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2015 in Review: Some of the Biggest Health Stories of the Year

(Mirror Daily, United States) – It’s almost time to change dates again, so people make all sorts of lists and tops regarding the past 12 months.

This year brought a fair share of fascinating medical news, and thanks to all sorts of discoveries and breakthroughs, we are now more informed about our health that we could ever dream to be.

Some things we already knew but were reinforced, some things we thought we knew and were debunked instead. Let’s look at some of the biggest health stories of the year, and what they taught us about our lifestyle choices, our bodies, and our minds.

We drink more than we should

According to a CDC report released in January 2015, six Americans die each day due to alcohol poisoning – drinking too much alcohol in too short a time. A study also found that working long hours drives people to consume alcohol in excess.

But it’s fine if we drink one or two glasses, right? Wrong – at least according to a February study claiming that the supposed health benefits of moderate drinking may be overblown, while another found a connection between alcohol and increased breast cancer risk for women.

Sitting is increasingly bad for us

Recent years stamped a new name for sitting as “the new smoking,” and 2015 added even more fuel to the fire. One study in August suggested that being sedentary might be twice as fatal as being obese, while another found exercising regularly cannot counteract all the adverse effects of sitting.

However, it isn’t all bad – you can reverse some of sitting’s harmful effects by standing for an extra two hours a day instead of sitting, a practice linked to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Sharks are less dangerous than smartphones

You’re worrying about the wrong hazard if you skipped the ocean last summer because of the uptick in shark attacks. Yes, 2015 brought an increase in Jaws-style incidents, but according to a Mashable report from September, more people died this year trying to take a selfie than from swimming in shark-infested waters.

Even when they’re not causing physical danger, smartphones have other risks, such as causing anxiety and cognitive impairment. It also alienates us from our family and friends when we ignore them in favor of our digital connections, a phenomenon dubbed as “phone snubbed,” or “phubbed.”

Looking back on 2015, we may remember the pink pill, breastfeeding, coffee, sugar, bacon, and contact sports being in the news, as were two infamous epidemics: Ebola and measles.
Image Source: Greatist

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