Today’s Headlines: Smoking and Teeth Loss, Olive Oil and Breast Cancer, and Gender-Specific Foods

If you smoke, your chance of losing your teeth is higher. A new study has shown that smokers are two to three times more likely to have major dental issues than non-smokers. “The gums of a smoker may appear healthier than they actually are because smoking can mask gum bleeding, a key symptom of periodontitis. According to researchers, quitting smoking can reduce the risk of tooth loss. An ex-smoker will eventually have the same risk for tooth loss as someone who never smoked, but it could take more than 10 years…” The study also noted that younger people and heavy smokers were the two groups with the highest risk for tooth loss. (Fox)

Adding extra virgin olive oil to your diet may decrease your risk for breast cancer. The Mediterranean diet has been considered one of the healthiest diets for the body. A new study found that it’s not only the diet but also the olive oil used that may be helpful for a whole range of health issues including breast cancer.  “What’s in extra-virgin olive oil that’s so special? Extra-virgin means the olive oil is squeezed mechanically, without the use of heat or chemicals that can alter its chemical properties.” The decrease of chemicals and other additives in combination with extra virgin olive oils healthy fats and properties make it the perfect food to combat cancer. The women in the study that were put on a Mediterranean diet with an emphasis on extra virgin olive oil, “showed a 62 percent relatively lower risk of malignant breast cancer than those allocated to the control diet.’” (NBC)

The taste of food may have everything to do with the food’s packaging and your gender. It’s no secret that food has underlying gender stereotypes and social rules that may often lead men to order a cheeseburger at dinner and women to order a salad. A new study went a step further, finding that how food tastes may all depend on the gender-targeted packaging in addition to the gender of the person that is eating the food. “The study then took an Entenmann’s mini blueberry muffin packaged in either a feminine way, with the word “healthy” and an image of a ballerina; a masculine way, with the word “mega” and men playing football…There was also a set of packages designed to confuse the muffin consumers: “healthy” packages with football players and “mega” packages with a ballerina.” The packages that were all-male or all-female driven were fine. The interesting part came with the mixed packaging where male and female advertising was meshed together. Those muffins did not taste a good to participants as the previous packages despite the fact that they were all the same muffins, just different packaging. This reaction indicated that the food we buy and consume is likely related to the “gender cues” society gives us. (Time)