Page Array – HealthCorps https://www.healthcorps.org Fri, 29 Apr 2016 17:23:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Why Teen Girls Need Personal Toiletry and Cosmetic Swap Outs https://www.healthcorps.org/teen-girls-need-personal-toiletry-cosmetic-swap-outs/ https://www.healthcorps.org/teen-girls-need-personal-toiletry-cosmetic-swap-outs/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2016 11:00:45 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=12056 If you and your teens are focused on healthy living, then you need to put a magnifying…

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If you and your teens are focused on healthy living, then you need to put a magnifying glass on the ingredient list of your commonly used shampoos, cosmetics and other toiletries. Many of these products contain hormone-disrupting chemicals. Those ingredients can build up in your body, and more importantly in your teen’s body. The net result is a possible impact on hormone levels that are responsible for weight balance, fertility and other crucial body functions. A new study says “even a short swap out” can lead to a significant and immediate drop in levels of these hormone-disrupting chemicals.

The study out of University of California Berkeley, and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, looked at a study of 100 Latina teens who participated in the HERMOSA study.

What is HERMOSA?

It’s a community and university collaboration between the university, the Clinica, and a team of researchers from CHAMACOS Youth Council, and focuses on a project meant to involve young people in public health and the environment.

What are endocrine disruptors?

These are chemicals that a certain doses, exposures, or consumption levels can interfere with the endocrine or hormone system in our body and the bodies of other mammals. The disruptions are linked to cancers, birth defects and other developmental disorders. These chemicals may also affect fertility and heighten the risk of developing diseases like obesity and diabetes. Any system in the body mediated by hormones can be negatively impacted by these hormone disruptors.

The study

Researchers gave the 100 teens, personal care products that did not contain phthalates, parabens, triclosan and oxybenzone. The labels reflected the missing chemicals, known hormone-disruptors. Those chemicals are also frequently found in cosmetics, hair products, soaps, sun blocks, and fragrances, among other personal care items. These chemicals have been vetted as hormone disruptors, meaning that research has confirmed that they interfere with the human endocrine system. Since women more so than men, tend to regularly use numerous personal care products, concern has risen for the teen population since they are still growing and developing. In teen girls there is also ongoing and rapid reproductive development. The more they use these products, the greater the exposure to the chemicals.

After three days, urine specimens were taken and compared to baseline urine samples taken before the swap out occurred. Significantly lower metabolite levels of the chemicals were noted:

• Diethyl phthalate a common chemical used in fragrances, decreased by 27%.
• Triclosan found in antibacterial soaps and some toothpaste brands.
• BP-3, found in certain sun blocks (oxybenzone) fell by 36%.
• Methyl and propyl parabens, preservatives used in certain cosmetics, dropped by 44-45%.

Using science to appeal to teens

This study suggests that explaining the science to teens and then asking them to “give it a try,” might be a wonderful way to get kids this age to embrace healthy changes without ordering them to do so. The fact that the teens were involved and experienced the benefits of the swap out so quickly can be a gateway to devising public health recommendations. In fact, after the study the teen participants took it upon themselves to educate friends and community members. They also presented their newfound cause to legislatures in Sacramento.

Another element that resonated with the teens was that the CHAMACOS Youth Council included twelve students who helped to design and implement the study. So the teens themselves were invested in the research model and the results.

Simple actions with a big payoff

One goal of the study was to educate teens on chemicals found in every day products that they use and the known negative health implications, so kids are more selective about the products they use in everyday life. Experiencing the drop off of measurable indicators of chemical exposure really garnered interest and was very successful in getting the teens to embrace a new healthy habit. Even the adults involved in the study relayed that they too would be reading more labels and swapping out toiletries for products with simpler and safer ingredients.

Another take away message was that even if you can’t find an equivalent swap out, you may be inclined to use the product less often or simply to use less of it. There is clear mounting concern about these hormone disruptors and living healthy can mean an examination of food and exercise habits, as well as evaluating choices we make in other sectors of our life.

Source: ScienceDaily

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Make Water Your Favorite Drink https://www.healthcorps.org/make-water-favorite-drink/ https://www.healthcorps.org/make-water-favorite-drink/#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2016 11:00:09 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=12045 You probably know that sugary soda and juices and energy drinks offer loads of calories. Drinking your…

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You probably know that sugary soda and juices and energy drinks offer loads of calories. Drinking your calories is associated with weight gain, mostly because we don’t actually feel the calories. When you chew and swallow food, there is a fundamental perception of consuming calories and feeling satiated or full. Guzzle down some caloric drinks, and it’s likely to make little or temporary impact on your hunger. Those liquid calories can, however, add up and that can mean a growing waistline. Experts are recommending that most of us swap out calorie-free water for sugary beverages. A new study suggests drinking more water can actually help to control our weight and help to reduce our intake of sugar, sodium and fat.

The new study, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics looked at over all intake of water, which can also source from foods like soup broth, celery, tomatoes and melons. The researchers used the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2012) which represented a sampling of more than 18,300 adults in the U.S. The specific data reviewed was from two days of a food diary that were between three and ten days apart. The University of Illinois lead researcher calculated the amount of plain water that each individual consumed, as a percentage of daily dietary water from liquid and food sources. Black tea, herbal tea and coffee were not included as sources of water though they were included in total water consumption.

On average, the participants consumed about 4.2 cups of plain water (water from tap, cooler, drinking fountain or bottle) daily – about 30% of their total water consumption. Overall, the subjects consumed about 2157 calories, which included 125 calories from sugar-sweetened drinks, and 432 calories from treats (non-essential foods). People who increased their water consumption by one to three cups daily, lowered their calories intake by 68 – 205 calories each day, and they lowered their sodium intake by 78 – 235 grams each day.

Those who drank more water also consumed less sugar and less cholesterol. The benefits were especially notable among men and among young and middle age adults, compared to females and older adults. That may be because higher daily calorie intakes are more likely associated with those groups, so they would (also) experience the most profound impact of drinking water more, compared to others.

The researchers suggest that just recommending “more water daily” might be a viable and effective way to get individuals to reduce overall calories and specifically, intake of sugar, salt and fat. It might be an easy public health campaign that most people can embrace because the mandate is simple, “Drink more water.” The health payoff is clearly substantial, from a weight and overall health perspective. This study also supports previous research that noted that adding more water fountains and dispensers in schools lowered obesity in students.

Quick tips:
• Keep a water bottle handy throughout the day
• Eat “water-rich” foods like vegetables and clear soups
• Flavor water with extremely low calorie ingredients like cucumbers, a splash of lemon or lime
• Unsweetened teas and black coffee are also a good way to add to your daily water tally
• Meet the daily guidelines of nine servings of combined fruits and vegetables daily, since these foods are also rich in water

Source: Medical News Today

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Even Active Kids at Risk of Sedentary Behavior https://www.healthcorps.org/even-active-kids-risk-sedentary-behavior/ https://www.healthcorps.org/even-active-kids-risk-sedentary-behavior/#respond Mon, 25 Apr 2016 11:00:44 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=12040 If you are lucky enough to have an active kid between the ages of nine and twelve…

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If you are lucky enough to have an active kid between the ages of nine and twelve then you are one lucky parent. That means your child has a lower risk of developing obesity and diabetes. Unfortunately, a new study suggests that even active kids become more sedentary as they get older. And the phenomenon typically occurs in active kids, around age nine or ten. It’s also more likely to occur to tween girls.

With the focus on ways to get kids moving, few studies have looked at specific features of sedentary behavior. If your child is not active when they are very young, it’s clear that they may never become interested in fitness or physical activity, unless they suddenly connect with a sport. But this new study suggests that even young active children scale back on physical activity when they move into the double digits.

The children participating in the research wore special belts that recorded their activities for a week. They also kept journals with more detailed information. The research was part of an ongoing project, the Gateshead Millennium Study, which examined the health and physical activity of young people born between June 1999 and May 2000 and tracked by researchers at Universities of Strathclyde and Newcastle in the UK.

Of course the winter months can put the kibosh on fitness because kids who typically play outdoors are now mostly staying indoors. A lot of sports activities also wrap up before winter and then re-start in the spring and summer months. So there are a number of months where kids may naturally tend to increase their TV and tech device usage, in lieu of physical activities. When it comes to girls, sweating and body odor risk may be a turn off, or their focus may have shifted to attracting boys, and “beauty efforts” become front and center instead of play time and sports. The start of menstruation can also be a factor in a girl’s dismissal of physical activity.

Boys also become immersed in video-gaming and online activities and dismiss physical activities as part of the rite of passage these days. They may swap out participating in sports for watching sports on TV and playing video games with a sports theme. Seeing a decline in movement in nine to twelve year olds is pretty typical and this research confirms it.

The researchers suggest that gender (female) and weather are both non-modifiable factors. But even in the winter, kids can get up and move around for brief periods of time, walking stairs in their home, doing chores and finding ways to insert activity into indoor time. There is further interest in trying to find ways to intercept what appears to be an inevitable introduction of sedentary time at a certain age in childhood. Clearly, it’s incumbent upon parents, teachers, pediatrician and the public health sector to intercept sedentary habits in young kids, since once these sitting habits entrench; they are likely to persist into the teen years and adulthood.

HealthCorps emphasizes physical activity and fitness as a core component of the curriculum.

Source: ScienceDaily
ScienceDirect

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Are You or Your Child at High Risk for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)? https://www.healthcorps.org/child-high-risk-chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/ https://www.healthcorps.org/child-high-risk-chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/#respond Wed, 20 Apr 2016 11:00:39 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=12036 We all start out with two kidneys. They filter and clean our blood, regulate internal body fluids,…

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We all start out with two kidneys. They filter and clean our blood, regulate internal body fluids, help to control levels of minerals and acidity, produce hormones that help to modulate our blood pressure and manufacture a form of vitamin D that keeps our bones dense and strong. Modern life, including a western diet, as well as certain health conditions can hurt our kidneys and raise the risk of chronic kidney disease. Healthy living means watching out for the risk factors that may contribute to CKD.

Newly discovered risk factors for CKD

Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs are medications that help to ease heartburn and acid reflux. Obesity is a significant contributing factor to gastrointestinal diseases like heart burn and acid reflux. Recent research suggests that frequent, long term use (fifteen plus years) of PPIs is associated with a 20% to 50% increased risk of CKD. Using an H2 blocker medication instead, like Zantac or Pepcid did not seem to offer the same risk factor.

A high acid, Western diet, filled with junk food, refined foods, highly processed foods, red meats, and sweets, with limited intake of fruits and vegetables, was three times more likely to instigate CKD when compared to a Mediterranean-style diet. The Mediterranean style of eating which emphasizes fruits, vegetables, beans, and heart-healthy fats seems to have a protective effect when it comes to risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

High intake of phosphorous also seems to heighten risk of developing CKD. We do need adequate levels of phosphorous which supports a regular heart rhythm, strong bones and teeth. Too much phosphorous, which we typically absorb from red meat and dairy products, and especially from processed foods with additives containing phosphorous, can contribute to elevated levels. Look for the words phosphate and phosphoric acid in processed foods and drink. Limit red meat and eat more plant-based proteins.

Not moving enough is considered a risk factor for obesity, heart disease, joint diseases and it can also hurt your kidneys. A sedentary lifestyle, even if diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or obesity is not present, is considered an independent risk factor for CKD. An exercise habit has a huge health payoff, but whether you choose to exercise or not – you still need to get up and move around regularly throughout the day.

When it comes to healthy living, limiting these risk factors can mean kidney health throughout your life.

Source: The Bottom Line Health, Volume 30, Number 3, March 2016

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High School teens say presidential campaigns make them “fearful” and “anxious” about their future. https://www.healthcorps.org/high-school-teens-say-presidential-campaigns-make-fearful-anxious-future/ https://www.healthcorps.org/high-school-teens-say-presidential-campaigns-make-fearful-anxious-future/#respond Tue, 19 Apr 2016 20:51:33 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=12033 For Immediate Release. Media Contact HealthCorps: Jason Feinberg: Jason.Feinberg@healthcorps.org (212) 742-2875 High School teens say presidential campaigns…

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For Immediate Release.

Media Contact

  • HealthCorps: Jason Feinberg: Jason.Feinberg@healthcorps.org (212) 742-2875

High School teens say presidential campaigns make them “fearful” and “anxious” about their future.

  • What – HealthCorps Survey of High School Teens regarding the Presidential Campaigns

NEW YORK, NEW YORK (April 19, 2016)

As the presidential campaign primary season continues, a recent survey of more than 400 high school students (ages 14 to 19) in 28 schools across 10 states plus Washington DC, reveals that the candidates and their campaigns are actually making students “fearful” and “anxious” about their futures.

When asked, How do the presidential candidates and their campaigns make you feel about your future? A full 66% of the students responded either Fearful (40%) or Anxious (26%) while only 9% said Hopeful; and 6% responded Excited; 19% said they were unsure, did not know.

The survey of students in high-need high schools was conducted over four days from April 11 to 15 as part of HealthCorps’ ongoing assessment of teens and their attitudes and habits towards physical and mental health and wellness.

“A pillar of the HealthCorps curriculum is mental resiliency and personal strength. The survey results tell us that our students are anxious, and it’s up to us as adults to reassure them that they have the ability – and the tools they need – to shape their futures,” said Karen Buonocore HealthCorps’ Vice President of Programs.

HealthCorps places recent college graduates, or “coordinators” in high-need high schools across the country. These coordinators teach a minimum of 10 classes a week in the areas of physical education, nutrition education and mental resilience.

Among other questions, the high school students were asked Which do you consider to be the most important issue facing our country? 22% responded the Economy; 10% responded National Security; 14% responded Health Care; 30% responded Immigration; and 24% responded Education

The students surveyed identified themselves as 29% Democrat; 24% Republican, 22% Independent; and 25% were unsure what the Political Parties are.

HealthCorps surveys its students on a biweekly basis. If you would like to receive results from our surveys, please contact Jason.feinberg@healthcorps.org

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A Dose of Broccoli a Day May Keep Liver Cancer Away https://www.healthcorps.org/dose-broccoli-day-may-keep-liver-cancer-away/ https://www.healthcorps.org/dose-broccoli-day-may-keep-liver-cancer-away/#respond Tue, 19 Apr 2016 11:00:55 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=12030 Based on some recent surveys, it’s clear that Americans have embraced a broccoli habit after hearing that…

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Based on some recent surveys, it’s clear that Americans have embraced a broccoli habit after hearing that this vegetable may help to lower the risk of breast, prostate and lung cancer. Broccoli is in the class of brassica vegetables, which also includes Brussel sprouts and cauliflower. A new study suggests that including regular servings of broccoli in one’s diet may protect against liver cancer and NAFLD, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. NAFLD can damage the liver, causing it to malfunction. NAFLD is also a risk factor for HCC or hepatocellular cancer, which has a very high mortality rate. Having Type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and a high cholesterol level are all risk factors for NAFLD.

Researchers decided to focus on broccoli and its possible interaction with the liver and risk of liver cancer, because obesity (associated with a diet high in calories and low in fruits and vegetables) is linked to fatty liver disease and increased risk of liver cancer, especially in men. The data suggests that an obese male has a five-fold greater risk for liver cancer if he is obese.

The American, western-style diet is a cancer-provoking diet

The heavy doses of saturated fat and sugar most of us eat daily, is processed by the liver and converted and stored as fat. Eating a diet filled with highly processed foods and having excess body fat is linked with NAFLD, which can lead to cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. The researchers wanted to look at this type of diet as a liver carcinogen (causes cancer) and then see if broccoli could intercept its cancer-inducing properties. Broccoli contains sulforaphane which has cancer-fighting properties.

The study

The mice subjects were divided into four groups: a control group, a group on the Westernized diet, a control group fed broccoli and a group on the Westernized diet given broccoli. The researchers were obviously interested in seeing if the broccoli could intercept the formation and progress of cancerous tumors in the liver. As a separate observation, they also wanted to see if the broccoli would modify how the liver was metabolizing lipids from the high fat diet in the western diet groups. The researchers focused on the globules of fat in the livers of the mice on the Westernized diet.

The results

Having broccoli in the diet did not protect against obesity in the mice on the Westernized diet. The broccoli did however protect against and limit development of fatty liver diseases in the Westernized diet group. It helped to “keep them healthier,” keeping their liver more optimal, despite the onslaught of sugar and fat in their diet. The findings suggest that even if you choose to eat fast food, adding a dose of broccoli may help to tilt the metabolic process a bit in your favor, supporting the liver as it processes the high fat, high sugar elements of the food. Eat it fresh or lightly steamed, or sautéed in a bit of healthy oil.

Source: StoneHearthNews

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When Teens Don’t Move, Diabetes Risk in Adulthood Grows https://www.healthcorps.org/teens-dont-move-diabetes-risk-adulthood-grows/ https://www.healthcorps.org/teens-dont-move-diabetes-risk-adulthood-grows/#respond Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:00:18 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=11973 If a teen at age eighteen has low aerobic capacity, which basically means he is not fit,…

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If a teen at age eighteen has low aerobic capacity, which basically means he is not fit, and he also has low muscle strength, a sign he is not working out with weights, he has three times the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes as an adult. The new research, out of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, found that poor physical fitness in teens was an adult risk factor for diabetes, even if in adulthood the individual maintains a normal BMI.

Researchers from Mount Sinai and Lund University of Sweden reviewed the medical records of one and a half million male military personnel in Sweden during a one year period, focusing on fitness and health. Based on the way Sweden’s healthcare system tracks data, researchers could trace health records easily, over several decades. Specifically, they could see if and when Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed, up till age 62. Also unique to the data set, was the information about aerobic fitness and muscular fitness, which is often not followed. This is also the first study to look at the status of a person early-life physical fitness to see how it correlates to later-in-life risk of diabetes.

The findings clearly suggest that prevention is important and prevention is possible, if the intervention occurs early in life. A lifestyle intervention that emphasizes daily fitness and movement throughout the day in childhood and during the teen years can help to prevent type 2 diabetes, a lifestyle-related disease. The prevalence of diabetes has nearly doubled in the last 30 years, pacing neck and neck with rates of obesity. Both diseases are associated with diet and a sedentary lifestyle. Kids need physical education at school, but they also need to be active during the hours away from school and on the weekend. The public health sector needs to focus on promoting messaging that promotes fitness in youth and there need to be safe, available public spaces for outdoor playtime and for sports. These efforts are critical in preventing (early) adult onset diabetes.

If parents get the message that fitness is crucial to preventing diseases like diabetes, and if parents also model fitness behaviors, kids and teens will be more likely to embrace physical fitness. Programs like HealthCorps can have a huge impact on teen health, helping to inspire movement and reduce the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

Cornerstones of the HealthCorps curriculum include nutrition and fitness education.

Source: StoneHearthNews

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Skimping on Sleep Causes Hunger and Lousy Food Choices https://www.healthcorps.org/skimping-sleep-causes-hunger-lousy-food-choices/ https://www.healthcorps.org/skimping-sleep-causes-hunger-lousy-food-choices/#respond Wed, 13 Apr 2016 11:00:45 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=11968 One habit necessary to healthy living is targeting adequate, deep sleep. Researchers have known for some time…

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One habit necessary to healthy living is targeting adequate, deep sleep. Researchers have known for some time that inadequate sleep or poor quality sleep can instigate hunger, unhealthy food choices and weight gain. A new study published in the journal Sleep looks at how this vicious cycle is instigated. It’s all connected to amplification of a blood signal that is involved in the pleasure of eating and especially from eating sweet, salty or fatty foods. Not getting enough sleep raises the risk of overeating and obesity.

The study investigated the impact of sleep loss on the appetites of fourteen young, healthy volunteers. Sleep restriction seems to boost a signal that may increase the hedonic aspect of food intake. Loss of sleep seems to amplify the endocannabinoid system, the same system that is targeted by the active ingredient in marijuana. The net results after documenting inadequate or poor quality sleep in the participants were:

• Subjects were unable to resist highly palatable snacks like cookies, candy, chips, despite having eaten a full meal two hours earlier.
• Amplification of snacking was especially obvious in the late afternoon hours and evening hours.
• Endocannabinoid levels that should normally be low overnight and then very slowly increase during daytime hours, stayed high in the evening and remained high well beyond midnight, in the sleep deprived subjects, prompting very late night snacking.

During the study, after restricted sleep there was a prominent rise in hunger after the second meal of the day. After four restricted nights of sleep, the subjects struggled to limit snack consumption. They also chose foods with 50% more calories, and foods with almost double the fat, compared to foods they chose on the days after they slept through the night. Overall, the subjects were much hungrier the day after a poor night’s sleep, compared to a day after a refreshing and adequate night’s sleep. The hedonic drive to eat was significantly heightened when the subjects did not sleep enough.

The link between sleep restriction and obesity is well documented, which is why sleep is considered a cornerstone of healthy living. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), about 30% of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep per night, and more than one third of American adults are overweight. This study helps to clarify why a healthy sleep habit is crucial to weight maintenance and overall health.

Some quick sleep tips:

• Avoid caffeine after 2 P.M.
• Avoid eating within three hours of bedtime
• Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday
Exercise daily
• Create a bedtime ritual that sets you up for restful sleep – turn off the TV and tech devices, darken the room, make sure the room is cool

Also read: Sleep Deprivation and Junk Food Snacking – The Real Deal

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Is Your Teen Eating an Alzheimer’s-provoking Diet? https://www.healthcorps.org/teen-eating-alzheimers-provoking-diet/ https://www.healthcorps.org/teen-eating-alzheimers-provoking-diet/#respond Tue, 12 Apr 2016 11:00:02 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=11965 Studies have linked a sedentary lifestyle and eating a western diet to increased susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease.…

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Studies have linked a sedentary lifestyle and eating a western diet to increased susceptibility to Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, being sedentary and eating the typical American diet contributes to about 25% of Alzheimer’s disease cases.

A mouse study looks at these risk factors

A recent study fed mice “western diet chow” that mimicked what Americans typically eat. The chow contained high amounts of animal products, fats, sugars, and low amounts of produce. Nutrient-density was considered poor. Prior studies had tested individual components of the western diet, but not meals representing all the components. Two groups of mice were fed over an eight month period. One group was considered healthy at baseline, while the other group had some aspects of Alzheimer’s disease present. The mice age at the beginning of the study was similar to that of teens. By the end of the study, the average mouse was early middle aged.

The link between an American-style diet and Alzheimer’s disease

The researchers found that eating the western diet-styled chow daily for the eight months led to an increase immune response in the brains of mice in both groups. That means that even the mice that were healthy at baseline showed the negative impact. The study also bolstered the theory that a western diet is inflammatory in nature, and that over time, the inflammation increases the white cell immune response, and in this case, can instigate Alzheimer’s disease susceptibility.

TREM2 is a marker for Alzheimer’s risk

Specifically, an increase of microglia/monocytes that express a key immune regulatory protein, TREM2 was noted. TREM2 has been linked to Alzheimer’s susceptibility. This was the first study to show the TREM2 response in mice exposed to a prolonged western-style diet. Studies have also linked increased TREM2 cell numbers and increased beta-amyloid plaque burden in the brains of mice.

Takeaway messages

Some individuals will develop cognitive dysfunction that may be diet-induced or diet-related. More importantly, the message from the study is to take note of the impact that diet has during the teen years and beyond, especially if there is no attempt to modify unhealthy choices. Many teens are eating the typical western diet of fast foods, processed foods and sugary liquids.

This research should inspire the public health sector, pediatricians, and parents to take a step back and evaluate the current diet that kids and teens eat. Most likely it reflects a western diet filled with processed and refined foods, fast foods, and high levels of sugars and fats. There is likely also a dearth of plant-based proteins and produce. Follow the new Dietary Guidelines and swap out unhealthy foods for lean proteins, whole grains, low fat and fat free dairy products, fruits and vegetables, and healthy fats. Limit treats and monitor overall calories.

Teaching teens about nutrition and the elements of a healthy, balanced diet is a significant core element of the HealthCorps curriculum.

Source: ScienceDaily
Nature

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When it’s Cool Outdoors, Exercise Needs a Warm Up https://www.healthcorps.org/when-its-cool-outdoors-exercise-needs-a-warm-up/ https://www.healthcorps.org/when-its-cool-outdoors-exercise-needs-a-warm-up/#respond Mon, 11 Apr 2016 11:00:07 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=11914 Even as cold winter days start to recede and spring begins, there are still plenty of places…

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Even as cold winter days start to recede and spring begins, there are still plenty of places nationwide where temperatures are close to or below freezing in the early morning and late afternoon hours. For outdoor weather enthusiasts, there’s a strong temptation to start working out again in the fresh air. You do need to follow some basic tips so the cold temperatures don’t hamper your workout or put you at risk.

If you walk, jog or run, make sure that wet pavement or paths don’t have frozen ice patches. They can be hard to see in the early morning light, or waning afternoon sun. You can take a slide on a patch and end up with an injury.

Year round, always wear bright colors and reflective clothing so pedestrians and drivers can see you.

Wear athletic shoes that grip the road with deeper treads and also make sure they are water proof.

Always carry emergency medications with you like an inhaler, since breathing in very cold air or dry air can sometimes trigger bronchial spasms.

Carry some water with you since you can dehydrate even in cold weather.

Consider wearing wool socks that wick moisture away from your feet.

If the sun is shining or rises while you work out, you should wear sunblock on exposed body parts.

Assume you will need gloves, and carry a pair with you. Once you get moving, you may find that it’s still colder than you thought it might be, and exposed hands will suffer. There are “warmers” that you can also carry with you and activate if you need the extra warmth. Ski shops typically carry these items.

Choose layers based on the fact that the weather can warm up as the morning sun comes up, or it can get much chillier if you are running in the afternoon or evening.

Also consider using clothes made from some of the newer blends that wick moisture away from your body, particularly if you work out in the late afternoon or evening when temperatures drop. Cooling down and stretching out in the dropping temperatures can be very unpleasant if your clothes are drenched in sweat.

Always move around for about two minutes to get your heart rate up before attempting to stretch out.

Many people prefer doing a warm up, then getting into their routine, and then cooling down and stretching at the end of the workout.

The tips will help to make sure that you are exercising safely during the winter-to-spring season.

Source: StoneHearthNews

Learn more about our upcoming Gala and ways you can contribute to HealthCorps.

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YMCA Partners with EMK https://www.healthcorps.org/ymca-partners-emk/ https://www.healthcorps.org/ymca-partners-emk/#respond Fri, 08 Apr 2016 18:55:40 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=11952 Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, Boston, MA – Amaka, Rashelys and Dayana Through Edward M.…

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Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers, Boston, MA – Amaka, Rashelys and Dayana

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Through Edward M. Kennedy Academy’s partnership with the YMCA, Coordinator Althea Luhm has been able to incorporate successful cooking components into almost every HealthCorps lesson. For example, in a macronutrient lesson Althea’s class made healthy mini-pizzas. For the “Big Deal About Breakfast” lesson, her class made Yogurt Parfaits. Althea Luhm, “The YMCA provides a space where our students can work in the kitchen and practice their culinary skills.”

Inspired by their time in the kitchen students are more inclined to make real changes in their everyday food choices. For example, Althea begins each of her HealthCorps lessons with something call “Health Support.” A simple exercise, Health Support highlights actions each student has taken in the last week to live a healthier life. Actions can include exercise, mental resilience and nutrition.

Sometimes Health Supports are simple such as when EMK student Dayana Alverez said, “I convinced my mother to buy brown rice instead of white rice and it didn’t even taste that bad.” Some of the Health Supports are more involved such as when Amaka Awuzie explained she started using “On Demand Fitness” to exercise every day at home.

One of Althea’s favorites was when Rashelys Castillo shared that she improved her breakfast routine. Instead of a bagel with cream cheese and a latte, she now treats herself to yogurt and a regular coffee. These changes, big or small, highlight the valuable work HealthCorps is doing at EMK.

During Althea Luhm’s time with her students at the Huntington Avenue YMCA kitchen, they made a stir fry! You can also make Rachael Ray’s “Vegetable-Noodle Stir-Fry” in your kitchen, see recipe below.

Ingredients:

• 1 pound whole grain spaghetti or linguine pasta
• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 large eggs, beaten
• 2 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
• 1 small red bell pepper, halved and thinly sliced
• 1 small bunch scallions, chopped into 3-inch lengths
• 1/2 cup shredded carrots
• A handful of snow peas, thinly sliced on an angle
• 1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, grated
• 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup tamari or other soy sauce
• 3 tablespoons black bean sauce
• Juice of 1 lime
• 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce or sambal olek sauce
• 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
• 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

Instructions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain.
2. While the pasta is working, in a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1 turn of the pan, over high heat. Add the eggs and scramble until firm. Transfer to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan, and heat until smoking. Add the bok choy, bell pepper, scallions, carrots and snow peas and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute more.
3. In a small bowl, stir together the tamari, black bean sauce, lime juice, hot sauce, honey and sesame oil.
4. Toss the pasta with the sauce and vegetables. Top with the egg

Source: Rachael Ray Magazine

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April 2016 Coordinator of the Month: Megan Cornejo https://www.healthcorps.org/april-2016-coordinator-month-megan-cornejo/ https://www.healthcorps.org/april-2016-coordinator-month-megan-cornejo/#respond Thu, 07 Apr 2016 15:25:37 +0000 https://www.healthcorps.org/?p=11924 HealthCorps is excited to announce Megan Cornejo as our April Coordinator of the Month! Layla Ronan, the Social Media…

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HealthCorps is excited to announce Megan Cornejo as our April Coordinator of the Month!
Layla Ronan, the Social Media Specialist at HealthCorps, spoke with Megan about what influenced her to become a coordinator.

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(Megan Cornejo students doing pushups, during a Push Your Heart to the Max contest!)

Name: Megan Cornejo

Age: 24

Hometown: Rohnert Park, CA

College Attended / Major: CSU Sacramento / Health Science

HealthCorps School Placement/State/City: Palm Desert High School, Palm Desert, CA

Fun Fact: I worked in the Disney College Program at Epcot, Disney World for a semester.

Layla Ronan: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?
Megan Cornejo: I had attended a career fair at Sac State and saw the Healthcorps booth. The representative had a very energetic personality and she attracted me to the booth. I understood that Healthcorps was accepting all majors, but I specifically felt connected to the organization because of my Health Science major. I felt that this was the perfect opportunity for me and a great career move. I was excited to apply and enjoyed the interview process because it was unlike any interview I had done before.

LR: What has been the highlight of your placement so far?
MC: I really enjoy my school. I was nervous coming to a city I had never even heard of before my placement, but the staff was so welcoming it immediately felt like home. I was connected with the Health Academy from the beginning and I felt that they have really made my programming come to life. I appreciate their support and involvement in my Health Fair, Café O Yeas, After School Club, and Wellness Council. They are my Health Hero Rock Stars and I am very proud of all that they do. The students are such leaders and I know that they will keep the Healthcorps programming alive after I leave.

LR: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?
MC: I really enjoy putting on a monthly healthy potluck for my staff. Throughout the year we have had some delicious dishes that I know have sparked new ways of cooking for the staff members involved. For the month of April, I am setting up a Healthy Potluck staff challenge. The staff has to choose a dish from a specific country or culture that they will make into an alternative, healthier dish. The staff will then be able to vote on each others’ dishes and the winning dish will win the prize. I am really excited to see what they all come up with.

LR: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?
MC: I am officially attending a Masters in Public Health program at University College Cork in Ireland. I am so excited to continue my education abroad and take my Healthcorps experience with me. After I have completed graduate school, I wish to work in the Public Health field. My end goal would be to become an executive director of a health program. My ideal setting would be in a hospital but I would be happy in any setting.

LR: What is one thing you have learned from your placement that you will be able to carry with you as you move forward in life?
MC: I am a very extroverted person, and moving out here to the desert leaving my family and friends behind was difficult at first. Other than the coordinator Madelyn at Rancho Mirage High School, there are not many young adults in the desert. It is mainly a family and retired community. I had given up my extravagant social life to move here and I learned how to be alone. This really helped me grow as a person and to become a little more introverted. I was a fish out of water and I learned to breathe in the air.

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