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Fast Facts

Health Topics - Brain, kidney and blood sugar


  • Drinking two cups of hot chocolate a day may help keep your brain healthy and thinking sharp, according to a Harvard study. When subjects drank cocoa scientists could see increased blood flow to the brain.
  • After Johns Hopkins University researchers found that 60% of Americans will develop kidney disease in their lifetime, the Kidney Foundation recommended a yearly urine test.
  • A 15 minute walk after meals can help diabetes risks by lowering blood sugar levels for hours says a study in Diabetes Care.



Leisure - Airline tickets


  • Book your airline flights on the weekend. That’s what an analysis of years of ticket sales found. The research revealed that fares on Saturday and Sunday were 5% lower on average.
  • The reason? Business travelers, who tend to book on weekdays, often fly on the company dime. Airlines attract more price sensitive leisure travelers with lower fares on the weekends.




 Finance - Investing, Socialfunds and pension advances


  • If you want to invest in a company that’s doing what you consider the right thing on causes ranging from global warming to animal testing, look for socially responsible mutual funds. Each fund has its own rules about the types of companies it won’t own.
  • You can check out SocialFunds.com, where you can find mutual funds vetted by your criteria, sign up for news alerts and get a prospectus.
  • Beware: Pension Advances. A growing numbers of ventures offer lump sum payments to retirees who need extra money and agree to sign over all or part of their pension checks. But beware: “Pension advances are nothing more than payday loans in sheep’s clothing,” says Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services.
  • When the New York Times reviewed more than 2 dozen contracts for the advances, it found effective interest rates of 27 to 106 percent – information that’s not disclosed in advertising or even in the fine print of the contracts themselves.
  • Typically, firms that market pension advances argue that their products are not loans, freeing them from the need to comply with state usury laws and licensing regulations as well as the federal Truth in Lending Act.



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