The Digest - June 30

  • A useless (but exciting) piece of news!
  • Commonly prescribed antidepressants linked to risk of bone fracture.
  • I’m going to stop making fun of the US government… because they finally recognize that FAT DOESN’T CAUSE HEART DISEASE!
  • I bet Donald Trump doesn’t need to read this, but you do!


  • I’m going to start with a useless piece of news, but one which anyone who grew up in the 80s with instantly relate to! Marty’s hovercraft skateboard is now a reality! I’m not joking: Lexus (yes the car company) designed a “hovercraft skateboard” which levitates a few cm above the ground. This amazing innovation is made of bamboo wood and uses “liquid nitrogen fueled superconductors and permanent magnets”. Who cares, it levitates!
  • Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed to women going through menopause to help manage the transition process. These antidepressants (belonging to a class of drugs known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors – SSRI) are quite common and are often also prescribed by psychiatrists to help people deal with depression. Mounting evidence emerged over the past few years that SSRIs are actually not very effective, often failing in randomized controlled trials vs. placebo. In fact, some studies have shown that they may have a significant opposite effect over the long-term (I won’t get into the reasons here but if you would like to know more please hit reply / comment below). New evidence is now also emerging showing that SSRIs may be behind a higher rate of bone fractures among menopausal women taking SSRIs: women on SSRIs have a 76% higher risk of fracture within the first year alone!
  • If you’ve been a regular reader of this (and other research-based) health blogs, you would know that fat in our diet has been unfairly demonized over the past 4 decades, leading to an explosion in low fat (and automatically high carb) diets, which in turn resulted in an explosion in diabetes and heart disease. Even though studies from the past 15 years have demonstrated that the overconsumption of carbohydrates and processed foods are the culprits behind the health problems of modern societies, it took all 15 of these years for the US government to finally listen! For the first time since 1980, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are finally dropping limits on fat in the diet! As Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy says: "We really need to sing it from the rooftops that the low-fat diet concept is dead. There are no health benefits to it."
  • One of the hardest conversations I’ve had in recent years in an office context was when I had to let someone go. I’ve had to let people go prior to that, but this case was different: the person I was having to let go was a strong performer and had no inkling of what was about to happen. Circumstances change, corporate strategies are amended, and certain roles simply get eliminated… As a person who’s always valued “teaching” as a core part of my job as a financial professional, I care about my team, which makes such conversations all the more difficult. This piece from the Harvard Business Review provides some insightful advice on how to manage the process of letting someone go, dealing with the consequences, and managing its impact on your own psyche.