WOMEN REACH FOR SUGAR, MEN FOR MEAT Comfort food means different things to men and to women, according to a recent study in the medical journal Physiology & Behavior. Women are more likely than men to turn to foods high in fat and sugar to help console themselves in high-stress situations, found the study, conducted by McGill University researchers. Men are more likely to use soups, pasta and steaks as a reward when they're feeling upbeat. While choices weren't especially healthful for either group, researchers found that those who associated comfort foods with positive emotion -- listen up, women -- were more likely to pick healthier fare and feel less guilt afterward. The study was based on a Web survey of 277 participants.

RISKY HEALTH BEHAVIORS More than a third of the 7 million worldwide deaths a year from cancer could be prevented if people avoided major risk factors for the disease. That's the calculation of Harvard School of Public Health researchers whose report was published recently in The Lancet.

Smoking, they said, is the biggest avoidable risk factor, linked to cancer of the lung, mouth, stomach, pancreas and bladder. Of the 2.43 million cancer deaths deemed preventable, 37 percent were from lung cancer, the researchers reported. Alcohol (which can lead to liver and esophageal cancer), obesity (colorectal and breast cancer), a diet poor in fruit and vegetables (uterine, lung and esophageal cancer), unsafe sex (cervical cancer) and lack of exercise were high among other preventable risks.

-- From News Services