Cool Down: The Week in Health

The week's most interesting—and quirky—health-and-fitness headlines

By: Emily Leaman

WebMD has a nifty new Food & Fitness Planner that might be handy when it comes to keeping your New Year's resolutions. You simply enter a few stats such as your height, weight, age, activity level, and goal weight, and the program tells you how many calories you should eat a day, how many you should aim to burn, and how much water you should drink. Then, you can log your food and exercise every day to track your progress. The best part? It's totally free.

The Huffington Post has advice for spotting hidden sugars in your food: Scan the ingredient list and look for words like "dextrose," "lactose," "malt syrup," and "crystalline fructose"—all of these are added sweeteners that don't show up in the nutrition facts but which can add lots of empty calories to your meal.

Fish eaters, be warned: The Atlantic reports that a California-based campaign called Got Mercury? has found high levels of mercury in several kinds of fish—levels that exceed federal limits. The worst offender? Swordfish.

There's the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame . . . but the Science Hall of Fame? Last week, Science published exactly that—a listing of the most famous scientists of the past two centuries. This isn't a subjective selection. The guys who came up with it developed an "objective and literal measure of fame: the appearance of people's names in books over the centuries." The list, which you can find here, is based on data pulled from Google Books' 15 million volumes. You can also play with the raw data yourself here to see how often certain words or names that appear in those books. How's that for a Friday time-waster?

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