66 Fast-Food Chains Are Cutting Calories


Fast food chains won’t win any awards for being the healthiest option anytime soon, but hey, they’re trying. According to NPR, 66 of the nation’s fast-food chains are planning to, or already have, cut down calories in their menu items. Pizza Hut Skinny Slice, anyone?

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health conducted a study that compared the calories in restaurant items in 2012 versus 2013. They discovered a 12-percent decline in calories, an average of 60 calories, in some menu items among fast food chains.

Because chain restaurants are required to post calories on their menus in large metropolitan cities, it’s led to a more calorie-conscientious attitude in those areas. Now a federal rule is being finalized which will expand those areas required to report calories.

Sara Bleich, a health policy researcher at Johns Hopkins, led the study. Bleich notes that the major items (Big Mac, Whopper, etc.) will not have their calories cut. Rather, some of the lesser known or newer items will be on the caloric chopping block. This includes salads, desserts and possibly new low-calorie items.

While 60 calories doesn’t seem like much at first glance, they can go a long way in the overall struggle against obesity.




Pairing Wine and Exercise is Good for You, Says Science


You can run for miles on the treadmill, but as soon as you shotgun that beer afterwards you pretty much wasted your gym sesh. If only there was a good enough excuse to drink following a strict workout regime that will leave you guilt-free. Turns out having some wine with your workout actually does your body good.

The European Society of Cardiology recently published a study that tracked the results of individuals who drank wine five days out of the week throughout an entire year to see if exercise created any health benefits. With every experiment, there had to be constants. The men were permitted to drink up to two-and-a-half glasses (0.3 L) and the women drank one to two (0.2 L).

The participants were divided into split-gender groups. One group would maintain a consistent routine of exercise while the other just drank.

Results from the trial revealed that the participants who maintained a workout routine of twice a week while drinking wine showed large improvements in cholesterol levels, as well as increased HDL cholesterol (the good kind) levels. While some from the group drank pinot noir and the other chardonnay-pinot, the variations between the two wines did not affect results much.

The study’s head researcher, professor Milos Taborsky of the Czech Republic stated in a press release that the study was a success. It proved that a combination of moderate wine consumption and regular exercise is capable of protecting against cardiovascular disease. The group that didn’t participate in the exercise, however, did not display any noticeable health benefits. Although they didn’t suffer a significant amount of liver damage.

Taborsky said that the combination of the two things is essential to the success of the study. So essentially, we can’t just drink and expect good things to happen.

H/T Elite Daily


Student Arrested for Buying Sparkling Water Mistaken for Beer, Receives $212,500 Compensation


Last year, college student Elizabeth Daly was arrested by ABC agents after leaving a Virginia supermarket. Daly, who was under the age of 21 at the time, was believed to be purchasing a carton of beer with her friend. Turns out the carton Daly’s friend was holding on her way out, however, was simply La Croix sparkling water. Now it looks like Daly will be receiving a settlement for that arrest in the form of $212,500.

According to the Daily Mail, when Daly and her friend entered her vehicle, unmarked agents surrounded it, banging on the windows. Not really sure if the agents were in fact the real deal, Daly’s friend allegedly suggested that they “go, go, go” according to the lawsuit. In doing so, the vehicle grazed two of the agents.

Daly and her friend were arrested at a red light nearby. Since she was the driver, she faced two counts of assault and one count of eluding. Both of the charges fall into the category of a Class 6 felony where Daly would have to serve up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,500. She filed a lawsuit for alleged malicious prosecution, failure to train ABC agents properly and six counts of assault and battery. While Daly initially sued for $40 million in damages, she settled on the $212,500.

That can buy a lot of sparkling water.

Fast Food

Pregnant Woman Orders McDouble Gets McMaryJane Instead


The latest chronicle in the “weird things found in our food” saga comes from Iowa where a pregnant woman allegedly found pot in her McDouble.

Probably fulfilling a pregnancy craving, the woman and her fiancé ordered their food as normal from the drive thru, but a few bites into her McDouble she realized one of the toppings didn’t belong. The couple is claiming the patty was tainted with marijuana but the local police won’t know for at least a month until the test results are completed.

During the investigation police did find one McDonald’s employee who was in possession of drug paraphernalia but no one has officially been charged yet. As to why someone would waste their stash on some random customer’s burger, who knows.

Whether it’s a crime or a prank we have to wonder how Mickey D’s didn’t think of this before, seems like a good way to get customers to come back with the munchies and order all the things…just kidding.

H/T Consumerist


Research Shows Slow Jams Actually Help Cows Get Into the Milking Moo-d


According to a study by psychologists at the University of Leicester, milk production can increase by as much as 3 percent when cows are listening to slow music.

Similar to humans, slow jams can help relieve stress and relax the cows getting them in a friendlier mood to be milked. While 3 percent may not sound like a lot, but when you multiply that by all the dairy cows it could really help out the milk industry. So the next time you need Bessie to bust out a gallon, throw on some Barry White so she can get it on.

Though the study is over ten years old, farmers agree with the results. Modern Farmer talked to some farmers who believe it’s not so much the genre of the music that matters as much as the beat of the song:

“[In studies] animals seemed, in general, to find slow, rhythmic music most relaxing. Perhaps easy listening or new age would be best.”

Besides simply calming the cows, the music also helps to drown out more unpleasant sounds such as machinery and other loud noises. As much as the cows love music, apparently they aren’t fond of Willie Nelson’s stuff — the country legend tends to rile them up.

H/T Consumerist, Modern Farmer


Starbucks Reaches Teavana With New Tea Bar

Teavanna bar
Starbucks hopes to do for tea what it’s done for coffee with the debut of its first teahouse, Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar.

Located in the Upper East Village, the chain’s first step outside the coffee world is described by CEO Howard Schultz as being the complete opposite of the Starbucks cafes we know and love. “The difference between a Starbucks coffee shop and a Teavana teahouse “is like night and day, it’s much more zen-like than anything you’ll find in a Starbucks store.”

Other differences between the two shops include the fact that you can order a shaken iced tea at your favorite Starbucks but don’t expect to find a grande caramel macchiato at Teavana, the tea bar doesn’t sell any coffee.

The Tea Bar couldn’t look or feel more different than it’s coffee pushing counterpart. Adorned with warm colors, mood lighting and a wall of loose leaf teas, Teavana aims to appeal to customer’s comfort, inviting them to sit and savor their order.

Teavanna Cafe Snacks
With a wide array of gourmet menu items Teavana’s prices are a bit steeper than what Starbucks customers are used to. Featuring dishes such as Lemongrass Ginger Chicken Rice Balls and Roasted Butternut Squash Strata prices can be upwards of $14.95 for their most expensive salad to $3.95 for standard baked goods such as scones. Tea lattes start at about $5.95 which is about $1 more than your favorite venti Starbucks drink.

Starbucks hopes to break into the tea industry with its new Teavana Bars with plans to open at least 1,000 more tea bars in the next 5-10 years. These specialty tea bars shouldn’t compete with existing Starbucks stores as most tea drinkers strictly stick to their loose leaf beverage of choice.

Seattle is said to be the future home of Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar’s second nationwide location.

H/T + PicThx USA Today


Date Rape Drug-Detecting Cups to Debut at Bars, Colleges and Clubs


Remember these? Cups/straws/glasses/stirrers started by Mike Abramson’s start-up, DrinkSavvy? Good news, ladies and gents! Mike and DrinkSavvy made it big. That’s right, they’re rolling out the corporate red carpet to sell color changing cups and straws, which react in the presence of three commonly used date-rape drugs: GHB, ketamine, and rohypnol. The Indiegogo campaign we covered late last year hit their $50,000 goal and are using funds to ship plastic cups and straws to rape crisis centers, as well as participating bars, colleges, and night clubs. And they hope to start marketing their products to the public some time next year.

While it’s undoubtedly tragic that a product like this is necessary, it’s undoubtedly amazing that the campaign was successful. Take that, creepy party peeps.

H/T NY Post


Science Says: College Women Drink Men Under the Table


Well, the reports are in, and I’d like to offer the ladies a big ol’ “Well, duh” on behalf of Foodbeast. According to a study titled “Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research” (rude) by Bettina Hoeppner,  college women tend to drink more heavily than their male counterparts.

The research included 992 freshmen attending schools in New England and surveyed how much they drank per day and how much they drank per week. Over the course of four months, Hoeppner’s team found that while men had a greater tendency to exceed the daily drinking limit, women were more likely to exceed their weekly limits.

Before you start blasting celebratory Spice Girls, you should know said “limits” were imposed by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). According to the NIAAA,  men should stick to five drinks a day, and fourteen drinks a week (at most, obviously), while women get stuck with four drinks a day and seven — SEVEN — drinks a week. (The report does acknowledge that most of us will think these numbers are insultingly low, but also urges to watch out for the effects of binge drinking. Sad face.)

new pic

As if this lame double standard (which actually has to do with alcohol-related problems occurring at lower levels of intoxication in women as opposed to men) isn’t enough of a reason for girls to want to drink to excess, there’s the science half of things. We’ll let Melissa A. Lewis, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington, explain it to you:

Even if you hold weight constant, there are differences in terms of how alcohol affects men and women. For example, men have more of an enzyme in the stomach – a gastric alcohol dehydrogenase – that lowers the amount of alcohol that makes it into the bloodstream. Also, women have less blood going through the bloodstream than a man at the same weight, so alcohol gets more concentrated in the bloodstream.

In short, men drink more often, but ladies — at least college ladies — do it better.

Anyone who finds this news surprising has clearly never been on the tail end of having a roommate go through a bad break-up. How else do you handle finals week, unemployment, stupid boys, and that paper you haven’t finished yet? That’s right: Girl’s Night.

H/T + PicThx HackCollege