The Nuance

Novel, complex, and perspective-changing experiences are undervalued parts of a satisfying life

Photo: Tim Gouw/Unsplash

Imagine that you’re stuck in a room by yourself, and your only entertainment is a short movie clip — played over and over again.

That was the setup for a 2015 study led by researchers in the Netherlands. For one hour, people in the study sat alone at a table…

The Nuance

Immoderate approaches to eating — fueled by social media and misleading nutrition research — can put your brain and body at risk

Photo: Toa Heftiba / Unsplash

Every year, U.S. News & World Report assembles a panel of doctors, dietitians, and other nutrition experts and asks them to rank the best overall diets for human health. This year, the Mediterranean diet topped the panel’s list — as it did in 2020 and 2019.

The Mediterranean diet is…

The Nuance

The new Facebook allegations strengthen the case that social media — as it exists today — has a net negative impact

Photo: Solen Feyissa/Unsplash

Toward the start of the pandemic — I think it was in April of 2020 — I was driving near my home in Detroit and listening to the radio.

Someone on the air, a comedian, was joking that if the coronavirus suddenly became sentient, it might be surprised to learn…

A Slightly Greener Thing

Even mild cold exposure may mimic some of the metabolic benefits of exercise

Photo: Jonathan Pendleton / Unsplash

Denis Blondin spends a lot of his time dunking people in cold water.

Blondin is an assistant professor at the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec. …

The Nuance

‘Social sharing’ is a core human trait, but at times it can reinforce negative emotions and disordered thinking

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

In the video, a middle-aged man named Bill — no last name given — wears a denim shirt and sits in an upholstered chair.

Slowly, fumbling a bit over his words, he recounts the last days of his father’s life. …

New research on standing points to a minimum daily goal

Photo: Adeolu Eletu/Unsplash

London’s bright-red double-decker buses are one of the city’s hallmarks. Seventy years ago, those buses and their operators were at the center of one of the first occupational studies to examine the role of sitting on health.

Back then, each bus had a driver and a conductor. For a 1954…

The Nuance

Information overload from news consumption is linked to both psychological disturbances and groupthink

Photo: Kev Costello / Unsplash

Two hundred years ago — yesterday, in evolutionary terms — most people went days or even weeks without encountering news that did not involve their local community.

Today, the average person is bombarded with novel information about the wider world and its diverse (and often distressing) goings-on.

“Possibly the most…

The Nuance

Habits and other automatic behaviorseven healthy onesfail to train some critical cognitive muscles.

Photo: Ella Olsson/Unsplash

It took a lot of work, but you did it. You optimized your daily routine.

You hop on the Peloton first thing every morning, and you drink a nutrient-packed power smoothie for breakfast. You’re the picture of diligence at work, and your evenings and weekends are similarly streamlined. …

The Nuance

Researchers are finally uncovering the exact ways that sugar disrupts the GI tract

Photo: Sharon McCutcheon / Unsplash

In 1776, at the start of the Revolutionary War, the average person consumed about four pounds of sugar each year. Today, per capita sugar intake in the U.S. exceeds 120 pounds.

Roughly 75% of all foods and beverages in this country contain added sugar. According to the American Heart Association…

The Nuance

The Delta variant has thrown some of our risk-benefit calculations out of whack

Photo: Marisol Benitez/Unsplash

The term “breakthrough infection,” as we’ve all learned, refers to any SARS-CoV-2 infection that occurs in someone who is vaccinated.

From the start, public health officials made it clear that breakthrough infections would be a thing. While the vaccines we have are highly effective, they’re not perfect. And when you’re…

Markham Heid

I write about health, science, and psychology. My work has appeared in Time magazine, the New York Times, Vice, and elsewhere. I live in Germany.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store