Why Americans Are Fat

Posted on November 11, 2009

Heart disease is the number one killer in America and one of the main reasons why stems from too many overweight people. This infographic lays down the facts and reveals why we are so chubby.

Click to see the graphic!

Since obesity kills nearly 100,000 Americans a year, we recommend you began exercising. You don’t have to hit the gym every day or even lift weights. 20 minutes of cardio activities like jogging three times a week is more than enough to help fight those holiday pounds. Some great resources for fitness can be found at the American Heart Association website.

Healthy U: Colleges With Exemplary Mind and Body Wellness Programs

Posted on December 13, 2012


Anyone who has ever tried to work out while upset about a loved one's illness, or tried to run while fighting anxiety over an exam, has no doubt discovered first-hand the connection between mind and body. Wellness encompasses all the things that make up health, from physical fitness to being drug- and alcohol-free (or close to it) to mental strength and spiritual zen. Many colleges have undertaken full-fledged projects to make their students whole, but these dozen or so schools set the standard for outstanding wellness programs.

  1. University of Minnesota:

    Students at UM are blessed with a fantastic array of programs for maintaining mind and body health. From the diet and exercise instruction included in the six-week Healthy Living online class to the relaxation techniques espoused in the Center for Spirituality and Healing's Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, the school goes all-out on students' wellness. They even reward students for participating in health programs by offering a medical plan discount of up to $400 by earning credits for their Wellness Points Bank.

  2. University of Wisconsin:

    Whether it's physical, emotional, or spiritual refreshment you're after, UWell has you covered. For one thing, it offers a feature that ought to be a staple for every college wellness website: a "Need Help Now?" page. For quick help dealing with alcohol abuse, self-injury, drugs, gambling, domestic abuse, and more, UW has hotlines, centers, and programs to come to students' aid. UWell even addresses environmental and financial wellness though resources like the UW Arboretum and the Center for Financial Security, respectively.

  3. University of California, Los Angeles:

    UCLA is so confident in its wellness initiative, its website starts off by telling students they're on their way to feeling better just by clicking over to it. With a strong online health resources database known as Living Well; a "Freedom From Smoking" course; Yoga, meditation, and Weight Watchers classes; and reasonably priced massage therapy, they have good reason to be bold.

  4. Boston University:

    With its wellness program, BU heads straight for the issues that beep the loudest on college students' radars: stress, sleep, and sex. Students can hook up with other student health ambassadors known as "stress buddies" as a way to cope with anxiety. In-house "sexperts" are available to give presentations or info, and other wellness team staff to inform Terriers about drinking, smoking, and eating right. There is even a dedicated Wellness House for students interested in bringing every aspect of their lives into the healthy range.

  5. Cornell University:

    This Ivy Leaguer offers some of the most unique mind and body wellness resources we've come across, like a "Stock to Soup" cooking demonstration; lectures on joint pain, home energy efficiency, and strong bones; and e-lists for Lyme disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, Al-Anon, and more. But the more typical stuff is there too, from tobacco cessation programs to stress reduction workshops.

  6. University of California, Davis:

    Pick a sliver of the wellness wheel on the UC Davis Wellness Portal and you're on your way to discovering some world-class offerings, courtesy of the Mind Body Wellness Group. Under "emotional" you'll find a link to The House, a counseling center complete with meditation and audio relaxation rooms. Pick "body," and you'll connect with ways to eat right (like at the legendary East Quad Farmers Market), get fit, be sexually safe, and more. Even then you'll only have tapped a fraction of what UC Davis brings to the table.

  7. University of Washington:

    Restore your sanity with a laughter therapy session or a tai chi class at the rec center, and keep your weight down by joining the Weight Watchers group or the UWalk Program. UWellness is U-Dub's comprehensive plan for "balancing the emotional, intellectual, occupational, social, and physical components of health," and with its Tools for Change, healthy eating info, stress management resources, and more, it's a good one.

  8. Georgia State University:

    GSU sees to students' whole-health needs by staging workshops throughout the semester. Recent entries have included "Mindful Eating," for developing "a positive and peaceful relationship with your appetite"; "Relax Your Mind and Body: Skills for Managing Stress"; and "Mind over Mood," which involves using mindfulness and meditation to quiet busy and worried minds.

  9. Utah Valley University:

    Even though they apparently think there are six health dimensions, not seven, UVU does such a good job on the six they more than make up for skipping environmental (or is occupational the seventh one?). There are free Zumba and yoga classes for clearing the mind by stretching and movement. The five-week Stress Less Program connects participants with a health and wellness coach once a week for tips on dealing with that health pitfall. And as happy people are healthier, the school's Keys to Happiness Program seems like one any health-concerned student could use.

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  11. Harvard University:

    Easily the coolest part of the venerable school's wellness program is the Stressbusters — student volunteers who go "wherever the stressed gather" to give free five-minute backrubs and wellness info. Also cool: each residence hall has a wellness proctor so students can literally get health info where they live. Mindfulness is a biggie here, with meditation sessions available somewhere almost daily.  Harvard on the Move keeps the pounds off, and the two mid-year farmers markets help students get the right fuel to run on.

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  13. Rice University:

    Smack-dab in America's fattest city, Rice is working hard to keep its Owls from becoming whales. By offering quarterly "Wellness Lunch & Learns," personal wellness coaches, a Weight Watchers group, and a wellness listserv, students have ample opportunities to stay fit. The Gibbs Rec Center also chips in with its Lifetime Physical Activity Program that tries to start students down a path of good health that they can walk for decades.

  14. Bradley University:

    The Center for Student Development & Health Services targets no less than seven aspects of student health: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, occupational, spiritual, environmental, and safety. They put things into practice in EHS 120, a class for new students to learn about effective study skills, time management, and campus support systems.

  15. University of Kentucky:

    Be you a student or an employee, if you regularly set foot on UK's campus you've got no reason not to have total mind and body health. The Weight Loss Matters group gives you the passion to drop a few pant sizes, the farmers market gives you your new meals, and the therapeutic chair massages are your reward. Employees have access to free fitness specialists and phone-based health consultations. In fact, with the website's health app recommendations, recipes, and other useful links, you really don't even have to go to campus to improve your health.

  16. University of Nebraska:

    Nebraska has some of the finest athletic facilities in the country, so it's only fitting that they have a high-quality wellness program, too. Niche topics like belonging, self-care, eating disorders, and social responsibility, which are too often overlooked on other campuses, all get their due here. Wellness Wednesdays help students keep tables on their physical health, while e-publication Student Health 101 connects Huskers with a healthy dose of knowledge each month.

  17. Austin Peay State University:

    Austin Peay makes a fun contest out this wellness program, calling it the Healthy Mind Healthy Body Challenge. The semester-long event grants points for activities that benefit the brains and the brawn. There are dance, cardio, judo, and yoga classes under the fitness division, while the wellness category involves courses like "Cooking Concepts," "Healthy Eating Essentials," and "Simple Stress Management."

The Flu and You

Posted on February 04, 2013
Nothing puts you behind the schedule of your daily life quite like getting sick—missing out on even a day or two of school or work can set you behind much more than you'd think. And when it comes to getting sick, few things can get you down as hard as the flu. The flu comes in a few different shapes and sizes, and none of them are your friend. It's no surprise then that the words "flu season" strike fear into the hearts of many, especially those who are more susceptible to it. Some years aren't as bad, but the winter of 2013 has been hit particularly hard by a strain of the nasty bug, and who could forget the swine flu epidemic from a few years back? For college students living in close quarters, colleagues sharing cubicle space, or even larger families all in the same house, transferring germs back and forth can be unavoidable, and quickly lead to the spread of the flu virus. The following infographic takes a look at just how many people get the flu, as well as how it affects us from year to year. Between medical expenses and the expense of lost time, the flu can have a serious impact on every aspect of your life.

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Flu Infographic

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No Limits: America’s Binge Drinking Habit

Posted on February 11, 2013
If you're a student, or just around college student age, you're probably all to familiar with the phrase "binge drinking." Whether you partake in a little excessive imbibing yourself, or you just know people who do, the term "binge drinking" tends to be overused and completely saturated in the minds of many of those who are at or around age 21. While the college student demographic may find the term binge drinking—and all the cautionary tales surrounding the concept—to be almost devoid of meaning now, the fact is that, with more and more kids overusing alcohol at younger ages, even the most seasoned drinkers would do well to learn a little about the phenomenon. "Binge drinking" really refers to how many drinks someone has consumed over a certain period of time; for women, bingeing is consuming four or more drinks in two hours or less, for men it's five drinks over the same time period. And while the immediate risks, such as blacking out, vomiting, or passing out, are generally known and accepted among binge drinkers, some of the related effects aren't always as apparent. Binge drinkers tend to have higher incidence of drunk driving, STDs, and accidental pregnancies, to name just a few. The following infographic takes a peek into the world of binge drinking, as well as what some of its lesser known repercussions are.

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Binge Drinking Infographic

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