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Cautionary Tales from People Obsessed with Candy Crush

Cautionary Tales from People Obsessed with Candy Crush

GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — More than two years after its launch, Candy Crush is still luring gamers with its bright lights, perky melody and simple puzzle design -- but some people say their interest has turned into addiction.Extreme players told ABC News they've found themselves hooked on the game, unable to concentrate on work or chores and even neglecting their children at times."From the time I started playing, it was just all I could think about," writer Erickka Sy Savane said. "I was one of those people you see on the trains and in the grocery store lines playing -- whenever I had a free moment."Savane, who lives in New Jersey, said she even started to ignore her two daughters."I would sneak away to be by myself so I could play," she said. "Put them to bed early, drop them off at school really quick -- just kinda push them to the side. It was all-consuming."Katie Volney, a publicist in Minneapolis, also describes herself as a former Candy Crush addict."My boyfriend and my family would get really annoyed when I was around them and I would be on my phone and iPad all the time," she said. "I even downloaded it on my boyfriend's iPad so I could send myself free lives."She quit playing so much after realizing how angry loved ones were getting while she was glued to the game. For Savane, quitting Candy Crush was an accident. One day she dropped her phone and the screen shattered -- making it hard to see those tiny, neon-colored candies."I was praying for a way out and I felt like in that moment I got the out that I needed," she said. "So I deleted the app from my phone and let the phone stay cracked for at least a month."Erin Fisher, another self-described Candy Crush addict, hasn't been so lucky -- she's still playing the game every day, often dipping into her bank account to pay the company a fee for nonstop play time."I just spent $9.99 last night for extra lives in the candy bank at like midnight," she said. "I have a full-blown obsession.""I've easily spent at least $200," she added.While Internet addiction is not a psychological condition yet acknowledged in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, experts say the behavior often fits the definition of an addiction -- a dependence that interferes with carrying out a normal life.Kimberly Young, a psychologist who studies obsessive Internet use, said it's usually women who get addicted to Candy Crush.Gamers will know they are addicted if they start ignoring responsibilities like picking the kids up from school or missing deadlines at work, or if they try to hide their habit from worried friends and family, she said."And it's not just Candy Crush," Young added. "It was Farmville for a while. ...There's all these games. They become a kind of escape mechanism for a lot of people."To kick the habit, Young said people should ask themselves if the game is interfering with their typical life and relationships, and if so, delete it immediately. If that's easier said than done, consider talking to an expert, she added.Psychologist Jenny Taitz agreed, adding that addicts can suffer from long-term stress, potential sleep loss and a diminished sense of accomplishment, especially if gamers are ditching responsibilities to plug in."I've never met someone who says, 'I feel really great about myself, I just reached an all-time high on Candy Crush'" she said.

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Parents Not So Gung-Ho About Their Sons Playing Football

Parents Not So Gung-Ho About Their Sons Playing Football

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Football may be America’s most popular sport but a lot of parents aren’t so sure they want their kids playing the game, largely because of a growing fear about head injuries.The RAND Corporation wanted to know how parents really felt about football and their children, particularly with all the publicity surrounding the NFL and former players suing the league for damages because of concussions they sustained during their career.Fifty-five percent of parents said they had no qualms about their sons playing football, which was far below the average of 90 percent for virtually all other high school sports.The RAND researchers also got some personal information about the parents to see how that might influence their decision.Interestingly, people who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 were twice as likely to allows their kids to play football than Obama voters.As for education, parents who earned a college degree were 46 percent less likely to feel comfortable about their sons competing on the gridiron than adults who didn’t get a college diploma.

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People Listen to Sad Songs to Make Themselves Feel Better

People Listen to Sad Songs to Make Themselves Feel Better

iStock/Thinkstock(BERLIN) — What did Elton John mean when he sang “Sad Songs Say So Much”? Perhaps he was trying to explain that rather than making people feel worse, sad songs can actually improve your mood.That’s the crux of a new study by researchers from the Free University of Berlin, namely that music with melancholy lyrics and melody help people get through times of pain and loneliness.According to the researchers, sad songs, unlike their more upbeat counterparts, evoke a series of complex emotions including nostalgia, peacefulness and tenderness, which regulates negative moods and leads to pleasurable effects enabling the listener to better express his or her emotions.The researchers did add that sad music is appreciated more by “individuals with high empathy and low emotional stability.”

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Highlighters Are Pretty Much Good for Nothing

Highlighters Are Pretty Much Good for Nothing

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Ah, the highlighter. It was one of the many tools we used in class or home to help us better understanding our studies.However, New York Times science reporter Benedict Carey contends that we were probably just fooling ourselves when we highlighted passages in yellow, pink or green because it didn’t really make us learn any better.In his new book, How We Learn, Carey says the real key to absorbing our studies is by showing our brain what’s important and then repeatedly using and testing the information at hand.Highlighting, however, is useless because it requires no mental effort, according to Carey, and the brain isn’t taught that the information is important.A much better method of learning are the flashcards because they force the memory to recall something, which necessitates a form of mental straining. It’s not pleasant but it is effective.

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Relationships Formed by Cheating Usually Flop

Relationships Formed by Cheating Usually Flop

iStock/Thinkstock(MOBILE, Ala.) — A guy meets a girl who's going out with another guy, who she then cheats on. Pretty soon, the first guy steals the girl away and they become a couple.It’s a process called mate poaching and it happens quite often. The only problem, according to University of South Alabama researcher John Foster, is that couples formed in this fashion usually fall apart.In a series of interviews with both men and women who've been in relationships, Foster found that as many as 30 percent of couples were formed by cheating.More often than not, the partner stolen away from another relationship said they were more dissatisfied than people in relationships where no cheating was involved.Furthermore, the so-called “poached partner” also reported less commitment and less investment in their present lover.As previous studies have showed, Foster says that cheaters are more likely to cheat again, which normally spells doom for any relationship.

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Non-Medically Necessary C-Section Births Less Common

Non-Medically Necessary C-Section Births Less Common

Kmonroe2/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that non-medically necessary cesarean section deliveries are on the decline.According to data from the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of C-section births among single babies at 37 or more weeks who are positioned head first has been sliding downwards since 2009. Researchers say that the pace of decline in non-medically necessary C-sections is more rapid than the decline in overall C-sections.C-section deliveries are often more expensive, require a longer recovery time and make it less likely that any subsequent children the woman births will be delivered vaginally. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made an effort to reduce the number of unnecessary C-sections, noting that as many as 30 percent of all births occur via C-section. The rate of C-section deliveries in 2013 was measured at 26.9 percent.

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Colorectal Cancer May Be Increasing Among Young Adults

Colorectal Cancer May Be Increasing Among Young Adults

AlexRaths/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers say that the rate of colorectal cancer has been on the decline for the last 30 years -- except in young adults.In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Surgery, researchers found that in Americans aged 20 to 34, the rates of colon and rectal cancers have been increasing. They suggested a number of possible explanations for the increase, including higher rates of obesity and physical inactivity and the Western diet -- all of which are known risk factors for colorectal cancer.The study notes that the number of young adults who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer annually is still small, but that the figure is expected to double within the next 15 years. Researchers say the study could have major implications for cancer screening recommendations, which are currently recommended to start at age 50.

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DEA Collected Over 600,000 Pounds of Prescription Drugs at September Take-Back Event

DEA Collected Over 600,000 Pounds of Prescription Drugs at September Take-Back Event

Roel Smart/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The most recent Drug Enforcement Agency take-back event, held on Sept. 27, saw more than 600,000 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs turned in.The DEA partnered with national, tribal and community law enforcement to take back unwanted prescription drugs at 5,495 sites. In total, 617,150 pounds of drugs were collected. The DEA says its four-year total -- including nine take-back events -- is about 4,823,251 pounds.Unused prescription drugs "create a public health and safety concern," the DEA said. Accidental ingestion, theft, misuse or abuse can lead to injury or death. In 2011, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 22,134 Americans died from prescription drug overdoses.

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Ebola-Infected NYC Doctor Strums Guitar to Pass Time in Isolation

Ebola-Infected NYC Doctor Strums Guitar to Pass Time in Isolation

Craig Spencer/LinkedIn(NEW YORK) -- A New York doctor being treated for Ebola has found another way to pass the time in a hospital isolation ward: He's playing his guitar, city health officials say.Dr. Craig Spencer, 33, has been in isolation at Bellevue Hospital since being diagnosed with Ebola last month. He’s now listed in stable condition.Spencer is spending his time in the hospital strumming on his guitar and riding a stationary bike as he recovers, the officials told ABC News.Spencer asked his medical care team whether someone could pick up the instrument from his apartment, where his fiancee, Morgan Dixon, remains under mandatory quarantine until Nov. 14. Spencer's medical team agreed, and the guitar was delivered to Spencer's hospital room, the officials said.The New York-based emergency room doctor had been treating Ebola patients at a Doctors Without Borders medical center in Guinea before he was infected.

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Cancer Patient Wants Brittany Maynard’s Option to Die with Dignity

Cancer Patient Wants Brittany Maynard’s Option to Die with Dignity

Jennifer Glass(NEW YORK) -- Writer Jennifer Glass has been living with advanced lung cancer for two years and has just a 5 percent chance of surviving past the next five years.Glass, 51, hopes that within the next few years her home state of California will change its laws to allow a "death with dignity" option similar to the right invoked this past weekend by Brittany Maynard, who ended her life in Oregon before experiencing the worst effects of her terminal brain tumor. Maynard had to move from California to Oregon to be able to legally get the help she needed to end her life.Glass’ life has not stopped after her 2012 diagnosis, which occurred just four months after she was married. She has been speaking and writing about her experiences in outlets such as Parade magazine in the hopes her story will help others in a similar situation.Earlier this year she posted a video of her transformation during a year of cancer treatments that went viral with over 300,000 views.One way Glass has also tried to change the conversation about living with cancer is by confronting her death and her options.“If cancer runs its course and it’s clear that it is, I’m going to die...The only control I have is how that happens and I want that control for myself,” Glass said.For the past year, Glass has worked with Compassion and Choices, the same non-profit organization that worked with Maynard as she approached the end of her life.Maynard made national headlines this year after announcing her decision to die on Nov. 1. Maynard, who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, had moved from her home in northern California to Oregon in order to legally be prescribed medication to end her life.Maynard died on Saturday and her obituary posted at the Compassion and Choices website included her wish that she had the option to stay in California.“She moved to Oregon to pass away in a little yellow house she picked out in the beautiful city of Portland,” read the obituary. “She wished that her home State of California had also been able to provide terminally ill patients with the same choice. “Glass said she hopes she will not have to move like Maynard did.“I would be devastated if I have to leave my home just so I can die the way I want to,” said Glass.The intense public reaction to Maynard’s decision and her death has given Glass her hope that people will be open to learning about death with dignity legislation and be supportive of it in California.“I think it’s an issue who’s time has come,” said Glass. “We’re living in a time of unprecedented choice...We expect and demand all of these choices because they influence a quality of life. That has to include end of life.”After Maynard’s death, Glass hopes that she and others at Compassion and Cares will be able to push through California legislation that will allow them the same option Maynard had in Oregon.Toni Broaddus, California campaign director for Compassion & Choices, said the organization had a five-year campaign plan for the state that he hopes will end with terminally ill patients legally being able to obtain a prescription of a life-ending drug from a doctor.With Maynard’s story making headlines and people like Glass now speaking out, Broaddus hopes the original timeline might be condensed.“We’re really pushing the local strategy hard, looking at what else is possible that we didn’t think was possible for a few years,” Broaddus said.Glass said the five-year time line was particularly meaningful since a “three to five year window” is her likely prognosis.“I’m really focused and hopeful that if and when the time comes for me, I will have a legal option and not be forced about the potentially [leaving] my home,” she said.

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Bengals Player’s Cancer-Stricken Daughter to See Him Play for First Time

Bengals Player’s Cancer-Stricken Daughter to See Him Play for First Time

iStock/Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) -- After months of undergoing treatment for pediatric cancer, Cincinnati Bengals player Devon Still's daughter will get to watch her daddy play pro football in person for the first time on Thursday night.And the 4-year-old is hoping he'll do a robot dance."I got to do something for her," Still told ABC News' Cincinnati affiliate, WCPO, with a smirk. "You got to make a play. You can't just be out there dancing for no reason."Still, 25, a defensive tackle, had originally been cut from the Bengals roster, but once they learned his daughter had stage 4 cancer, they re-signed him to their practice squad. He's since been placed on the active roster.Leah is now feeling well enough to leave the Philadelphia hospital where she'd been getting treatment and attend the home game in Cincinnati.After the first quarter of the game, Leah is expected to be part of a ceremony in which the team presents a check to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for more than $1 million to go toward pediatric cancer research. The team raised money from sales of Still's jersey, No. 75, which sold out, according to the team's website."It's going to be emotional just knowing that she's there, especially with the check presentation that they're gonna do at the game," Still told WCPO.It will be a special night for the team, Bengals spokesman Jeff Berding said at a news conference."It's a little extra special because we have Leah Still in the house," Berding said. "There's been a tremendous amount of support from the community and across the country to support her and Devon Still and their fight against pediatric cancer."

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‘Stilettos by State’ Research Shows Who Wears Highest Heels

‘Stilettos by State’ Research Shows Who Wears Highest Heels

Fuse/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- When you think of New York women, very often a Carrie Bradshaw-type teetering around on too-high heels is an image that comes to mind. But had Sex and the City taken place in Arkansas, those heels might have been even higher.New research from fashion flash-sale site Gilt found the customers who purchased the highest heels don't live in New York at all. Or California, for that matter. The states that topped out in inches were Nevada, Arkansas, Florida and the territory of Puerto Rico. Heels sold to customers in those areas averaged 2.3 to 2.9 inches high.The lowest of heels wasn't quite as surprising. Nebraska, Kansas, Maine and Delaware all had an average well under 2 inches. Even Alaskans wear higher heels than that.According to Gilt's tech blog, the researchers also got curious about dress color. Did one area of the country wear a particular color more than another? Turns out dress color isn't nearly as varied as heel height.

They "found out that black is, um, still the 'new black' in every corner of the country."

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“Scandal” Star Kerry Washington Reveals Her Post-Baby Fitness Regimen

“Scandal” Star Kerry Washington Reveals Her Post-Baby Fitness Regimen

ABC/Randy Holmes(NEW YORK) — Kerry Washington and her husband Nnamdi Asomugha welcomed daughter Isabelle in April, but the Scandal actress looks amazing just months after giving birth.The 37-year-old spoke to BET's 106 & Park and revealed the healthy approach she's been taking to getting back in shape."I've always been a person who really approaches health in a proactive way. I work out, I eat right, so those were things I continued to do once the doctor said I could," she said. "But not to be crazy about it. I'm breastfeeding, so I can't starve myself."She continued, "It's important for me to be a good mom and a good actor."This is one of the rare times Washington has spoken about her little girl and her personal life.In August, she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and revealed why she chose the name Isabelle. "I heard your baby's named after her grandmother?" Washington asked Kimmel. "Mine is too, named after my grandmother."

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Babies Eat Better When Moms Are Wealthier, Better Educated

Babies Eat Better When Moms Are Wealthier, Better Educated

iStock/Thinkstock(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — The quality of a baby’s diet largely hinges on the income and education of the child’s mother, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo.Undertaking a two-year study, they analyzed the feeding practices of more than 1,500 families with infants aged six to 12 months.More often than not, babies were fed nutrients in accordance with dietary guidelines endorsed by health and pediatric groups when the household income was over $60,000 or if the mother had at least some college. That included both solid foods and breastfeeding.Meanwhile, infants from households earning $25,000 or less annually and where the mother had a high school diploma or less were more likely to eat diets higher in fat, sugar and protein that came from dairy and cereals.Infants in the latter group are more susceptible to obesity and diabetes as they get older since dietary habits are difficult to change after the first year of a child’s life when a baby has developed a preference or even an addiction to certain foods, the UB researchers concluded.

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Good Health and an Outgoing Personality Go Hand in Hand

Good Health and an Outgoing Personality Go Hand in Hand

iStock/Thinkstock(ST. LOUIS) — Certain personality traits, which can help people throughout their lives, are also beneficial to one’s physical health.According to Washington University researchers, it’s easier to protect yourself from contracting a serious illness if you’re an organized, conscientious extrovert who is somewhat easygoing.Josh Jackson, Sara Weston and Patricia Hill analyzed data on 7,000 people with an average age of 68 and who had been to a doctor or clinic within the past two years. They asked the participants to check off personality traits that described them best.Based on their answers, the researchers scored each of them on extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience. Meanwhile, the participants were also told to name any conditions they had been diagnosed with from a list of serious illnesses.In essence, those who were outgoing, organized, conscientious and easygoing were healthier and better able to communicate with their doctor. However, participants ranked as neurotic where at greater risk of contracting diseases.

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Spatial Memory Likely Affected by Sleep Apnea

Spatial Memory Likely Affected by Sleep Apnea

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Sleep apnea is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. If that’s not enough to make you worried, sleep specialists at the NYU Langone Medical Center contend the disorder might also hamper your spatial memory.That includes not remembering things like locking the front door of your house or turning off the iron.Dr. Andrew Varga explained while scientists haven’t found a direct cause-and-effect relationship between sleep apnea and spatial memory impairment, there appears to be some association since sleep apnea normally affects the deepest level of sleep when dreams occur.Varga say that this might also prevent people from forming certain memories.About four percent of the population suffers from this disorder, particularly middle-age men. One way to mitigate the problem is with a breathing aid during sleep.

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Why the Flu Has Its Own Season

Why the Flu Has Its Own Season

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Scientists might be able to tell you what causes the flu but they’re at a loss for a definitive explanation as to why it occurs more often during the late autumn and winter months than the rest of the year.However, that won’t stop health experts from at least offering a conjecture about the prevalence of the flu from late October though early spring.Previous studies have theorized that flu virus particles hang in the air longer and move greater distance in cold, dry weather than during the hotter summer months.New York City pulmonary specialist Dr. Len Horovitz says that theory make sense as does the fact that the flu is more easily spread when people spend more time indoors, especially when they go to holiday parties.Also, the school year typically begins in September, which account for kids spreading germs from classmate to classmate.

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New App Can Predict Your Death Date

New App Can Predict Your Death Date

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Most people don’t know what they’ll be doing this weekend, much less the answer to the biggest question of all: When are you going to die? Well, a new iOS app called Deadline can’t make plans for your weekend but it will supposedly give you an idea of when you’ll meet your maker, provided something unforeseen doesn’t happen first.Scanning your iPhone’s Healthkit tool, Deadline uses information like height, blood pressure, hours slept, steps walked daily and a few other pertinent facts to give you a ballpark date and time of when you’ll breathe your last breath.The app's maker, Gist LLC, wrote on the Apple iTunes page that, “No app can really accurately determine when you will die. Instead, the app actually monitors your own health and motivates you to make better lifestyle choices or consult a physician, if necessary.”So while no one lives forever, at least you might be able to improve your lifestyle a bit to extend your own personal deadline.

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Violent Movies, Video Games May Not Have Notable Effect on Real World Violence

Violent Movies, Video Games May Not Have Notable Effect on Real World Violence

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers say that violence in the media may not have a significant impact on real world violence.A study published in the Journal of Communication looked at an array of movies from 1920 to 2005, noting the frequency of violence in each film. Those figures were then compared to the per capita homicide rates in the United States for the same years. Researchers say no link was found between the two figures. A second study, conducted by the same researchers compared violent video games from 1996 to 2011 with youth violence during those same years. That study found that increased sales of violent games was actually linked to a decline in youth violence. The researchers concluded that such a correlation is most likely due to chance.

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Early Signs of Coronary Artery Disease Could Mean Increased Risk of Heart Attack, Early Death

Early Signs of Coronary Artery Disease Could Mean Increased Risk of Heart Attack, Early Death

HEMARAT/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Researchers say that even the earliest signs of coronary artery disease could represent significantly increased risk of heart attack and early death.According to the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, even patients with nonobstructive coronary artery disease -- where plaque buildup is present, but not sufficient to block blood flow or cause symptoms -- could carry a greater risk of heart attack. Researchers looked at more than 37,000 patients -- 8,384 with nonobstructive coronary artery disease and 20,899 with no apparent coronary artery disease. Within one year, 845 of the patients had died and 385 were hospitalized with heart attacks. Researchers found that the rate of heart attack increased based on the number of vessels impacted by nonobstructive coronary artery disease. Even one vessel with some plaque buildup made patients more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack than those with no signs of coronary artery disease.Similar increases were found in risk of mortality.

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