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Vanessa Williams Shares Her Simple Fitness and Beauty Regimen

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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Suffering Cardiac Arrest More Dangerous at Home

Suffering Cardiac Arrest More Dangerous at Home

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If you have to go into cardiac arrest, says a new study in the journal Resuscitation, do it anywhere but home.In what probably flies in the face of conventional wisdom, researchers say that odds of surviving a heart attack are much better when they occur outside your place of residence.The problem apparently has to do with family members. According to the study, those living with you will wait longer to perform CPR or call 911 than people who see you go into sudden cardiac arrest elsewhere, and that includes strangers.Often, researchers say, relatives think that someone who has collapsed may just be lying down and taking it easy.Responses also might be slowed as people get older. Studies show that the elderly are not equipped to deal with real medical emergencies.And although people who suffer cardiac arrest are more likely to survive when it happens during daytime hours, that advantage is negated if it occurs at home.

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Don’t Let Your Smartphone Wreck Your Love Life

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

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

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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Camping in the Woods Is Better Than Ambien

Camping in the Woods Is Better Than Ambien

iStock/Thinkstock(DENVER) — You can try pills, ear plugs and other methods to get a solid night of shuteye but the best sleep aid of all might be Mother Nature.Kenneth Wright and his fellow researchers from the University of Colorado say what’s messing you up is exposure to all kinds of different artificial light sources from the TV to the smartphone.It’s no wonder then that people’s circadian rhythms or biological clock is all out of whack.

To readjust it, Wright says spend some time in the woods.He did just that with eight young adults who were told to leave their phones and other devices, including flashlights, at home before heading into the Rocky Mountains for two weeks of camping. The only light needed was a campfire.

By the end of the week, the campers’ circadian rhythms aligned up with natural exposure to light and dark. As a result, they slept better at night and felt much more rested upon waking up. Wright says this seems to demonstrate how constant exposure to artificial light compels people to stay up late while disrupting their biological clocks.

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Hawaii Tops America’s Health Rankings 2014

Hawaii Tops America’s Health Rankings 2014

Ridofranz/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The United Health Foundation released its annual report on America's health rankings on Wednesday, with the healthiest and least healthy states from 2013 retaining their titles.According to the report, Hawaii is once again the healthiest state in the nation, while Mississippi remains the least healthy. Each of those states have held those titles for three consecutive years.Vermont -- the last state besides Hawaii to be selected as America's healthiest state -- was named the second healthiest state in the nation, with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Utah rounding out the top five.Arkansas was chosen as the second-least healthy state, with Louisiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma finishing in the bottom five. The UHF has released the report for 25 years, and in that time, New York has seen the largest jump -- from 40th most healthy state in 1990 to 14th this year. The report listed the average life expectancy at a record high 78.8 years old. Across the country, the report says, smoking is down three percent, infant mortality is down four percent and immunizations are up five percent. Despite plenty of positive change, obesity is also up two percent, according to the UHF.

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Hawaii Tops America’s Health Rankings 2014

Hawaii Tops America’s Health Rankings 2014

Ridofranz/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The United Health Foundation released its annual report on America's health rankings on Wednesday, with the healthiest and least healthy states from 2013 retaining their titles.According to the report, Hawaii is once again the healthiest state in the nation, while Mississippi remains the least healthy. Each of those states have held those titles for three consecutive years.Vermont -- the last state besides Hawaii to be selected as America's healthiest state -- was named the second healthiest state in the nation, with Massachusetts, Connecticut and Utah rounding out the top five.Arkansas was chosen as the second-least healthy state, with Louisiana, Kentucky and Oklahoma finishing in the bottom five. The UHF has released the report for 25 years, and in that time, New York has seen the largest jump -- from 40th most healthy state in 1990 to 14th this year. The report listed the average life expectancy at a record high 78.8 years old. Across the country, the report says, smoking is down three percent, infant mortality is down four percent and immunizations are up five percent. Despite plenty of positive change, obesity is also up two percent, according to the UHF.

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

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

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

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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Three States Seeing Large Surge in Flu Cases

Three States Seeing Large Surge in Flu Cases

iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- With National Influenza Vaccination Week underway, incidence of the flu is on the rise -- especially in three states.According to a survey of pharmacies that sell antiviral flu medicines, Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi are seeing a dramatic increase in the illness.But Dallas County Medical Director Dr. Christopher Perkins says it's not too late to get a flu shot."It would decrease the severity of the flu if you capture the flu and prevent you from being hospitalized, especially if you have underlying health issues," he told ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV.To learn more about National Influenza Vaccination Week and the flu, click here.

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Daphne Oz’s Healthy Tips to Avoid the Holiday Bulge

Daphne Oz’s Healthy Tips to Avoid the Holiday Bulge

ABC/Lou Rocco(NEW YORK) -- Daphne Oz definitely doesn't recommend that people diet during the holidays. Instead, The Chew star recommends a different path that's not a "futile effort.""I try to eat well during the week, so I don't feel guilty about eating whatever I want on the weekends," she told ABC News. "There's all these holiday parties happening and you are seeing all these people that you love."“It's not the one Christmas cookie that's going to send you over. It's eating the entire tin, so for me it's about making sure I really load my plate up with vegetables and salad, and the things that are really nutrient dense," she added.Doing this allows Oz to have a side of mac and cheese or braised pork. She also recommends if there is an assortment of hors d'oeuvres to grab the three you are comfortable eating, and leave the table."That I think is a great strategy year-round, but especially during the holidays," she added.This holiday is extra special for Oz, 28, who just welcomed daughter Philomena with her husband John Jovanovic in February.Oz has also been very open this year about how the road to getting her body back after a baby has been a long one, which she said she expected."I lost about 40 pounds when I got to college, so I thought I knew something about losing weight," she said. "Baby weight is a whole new ballgame. It was frustrating to me how long it was taking to come off. I had to stop making it the focus of my everyday life. The less you pay attention to it overtly, the more subconsciously you are able to make smart choices."Oz said after having a baby, the taboo items became the ones she craved the most."If you are constantly thinking, 'I can't have bread,' all you want is bread," she added. "What I had to realize is, look it took 10 months to have a baby, it's going to take at least that long to lose all the weight."She made health a priority, not an obsession. She focused on lean proteins, lots of vegetables and some complex carbohydrates.

"Making sure I never felt deprived, so those things don't become taboo," she said.Oz said as far as going to the gym, any minute she can spend with her daughter is precious, so she tries to incorporate that into her workout routine.

"What I started doing, was finding ways to work out at home ... I do Ballet Beautiful workouts online, I can do them from anywhere. I have never been a gym bunny, so I need to make it as easy for me to say 'yes' as possible," she said.Oz spoke to ABC as part of her collaboration with T.J.Maxx and Marshalls for their Holiday Gift Hotline earlier this month in New York. She manned the phones, helping shoppers find creative gifts for loved ones.She even found a gift for her famous father, Dr. Mehmet Oz, who she said "does not like getting gifts," usually."He honestly doesn't think he needs anything," she said. "When we were kids growing up, all he wanted was for us to make him things. He wanted drawings and things. As I've gotten older, what I've realized is what he really wants is ways for us to spend time together."

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

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

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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‘MSSNG’ Project, Partnership Between Autism Speaks and Google for Autism Research, Has Official Launch

‘MSSNG’ Project, Partnership Between Autism Speaks and Google for Autism Research, Has Official Launch

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A research project by Google and Autism Speaks to sequence and study human genomes and seek a breakthrough for autism was officially launched Tuesday.News of the partnership between the tech giant and the science and advocacy organization was first announced in June. The project aims to break new ground in understanding or treatment of autism, the developmental disorder which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated affects 1 in 68 children across the nation.The effort is called The MSSNG Project -- with the missing vowels representing the missing information. Liz Feld, the president of Autism Speaks, says the project is “the most promising autism research that's ever been done,” adding that prior research has shown that answers lie in the DNA.“What we know about autism is not enough,” she said. “We don't know what causes it, and we don't have a cure for it. And we have very few treatments.”Robert Ring, the chief science officer of Autism Speaks, said researchers planned to sequence 10,000 genomes -- the comprehensive genetic material contained in DNA -- in the first phase of the program.“Understanding what makes individuals different from one another is a critical part to moving this story forward, developing new treatments,” he said.Those treatments can’t come soon enough for the affected families.Designer Tommy Hilfiger is the parent of a child with autism. The fashion icon talked to ABC’s Good Morning America about the project’s potential.“I am hoping someday I can pick up the New York Times…and there is a discovery and there is a reason children are born with it or do get autism and there is a cure,” he said.When his family first learned of the diagnosis, he said, “You begin to question yourself and say ‘why us?’”Their lives have changed, he said.“We're much more involved in every aspect of our child's life -- from therapies to schooling to treatments and its nonstop, it’s every day,” he said.This research has been a dream of Autism Speaks for years, but the technology to store and share the information hasn’t been available until now. Google’s resources will allow the dream to become reality.The data from just one person’s genome would take hours to download onto drives, but this project aims to store 10,000 genomes. The amount of data is massive -- the equivalent of watching more than 13 years of continuous streaming high-definition TV.The database will be completely open, so scientists all over the world -- regardless of funding or connections -- will have access to the enormous pool of information.Ring described the database as a “game-changer” and added: “We’re going to use the same tools and technology that we use every day to search the Internet to look into the genome to find these missing answers."Feld agreed.“The faster we can sequence the genomes, the sooner we're going to have the answers. And the missing project is a search for those answers. And the answers are in the DNA. And we're going to find them,” she said.

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Men Who Remarry Often Go for Much Younger Wives

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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Chocolate May Reduce Diabetes Risk

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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WHO: Malaria Deaths Nearly Halved Since 2000

WHO: Malaria Deaths Nearly Halved Since 2000

Napat_Polchoke/iStock/Thinkstock(GENEVA) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) reported on Tuesday that the number of cases of malaria worldwide are steadily declining, and the malaria mortality rate has dropped by 47 percent worldwide between 2000 and 2013."We can win the fight against malaria," Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the WHO said. "We have the right tools and our defences are working. But we still need to get those tools to a lot more people if we are to make these gains sustainable."The international organization said that insecticide-treated bed nets were accessible for millions more people, including nearly half of all people at risk in sub-Saharan Africa. By the end of 2014, the WHO expects 214 million bed nets to be delivered to endemic countries in Africa.Testing has also become more accessible in recent years, the organization says. Two countries -- Azerbaijan and Sri Lanka -- reported having zero indigenous cases of malaria for the first time ever. Eleven more maintained zero cases and four reported fewer than 10 cases.

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Whooping Cough Back with a Vengeance in California

Whooping Cough Back with a Vengeance in California

monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Thinkstock(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Callie Van Tornhout was about a month old when her mother noticed that she'd developed a dry cough on a Sunday afternoon in January.Soon the cough worsened, and Callie became pale and started throwing up, Callie's mother, Katie Van Tornhout told ABC News. By the middle of the week, Callie stopped breathing in her mother's arms in a pediatrician's waiting room and was rushed to the hospital.On Saturday, less than a week after the cough first appeared, Callie died at 37 days old on Jan. 30, 2010. It wasn't until a few weeks later that tests confirmed the culprit: whooping cough.That year, the country was in the midst of a major whooping cough outbreak, and all eyes were on California, which was experiencing its largest outbreak in 60 years. But the cough hit other states, too, including Minnesota and Callie's state: Indiana."The CDC was like, 'Didn't you have the TDaP vaccine when you were pregnant?'" Van Tornhout recalled. "We didn't know what that was."California is again the the grips of a whooping cough outbreak, and this time it's even worse, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The state is facing its worst outbreak in 70 years and has nearly 1,000 more cases than it did in 2010. As of Nov. 26, the state had 9,935 reported cases."The last time a series of outbreaks occurred across the country, California started the parade," said Dr. William Schaffner, chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. "And so this is a harbinger we are fearful of."Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is caused by bacteria and considered cyclical because cases peak every three to five years. It's especially serious in infants, who are more likely to catch it. About 50 percent of all children under a year old who catch whooping cough need to be hospitalized, and up to 2 percent of them die, according to the CDC.Since children aren't due for their whooping cough vaccine -- called TDaP -- until they are 2 months old, the CDC recommends it for pregnant women so they can pass along the immunity to their unborn children. Van Tornhout said her doctor never told her about it, but now she works as an advocate for Every Child by Two, a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about vaccine-preventable diseases."If it can happen to my child, it can happen to theirs," Van Tornhout said, adding that neither she nor her husband were sick before Callie caught the cough. At first, she was afraid she gave the cough to Callie, but health officials told her that she and Callie likely picked up the bacteria at the same time.Whooping cough vaccine was developed in the 1940s and is very effective, Schaffner said, but developed a sour reputation for side effects, including high fever, swelling of the lymph nodes and others. So scientists developed a new vaccine that was lumped in with the tetanus and diphtheria vaccines to make TDaP. The new vaccine effectively prevents whooping cough but its effectiveness weakens over about 5 years, making the population more vulnerable to the bacteria's cyclical nature without regular boosters, Schaffner said.Dr. Jeff Duchin, who also chairs the public health committee for the Infectious Disease Society of America, said the latest outbreak in California is a sign of what's to come until a better vaccine can be developed. What's most important is to make sure pregnant women get vaccinated, he said."This is a new reality for us in public health," he said.Indeed, the country's all-time lowest total number of whooping cough cases occurred in 1976 with 1,010 cases, according to the CDC. Although the numbers have fluctuated per whooping cough's cyclical nature and aren't as high as they were in the 1930s, there were 48,277 cases in 2012, according to CDC data.Since 2010, Van Tornhout has had three more children, and she's had the TDaP vaccine while pregnant with all of them. Still, she said her pregnant friends and family members have told her they had to ask their doctors for the shot."I'm hoping that parents realize that it's an issue," she said. "It's not just happening here and there. It's all over."

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