A healthier handshake:The fist bump
The next time you see your doctor, he or she may give you a fist bump rather than a handshake. And it’s not because your doctor is young and cool: U.K. researchers have found that the handshake alternative is healthier, spreading far fewer germs than the more traditional greeting. In an experiment, scientists dipped one gloved hand into E. coli bacteria and then shook hands, fist bumped or high-fived the gloved, germ-free hand of another researcher. The previously uncontaminated glove was then tested for bacteria. They found that clasping hands transferred 10 times more germs than bumping fists. While the healthiest alternative would be a no-contact greeting, scientists acknowledge that the fist bump may be a more socially acceptable handshake replacement.
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Does eating out mean eating more?
Parallel to the increase in American obesity is the increase in dining out. If you’re one of the many Americans who enjoy meals away from home, the findings of a new study may come as no surprise: People who ate at fast-food or sit-down restaurants consumed about 200 more calories a day than people who ate meals at home. While 200 calories may seem like a small amount, it could mean gaining 6 to 7 extra pounds over a year if you eat out as often as the average American.
The study, which was published in Public Health Nutrition, examined the eating habits of more than 12,000 adults ages 20 to 64 over a two-day period. In addition to extra calories, those who dined out also consumed more saturated fat and salt.
How can you avoid excess calories while on the go? The authors offered a few suggestions:
- Order a half portion or ask the server to box half before it gets to the table.
- When a choice of sides is offered, opt for veggies or a salad.
- Ask for sauce or dressing on the side.
- Drink water instead of soda or other sugarsweetened beverages.