Discovered: Everyone's doing drugs, a reason to play outside more often, we lie about our romantic attractions, when our brains start dying, the right type of food and exercise.
- 200 million people worldwide use illicit drugs. That number doesn't sound that big, considering the population of the U.S. alone. But, if you take out kids and grandparents, that number comes out to 1 in 20 for the 15-64 subset, according to research done by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre in Wales. The study also finds use is highest in developed countries, like this one, the good old United States, where smart people do coke and teens have chosen weed over drinking and cigarettes. [National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre]
- A reason to go outside. New research has linked vitamin D deficiencies with depression, found scientists at The University of Texas. Lack of that very vitamin has also been associated with myriad health woes, including heart disease and spinal problems. You know what's a giant natural orb of vitamin d: sunshine. We'd like to take this moment to petition our bosses for mandatory outside playtime. [UT]
- You are vainer than you admit. When people say they don't lust for a "hot" or "sexy" romantic partner, they have no idea what they're talking about. Hypothetical perfect dates and actual physical attraction didn't match up in a new sudy published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. "If a person tells me, for example, that she doesn't care about how attractive a guy is, our research suggests that her claim isn't worth all that much," Paul W. Eastwick, paper author explained. You're all a bunch of liars. We know you want RyGos as much as the next Tumblrer.
- Brains start deteriorating around age 45. That sounds young to us, especially because just the other day science taught us that old people don't have slow brains. But University College London researchers detected a 3.6 percent decrease in mental reasoning for participants aged 45-49, based on vocab, memory and comprehension of over 7,000 people. Previous research thought brain death started around 60. [BBC]
- The right types of food and exercise. And to round out our Week After New Year's diettip hotline, we have some dieting and work-out tips from science. For those who exercise to "stay-healthy" and not "get skinny," regular-moderate physical activity can reduce the risk of catching cold-like infections. And for those looking to give up eating altogether a new study found colorful plates boost one's appetite. So, go brown. [Eureka, Cornell]