15 Things You Need To Know Today (March 9)

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1. Padma Lakshmi opened up about her endometriosis.

While promoting her new book, Love, Loss, and What We Ate, the Top Chef star talked about dealing with the "debilitating" illness. (TODAY)

2. Schools built with the environment in mind inspire kids to make greener choices.

A new study found that kids who attend school in sustainable buildings (those with easy-to-access recycling, repurposed construction materials, etc.) were more likely to use environmentally friendly practices in their everyday life. (Fast CoExist)

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3. Fasting diets: the pros and cons.

While the practice of fasting for health dates back millennia, its place in modern dieting culture is really gaining ground with recent studies. (NY Times)

4. Turns out cancer cells are "energy vampires," too.

Experiments have shown that some cancer cells get 30 to 60 percent of their fuel from neighboring cells. (Science Newsline)

5. Your BMI isn't a good measure of health. Here's what is.

Analyzing more than 54,000 adults, researchers found that a high body mass index actually had no correlation with early death. But people who had a high percentage of body fat—regardless of their size—were found to have a much higher risk of death over the next four to seven years. (HealthDay)

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6. These are the world's most ethical companies.

The 2016 list includes GE, Microsoft, and Starbucks. (Business Wire)

7. Medical treatment for older Americans often goes too far.

A large report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project found five key areas in which aging adults receive end-of-life care that doesn't meet guidelines or goes against their desires. (NPR)

8. Turns out mediocre sleep is as bad as no sleep at all.

Two weeks of subpar sleep (six hours or less) is equivalent to two days of no sleep at all. (Fast Company)

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9. The Paleo study that started it all.

In 1985, the first study was published specifically exploring Paleolithic nutrition and its implications. Over the past three decades—and especially in the past year—there's been a surge in research in this area that's fueled many debates. (WP)

10. Whole Foods just made a giant commitment to solar power.

Up to 100 stores will soon feature solar panels from Solar City—Elon Musk's alternative energy company. (USA Today)

11. Big cosmetics just took a giant step backward.

After declaring themselves "cruelty free" 20 years ago, Avon, Estee Lauder, and Mary Kay will resume animal testing in order to sell their products in China. (PETA)

12. It's time to rethink vegetable oils.

A new study suggests that risk of heart disease and diabetes may be lowered by a diet including grapeseed and other oils, but not olive oil. (Science Daily)

13. Not being fit and active as a teenager may lead to diabetes risk later in life.

A new study analyzed 1.5 million Swedes and found that poor aerobic fitness and low body strength at 18 years old was linked to a triple risk of diabetes as an adult, regardless of body weight. (Health Day)

14. Even a short break from toxic self-care products can do a lot for your health.

Women who used cleaner self-care products for as little as three days saw significant drops in levels of harmful chemicals—phthalates, parabens, triclosan, oxybenzone—in their bodies. (UC Berkeley)

15. New research shows that aggressively treating breast cancer with preventive double mastectomies might not help your health prospects (or your state of mind).

Researchers at Duke's Cancer Institute surveyed "thousands of women who had cancer in a single breast and underwent single and double mastectomies ... [to] see whether the double-mastectomy patients were less anxious, more satisfied with their physical appearance and more confident in their sexuality." The results? The double-mastectomy patients had only a slight edge over the rest, and primarily only in those who had undergone breast reconstruction surgery. (Washington Post)

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