‘Puppy Dog Eyes’ Evolutionary Trick Dogs Use To Get What They Want, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new study reveals the science behind puppy dog eyes. The study, published Tuesday by the National Academy of Sciences, says “puppy dog eyes” are an evolutionary trick that dogs use to get what they want.

It’s been difficult for scientists to explain how dogs are able to emotionally communicate, and sometimes manipulate, their owners.

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“Most of the time he’s looking at me with his big eyes asking for food,” dog owner Irena Smith said.

Scientists have now learned it’s more than the prospect of a treat that leads to those puppy dog eyes — it’s evolution.

“That sad puppy dog expression must have come into play sometime after the first dogs were domesticated,” said Anne Burrows, the study’s author and lead anatomist at Duquesne University.

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Researchers in the U.S. and Britain compared the anatomy and behavior of dogs to wolves and found that over thousands of years dogs developed a distinct eyebrow movement that wolves don’t have.

“That eyebrow movement hijacks our emotions, triggers some kind of nurturing or caregiving response like what you see in human parents paying attention to their own infants,” Burrows said.

Experts say it makes their eyes appear larger, like a baby, creating what scientists call a “cute factor.”

Researchers say it’s a dog’s face that helps bond them to their owners, even more than a lovable tail wag.

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In a prior study, researchers found that puppy dogs’ eyes are so effective, that dogs with more expressive faces often get adopted faster from shelters.

Energy Drinks Cause Heart Problems, Changes In As Little As 3 Hours, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There’s more proof that popular energy drinks can cause heart problems. Energy drinks are popular, especially with teens and young adults.

They’ve been linked to a significant increase in emergency room visits. Now, a new study looked at two different brands of caffeinated energy drinks and both produced the same results.

It’s estimated about 30% of teens have energy drinks on a regular basis. The small study shows that even in a short period, the drinks can increase the risk of changes to heart function and blood pressure.

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“The result of what we found was it can abnormally impact the heart rhythm. The other finding that we saw is that energy drinks can raise your blood pressure by about four to five points in your systolic and diastolic blood pressure,” Dr. Sachin Shah, author of the study for the University of the Pacific, said.

The research had 34 healthy volunteers drink either 32 ounces of caffeinated energy drinks a day or a placebo. Then, researchers measured the heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure.

They saw effects in just three to four hours, suggesting some people should be cautious when consuming energy drinks.

“Particularly those that have a genetic heart condition that predisposes them to abnormal heart rhythms and those with hypertension or high blood pressure should definitely be cautious,” Shah said.

Most energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine, added sugars, B vitamins and legal stimulants, such as guarana.

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Researchers don’t yet know which ingredient in the energy drinks can lead to the potential problems. It could be a combination of ingredients, but more research is needed.

The American Beverage Association stands by the safety of energy drinks, indicating that many of their ingredients are also found in common foods and have been rigorously studied for safety. But doctors say heart patients should be careful.

Fast Walkers Live Average Of 20 Years Longer Than Slow Walkers, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It can be relaxing to take a leisurely stroll, but the next time you go for a walk, you might want to pick up the pace. Everyone marches to the beat of their own drum but that tempo seems to be divided in two.

We’ve all been there, you’re walking around with a group, half is lagging behind while the other half is racing forward. Fast and slow walkers have been at odds since the dawn of man, but now there may be a good reason to catch up.

“I’m a slow walker,” one woman said.

“I’m a fast walker. I’ve got places to go, things to do,” said another.

On a busy city street, the speed freaks and slowpoke are forced to confront the opposition.

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“I think we should create left and right lanes, just like we do everywhere else. You want to take the slow pace, you just go on the right, you need to let those fast walkers through, you just go on the left,” one woman said.

Why not slow down the pace and take in the scenery? Well, according to a new study out of the University of Leicester in England, brisk walkers have a long road ahead.

After researching a pool of almost 500,000 people, the study found that fast walkers lived an average of 20 years longer than their slow-paced counterparts.

“They do? They don’t get hit by cars?” one man said.

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“I suppose they do. The faster you walk, the fitter you are,” said another.

That’s precisely it. Regardless of body mass, researchers attest that fast walkers proved more physically fit, which served as a better indicator of mortality rates than weight.

Any walking is better than no walking, so fast or slow, a good stroll is a step in the right direction.

Experts say it boils down to fast walking is an indication of better physical fitness, regardless of weight or even height for that matter.

Eating A Lot Of Ultra-Processed Foods Can Lead To Premature Death, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With Memorial Day weekend coming, there is a new warning about junk food. New research says eating a lot of ultra-processed foods can lead to premature death.

The research looked at things like snack foods and pre-packaged meals — items that usually have a long list of ingredients. They’re unhealthy and fattening and the study says they can take years off your life if you eat too much.

New research on ultra-processed foods finds a 14% increased risk of death for people who consumed a lot of items that contain extra additives.

“Consumption of ultra-processed foods, on a regular basis, significantly increased all-cause mortality,” said Lindsay Malone, a registered dietitian with the Cleveland Clinic. “This is typically going to refer to things like heart disease, or complications from obesity or diabetes.”

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The study looked at over 44,000 men and women over eight years. In the research, volunteers who consumed ultra-processed foods after two weeks ate about 500 more calories a day and gained two pounds.

However, when the same participants switched to an unprocessed diet with the same amount of calories, they lost an average of two pounds over the same period.

Ultra-processed food tends to have a lot ingredients and chemicals to extend its shelf life and they’re usually loaded with white flour, salt, sugar and fat.

Drinking Too Much Fruit Juice Dramatically Increases Risk Of Premature Death, Study Finds

Experts say it’s best to eat foods like frozen meals or packaged snack crackers only in situations when there really is no other option.

“If you’re looking for convenience, try and stick to three ingredients or less, and things that you would recognize or be able to find in your own kitchen,” Malone said.

There are some convenient items like frozen fruits and vegetables that are quick and easy healthy options.

Experts say unhealthy items are usually found on the interior aisles of the grocery store and it’s best to stick to the perimeter where the produce and fresh food items are generally located.

Drinking Too Much Fruit Juice Dramatically Increases Risk Of Premature Death, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A new study says drinking too much fruit juice can dramatically increase the risk of premature death. Sugary soda is unhealthy and fattening, but some people mistakenly think 100% fruit juice is a healthy option because it’s natural. Think again.

Even though the sugar in fruit juice occurs naturally, it’s just as bad for you as sweetened drinks, according to a study that says drinking too much fruit juice can increase the risk of an early death by as much as 42%.

“Excessive amounts of any sugar-sweetened drink, over time, is going to likely lead to weight gain and possibly obesity, eventually,” Kate Patton said. “It’s the obesity that’s really caused an increased death rate.”

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Researchers studied death records and dietary questionnaires from 13,000 people over the age of 45 years old for about six years.

They discovered people who get 10% or more of their daily calories from any sugary beverage increased their risk of premature death by 14%.

The increase in premature death from coronary heart disease was 44%.

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In total, the study showed each additional serving of fruit juice specifically was associated with a 24% higher risk of death.

“Portion size is important because it’s really the greater recommended portion of every additional serving that caused the increased risk,” Patton said. “I would encourage my patients to drink no more than four to eight ounces of juice per day.”

Researchers say sugary beverages increase insulin resistance and cause weight gain around the waist, which can be especially dangerous.

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For children who drink fruit juice, in addition to cutting down on the amount doctors recommend diluting it with water.

An even better option would be to switch to real fruit. An orange or apple is loaded with fiber and all kinds of other nutrients.

Women Who Eat Low-Fat Diet Have Significantly Lower Risk Of Death From Breast Cancer, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Many people are not aware that obesity is a risk factor for cancer. New research shows changes in diet can lower a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer and dying from the disease.

Cynthia Arrington is meeting with her dietitian, Kelly Hogan. The 53-year-old breast cancer survivor receives nutritional and wellness counseling.

“I am learning that there are many ways to eat healthier and love what you are eating,” Arrington said.

A new study shows women who follow a balanced, low-fat diet with increased fruits, vegetables and grains have a 21% lower risk of death from breast cancer.

“There are certain things about breast cancer, biologically, that are out of our control about breast cancer recurring or developing in the first place. But the very interesting thing about this study is that this shows us there are things we can control, things like diet, maintaining a healthy body weight,” Dr. Elisa Port, director of the Dublin Breast Center at Mount Sinai, said.

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The study, being presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, looks at nearly 49,000 post menopausal women. One group adopted a low-fat diet for eight years, while the other group continued their normal diet. The women who ate low-fat were diagnosed with fewer breast cancers.

Hogan tells patients to eat less red meat and processed foods and sprinkle in some healthy plant-based fats.

“Nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil,” Hogan said.

Hogan says while she was already eating very healthy before her diagnosis, she’s never felt better.

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“When I got diagnosed, it broke my heart because I thought I did all the right things,” Arrington said. “I am just living more than ever now. And I am excited about life and I love life.”

She also gets plenty of exercise to stay healthy.

Researchers also found women who maintained a balanced low-fat diet had an average 3% weight loss, but that didn’t affect their risk of breast cancer death.

Wawa Has Cleanest Gas Station Restrooms In Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the summer season right around the corner, many people will be heading out on road trips and a new report by Gasbuddy is letting drivers know where to find the cleanest gas station restrooms.  According to the study, Wawa takes the title for cleanest restrooms in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

Wawa also had the top spot in Florida, Maryland and Virginia.

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GasBuddy compiled its results from reviews of more than 150,000 gas stations nationwide since 2016.

According to the study, cleanliness of gas station restrooms has gone up by 6% since 2017.

“The reputation of gas station restrooms has cleaned up significantly in the past three years, with brands making concentrated efforts to make their facilities sparkle,” says Frank Beard, convenience store and retail trends analyst at GasBuddy.

You can view where each state ranks here.

Teens Don’t Know E-cigarettes Are Addictive, Can Damage Their Lungs, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Teenagers are in the dark about the dangers of vaping e-cigarettes, according to new research. More than 1.3 million high school students started vaping nicotine in the past year and it has become an epidemic, as a study shows teenagers don’t know e-cigarettes are addictive and can damage their lungs.

Kaitlin Meyers and Daven Terner have both seen firsthand how popular vaping is in high school.

“I know a lot of people that vape and it’s constant, especially in the beginning of the school year, everybody had it in the hallway,” said Daven, a freshman.

The use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed, especially among adolescents and teenagers, as many are under the false assumption that it’s harmless.

“If they knew, then nobody would be doing this as much,” said Daven.

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A new study says many teenagers aren’t aware how much nicotine they’re getting when they vape.

Researchers surveyed people under 21 about their tobacco, e-cigarette and marijuana habits. They found 40% who used in the past week didn’t realize their products contained nicotine but tests showed they had significant levels of the chemical in their system.

“These kids are using very high content products and they are potentially going to get addicted and they don’t know what is going on,” said Dr. Rachel Boykan, of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

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Schools nationwide and in the Philadelphia region now have programs to warn kids about the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.

“They’ve heard enough from adults and stuff, I feel like it would be more effective to hear it from us,” said Daven.

“We want to go there to give them the information of the dangerous chemicals in it and the risk of addiction,” said Kaitlin, a junior.

They hope kids get the message so they never get hooked.

Researchers also say the chemicals from vaping can cause inflammation and a variety of dental problems, including bad breath.

Bad Diets Linked To Nearly 11 Million Deaths Globally, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New research is showing just how deadly having a bad diet can be. The study shows bad diets are shortening lives worldwide, killing more people globally than either smoking or high blood pressure. Too much bad food — that’s processed, fried and salty — is linked to nearly 11 million deaths globally in 2017, which is 22 percent of deaths, according to the new study that included nearly 200 countries.

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“We know that sugar is bad and people eat 10 times as much sugar as is recommended. We know that nuts are good and prevent disease, and people eat only 12% of the recommended amount of nuts,” said Dr. Mark Hyman, of the Cleveland Clinic.

The study found higher death rates linked to diets low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds, and high in trans fats, sugary drinks, and red and processed meats.

Most of the diet-related deaths were attributed to heart disease, followed by cancer and type 2 diabetes.

Researchers found more deaths were associated with not eating enough healthy foods.

“It’s important to focus on, not only what to remove — too much sugar, processed foods, junk, fast foods, but focus on what to add. Lots of fruits and vegetables; that should be 80% of your diet,” said Dr. Hyman.

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Not eating enough whole grains was the leading dietary risk factor in several countries, including the United States.

Out of the 195 countries studied, Israel had the lowest rate of diet-related deaths, and Uzbekistan had the most. The U.S. ranked 43rd.

Homes Closer To Breweries Have Higher Property Value Than Those Not Within Walking Distance, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — When you buy a house, you’re used to looking at the features inside, the neighborhood and nearby schools. But a new study uncovered something else you should look for.

The study found that Americans are less likely to pay more for a home if it’s near a bar or liquor store, but a brewery serving up craft beer, well now we’re talking.

Researchers from the University of Toledo found that those living close to a craft brewery enjoyed higher property values than those who did not live within walking distance of a brew pub.

In the study, Charlotte, North Carolina served as the basis for data collection, so Eyewitness News wanted to find out if the same holds true in Philadelphia.

“I picked my place based on — it’s right by Yard’s, Goose Island and Evil Genius, within walking distance,” one Philadelphia resident said.

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With help from real estate website Redfin, we crunched some numbers, comparing the median list price of homes in a specific neighborhood with the media list price of 17 homes that are closes to their neighborhood brewery.

We started, of course, in Brewerytown. The median list price of a home there is $270,000. The median list price of the homes closest to Crime and Punishment Brewing Company? $350,000.

The median list price of a home in Fishtown is $359,000. But for the homes closest to Evil Genius Beer Company? $515,000.

In Old City, the median list price is $448,000. And again, homes closes to 2nd Story Brewing had a median list price of $749,000.

“Definitely around here, we love the vibe of like getting back to American roots, Sam Adams,” one resident said.

Experts in the study concluded that buyers see a brewery as an amenity, like they would a garage or park.

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“If you love beer, you will lover everything about being in a brewery,” another resident said.

Researchers added that breweries did not help to increase commercial property values.

Of course, in a city this size, there are many factors at play, including other alluring neighborhood businesses and real estate opportunities drawing people in. Some people Eyewitness News spoke with said they are struggling because of development and rising home prices.

Philadelphia Ranks High Among America’s Most Unhappy Cities, Study Finds

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia isn’t feeling the love when it comes to the happiest cities in the country. WalletHub.com ranked the happiest cities in the country and Philly was nowhere near the top.

In fact, Philly was named the 18th unhappiest city, by the website. Philadelphia ranked 165th of 182 cities studied.

Source: WalletHub

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The study looked at three categories: emotional and physical well-being, income and employment, and community and environment. Philly finished 168th, 165th and 115 in the three categories, respectively.

Plano, Texas was found to be the happiest city in the country. Detroit was ranked the least happy.

Pennsylvania, New Jersey Rank Among The Most Vain, Sinful States In The Nation, Study Finds

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — No question, Fat Tuesday is all about indulgence and excess. But as we all know, sinful behavior isn’t limited to just one day.

A list of the most sinful states is out and two in our region land in the top five.

Mardi Gras, it’s a French term and you know the translation: Fat Tuesday — a night when the traditional seven deadly sins are historically explored before the fasting season of Lent begins.

The big celebration isn’t confined to Bourbon Street. The crowds, the beads, the masks were out in full force on South Street in Philadelphia.

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Mardi Gras whimsy is closely tied to those seven deadly sins: anger, jealousy, excess, greed, lust, vanity and laziness.

“I’m kind of angry sometimes,” one woman said.

“I’m lazy,” said another.

Now that we know some of the popular vices, let’s compare it with some data.

A new study by Wallet Hub ranked U.S. states by their sinful behavior.

For example, quantifying sins like anger with statistics on violent crimes and greed using gambling rates per capita.

Well, it turns out Nevada came in at No. 1 overall.

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Pennsylvania did rank fifth in the nation for vanity, which comes from salons per capita and access to plastic surgery. New Jersey ranked the second-most vain.

And Delaware came in as the fifth-most jealous state and fourth laziest.

Normally, those are all attributes to be ashamed of, but on this night only, they’re perhaps just another reason to celebrate responsibly.

Pizza Healthier Breakfast Than Cereal, Study Finds

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pizza lovers, rejoice! A new study claims pizza is a healthier breakfast than cereal.

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A New York-based nutritionist says a slice of pizza contains more protein and less sugar than most cereals.

A typical bowl of cereal has about 18 grams of sugar and zero healthy fats.

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Now, you don’t need to feel so guilty about that morning slice!