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6 Unbelievably Basic Ways to Live Longer

Cardiovascular diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, cancers, and diabetes are the four main groups of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). They’re also a main cause of preventable, premature deaths.

stop smoking

New research shows that over 15 years 37 million premature deaths due to NCDs can be prevented. How? By reducing or curbing only six modifiable risk factors: tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, salt intake, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and obesity. As in, if you keep up your bad habits, chances are you won’t live as long. If you drop them, and get healthier, you’ll likely live longer, and our guess is your quality of life will improve too.

How, exactly would changing these 6 factors improve your life expectancy and reduce your risk of premature death?

Tobacco Use – Kick the habit to reduce risk of death by at least 30 percent, and up to 50 percent

  • Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death, and is responsible for 5 million deaths per year worldwide.
  • By reducing tobacco use by 50 percent, risk of dying from the four main NCDs would drop by 24 percent in men and 20 percent in women.


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Are Beautiful People Better Athletes? Scientists Say “Yes”

athletes

Have you ever been attracted to someone who’s a super talented athlete, but not necessarily model-material? What about the opposite: Have you “known” that someone would be good at a sport based on how good looking they are?

The first phenomenon is known as “speed goggles”, or seeing fast athletes as more attractive than slow ones, and chances are we’ve all done it. (No wonder A-Rod was able to hook up with screen siren Cameron Diaz!) But what about the reverse? The idea that someone will perform better in athletic competition if they are generally regarded as beautiful or handsome. Have you thought this, and does the theory hold up?

A study performed at the University of Zurich put this idea to the test: Researchers asked participants in the study to look at portraits of cyclists competing in the 2012 Tour de France days before the start of the race. They ranked each athlete on a scale of 1 to 5, based on level of attractiveness.
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Weight Discrimination – Real, and Wrong

Should body weight be considered a protected class under Civil Rights laws? According to 3 out of 4 people asked in a new study, the answer is yes.

different weights

New research from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity shows most Americans support policies addressing weight discrimination. In fact, at least 60 percent of Americans are supportive of policy efforts to address weight discrimination across the country.

According to Rebecca Puhl, PhD, study author and deputy director of the Rudd Center, “More than two-thirds of adults in the United States are affected by overweight or obesity, meaning they are also vulnerable to the stigma and discrimination that these proposed policies and laws would help prevent.”


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The New Anti-Aging Secret for Younger Looking Skin: Exercise

Some of us know all to well that as we age, there are dramatic changes to our skin, and not usually for the better. Crow’s feet, laugh lines, sagging skin, the works. But now, science is proving that moderate cardio exercise can reverse these natural processes at any age.

exercise aging

The New York Times recently reported on a study from McMaster University in Ontario, one of the big names in exercise physiology research. Essentially, scientists found the above to be true: that exercise can slow or even reverse the signs of aging skin. How? Well, they’re not quite sure how it works—one theory is that an increase in a certain muscle protein called myokines helps halt and reverse the process. Regardless of the actual process, researchers say they have clear proof that it does work—and that younger looking skin could be just a few workouts away.
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Wacky But True: Study Using Voodoo Dolls Proves “Hangry” is a Real Thing

voodooFor years I felt original for using what I thought was my own word to describe how cranky, snippy, and sassy I get when I haven’t eating in a long time. The word is “hangry”, a fusion between hungry and angry, and it describes pretty perfectly the mood that affects many of us when we have low blood sugar. Hearing the first few people use my word was exciting and unifying, like we were apart of the same witty food-pun club! But lately I’ve been hearing it more than ever, so I am reluctant to admit that perhaps I did not, in fact, invent the word hangry. (I’m also being overdramatic, so perhaps I am currently hangry.)

At any rate, science has recently solidified the use of this word: A new study shows that being hangry is a real thing, or at least proves that being hungry definitely affects a person’s mood.

Researchers from Ohio State University set out to prove that low blood sugar is indeed the underlying cause of hunger-induce crankiness. (Read the full NPR report here.) But they didn’t just want to look at how strangers interacted, they wanted to know how we treat our loved ones when we’re hangry, so they studied spouses. 107 couples were recruited for the study and each given voodoo dolls.
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