iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — New data from the Centers for Disease Control show that nearly 88,000 people may have died young due to drinking too much alcohol between 2006 and 2010.

Those who died from drinking, the CDC says, had their lives shortened by an average of 30 years. Among the health effects that were linked to drinking and an early death were breast cancer, liver disease and heart disease.

Of those whose deaths were attributed to excessive drinking, nearly 70 percent were working-age adults. That figure represents about 10 percent of deaths among adults between the ages of 20 and 64.

About five percent of deaths related to excessive alcohol use were individuals under the age of 21.

“Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death that kills many Americans in the prime of their lives,” said Ursula Bauer, director of the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The New York Court of Appeals refused to reinstate New York City’s ban on large sodas and other sugary drinks on Thursday.

The ban went into effect in 2012 and prevented the sale of single-size servings of soda and other sugary drinks that were more than 16 ounces. The law, supported by then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg, was ruled unconstitutional by a lower court in 2013.

New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett says that the ban was beneficial, and that the court’s ruling “doesn’t change the fact that we have a huge problem with obesity in this city, and it doesn’t change the role of sugary drinks in that epidemic.”

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Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Want to live to 100? Doctors will tell you to stay active and eat loads of fruits and veggies. But these centenarians have a few extra tricks up their sleeves.

Lucienne Clotier of Old Town, Maine, who just turned 105, credits mile-long walks and a daily drink.

“Make sure it is red wine and drink it once a day,” she told ABC News affiliate WVII-TV in Bangor, Maine. “Yes, that’s a good drink for you.”

Pearl Cantrell of San Saba County, Texas, lived to 105 eating a plate of bacon and some “coffee pudding” every morning, according to her son, Billy Allen.

Coffee pudding is coffee made with plenty of sugar, milk and biscuits, Allen told ABC News on his mom’s birthday last year.

But some centenarians stick to their doctor’s advice. And those who make it to the age of 110 get a special title: supercentenarian.

In Detroit, the oldest American citizen and supercentenarian, Jeralean Talley, credited religion and God after turning 115.

“A long time ago, I asked the good Lord, when you get ready to take me home…I don’t want to be sick,” Talley told ABC News affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit. “So far I don’t suffer so much.”

While the advice of Talley, Cloiter and Cantrell might be fun to try, scientists are still searching for clues to explain why a lucky few can make it far past age 100. Research into “Blue Zones,” places with higher rates of centenarians, have revealed some common characteristics between the areas.

“The problem is we keep looking for is a silver bullet,” Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones told ABC News last year. “The answer is silver buckshot.”

Buettner found that these regions with higher rates of centenarians tend to feature moderated diets, active seniors and a sense of community and inclusion for seniors. But Buettner said there’s one more thing that unites the super old: a good personality.

“Every main principle investigator [of a centenarian study] will say it’s hard to measure likability, but the grumps seem to die out,” said Buettner.

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Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — When it comes to obesity, we have more to lose than just those extra pounds. We also need to shed our misconceptions.

“If we continue to think about obesity prevention and treatment the way we always have, then we’ll continue putting our time and resources into the wrong things,” said Krista Casazza, assistant professor at the University of Alabama and author of a new report on weight loss myths published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

Casazza and her colleagues highlighted eight misconceptions that may be preventing the more than 1.5 billion obese people on the planet from losing weight.

Here’s a quick rundown of the myths and why they don’t add up:

Slow Weight Loss is Better

Most diet experts recommend losing no more than two pounds a week. But Casazza’s research round-up found that people who lose weight faster are more likely to keep it off and continue losing.

Casazza said a quick fix “fad” diet can jump start weight loss by boosting confidence and motivation. As long as the plan isn’t unhealthy and the dieter lifts weights to maintain muscle mass and metabolism, dropping a dress size in a week might not be such a bad thing, she said.

You Need a Reasonable Weight Loss Goal

Shooting for crazy, out-of-reach weight loss goals often gets better results than setting modest, easily attainable goals, Casazza said.

“Striving for something unreasonable like losing hundreds of pounds often drives you to engage in ambitious, out-of-the-box thinking,” she explained.

You Must ‘Be Ready’ to Lose Weight

You don’t need to completely focus on weight loss in order to lighten up, even though that’s a popular notion among dieters and weight loss experts alike, Casazza said, adding that many weight loss centers even assess new clients with a diet readiness questionnaire.

The concept of total engagement to achieve success is based on models that work in drug addiction, Casazza explained. In studies, willingness to change did a poor job of predicting who lost weight and who didn’t.

P.E. Curbs Childhood Obesity

School physical education classes alone don’t get kids to a healthy weight because they aren’t active enough, Casazza said.

“Studies show that by the time kids get dressed and the instructor gets organized, takes roll call and gives instructions there’s barely any time left over for activity,” she said. “The kids actually have to do some work — not just show up.”

Casazza said exercise may be one key to fighting childhood obesity, but 30-minute P.E. classes by themselves won’t do the trick.

Breastfeeding Protects Against Obesity

Breastfeeding is healthy for a lot of reasons. Unfortunately, obesity prevention doesn’t seem to be one of them, Casazza said.

Casazza said her team has conducted a number of studies looking for the positive influence of breast feeding on weight control, and it’s just not there. One problem with the concept, she said, is that it’s difficult to tease out the effect of breast feeding and other factors like a mother’s weight and income. It’s also possible that the breast milk of obese women has a different composition than the breast milk of thin women which might negate some of its weight control benefits.

Never Weigh Yourself

Researchers have long speculated that following daily fluctuations in weight would be a huge bummer for dieters. This turns out not to be the case. In fact, Casazza’s review found that people who do a daily weigh-in increase their chances of losing weight compared to those who stepped on the scale just once a week.

Genes Aren’t Your Problem

Genes do play a role in what you weigh, just not the way you think, Casazza said.

Rather than harboring mutations, your genes may be influenced by epigenetics, a process that affects the way genes express themselves in the environment they face. It’s also possible to pass these epigenetic alterations down through the generations. For example, your father’s weight, what your mother ate and how much your grandparents exercised could all change the way your body’s genetics respond to diet and exercise, Casazza explained.

Food Deserts Make You Fat

Scientists refer to neighborhoods short on access to fresh, healthy foods as food deserts. These areas have long been associated with poor health and high BMIs. But Casazza says the research shows otherwise.

In the studies Casazza and her team reviewed, living in a food desert did not correlate with a higher incidence of obesity compared to places where fresh fruits and vegetables were readily available. Further, giving residents better access to fruits and veggies did not guarantee they would up their intake of produce.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WATERLOO, Ontario) — You know that person who always seems to have a dark cloud over their head? Well, don’t go raining on their parade by trying to stop it from raining on their parade.

It just so happens, according to researchers in Ontario, Canada, that these people prefer to wallow in self-pity rather than hear from others that life isn’t so bad.

Professor Denise Marigold from Renison University College at Waterloo says, “People with low self-esteem want their loved ones to see them as they see themselves.”

Therefore, it’s not positive reinforcement that they seek but more like negative validation, that is, having someone say they understand just how rotten they feel.

In other words, you’re doing someone with low self-esteem a favor by not trying to brighten their day.

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iStock/Thinkstock(EUGENE, Ore.) — People have more in common with their smartphones than they probably realize but it’s not necessarily something you’d want to text a friend about.

Researcher James Meadow at the University of Oregon says phones carry much of the same types of bacteria that are found on people.

As a matter of fact, after analyzing 17 people and their smartphones, Meadow and his team learned that 82 percent of these microorganisms existing on participants’ fingers also wound up on their digital devices with this phenomenon occurring more often with women than men.

So what is the practical application of this particularly appetizing discovery? Well, it could really come in handy wherever you find health care workers and hospital visitors, according to Meadow.

For instance, their phones could be examined for possible harmful bacteria and viruses that they may be bringing inside and outside of a medical facility.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The smartest of the smart are looking for love in all the right places. In this case, it’s on Mensa Match, a new service by the dating website

Mensa bills itself as “the high IQ society that provides a forum for intellectual exchange among its members.” Members have to be in the 98th percentile of IQ to join.

So with a survey finding that an overwhelming majority of Americans want to date their intellectual equal or superior, it would only make sense to provide a dating service for those whose smarts are off the chart.

Match’s chief scientific advisor Dr. Helen Fisher says that “Intelligence is correlated with many benefits, including higher income, sense of humor, creativity, social skills, coordination and problem solving.” members who want to give Mensa Match a whirl but who aren’t sure they qualify can take the society’s admission test for a buck through July 6.

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Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(HAVERFORD, Pa.) — All the world loves lovers except on social media site like Facebook where they get the cold shoulder from most users.

Haverford College social psychologist Dr. Benjamin Le, who conducted a study for a new book called The Science of Relationships, says while that happy couples may enjoy each other’s company immensely, they are generally the objects of scorn when they share their love on Facebook.

To arrive at that conclusion, Le and other researchers created fictional profiles that include supposedly committed couples and singles.

When 100 people were surveyed, they were pretty much in agreement that committed couples were undoubtedly satisfied with the status of their love lives.

However, these same lovebirds were also the least liked among the fake profiles, perhaps because others may feel they’re rubbing it in.

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Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Four years after Ian Burkhart became a quadriplegic during a diving accident, he moved his fingers just by thinking about it.

He did it with the help of an experimental device that bypassed his damaged spinal cord to transmit messages from his brain to his hand.

“It’s much like a heart bypass, but instead of bypassing blood, we’re actually bypassing electrical signals,” said Chad Bouton, research leader at Battelle, an Ohio nonprofit research organization that developed the equipment. “We’re taking those signals from the brain, going around the injury, and actually going directly to the muscles.”

Doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center implanted a chip smaller than a pea into Burkhart’s brain last April. The chip sends his thoughts to a computer, where they’re translated and sent to an “electrode sleeve” on his arm. The sleeve then stimulates the muscles that control his hand.

The technology, called “Neurobridge,” allows Burkhart to make a fist, grasp objects, pinch his fingers together and rotate his hand.

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iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A new study found that aspirin use may help to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

According to a study published Thursday in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers found that for each year of continued low-dose or regular-dose aspirin use, study participants were less likely to develop pancreatic cancer.

Perhaps more notable, in those individuals who stopped aspirin use one to two years prior to the start of the study, the rate of pancreatic cancer was about three times higher.

Previous studies have indicated that aspirin use may help to lower the odds of developing other forms of cancer. This particular study, however, required participants to determine frequency of aspirin use.

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