15 Things You Need To Know Today (May 24)
1. Turns out breakfast may not be so magical after all.
We've all heard the advice about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. But science doesn't actually back that up—most studies on the subject have been biased, poorly designed, or misinterpreted. Bottom line: Keep eating breakfast if you already enjoy it, but don't force yourself if you're not hungry in the a.m. (NYT)
2. Do women really need to have periods?
Thanks to the birth control pill and IUDs, many women no longer have their monthly periods. Still, some doctors are cautioning against suppressing cycles, as there isn't yet enough known about the long-term effects. (NPR)
3. The world is drinking less booze—except, of course, for America.
For the first time in 15 years, global alcohol consumption is down. The dip is small, but America's consumption trended upward, purchasing 33.8 billion liters of alcohol in 2015, up from 33.1 in 2014. The disparity is being attributed to North America's strong economy and the craft beer/microbrewery movements. (MarketWatch)
4. Gabrielle Union delivers a powerful message about self-esteem.
In her speech at the Step Up Inspiration Awards 2016 on Friday, she spoke candidly about struggling with self-esteem issues and blaming herself for everything bad that has happened to her—including a sexual assault when she was 19. She considered herself a "loser" and a "joke" for a very long time, until her friends pushed her to think of herself as "dope and fly and amazing" instead. (mindbodygreen)
5. Vending machines aren't just for soda and sugar anymore.
New startup Byte Foods is reinventing the standard vending machine to serve up salads, sandwiches, and juices. The machines are refrigerated and restocked every day or two to ensure peak freshness. (Fast CoExist)
6. Just in time for summer: Swimming pools are way grosser than you think.
The CDC released a report last week on the health of America’s swimming pools, hot tubs, and water parks. The verdict? Not good. Of the 50,000 inspections included in the report, one in eight resulted in “immediate closure because of serious health and safety violations.” Almost 80 percent of public facilities had at least one violation. Just in time for your Memorial Day pool party. (Discovery)
7. This badass woman just set an Everest record.
Melissa Arnot, 32, became the first American woman to summit Mount Everest without the help of an oxygen tank on Monday, in her sixth trek up the mountain. It’s a welcome bit of happy news from Nepal, after reports that at least four climbers have died on the planet’s highest peak in the last week. (Outside)
8. Portland has no patience for climate deniers.
This week, the city's school board voted to ban textbooks that refute that human activity contributes to climate change. (EcoWatch)
9. Some people need stressful situations to calm down.
A study suggests that, for neurotic people, anxiety-inducing environments are more restorative than traditionally calm ones. So, if you're a pretty high-strung person, maybe don't sign up for a silent yoga class. (Quartz)
10. When FLOTUS steps down, what happens to her healthy eating initiatives?
Between her efforts to plant the now-thriving White House vegetable garden to her Let's Move! campaign, Michelle Obama has done a lot to promote healthier habits for Americans, but what will happen when she's no longer the first lady? Hopefully she's helped start a trend that won't die out anytime soon. (Atlantic)
11. Iced coffee is crushing it.
As smart consumers move away from sugary sodas, some are reaching for cold coffee instead. Big beverage companies and smaller startups alike are coming out with canned and bottled versions of iced coffee that can easily be stocked on supermarket shelves. We can't help but wonder if we'll ever hit peak caffeination... (Bloomberg)
12. Prenatal depression is real—but we're not providing enough treatment.
Almost one in four expectant moms suffer from prenatal depression, but many aren't identified because of a lack of awareness and screenings, as well as cultural taboos. The good news is that research shows antidepressants, counseling, and complementary treatments, like acupuncture, can all be effective in treating depression in pregnant women. (Quartz)
13. Ford cars could be getting an eco-makeover.
The company is experimenting with using bio-based materials like wheat, tomatoes, and captured CO2 in its plastics and foams. The automaker hopes to reduce its petroleum use by 600 million pounds a year and set a better example for other leaders in the industry. (Tree Hugger)
14. Breast milk jewelry is now a thing.
We've officially hit peak breast milk. It's now being made into bracelets, necklaces, and rings. The mastermind behind the mammary memorabilia is Ann Marie Sharoupim, a New Jersey pharmacist and mother of two. "I take the mother's own milk (surrogate, milk donor) and preserve it in resin. The breast milk is no longer in liquid form when the jewelry is complete," she writes on her website. (mindbodygreen)
15. Whole Foods rolls out the first Beyond Meat burger—right next to the regular meat burgers.
The veggie burger startup is selling plant-based burgers that look, taste, and feel like the real deal. They're even sold in the refrigerator case near the standard meaty versions. Best of all, Beyond Meat burgers are soy-, gluten-, and preservative-free, made with plant-based protein and vegetables like beets. They're just sold in Colorado right now but will hopefully debut countrywide in time for summer BBQs. (NYT)