This past year was a strange one, with a variety of popular beliefs being busted. Some were welcome news: Other myths left a funk like a fart-filled balloon when they burst. Here, in no particular order, are seven popular stories and myths busted in 2013, ranging from the scientific to the sublimely pseudoscientific ...

Childhood Obesity Drops

The news from the American Medical Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been a steady stream of gloom and doom for years when it comes to obesity in America, and childhood obesity in particular. The obesity rate for children and adolescents has tripled in the past three decades and now stands at just under one in five. Many experts believed that the rate would continue apace, but a new CDC study found instead that obesity levels actually dropped slightly in 18 states, remained the same in another 19, and increased in only three.

It's not clear what caused the unexpected decline, but some experts credit public awareness initiatives such as Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign aimed as school-age kids and their parents. The surprising success, however, may be temporary. The CDC emphasizes that unless both kids and adults need eat healthier and get more exercise these gains will be lost.

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