Today in research: the city with the most traffic congestion, fatherhood's health benefits, a distorted study gets called out, and being coffee agnostic.
- Men who become fathers are more likely to avoid heart related problems. Maybe it's the joy of having kids, better genes or a lifetime of companionship with family, but the AARP-funded research team behind the study doesn't seem quite sure why men with children avoid heart issues that plague those men who remain childless. And, to be clear, the dad's didn't live longer, but just had one less thing to worry about: "They saw no difference in death rates between childless men and fathers. However, dads were 17 percent less likely to have died of cardiovascular causes than childless men were." [Associated Press]
- Daily brain shrinkage update: get enough of the vitamin B12 too. It seems like a not a day goes by when we learn of new research that tells us the things that do or don't shrink our brains. A deficiency of the vitamin B12, found in meat and dairy products, is one such thing that "is associated with memory and thinking problems, as well as brain shrinkage" according to a new study cited by CNN. Bulking up on the vitamin apparently does nothing though: "high levels above normal aren't necessarily better than adequate levels," relays the news outlet. [CNN]
- Which U.S. city has the most traffic congestion? The Washington Post is reporting a bit of an upset, reporting that "the Washington region forged well ahead of perennial rivals Chicago and Los Angeles, which ranked second and third in an extensive study conducted annually by a research group at Texas A&M University." That the D.C. region beat out Los Angeles is pretty surprising to us, but Virginia's Transportation Secretary tried to spin it as a positive development: "The reason we have more congestion is that the Washington region has a very strong economy." Sure, but--for those keeping score--that means that D.C. still has both worst traffic and the worst drivers in the nation. Surprisingly, though it's a pretty safe walking town. [The Washington Post]
- An example of how research gets easily distorted. Those trumped-up headlines earlier this week about a study that supposedly linked "dominant" women with less sex were taken apart by Slate's XX Factor blog today, which outlined a number of familiar reasons for why media outlets exaggerated the study's findings--from treating it as if it were a U.S. centric-finding (the study was conducted in Africa), to the "misleading impression of what the results of the study mean for gender relations." [Slate]
- Think about coffee however you want to. But we at The Atlantic Wire prefer to dwell on only the positive things that research says are linked to a caffeine addiction.