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Super Bowl Parties Hike Calorie Counts

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Forget the New England Patriot’s deflategate. Diet experts say the real Super Bowl story is actually “inflategate” -- the anticipated eating frenzy at Super Bowl parties everywhere.

In fact, the average American will inflate their waistline several inches by gobbling up at least 2,400 calories during the four to five hour football viewing extravaganza, according to the Calorie Control Council, a low calorie food industry group.

That makes it the second biggest day of gluttony after Thanksgiving.

The number is far from scientific. Sylvia Poulos, the registered dietician who is a spokeswoman for the council, said the calorie consumption estimate comes from a list of popular food items people typically purchase for game day parties plus some statistics from other food industry groups.

Whatever the true count, the evidence does suggest a belt popping day of eating for the Feb. 1 game.

Americans will scarf down roughly 11.2 million pounds of potato chips, 8.2 million pounds of tortilla chips, 3.8 million pounds of popcorn, and 3 million pounds of nuts, said the Snack Food Association. They’ll eat nearly 1 billion chicken wings on game day, according to the National Chicken Council. An estimated 48 million Americans will also order takeout, predicted the National Restaurant Association, while another 12 million people during the big game.

The Calorie Control Council’s number assumes eating two slices of pizza, five mini hotdogs, a variety of chips, dip, wings and other snacks, at least three beers and regular sodas plus several desserts.

“You do tend to overeat because you’re so busy paying attention to the game, you don’t realize what’s going in your mouth,” said Connecticut-based exercise physiologist Tom Holland.

Studies by the Cornell University’s Food and Psychology lab confirmed Holland’s theory. Researchers threw a Super Bowl party so they could count up how many chicken wings their guests ate from a buffet. The subjects who had their leftover wing bones swept away ate, on average, seven wings -- an additional 200 calories compared to those who sat at the messier, un-bussed tables. When the wings were boneless, their calorie intake increased by 35 percent.

The lack of bones created a sort of caloric blindness in the party goers, head researcher Brian Wansink speculated.

"All the evidence of what they'd eaten was removed," he explained. "There was nothing left to remind them of how many calories they'd consumed."

Even someone trying to practice restraint can easily lob a calorie bomb at their diet, said Holland.

For example, eating just the two slices of pepperoni pizza and a few beers cross the 1000 calorie threshold and pack nearly a day’s worth of fat, cholesterol and sodium, according to calculations from the USDA nutrition database.

To counteract a Super Bowl spread, Holland recommended having a good offense and a good defense.

“Work out extra hard and really watch what you eat a few days before the game,” he advised. “Then after the game hit the gym harder for a couple of weeks and cut back on your calories.”

Holland also advised focusing your exercise efforts on shorter, higher intensity workouts because they burn a good number of calories in a short period of time and offer a temporary boost to the metabolism.

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Can 36 Questions Create Closeness Between Strangers?

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Can you create closeness in 36 questions?

That’s what sociologist Arthur Aron attempts to do. In a study titled “The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings,” published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, a journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Aron and his co-authors seek to discover whether they can “create closeness in a reasonably short amount of time.” The questions are designed to simplify things and help people get to know each other quickly.

Aron, of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and his co-authors designed these questions based on a lot of research into how friendships naturally develop.

“The questions gradually get more and more personal, so they begin with questions that are almost small talk and then they move to talk about some of the deepest, most intimate things in your life,” he said.

The questions include the following:

  • Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
  • If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  • When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

Aron said the the questions gradually get more and more personal.

“They begin with questions that are almost small talk and then they move to talk about some of the deepest, most intimate things in your life,” he said, adding: “There's reason to think that getting close would facilitate love and feeling romantic feelings."

He said he and his co-authors designed the questions for strangers, but added that research suggests sharing personal things -- as long as it’s reciprocated and both parties are responsive -- helps all kinds of relationships.

Samantha Daniels, a professional matchmaker, sees the benefits and drawbacks of the list.

“Well, falling in love really is about chemistry and chemistry is an intangible, but what I say is you need two types of chemistry. You need physical chemistry and then you need mental and emotional chemistry so questions like these help people find that second half, which is the mental and emotional chemistry, but at the same time you have to be careful because you don't want to cross the line too quickly. You don't want to ask too many personal questions or pry because that could send you in the wrong direction,” she said.

On a first date, it’s important to not make your date uncomfortable, she said.

“You know, in the 36 questions there's one asking how you think you're going to die. You know that's a little extreme to be asking on a first date,” she said. “I think that that's off-putting, number one, and it puts you in a really serious, heavy place on a date and you just don't want to be in that place on a first date because it doesn't really help.”

Stuart Kenworthy, 28, and Kyle Godfrey-Ryan, 31, are complete strangers who took the 36 questions. They asked each other the questions, and completed the last part of the exercise by staring deeply into each other’s eyes for four minutes.

Asked how the exercise went, Godfrey-Ryan said there was “a lot more connection” than she expected.

“It was really disarming and I felt very vulnerable but happy and comfortable at the same time," she said.

Added Kenworthy: “I was nervous at first but definitely more comfortable as the questions progressed but I was worried about my answers. ‘Am I smiling too much, do I look nervous’ and as we progressed I became very comfortable with Kyle."

Godfrey-Ryan she would “definitely have coffee" with Kenworthy, and she believes the questions did what they were designed to do.

“They do work -- I believe they work,” she said.

Here are all 36 questions:

Set I

1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?

8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.

9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.

12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Set II

13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

16. What do you value most in a friendship?

17. What is your most treasured memory?

18. What is your most terrible memory?

19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

20. What does friendship mean to you?

21. What roles do love and affection play in your life?

22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.

23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?

24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?


25. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling ..."

26. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share ..."

27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.

28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.

29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.

30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?

31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.

32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?

33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?

34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?

35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?

36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

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Scientists Crack Code on How to Un-Boil a Hard-Boiled Egg

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Scientists have cracked the code for un-boiling hard-boiled egg whites and it could have huge implications for cancer research.

Egg whites are made of proteins that start out with a certain shape, explained Gregory Weiss, a professor of chemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Irvine, and the experiment’s lead researcher.

“Once you boil them, the proteins stay intact but they change their conformation,” he said.

This is a big deal because even chemists assumed once you hard-boiled an egg it was game over, Weiss explained. But his team has been able to reverse the process so that proteins can be recovered and reused.

In a sort of scientific magic trick, Weiss and his team first peeled the egg whites away from the yolks and soaked them in a chemical called urea to dissolve them. They then placed them in a device called a “vortex fluid machine,” which spins the whites at high speeds to restore them to their original state.

The process is complete in minutes rather than days, Weiss said, and this is good news for those who use similar proteins in cancer research.

Certain proteins are quite useful in the lab but they tend to mis-fold into the wrong format, rendering a large portion of them useless. This new method is a quick and simple way to coax them back into their initial forms and prevent them from clumping up inside lab instruments.

“We are already using it in our cancer research here,” Weiss said, adding that he hoped the technique will be used on a larger scale within the next few years.

However, don’t expect this discovery to revolutionize fine dining. While it’s certainly possible to reverse a hard-boiled yolk, Weiss said they haven’t yet bothered trying. And, he said, it’s also theoretically possible to un-cook a chicken but the process would make it taste awful.

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Seven in 10 Have a Favorable View of the CDC

James Gathany, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(WASHINGTON) — During the midst of last fall's panic in the U.S. over Ebola, there was a lot of grumbling about how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention seemed to have dropped the ball in its response to the possible spread of the deadly virus.

However, after all is said and done, the CDC still comes on top when 1,500 adults were asked their opinions about various government agencies in a new Pew Research Center poll.

Seventy percent of respondents expressed a favorable view of the CDC, which has come under some recent fire over the relative ineffectiveness of a vaccine used to battle this winter's flu epidemic. Meanwhile, 23 percent of Americans said they have an unfavorable view of the CDC.

Two federal agencies, NASA and the Defense Department, also received favorable marks of 68 percent and 65 percent respectively.

Of the eight agencies reviewed, only the Internal Revenue Service was reviewed more disfavorably than favorably, 48 percent to 45 percent.

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High Cholesterol in Early Adulthood Linked to Long-Term Risk of Heart Disease

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Early detection of high cholesterol could be a major help in minimizing the development of heart disease, researchers said.

According to a study published in the journal Circulation, adults in their 30s and 40s may want to begin monitoring their cholesterol. Researchers looked at more than 1,400 healthy individuals who were split into groups based on whether they did not have high cholesterol, had had high cholesterol for one to 10 years or had had high cholesterol for 11 to 20 years. The individuals who had dealt with high cholesterol for a longer period of time were significantly more likely to develop heart disease later in life.

At a 15-year follow-up with researchers, coronary heart disease was recorded at a 4.4-percent rate among those who had not suffered from high cholesterol by age 55. That figure jumped to 8.1 percent for those who had had high cholesterol for one to 10 years and 16.5 percent for those who had dealt with high cholesterol levels for more than 11 years.

The study did not make recommendations for whether younger adults should be given a cholesterol-lowering medication.

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Study Links Insomnia with Greater Risk of High Blood Pressure

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint in the U.S., but a new study indicates that a lack of sleep could be associated with greater risk of high blood pressure.

According to the study, published in the journal Hypertension, researchers analyzing data from over 200 individuals with chronic insomnia and 96 normal sleepers found that the longer it took to fall asleep, the greater the risk of hypertension. Specifically, researchers measured the amount of time it took each group to fall asleep during four "nap episodes." Blood pressure readings were taken both before the naps and the morning after.

Participants who took more than 14 minutes to fall asleep had a 300-percent higher rate of high blood pressure, researchers found. They thus associated physiological hyperarousal with risk of hypertension.

Still, this study was limited in that it only monitored subjects for one night, and the blood pressure test was not completed directly after the nap. More research is necessary to determine whether there is a causal effect between difficulty sleeping and high blood pressure.

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Blizzard 2015: Five Ways to Stay Fit When You’re Stuck Inside

amana images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Even if you live in a tiny studio apartment, you can still find a way to stay active indoors until the Blizzard of 2015 blows over.

Grace DeSimone of American College of Sports Medicine Spokeswoman explains how:

Take the Stairs

Indoor stairs and steps can be turned into calorie-blasting machines, DeSimone said. Walking up and down stairs burns an average of about 7 calories per minute, according to the Compendium of Physical Activity. Take them at a jog, and you’ll up the calorie burn to 11 per minute.

Though it’s harder to get the recommended 10,000 steps per day when you’re cooped up indoors, it is possible, especially if you wear a fitness tracking device, she said.

Stairs can also guard against binging, DeSimone pointed out.

“Put all the snacks up high out of reach or down in the basement,” she advised. "That way you have to run up and down the stairs every time you feel like having a cookie.”

Use What You've Got

Everything you own can be used for exercise, DeSimone said.

For example, squat up and down in a chair to strengthen your butt and thighs. Or do dips on the edge of the couch to strengthen your arms, shoulders and chest.

“If you’ve got weights or bands, great, but if not you can use laundry bottles or cans for strength work,” she said. “If your kids are small enough, even they can be used for bench presses.”

Find an App

There is an app for any possible fitness goal you might have and many of them are free, DeSimone said.

“Download one, use it, delete it and try another one,” she said, adding that many take into account tight spaces and lack of equipment.

If you’re not into apps, search the Internet for streaming, downloadable or written workouts. Your gym’s website can be a good resource, she said. Equinox Gyms, for example, offers a free “Do Anywhere” workout complete with demo videos.

Make It a Game

One way to get the whole family up and moving is with a rousing game of balloon volleyball, DeSimone said.

“Trying to keep the balloon from hitting the floor is a lot harder than it looks. It burns calories and wears everyone out,” she said.

Break Out the Shovel

You may not be looking forward to shoveling your sidewalk or driveway once the storm is over, but DeSimone said you should be if you’re interested in getting a great workout. Besides burning up to 640 calories an hour, cleaning your walk works virtually every muscle in your body.

“Just be sure to switch sides every few minutes so you don’t get a backache,” she said.

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Lifesaving Tips to Survive the Blizzard of 2015

lisa comb/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As the blizzard of 2015 gets ready to wallop the Northeast, the last place you want to spend the storm is in the emergency room.

Here's what lands many people in the ER during snowstorms and how to avoid becoming one of them:

Heart Attacks

Cold weather alone puts people at greater risk of having a heart attack because it constricts the blood vessels, said Dr. Lawrence Phillips, a cardiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City. Add in the demanding physical activity of shoveling, and that risk is even higher, he said.

"Every year at NYU Langone, I see several patients over the course of the winter who have brought out heart disease symptoms," Phillips said. "It's real. It's not something we speak about in a hypothetical way, and it can be very dangerous."

Many people who shovel snow don't exercise regularly and try to shovel more snow than they can handle without warming up first, he said. He suggested shoveling slowly and taking frequent breaks. If you have any chest pain or breathing changes, stop.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As the temperature starts to drop, people start to use devices they haven't used before to keep warm, such as space heaters and other fuel-burning devices, said Dr. Corey Slovis, who chairs emergency medicine at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. But those devices don't always work properly, and incomplete combustion can mean potentially fatal carbon monoxide poisoning, which happens when carbon monoxide prevents the body from absorbing oxygen.

"Anyone is at risk of this colorless, odorless, tasteless gas," Slovis said. "You need to have a carbon monoxide detector on every level of the house."

Turning on ovens to keep warm or sitting in cars without properly maintained exhaust pipes can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, said Dr. Aaron Lareau, who practices emergency medicine at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland. Sometimes, it's best to just get to a warm shelter.


Hypothermia, when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it, is a "subtle" killer, Slovis said.

"Rather than getting more anxious, you get less anxious, and sleepy," he said, explaining that people stop shivering when hypothermia sets in. "Your body begins to slow down, your mind begins to slow down, and you stop feeling cold."

He said if you're having trouble thinking or moving normally, you need to get somewhere warm and go to the hospital, Slovis said.


Like hypothermia, frostbite becomes serious when it stops bothering you, Slovis said. It starts off feeling like a burn and eventually stops feeling painful or cold, he said.

Frostbite usually happens to a person's extremities, which can turn white or grey as the nerve damage sets in, Slovis said.

If this happens, put the affected body part in warm -- not hot -- water, and don't rub it. If you suspect frostbite, go to the emergency room, he said.

Slips, Falls and Car Accidents

Lareau said people often arrive at the emergency room because they've gotten into a car accident in the snow or have slipped and fallen on ice in their driveways.

"I think people still try and go about their daily rout as much as possible," he said. "I think that the biggest thing is to use common sense, stay indoors and be prepared If you do have to go out."

He suggested wearing extra layers, bringing a cellphone and packing a blanket in the car.

"If you don’t have to go out, just stay inside," he said.

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Mom Seeks Medical Marijuana Despite Pediatric Group's Opposition

Andrea Saretti(NEW YORK) -- A leading pediatric medicine group has come out against the use of medical marijuana for children in all but the most exceptional circumstances.

The American Academy of Pediatrics said in a statement Monday that it is opposed to the use of marijuana for medical purposes in young people, except for drugs that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There are two FDA approved drugs that contain synthetic compounds similar to the active ingredients in marijuana, which the group said could be used with children with "debilitating or life-limiting diseases."

Andrea Saretti said she believes her son Sam, who was diagnosed with epilepsy last year, should be one of the exceptions. He starts each morning by putting on a special helmet and medical bracelet to protect him in case he falls to the ground with a seizure.

Sam, 9, has suffered seizures that have not stopped despite multiple medications and even an electronic implant that is designed to prevent seizures by sending mild electrical pulses to the brain through the vagus nerve.

"He misses a lot of school," Saretti told ABC News. "He had a seizure in the road on the way to the bus stop. ...It happens at school and happens at restaurants and happens everywhere."

The medications Sam is currently on have helped somewhat but they have also led to side effects, including significant weight gain, Saretti said, noting that Sam, who is also autistic, went from 80 pounds to over 120 pounds in just one year of treatment after being prescribed adult doses of medication to try and stop the seizures.

While AAP and other pediatric medicine groups recommend caution when prescribing marijuana for children with epilepsy, patients have turned to the remedy as anecdotal reports suggest it can reduce seizures.

Sam's doctors decided last fall they wanted to try using low-THC cannabis to help Sam, his mom said, referring to the psychoactive chemical found in marijuana. The timing seemed perfect as the Florida legislature passed the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act in June, allowing doctors to prescribe low-THC cannabis to patients with certain criteria in Florida.

However, while the medical use of the drug became legal as of Jan. 1, Sam and his mother are still waiting to get the medication.

The reason for the delay is that a Florida administrative law judge invalidated the Florida Health Department's plan to use a lottery system to choose marijuana growers. As a result, no one in the state is currently allowed to grow marijuana.

The Florida Department of Health said it will meet again with potential growers in February to decide how to proceed, according to ABC News affiliate WFTV in Orlando, Florida.

Saretti said she's hoping something will change in the coming months so that Sam can stay in school rather than be stuck at home, where he can be more easily monitored. It's unclear if the new AAP statement will have any influence on the process.

"We're looking at [being] home-bound now for the remaining of the year," said Saretti. "You look at quality of life -- something like [the Compassionate Care Act] can give him back a quality of life."

The AAP's statement on Monday reaffirmed the group's earlier position that more study is needed to determine the effectiveness and dosing of the drugs in young people. They are concerned that the risks outweigh the benefits, the statement said.

"We should not consider marijuana 'innocent until proven guilty,' given what we already know about the harms to adolescents," said Dr. Sharon Levy, chair of the AAP Committee on Substance Abuse.

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Northeast Blizzard: What You Need to Know to Stay Safe

Irina Igumnova/Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- With winter storm watches, warnings and advisories in effect from the mid-Atlantic to New England on Monday, residents from New York City to Boston can expect perhaps 2 feet or more of snow.

The storm, which began as a clipper system that brought snow and slick roads to the Midwest on Sunday, is expected to hit the East Coast hardest Monday evening through Tuesday.

Here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to keep in mind Monday before the worst of the storm hits:

  1. Be mindful of carbon monoxide poisoning by using power sources appropriately indoors during power outages. (Never use a generator, grill or other gasoline or propane devices inside your home).
  2. Keep an emergency kit in your car, stocked with tools including: extra batteries, windshield scraper, shovel, matches, first aid kit and blankets.
  3. When you're outside, cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs from the cold air. Put on dry clothes as soon as you come inside.
  4. Pay attention to emergency messages called Wireless Emergency Alerts that are sent by the government through your mobile carrier.
  5. Remember to bring your pets inside.

Airlines canceled 2,061 flights for Monday as of 7:30 a.m. An additional 1,904 flights had been cancelled for Tuesday and the number is expected to rise, according to

President Obama was briefed on the storm and White House officials have been in touch with state and local officials on the eastern seaboard, according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest. FEMA also has assets in the region ready to assist, Earnest said.

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Cinnamon's Aroma Spurs Buying Urges

iStock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) — The scent of cinnamon can elicit some powerful feelings…such as making you want to spend money.

That’s what researchers from Temple University and two other institutions discovered when they examined how different smells affected shoppers’ so-called “spatial perceptions.”

In particular, they tested the effect of scents like cinnamon that create warm sensations and lavender, which is interpreted as cool.

Essentially, when the warm scent of cinnamon is released in an area that’s crowded it makes people feel more powerless. As a result, they compensate for this feeling by purchasing more “prestigious items.”

The researchers believe that buying stuff induces pleasure by boosting dopamine levels in the brain. Interestingly, the temperature and a number of people in the room didn’t bring on feelings of powerlessness until the scent of cinnamon was added to the mix.

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Vastly Limiting Social Contact Could Stop Flu Spread

iStock/Thinkstock(DAVIS, Calif.) — Keeping your distance from others could be the best way to prevent spreading the flu, based on how Mexico City handled the swine flu epidemic in April 2009.

At the time, government officials closed schools, cancelled major events and told residents of Mexico City to stay home.

As a result, TV viewing exploded by 20 percent during the first week that the stringent new health policy was enacted. And apparently, it kept the flu from spreading.

Michael Springborn, an economist at the University of California, Davis, says the "spread of the virus was reduced by people's behavioral response of distancing themselves from each other.”

In the five weeks before things got back to normal, the flu stabilized and then the number of cases dropped off. It was believed that had Mexico City not asked people to limit their social contact, cases of the flu would have quadrupled over the same amount of time.

Meanwhile, it was also noted that TV viewing returned to normal levels by the second week, which suggests people found other things to do when they were cooped up in their homes.

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Degree of Delivery Room Pain Linked to Mother's Mate

iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) — Fathers-to-be shouldn’t take it personally when a woman howls in pain during childbirth. Or maybe they should.

A new study out of the University of London suggests that women in the delivery room may actually feel more discomfort when their significant other is hanging around to provide moral support.

To get a better idea, researchers first gave 39 women a test to determine how close they were to their male partner. Then, the women were hooked up to a machine that delivered a “tolerable” amount of pain to one of their fingers.

While wearing a brain scan, each woman was asked the degree of discomfort felt when their partner was present as opposed to when they weren’t.

As it happened, women who said in the test that they preferred less closeness to their mate reported more pain in their finger. No difference was noted in the other women.

So are men really making things better when they’re around for the birth of a child? Perhaps they should ask the mother if they really want them there in the first place.

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Americans Still Prefer Unhealthy Food Choices

iStock/Thinkstock(KIEL, Germany) — The government can run all the public service announcements it wants about convincing people to change their eating habits but it all may be a big waste of time.

It has to do with people’s preconceived notions about what tastes good and what doesn’t, according to researchers Robert Mai and Stefan Hoffmann from Kiel University, Germany.

They say that despite an obesity epidemic that has gone global, people continue to overeat namely because people’s main reason for being drawn to food is its taste and the idea that unhealthy food tastes better than meals that are supposed to be healthier choices.

Mai and Hoffmann gave participants in a study different yogurts that varied in sugar and fat content. Invariably, people were more enthusiastic about the tastier selections, that is, with more sugar and fat, even when given useful information about the ingredients.

Invariably, both those who were overweight and even participants who were more health conscious went for the tastier yogurts.

In order to combat this problem, Mail and Hoffman recommended that food makers need to make their healthy food tastier as well as improving the marketing and packaging of the products. In addition, they urged those responsible for health awareness campaigns to change their approach so that consumers believe that eating healthy is both “cool” and prestigious.

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American Academy of Pediatrics Reaffirms Opposition to Legalization of Marijuana

sarra22/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics reiterated its opposition to the legalization of marijuana in an updated statement on Monday.

The group is against legalized marijuana -- both for recreational and medicinal purposes -- due to the potentially harmful effects on adolescents, such as memory impairment and difficulty concentrating.

The AAP also says that studies have linked marijuana with a lower likelihood of completing high school and receiving a college degree. Those studies, however, did not prove that use of marijuana caused that lower likelihood of high school completion.

According to the statement, the group's opposition to medicinal marijuana is based in a need for further research to determine correct dosing and true efficacy.

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