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Latest Posts

The Freshman Fifteen Fallacy: How Much Weight Do College Students Actually Gain?

Fear of the “freshman 15” weight gain is overrated, says one researcher who found that the average college student packs on only between about 2.5 and 3.5 pounds.

And it might not even be the college lifestyle that causes one’s backpack to become a little more snug. Rather, it’s part of the natural transition into adulthood. The typical freshman only gains about a half-pound more than a same-age person who didn’t go to college.

“Not only is there not a ‘freshman 15,’ there doesn’t appear to be even a ‘college 15’ for most students,” researchers said in a press release.

The researchers concluded that the myth of the freshman 15 may contribute to Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at ACP Internist*

Keeping Up With New Things: Nurse Decides To Go Back To School

Nursing instructors grading Exams in the 1950s. Courtesy of Johns Hopkins Medical Archives on Flickr.

I remember it well. Cramming all night for a nursing exam, taking the test, and hoping for the best. It was a nerve racking experience for the students, but I’ve always wondered what it was like for the instructors. Check out these old gals. Grading papers was time consuming before computerized tests, but I bet they got some pretty entertaining answers.

Miss Jones, Medical Surgical Instructor: “Oh my God, I can’t believe this answer. It’s right up there with the excuse, “my dog ate my care plan.”

Mrs. Smith, OB/GYN Instructor: “I know what you mean. These young people are the future of our profession. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Nurse Ratched's Place*

Hidden Food Ingredients: Don’t Believe The Health Hype

Do we need to be a detective to find out which foods are healthy?

Magnify Glass


In yesterday’s Washington Post,  Jennifer LaRue Huget, blogger for “The Check Up” writes about the new unhealthy line of Kraft Lunchables.

Kraft calls the new line “wholesome,” but are they?

Turkey and Cheddar Sub Sandwich seems like it could be a healthy choice, but actually it is filled with fat, sodium and sugar.  Here’s a complete list of ingredients that may shock you.

Digging a little deeper

I’m curious now to find out what’s behind the “New Deep Dish Cheese Pizza.”  Here’s how it’s described:

You won’t have to dig deep for our Deep Dish Pizza, made with Kraft 2% Mozzarella and 2% Cheddar, deep dish crust made with whole grain, Tombstone Pizza Sauce, Tree Top® Applesauce, Mini Nilla Wafers, spring water and Tropical Punch Kool-Aid Singles.

It doesn’t sound so bad, does it?  Low fat cheese, whole grain crust, pizza sauce, applesauce, mini Nilla Wafers, spring water; what’s so bad about that?  One more ingredient includes Tropical Punch Kool-Aid Singles.  Hmm…what was wrong with just the water?  Why add all that sugar?

Okay, I’m digging deeper now to read the ingredients.  Well, take a peek, and you decide.  The long list of ingredients isn’t healthy.  The Deep Dish Pizza is filled with fat, calories, sodium, cholesterol, and sugar.

Read the Ingredients

It’s really important to read the ingredients and not just the label.  The packaging and wording are created in such a way to capture your attention and it gives the appearance that it’s healthy, but in fact it is not.

Playing detective

You could actually make a game out of this with your kids.  Take them food shopping with you and have them take the “Food Label Challenge Test.”  (I just made that up).  Show them the package and the front label, ask them if they think it’s healthy or not.  Have them read the ingredients, you may be surprised at what you find!  The little gumshoes may enjoy the challenge.

So remember, make sure the next time you’re out food shopping, read the ingredients, not just the front label. Playing detective might not be such a bad idea; you may be surprised at what you find in your foods.

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

H1N1 Flu and Back to School: Focus on Prevention

It used to be that we’d get all our kids settled back to school and then enjoy a bit of a pause before the other shoe fell with the inevitable concern over another flu season. With Swine Flu, Influenza H1N1 not taking a summer vacation and showing no signs of letting up, we didn’t have that luxury this year.

I went onto My Fox Boston this morning and talked with Keba Arnold about this very unique flu season with 2 influenza strains traveling among us and offered some practical tips to not only prevent the flu but be ready should it impact your town’s schools:

Don’t try and absorb everything at once. Focus on prevention today and I’ll help keep you informed as we learn more about the flu shots your family will need, when they will be available, and any breaking CDC alerts that are important for your family’s well being during the flu season.

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Gwenn Is In*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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