student health

student health

Hookah’s Healthy Alternative Claims Go Up in Smoke

You may have heard that smoking hookah is better for you than smoking cigarettes. Turns out, it’s all in how you define “better.” A recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention indicates that smoking hookah, or water pipes, may be more dangerous than originally thought.


Hookahs most often consist of a head connected to a water jar with a hose attached and a mouthpiece. Flavored tobacco is placed below burning charcoal in the head, and the resultant vapor is cooled then smoked. In the United States, Europe and the eastern Mediterranean, studies indicate a significant increase in hookah smoking. This increase is especially evident in younger people. It’s estimated that 1 in 5 teens smoke hookah, and as many as 40 percent of U.S. college students report using a water pipe.

This increase is likely due to the popularly held belief that hookah are less harmful than cigarettes. However, the study results show otherwise.

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Best Diets for College Students

Just like with colleges, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to selecting the right diet that meet your weight loss goals. For college students, choosing a diet depends on a variety of factors including financial and practicality.

Perhaps you’ve put on the Freshman 15 or perhaps you need to start thinking about your New Year’s resolution, but no matter what your motivation for dieting, here are three of the best diets for college students.

Weight Watchers Online: This famous weight loss program has a plan for everyone, including college students. While most of the Weight Watchers programs require that you attend weekly support group meetings and have weigh-ins, the beauty about the Weight Watchers Online plan is that everything is done – you guessed it, online.

How it works

As a Weight Watchers member, you receive a set number of Weight Watchers POINTS you must follow in order to meet your weight loss goals. Foods with lesser POINT values are low in calorie and healthier for you while foods that pack a calorie punch will be assigned a higher POINTS value. No foods are off limits with Weight Watchers, giving high marks on its practicality ranking. You can log in to a secure online account and access all of the education still found in meetings. It won’t interfere with your already crammed schedule and it gives you all the tools that Weight Watchers offers such as support, recipes, menu planners and much more.


As a Weight Watchers member, you pay a monthly fee. The weight loss giant often features online coupons or discounts.

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The 17 Day Diet for College Students

If you haven’t heard about the 17 Day Diet, by Dr. Mike Moreno, you obviously have been studying too hard. The 17 Day Diet has been making waves all over the Internet and along the talk show circuit, like The Doctors and Dr. Phil.

So what exactly is The 17 Day Diet and how could a college student like yourself follow it?

Read on to learn more. Read the rest of this entry »

Whooping Cough May Pose Risk to Student Health

First there was swine flu, the regular flu and now it’s whooping cough that has public health officials and millions of Americans very concerned.whooping cough college

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a whooping cough outbreak this year in California has already sickened more than 5,270 infants and killed nine, the agency reported. This is highest recorded rate in the state since 1955, said the California Department of Public Health.

While there have been no reported outbreaks within specific colleges, campuses are breeding grounds for contagious conditions, like whooping cough, to spread like wild fire. Thanks to the close living quarters, shared bathrooms and the reduced immune system of many exhausted college students with poor eating and fitness habits, college campuses are often the most hard-hit when it comes to public health illnesses.

So what exactly is whooping cough? Read the rest of this entry »

Rachael Ray Show Addresses Teenage Obesity Crisis

christina's storyKnown for her spunky personality, love of “EVOO” and time-saving 30-minute meals, Rachael Ray shares cooking and lifestyle tips on her hit talk show, the Rachael Ray Show. But this season, she is addressing a much more serious matter than just quick meals and decorating tips: Teenage obesity.

From the season’s premiere last month, Rachael introduced us to Christina, an 18-year-old teenager who at just 5 feet tall weighs 250 pounds. Determined to take control over her life and reach a place where she can finally love and accept herself, Christina has pledged to lose 70 pounds by prom. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Fight Off the Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

winter-collegeSeasonal Affective Disorder, with the apt acronym SAD, is a form of depression that occurs only during a certain time of year. Most often occurring in the winter months, SAD has been linked to the shorter duration of sunlight. It’s believed that fewer daylight hours cause the brain to produce less serotonin. Research indicates that lower levels of serotonin are more likely in persons who suffer from all kinds of depression, but many of the links between brain chemistry and mood are unknown. Some experts also think that melatonin, a hormone key to sleep, may also impact SAD. People typically begin to suffer from SAD in their mid-teens. As you age, your likelihood of being affected by the condition decreases.

Because SAD is linked to a lack of sunlight, light therapy is the most common course of treatment. There are two types of light therapy: bright light treatment or dawn simulation. Bright light treatment requires the patient to sit in front of a “light box” for a period of time each day, usually in the morning. Dawn simulation is used during sleep. It consists of a low-intensity light that is timed to turn on at a certain time in the morning before you awake, and gradually brightens. Most people find dawn simulation more convenient, however studies have show that bright light therapy is more effective.

It may take up to two weeks for light therapy to take effect. The therapy must be continued throughout the winter, or else relapses in depression are likely to occur.

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High School Athletes Shouldn’t Try to Beat the Heat

high-school-footballToday’s report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revealed that 31 high school athletes have died from heat-related injuries in the past 15 years. “One death due to heat-related illness is too many,” says Michael McGeehin, director of the CDC’s Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects. “Heat-related illness is preventable. The more we know about how and when it happens, the better we can prepare people who may be most at risk.”

The study showed that 66.3 percent of heat injuries occur in August, mostly affecting football players. Athletes who play high school football are 10 times more likely to suffer from heat illness than students who play eight other high school sports. Thousands of students suffer from heat illnesses of differing severity each year, particularly during off-season summer conditioning.  Overweight players are at a much higher risk.   Read the rest of this entry »

The Ultimate Dorm Room Diet Guide

healthy eating

Check-out the Dorm Room Diet by Daphne Oz, daughter of Dr. Mehmet Oz.

Our friends over at Online University Review have compiled “The Ultimate Dorm Room Dieting Guide: 100 Tips, Tools & Tricks” to help you avoid college weight gain, including the avoiding the Freshman 15.

Since listing the entire guide might overwhelm our blog column, we have selected our favorite ten dorm room diet tips in no special order.

1. Too Much Sugar Makes You Crazy: Can’t eat a grapefruit without a packet of sugar? Try and do it anyway. That little extra flavor gives calories, crashing energy, and even tooth decay. Diet sweeteners aren’t much better either.
2. No Bedtime Snacks: Because your parents didn’t want you bouncing around during bed time, they wouldn’t let you eat two hours before bed. Because bedtime snacks can both add to stored calories and restless sleep, they should be avoided.

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