Wednesday, April 08, 2009

UIS celebrates Health Awareness Day

The University of Illinois’ Masters in Public Health Student Association and Campus Health Services held the 11th annual Health Awareness Day on Wednesday, April 8, to educate the campus and Springfield community about positive health practices.

Representatives from area organizations like the local hospitals and the Sangamon County Department of Public Health were on hand to provide health screenings for cholesterol, blood pressure, bone density and more, as well as staff from UIS' Recreation and Athletic

Keynote speaker Dr. John K. Lee, a first-year resident in Family Medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, kicked off the day with his program titled “The secret of supplements: do they really work?”

Lee touched on several popular supplements, including amino acids, anabolic steroids, caffeine and more, and discussed effects of the supplements on athletic performance and on the body itself.

"There are a large number of Americans using supplements, and it's a huge business," he said. "But you have to be careful when you're buying them about what they claim. There are no regulations with supplements like there are with medications, so you should take them with a grain of salt and take into consideration the benefits opposed to the adverse effects."

One example he gave was ephedrine, which is used commonly in products like Hydroxycut touted for muscle gain and fat loss, but also many other products.

"It's really important when looking at all of these supplements to read the labels," Lee said. "A lot of supplements are being sold over and over again under different product names."

UIS’ Health Awareness Day is held in coordination with National Public Health Week, which is organized by the American Public Health Association. The theme of this year’s National Public Health Week is “Building the Foundation for a Healthy America.”

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