What healthy headlines have caught your eye this week? We're reading the latest news about antibiotic-resistant bacteria, conflicting research about obesity, and how taking a quick walk might help you be more productive. Let us know what we missed in the comments below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!
1. Global resistance to antibiotics now a huge threat. The World Health Organization (WHO) released its first look at global antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance, and the results are grim. It's no longer a hypothetical, the WHO says; instead, it's happening right now, all over the world, making it a very real public health threat. If something isn't done, it's possible that even minor infections and injuries that have been treatable for decades could become much harder to treat and even turn deadly.
2. Anything boys can do, girls can do better. A surprising new study finds that girls in elementary school in more than 30 countries have been getting better grades than boys for more than 100 years, even in math and science classes. So what's behind the ages-old idea that women struggle with math and science? Well, stereotypes die hard, plus many studies use standardized tests such as the SATS, not grades, to determine whether girls or boys perform better in math or science, and those may not be accurate predictors of how students perform in school on a daily basis.
3. Walking can boost creativity. Stuck on an idea? Trying to figure out how present a fresh new pitch to a client? While it's long been thought that a quick stroll could boost creativity and focus, there had been little research to back that idea up—until now. A new study shows just how beneficial walking is to your thinking skills. The next time you can't figure out how to start that assignment or you just need a general pick-me-up, hoof it, even if it's around your office.
4. Telling girls they're fat makes them more likely to grow up obese. Sad, but not surprising, as anyone who's ever been bullied as a child understands how that stuff can stick with you. New research to be published in JAMA Pediatrics suggests that girls who are called "too fat" as children—regardless of whether they were overweight in the first place—are 66 percent more likely to be clinically obese when they grow up. The researchers aren't entirely sure why, but think that it could be because of the stigma surrounding obesity, which may increase the body's production of the stress hormone cortisol.
5. Obese and healthy? Maybe not. Amidst a growing body of evidence that suggests being overweight isn't all bad, new news provides another reason to shed pounds. A study of nearly 15,000 people in Korea, all of whom were metabolically healthy, found that the obese patients were still more likely to have early plaque buildup than their normal-weight counterparts.