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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images(LINCOLN, Neb.) -- Does grunting serve a purpose on the tennis court other than to psych out one’s opponent?

Maria Sharapova is one of the loudest grunters in the game, making guttural sounds described as loud as a chain saw. Granted, she is one of the hardest hitters in tennis, but Sharapova also seems to be helping her serve by grunting, a University of Nebraska study speculates.

In fact, when players on the University of Nebraska college tennis team grunted, scientists discovered the ball speed picked up by 3.8 percent. They explained the upper body becomes more stable during grunts, which enables a player to transfer more power to the arm.

The extra velocity is particularly helpful because it gives opponents less time to set up their return shots.

The researchers also noted that improvement was almost instantaneous when grunting was added to the college players' game, suggesting that people with lesser tennis skills might also benefit from a loud grunt.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(ITHACA, N.Y.) -- All those lectures about finishing your dinner because there are kids starving somewhere else evidently sunk in as most adults apparently finish what's on their plates.

And it’s not just Americans who are polishing off their plates of food. People in other countries also belong to what Cornell University researchers are branding the Clean Plate Club.

Study co-authors Brian Wansink and Katherine Abowd Johnson says that in their survey of diners from the U.S., Canada, France, Taiwan, Korea, Finland, and the Netherlands, the average adult will consume about 92 percent of what’s on their plate.

Johnson explains, “Part of why we finish most of what we serve is because we are aware enough to know how much we'll want in the first place.”

However, before we start patting ourselves on the backs for not wasting food, the same doesn’t hold true for those under 18.

In an accompanying study, Wansink and Johnson found out that younger eaters only managed to finish 59 percent of what’s on their plate, mostly because they’re unfamiliar with some of the food.

If there’s any consolation to parents, according to the researchers, it’s that it seems to be a universal thing among younger children and adolescents.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Digital Vision/Thinkstock

(NORMAL, Ill.) -- Many adults who can recall their first time having sex probably would just as soon forget it.

However, things have changed over time, and it seems that the younger generations have fonder memories about losing their virginity than the older crowd.

Illinois State University researchers conducted a survey of 5,000 people over a 23-year period about their first time, which stretched back to 1980.

Based on their results, the experience of losing one’s virginity improved over the years for both sexes.  That is, men experience less performance anxiety now while women feel less guilt about having sex for the first time.

As for what’s different, the researchers speculated that losing one’s virginity has become less of a rite of passage for males, while first-timers seem more likely to be in a relationship longer before they “do it,” thus increasing the intimacy that women value more than men.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More teens are looking to drugs to improve athletic performance and their appearance, according to a new national survey from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids released Tuesday.

The organization reported a significant increase in the lifetime use of synthetic growth hormones, or hGH, among teens.

Eleven percent of respondents in ninth through twelvth grades said they used hGH without a prescription, more than double the amount from 2012.

Researchers say the findings reinforce the need for tighter regulation and more accurate labeling of "fitness-enhancing" over-the-counter products.

While synthetic human growth hormones have been available since 1985, Congress gave the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to approve its medical uses, and also banned any off-label uses.

hGH is approved for adult short bowel syndrome and long-term treatment of short stature in children and adolescents, among other conditions. Still, it is illegally used for muscle building and other athletic performance enhancements.

The study also found that African-American and Hispanic teens are more likely to report use of synthetic hGH, with 15 percent of African-Americans saying they used it at least once in their lifetime and 13 percent of Hispanic teens reporting, compared to 9 percent of Caucasians.

In addition to hormones, the report discovered other trends in teen use, including marijuana (44 percent) and prescription medication (23 percent).


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Divorce can be a difficult process. It’s expensive, emotional and can result in years in court. But now, a new website trying to make the transition just a little bit easier.

Wevorce, a San Francisco-based company, uses computer software to connect couples looking to uncouple with lawyers located across the West Coast. While they can’t save your marriage, they can save you time and money.

“The technology allows us, as we continue to build, to make it more and more affordable for families,” Michelle Crosby, the founder and CEO of Wevorce, told ABC News. “We let families go at their own pace.”

While a divorce involving lawyers can cost upwards of $15,000 to $30,000 or more, Wevorce says their average price is about $5,000, and start as low as $1,800.

And it’s not just money. Wevorce also offers counseling and mediation.

“Because of the stressors of divorce, we will always have people available,” said Crosby.

Married for 15 years, Mark Kormylo and Nora Gibson, of Boise, Idaho, say they’d seen enough of their friends go through nasty divorces.

“We had both heard horror stories of screaming across atorney’s tables and this seemed like a much more cordial way to end our marriage,” Kormylo explained.

Therefore, two years ago, they decided to use Wevorce to try to keep the peace, not just for them, but also for their 12-year-old son.

“These guys wanted us to get along in a way that was really healing to everybody in the family, so that we could move on to our next chapter,” said Gibson.

Still, some experts say Wevorce is not for everyone.

“If we have a couple who fight like cats and dogs, then I would strong caution against going the Wevorce route,” Carrozza explained. “They will abandon that process, they’ll each hire their own attorney and it could end up costing them twice as much.”

But for Kormylo and Gibson, they say they have no remorse for their Wevorce.

“I think it would have been drastically different had we gone the traditional route,” said Kormylo. “I’m thankful that we didn’t.” 


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio





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