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The blue jeans blues for men

Sorry, guys, but your jeans haven't shrunk _ you've expanded, which is why 18 percent of American men are currently on a diet, says a new survey conducted by Men's Health magazine and CNN.

"As baby boomer men begin to enter their fifth decade, many are discovering that it's harder and harder to fit into those old blue jeans," says Men's Health editor Mike Lafavore, "but men need to know that looking for a quick fix diet is like opening the top button of your jeans after a big meal. You may feel better, but it doesn't last."

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Weighing in the balance: Even if they're not in shape, men prefer women who are. By placing phony classified ads in two metropolitan newspapers, researchers found that men would rather date a former drug addict than a woman who is significantly overweight, Allure magazine reports.

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Getting ahead of cancer: Hey, style cops, here's some ammunition to help you convince people that baseball caps turned backward are old hat.

Wearing baseball caps this time of year leaves the ears and neck _ and face, if you wear it backward _ unprotected against the scorching and cancer-causing rays of the sun.

For genuine shielding, U.S. News and World Report says, pick a hat with a brim that is a minimum of 4-inches wide, especially if you're balding or wear your hair short, both of which leave you more vulnerable to the sun's rays than hairier folks.

Date-Speak: If you see the word "earthy" in a personal ad, that translates to "rarely bathes" and "have a lot to offer" really means "have nothing to say," according to a new book called Free Advice: The Advice Ladies on Love, Dating, Sex and Relationships by Amy Alkon, Caroline Johnson and Marlowe Minnick (DTP paperback).

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Eau Jordan: So you not only want to be like Mike, you want to smell like him, too? Well, noting that Michael Jordan is marketing a new fragrance, David Letterman says he has only one question: "Does it smell like Michael Jordan in the first quarter or does it smell like Michael Jordan in the fourth quarter?

An even better question is which scent women would find more alluring?

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