking for correlations between each candidate’s gender, body mass index and the number of votes they received.

The findings may be of particular interest to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who emphasized his dramatic weight loss when he ran for president last year. If Huckabee is considering another run for the White House in 2012, perhaps he should reincorporate fried foods and sugar into his diet and cut back on the marathons.

— Karen Kaplan

Photos: Subjects were more favorably inclined to the candidate on the right, even though his credentials were identical to those of the candidate on the left. The slim photo is real, and the one on the left was modified with AlterImage morphing software.

Credit: Elizabeth J. Miller/University of Missouri-Kansas City

Book review: 'Denise's Daily Dozen' by Denise Austin

January 23, 2010 |  7:00 am


How's your New Year's diet coming along? If you find you're slipping back into bad habits and the pounds aren't coming off, Denise Austin's new book, "Denise's Daily Dozen," might be just the jump-start you need to get going again.

Austin's book promises big, saying that on her three-week diet and exercise program you can lose up to 12 pounds in just two weeks.

The secret? Consuming just 1,200 to 1,300 calories a day for women (1,500 to 1,600 for men) in the first two weeks of the diet, doing at least 12 minutes of exercises each day and walking (or running, biking or swimming) 12 miles a week.

It takes commitment to follow any weight-loss program, especially one with such a strict caloric intake, but the fitness guru uses her trademark upbeat approach to turn it into something that sounds almost fun. Each day's exercises are different (Monday is a "cardio fat blast," Sunday a yoga stretch workout) and are performed for only a minute apiece, so boredom is not an issue. Austin sells the pleasures of healthy eating and shares easy ways to get more active.

Her well-organized book divides up chapters by days of the week and offers nutritionist-devised menus (with simple recipes conveniently nearby); shopping lists; weight-loss testimonials; practical and inspirational tips; illustrated cardio, toning and flexibility workouts; and additional moves to tame tension, work abs and boost metabolism.

As the title suggests, things come by the dozen in this book: a dozen foods to eat daily (three servings each of vegetables, fruits and proteins, two of grains and one of a healthy fat); a dozen meals you can make in 12 minutes; a dozen ways to boost motivation, get better sleep, eat more fiber, get past cravings, soothe sore muscles, relax.

The idea is that the program will help you form healthier habits that you can then incorporate into your daily life. But will you? Austin gives you everything you need to do it. The rest, of course, is up to you.

-- Anne Colby

Photo: "Denise's Daily Dozen: The Easy, Every Day Program to Lose Up to 12 Pounds in 2 Weeks," Denise Austin, Center Street/Hachette Book Group, $16.99. Credit: Center Street/Hachette Book Group

Apple or pear body type? Getting to the bottom of the issue

January 13, 2010 |  7:26 am

Obese Having a big butt, wide hips and full thighs is generally thought to come with a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and other health problems, while having a high proportion of belly fat increases that risk. We know this, right?

Still, the findings keep coming. A study published today in the International Journal of Obesity isn’t objectionable – fat deposited on the butt and thighs is a good thing – but still it makes me cringe.

“[I]n day-to-day metabolism,” the study observed, “[gluteofemoral fat] appears to be more passive than the abdominal depot and it exerts its protective properties by long-term fatty acid storage.”

I don’t mind the explanation about the benefits of the pear shape over the apple shape. And I generally don’t argue with the Department of Health and Human Services, which says that women with waists measuring more than 35 inches are at greater risk of “weight-related health problems.”

I do, however, take issue with the disproportionate focus on women’s bodies in this debate. Too much commentary involves posting a photo of some well-endowed starlet’s rear end.

Such obsessing about female body shapes doesn’t seem necessary -- or necessarily healthy for women. Especially since the really bad belly fat is not the love handles that inevitably mushroom over a pair of jeans, but visceral fat -- fat on the inside of the body, close to the organs, invisible to the naked eye. 

-- Amina Khan

Photo credit: Tim Sloan / AFP/Getty Images

This new year, resolve to be happy

January 4, 2010 |  1:53 pm

Instead of planning to lose weight, find a better job, be a better person (typical New Year’s resolutions, according to a recent Marist poll) why not use 2010 to focus on what’s really important – your own happiness?

Dropping a few pounds and getting a raise might seem like means to that end. And happiness itself might sound like a nebulous, unachievable goal. But happiness might be worth pursuing in its own right – and, according to recent research, could be a much more measurable and tangible goal than previously thought.

Want a primer on that special feeling? A three-part PBS series, "This Emotional Life," tonight will look at why we feel what we feel, through a scientific lens and through the wisdom of such celebrities as Larry David, "Seinfeld" co-creator: "I don't think it's that much of a mystery. If you don't have a job that you like, and you're not having sex, you're just not gonna be happy."

Show host Daniel Gilbert, who sat down with NPR today for an interview, said the larger point on relationships and happiness rings true. "If you're not involved in a relationship," the Harvard psychologist said, "then indeed we see that people who aren't in romantic relationships are less happy than those who are."

Perhaps happiness is contagious, too. In an article published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers found that the feeling created by absence of relationships -- loneliness -- spreads like a disease:

Results indicated that loneliness occurs in clusters, extends up to three degrees of separation, is disproportionately represented at the periphery of social networks, and spreads through a contagious process.  

Another reason to pursue happiness and avoid loneliness this year – scientists say it’s just as important on the New Year’s resolution list as quitting smoking or losing weight. As Health reporter Melissa Healy blogged last month, loneliness can be as bad for your health as smoking and obesity. 

One double-take worthy theory presented in the PBS show: That, controlling for health problems, older people are generally happier than younger people. Counterintuitive as that notion might seem, it’s been gaining strength in recent years. Health reporter Shari Roan found some logical explanations for the theory in a 2007 story:

[M]ost scientists now think that experience and the mere passage of time gradually motivate people to approach life differently. The blazing-to-freezing range of emotions experienced by the young blends into something more lukewarm by later life, numerous studies show. Older people are less likely to be caught up in their emotions and more likely to focus on the positive, ignoring the negative.

In a special to The Times, Marnell Jameson explores how scientists are starting to quantify and measure happiness -- and what their conclusions are. She starts with a quick quiz: 

True or false:

___ I would be happier if I made more money, found the perfect mate, lost 10 pounds or moved to a new house.
___ Happiness is genetic. You can't change how happy you are any more than you can change how tall you are.
___ Success brings happiness.
Answers: False, false and false. 

Want to find out why? Read Jameson's story, and check out the first part of “This Emotional Life” tonight, airing at 9 p.m. on KCET.   

-- Amina Khan


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