The Checkup: Facebook Is Making You Fat

According to new research, time on the social networking site boosts your self-esteem (yay!) but also makes you more likely to indulge (boo).

• Okay, I’ll start with the good news: spending time on Facebook makes you feel better about yourself. Now for the bad: because Facebook gives you a temporary self-esteem boost, you’re more likely to make poor decisions and indulge in a treat after spending time on the site. Meaning? Facebook might actually be making you fat. A team at Columbia University conducted the research, asking 84 subjects to either read their Facebook news feeds or for five minutes; the former group showed an increase in self-esteem while the latter did not. Then, subjects were given a choice: did they want a chocolate chip cookie or a granola bar? Only 30 percent of the CNN readers reached for the cookie, while 80 percent of the Facebookers did. “People use momentary increases in self-esteem as a license to indulge,” study author Keith Wilcox told Read more about the research here—including why Facebook can take a toll on your finances, too. (We can’t win today!)

• Hooray, Philly! We’ve been ranked 9th out of 25 cities on a list of the best cities for biking compiled by WalkScore. More here.

• Aw, man. If you’re suffering from a pre-holiday cough, don’t go heading off to the doctor: most coughs don’t respond to antibiotics, according to a new study.

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