By Alanna Nuñez
March 19, 2014

Need some help making healthier choices this week? In our news roundup today, we've got a tip to help you reach for fruit instead of dessert, a new study that suggests women react to stress differently than men, and a possible key to what causes Alzheimer's.

As always, we want to hear from you! What did we miss? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @Shape_Magazine!

1. Sniff some fruit, eat better. Fruit scents may help you make healthier choices and slim down. Researchers in France split 115 volunteers into two groups, one of which sat in a pear-scented room, then watched how they ate. Seventy-five percent of the control group picked a brownie option for dessert, whereas more than half from the fruit-scented room picked a fruit option for dessert. [Tweet this fun tip!] Scientists speculate that it could be because the fruit scent registers with your subconscious and bubbles up to help you conveniently make better choices.

2. A California woman was told to cover up at the gym. Well, this was unexpected: Tiffany Austin, of Richmond, CA, had only been at Planet Fitness for about 15 minutes (her first time since recovering from a car accident) when a gym employee told her she had to cover up her halter top because she was intimidating other patrons. Austin agreed, but while she was waiting for the employee to bring her a shirt, a second employee approached her to complain about her top, so she asked to speak to the manager and get her money back.

3. Protein could hold the key to who develops Alzheimer's. A new study may be the first to pinpoint exactly why some people develop Alzheimer's and others don't. Researchers at Harvard University found that a protein that's thought to protect neurons in healthy brains tends to be sharply depleted in elderly patients who have Alzheimer's or dementia. The researchers aren't entirely sure what causes the deteroriation of the protein but are hoping that follow-up studies will shed some light.

4. Men and women react differently to tension. Stress may not make you as big of a mess as you think. A new study suggests women become more empathetic and understanding while men become more self-centered and withdrawn when under stress. Although the reasons aren't entirely understood, researchers think it could speak to women's overall greater propensity to seek social support. It could also be due to hormonal differences.

5. The five-second rule is real. And backed by science! So the next time you drop that apple on the ground, you can still eat it-as long as you pick it up immediately. New research from the U.K. shows that food that's dropped on the ground and picked up within five seconds doesn't contain as much bacteria as food that's left on the ground for longer. Not surprising, but the researchers also discovered that pasta and candy pick up bacteria quickly, so be safe and throw those in the trash.



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