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The Best Country to Be a Female Entrepreneur, How Your iPad Makes You Gain Weight, and Panera's Pledge to Keep Ingredients Clean


If you need some new water-cooler chatter, look no further. From the best countries in the world for female entrepreneurs to the latest in e-cigarettes to the surprising way technology affects your health, we've got the latest and greatest in healthy living headlines. 

What caught your eye this week? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!

1. The best country for female-owned businesses? If you're a woman hoping to make it big in business, you're in luck if you live in the U.S., Australia, Germany, France, Mexico, or the U.K.—the top countries with the highest potential for female entrepreneurship, according to the latest research from the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute. The countries with conditions least favorable to women business owners? Morocco, Brazil, Egypt, India, and Uganda.

2. A digital sabbatical might help you shed pounds. Who knew your iPad could be making you fat? A growing body of evidence suggests that the more time we spend in front of the glowing screens of our iPads, laptops, and TVs, the more flummoxed our hormones and metabolism become, which agitates and disrupts our sleep and eating patterns. 

3. Vaping may be sanitizing the anti-smoking movement. For decades, the anti-smoking movement has done a lot to highlight the negative side effects of smoking, but a recent piece in The New Inquiry suggests that "vaping" is reframing the way we see smoking, with David A. Banks writing that, "vaping offers a new nicotine ritual that eschews some of the vilification smokers have experienced in recent decades. It invites curiousity rather than judgement." Some experts worry that e-cigarettes could make "smoking culture" socially acceptable again. 

4. Panera to swear off artificial ingredients. Panera says it will remove all artificial ingredients, flavors, colors, preservatives, and sweeteners from all its food by 2016. Although some see this merely as a way to boost sales—the 16,000-store chain has seen a slow decline in sales in recent years—it's part of the brand's sweeping new "Food Policy" pledge to newly commit to "clean" and "simple" ingredients. 

5. Bilingualism may slow cognitive aging. Scottish researchers from the University of Edinburgh who set out to determine whether intelligent people are more likely to learn languages or whether learning a new language improves cognitive abillity found the latter to be true. The study, which began in 1947 and ended in 2010, found that people who either already spoke a second language or learned one later in life performed better on intelligence tests than those who only spoke one language. No se habla Español ahora? No problem! The researchers also found that it didn't matter at what age subjects learned a second language; they still reaped the benefits. 


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