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November 2010

Washington Mystics in the Community

Volume I issue I

Nutritional Myths Debunked

Why do male athletes get paid more than women?

A Day in the Life of a College Athlete: Shaquanda Gainey


Table of contents Diet and Nutrition Myths Debunked................................................4

As Girls Become Women, Sports Pay Divides.................................6

A Day in the Life of a College Athlete...............................................9

Washington Mystics in the Community...........................................14


Diet & Nutrition Myths Debunked By: Glora Tsang, RD of Healthcastle.com Myth: Sugar Causes Diabetes Truth:If you have diabetes, you do need to watch your sugar and carbohydrate intake, with the help of your Registered Dietitian, to properly manage your blood sugar level. However, if you do not have diabetes, sugar intake will not cause you to develop the disease. The main risk factors for Type 2 diabetes are a diet high in calories, being overweight, and an inactive lifestyle. Myth: All Fats are bad Truth: It’s a long-held nutrition myth that all fats are bad. But the fact is, we all need fat. Fats aid nutrient absorption and nerve transmission, and they help to maintain cell membrane integrity - to name just a few of their useful purposes. However, when consumed in excessive amounts, fats contribute to weight gain, heart disease and certain types of cancers. The key is to replace bad fats (saturated fats and trans fats) with good fats (monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats). Myth: Brown Sugar is better than White Sugar Truth: The brown sugar sold at grocery stores is actually white granulated sugar with added molasses. Yes, brown sugar contains minute amounts of minerals. But unless you eat a gigantic portion of brown sugar every day, the mineral content difference between brown sugar and white sugar is absolutely insignificant. Myth: Brown Eggs are more nutritious than White Eggs Truth: Contrary to a widely believed nutrition myth, eggshell color has nothing to do with the quality, flavor, nutritive value, cooking characteristics, or shell thickness of an egg. The eggshell color only depends upon the breed of the hen.

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Myth: Avoid seafood to lower blood cholesterol Truth: In fact, the dietary cholesterol found in seafood and other meats has little effect on blood cholesterol in most people. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are the most important factors that raise blood cholesterol. Myth:Avoid carbohydrate to lose weight Truth:The key message that many low-carb diets convey is that carbohydrates promote insulin production, which in turn results in weight gain. Therefore by reducing carbohydrate intake, you can lose weight. Many low-carb diets actually do not provide sufficient carbohydrates to your body for daily maintenance. Therefore your body will begin to burn stored carbohydrates (glycogen) for energy. When your body starts burning glycogen, water is released. Therefore the drastic initial drop of weight at the beginning of a low-carb diet is mostly the water that you lose as a result of burning glycogen. Myth: Skipping meals can help lose weight Truth: Many people think that by skipping a meal, they will be eating less food and therefore lose weight. If you skip a meal, your body will think that you are in starvation mode and therefore slow down the metabolism to compensate. You then tend to overeat at the next meal. Often, skipping a meal and then eating too much at the next one means that you have a higher total caloric intake than if you just ate more frequently throughout the day. A better approach is to eat smaller frequent healthy meals and snacks to keep your blood sugar balanced.


As Girls Become Women, Sports Pay Dividends By TARA PARKER-POPE Almost four decades after the federal education law called Title IX opened the door for girls to participate in high school and college athletics, a crucial question has remained unanswered: Do sports make a long-term difference in a woman’s life? A large body of research shows that sports are associated with all sorts of benefits, like lower teenage pregnancy rates, better grades and higher self-esteem. But until now, no one has determined whether those improvements are a direct result of athletic participation. It may be that the type of girl who is attracted to sports already has the social, personal and physical qualities — like ambition, strength and supportive parents — that will help her succeed in life. Now, separate studies from two economists offer some answers, providing the strongest evidence yet that team sports can result in lifelong improvements to educational, work and health prospects. At a time when the first lady, Michelle Obama, has begun a nationwide campaign to improve schoolchildren’s health, the lessons from Title IX show that school-based fitness efforts can have lasting effects. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 required schools and colleges receiving federal money to provide the same opportunities for girls as they did for boys. Relatively few students, male or female, participate in intercollegiate sports. But the effects in high school were remarkable. Just six years after the enactment of Title IX, the percentage of girls playing team sports had jumped sixfold, to 25 percent from about 4 percent.

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Serena williams makes approx $30 million which is not close to some of her male collegues Most research on Title IX has looked at national trends in girls’ sports. Betsey Stevenson, an economist at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, has taken it a step further, focusing on state-by-state variations. “I looked to see what it means to add sports to girls’ lives,” she said. “How does it change things for them?” States with large boys’ sports programs had to make bigger changes to achieve parity than states with smaller programs. Looking at the state-by-state statistics allowed Dr. Stevenson to narrow her focus, comparing differences in sports participation with differences in women’s educational and work achievement.


“It’s not just that the people who are going to do well in life play sports, but that sports help people do better in life.” ference in women’s long-term health. In a carefully conducted study, Robert Kaestner, an economics professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, compared rates of obesity and physical activity of women who had been in high school in the 1970s — as Title IX was taking effect — with similar women from earlier years. Controlling the results for other influences, like age and changing diets, Dr. Kaestner was able to tease out the effects Title IX had on women’s health.

He found that the increase in girls’ athletic participation caused by Title IX was associated with a 7 percent lower risk of obesity 20 to 25 years later, when women were in their late 30s and early 40s. His article was published this month in the journal Evaluation Review. Dr. Kaestner notes that while a 7 percent decline in obesity is modest, no other public health program can claim similar success. And other studSo her study untangles the effects of sports paries have shown that even a small drop in weight ticipation from other confounding factors — school can lower risk for diabetes and other health size, climate, social and personal differences among athletes — and comes far closer to determin- problems. ing a cause and effect relationship between high school sports participation and achievement later in There is still room for improvement. Today about 1 in 3 high school girls play sports, compared life. with about half of all boys. And participation varies widely by state, according to Dr. Stevenson’s Using a complex analysis, Dr. Stevenson showed research. Southern states like Alabama, Louisithat increasing girls’ sports participation had a ana and Tennessee still have big gender gaps, direct effect on women’s education and employment. She found that the changes set in motion by while Northern states like Maine, Minnesota, New Title IX explained about 20 percent of the increase Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Vermont are closer in women’s education and about 40 percent of the to parity. rise in employment for 25-to-34-year-old women.

“While we have more girls than ever before, we still have far more boys playing sports than girls,” “It’s not just that the people who are going to do said Nicole M. LaVoi, associate director of the well in life play sports, but that sports help people Tucker Center for Research on Girls and Women do better in life,” she said, adding, “While I only show this for girls, it’s reasonable to believe it’s true in Sport at the University of Minnesota. “The research clearly states that when anybody, boys for boys as well.” and girls, are physically active, they can reap deAnother question is whether Title IX has made a dif- velopmental and health benefits. But we haven’t reached equality yet.” Page 7


A Day In the Life of...

Shaquanda Gainey

A track star star at Hampton University

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Q&A with Shaquanda Gainey When you first started running in college, were you intimidated of the other more experienced runners? Yea, I was very nervous. I didnt know what to expect. It was a shock to me at first. I’ve never lifted weights or ran hills. I just ran. I was scared to run with them at first but then i just got over it. Do you have a female sports role model? “My favorite female athlete would be Marion Jones. I wanted to be like her when I was younger. She was a world record holder and everything. I just always wanted to be like her.”

Shaquanda Gainey is 19-year-old student athlete at Hampton University from Camden, New Jersey. One of our writers took a moment see what it really takes to be a student athlete. What is it like being a student athlete? “It’s hard because you have to try to balance your time with school and practice” When did you first start running? “I first started running at seven years old. I started with two groups outside of school called the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and The USA track & Field (USATF). My mom made me run because I had a lot of energy and I didn’t play a lot of sports. She signed me up for track and I became good at it.”

Why did you decide to come to Hampton? “I first signed with Coppin State but I came to Hampton because they gave me a full ride on the spot. Coppin was better than all the other schools to but I decided to come Hampton because I had always desired to come to Hampton.

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How do you think women’s sports compare to women’s sport? “ I think women are more dedicated to the sport. There are only a few men that are really dedicated in both college and the professional level. Here at Hampton, the boys practice when they want to and the girls have to practice 24/7. It also depends on the coach and his style of coaching.”


How do you keep yourself balanced between track and school? “I make my schedule so that it wont interfere with track. I also wo sleep before practice so that I can have a clear mind. Is it more difficult to balance your time in college than in high school? “No. It was hard in high school as well. I went to a medical school which was based on science and mathematics. I also took some college classes. It wasn’t like I went to a public school and had it What were some of your achevements from last year? I scored in MEAC and qualified for regionals. I feel like i’ve improved from last year. What type of events do you do? “I do the heptathlon, high jump, hurdles, javelin, and the 800. I learned a lot of the events I do now last year. I learned how to javelin, high jump, and shot put. I had never done those events in high school. It was really hard learning those events because I had never done them. Hopefully this year will be better.” Do you ever wish that you could be a regular student? Yes and No. If i was a regular student, I would have so much time on my hands that I wouldnt know what to do with myself. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t a student athlete so I wouldnt has as much pressure on me as i do.

“Sometimes I wish I wasn’t a student athlete so I wouldn’t have as much pressure on me....” What are your goals for this year? “I want to win the MEAC heptathlon and hopefully make it to the NCAA for the 400 hurdles.” What are your goals for your overall college career? My goal is to graduate with honors, get a job, and making the NCAA. My short term goals for this season is to make the deans list and improve on my cross country running. Where do you see yourself in 10 years? “If I make the pro I want to run. If not, then I want to teach coaching. I want to start at a high school and work my way up to the university level.”

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A Day In The Life Of: This heptatalon runner has alot on her

9:00 am

12:00 pm

2:00 pm

Wake up, Get dressed and Go to Class

Student Center for Breakfast then Classes

Visit the athletic trainer

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Shaquanda Gainey

schedule. Would you be able to keep up?

3:00 pm

Weight room and Outdoor practice

6:00 pm

Quick nap in the Locker room

10:00 pm

Homework and Sleep

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Washington Mystics in the Community By Alexis Glears The Washington Mystics kicked off the first day of summer with the Mystics Youth Basketball Camp. The first session was held at Oakland Terrace Elementary School in Silver Spring, Md. 17 campers with ages ranging from 5-16 years old started the first day of camp on June 21st. Campers were divided into groups by their ages and were given drills that complimented their experience and skill in basketball. Former University of Maryland, Georgetown, and George Mason coach, Christy Winters-Scott, and a former Loyola College basketball star Jill Glessner, coached the campers as they learned different drills that they could practice over the summer. Jada Louis watched her daughter, Caroline, as she warmed up on the court. “The Mystics are good team. They are an inspiring, strong, female team that she can look up to as role models,” said Louis. Mystics players, Monique Currie and Crystal Langhorne helped campers on the first day with passing, ball-handling, shooting, rebounding and other drills.

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“Kids need to be active during the summer. The Mystics Youth Basketball Camps are a good way for them to get up and move while continuing to improve their basketball skills.” said Langhorne. Langhorne and Currie also had a chance to sit down with the campers for a Question and Answer session before taking a group photograph and signing autographs.

Inova Health Systems will sponsor the one week-long camps over the next couple months. Rebecca Hilman represented Inova at the clinic on Monday. “Inova is invested in the health and wellness of our community,” said HIlman. “We are pleased to partner with the Mystics with the camps to help with the epidemic of childhood obesity. These camps are a great way to get kids moving during the summer.” On the last day of camp, campers will have a chance to play in a culminating championship game. The campers will receive a Mystics Camps and Clinics t-shirt, a complimentary ticket to a Mystics home game, a drawstring backpack, and a raffle ticket for an official WNBA basketball signed by all of the Mystics players. The next Mystics Youth Summer Basketball Camp will be held 6/28-7/2 at McLean School of Maryland. For more information about the camps or to register, please contact David Deal at (202) 527-7503 or visit www.WashingtonMystics.com/ Camps.



Women In Sports