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Warning: You may not want to use the pepper shaker at restaurants

The next time you’re out to eat, you may want to consider whether you really need to add salt and pepper to your meal. It turns out, pepper shakers are one of the dirtiest items in a restaurant. According to a study from ABC News, pepper shakers harbor one of the highest bacteria counts at a public dining facility with counts reaching 11,600 — second only to restaurant menus. (And for your complete disgust, restaurant menus were found to carry the most — an average bacteria count of 185,000 — and have 100 times more bacteria than your typical toilet seat.) The study examined swab samples taken from common table items at 12 restaurants throughout New York, Ohio, and Arizona. The swabs were then examined for “total bacteria counts and coliform — a broad class of bacteria found in our environment. The presence of coliform can indicated fecal matter.” Dr.…

Yo-yo dieting can lead to early death, study suggests

You pack on some serious pounds, then work hard to drop the weight — but then put it all back on again. Aside from being incredibly frustrating for the individual, experts are now warning that these dramatic fluctuations in weight are linked to a slew of negative side effects — including an increased risk of death. The new study was published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Researchers investigated the health risks of yo-yo dieting by examining the results from the 3,600 men and women who participated in the Korean Genome and Epidemiology Study. They found that dramatic weight swings was associated with higher risk of mortality. One exception to this study is for obese individuals who crash diet and experience weight loss. Those people were found to be less likely to develop type-2 diabetes over time. However, perfectly healthy people who quickly lose and gain…

Organic foods reduce your risk of certain cancers, study shows

If you’re still not a believer in organic food, consider a new study that suggests it can save you from some cancers. The study, published earlier this week in JAMA Internal medicine, found that those who frequently ate organic foods, had an overall lower risk of developing cancer. Specifically, those who primarily consumed organic foods where more likely to ward off postmenopausal breast cancer and non-Hodgkin Lymphoma than those who rarely or never ate organic. The study looked at the diets of 68,946 French adult volunteers. Researchers divided them into four groups depending on how often they said they ate organic foods including fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, ready-to-eat meals, vegetable oils and condiments, dietary supplements and other products. Participants were checked on, about four and a half years later. During that time, the volunteers developed 1,340 cancers. Breast cancer being the most common (459), followed by prostate cancer…

Nutrition or exercise: Which is better for your bones?

Which is better for your bones: a healthy diet or exercise? It’s a question that scientists would love to answer, and one that could greatly benefit humans as we undergo the aging process. A new study conducted by the University of Michigan and published in PLOS One aimed to answer this conundrum. Researchers looked at mineral supplementation and exercise in mice and  were surprised by the results. Nutrition, it appears, has a greater impact on bone mass and strength than exercise. Furthermore, even after the test mice stopped exercising, they retained the bone strength they gained, as long as they ate a healthy, mineral-supplemented diet. While the study was done on mice, it makes sense. David Kohn, a University of Michigan professor in the schools of dentistry and engineering and the study’s lead author, said, “If you think about the progression to humans, diet is easier for someone to carry on…

Airport security bins are dirtier than toilets, study shows

The dirtiest thing you’ll encounter at the airport isn’t the toilet seat. Nor is the tray tables or even your sniffling seat mate. According to a study from the University of Nottingham and the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare, it’s those plastic security trays that are the filled with the most infectious diseases. The research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases, which found 10 respiratory viruses including the flu and common cold lingering on various surfaces through the Helsinki-Vantaa airport in Finland. Scientists visited several times during the 2015-16 flu season and collected germ samples at various times of the day. As it turns out, the bins that hold your cell phone, shoes, purse, coat, and other belongings that need scanned for security, had more germs than any other area tested — including toilet, elevator buttons, and even the flight check-in kiosks. The virus found could easily cause you…

Whole milk might be healthier than skim milk, study shows

For years, experts have been telling us that full-fat dairy products like whole milk are loaded with scary saturated fats and the low-fat dairy options like skim milk are better for us. But recent research suggests that full-fat dairy may actually be healthier than and more beneficial than previously thought. The new research, published in The Lancet, found that people who eat full-fat dairy aren’t any more likely to develop heart disease or type 2 diabetes than those who opted for the low-fat versions. In fact, they might even be less likely to pack on the pounds. The observational study compiled data from about 136,000 adults across 21 countries on five continues. None of the participants had a history of heart disease, and they all completed detailed surveys, answering questions about type and frequency of dairy intake. The study found that dairy consumptions — no matter what kind — was…

Blowing out birthday candles boosts bacteria to disgusting levels

Birthday cake lovers, beware. If you’ve ever taken part of the classic birthday ritual — you know: dimmed lights, loud singing of “Happy Birthday” followed by candle blowing — you’ve participated in a very disgusting tradition. Researchers at Clemson University recently conducted a study to find out whether significant bacteria is transferred to the cake when someone blows out their candles. Mimicking a traditional child’s birthday party, participants ate several slices of pizza before volunteering to blow out candles on top of an ordinary birthday cake. A control group cake had no party-goers blow on it. Then the two were compared. Researchers found that the cake where the candles had been blown out had more than 1,400% more bacteria than the cake that was left alone. Interestingly, people blew greatly varied number of bacteria — some didn’t transfer any, and some, for whatever reason, transferred a lot. (Maybe a germaphobic researcher out…

Pizza put 2,300 people in the hospital last year

Pizza is more dangerous than you think! The cheesy dinner option is always a great choice of food for any occasion, but according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), saucy pies landed 2,300 people in the hospital last year with pizza-related-injuries. From lacerations from cutting pizza to burns and molten cheese, it seems everyone’s favorite food has a dark side. Others wound up getting treated for injuries resulting from falling in a pizza joint or even falling out of bed while reaching for a pizza — don’t act like pizza in bed isn’t a thing. The pizza stats were part of a the CPSC’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) injury report release associated with consumer products and emergency room visits. Pizza isn’t the only food product landing people in the hospital. In 2017, there were so many people cutting themselves attempting to slice avocado, “avocado hand” is…

Study shows picky eaters care how food is presented on a plate

If you have a picky eater at home, there might be one more thing you can try. A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food Science found that kids do actually notice — and care — how their food is presented to them, and this can influence how much of the food they eat. It turns out, that young children are more inclined to eat when food items are kept separate from one another. Researchers asked 100 children ages 7 to 8 and 12 to 14 to prioritize six different photos of dishes of food plated three different ways: one with food items separated; one with the food separate but ingredients mixed (like chicken with gravy touching the rice, but vegetables on the side); and another with food all mixed together. Among the youngest age group, girls preferred foods to be separated, while the…

A third of Americans have missed a football game due to heavy tailgating

On bright and brisk falls mornings all over the country, you’ll find Americans gearing up for their favorite pastime — tailgating. While football, of course, is the main event, the tailgating subculture has become just as much of a mainstay of Saturday or Sunday mornings as the game itself. Research from YouGov revels an inside look at what Americans are drinking, their habits and how many participate. About 77% of respondents said they drink alcohol before the event, but 21% said they preferred to stay sober. One third of Americans said they drink alcohol at every tailgate they attend a game. College fans said that Bud Light, Samuel Adams, Blue Moon and Corona are the beers most likely to make an appearance in their game day coolers, while Jack Daniels, Baileys and Smirnoff are the preferred tailgating liquors. Frito-Lay’s chips, grilled Johnsonville sausages and cans of Campbells soup are the preferred snacks to…