Tanorexia: The hip, sexy way to blow money and ruin your health!

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According to a recent study, tanning isn't only a great way to develop skin cancer; under some circumstances, it can actually become addictive. The study, which used an online survey of over 400 regular tanners, found that over a quarter were "tanning dependent," which means that they have difficulty controlling their desire to tan, even given their awareness that tanning can have severe side effects. Furthermore, the study discovered that those who tan regularly are also more likely to smoke or have extremely low body fat, suggesting a link between the addictive behaviors.

Clearly, more research needs to be done to determine if tanning can actually become an addictive behavior, with the endorphin rush that characterizes other addictions. However, as a former sun worshiper and one-time tanning bed patron, I can definitely attest to the intense feeling of relaxation that characterizes a day spent in the sun or a half hour spent on the bed. I wonder how long it will be before somebody develops a "tanning patch" to help "tanorexics" break the addiction. In the meantime, it seems like regular application of an spf 60 sunscreen would be a cheap and easy alternative to melanoma!

Bruce Watson is a freelance writer, blogger, and all-around cheapskate. He still sometimes dreams of the soft breezes and unnatural glow of the tanning bed.

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