From jaw-dropping arrests, crazy diet trends, and new studies that got all the experts talking, 2016 had its fair share of headline-grabbing moments.
Just in case you missed them, here are the stories that had Well+Good readers buzzing—for better or for OMG-there-goes-my-sparkling-soda-habit worse.
Scroll down to take a look back at the 10 most controversial wellness stories of 2016.
First thought: um, gross. But Atlantic writer James Hamblin stayed dirty all in the name of wellness as an experiment to see if his natural microbes would keep him smelling clean. And what happened will probably surprise you.
The chili sauce seems to have surpassed ketchup in popularity, giving everything from salads to burgers and grain bowls a nice kick. But before you give the rooster bottle a squeeze, there are a few things you should know about what’s inside.
A study published in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health went viral after reporting the health dangers of regularly consuming Splenda. But of course this was something Well+Good Wellness Council member Frank Lipman, MD, has been telling people all along.
Once the darling of the vegan food world, Pure Food and Wine and Lucky Duck owner Sarma Melngailis fell from grace when she and husband Anthony Strangis were arrested on charges of scheming to defraud, grand larceny, criminal tax fraud, and labor law violation. It was the foodie scandal of the year—and the details are truly sensational (Domino’s Pizza is involved, believe it or not).
For people looking to quit diet soda, seltzer has been a lifesaver. Well, was. It turns out one specific go-to brand that labels itself as good for you actually isn’t.
Spinners were shocked when, 10 years after opening their first studio, SoulCycle founders Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice decided to cut ties with the brand they built. “To see what SoulCycle has become, the community it created and serves, and the positive impact it’s had on the lives of our riders and our staff has been humbling,” they said in a joint-statement. End of an era!
Like adding a banana to your oatmeal in the a.m.? Think about adding a whopping 50 more. This year, Leanne Ratcliffe—also known as Freelee the banana girl—went viral for telling people to eat 51 bananas a day as part of her Raw Till 4 Diet, which she allegedly lost 40 pounds on. It didn’t take long for experts to set the record straight on the extreme food plan.
Arguing that you should get sweaty every single day (buh-bye, rest days) is just one of the declarations dance cardio queen Tracy Anderson made this year that got people talking.
Ready for some mind-blowing news? It turns out there are two different types of belly fat—and one is good for you. Now can everyone just focus on working out for the feel-good vibes and not trying to fit some societal ideal, please?
It wouldn’t be an article about controversial health news without ClassPass in it, right? Subscribers were outraged when the service nixed its unlimited plan feature, forcing users to choose between a 5- and 10-class per month option. The move raised serious questions about how the new model would work and what people could expect longterm. (And if you’re wondering if post-unlimited ClassPass is worth it, here’s what you need to know.)
Ready to look forward to 2017? These are the wellness trends you’ll be seeing everywhere. Plus, everyone will start sipping on smoothies at night, right?
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