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6 News Stories This Week That Actually Matter to Your Health

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Greatist News examines and explains the trends and studies making headlines in fitness, health, and happiness. Check out all the news here.

Photo by Lisa Goulet

With so many headlines to read, news articles to sift through, and tweets to favorite, it's nearly impossible to read every story that affects our health. So we're making it easier for everyone by rounding up our top story picks you might have missed this past week.

 

1. Eating or Spending Too Much? Blame It On Social Networking Sites

With the explosion of social media on all fronts, it's important to see how statuses, retweets, and repins could be affecting other aspects of our lives. This story discusses how interacting with close friends on Facebook can enhance self-esteem. While that seems well and good, an increase in esteem can also lead to less self-control, according to Science Daily. Authors summarize a series of studies that show Facebook usage could lead to unhealthy snacking, binge eating, and higher levels of credit card debt. Yikes! That's not what (Facebook) friends are for.

2. Fast Food's Immediate Damage To Your Health 

"Everything in moderation" may not hold true when we're talking chicken nuggets and chalupas. Here, The Huffington Post talks about some scary studies that reveal the immediate effect of fast food. Researchers found that after eating a sausage, egg, and cheese, the risk for hardening arteries and lowered blood flow increases right away. Another study discovered kids who eat fast-food typically consume more calories throughout the day. Both studies highlight that unhealthy food can increase health risks immediately— making us rethink heading to the dollar menu.

3. The 'Condoms' We'll Use on Mars 

While condoms have done a pretty good job keeping things safe during sex, scientists are currently creating a "condom of the future" which may be even more effective in controlling unwanted pregnancy and HIV. A new tampon-shaped microfiber mesh has been tested to physically and chemically combat against pregnancy and disease. The Atlantic explains it'll still be a few years before it passes safety and efficiency tests, so don't bail on your regular safe-sex practices just yet.

4. Dieting System Changes Look of Food So Users Eat Less 

Could technology really determine the healthy choices we're making? Perhaps, according to PSFK's story on a set of glasses that distorts the size of food. A newly developed pair of glasses has a fancy camera attached which makes food appear larger than it really is, tricking the brain into thinking a person is consuming more grub. When put to the test, the glasses led to users consuming 10 percent less food. Since overeating is a pretty common problem among Americans, these glasses could one day be a "brain hack" on food behavior.

5. A Design Firm Rethinks The Entire Gym Experience 

The gym is a great way to stay fit, but it's not always the most convenient solution. With pricey membership options and out-of-the-way locations, people have been rethinking how to provide gyms that are accessible for anyone. Insert The National Fitness Campaign Courts: mobile, low-cost, and open-air gyms that are currently being developed, reports Fast CompanyThe courts are designed to be assembled and disassembled in half a day, and include platforms and gymnastic rings for a killer bodyweight workout. The first NFC Court has been set up in San Francisco, and more courts are planned to pop up in the Bay Area in 2013.

6. The Most Popular Diets of 2012 (According to Google)

People search for anything these days on the Internet, including what type of diet may work best. Google tracked what diets people most often typed into their search engines, and Time Healthland rounded them up.  The top-typed diet? The Michael Phelps Diet, which is probably not the best food plan to follow (unless burning 12,000 calories a day). Some other less fun diets were googled too, such as the Feeding Tube diet — which makes people wonder how far others might go to lose a little weight.

What were some of your favorite health stories from the week? Let us know in the comments below or tweet the author @lschwech.

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