Blog Posts by Elise Solé, Shine Staff

  • The Four Things That Can Predict How Long You'll Live

    University of ZurichUniversity of ZurichYou eat right, hit the gym, avoid smoking, and don't drink too much — but will your healthy lifestyle really pay off? Scientists say yes. According to a new study published in the journal Preventative Medicine, people can extend their life expectancies by avoiding four poor lifestyle habits: smoking, alcohol, poor diet, and inactivity.

    Researchers at the University of Zurich studied 16,721 people, ages 16 to 90 from 1977 to 1993 with their corresponding deaths up until 2003. The purpose of the study was to determine what a healthy lifestyle looked like in numbers and to prove that avoiding unhealthy factors can help increase life expectancy. Some interesting findings: Smoking is the highest risk factor, with smokers having a 57 percent higher risk of dying prematurely. Also, people who engage in all four risk factors have a mortality risk that's two and a half times higher than someone who refrains from bad health habits.

    Yahoo Shine could not reach co-study author Brian Martin, M.D., a

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  • Justin Bieber Can Help Prevent Skin Cancer

    The Biebs and his bangs. (Getty Images)The Biebs and his bangs. (Getty Images)

    Justin Bieber may have a tumultuous love life and a police record, but the pop star is also doing something right: He’s (inadvertently) helping to prevent skin cancer.

    Bieber’s infamous banged coif from circa 2009 may influence kids to cover up when they're in the sun, according to an observational paper conducted by Bernard Cohen, MD, professor of dermatology and pediatrics, and Crystal Agi, MD, chief resident of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University. That’s because teens who sport prominent bangs have paler skin and almost no freckles on their foreheads, the latter of which is a marker of sun damage that’s linked to an increased risk of melanoma. Of course, the bangs don’t need to be side-swept, a la Bieber, as long as they adequately cover the forehead.  

    “It can be hard to talk to teens about the importance of sun protection because they often think of cancer as something that happens long down the road,” Cohen tells Yahoo Shine. “But I see 12-year-olds who develop age spots

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  • Starbucks Praises Barista Who Defended Breastfeeding Mom

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesAfter a mother in Ottawa, Canada, was scolded by a customer for nursing her baby inside a Starbucks and a male barista came to her aid, the coffee giant expressed support for its employee, saying he did the right thing.

    “We want everyone who comes to our stores to enjoy their visit and to be treated with dignity and respect," Louisa Girotto, director of public affairs at Starbucks Canada, tells Yahoo Shine. "We were very pleased with the customer service our partner offered the woman who was breastfeeding, and I will reach out to him directly.”

    The story recently went viral after blogger Annie Urban shared it on her Facebook page for her blog, PhD in Parenting, racking up almost 28,000 likes and 1,800 shares by Tuesday. In June, mother Julia Wykes visited a Starbucks on Trainyards Drive in Ottawa, and when her 5-month-old son became hungry, she sat down at a table to breastfeed. Soon, a female customer approached a male barista to complain.

    "She said in a very loud voice, I was

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  • Are Pelvic Exams Really Necessary?

    CorbisCorbisTwo national physician groups are at odds now that a new study has found that annual pelvic exams aren't actually necessary.

    According to the findings of the American College of Physicians (ACP), published this week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, women who aren’t pregnant and show no signs of a medical problem (abnormal bleeding, pain, urinary difficulties, sexual dysfunction) don’t need an annual exam, due to a lack of evidence that the screening (usually done for gynecological cancers and abnormalities such as ovarian cysts) is actually necessary.

    The report could be good news for women, many of whom call the procedure everything from "embarrassing" to "painful," and for the 1.5 percent who have unnecessary surgery as a result incorrect findings. Often, women schedule a checkup with their gynecologist to refill a birth control perscription and end up getting the pelvic exam as part of the visit, not because they have any health concerns.

    But the new recommendations differ from

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  • Giving Birth Later in Life Is a Sign of Longevity

    Photo: Getty ImagesPhoto: Getty ImagesDoctors often discourage women from delaying childbirth, but a new study published this week in the journal Menopause found a surprising perk to late motherhood: a longer life expectancy.

    Researchers at Boston University and Boston Medical Center studied women who lived to the age of 95 or older and compared them with 151 women who died at younger ages. What they found was interesting: Women who gave birth naturally (without fertility assistance, such as IVF) after the age of 33 were twice as likely to live to the age of 95. And women who gave birth after the age of 40 were four time as likely to live to the age of 100.

    “We believe the ability to have kids at an older age is a sign that a woman’s reproductive system is aging slowly, which is a marker that her entire body is aging slowly," lead researcher Thomas Perls, MD, a geriatrician and professor of medicine at Boston Medical Center, tells Yahoo Shine. "That means she is better able to ward off life-threatening, age-related

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  • 63-Year-Old Woman Fights Off Robber Using Wooden Back Scratcher

    A 63-year-old Indiana woman used an interesting weapon to fight off a would-be robber after he broke into her home and threatened her and her husband. She attacked the guy with her trusty back scratcher.

    On June 16 at 9:30 p.m., Patty Kearney and her husband Don, 69, were home watching television when they heard a crash. “It sounded like someone had hit the house with something,” Patty tells Yahoo Shine. “My husband went outside to investigate but a minute later, he backed up slowly into the living room holding up his hands. He said, ‘Don’t hurt us.’”

    A man wearing a green hoodie, a pair of Chicago Cubs gloves, and a hockey mask was following Don and carrying a wrench and a roll of duct tape. “He said, ‘Give me your gun,'” Patty recalls. “I answered, ‘What gun? We don’t have one!’” After the couple offered the man money, he ordered Patty to restrain her husband using the duct tape.

    “I simply answered no,” she said. “I knew that once I taped up Don, that would be the end for us.” Patty,

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  • Sorry, Celebrities: Eating Clay Won't Make You Skinnier

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesWe’ve heard about some pretty crazy diets celebrities have tried in order to lose weight for movie roles before (ahem, Anne Hathaway), but this one wins: Zoe Kravitz (daughter of rocker Lenny Kravtiz and actress Lisa Bonet) drank clay to prep for her part in the upcoming film "The Road Within." Yup, she drank clay.

    During the film’s premiere in Los Angeles on Wednesday, Kravitz, 25, who plays a character struggling with bulimia and anorexia in the movie, told US Weekly, "I ended up drinking clay. Because it cleans out your body and fills you up. I was eating like a Mason jar of pureed vegetables a day and running." She also said of eating disorders: “I’ve struggled with it myself in the past. I think all young women do. There are a bunch of images that are thrown in our faces all the time about what we're supposed to look like at 14, 15, 16. It's confusing. I think every woman can identify with that struggle."

    A curious diet for anyone, much less for someone who has struggled with

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  • Boy Receives Deceased Father's Touching 'Letter from Heaven'

    Facebook/Gayle ValentineFacebook/Gayle ValentineTry to watch this video without crying: An 8-year-old British boy received a letter “from” his deceased father while visiting his grave on Father’s Day. The emotional moment was filmed by his mother (who wrote the letter) and it's gone viral since she posted it online this week.

    On June 15, Gino Valentine and his mom, 42-year-old Gayle Valentine, visited the grave of Gino's father, Daryl, who died in January 2010 at the age of 24. Gino placed a card that read "Dad, you're the best" at the headstone, where he also found an envelope hidden underneath a heart-shaped stone and a potted plant. “What’s that beneath the stone?” asks Gayle. The letter was addressed to “Gino Valentine” and it read:

    “A letter from heaven. Hi Gino, thank you for coming to see me on Father’s Day. I know you don’t remember me very well as I came here when you were only three-and-a-half but I do see you, Sophie, nanny and Granny and dad and auntie Laura all the time. Even though you can’t see me I see you are doing

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  • Best Western Responds to Property That Refused Family With Service Dog

    Best Western International has responded to its Baton Rouge property that refused the reservation of a North Carolina family traveling with a service dog by temporarily restricting the hotel from accepting reservations.

    A representative from Best Western International sent Yahoo Shine the following statement: "We provide extensive training to ensure our hotels understand and address the needs of guests with special needs. When this matter came to our attention, we immediately provided direction to the hotel and a reservation was offered to the family. We deeply regret the matter and we will continue to proactively communicate ADA requirements and training to Best Western branded hotels to ensure all guests are treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Further, we have restricted the hotel on our reservations systems and we have required the hotel to stop representing itself as a Best Western branded hotel (cover or remove all Best Western signs and logos) until its representatives

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  • Fashion Designer Targets Moms Who Want to Dress Like Their Daughters

    Facebook/MatchmiFacebook/MatchmiFor some, the idea of moms and their daughters wearing matching clothes sounds a little over the top; for others it seems downright adorable. The latter is the target consumer base for Matchmi, a new clothing company launched this month that sells matching dresses for mothers and daughters. It’s the brainchild of creative director Lacie Thorne, 32, a former New York City designer behind celebrity brands such as Jennifer Lopez Apparel at Kohl’s and Kmart's Nicki Minaj Collection and Adam Levine Collection .

    “I got the idea for Matchmi back in December after stumbling across a Facebook page for a company that sold mother-daughter outfits — I was surprised that it had almost 100,000 likes,” Thorne, a married mother of one, tells Yahoo Shine. “I realized there was a real market for mothers and daughters who got a kick out of dressing alike.” Thorne began immediately sketching her own designs and drafting a business plan. “Most people were supportive but some were skeptical,” she admits. “I

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