When people get up and move, even a little, they tend to be happier than when they are still, according to a new study that used cellphone data to track activities and moods. In the study, which was published in PLoS One, researchers at the University of Cambridge in England developed an app that randomly sent requests to people throughout the day, asking them to enter an estimation of their current mood. At the same time, the app gathered data from the activity monitor that is built into almost every smartphone today. In general, the researchers found, people who move are more content than people who sit.

France bans free soda refills at restaurants

In 2004, France banned vending machines from schools. In 2011, it limited servings of French fries to once a week in school cafeterias. A year later, it imposed a “soda tax.” Now, the government has said no restaurants can offer free refills of sodas and other sugary drinks. The new regulation is the latest attempt to tackle what the government called a relentless rise in the national obesity rate. The move is in line with recommendations by the World Health Organization, which has urged countries to impose a tax on sugary drinks to battle a growing obesity epidemic. The French law, which takes effect immediately, said it aimed to “limit, especially among the young,” the risks of obesity and diabetes.

Placebo works better for arthritis pain

Many people take glucosamine and chondroitin supplements for arthritis pain, but a controlled trial has found no evidence that the combination works. In fact, in this study, the placebo worked better. Spanish researchers randomized 164 men and women with knee osteoarthritis to take a single daily dose of 1,500 milligrams of glucosamine and 1,200 of chondroitin, or an identical looking placebo. The study is in Arthritis & Rheumatology. The researchers used a scale that shows 10 faces with increasingly pained expressions and asks patients which picture matches their degree of pain. People who took the medicines had a 19 percent reduction in pain scores after six months on the regimen. But those who took the placebo had a 33 percent reduction.

Seattle approves first ‘safe-injection’ sites

Officials in Seattle have approved the nation’s first “safe-injection” sites for users of heroin and other illegal drugs, calling the move a drastic but necessary response to an epidemic of addiction that is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year. The sites — which offer addicts clean needles, medical supervision and quick access to drugs that reverse the effects of an overdose — have long been popular in Europe. Now, with the U.S. death toll rising, the idea is gaining traction in a number of American cities. While opponents say the sites promote illegal drug use, supporters say they can keep people alive and steer them toward treatment.

News services