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

Photo: nataliemaynor

From The FDA proposing two new food rules, a fork that could help with portion control, and a potential solution for people with peanut allergies, this week had some interesting (and positive!) highlights affecting our fitness, health, and happiness.

And 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 that are innovative, thought-provoking, or could seriously change some health behaviors.

1. Nationwide Droughts May Force Americans to Eat Healthier

The bad news? Nearly half of the United States has experienced droughts over the past year. The (macabre) good news? It could force Americans to eat healthier than they ever have before. With the devastation of various crops, food prices are on the rise, disproportionally affecting the cost of what’s traditionally cheaper (and unhealthy) to buy: processed and sugary foods, and meat. Although the cause is dark, the higher price tags may deter people from buying what’s not so great for us, and load up on more fruits and vegetables.

Via Fast Company

2. The FDA Proposes New Food-Safety Rules on Food-Borne Illness

Well that’s a relief. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just proposed a few more food-safety rules that focus on preventing, rather than reacting to food-borne illnesses. The first rule forces manufacturers to follow specific steps to prevent and correct food contamination, and the second places stricter standards for growing, packing, and handling raw foods. It could take another year before these propositions stir into action, but with thousands of people hospitalized annually for food-related problems (peanut butter, anyone?) here’s to hoping that year flies by.

Via Time Healthland

Photo: 27147

3. Forget Smart Phones: “Smart” Forks Help People Eat Better

Your fork might be smarter than you. HAPIfork, a fork that monitors how fast people eat, may help people chew slowly and consume less food. The device measures the start and end time of each meal, how much people chow down per minute, and how long each serving takes to eat. It also monitors how long it takes for the fork to go from plate to mouth, and vibrates if people are eating too quickly. It can then load that info to a computer via a built-in USB for future reference (or shaming). If you tend to mindlessly shove food in your face from time-to-time, this could be a useful tool.

Via Mashable

4. Peanut “Therapy” Helps Some People Limit Peanut Allergy

People with peanut allergies, rejoice: the classic PB&J may actually be safe to eat one day. Scientists recently conduced a “peanut therapy” study that slowly and safely exposed people with mild peanut allergies to tiny amounts of protein powder over 68 weeks. They found that a small percentage – but a percentage, nonetheless — were able to eat peanuts without an allergic reaction at the study’s conclusion. Scientists aren’t convinced the same results would be found for people with severe allergic symptoms, though, so if you normally can’t eat peanuts, don’t dab a bit of peanut butter under your tongue just yet.

Via The Atlantic

5. New Running App Makes Playlist Based On Your Running Speed

There’s a new app on the market that could make runners even faster. Cruise Control lets users set a specific pace or heart rate they want to hit, and the app matches a song’s BPM with running cadence — creating a playlist that will set the right tempo. Runners can also choose the “free-run” option, which simply matches a tune’s tempo and rhythm to the pace they’re currently running. Could this be the secret to PR’ing in your next race?

Via LifeHacker

What health news grabbed your attention this week? Let us know in the comments below or tweet the author @lschwech.