Integrated Health Science Center

Monthly Health Topics

Drinking too much alcohol increases people’s risk of injuries, violence, drowning, liver disease, and some types of cancer. This April, during Alcohol Awareness Month, Paradise Valley Community College encourages you to educate yourself and your loved ones about the dangers of drinking too much.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, harmful and underage college drinking are significant public health problems, and they exact an enormous toll on the intellectual and social lives of students on campuses across the United States.
Drinking at college has become a ritual that students often see as an integral part of their higher education experience. Many students come to college with established drinking habits, and the college environment can exacerbate the problem. According to a national survey, almost 60 percent of college students ages 18–22 drank alcohol in the past month, and almost 2 out of 3 of them engaged in binge drinking during that same timeframe.

  • Each year, more than 36,000 older adults die from alcohol-related causes according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Alcoholism is the third leading lifestyle-related cause of death in the nation according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.
  • Alcohol misuse complicates treatment of chronic conditions and leaves the elderly at greater risk for hospitalization.

Tips

  • Consider avoiding alcohol, especially if you are under 21, have had issues with alcohol, are taking certain medications, and/or have a first-degree relative with an alcohol problem.
  • Know your limits, as well as what is considered unhealthy for your weight and sex. More than 4 drinks in a sitting is considered “binge drinking” for women, and more than 5 drinks in a sitting is considered a binge for men. Binge drinking increases short-term and long-term health and safety risks.
  • To help yourself drink less and slower, eat before drinking alcohol, decide ahead of time how many drinks to have and stick to it, keep track of drinks (e.g., put a mark on your hand for each drink or use a tracking app, don’t “top off” your glass), drink to enjoy the taste rather than to get drunk, alternate alcoholic with non-alcoholic drinks, measure the alcohol you put in mixed drinks, avoid doing shots, and bring less money when you go out.
  • Use the “buddy system”—be with friends who will help you stick to your limits and keep you out of trouble if you start to lose your ability to make good decisions; do the same for your friends.
  • Don't drive after drinking. Have a designated driver, take the bus or a car service or cab.
  • Avoid mixing alcohol with energy drinks, as this can have more serious effects.
  • Avoid using alcohol with prescription, over-the-counter, or recreational drugs, which can result in serious health consequences, including death.

A Public Service Message from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Whether you’re preparing a meal at home or dining out, the foods you choose can make a real difference.
March is National Nutrition Month®, a time to learn more about the transformative power of food and nutrition. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages you to develop sound eating and physical activity habits all year long.
Always make food safety part of your everyday routine. Reduce food waste by eating what you have on hand before buying more at the store. Be sure your meals incorporate all the major food groups. To learn more about healthful eating and making smart lifestyle choices, locate a registered dietitian nutritionist in your area by visiting eatright.org and follow the #NationalNutritionMonth®.

4 Types of Foods to Help Boost Your Memory
Nutrition plays a major role in brain health! A growing body of evidence links foods, such as those in the Mediterranean diet, with better cognitive function, memory and alertness. The best menu for boosting memory and brain function encourages good blood flow to the brain — much like what you'd eat to nourish and protect your heart.

  • Vegetables, especially cruciferous ones including broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy greens, may help improve memory.
  • Berries also are a rich source of anthocyanins and other flavonoids that may boost memory function.
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids may help improve memory in young adults. You can get this type of fat through seafood, especially fatty fish such as salmon, bluefin tuna, sardines and herring — as well as from fish oil, seaweed or microalgae supplements.
  • Walnuts also are also high in omega-3 essential fatty acids. They are known to positively impact heart health and may also improve cognitive function.

For more information go to: www.eatright.org/health/wellness/healthy-aging/memory-boosting-foods

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.
The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Communities, health professionals, and families can work together to create opportunities for people to make healthier choices.  
You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

To Learn More About Heart Disease, visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

Paradise Valley Community College is here to support you on Your Journey to Wellness. For more information on wellness through fitness, visit our Fitness Center webpage.

What is Cervical Health Awareness Month?

The United States Congress designated January as Cervical Health Awareness Month. Nearly 13,000 women in the United States are diagnosed with cervical cancer each year, but the disease is preventable with vaccination and appropriate screening (Pap and HPV tests).

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