Review Category : Health

Vanessa Williams Shares Her Simple Fitness and Beauty Regimen

Robin Marchant/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Vanessa Williams has been a show stopper on so many levels and platforms for almost three decades now and one thing remains constant — she always looks stunning.

The 51-year-old actress, singer, Broadway star and former beauty queen said staying in shape and looking great really is simple.

“Just eating as clean as you possibly can when you have a goal to attain,” she told ABC News of her fitness secrets. “If I wanted to drop a few pounds for any kind of event or red carpet, you cut out alcohol, you cut out sugar, you cut out carbs.”

Some other tricks Williams uses include, “juicing, hot water and lemon — those are all great cleansers to keep you hydrated…now a days it’s so easy to get organic products. Whether they are seaweed snacks or anything.”

She also believes in “staying active.”

“I try to do something everyday, whether it’s taking a class or jumping on the treadmill,” she said. “Also, yoga, just trying to keep moving for sure.”

Williams also recently had to maintain since she was on Broadway performing in The Trip to Bountiful.

“When you do eight shows a week, it’s one of those things naturally you are in show mode, so you have to watch out for your voice,” she said. “You have to make sure you are taking care of your voice. You have to maintain your instrument, which is your body.”

But Williams also has a sweet tooth. She spoke to ABC as part of her collaboration with M&M’S, cutting the ribbon in New York City to welcome back the Crispy brand.

“I’ve been doing the voice of the brown M&M for two years now, Ms. Brown,” she said. “I love the ads and my commercials that run.”

She said the commercials also introduce her to a whole new generation of viewers.

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Don’t Let Your Smartphone Wreck Your Love Life

iStock/Thinkstock(UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.) — Do you get the feeling sometimes that your real significant other is your smartphone?

You’re probably not alone, according to a poll by Brandon McDaniel of The Pennsylvania State University and Sarah Coyne of Brigham Young University in Utah.

The researchers surveyed 143 women in committed relationships and found out somewhat distressingly that almost three quarters believe that their phones are coming between them and their partners.

It’s what McDaniel and Coyne call “technoference,” which also happens to be a two-way street.

For instance, about a third of respondents complained that their boyfriends looked at their smartphones during a conversation with one in four saying that their partner has also texted while they were talking.

Some of the long-term downsides of “technoference,” the researchers say, includes poor relationship quality, lower life satisfaction and even depression.

McDaniel and Coyne suggest that if people are serious about their relationships, they’ll mute their phones and even better still, occasionally leave them at home.

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There’s a Device to Help You Breathe Better

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — It’s not too early to start planning those dreaded New Year’s resolutions. If your job involves a lot of sitting, you might start thinking about things to do to improve your health.

A little device called Prana, which launches at the end of January, could be of service, provided you’re willing to spend $150.

As Business Insider reports, Prana clips onto clothing at your waistline and alerts you when you’re slouching too much.

Not only does this improve your posture but also helps you avoid muscular skeletal disease, which can come from breathing from only your chest instead of your diaphragm.

As Prana CEO Andre Persidsky explains, not getting a full share of oxygenated air makes people feel anxious and out of breath.

Who knew that breathing better could turn into a New Year’s resolution?

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Punishment Threats Aren’t the Best Way to Keep Kids from Lying

iStock/Thinkstock(MONTREAL) — During childhood, George Washington allegedly confessed to chopping down a cherry tree, either because he was very honest or perhaps he knew that getting caught lying about it would make his punishment far worse.

However, a professor of psychology at Montreal’s McGill University says that the best way to get kids to ‘fess up today is by not threatening them with punishment.

Victoria Talwar tested her theory with 370 children ages four to eight. She put each one in a room for one minute with an instruction not to sneak a peek at a toy that was behind them.

With a video camera filming them, it turns out that about two-thirds peeked anyway. Interestingly, the older the kid, the less likely they peeked.

When asked if they obeyed the instruction not to peek, two-thirds lied about it. As it happened, older children lied more often than younger ones.

But this is what intrigued Talwar. The youngsters who tended to lie were the ones most worried about being punished. Meanwhile, the young truth-tellers were honest because it would please adults while the older truth-tellers were more inclined to admit they peeked at the toy because it was the right thing to do.

Therefore, Talwar concludes that “punishment does not promote truth-telling. In fact, the threat of punishment can have the reverse effect by reducing the likelihood that children will tell the truth when encouraged to do so.”

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Researchers Call for Mobilization of Ebola Survivors to Treat Disease in West Africa

Bumbasor/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Health researchers called for the mobilization of Ebola survivors in West Africa as a means of more safely treating current patients.

According to an editorial published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, researchers note that because Ebola survivors have an immunity to the disease, making them at little to no risk of re-infection, they can more safely deal with infected patients.

Researchers also note that the blood of those survivors can also be used to treat patients, as their blood contains antibodies against the virus. Further, researchers say, survivors are often able to speak the local language and understand cultural dynamics, increasing the likelihood of trust between them and the patient.

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Robotic Surgical Techniques May Be Able to Reach Previously Inoperable Tumors

Dmitrii Kotin/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new robotic surgery technique developed at the University of California, Los Angeles may be able to reach tumors that were previously in inaccessible areas of the head and neck.

According to a study published in the journal Head and Neck, the Trans Oral Robotic Surgery utilizes small incisions and a surgical robot operated by a doctor using three-dimensional imaging and robotic arms. The technique could allow for the removal of tumors in areas that would previously have been deemed inoperable.

Previously, such tumors could have been dealt with using aggressive surgical procedures plus either chemotherapy or radiation.

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Researchers Say Male Breast Cancer Treatment Falling Behind Female Treatment

Purestock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Researchers say that treatment of male breast cancer is failing to keep up with that of female patients.

According to the study, presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, while there has been significant improvement in treatment for male breast cancer patients, men are still less likely than female breast cancer patients to receive the appropriate treatment. Men are more likely to undergo a mastectomy, which have been found to negatively affect quality of life.

While male breast cancers are often different on a cellular level, those cancers are often susceptible to more treatment options. Instead, researchers say, a lack of access to providers specializing in male breast cancer inhibits many male breast cancer patients.

The study was part of a three-part program, which includes future plans to create a registry of male breast cancer patients, and later clinical trials for new treatment options.

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Why Rape Victims Don’t Report and Why Details Can Be Hazy

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Rolling Stone magazine’s move to backpedal its story about a University of Virginia student’s alleged gang rape has put another twist in the shocking narrative. But as the story unfolds, experts say people should keep in mind that trauma victims’ memories are often imperfect.

The victim, identified in a December Rolling Stone article as “Jackie,” told the publication that she was raped by seven members of a UVA Phi Kappa Psi fraternity in 2012, but the Washington Post raised several questions about Jackie’s story regarding the number of assailants, where she was attacked and who attacked her.

Many trauma victims don’t clearly remember certain details of what happened to them, said Dr. Phillip Resnick, who directs the forensic psychiatry program at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and is not involved in the UVA case. For example, victims who have been robbed at gunpoint might focus on the gun but not remember details of the robber’s face, he said.

“This is an issue with all crime victims,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that the victim will be unreliable.”

He said if a victim remembered a license plate number but was off by one digit, it wouldn’t suggest false reporting, but hint at a memory distortion or omission.

Sexual assault victims often have a hard time recalling what happened leading up to or following the assault, regardless of whether they were drugged, said Jennifer Marsh, director of victim services at the anti-sexual assault group RAINN, which stands for Rape Abuse and Incest National Network.

Sexual assault victims may also try to fill in the gaps in their memories as they try to make sense of what happened to them, Marsh said. Sometimes victims do this because they’re afraid that no one will believe them without a coherent story, she said. As a result, many law enforcement officials have been trained to see these memory gaps not as red flags but as “perfectly normal following a traumatic event.”

Resnick also said an inability to remember some aspects of trauma is actually part of the diagnostic criterion for post-traumatic stress disorder, which The Post wrote Jackie told them she was diagnosed with following the rape. That doesn’t mean all PTSD sufferers have memory loss, but it means it’s common enough that it’s listed in official diagnostic manuals as a symptom, he said.

“And of course time decays memory,” Resnick said. “So someone is more likely to give an accurate picture to police [immediately after the fact] than if they’re interviewed by a reporter two years later.”

Despite advantages gained by women’s and victims’ rights groups more than three decades ago, Resnick said people are still hesitant to report sexual assaults because of the stigma and humiliation that goes along with it. Victims are also less likely to report these crimes if they were drunk or knew their assailant, he said, often asking themselves whether they did anything to provoke an attack. And if the victim doesn’t think she (or he) will be taken seriously, they won’t want to go through the trauma of talking about it, Resnick said.

Groups disagree over how many victims of sexual assault don’t report them to police. According to RAINN, 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported, and only 3 percent of all rapists go to prison. Rolling Stone reported that only about 12 percent of rape victims report the crimes against them, and a Department of Justice report estimated the rate to be 27 percent.

Though Rolling Stone reported that between 2 and 8 percent of sexual assault accusations are unfounded, Resnick said he wasn’t sure how accurate the number was. Even so, he said a victim would be more likely to lie about sexual assault if that victim had been rejected by a lover or was a teen who had been found in a compromising position by his or her parents.

Marsh said it’s important to keep in mind that about 10,000 people call RAINN’s phone and web hotlines for sexual assault each month.

“The big picture is that we hear stories like the one told in the Rolling Stone piece every week — if not daily — on the national sexual assault hotline,” she said. “And unfortunately stories like Jackie’s, the one told in the piece, are all too common.”

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Chocolate May Reduce Diabetes Risk

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Chocolate, the miracle food, gets another gold star if a new study is to be believed.

According to Dr. Chisa Matsumoto, moderate consumption of chocolate might help to reduce the risk of diabetes.

In the research, a team led by Matsumoto of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Tokyo Medical University looked at the records of more than 18,000 men with an average age of 66 who all reported their intake of chocolate. In a follow-up nine years later, about 1,120 men had developed diabetes.

The researchers determined that men who ate one to three servings per month had a seven percent reduced risk for diabetes compared to men who ate no chocolate. The risk went down further when one or two servings of chocolate were consumed per week. Furthermore, men with a body mass index (BMI) under 25 who ate two or more chocolate servings weekly lessen their diabetes risk by 41 percent as opposed to men who did not indulge in the sweet treat.

Although there was no direct reason given for this phenomenon, Matsumoto believes it might have to do with cocoa and chocolate improving insulin resistance as previous studies have shown.

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Men Who Remarry Often Go for Much Younger Wives

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Many divorced men like to “rob the cradle,” so to speak, if they decide to marry again.

A Pew Research Center analysis of Census data finds that 20 percent of guys who decide to take another wife will find one who’s at least 10 years younger than them.

The first time around is a lot different for men, according to Pew. Just five percent will walk down the aisle with a woman 10 years his junior.

As far as men looking for an older woman is concerned, which doesn’t happen all that often, there really is no difference between first and second marriages.

When it comes to what women want, things are bit different. During a first marriage, about seven percent of women pick a man at least 10 years older than her, which rises to 13 percent if a woman remarries.

The Pew study reveals that women aren’t so enamored with younger men during their first trip to the altar with only three percent marrying guys who are younger. However, that increases to 13 percent if they opt to tie the knot again.

To show how thing have changed culturally over the last half century, just 13 percent of married adults were on their second marriage five decades ago. That number has risen to 23 percent today.

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