Blog Posts by Vitamin G, Glamour Magazine

  • The Surprising Drink that May Lead to Belly Fat

    by Sarah Jio, Glamour

    Belly fat? Eeks, no thanks, right? Well, you may be making what you feel is a "healthy choice," but according to many experts, it's not and it may be totally backfiring, in the direction of your belly...

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    Diet soda? You may love it, but many experts say it could be adding a little extra insulation to your belly. NBC recently took a look at the surprising health problems with diet soda (even just one can a day), including how this fizzy favorite messes with your metabolism.

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    "According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease," reports NBC.

    Diet soda lovers: What are your thoughts on this? Do you think about health consequences when you sip your fave can of diet

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  • Where Does Your School Rank on This List of Sexually Healthy Universities?

    by Lexi Petronis, Glamour

    Trojan (naturally!) just released its annual list of sexually healthy universities--and there's a new winner on top. Um, so to speak.

    Last year, it was Columbia University that took first place for its condom availability, HIV testing, lecture/outreach programs and student peer groups, and quality of the sexual health information on the school's website. This year, though, the honors go to... the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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    Here's who else topped the list:
    2. Brown University
    3. Columbia University in the City of New York
    4. Princeton University
    5. University of Wisconsin-Madison
    6. Yale University
    7. University of Arizona
    8. University of Iowa
    9. Colorado State University
    10. Oregon State University

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    And here are the schools who make up the bottom of the list:
    132. Seton Hall University
    133. Savannah State University
    134. Louisiana Tech

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  • The New 3D Mammogram with Less Radiation

    by Lexi Petronis, Glamour

    There's a new mammogram in town, and experts are saying it's more accurate--so it catches cancerous tumors way earlier.

    This new mammogram uses 3D technology to capture images that are two to three times sharper than those of typical CT scanner. And, because they're so high quality, the new imagines could help detect tumors much earlier and more accurately.

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    Usually, dual-view digital mammograms are the norm: "While commonly used, the limitation is that it provides only two images of the breast tissue, which can explain why 10 to 20 percent of breast tumors are not detectable on mammograms," says Jianwei (John) Miao, a UCLA professor of physics and astronomy and researcher with the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA.

    These new 3D mammograms show even tiny details on breast tumors--which likely means fewer callbacks to women with suspicious-looking tissue--and they use a lower dose of radiation, which

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  • Your Smartphone May Be Making You Sick in a Really Gross Way

    by Lexi Petronis, Glamour

    I think I told you that I sent my brand-new iPhone for a swim in the washing machine, five hours after I got it? That was a bad day. But maybe I'll just cite this research and say that I was only trying to get the thing clean. Because ohmygoodness are smartphones germy.

    If you think about all the places your phone goes--from the treadmill at the gym, your purse, the restaurant table, even the bathroom, straight to your mouth and next to your nose--it makes sense that there are bacteria aplenty that could make you sick. In fact, that little smear of grease you often see on the touchscreen? Where there's grease, there are germs.

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    "People are just as likely to get sick from their phones as from handles of the bathroom," says Dr. Cain of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

    And here's why. One study tested eight random smartphones from an office. While the phones showed no signs of E. coli or

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  • What Your Favorite Sleep Position Says About You

    by Lexi Petronis, Glamour
    This morning came way too early and I so wish I was still in my favorite sleep position: belly-side down, hands under pillow, head to the side. (Though any sleep position seems dreamy right now, honestly.) Could there be a link between how you sleep--and who you are?

    Recent articles have cited Robert Phipps, a body language expert who determined certain "sleep-o-scopes" (kind of like horoscopes) to explain how personality and sleep position may be linked. For example, he said that fetal position sleepers are worriers (because they're curled up, they may be looking for unconscious comfort), while people who sleep on their stomachs with their arms out are "free fallers" who feel like their lives may be out of their control.

    But here's the thing. Phipps says that he didn't do any serious research to come up with the above links between position and personality; it was more for fun.

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    Does that mean there's no

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  • Why Sleep Keeps Your Fat Cells "Full"

    by Sarah Jio, Glamour

    What if I told you that a certain habit of yours could be feeding your body's fat cells, leading to weight gain? It might be happening to you if you do this...

    You already know that not getting enough sleep can be bad to your health and lead to weight gain, but wait until you hear just how bad it can get. A small study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago determined that college students who slept no more than 4.5 hours a night for four consecutive nights had big problems in the fat cell department.

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    Basically, their fat cells got sluggish and were 30 percent less responsive to insulin. What does that mean, exactly? When your cells become insulin-resistant, it signals to your body to release certain hormones that tell your cells to soak up excess sugar in the body and store them in your fat cells. Yeah, not good. So, essentially, sleep deprivation makes your fat cells really hungry.

    See more:

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  • Why Workout Playlist Are a Must (Plus a Few Song Recs)

    by Lexi Petronis, Glamour

    I love my workout playlist so much, I occasionally blast it when I'm not working out. The songs are all appropriately upbeat (also sometimes embarrassing!) and they're instant mood-lifters and energy-givers. Plus I usually end up dancing around like a fool. And there's science as to why!

    Studies have shown that listening to music while exercising can improve your workouts: songs can motivate you (study subjects who listen to music work out longer and more intensely) and distract you from things like how exhausted you are. Research has even pinpointed a specific tempo that works best for working out: between 120 and 140 beats per minute. There's even a site (runhundred.com) devoted to finding the songs that fits the tempo.

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    Bridgit Mendler--whom you know from Good Luck Charlie and Lemonade Mouth--has a new album, Hello, My Name Is... (it just came out on Monday!), and I have officially placed "Hurricane" onto

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  • News: You're Making Your Dog Yawn

    by Lexi Petronis, Glamour

    Um, there's a pretty big chance that reading this news is going to make you yawn. And your dog, too.

    Everyone knows yawning is contagious: just watching someone yawn makes us do it, too (and, apparently, writing about yawning makes you yawn as well; I'm on my sixth yawn already! Let's get some research on this!). That's because we're empathetic beings--when someone yawns, yawning in return is our way of trying to understand and connect with that person's emotional state.

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    And now, researchers from Lund University have discovered that dogs catch contagious yawns, too. Not yawns from other dogs--yawns from us! An earlier study found that even the sound of a person yawning can make a dog yawn, and not just any person--dogs are way more susceptible to catching their owners' yawns than they are strangers' yawns.

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    What about other pets? Well, there's no real research on

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  • Halloween Candy: The Bad and the Better

    by Lexi Petronis, Glamour

    Are you excited for Halloween... candy? Now let's see if any of your favorites are on either of these lists.

    No one dips into the candy bowl expecting to grab a healthy Halloween sweet--but some candies are worse (and better!) than others. The American Council on Exercise has just released its annual list of not-so-healthy Halloween candy so you can pick and choose (or trick and treat??) a little easier.

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    First, the bad news... here are the bad Halloween candies:

    * Peanut butter cups: each cup has 105 calories, with 50 of them coming straight from fat.
    * Kit Kat: three pieces will set you back 210 calories--that's a lot for a little bar.
    * Mounds and Almond Joy bars: the coconut and almonds may seem healthy-ish, but the sugar and fat zero them out. A snack size bar of each is 80 calories, with 40 of those coming from fat.

    And now, the good news! Check out some of the better candy options. (Just remember

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  • How Drinking Green Tea Can Help Fight Breast-Cancer

    by Sarah Jio, Glamour

    You love your coffee, but maybe order this instead. Researchers say that it might help fight off breast cancer...

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    It's been long known that a compound in green tea, Polyphenon E, may help fight breast cancer by messing with what's known as cancer's "growth factors."

    Researchers at Columbia University took a look at Polyphenon E's affect on women, and they found something surprising: "After two months of Polyphenon E, there was a reduction in hepatocyte growth factor," says Katherine Crew, MD, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York. "This is one of the growth factors that affect breast cancer cell growth, spread, and invasion. ...There really does seem to be something there. The new study provides a potential explanation for why green tea may help."

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    OK, so you love coffee (and I do too!),

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