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SHAPE Shares: Sex, Skin Cancer, and Stretching News


Depending on how your life is going lately, it's either already Wednesday or only Wednesday. Either way, grab your coffee (or beverage of choice), and check out this week's most eye-catching health and fitness stories.

1. An alarming number of skin cancer survivors still use tanning beds. According to Time magazine, a recent survey found that people who have beaten melanoma fail to protect themselves from the sun and even continue to use tanning beds. About 27 percent of skin cancer survivors admitted to never using sunscreen, while 2.1 percent said they had visited a tanning bed in the previous year, and 15.4 percent said they never stay in the shade.

2. New low-fat chocolate may revolutionize candy industry. Chemists at the University of Warwick claim to have invented a type of fruit juice-infused chocolate that contains half the fat of a typical bar, which they're hoping will help make lighter chocolate and candy go more mainstream.

3. Size does matter! Well, maybe. When women were asked to assess photos of computer-generated male models, they gravitated more toward men with broad shoulders and large penises, a new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science reports. However, the researchers ultimately determined that body type was more important when it came to who was perceived as attractive, with wide shoulders and narrow hips being the biggest determinant of sexual attractiveness, followed by height and penis size.

4. The morning-after pill will now be available OTC to anyone. Technically, this story broke last week, but it's big news in the world of reproductive health: A federal judge has ruled that the FDA must make the morning-after pill available over the counter to anyone, regardless or age, within 30 days, thus counteracting a 2011 decision made by the Obama administration to limit OTC access of Plan B to those 17 and older.

5. To stretch or not to stretch? New research suggests that static stretching—slowly moving your muscles and holding briefly until they start to hurt—before lifting weights may actually weaken you and leave you more prone to injuries during your workout. This study joins a growing body of evidence that suggests stretching before you work out is unnecessary and counterproductive.


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