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Avoiding the sun could negatively affect women’s health

A study finds that avoiding sun exposure poses a health risk.

“Women with active sunlight exposure habits experience a lower mortality rate than women who avoid sun exposure,” concludes a study published March 21 in the Journal of Internal Medicine. It’s a surprisingly counterintuitive conclusion in our “cover-up” culture, but it turns out regular sun exposure is not only good for you, it’s a major factor to health and longevity.

The authors of the study, led by Pelle Lindqvist, MD, of Karolinska University Hospital in Huddinge, Sweden, studied nearly 30,000 Swedish women over 20 years. Compared to those who avoided sun exposure, women with active sun exposure habits were mainly at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and non-cancer/non-CVD death.


And here’s an even more radical conclusion: The researchers found that avoiding sun exposure is on par with smoking as a health risk. Senior citizen smokers in the study with the active sun-exposure habits had a 2-year longer life expectancy compared with smokers who avoided sun exposure. Compared to the highest sun exposure group, life expectancy of avoiders of sun exposure was reduced by 0.6–2.1 years. “Nonsmokers who avoided sun exposure had a life expectancy similar to smokers in the highest sun exposure group, indicating that avoidance of sun exposure is a risk factor for death of a similar magnitude as smoking.”

The study, of course, acknowledges that sun exposure can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. But they found that subjects with regular sun exposure who develop skin cancer had a better prognosis than subjects who stayed out of the sun. It’s also a bit of a statistical paradox, because the increase in survival and longevity for women who have active sun exposure in their lives also inherently increases their chances to develop cancer.

The study’s authors do own up to limitations of the study. They did not track exercise for the subjects, so there is no way to compare sun exposure to leading a healthy lifestyle. Also it’s not known if the sun exposure’s positive effects are related to the benefits of Vitamin D production or some other effect of exposure.

In and interview with Medscape Medical News, Lindqvist stayed measured about the findings, explaining that women should not overexpose themselves to sun, but underexposure may be even more dangerous than people think.

"We know in our population, there are three big lifestyle factors [that endanger health]: smoking, being overweight, and inactivity," he said. "Now we know there is a fourth — avoiding sun exposure."

Health
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

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Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

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Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

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