Can You Tell Which of These Identical Twins Smoked Longer?

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It’s common knowledge that smoking ages your body, right? But how do we really know that’s happening when we’re looking at individuals? Couldn’t their other habits, like not wearing sunscreen or drinking too much, have really been the culprit? Researches from the Department of Plastic Surgery at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio have put these questions to rest with their study Facial Changes Caused by Smoking: A Comparison between Smoking and Nonsmoking Identical Twins.

Over the four years from 2007 to 2010, the researchers attended Twins Days Festival in… ehem… Twinsburg, Ohio, and collected 79 sets of twins between the ages of 18 and 78. One criteria in their search? One twin had to have been a smoker for at least 5 years longer than their sibling.

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The Monster of Mental Illness Illustrated as… Monsters!

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What if mental illness was caused by supernatural creatures that roam the world taunting their victims? Illustrator Toby Allen’s new series of drawings, called The Real Monsters, imagines such a place and puts a friendly face on what are often serious and debilitating conditions. Why create such a different series?

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From Farm to Fork: Our Toxic Food System

Food is the fuel we use to get our bodies into motion. Fruits and vegetables are our friends; foods like chips, soda, french fries, hamburgers, and candy are the devil. With the way our current food system works, these processed foods are making up a significant portion of our daily food intake. They’re readily available at every food store you enter, and an ice cold Coca-Cola is very difficult to pass up in favor of sparkling water. The problem, however, is that it’s not even about choosing healthy foods over artery cloggers. Today, 80% of food in the U.S. is supplied by massive factory farms associated with a myriad of environmental and health risks. From farm to fork, our food system is toxic.

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We Love Friday! CrossFit- Take It to the Limit

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With 6,100 affiliate gyms around the world, CrossFit, started by Greg Glassman, is quickly becoming a household name in fitness. You may have seen friends on Facebook proudly flaunting their newly toned bodies and wondered what CrossFit is all about. Unlike a typical gym, a CrossFit “box” does not have any weight machines- your body is the machine. There are ropes, bars, rowing machines, Olympic weights, kettlebells, jump ropes, gymnast rings, medicine balls, plyo boxes, and gigantic tires. CrossFit encourages “constantly varied, high-intensity, functional movement.” Each day there is a different WOD (Workout of the Day) and participants constantly strive to beat their own records in time, reps, and/or weight. The most athletic and motivated CrossFitters go on to compete regionally for a chance to go to the international CrossFit Games. In honor of all the people pushing themselves beyond their physical limits, we searched Instagram for some awesome CrossFit pictures to show what it’s like. It took a lot of sifting through ripped up hands because these workouts are no joke, but we hope this collection will motivate you to kick your fitness up a notch.

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The Global Impact of Movember in Numbers

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What seemed like a fun excuse to try out growing a mustache is actually a global action plan that raised over $141.5 million and led to more than 2.3 billion conversations about men’s health! In the great month of Movember 2012, 1.1 million participants from 21 countries tried to do their best impression of 70’s Burt Reynolds. The powerful upper lip hair did not go un-noticed as people posted pictures of their staches all over Facebook and Twitter, each one reaching 2,413 people on average. When you multiply this number by the 1,127,152 Mo Bros and Mo Sistas participating, you get a whopping 2.72 billion conversations!

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How Fast the US Became Obese: Animated Map

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It’s no secret that the US has a weight problem, but do you know how fast the country got fat? I’ll be honest, when I first saw this map animated by The Atlantic, my jaw literally dropped when it reached the 2000s… many states explode from around 20% obesity to over 30%. In just my lifetime (I was born in 1980) the whole US has gone from a relatively thin country to a place where the norm in many areas is to be overweight to obese.

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US Meat Industry Consumes Nearly 4/5 of All Antibiotics

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Sobering new data from the Food and Drug Administration is indicating that antibiotic use in the meat industry is on the rise and has vastly overtaken usage to treat sick people. We want to keep our animals, our food, and ourselves healthy, so why should we care? With the meat industry now consuming a staggering 3.9 times the amount of antibiotics used for human treatment, the industry is churning out meat increasingly filled with antibiotic-resistant pathogens. This means illnesses previously curable by our current methods are now becoming increasingly hard to overcome.

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Visualizing 200 Calories: Same Food Portion, Same Plate

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Unless you’re an obsessive Calorie counter, determined to keep your weight in check or train athletically, there’s a good chance you don’t know how many Calories are really in the foods you consume. Thanks to the folks at wiseGEEK, we have a clearer idea of how many Calories are contained in everyday foods, from delicious bacon to somewhat less desirable celery. The difference as clearly pictured here, is striking.

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Blueberries: A Handful of Health

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Plump, juicy, and sweet, the vibrant colors of this delicious fruit range from deep purple-blue to blue-black, often highlighted by a silvery, shimmering sheen called a bloom. Blueberries are a handful of health, just waiting for you to indulge in and devour. In North America blueberry consumption is on the rise, and Americans are discovering just how good these little blue wonder fruits are for their health. This graphic by the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council takes a closer look into the nutrition and consumption of blueberries. 

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Uncommon Wellness Tips that Should be More Common

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Being healthy is becoming more important. Foods are over processed, we’re working longer hours, sleeping less, and sitting is killing us. Many of us realize we need to change our ways, but sometimes we try to do too much at once and just end up spinning our wheels and staying in place. One idea is to try not to do too much at once, and take getting healthy one step at a time. This graphic by WellnessFx shows you uncommon wellness tips that should be more common, and how by adding these healthy tricks to your repertoire one at a time is the best way to go.

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