Today in Research: Headphones Are Deadly; Americans Are Still Fat

Discovered: the dangers of headphones for pedestrians, troubling obesity rate numbers, our sun's future, and the impact of medical marijuana on traffic accidents.

  • Deadly headphone-related accidents on the rise. Walking around wearing ear-buds is all fun and games until a train comes by and flattens an unsuspecting iPod user. So enmeshed in their jams, pedestrians, who don't hear oncoming traffic, are getting run over by trains and cars. Sound absurd? It could happen to you. The number of these headphone-related deaths has tripled in six years, up from 16 in 2004 to 47 in 2010, found research out of the University of Maryland. We're now officially convinced headphones are all around bad, since they also have more obvious health effects, like contributing to hearing loss. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
  • Americans are still fat. Michelle Obama's vegetable garden hasn't done much to curb America's weight issues, as our country's obesity rates have remained steady over the last two years. To us that sounds discouraging. But researcher Dr. Youfa Wang doesn't see it like that. "I'm not very surprised, but I think this is a kind of encouraging finding, given all the efforts we have been making," he told Reuters. The rates haven't continued to climb, which Wang finds encouraging. "The general public for sure nowadays has become more aware of the health consequences of obesity, and industry has been heavily influenced by all the efforts," he reasoned. And we still can't get our act together? [Reuters]

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