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Ethnic identity boosts happiness in teens

Ethnic pride can help teenagers maintain happiness when faced with stress, according to a new study by a Wake Forest University psychologist published in the journal Child Development. Adolescents with positive feelings toward their ethnic group say they are happier on a daily basis than those who have a more negative attitude about their ethnic identity, says Lisa Kiang, assistant professor of psychology at Wake Forest and lead author of the study. The study, involving 415 ninth-graders from Chinese and Mexican backgrounds, shows the protective effects of ethnic identity on daily psychological well-being. Kiang says the positive effects of ethnic pride found in this study suggest that parents and society in general should encourage strong ethnic identity in families.

Bread raises cancer risk

Dangerous diet

People who eat lots of bread are twice as likely to suffer from kidney cancer compared to people who eat little bread, say researchers from the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy. After looking at the dietary habits of kidney cancer patients, the researchers suggest that the blood sugar raising effects of bread could be playing a factor in increasing the kidney cancer risk. Insulin-like growth factor levels, which play a role in cancer risk, may be affected if a person eats lots of bread, says a study published in the International Journal of Cancer. Switching from a high-bread diet to a high vegetable diet could lower a person’s risk, the researchers add.

Fish meals beneficial

Despite the risks of possible contaminants, the health benefits of consuming fish exceed the potential risks, according to a review of previous studies. Researchers in the US found that modest consumption of fish (that is, one to two servings per week), especially species higher in -3 fatty acids (EPA, DHA), reduces risk of coronary death by 36 per cent and the rate of death by 17 per cent, and may favourably affect other clinical outcomes. “Avoidance of modest fish consumption due to confusion regarding risks and benefits could result in thousands of excess coronary heart disease deaths annually,” says the review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Go by gut while shopping

While making purchases based on gut reaction instead of objective criteria might seem foolish, results from a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research suggest that emotional choices often lead to greater satisfaction — not just for the immediate afterglow of a few hours, but even after we have had time to think over our decision.

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