Beauty, Longevity, Biohacking, Building Perfect Eyesight, The Wild Diet, Memory, Learning & Beyond
Video chats? Just sign into Skype. Flying cars? Not so much. Scientists, novelists, and filmmakers love to , though sometimes those prophecies can be a little unrealistic. Here at Greatist,we’ve highlighted 24 of the most exciting innovations to come in health and fitness, from to . Check back in a few years to see how we did— and let us know if those airborne automobiles have arrived yet!
1.3-D meal-printing. Just don’t salivate on the computer: Engineers at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed the “,” a prototype for a machine that prints three-dimensional meals. An electronic Ratatouille, the printer whips up hot and cold dishes that correspond to users’ specific nutritional requirements. One order of PB&J? Talk about a printer jam.
2.Full-frontal nutrition labels. No need to read the fine print— are getting user-friendly. recently recommended a new labeling system, with all the deets on calories, serving size, fat, sodium, and sugar on the front of packages. Turns out that box of Entenmann’s doesnotqualify as a balanced meal.
3.Edible bugs.Waiter, there’s a cockroach in my soup— and it’s delicious! As people turn to more , bugs may one day be an American dinnertime staple. For one thing, it’s to produce a gaggle of grasshoppers than it is to ship a truckload of beef. Plus, people in non-Western countries have been lunching on locusts for years. Now, eating boogers? Still universally gross.
4.Clinical taste testing. Pretty soon, a tongue depressor won’t be the only thing patients taste at regular medical checkups. Researchers are currently working to develop that determine , like bitterness and sweetness. Test results could help patients create personalized nutrition plans (and maybe even a gag-free depressor).
5.More cage-free eggs. Free-range and have more freedom to walk and spread their wings than their pals in battery cages. Recently certain universities and restaurant chains have started selling . Among state governments, California’s leading the trend with plans to sell by 2015. Though cage-free cuisine , animal rights advocates can feel like good eggs when they buy a dozen.
Work & Travel
6.Sit-stand workstations. Offices will soon be a sea of bobbleheads— healthy ones, that is. has linked a sedentary lifestyle to a slew of health issues, like weight gain, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. To prevent these problems, some offices have already implemented , which allow users to adjust desk height, alternately sitting and standing throughout the day.
7.Biking to work. Briefcase? Check. Helmet? Check! As pop up in cities throughout the USA, folks are getting easier access to spokes, staying fit and keeping it green. as a way to not only whip people into shape, but also to save the planet by reducing air pollution.
8.Airplane lights that prevent jet lag. H.G. Wells made it look cool, but in reality traveling through time (zones) can be . Recently, an airplane that flies from the USA to Asia rolled out designed to help prevent jet lag in passengers. If the technology catches on, world travelers can rest easy knowing they won’t face a sudden bout of narcolepsy while touring the Louvre.
9.Football helmets that reduce concussions. Get knocked down and get back up again, without losing brain cells. In May 2011, Virginia Tech designed to reduce the risk of concussion on the football field. Some Virginia Tech players are sporting the headgear already; everyone else can pay a pretty penny for some of their own.
10.Clothing that regulates body temperature. It’s getting hot in here, so… put on all your clothes? Sportswear companies are selling threads that offer and temperature management. Soon it’ll be possible to run like the wind, and in it, too. Looks like we’ll have to find a new reason not to .
11.Hi-tech gear for all. LeBron’s not the only one who gets an all-star workout. In the next few years, fitness trainers will start giving the general public the pro treatment, according to trainer . a good example: It’s a training tool designed to improve coordination, speed, and agility. And the allows athletes to decrease the amount of body weight they run with. Guess professional athletes aren’t so fancy, huh?
Kids & Education
12.Better school lunches. Shrimp and scallop ceviche may be unrealistic, but it’s likely the next few years will bring big changes in the way kids eat in public schools. While Congress voted down the latest proposal to improve school lunches in November 2011, the U.S. Agriculture Department has been pushing to change the for years. Maybe they’ll also have to break the news that pizza doesn’t count as a vegetable.
13.Physically active kids. Between initiatives like and , professional athletes and political figures are already making an effort to keep kids fit. The rents are doing their part, too. And as kids start hustlin’ every day, scary statistics on childhood obesity will probably improve as well.
14.More comprehensive sex ed. Break out the banana condoms. Right now offer abstinence-only sex education, while other programs are pretty limited. But some schools are spicing up sex ed with frank discussions about gender, relationships, and sexuality. There are even services that allow teens to LOL at the answers to questions about sexual health. And, starting in 2012, all New York City public school students will be required to take a sex ed course. Drugs and rock n’ roll optional.
15.More allergy diagnoses. The Boy in the Bubble: coming to a real family near you. Recent research suggests than doctors once believed. And wheat’s become a notorious bad guy, as doctors are diagnosing more people with gluten intolerance. Clinical researcher predicts an increase in research on products for supposed food allergies as well as research on substantive allergies, like food intolerances and localized animal allergies. Is there an allergy to sticking to ? Some of us might have that one.
16.Hi-tech health care. Nearly suffer from diabetes— but how many of them have smartphones? In June 2011, AT&T launched , a program that lets people with diabetes upload info like blood sugar levels and photos of wounds and submit them to their physicians for immediate review. According to , in the next few years, patients will likely be able to use digital technology to get real-time professional feedback for a variety of other health problems.
17.Virus killer. An apple a day? So passé. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory have that can supposedly kill cells infected with any virus, including influenza and the common cold. Right now they’re testing the drug on mice, and ultimately hope to run trials on larger animals and humans.
18.Mind-reading software. Big Brother, beware: Scientists at the University of California Berkeley have that reconstructs the images in people’s brains. The machine may help doctors treat people like stroke victims and coma patients who can’t communicate verbally. It may also allow paralyzed patients to control computers with their minds. Let’s just hope they can’t see us dreaming of during the workday.
19. Videoconferencing therapy. Here’s one way to overcome boundaries. Recently, videoconferencing has become more popular among psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health professionals. Using web services like Skype, patients can get immediate help from a therapist miles away. (Hopefully the problem isn’t a technology addiction.) Videoconferencing may improve mental health treatment particularly in rural areas where there aren’t as many psychologists as in cities.
20.Patient-centered medical homes. Treatment for health issues may soon be a one-stop shop. Today, integrate different types of health care, like physical and mental health treatment. Current medical homes are especially useful for patients with conditions like asthma, diabetes, and congestive heart failure. As medical homes develop over the next few years, they may help patients with a variety of other health problems as well. After all, there’s no place like (a medical) home.
21.Gray hair pill. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, your hair isstillblonde? By 2015, drugstores may feature a relative fountain of youth: that keeps the color in those locks. Apparently, the pill only works before hair has actually started graying. And some docs worry the pill , so perhaps it’s safer to take a tip .
22.Cure for Alzheimer’s. prompt scientists to believe a cure for Alzheimer’s is possible. Still, are skeptical doctors will find a way to prevent the disease. Whether or not Alzheimer’s is curable, within the next century, scientists will learn more about risk factors and possible treatments for the condition.
23.HIV prevention. Researchers are currently testing different methods to prevent HIV in the populations most at risk for the virus. One hundred years from now, there may be effective ways to reduce global rates of infection.
24.Remedy for heartbreak. It got the best of Mariah Carey, but scientists may find a way to get rid of heartbreak. Studies show there’s a biological component to getting over what’s-their-name, and there may one day be a for a (Though cookie dough and Alanis Morissette will likely still work.)
Image Courtesy of Marcel Coelho and Amit Zoran
What kinds of changes do you hope to see in the future of health and fitness? Tell us in the comments below!
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