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Life in Brief — week of Sept. 15

Blueberries among fruits
that lower diabetes risk

Eating fruits is good for you, but new research suggests that some fruits may be better than others, and that fruit juice is not a good substitute.

Recent studies have found that eating a greater variety, but not a greater quantity, of fruit significantly reduces the risk for Type 2 diabetes. Researchers then wondered whether some fruits might have a stronger effect.

Using data from three large health studies, they tracked diet and disease prospectively over a 12-year period in more than 185,000 people, of whom 12,198 developed Type 2 diabetes. The analysis appears online in BMJ (British Medical Journal).

After controlling for many health and behavioral factors, researchers found that some fruits — strawberries, oranges, peaches, plums and apricots — had no significant effect on the risk for Type 2 diabetes. But eating grapes, apples and grapefruit all significantly reduced the risk.

The big winner: blueberries. Eating one to three servings a month decreased the risk by about 11 percent, and having five servings a week reduced it by 26 percent.

Substituting fruit juice for whole fruits significantly increased the risk for disease.

— Nicholas Bakalar

New York Times

Hints from Heloise:

Card maker stocks up
at school supply sales

B. Holden of Kent writes: I have recently begun the craft of card making, which I love. I live on a fixed income and found that this craft can be very expensive. I started to look for less-expensive ways to get the supplies I need.

My hint is to buy supplies at the time of year when most stores are having sales on school supplies. I have been able to get markers, colored pencils, erasers, glue sticks, etc., for less than a dollar. Also, these supplies can be stored for future use.

— King Features

Friends with bad credit
can haunt Facebook user

If your Facebook friend doesn’t “like” paying his or her bills on time, you might want to seek another friendship before applying for a loan.

CNNMoney reports several tech startups have found ways to determine the creditworthiness of loan seekers by looking at how much they interact with friends who have bad credit.

In essence, if you are friends with people who have bad credit and inter­act with them often, you could be deemed a high credit risk and denied a loan. Conversely, if you are friends with someone whose credit is solid, that could help you land a loan.

Lenddo co-founder and CEO Jeff Stewart told CNNMoney his tech company is able to use “massive computing power” to determine whether you are friends with someone who’s behind on payments to Lenddo.

Kreditech, a data scoring company, says it uses massive amounts of data and complex algorithms to predict how creditworthy you are based on up to 8000 data points, such as social media activity, e-commerce purchases, and even your GPS locations.

“Kreditech can determine your location and considers creditworthiness based upon whether your computer is located where you said you live or work,” the report said.

— Christopher Seward

Atlanta Journal-Constitution


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