Three Things We Learned About Our Bodies This Month: March 2017

Science just gave us a reason to order mocha lattes instead of regular old coffee.


Mocha Lattes Will Wake You Up Better Than Regular Coffee

Cocoa and coffee truly are a match made in heaven, according to Clarkson University researcher Ali Boolani, who recently performed a study on the matter. Lucky test subjects were asked to execute various tasks after drinking brewed cocoa; cocoa with caffeine; caffeine without cocoa; and a placebo with neither caffeine nor cocoa.

The results showed the chocolate and coffee combination was the clear winner: “Cocoa increases cerebral blood flow, which increases cognition and attention,” Boolani explains. “Caffeine alone can increase anxiety. This particular project found that cocoa lessens caffeine’s anxiety-producing effects—a good reason to drink mocha lattes!” We humbly thank Boolani for giving us an excuse to drink chocolate for breakfast.

Having Classy Friends Keeps You Slim (But Only If You’re a Woman)

They say you are what you eat, but a recent study from Vanderbilt University proves that you’re also who you know. As researcher Lijun Song explains, people of higher status are “more concerned about their own body image, [so] they’re more likely to practice a weight-related lifestyle.” When you’re surrounded by thin folk, you’re also likely to become more conscious of your own body weight, and thus, you diet and exercise more often to stay slim.

The data agrees: Those with a more educated friend group are more likely to describe themselves as athletic, which can encourage them to maintain to a lower body weight. Song found, however, that this only applies to women, since they pay more of a “social price” for excess weight than men do. That said, having friends in the right places, whether you’re a guy or a girl, always has its perks.

Americans Are Having Less Sex Than Ever

The topic of sex is less taboo than it has ever been, but that doesn’t mean people are having more of it. In fact, quite the opposite: According to a 25-year-long study from San Diego State University, American adults had sex about nine times less per year in the early 2010s than they did in the late 1990s. That’s mainly attributed to the fact that fewer people are choosing to get married, and those people have less sex on average.

But for some reason, even partnered couples are having less sexand with unfortunate outcomes: “In a previous paper, we found that the happiness of adults over age 30 declined between 2000 and 2014. With less sex and less happiness, it’s no wonder that American adults seem deeply dissatisfied these days,” says the study’s lead author, Jean M. Twenge. In other words, get out there and have some more sex.