Health

Health and Lifestyle

Shift Work and Health

Living outside "normal" hours can be bad for your body. A small research study of ten people showed that when their schedule was knocked out of whack, they quickly started showing symptoms that lead to diabetes. What other health risks do these shift workers face?

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Tempers Flare In Holiday Shopping Lines

A news anchor reports from Altamonte mall, where hordes of people attempted to push their way into department stores for Black Friday sales. Name some of the situational aspects and stimuli which lead to holiday shopping stress.

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The Epidemic of College Smoking

It is argued that college smoking rates are increasing and reaching epidemic proportions. This documentary contains research findings and anecdotal evidence from students. What aspects of the college experience promote or contribute to smoking behavior? What do you think it means that the students in the video weren’t interested in quitting smoking immediately, but down the road?

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Depression: An Upcoming Program on PBS

A preview of PBS’ documentary, “Depression: Out of the Shadows,” shows how depression affects people from all cultures and every walk of life. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 21 million American adults are diagnosed annually. What does the video recommend as one way to overcome depression?

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Should Fat Flyers Pay More?

CBS News Online discusses United Airlines' new policy regarding overweight passengers; United Airlines requires large passengers to purchase two seats. Considering the American male and female’s average size has increased over the years, should United Airlines increase their seat size rather than require large passengers purchase multiple seats? How does Marilyn Wann call attention to size discrimination on planes? Recently director/actor Kevin Smith made headlines for clashing with Southwest Airlines over a similar issue. While the involvement of a celebrity obviously brings more attention to the issue, do you think it will lead to changes in policy?

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Cultural Approaches to Health

How Does Traditional Chinese Medicine Work?

This video from FirstScience.tv previews their documentary, “Traditional Chinese Medicine” and provides an overview of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and how those practicing TCM assess illnesses. How do yin and yang govern the body?

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Herbs and Alternative Medicine: What is Ayurvedic Medicine?

In this clip Charlotte offers a brief explanation of ayurvedic medicine. She discusses the doshas, and contrasts ayurveda with western medicine. What does ayurvedic medicine focus on, according to Charlotte?

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From Male Supermodel to Spiritual Healer: Yogi Cameron Alborzian

The Today Show documents Yogi Cameron Alborzian and his assessment of Toni, a busy mom. As opposed to looking at Toni’s health history, he examines her pulse, fingernails, skin, and eyes. He also uses ayurveda to treat a former athlete, Tamara. What combination of treatment did Cameron use with Toni? Which dosha did Toni have an excess of and what are the three doshas?

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Curanderas

“Curanderas: Awakening the Spirit” shows interviews of four southwestern curanderas and curanderos in New Mexico. Each interviewee recounts their personal history and how curanderismo played a part in their lives. They each show different methods for healing; what methods featured can you identify? What overarching illnesses are curanderos attempting to treat?

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Native American Shamanism

This brief clip gives an overview of Shamanism; natural and supernatural, human and nature are intertwined. This clip acts as a preview to the advent of Hmong Shamans to America. Considering the influence the world’s population has on its environment, what can we learn from the Shaman way of life?

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Cultural Competence

This clip depicts how someone might feel in an unfamiliar hospital where their culture is not the dominant one. If they do not have someone who can help them interpret situations and communicate effectively with them, it can be an extremely frightening experience. What is the definition of cultural competency?

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Cultural Diversity Health Care

This brief video clip explains why health care professionals should adapt their assessment based on cultural needs and preferences when treating their patients. Other than language barriers, what kinds of communication should be adapted? How can health professionals become culturally competent?

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Becoming American: Wealth Equals Health

This brief segment from the PBS series “Becoming American” is taken from an episode titled “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?” This segment shows how socioeconomic status has become increasingly relevant to health status. How has this relationship (between wealth and health) affected the immigrant community, specifically Latinos?

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How Unemployment Affects Families

Another segment from “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?” shows a roundtable discussion amongst unemployed members of a community who have recognized how unemployment affects the family as a whole. What are some “run-off” ramifications that children of unemployed parents face? How does it change the family dynamic?

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On Living Longer

Dr. Craig Wilcox discusses his study of Okinawans and tries to identify reasons for their long lifespan. According to the study, their body ages slower than their “calendar” age. Dr. Wilcox examines family health history, hormone levels, and lifestyle. Not only do Okinawans have a longer lifespan than the world’s population, but they also have low incidence of many diseases and cancers. How does the Okinawan diet (both what they eat and do not eat) contribute to their health?

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Does Religion Benefit Society?

This clip focuses on the benefits found between religion and overall wellness (emotional and physical) as well as how religious people measure against others in society. The creator of the film cautions viewers that he has compiled references that show a link between religion and its benefits and has not intended it for use against other religions or beliefs. What is the relationship between religion and health? Do you feel this clip has made a valid argument?

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Stress and Coping

How Anxiety Affects the Body

According to AnswersTV, anxiety is more common than depression in the U.S. There are a number of factors in the brain’s chemistry that contribute to anxiety. Low levels of serotonin can contribute to an anxiety disorder. The clip gives an overview of the function of neurotransmitters. What neural abnormalities might people with anxiety disorders have?

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Wild Divine: Relaxing Stress Relief Games

The “Wild Divine” is a multimedia solution to promote self-care and wellness by combining games and exercises that include guided meditation and relaxation techniques. The website includes calming scenery. This clip shows how the Wild Divine website uses biofeedback hardware to assess the state of your mind and body. Do you think this program reduces levels anxiety and/or stress?

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Poverty, Stress, and Diabetes Among Native Americans

Dr. Donald Warne discusses the biochemical connection between living in poverty and blood sugar levels. As a preview to his segment “Unnatural Causes: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?” Dr. Warne calls attention to the difficult situation Native Americans face during tough economic times. Consider the United States as a whole; how might the current economic climate affect the health of the population?

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Anti-Stress Video Game

According to this ScienCentral video clip, reducing perceived social threat should reduce stress. He used two games: a smile game and a flower game, which both draw the eye to positive imagery (picking the smiling face or a flower with a certain number of petals). What hormone did the researcher measure? Why did he test telemarketers? How is virtual reality similarly being used to alleviate pain?

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Self-Effacing Humor: Comedian Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield delivers one of his “no respect” routines and other examples of self-effacing humor. Dangerfield jokes about his love life and appearance in particular. How could a sense of humor like Rodney Dangerfield’s shield one from the negative effects of stress?

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Scotty Nguyen Goads Opponents

Professional poker player Scotty Nguyen goads his opponents by using profanity, insults, and criticizing their play. This montage of footage is from the 2008 World Series of Poker. What is an acute stressor? What is one way to cope with acute stressors? How could Scotty’s opponents have coped better with the annoying antics?

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Iraq PTSD

[Caution: This clip may be disturbing for some viewers.] This student-produced film focuses on how soldiers who fought in Iraq often return home with post-traumatic stress disorder. Rather than explaining what PTSD is or interviewing soldiers, the clip shows exemplary scenes (filmed by soldiers) that help others understand why soldiers return with PTSD, including scenes from the combat. Define PTSD, including its diagnosis and treatment.

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Health-Related Research

Coffee Lowers Stroke Risk

In this clip from CBS Healthwatch, Julie Chen discusses a study that shows an interesting relationship between daily coffee consumption and risk of strokes. NIH showed that people who consume six or more cups of coffee a day were at a lower risk of having a stroke. What theories does Dr. Jennifer Ashton offer to explain the relationship between coffee consumption and stroke risk? What are some other possible health benefits?

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Power of a Mother’s Milk

Sanjay Gupta interviews a mother who has had premature twins: a daughter who has been brought home and a son who is remains in a neonatal ICU. Kathy breastfeeds her son through a feeding tube and she and her husband believe this will help him recover. What is NEC and how has breast milk affected it’s prevalence in the UCSD hospital?

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Overeaters’ Brains

Some people’s brains do not respond to fullness cues. Researchers at Brook Haven National Laboratory put a balloon in participants’ stomach to simulate food expansion. How did Dr. Wang show differences in brain activity between overweight and lean participants?

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Prenatal Influences on Obesity

If you're planning to have children and want to help them avoid getting fat, lose your own fat before you get pregnant. That's the message from researchers who have found obesity during pregnancy can cause lifelong obesity in the next generations. What did researchers supplement the mother mouse’s diet with that seemed to promote healthier weight in its children? How does this research translate to human obesity?

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Test for Fat Virus

Richard Atkinson discovered a “fat virus” in chickens. Atkinson found antibodies of that virus in 30% of obese people and in 11% of lean people. However, Randy Seeley doesn’t believe we have enough information to provide treatment for obesity or to prevent obesity. How might this discovery affect the society-created stigma of being obese?

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The Dark Side of Paradise: Mental Illness in Bali

[This video is in Balinese with English subtitles] Professor Lu Ketut Suryani, a Balinese psychiatrist, and her team ran a 10-month survey (2007-2008), in an attempt to uncover the prevalence of mental illness in Bali. According to the official government position, mental illness is almost non-existent in Bali. However, after interviewing almost half a million Balinese, Professor Suryani estimates that over 7,000 suffer from chronic mental illness. How does this compare with mental illness prevalence in the U.S.?

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Health Behaviors

PSA Exercise is Fun

In this home-made public service announcement, we hear about the importance of exercise. Define exercise. How can regular exercise affect your overall physical and mental health?

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Anorexia and Reward

New research suggests that the brains of former anorexics have a hard time telling the difference between winning and losing. A psychiatrist studied how the brain processes reward in both those who struggled with anorexia, and those who didn’t. Define anorexia, including psychological problems, symptoms of the disorder (for example, hair loss), and treatment.

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I Eat 33,000 Calories a Day: Lisa Sellers

This is a clip from TLC’s show "I Eat 33,000 Calories a Day." It features morbidly obese people and shows how daily consumption of excessive calories impacts their weight. This video highlights the eating habits of Lisa Sellers. How much does the average American woman consume in a day? How have food preferences shaped what Sellers consumes and how does that affect her weight?

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Jessica Alba Anti-Smoking PSA

This PSA from the American Lung Association features actress Jessica Alba, who loads a gun with bullets she pulls from a cigarette case. How does this dramatization call attention to the negative effects of smoking? What are the physiological consequences of smoking?

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College Binge Drinking

This news clip from ABC discovers the prevalence of binge drinking on college campuses. The clip shows photographs from students’ social websites in various stages of inebriation. What characterizes alcohol abuse? When is drinking considered “binge drinking”? How does alcohol abuse affect the body?

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Pain

Chronic Pain and Vitamin D Status: Mayo Clinic Study

Dr. Michael Turner studies Vitamin D and its affect on patients who have chronic pain and take narcotic pain medication. This research shows a correlation between inadequate vitamin D levels and the amount of narcotic medication taken by patients who have chronic pain. This information can help researchers discover new ways to treat chronic pain. How might this study affect treatment and diagnosis of patients who have chronic pain?

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Depression and Chronic Pain is Extremely Common

Dr. Russell Portenoy of Beth Israel Medical Center explains that depression often coincides with chronic pain. The relationship is complicated and requires a strong assessment of both conditions. Dr. Portenoy explains that patients often seek treatment for depression with a psychiatrist and for chronic pain with a physician and that this disconnect is a problem of the health care system. Explain the pattern theory, how depression can cause chronic pain, and vice versa.

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Pain Patients Shouldn’t “Tough It Out”

Dr. Russell Portenoy explains how important it is for patients to report actual levels of pain rather than remaining “stoic” or attempting to “tough it out.” Dr. Portenoy says that there are often various reasons for patients to appear stoic. What reasons do you think there are? What does Dr. Portenoy suggest patients do to report realistic pain levels to their physician?

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How to Keep a Pain Diary

Dr. Russell Portenoy explains why and how patients should record their pain. He recommends they record the following: intensity of pain, medicines taken, functioning abilities (sleeping, walking, etc.), and related symptoms. Keeping diaries like this can help physicians assess a care plan. Create a sample pain diary template based on Dr. Portenoy’s description.

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Chronic Pain and Neurofeedback

This video from EEG Info covers treatment for chronic pain using neurofeedback. R.N. Caroline Grierson explains how they use neurofeedback to redirect a patient’s attention to pain in order to lessen its severity. How is this treatment a “training,” and how does it control the patient’s pain?

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Chronic and Terminal Illnesses and Death

Coping with Terminal Illness

This excerpt from a 28-minute documentary shows one woman’s struggle with terminal illness and includes interviews of her husband and nurse. How did religion play a role in Liz’ acceptance of her impending death and how does that relate to research in your textbook?

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Terminal Illness Interviews

Multiple people are interviewed about terminal illness and provide various perspectives. Questions asked include: In one word, can you describe your experience with terminal illness? Is having hope important? If you could go back in time and whisper something in your own ear, what would you say? Do you have any advice for those that are caring for someone with terminal illness? What questions might you ask to prepare yourself or family members to deal with terminal illness?

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Chinese Buddhist Funeral Processions

This video shows a traditional Chinese-American Buddhist Funeral Procession. The video includes clips spliced together, showing pieces of the ceremony which took place over more than a day and involved many rituals. Research Buddhist funeral ceremonies; what is the importance of the various rituals shown? Contrast this ceremony with one you’ve attended (if possible).

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Dealing With Grief After Death

Grief is a process with no time limit or prescription. Sandi Sunter explains the importance of grief and its variance. What guidance does Sunter give to deal with grief at the loss of a loved one? What is the difference between “getting over it” and “moving on”?

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