Copy Cats

gothamist_health_master_small.jpgWe posted a few months ago that smoking among New York State high school students was falling. It seems that New York City high schoolers are following suit. Smoking among City students has fallen over 50% since 1997. Officials link this trend to increases in the cigarette tax as well as anti-smoking education. Or maybe its because they can't smoke in bars anymore?

Running Mate

joggers.jpgThe incredible weather last Saturday brought plenty of New Yorkers to Central Park for the first real park day of the year. And, as always, plenty were hitting the running track around the reservoir and jogging along the park drive. But for everyone who was running alone, they might want to check out a new study that shows that running with a buddy may have more benefits than doing it alone. The study showed that rats that run alone have less brain development than rats that run in a group. So running with a friend may stimulate new neuronal connections and help with improving memory and cognition - a reason to ditch your Ipod and call up a pal to join you.

Big Surprise

Hamburger.jpgA study by Cancer Research UK showed that folks who eat meat will gain more weight over five years than those that switch to vegetarian diets. Apparently we put on weight as we get older (really?) but veggies tend to stave off the bulge for a little bit longer. Carnivores can look forward to gaining about four pounds over the next five years given they keep their diet and exercise levels fixed. Veggies can expect to pack on about a pound. This flies in the face of Atkins and other similar diets and suggests that high carbohydrate and low protein intake are the true window to weight loss. Since the medical community changes diet advice close to every month or so, the lesson to be learned is to TRUST NO ONE.

Sorry, Jen

panda.jpgFinally, Gothamist Science was shocked to learn that Manhattan rent prices are nothing when compared to what it takes for a U.S. zoo to "rent" a panda bear from China. Zoos in Atlanta, Memphis, San Diego, and D.C. pay hefty fees to keep the big guys around: about 1 million dollars a year. And if a panda baby is born in a U.S. zoo, the zoo pays a "baby tax" of over half that. These large costs are making many zoos question their commitment to keep panda exhibits open.