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Facebook Envy Leads Moms to ‘Financial Insecurity’

Dan Kitwood/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Showing off on social media isn't just for the rich kids of Instagram. New research shows the majority of moms feel pressure to appear well off on social media.

For every day people -- moms included -- a daily visit to Facebook is often an assault of cyber friends' new cars, expensive strollers and pricey family vacations.

"Keeping up with the Joneses is actually keeping up with the e-Jonses, thanks to Instagram and thanks to Facebook," said Laura Gelman, lifestyle contributor for BabyCenter.com.

It all leads to what experts call financial insecurity. BabyCenter's Cost of Raising a Child Report found 60 percent of moms feel pressure to appear well off on social media as well as envy or embarrassment about their own financial situation.

Nicole Perez, mom of a 6-year-old tot, said the constant influx of material possessions on social media "makes you feel as if you are a failure as a mother. It's heartbreaking when your child says 'mom, when you get enough money can I get that toy?'"

Perez said that family trips to Disney are all over her Facebook news feed, something that's just not possible in her current financial situation.

She's not alone. Colleen, a mom of two who preferred to use her first name only, admitted to "a habit of checking out the material 'clues' in the backgrounds of people's Facebook photos: kitchen cabinets or expensive furniture. I suppose it sort of creates a 'keeping up with the Joneses' feeling, and I'm sure I'm projecting all sorts of comparisons that might not even be there."

Gelman said beyond the emotional stress these feeling can cause, there are very real financial concerns.

"There's a lot of maxing out of credit cards and buying things you can't afford. Which is really unfortunate just so you can go online and say 'look what I've done for my kids,'" she said.

Robin Danks is a recently divorced mom of two who tries to see beyond what she sees on social media.

"You take every picture like that on Facebook and I think you uncrop it. And what do you see outside of that? Every one of us is going to have something outside of that, whether it be the child that takes an hour and a half to do 20 minutes of homework or the sick parent in the next room or the empty alcohol bottle. There's something in everyone's life," Danks said.

While quitting social media is always an option, it's not an option for everyone.

"No way could I quit," said Perez. "I'm too nosy. Also there are good things about it -- seeing happy families enjoying themselves, that's a beautiful thing. It's not their fault it makes me feel bad."

Danks also agreed getting off social media wasn't something she wanted to do.

For anyone who has been in the dumps after being on social media, she said, "I would suggest people really think about their life. There's at least one good thing in your life that you can't buy with money and instead focus on how important that is."

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Thanks to Hipsters, “Beard Net” Sales on the Rise

Stone/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Hipsters haven't exactly been known for their hygiene, but that seems to be changing.

The Daily Mail is reporting that sales of “beard nets” have skyrocketed in the U.K. and abroad thanks to scruffy hipster dudes working in the food industry. It seems their penchant for bushy beards poses a problem while preparing and packaging food. One company in particular is addressing it.

Lion Haircare & Disposables said they have invested in more staff and equipment to keep up with demand of the beard guards. The Nottingham-based company supplies the nets globally and they’ve even introduced a new line of them with built-in antibacterial agents. They now sell over three million “beard nets” annually.

“The rise in demand seems to be coming from a combination of factors,” said Adrian Wright, chief operating officer at the firm. “Trends towards more facial hair, whether that is full beard or the stubble look and increasing quality assurance demands during food preparation. The two aspects go hand in hand.”

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Report: Going Gluten-Free Is Not for Everybody

Moment/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- So you're into a gluten-free diet. So what?

Consumer Reports says that many Americans have got the wrong idea if they believe gluten-free foods are always the best choices.

The magazine doesn't dispute the fact that people with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, can develop more complications if they consume foods containing white flour, whole wheat flour or semolina, for instance.

However, Laura Moore, a dietitian at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, told Consumer Reports, "If you go completely gluten-free without the guidance of a nutritionist, you can develop deficiencies pretty quickly."

Among the drawbacks about going gluten-free without knowing all the facts is that a diet may cost more plus leave people susceptible to weight gain as well as boost exposure to arsenic.

Ultimately, Consumer Reports says it's important to read the labels of gluten-free products because some may contain more sugar, sodium and calories than other foods.

The right diet, says the magazine, is one that includes whole grains and whole foods like fruit, vegetables, lean meat and poultry, fish, dairy, legumes and nuts.

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It’s Good to See Eye-to-Eye with Your Restaurant Chef

Cultura/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Apparently, one way to improve your restaurant experience is by making eye contact with the chef before placing your order.

A small Harvard research project reveals that cooks who can observe their guests dished out markedly better meals than when customers were out of their sight.

The findings were culled after Harvard Business School doctoral student Tami Kim and Chia-Jung Tsay, an assistant professor at University College London, set up four successive experiments in a working cafeteria over a two-week period.

The experiments included diners and cooks who couldn't view one another; diners able to see the cooks; cooks able to see the diners; and finally, diners and cooks making eye contact. Following each meal, diners rated their experience.

Kim and Tsay found that although customer satisfaction increased by ten percent when the cook could see the guests in the dining area, satisfaction went up 17.3 percent and service was 13.2 percent faster when they were able to see one another.

They attributed the improved experience to chefs feeling more motivated and inspired by seeing patrons. Still, not all restaurants should begin breaking down kitchen walls just yet since the researchers acknowledged that much more comprehensive study is necessary.

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Nearly Everyone Sides with Those Forced to Work Thanksgiving

OJO Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Thanksgiving Day shopping is just three days away.

With more retailers than ever throwing open their doors on a day which once meant a holiday for everyone, PBS.org has conducted a poll to ask whether retailers should remain open on Thursday.

Apparently, Americans feel a lot of compassion for those who have to work Thanksgiving Day because about 98 percent of the 12,300 respondents have thus far agreed, "No, employees should be able to spend Thanksgiving at home."

"Yes, it's nice to have another option for Black Friday sales" received about 1.5 percent of the vote with the remaining few said they were "Unsure."

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Talk Therapy Could Lower Suicide Rate

Credit: Tetra Images/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Researchers say simple talk therapy could help to noticeably lower patients' risk of suicide.

According to a study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry, researchers in Denmark analyzed data from over 60,000 patients who had recently tried to commit suicide. Some of the participants were given talk therapy, while others were given no therapy.

Researchers found that both one year and ten years later, those patients who had undergone talk therapy had a decrease in subsequent suicide attempts. In those receiving no therapy, about nine percent tried to commit suicide a second time, compared to about seven percent in those who had talk therapy.

Researchers estimate that for every 44 patients receiving talk therapy, one life would be saved.

It's not clear what aspect of the therapy directly lowered the suicide rate.

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