The Top 10 Health Stories of 2011

Atlantic writers survey the biggest stories on their beats See full coverage

Coffee is good for you. And coffee is bad for you. Cell phones cause cancer. And cell phones don't cause cancer. Like any other year in health, 2011 was one of conflicting studies. In the end, we're not always sure how to act or what to drink or when to exercise, but we do know more about ourselves and the world we live in thanks to researchers everywhere and the work that they do.

However broad or specific their conclusions, however small or large their sample size, medical studies do contribute to our wellbeing simply by existing and, if nothing else, by making us think twice about the things we eat, say, and do on a daily basis. We may not know -- yet -- whether cell phone use leads to the development of brain tumors, but we are considering, more than ever, how much time we spend on our handhelds. Everything in moderation.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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