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Looking to Shop Healthy? Eat an Apple Before You Go

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There are plenty of rules for the ideal grocery shopping trip—you know, the kind where you buy more than just Pop-Tarts and Fritos. Don’t shop hungry. Make a list. And now? Eat an apple. 

A new study in the journal Psychology and Marketing by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab finds that eating an apple sample before grocery shopping encourages people to buy more fruits and vegetables. In one test, the researchers gave 120 shoppers a piece of apple, a cookie, or no sample at all when they entered a grocery store. The shoppers who ate an apple bought 25 percent more fruits and vegetables than the no-sample group, and 28 percent more than the cookie eaters. 

The results were then replicated virtually in a lab. First, 56 people were given a cookie or an apple sample, then told to imagine a grocery trip. When shown 20 different product pairs of foods they might purchase, the participants who ate the apple tended to choose lower-calorie products. 

The connection between healthy eating and healthy purchasing behavior is all about perception. In a third test, volunteers were either given chocolate milk labeled “healthy” and “wholesome” or the same chocolate milk labeled “rich” and “indulgent.” Those who received the “healthy” milk chose more healthy foods in a virtual grocery trip, compared to those who thought they were indulging. 

So if you want to resist those endless aisles of Cap’n Crunch and chocolate-covered everything, arm yourself with healthy snacks ahead of time. Or just slap a label on your chocolate milk that reads "Super Healthy Food Product."

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College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy
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One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

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North America: East or West Coast?
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