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    Can friends, particularly the fuller-figured ones, be a bad influence when it comes to food?

    The answer is "yes," according to scientists at Southern Illinois and Cornell Universities who hired an actress in a fat suit to test their theory that overweight friends can cause you to make unhealthy choices. 

    When the actress appeared heavier and served herself a portion of pasta versus salad, her companions did the same. When she chose to serve herself a hearty helping of salad, her fellow diners followed suit but opted for smaller servings. 

    Researchers explained:

    These results demonstrated that people may eat larger portions of unhealthy food and smaller portions of healthy food when eating with an overweight person, probably because the health commitment goal is less activated. 

    Does what you eat have to do with the person you're dining with? Is it a subconscious form of peer pressure or good judgment amnesia?

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    Back to school means back to packing lunches. Collective sigh. Most of us prefer the chaos that comes along with back to school shopping over lunch menu planning. But that's about to change!

    We've got you covered with 25 creative lunch box ideas to start the school year off in a less stressful way. These recipes are fun, kid-friendly, and easy to whip up in your non-existent spare time. Best of all, they will save you from some of your kid's eye rolls and smelly lunch bags. You can thank us later.

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    Who doesn't love an end-of-summer slice of blueberry pie? But the innocent-looking dessert was responsible for sending a girl in Canada to the hospital after she suffered a severe allergic reaction to a surprising ingredient

    After eating the fruity treat, the girl began experiencing abnormal breathing coupled with hives. She was treated with drugs used to combat allergic reactions and, thankfully, has recovered. But what was initially stymieing doctors was the fact that the child wasn't allergic to any of the pie's ingredients. 

    So then what exactly caused her body's frightening response? 

    It wasn't until doctors tested the girl for an allergy to streptomycin, an antibiotic used as a pesticide on fruit, that they discovered what caused her sudden and severe illness. 

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    I grew up chomping on Flintstones vitamins. Now my daughter does the same (only hers are gummies, and far yummier). Still, when I asked at her last checkup, "Does my child need a multivitamin?" I didn't get a straight answer -- and a ton of recent media coverage claims that vitamins aren't necessary and can actually do harm, and that many kids get too many vitamins and minerals, which is potentially harmful since certain nutrients are unhealthy taken in high amounts. So what's the deal: Do kids need a multivitamin, or are they a waste of money ... or even potentially harmful when combined with all the fortified cereals, milk, juices, and other fortified foods available today?

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    I don't know how to eat a cupcake or a hamburger. I know it sounds crazy, but the truth is, after decades of consuming food, I'm apparently still not a pro.

    How do I know?

    YouTube. They have videos on how to eat (and prepare) everything -- from cupcakes to burgers. And it has shown me (and everyone else) the error of our ways. These amazing hacks on how to eat or cut up food is going to improve our quality of life. Trust me.

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    A Fourth of July celebration ended tragically after 47-year-old Walter Eagle Tail died choking on a sausage while taking part in a hot dog eating contest in western South Dakota.

    In recent years, extreme eating contests -- especially those involving hot dogs -- have become iconic American sports. After all, they honor one of our most popular foods and pay tribute to our two favorite pastimes: gluttony and the attempt to eat as quickly as possible.

    This is a horrible tragedy and it's one I'm surprised doesn't happen more often.

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    "Honey, I'll be right back. We're fresh out of bull penis and I've got to go to the local grocery store to buy us some," SAID NO ONE EVER. But don't tell that to one grocery store in Austin, Texas. They stand accused of repackaging "pizzle" (that's bull dong to you and me) and selling it as being totally fit for human consumption. The attorney general's office had some beef (AMAZING PUN) with this -- as one would imagine. They are fining the store and the employees responsible for the sale of the wiener $5,000.

    In America we naturally turn our noses up at the idea of eating the penis of any animal. Unless you're a dog -- in which case, pizzle sticks are among one of the more popular dried, chewy treats sold at pet stores. In other countries, like China, this part of the bull is thought to be an aphrodisiac. Just, you know, not here. 

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    Juice cleanses have been all the rage for the past several years, as women and men are starting to puree their fruits and vegetables into drinkable concoctions. But a new, and very disturbing, trend has surfaced lately: juice cleanses for kids. And they're bad. Like, really, really bad.

    Turns out, grade school-aged kids are now flocking to the spinach, kale, and beet mixtures. A California-based company has even been selling a Children's Cleanse of liquid extracts that's are meant for kids from 2 to 12. That means that your toddler, and even your growing preteen, can now rid their body of toxins and -- bonus! -- probably shed a few pounds.

    Is this crazy or what?

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    I have a lunch problem. I'm so busy during the day, from working and taking care of my family's needs, that my midday meal is often an afterthought. Before my daughter went off to school, I always made sure we had a tasty and healthy lunch. But now that I'm all by my lonesome, not only has remembering to eat been an issue, but finding good, fast, nutritious meals has been a challenge.

    In honor of ALL busy (and hungry) moms out there, here are 5 quick lunches that taste so much better than they sound.

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    We all know that eating at home and grocery shopping saves you money, but ... do you really know how much money you are saving?

    We’ve all been there; you’re sitting at a restaurant and thinking, “Why am I spending so much? I can make this at home!” So, the next time you get a craving, instead of taking the whole family out, just make the dish yourself and you will save a ton.

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