All posts filed under: Current Issue

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The Skinny on Being Healthy in College

By Jesse Hu The latest data on American Obesity rates is in, and it’s downright embarrassing. While certainly not a hard-and-fast rule, Americans are statistically fat and complacent: during the years 2011-2012 34.9% of adult Americans were classified as obese and 17.9% of Americans aged 2-19 were classified as obese. The numbers are appalling, but the study does add the consolation that that no significant increase in obesity rates has occurred from 2003-2004, when an earlier study was conducted, to 2011-2012 (“Healthy habits during college can last for a lifetime,” n.d.). At least we aren’t getting too much worse, because then we’d be on track to looking like people from WALL-E. We’re the butt of fat jokes in the world already, but soon making fun of Americans for being fat will be like making fun of children for crying – you can’t be mean to someone that pathetic. Was that last paragraph hyperbolic? Probably. But these are issues that every college student recognize. Multiple articles have noted that the diet and exercise habits formed in …

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Is Adderall Worth the A?

By Emma Burke   In a perfect world, students would study for tests far in advance and papers would be finalized days before the deadline. However, extracurricular activities tend to lead even the most organized students astray. Many feel pressured by the rigorous academic demands of college and desperately seek a competitive edge against their peers. Studies show that anywhere from 4.1% to 35.5% of college-age students abuse stimulants meant for treating Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Stimulants such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta and Vyvanse increase energy, blood pressure, blood sugar, breathing and heart rate while simultaneously opening airways. While this might seem counterproductive in treating a hyperactive patient, these drugs actually calm the brain of those with ADHD. The numerous effects of stimulants make them enticing to college students who are drowning in school work. Of those who reported misuse of drugs like Adderall, 65% said they took them for concentration and 59.8% used them as a study aid. According to one study, 94% of college students who illegally abuse stimulants are Caucasian. There is …

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The Chemistry of Coffee: a Common College Addiction

By Leah Ginn It all starts with a slow rhythmic drip, followed by a noise of bubbling and an emergence of steam. An arousing aroma settles over the room and beckons you to partake in a cup. The first sip is hot and sweet (or bitter, according to preference) to the taste. You soon feel a boost of energy and feel prepared to take on the day. This routine is one that countless students and adults depend on morning after morning, and one that many seem unable to function without; coffee has undoubtedly become a predominant beverage in the lives of young adults and college students in particular. We may know that we seem to function better after having a cup or two, but the chemistry behind coffee and the way its chemicals interact with our minds and bodies is a topic infrequently brewed over (pun intended.)  Becoming informed on the science behind coffee reveals the reasons that so many of us are guiltily addicted to this substance: its active ingredients and how those affect our …

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Caught In The Labyrinth of Illness

By Megan O’Mara The narrative of the chronically sick is tragically underrepresented and vastly important. Essays like “The Slow Death of Compassion for the Chronically Ill” and “The Spoon Theory” all attempt to explain to the healthy what it means to be chronically ill. For young adults and pre-med students in particular, finding out someone close to you has a chronic illness is surprising, and in many cases: awkward. So many healthy people are at a loss for what to say to their loved ones caught in the realm of illness. Fear not. We at Pre-Med magazine worked with numerous support groups as well as Arts For the Cure on what to say, (and what not to say) to chronically ill patients, from chronically ill patients. What to Say: “ I’m going to the store. What can I pick up for you?” When one is chronically sick, everyday tasks such as going to the grocery store or taking a shower seem monumental. Specific offers of help (especially if you’re already going somewhere,) rather than phrases like …

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A History of Colleges’ Campus Care

By Saakya Peechara The beginning of any school year is stressful and brings with it many changes in a student’s life. The beginning of college, however, carries a host of changes that can compound the worries associated with any ordinary new school year. The start of college can mean a sudden increase in freedom, a wealth of classes to delve into and an influx of new friends and experiences. With all these changes, students might be forced to prioritize certain aspects of their lives over others, and their health frequently falls low on the priority list. Staying up late, unhealthy eating habits and copious amounts of stress, among other lifestyle choices of college-aged students, can all contribute to physical and mental health issues.   For example, according to the American Psychological Association, 41.6% of college students present with anxiety, and 73% of students living with a mental health condition experience a mental health crisis on campus.  These statistics underscore the importance of such campus health programs as the Counseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) and the University …

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Medical School: Applying as an International Applicant

By Huyen Nguyen To many American students, applying to medical schools is a tedious and endless process. Taking hard science courses, volunteering, shadowing, doing research and studying for the MCAT are the most fundamental things a typical applicant must do throughout their four years in college. People may think that earning a spot in medical schools cannot get any harder, but in fact, there are even higher standards and more complicated requirements which must be fulfilled by a special group of students: international applicants. My friend Ha Nguyen, a senior majoring in Genetics and Philosophy, is one of those. Ha came to the US by himself when he was only 13 years old. He knew nothing at the time, not even English. When his flight was delayed for three hours, he tried to get something to eat, picking Burger King because “burger” was the only word he understood. Ha then attended a military boarding high school in Texas, and after graduation, he came to UGA as he once joked, “because Athens’ food is way too good.” …

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Stress: Friend or Foe?

By Sarah Caesar Stress. The word itself is sure to make many of you cringe—and who could blame you? When it comes to the topic of stress and anxiety, statements such as “Stress is bad for you”, “Stress kills” or “Stress causes cancer”, often attached to horrific cliche and redundant graphics, clutter popular media sources. Yes, I believe we are all familiar with these. While these are not completely false, the media’s method of educating others of stress’ negative effects only make matters worse. In her 2013 TED Talk, Dr. Kelly McGonigal, renowned health psychologist and professor at Stanford University, points to research studies that show that stress itself is not what ultimately causes health problems, but instead it is the belief that stress is bad for you that is the main culprit. One study aimed at understanding people’s views of stress and how it correlated with their health status five years later, found that those who viewed stress as harmful to the body suffered from deterioration in overall health or died (Keller et al., 2012). …

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Take Charge of Taking Care of Yourself: Why Mass Media Should Not Be Your Only Source for Health Information

By Haley Vale Oscar-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow is headed to Washington as a well-dressed, passionate political lobbyist. Despite the similarities between Paltrow’s most recent project and the plot of Legally Blonde 2, the legislation Paltrow is supporting has not drawn approval from all corners. Paltrow is advocating against a bill that would prevent requiring foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled as such. Under the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, labeling foods containing GMOs would be voluntary. The bill also requires that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) confirm that GMO foods intended to be sold are as safe as their non-GMO counterparts. Paltrow and other opponents of the bill (organized under the “Just Label It!” campaign), argue that Americans have a right to know what is in the food they feed their children. “I’m not here as an expert. I’m here as a mother, an American mother, that honestly believes I have the right to know what’s in the food I feed my family,” the actress said at an event …