Body Image: Don’t Let The Magazines Kill Your Esteem!

body-imageBrianna slipped quietly out of the house before dawn. She had lost 30 pounds by dieting, but now the weight was creeping back. She decided to try non-stop exercising for three days. Brianna wasn’t thinking about missing school or even being alone by herself on the street. She would start walking and just keep going.

Fifteen hours later, Brianna walked into a police station. Her feet ached, and her sweat-pants were covered with burrs from wandering through a park. She was exhausted, scared, and hungry.

A poor body image had led to Brianna’s eating disorder and depression. Her grand exercise plan failed, but it had one good outcome. Brianna finally got help dealing with her problem.

What You See and Feel

Body image is the way you see your body and how you feel about it. People with a healthy body image view themselves realistically and like their physical selves. People with a poor body image feel dissatisfied with their bodies, regardless of whether they are objectively healthy.

Different factors influence a teen’s body image. “Certainly the media are setting …

Now Hear This!

now-hear-this“Huh? Could you repeat that?”

“Can you turn up the volume? I can’t hear it.”

If you’re frequently saying things like this, you might suffer from a hearing loss or impairment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5.2 million teenagers show signs of hearing loss. Unfortunately, many teens don’t realize they are losing their hearing until it’s too late to correct.

How You Hear

Your ear has three parts: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. When sound waves travel down your outer ear, the curve of your ear canal funnels the sound waves into the middle ear. The waves make the eardrum, a thin layer of tissue, vibrate. The three tiniest bones in the body–the malleus, incus, and stapes–work together with the vibrations of the eardrum to amplify the waves and carry them to the inner ear. The inner ear has a snail-shaped chamber called the cochlea that is filled with fluid and lined with thousands of tiny hair cells. These cells convert the vibrations into electrical impulses. The impulses go to the …

Tattoos And Piercing Safety: A Complete Guide

Untitled-1Rick decided to get a tattoo and nose piercing because he thought they would look cool. After all, several rock stars have them–and they sure look cool. But the local piercing and tattoo shop operators weren’t following health regulations. They weren’t sterilizing their equipment correctly. And Rick just happened to be the unlucky guy who picked up a hepatitis C infection from a contaminated needle. Now he’s stuck with this debilitating disease for the rest of his life, and he will probably need a liver transplant to survive at all.

Tattoos and body piercings seem to be everywhere these days. According to, a startup planning and information site for new entrepreneurs, Tattoo parlors are in great demand for most US regions outside of California, as the trend has now moved nationwide. Unfortunately, not too many people think about the many risks they carry. But experts, such as the doctors at Mayo Clinic, report that they pose a real danger for those who choose to change their bodies in this manner. Health problems range from sore or itchy skin …

Sugar: The World’s Biggest Killer Should Be Banned, Now!

sugar-causes-diabetes“Ow!” Holly moaned, then rubbed her jaw.

“Is that tooth hurting you again?” her friend Jessica asked. “You should get that thing checked out. You’ve been complaining about it for a week now.”

“I don’t have time,” Holly said, and popped a sucker into her mouth. “Besides, I’m sure it’s a cavity, and the dentist will just tell me that I have to quit eating candy.”

“Well, that’s the third sucker I’ve seen you eat today,” Jessica said. “I’m surprised you don’t have more cavities with all the Sugar you eat.”

Holly sighed. “I know. I’m seeing the dentist tomorrow.”

Getting to the Source

Holly isn’t the only one who has a “sweet tooth.” If you ask most people what their favorite food is, you’d probably hear something like cake, cookies, candy, soda, or ice cream. Most people like foods that taste sweet.

Statistics vary on how much sugar we consume, and what percentage it is of our total calorie intake. But there has been a significant increase over the past two decades. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reported …

Gagging, Snoring, Tiredness: Sound Familiar?

anti-snoring-mouthpiecePeople who suffer from snoring are more likely to have health related issues and to suffer from sleep deprivation. Some people snore loud enough to wake themselves up and some people snore so loudly they risk waking up with bruises from their partner jabbing them in the ribs with an elbow in the late night. The constant waking interferes with the REM sleep that we all need to have our bodies recover from a long day. Even if you don’t think you were particularly active during the day your body still needs that precious time to shut down and recover from operating all day. Even if you sit at a desk all day chances are your hands are moving from typing, your brain and eyes are working from reading so you aren’t really just sitting there.

Lots of people are tired from interrupted sleep. Just ask parents of newborns. Sleep is precious and it’s something we take for granted when we’re children and we don’t have as many responsibilities. Those who snore can be pretty desperate for a solution to …

If You’re Gonna Criticize, At Least Don’t Be A Dick

CriticizeBrett was on his way to first period when he heard a familiar voice. “Hey, dude, what is that on your back?”

Brett turned around to find his friend Marty with a big grin on his face. “What?” he asked.

Marty’s grin got bigger and his eyebrows jumped into his hairline. “You dress all sloppy, man. I thought you were wearing the janitor’s dustrags.” Marty laughed and walked off, while the other kids around Brett laughed.

Brett stared after Marty. He was so angry, he wanted to run after him and hit him right then.

Is It Valid?

Criticism can either be destructive or constructive. Destructive is just that–it is meant to knock you down. Constructive criticism is supportive and meant to help improve a situation.

Anger is a typical response to destructive criticism. Marty was Brett’s friend, but for some reason on that day he decided to embarrass him. Criticizing his clothes in front of everyone accomplished that. Brett decked a fight wasn’t worth it. He could get benched during the ballgame or get kicked out of school. Or …

Meningitis: Don’t Let Those Anti-Vaxxers Infect You

Meningitis“I thought I was coming down with the flu,” Janet Cornebise says about her bout with meningitis. “It was just before finals in my freshman year of college, so I was pretty stressed out. Then one night I got an unbelievable headache and my ears wouldn’t stop ringing. I spent the night in the bathroom, throwing up and crying for my mom. The next morning my friends in the dorm took me to the clinic. When the doctor tried to push my head down to my chest, I screamed. They did a spinal tap, which I didn’t even feel because my head hurt so much. I spent the next 10 days in the hospital with penicillin dripping into me.”

There are two types of meningitis: viral and bacterial. Janet had bacterial meningitis, the more serious kind. Both are highly contagious.

Rare but Scary

Meningococcal meningitis, more commonly known as bacterial meningitis, is an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and the spinal cord (the meninges). Meningitis occurs when bacteria enter the bloodstream and travel through the blood …

Stay Cool, Fools!

stay-coolMinnesota Vikings offensive tackle Korey Stringer died two years ago at football training camp. He didn’t suffer a fatal blow from a rough tackle. He didn’t have a heart attack. The 27-year-old athlete died of heatstroke. While exercising in high humidity and temperatures, Stringer began to feel sick. He threw up and struggled to do the drills. But he stuck with it rather than let his teammates think he wasn’t macho.

After practice, Stringer lost consciousness. At the hospital, his body temperature reached 108.8 degrees Fahrenheit. His vital organs–brain, kidneys, heart–had failed. By then, no one could save him.

What happened? Our bodies need to maintain an average temperature of 98.6[degrees]F to live. Hot weather causes our body temperature to rise. As it rises, blood vessels expand to allow the heart to pump more blood. Excess heat is lost to the cooler air when blood circulates in the skin’s upper layers. We also start sweating, and as the sweat evaporates, our skin is cooled. But if the air temperature is as warm or warmer than our skin, excess body heat …

Rage: Chill It Out, And Live Longer

child-angerPete remembers the day he nearly failed his mid-term, but not so much because of the red “65/D” marked on the front page of the returned exam. He remembers it because that afternoon, just four weeks after getting his driver’s license, he got a speeding ticket and a summons to appear in court for driving 50 mph in a 30 mph speed zone. Then, of course, he had to tell his parents. They took away his driving privileges for two weeks.

The anger Pete felt about his math grade led to a bad attitude behind the wheel, an argument at home, and the loss of the car keys at the very time he was beginning to be able to enjoy his independence.

The episode helped Pete understand a few things about dealing with anger.

Anger, Naturally

Anger hardly needs a definition. Everyone experiences the emotion. In fact, feeling anger is normal and can be healthy. “Sometimes, our anger and frustration are caused by very real and inescapable problems in our lives,” says a spokesperson from the American Psychological Association (APA). …

Water: Drink It, But Don’t Support The Bottled Water Industry!

bottled-waterShawn shifted his bicycle gears is he pedaled up the big hill. He only had one-quarter of a mile to go before he reached the top of the hill. The pedaling was getting harder, but Shawn was determined not to quit. The sun beat down on him and his mouth felt like cotton. His bandana and clothes were soaked with sweat. Huffing and puffing, Shawn finally made it. He rode his bike under a nearby shade tree and reached for his water bottle. The cool, clear water felt as refreshing as it had earlier in the day.

A Vital Nutrient

In some developing countries, people get sick from drinking the water. But in the United States, you can turn on the tap or open a bottle for safe water almost any time. Even though drinking water is so convenient, most people don’t drink enough. Some people don’t like water, or they forget to drink it. But since your body is from 50 to 80 percent water, it is necessary to drink up for good health. In fact, water is vital …