Page 1


Play it Safe ADD Dilema Fat or Fiction

Letter From the Editors Welcome to the first issue of Vitality! Vitality was created as a health magazine, combining Sophia’s cooking hobby, Marie’s psychology obsession, and Areen’s love of science. It was later expanded to include a shared interest in athletics. Today, we hope you enjoy stories such as Areen’s backpacking feature, “Backpacking in the Weminuche Wilderness” from the sports section, Sophia’s “Pass the Aspartame Please” opinion or Marie’s nutrition feature “You are what you eat.” Thanks to Ms. Young for helping us in this venture and editing all our attempts at writing. A curse upon slow Mac computers. Happy reading! -Authors of Vitality

Ashley Marie

Ashley, better known as Marie, started out the year being a few minutes late almost every day because of swim team. In addition to swimming, Marie figure skates, and is in the school French and environmental clubs. Marie has really enjoyed writing for this magazine, but had more trouble trying to design with the color scheme. She loves psychology, and most of her stories have a psychological component. You can check out her “Caffeine” ASF or “You are What You Eat.”

s o i

B Sophia H.

Sophia H. struggled a little through her first semester of LASASophia H. struggled through LASA High School in her first semester, but volleyball at the end of every day helped, giving her something to look forward to. Sophia’s main motivation throughout her freshman year has been her sports, volleyball, softball, and horseback riding. Sophia also enjoys cooking and is good at baking cakes. Sophia did not feel as strong at the writing, but was the group’s best designer and helped everyone else out. “Play it Safe” and “Pass the Aspartame Please” are some of Sophia’s contributions to this edition of Vitality.

What’s t tell yo he two thing u s eat? C are healthie they st hicken know and fis to wh h Comb at you shou , ...You ine the ld do? m... ea guin. t a pen ~Dave Attell Areen P.

With science as his favorite subject, it isn’t surprising that Areen is a member of the LASA Science Olympiad Club. Also, Areen enjoys playing tennis several times a week at the Westover Hills Club. He often goes camping with his Boy Scout troop, and is an experienced outdoorsman who enjoys being immersed in nature. As a matter of fact, his feature story, “Backpacking in the Weminuche Wilderness, “ reflects one such trip.

Table of Sports

Play it Safe 1 5 Helpful Stretches 3 Backpacking in the Weminuce Wilderness 5

Nutrition Pass the Aspertame Please


Top 10 Antioxidant Foods 9 13 Fun Recipies


Contents Nutrition (cont.’d)

15 You Are What You Eat 17 Caffeine: America’s Favorite Drug


18 When Weight is Wealth 19 The Next Pandemic: Whale Flu?



Mental Health

The ADD Dilemma Where Religion Meets Science

01 | Sports

Play It Safe By Sophia H.

Coach Richards discusses common injuries that he sees in softball, volleyball, and cross country and how to prevent them.

“I jumped up to spike the ball but when I landed I felt a shock of pain. I had landed weird on my ankle and within thirty minutes, my ankle had turned purple and was so swollen that I could barely get my shoe off.” Bill Richards, a LBJ high school teacher and coach, has seen this injury many times throughout the course of his coaching career. “Pain is a part of every physical activity, learning to play with pain and dealing with pain is something that must be learned,” said Richards. Richards has coached softball, volleyball, and cross country for LBJ for many years now and has learned quite a bit about injuries and how to deal with them. “Much of my learning of sports injuries were from experiencing them first hand. I also read articles of different types of injuries, went to classes, and just asked trainers and doctors about the different injuries.” said Richards. Many of the student athletes go to Coach Richards when they are injured or have questions about injuries and how to better take care of their bodies. The most common injuries that Coach Richards witnesses are injuries that occur in the arms, ankles, knees, and shoulders. In the shoulder there is a group of muscles that are called

the rotator cuff and many injuries occur there. This is because sports like volleyball and softball put a lot of stress on the shoulders from actions like throwing the ball or serving overhand.

“Treatment has to be immediate and constant, R.I.C.E. Rest, ice, compression, elevation.” Legs are at risk in any active sport because so much strain is put on the legs when one is jumping, kicking, or running. “Many injuries are caused by over use. You use something over and over and it gets tired of you doing it,” said Coach Richards. Many athletes have suffered some sort of injury while playing sports and many times when a person is injured, they ignore their injury and continue playing. This method can cause serious problems for the athlete in the future. ““Cowboying up” and being tough is not always the answer. Sometimes it is the answer, just not always.”

Athletes can make an injury much worse be not treating an injury and continuing to participate in sports while injured. “Treatment has to immediate and constant, R.I.C.E. Rest, ice, compression, elevation. You can’t stop treatment just because the pain went away,” said Coach Richards. If the injury doesn’t seem to go away or is severe, a doctor or a knowledgeable source may need to be consulted, someone like a coach or a trainer. It’s better to take care of an injury when it first occurs rather than to let it continue to get worse and cause more problems. There are many ways to prevent injuries, but the most effective and cheapest solution is also the simplest. “Most of the prevention is warming up properly. Stretching, warming up, being prepared to play.” said Coach Richards. All athletes are at risk of injury whenever they are participating in a sport but when those risks are weighed against all the good things that one gains from playing sports, the risks tend to seem far less prevalent in the athlete’s mind. “They[athletes] want to learn to be better and excel in the sport of their choosing” says Richards “I have had many[athletes] come back after a few years and just say thanks.”

02 | Sports

Helps Stretch hamstrings and stretches out the lower back as well

ĂŹ Touch Your ToesĂŽ Stretch

Cross Shoulde

Helps loosen tight muscles in the neck and can help reduce neck pain

Neck Rotation Stretch 03 | Sports

5 Help


These are a few es that can help injuries or reliev best to do these as a warmup be start practicing

Helps loosen calf muscles and helps keep knee joints from aching.

Helps stretch the shoulders and loosens tense neck muscles

er Stretch

Toe Pull Stretch


Helps to loosen your lower back and loosen your spine.



w stretchp prevent ve pain. It is e stretches efore you g.

Cobra Stretch 04 | Sports

Backpacking in the Weminuche Wilderness Photos and Story by Areen P

They were in the middle of nowhere, with few people, no electricity, no cars, and no houses. Worse, they had to go 30 miles while each carrying a load of 100 pounds each. But for three Boy Scouts and their four leaders, it was one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. Last summer, a crew of seven set out on a five-day trek to complete a Boy Scouting merit badge requirement. In order to obtain the merit badge, scouts had to go on a

05 | Sports

2-mile hike, three 15-mile treks, and a 30 mile trek. They had already been on the shorter treks, and only had the 30mile trek to go. The scouts chose to fulfill the last requirement while backpacking in the Weminuche Wilderness of Colorado. The vast expanse of mountains there provided an excellent landscape for sightseeing. “I remember on one of the first few days of hiking, we came into a clearing and saw green and blue everywhere-

there were flowers, there was a decent sized river cutting paid off. Another time, the crew ran out of water while trekthrough the area, and the rocks all had moss on them around the river,” said Marshall L, one of the scouts. “Better yet, the king in a particularly high altitude. The trail ahead of them water was pure and clean, and everything was healthy like headed upwards away from rivers and streams, so the nearin the springtime, so every color was vivid beyond anything est source of water was miles back. The crew improvised by that I expected to see.” He was often motivated to persist gathering a pot of snow, boiling it, and then filtering water through times of exhaustion by the panorama of verdant out of the pot. “The snow clogged up two of the three filters; the hills and mountains surrounding him. Describing one such experience, Marshall said, “One third one didn’t get clogged up only because it was the spare, time, we stopped at the peak of a mountain to take a break, and we didn’t use it,” said Marshall. “We ended up putting cloth bags over our water containers then and saw several miles of luscious, green pouring the boiled water onto the bags as a forest below us. About an hour later [of filter.” backpacking], we found ourselves at the Once, the crew did not stop to put top of another mountain peak, lookon raingear even after clouds thickened in ing back towards the place we had just the sky. The crew suffered the consequence stopped at. It’s amazing how the scenery of trying to put on raingear while standing drove us to go so far, so fast.” under the scant covering of a few trees. Many opportunities to be in “My clothes were all soaked from the touch with nature can be found when rain, along with the inside of my raingear,” in the wild. Sometimes almost literally. said Marshall. “From that point on, we put In fact, Marshall recalls one particularly -Marshall L. on raingear whenever there seemed like a surreal moment in the wilderness. “I remember we were hiking along a river, and we chance of rain at all.” The scouts learned a lot while earning the backsaw this huge valley,” Marshall said as he stared dreamily off into the distance. “A lynx or bobcat, I don’t remember which, packing merit badge. All their lessons were taught by Mother Nature through the process of trial-and-error. darted out of the way when it saw me [approach] it.” “I learned that it is better to take the time to be safe Reflecting on another similar experience, Laughead said, “One time, there was an animal that was grazing just and get ready because though [preparation] may be annoyright across a river. I’m glad I brought binoculars because ing, the consequences of not being prepared are almost alI wouldn’t have been able to make out that it was a moose ways worse,” said Marshall. without them. Being able to see rare wildlife with my own eyes was just incredible.” This was one experience among many where living up to the scout motto, “Be Prepared,”

“From that point on, we put on raingear whenever there seemed like a chance of rain at all.”

06 | Sports

Pass the Aspartam

By Sophia H.

As Americans consume more and more carbonated drinks, some try to take the healthier route by opting for the diet coke or the diet Pepsi rather than the sugar filled original Coke or Pepsi. What they don’t know is that chemicals are replacing the sugar that they are trying to avoid. On average, America consumes between thirteen and fifteen billion gallons of carbonated drinks each year. Now that people are trying to become more health conscious and watch their weight, diet sodas have become the option for those who think they are choosing the better option for their body. The chemicals that diet sodas are filled with, like aspartame and phosphoric acid, pose potential health risks like cancer, seizures, and brain damage among many others. If you were to look at the nutrition facts to see what was in your ice-cold diet coke before you drank it, you would see a list of zeros. Calories? Zero. Fat? Zero. Carbs? Zero. Protein? Zero. Oh, but at least they do have something: Sodium (but it’s only one percent). But then you get curious. If diet coke doesn’t have any of these things in it, what on earth is it made of? And there in tiny print just below all those zeros is a small list of the chemicals that make up your beverage: carbonated water, caramel coloring, aspartame, phosphoric acid, potassium benzoate, natural flavors, citric acid, and caffeine- none of which sound very appetizing. Aspartame, an artificial sweetener, was a topic of controversy in article after article stating that aspartame could cause countless health problems varying from dizziness or confusion to irreversible brain damage and peptic ulcers. Now I think that would be reason enough to steer clear from the diet sodas of which most contain aspartame. “Aspartame, used in diet sodas, is a potent neurotoxin,” says Judith Valentine, PhD. In her article Soft Drinks: America’s Other Drinking Problem. “Yum, hey Mom please pass the neurotoxin filled diet soda!” I think I’ll pass. Still not convinced? Take a look at the number of people with bone fractures. Scientists have connected the rise in bone fractures to a calcium deficiency. And coincidentally both caffeine and phosphoric acid have been found to cause less density and calcium in bones.

07 | Nutrition

me Please

Photo Credits to

We should probably build bones instead of breaking them. Some Fuze drinks on the other hand contain, depending on which flavor, calcium to do just that, help you build stronger bones. In addition they can have vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin E and A, and are Aspartame-free. Also, V8 Fusion is a mixture of fruits and vegetables combined to make a fruity tasting drink which is another healthy alternative to diet soda. Fuze has a variety of different types of drinks, there are four categories that each drink is divided into: Slenderize, Refresh, Tea, and Vitalize. The different flavors are made of a large variety of flavors and ingredients. Instead of just adding cherry flavoring to make cherry diet coke instead of diet coke, Fuze actually makes completely different drinks with completely different ingredients. Specific flavors also contain different vitamins and healthy additions such as calcium. If you read the ingredients on the back of a Fuze bottle on the other hand, you would find a list of ingredients such as: Pineapple juice, Mango juice, Dragon fruit extract, and skim milk. Pineapple juice sounds way more appetizing than phosphoric acid. When I read all these juices, one of the first things that came to mind was that the drinks must have lots of sugar in them. I looked into it and they actually don’t have that much sugar at all. One of the slenderize Fuze flavors, Tropical Punch, actually contains no sugar in it. Sure Fuze may cost a little bit more than your can of diet soda, selling at about $1.50 at the stores, but when you compare the product and what you are getting, it really is worth the little bit extra. You can buy a healthy and tasty drink filled with vitamins and calcium for just a few cents more or you can choose the cheaper diet soda filled with chemicals and who knows what else. There really isn’t a comparison. Fuze is a much better purchase for your money than diet soda. After all, your health is probably worth more than those few dimes you saved when you bought the diet soda over Fuze. So next time your thirsty and you stop at the corner store and run in for a drink, pass the freezer full of those grey and metallic shades that cover the rows of diet soda. Instead look towards the brightly colored bottles of Fuze and grab one. You won’t be sorry.

08 | Nutrition

Top 10 Antio So what exactly is an antioxidant? When our body uses oxygen, byproducts called free radicals are naturally produced. These free

degeneration (degrading of sight), diabetes and cancer. Antioxidants are nutrients in our food immune defenses and therefore lower the risk of cancer and infection.



Sweet and delicious, berries are the perfect summer snack. Little did you know, they are packed with healing antioxidants. They are also a great source of fiber, minerals, and various vitamins.

Some people like it. Many others hate it. Broccoli possesses abundant arboreal, luscious, fleshy, flower heads arranged in a tree-like fashion on branches sprouting from a thick, edible, sturdy, meaty stalk.

Key Nutrients: Proanthocyanidins- Antioxidant that prevents cancer and heart disease Ellagic acid- Chemical that combats carcinogens (a cancer–causing agent)

Quick Tips: Stir raspberries into vanilla yogurt, add whole blueberries to salads, or dress up sliced strawberries with a little honey, balsamic vinegar and black pepper.

09 | Nutrition

Key Nutrients: Indole-3-carbinol (I3C)- Antioxidant that breaks down estrogen in the body and reduces the risk of estrogen-sensitive cancers like breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer Beta-carotene- Protective constituent that can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Quick Tips: Wrap cooked, chilled broccoli with roasted pepper strips, or toss steamed broccoli with olive oil, chopped black olives and crushed red pepper flakes.


A key ingredient to sals salads, tomatoes are fas favorite modern foods. Th kinds of cancer, prevent m cataracts, and help mainta age.

Key Nutrients: Lycopene- Prevents pro breast cancers. Glutathione- Boosts immu

Quick Tips: Add minced mashed potatoes, or tos chopped fresh basil and pasta.

Editor’s Note: Cooking the antioxidants in tomatoes the body. Also, eat them sorption, since lycpene is f

oxidant Foods By Areen P.

radicals cause damage to our bodies, leading to health problems such as heart disease, macular

ds that can prevent or slow the oxidative damage to our body. Antioxidants may also enhance


sa, ketchup, and several st becoming one of our hey can ward off certain macular degeneration and ain mental function as we

ostate, lung, colon and

une function

d sundried tomatoes to ss Roma tomatoes with olive oil and serve over

em allows more desirable to be made available to with oil- it improves abfat-soluble.

Red Grapes


A little red wine can keep your heart beating longer and stronger. Anyway, who can resist the delicious taste of alcohol?

The “stinking rose” is perhaps the world’s oldest known medicinal and culinary herb. It has several uses, from being a simple snack to being used to ward off vampires.

Key Nutrients: Resveratrol- Antioxidant that boosts heart health by scavenging for free-radicals, reducing platelet aggregation and helping blood vessels remain open and flexible. Also can protect against cancer and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases, gastric ulcers, stroke, and even osteoporosis. Quercetin- Another antioxidant that keeps your heart healthy by eliminating free-radicals.

Key Nutrients: Sulfur compounds- Give garlic its pungent odor, but also is responsible for its lowering cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure, fighting free radicals keeping blood from clotting, and prevent cancer.

Quick Tips: Add minced sundried tomatoes to mashed potatoes, or toss Roma tomatoes with chopped fresh basil and olive oil and serve over pasta.

Quick Tips: Roast whole heads of garlic until soft, and spread on warm baguette slices or puree roasted peppers with garlic for a fast sauce.

10 | Nutrition




Popeye may have thought eating spinach gave him strength, but it also happened to be a nutritional jackpot.

It is a calming drink that soothes the body and the soul.Second to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.

“What’s up Doc?” Carrots Bugs Bunny.

Key Nutrients: Lutein- Antioxidant in spinach can help protect vision by preventing cataracts and macular degeneration, the two most common causes of vision loss. It shields the retina from sun damage and fights free radicals that can harm the eyes.

Key Nutrients: Catechins- Free-radical fighting antioxidants found in green tea. Theaflavins- created by oxidation of catechins in the process of making black tea, it slows down aging and reduces blood cholesterol levels.

Key Nutrients: Beta-carotene- Protects breast, esophageal and sto in particular.

Quick Tips: Stir chopped, fresh spinach and crushed walnuts into steamed brown rice, or lightly wilt baby spinach leaves and toss with olive oil.

Quick Tips: Poach salmon in an infusion of green tea and ginger. Or boil soba noodles in green tea and toss with sesame seeds and a dash of toasted sesame oil.

Quick Tips: Puree cooke chicken broth, rosemary a steam whole baby carrots honey and a little butter.

Editor’s Note: Cooked ca higher levels of antioxidan ably because heat breaks pounds and makes them m

11 | Nutrition

rots are the signature food of

against lung, bladder, omach cancers, but lungs

ed carrots with low-fat and a dash of cream, or s and toss with nutmeg,

arrots have considerably nts than uncooked, probs down the active commore available.


Whole Grains

Soy is well known for being the enduring favorite of health-foods aficionados, for a good reason, too.

These are common foods that provide people most of energy they need to get through the day. They can be found anywhere from bagels to bread.

Key Nutrients: Isoflavones- Resembles natural estrogens in the body, and can help prevent breast, colon and prostate cancers. Other- Reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) while maintaining HDL cholesterol (the healthy kind), prevent osteoporosis and help alleviate the symptoms of menopause, such as hot flashes.

Key Nutrients: Vitamin E- Potent antioxidant that plays a role in preventing cancer, especially prostate cancer. It can also boost immunity, slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, treat and possibly prevent arthritis, prevent sunburn and treat male infertility. Phytic acid (IP-6)- Potent antioxidant that can help protect against breast, colon and liver cancers.

Quick Tips: Add cubed tempeh to pasta sauce, spread soy butter on a whole-wheat pita instead of peanut butter or toss soy sprouts on a salad or in stir-fry dishes.

Quick Tips: Combine cooked bulgur wheat with chopped parsley, scallions and olive oil, or add raisins, dried apricots and minced basil to brown rice.

Photo credits: tomato, garlic, tea broccoli, red grapes, spinach, carrots berries - wheat

12 | Nutrition

Photo Credits to

Super Salad By: Sophia H.

1 bag of Baby Spinach

2 tbs of chopped Walnuts

11 oz of Mandarine Oranges You can also add 1/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese on top for an extra bit of flavor. Simply mix in all the ingrediants in a salad bowl and then top with your desired dressing. This salad tends to go very well with a seseame vinaigrette.

13 | Nutrition

nutella Fondue + +

This recipe is just like eating a chocolate covered fruit salad. Just dip the bananas and strawberries in a small bowl of nutella and enjoy


+ +


Combine bananas, pineapple, milk, strawberries and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth, no lumps. Start adding ice slowly and blending until slushy. Pour into large glasses, preferably chilled then top with whipped cream.

Banana Split Smoothie

14 | Nutrition


BY: Ashley Marie

15 | Nutrion

Fifteen-year-old Taylor Mezzarups leans forward on the edge of her seat, contorting herself to get as far away as she possibly can from her little brother, 8-year-old Hayden, sitting in the back. He, in turn, is trying his hardest to reach her for another punch; in the meantime he settles for yelling. Their mother Lauren glances worriedly in the rear-view mirror at her son, but she can do nothing. She has already told him not to he won’t listen. Two years ago this was a common scene with the Mezzarups, anyone around Hayden for long was bound to experience one of his violent rages. Today though his teachers report he is doing well in school and pays attention. His family is happy to say that <he is much nicer to be with> Can you provide a more vivid description here? at home. In fact, Hayden has had a change in his entire disposition. The culprit? Food allergies, according to his mother. She has no scientific proof for this, but Lauren believes that minor food allergies were responsible for Hayden’s bad behavior and a host of other physical symptoms including headaches she herself had for over a year. Now she, her son Hayden and daughter Taylor all stick to diets eliminating foods they are allergic to. “Keeping him on his diet has had a huge effect on his… mood,” Lauren says. “He used to have rages. Since we had him tested he has had very few screaming fits. I think that is related to the gluten. It has changed his disposition for the better.” Lauren was the first to get tested and the first to try the diet. “I had had a stuffy head where I couldn’t breathe very well for over a year,” she says, and she had been everywhere, to every kind of doctor who could possibly help. None did. Finally she was in the office one day and saw <“…a poster that said 95% of people have food allergies and don’t even know it.”> I’d paraphrase this since it’s not a quote that really tells us anything about Lauren. On the chart of symptoms she found “headaches,” so, she asked her doctor (what did she ask him?) and went through with testing. “They take the food item and mix it with your blood and if there is a reaction then there is an allergy.” Lauren explained. The allergies are minor, so that you won’t know they are there without testing, these are not your typical peanut allergies that people get rushed to the hospital for. Still, the effects uncomfortable—take, for example Lauren’s headaches for example or Hayden’s temper, but they are often misdiagnosed.

These are just a few of the foods that the Mezzarups have cut out of their diet. Sometimes replacements are available, rice milk, or soy milk instead of cows milk, corn tortillas or gluten-free bread to for sandwiches and tacos. Photocredits: Lauren did not expect anything to come improved immensely, greatly decreasing the of the test, she says, and claims it was a lastnumber of fights. Can you cite an anecdote of a resort attempt to end her symptoms. But the before/after case?The diet is difficult, Lauren results showed she was one of the 95 percent. says, as Hayden is allergic to many more foods “I was very surprised,” she admits. “I was than either Taylor or Lauren. But for Hayden thinking I’m not going to be allergic to anythe end result has been worth the trouble; he thing.” no longer struggles with rage or anger manageBut that was far from the ment issues Lauren said. case. The results showed Now Lauren believes that Lauren was allergic to to strongly in the allergy alfalfa, sesame, cashews, bra- “I can tell you my head is testing and diet. zil nuts, kidney beans, lima “I would get tested clear now and it wasn’t beans, chili peppers, eggs, if I were you. Absofor over a year. And cow milk, goat milk, quniola, lutely, I think everyone Hayden, his behavior is baker’s yeast, and brewers should.” she says (keep yeast. tense the same throughso much better, I’m sold.” Despite getting tested, she out>, knowing about the ~Lauren Mezzarups still didn’t take it very seriallergy “…just kind-of ously at first. makes you think. If there “I was tested in March, is going to be a reaction but it took me until July bein my body then maybe its fore I did it (the diet) 100%.” But once she did, not the best thing for me to be eating.” the change was noticeable. Lauren originally doubted the validity of al“By September, I was feeling better,” she lergy testing and says she still can not point to says. any rock-solid proof. Still, she has seen results Impressed with the results she had obshe can’t ignore. tained, Lauren had both her kids tested. The “I can tell you my head is clear now and it new diet helped everyone, Taylor lost weight wasn’t for over a year. And Hayden, his behavior is and started feeling better overall. Her mother so much better,” she says. “I’m sold.” says that the exposure to this made Taylor “really aware of wanting to eat healthy.” The most surprising results though, were with Hayden who had been a poorly behaved kid for years despite Lauren’s best efforts. He would explode into a rage over seemingly inconsequential things, but after the diet? his behavior has

16 | Nutrion


America’s Fovorite Drug

By: Ashley Marie

• •


A lower suicide rate is associated with coffee drinkers Causes levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, involved in the pleasure response, to raise. Caffeine increases the circulation of fatty acids causing better metabolism Caffeine blocks adenosine, the neurotransmitter that makes you feel tired, thus temporarily reducing fatigue and improving allertness. In sleep deprived people caffeine can improve mental functioning and alertness by up to 60% Can enhance physical performance, enabling someone to excercise 10-15% longer than normal.


• There may be a link between caffeine and lower bone mineral density • The lethal dose (orally) is around 10 grams • Overdosing on caffeine can cause restlessness, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, diuresis, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, rambling flow of thought and speech, tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia, psychomotor agitation, and periods of inexhaustibility. • Sensitivity to caffeine is reduced over time and when less caffeine is consumed, the body becomes extra sensitive to adenosine, this causes blood pressure to drop, and excess blood in the head which causes a headache.

Caffeine is used for a wide variety of things, and is found in coffee, chocolate, many sodas and some medicenine., someone who never drinks coffee still consumes around 91milligrams per day, a coffee drinker consumes something closer to 363. The effects of caffeine can be felt as soon as 15 minutes after consumption, and last for around 6 hours, it blocks adenosine postponing fatigue, and affects the body in other ways including heart rate, the respitory system and muscles. While many use caffeine to help themselves stay awake after a late night, it should not be used in excess or too often.While the lethal dose of caffeine (10 grams) is hard to reach through drinking coffee, caffeine is a drug. The more that you drink the less effective it is, withdrawel ussually includes bad headaches, shakiness, and fatigue. If you do overdoes it can be dangerous, in the worst case death, in the best case insomnia. So a cup a day may be fine, but more than 5 or 6 and you might want to take it down a notch.

17| Nutrition




When Weight is Wealth By Areen P. America is abundant in resources and hoards each and every one of them. We have petroleum, coal, copper, iron, beef, pork, poultry, and, now, fat. According to the World Health Organization, “[obesity rates] have risen threefold or more since 1980 in some areas of North America.” In fact, levels of obesity in our country are so extreme that scientists claim that we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Having too much of anything, however, is not a bad thing. America has always succeeded as a result of owning bountiful resources. During the Cold War, America defeated Russia simply by owning more resources – nukes to be specific. Why shouldn’t it be the same with fat? Endless possibilities exist in which we can utilize all the fat in our country. Some of those applications even have multiple beneficial effects. Fat is an extremely viable resource and has multiple functions. It can be used as a replacement for petroleum, sold to other people, and can be eaten. Once fat proves its worth, it even stands a chance of becoming a globally-accepted currency. The most important use for fat would be using it to replace petroleum. People simply would cut off their own fat and feed it into vehicles. An article on MSNBC News featured a car that ran almost entirely on leftover grease from French fries. Body fat is similar to grease, in that both are lipids and have similar molecular structures. With a few modifications, a French fry grease-powered car could easily be converted into a fat-burning one. Every household would save millions of dollars a year by fueling their cars with free fat instead of expensive gasoline. This would guarantee America as the world’s wealthiest nation. Neither Russia nor China would then be able to compete against our power, both being thinner countries. Fat can also be consumed. Instead of going out to buy

food, obese people could simply wait for their bodies to break down the fat into food or stay at home to cook up their own fat. Additionally, using fat as a cooking oil substitute in recipes is guaranteed to make the recipe taste better – in fact, an article by Medical News Today showed that several organisms, including humans, have a spontaneous attraction to eating fat. And, because fat has nine calories per gram compared to the four found in carbohydrates and protein, all of the hunger problems in the world could easily be solved through fat donations. The obese could feed the poor, benefiting both the contributor and receiver of the fat. Both parties would reap health benefits. The obese person would lose weight, and the starved person would become well fed. The third and final use for fat is to sell it. With all the new uses for fat, it would become America’s new currency. In fact, fat could become the first entirely universal form of currency, recognized by every person in the world. In turn, fat would end up boosting America’s economy and ending the worldwide recession. Critics claim that consuming fat cut from one’s own body is a disgusting and unhealthy practice. Those people do not understand the significance of recycling fat. The process is extremely efficient, and the benefits outweigh the detriments. Spending a little bit of the world’s most valuable currency is a small sacrifice to pay in order to end an epidemic. As citizens of the United States of America, we can end the obesity epidemic by utilizing our fat. We can use it as fuel, sell it, and eat it. By using it as fuel, we will also solve our energy crisis. By selling it, we will end our economic recession. By eating it, we will end global starvation. Our nation will be looked up to as the most powerful country in the history of the world because no other nations can trump us in wealth, power and, of course, obesity.

18 | Disease

The Next Pandemic: Whale Flu? By Areen P.

And you thought swine flu was going to be dangerous.

19 | Disease

An outbreak of what scientists are beginning to call “whale flu” has been recently discovered near the eastern coast of Canada. It started with a fisherman was reportedly infected with the disease after being exposed to the spray from the blowhole of a whale. Joe the Fisher will remain unidentified since his family has requested the media to not release his name to the public. Joe ended up dying later in the evening. In an interview with his mother, she said, “Indeed, he was an excellent fisherman. He could catch anything- from tuna to shark to even whale flu.” After the interview, the mother was also diagnosed with the disease, along with the reporter who interviewed her. Both were given masks to prevent the transmission of the disease, along with Tamiflu. Health officials did not take any other precautions. An anonymous representative for Canadian health officials said, “Uh, I don’t think this is a serious issue. After all, only one person has died. We will not take any further precautions until the death toll reaches 113 percent of Canada’s population, or until the United States begins complaining.” Later in the evening, the same representative called back, saying that the death toll had finally reached the target, and that health officials were going to round up volunteers to go whale hunting. After a long coughing fit, health official Sarah Palin said, “I stopped working for the American government after discovering that people in Russia can’t actually see me wave at them, only to find [and catch] a deadly disease spreading in Canada. My life sucks.”

Do YOU Have Whale Flu? Top 5 Symptoms: 1. Death 2. An extreme urge to swim 3. A constant desire for seafood 4. The spontaneous formation of a blowhole at the top of your head 5. An abundance of barnacles on the face

If you have any of these symptoms, call 1-800-STOP-FLU *Warning: Hopeless causes are ignored

Deaths (thousands)

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 0







7 8 Days

9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Photo credit: whale

20 | Disease

The ADD Dilemma

By: Ashley Marie

Medicating natural behavior. Dillon is a bright, funny, sweet and interested kid, a good friend of my younger sister. He is intelligent, full of energy and sensitive. And most of his teachers have tried, multiple times, to have Dillon diagnosed with ADHD. In Dillon’s case, being diagnosed with ADHD would not bea bout helping him. Dillon’s grades were good, he had friends, and several teachers have really loved him, the only issue was dealing with his energy in class. Diagnosing Dillon would have been to make him go away and stop disrupting the class. And that is the problem: as a society we have gotten drug-happy. Have a headache? Take an aspirin. Sneezed twice? Try some Claritin. Kid

of making children more active (which is the typical reaction) and instead calms them down. While not perfectly understood it is thought to increase the activities of chemicals such as dopamine and nonadrenaline that are important in controlling behavior and attention. The Attention Deficit Disorder Association defines ADD/ADHD as a diagnosis given to children and adults who display “certain characteristic behaviors over a period of time” including distractibility, impulsivity and hyperactivity. These symptoms, experts say, are too broad, and could apply to any active child. In fact, several other medical conditions including vision problems and disorders, hearing problems, allergies, insufficient sleep, poor diet and abusive or insufficient care giving can be easily mistaken for ADD/ADHD.

is difficult to deal with? Put him on Ritalin. Almost any symptom can be diagnosed to “treat it” even when it may be one of “life’s little inconveniences” that should be worked through. Apparently this ““take-apill” mode of thinking has extended to include changing irritating common childhood behaviors into a medically treatable disorder. This is not to say that ADD/ADHD does not exist. There are, without doubt, many people with these disorders genuinely helped by medication. The methylphenidate is the active ingredient in Ritalin, and a stimulant that in small doses does the opposite

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome can exhibit similar daytime symptoms to ADDers, and intellectually gifted children are known for impulsive behavior and thus can easily be misdiagnosed. With all this in mind, it seems as though a thorough physical examination should be followed by an evaluation would always be required before prescribing medication to a child, but Safer Child Inc. reports of multiple cases of a diagnosis being made within a doctor’s office visit. Is that really enough time to eliminate all other possibilities?

21 | Mental Health


Evidence for over-diagnosis with use of prescription medications is not lacking either. While the estimated number of children with ADD/ADHD is 3-5% according to Safer Child Ritalin may be prescribed more often than that, sometimes reaching as much as 10% of a classroom, and reports that some teachers complain that 75% of their classroom has ADD/ADHD and should be put on Ritalin. In addition, boys account for around 75% of children diagnosed with ADD/ ADHD. It is certainsly plausible that gender affects susceptibility, but when you stop and think that the most disruptive members of a class are usually boys, it also starts to seem possible that many of these are ADHD misdiagnoses. The final problem is that once accurately diagnosed with ADD or ADHD, the only option seems to be drugs. While some research suggests that Ritalin and other stimulant drugs are effective, allowing doctors to prescribe these meds with a “trial-and-error” approach to dosing can lead to over-medicating, leaving the child feeling sluggish and affected; meanwhile other options such as therapy and alternative medicine are left unexplored. Accommodating learning differences is another solution, given that ADDers simply have a very different optimal learning environment; rather than medicating a “disorder,” ADD/ADHD children could be taught, and preform better, in a non-traditional learning environment. Perhaps it is our job as a society to teach these children RI the way they would learn best rather than drug them. While medication probably should never, and won’t ever be eliminated as a treatment for ADD/ADHD, a more definitive criterion should be developed and required for the diagnosis, and our society needs to explore other treatment possibilities. Alternative methods for treating ADD/ADHD should be tried before prescribing medication. Only after all this is done at home and in our schools should we feel okay about drugging America’s next generation.





22| Mental Health

Where Religion Meets


Photo credits:

By: Ashley Marie

Study: A study conducted by the University of Missouri center on religion and the professions found that religion is important in helping individuals come to terms with serious disorders, disabilities and illnesses from which they will not recover. Religion can help patients that are going to die accept their position and bring their life to a conclusion to prepare for death. People with chronic disabilities can find religion even more important for dealing with things like traumatic brain injury, spinal cord disorders and disabilities arising from something like a stroke. Religion can be important in finding a meaning to their existence for these people and may help in adjusting to a new condition. This study suggests that religion should be incorperated into rehabilitation and should be taught in medical school in order to help patients recover.

23 | Mental Health

Study: apologetics/religionhealth.html (3rd) A study using cardiac patients tried to examine the effects of prayer on health. Four christian, jewish, muslim and buddhist intercessory prayer groups prayed on behalf of randomly assigned patients. The study found that there was no significant effect of praying for someone else. However when in the prayer groups readmission and death rates decreased by 33% and negative cardiac events were reduced by 22% within the prayer group. This study suggests that praying for anotherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s health does not actually help, but praying for your own health seems to have some positive effect.

Since the start of religion people have prayed to their gods for their health. Recent studies have questioned this practice, does it matter which god you pray to? If you pray or someone prays for you? Can it prevent illness or cure the disease? Is it the act of praying iteslf that helps, something psycological, and where is it in the brain how does it happen? Or is there something else science canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t explain? The following studies summerized come from both objective sources, and religious groups trying to prove Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s exisistence. They have found that everything from your sex to how you practice religion does have an effect, but praying for someone else does not help at all. Whether you find these studies point to a god, or a logical scientific explination, is up to you.


Study: A group from University College London compiled the results from multiple studies on the effect of religion on health in order to find an answer to define if there is a benefit to health from religion, and what aspects of religion are most responsible for the health benefit. This study found that being religious probably does not help you at all unless you go to church, non-organizational aspects of religion such as prayer or sacred book studying, do not seem to have any effect though organizational aspects, going to church, do. Additionally central aspects to religion such as belief in a god concept, religious orientation or motivation, and spiritual well-being have little to no effect on health. One of the final findings of the study is that going to church does have a positive effect on women, but little to no effect on men.

Study: (2nd) A study on the characteristics of adults who use prayer as an alternative therapy examined how those who prayed felt about their prayer, and of their health habits. They found that of the 47% of people that prayed for their health 90% believed it helped. Additionally they found that people who prayed at significantly healthier habits, they drank less, smoked less, had more health care visits, vaccinations, better support groups and ate more healthily. Photo credit: Buddhism/budis1.htm

24 | Mental Health


ADD Dilema Fat or Fiction Play it Safe -Authors of Vitality Happy reading! Thanks to Ms. Young for helping us in this ven- ture and editing...