This just in: Butter isn’t that bad, pasta’s not fattening and exercise boosts memory. Read on to learn more.

Motivational Thinking Can Affect Performance
Source: BBC Lab UK
Release Date: June 30
The Gist: In his latest study, Professor Andrew Lane had more than 44,000 participants—a huge number for psychological research, which typically focuses on groups smaller than 300—assess what motivational techniques actually improve performance. The group that used self-talk to motivate themselves, phrases like “I can do better next time” and “I can beat my best score” showed the greatest improvements when playing an online game.

This Just In: Pasta Isn’t Fattening
Source: IRCCS Neuromed Institute
Release Date: July 4
The Gist: According to these Italian researchers, who surveyed more than 23,000 people, pasta isn’t bad for your waistline. “On the contrary: Our data shows that eating pasta contributes to a healthier body mass index, lower waist,” said the study’s lead author George Pounis in a press release.

Exercising Boosts Memory
Source: Donders Institute at the Radboud University Medical Center
Release Date: June 16
The Gist: Researchers in the Netherlands found that individuals that exercised four hours after completing a learning task had much better memory recall two days later. The study surveyed 72 people, some of whom exercised immediately after the task, and some who did not exercise at all. Four hours after learning was the most successful group when it came to improved associative memory

Butter Won’t Kill You
Source: Tufts University
Release Date: June 29
The Gist: Reviewing nine previous studies that surveyed more than 630,000 individuals, researchers found no evidence that butter does any harm—or good—when it comes to mortality. “I would say butter is neither good nor bad,” Laura Pimpin, who led the study, told NBC News. “It may be the case that the bagel you spread your butter on or the bread you spread it on may be more of a concern than the butter itself.”

Women Are More Likely to Have a Sleepless Night
Source: Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics
Release Date: March 23
The Gist: Analyzing the sleep habits of more than 44,000 people between 2013 and 2014, this study found that women were more likely to have sleep disorders than men. “We found that women had poorer quality sleep across the board, regardless of whether they had children,” said Colleen Nugent, Ph.D, who co-authored the report.

One-Minute Intense Workouts Equal 45-Minutes of Moderate
Source: McMasters University
Release Date: April 26
The Gist: To combat the age-old excuse, “I don’t have time to workout,” researchers at McMasters set out to prove it doesn’t take much time at all to see significant health benefits. Specifically, one minute of sprint interval training—meaning going all out, working as hard as your body will let you. “For a lot of people, if they don’t have a block of 30 or 45 minutes, they’ll blow off their workout,” said Martin Gibala, lead author on the study and a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University. “Even if you have ten minutes over your lunch hour, perhaps you can go out and vigorously climb a few flights of stairs and know that you will get some significant health benefits from the exercise.“

Everyone is Worried
Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance
Release Date: May 9
The Gist: In a report that gathered data from 20 years of research, Liberty Mutual asserted that 38 percent of people worry everyday, most frequently in the early morning or late evening. Also of interest: We worry less as we get older.

D.C. Is the Healthiest City in America
Source: The American College of Sports Medicine
Release Date: May 18
The Gist: For the third year in a row, the annual American Fitness Index report found Washington D.C. to be the nation’s healthiest city. Rankings are based on obesity, smoking and diabetes rates as well as environmental factors like access to parks and the frequency of farmers markets.

A Healthy Lifestyle Could Prevent Cancer
Source: Jama Oncology
Release Date: May 19
The Gist: Authors of this study found that 20 to 40 percent of all cancer cases—and 50 percent of all cancer deaths—in white adults could be possibly be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle. They identify a healthier lifestyle as quitting smoking, avoiding heavy drinking, maintaining a BMI between 18.5 and 27.5, and engaging in 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise weekly.

Coffee May Prevent Against Cancer
Source: World Health Organization
Release Date: June 15
The Gist: Despite declaring coffee as being “possibly carcinogenic” in 1991, the WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer reversed its opinion last month. A team of 23 WHO-appointed scientists reviewed more than 1,000 studies regarding coffee and the link to cancer and found that drinking the beverage is unlikely to cause breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers, and that it is associated with a lower risk of uterine and liver cancers. For 20 other types of cancer there was “inadequate” evidence of a link to cancer, said Dana Loomis, the first author of the report.

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