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                                                     EQUAL Health
Winter 2011                                                                                    Volume 6, Issue 1

Weight No More: Mindful Eating                                                                               by Candace Corbin

Mindfulness, a Buddhist philosophy,            ways to become more aware of what              slow down, enjoy every bite and eat until
describes an increased state of awareness      and how much we eat. A good way                you are not hungry as opposed to full
of the environment. A key component            to start is to relish the presentation of      or stuffed. Doing so may help decrease
of mindfulness involves maintaining a          the food. Look at all the different colors,    consumption of excess calories.
nonjudgmental approach to events                     shapes and sizes. Then indulge in
                                                                                              Next time you eat, try sitting in a quiet
that occur in the environment.                         the different aromas.
                                                                                              room so you can practice mindful eating.
Listening to the wind blowing                           If it is a finger food, pick up       No such place in your house? Invite your
outside, smelling a glass of red                         a piece and feel its different       family members to try it with you—
wine, focusing on the sound,                             textures. Whether it’s Rice          make it a fun, new experience.
taste and texture of the                                   Krispies or a sizzling steak
first crisp bite of a freshly                                  fajita, enjoy the snap,
ripened apple—all are                                             crackle and pop. Take
examples of mindful                                                  a bite of the food.        You can create your own personal wellness plan
attention to small                                                     Feel the different       based on your daily activity level and calorie needs.
pieces of the                                                            textures against       “Shape Up America” ( and
world around us.                                                          your teeth and        the U.S. Department of Agriculture
                                                                          tongue. Be            ( offer
Mindfulness                                                                                     online calculators to help you determine your
                                                                          sure to chew
can be applied                                                                                  calorie needs. Visit one of these sites and gather
                                                                        thoroughly before
to the way we                                                                                   information to fill in the blanks:
                                                                            you swallow,
                                                                              savoring all
food. Just                                                                                      Height:            Weight:             Age:
                                                                              the different
as truly
                                                                              flavors and       Activity Level (circle):
a fine wine                                                                                     Inactive Somewhat Active         Active Very Active
often requires                                                       Paying attention to
small sips and                                                     the various sensations       Estimated Daily Calorie Needs:
long, deep breaths,                                              keeps the mind active,
                                                                                                I will create an average daily calorie deficit
learning to take our                                           or “in the moment,” and
time during meals can increase                   helps prevent overconsumption. It is           of             calories/day by eating
our appreciation of what we are eating.        so easy to “zone out” when we multitask          fewer calories.
                                               during our meals, that only after
Mindful eating is one of the best                                                               I will increase my activity and exercise to burn
                                               watching our favorite TV show do we
                                               realize we ate more than we planned.                         extra calories per week.
Inside                                         This pattern of mindless eating is               I can do this by engaging in
                                               a problem for many. True mindful                 (name exercise)           times per week.

2    With growing need for health care,
     consider becoming a physician assistant
                                               eating requires our full attention,
                                               without distractions, and allows for
                                               nonjudgmental responses to all aspects
                                                                                                In addition, I will increase my lifestyle activity by:
                                                                                                1.   Taking the stairs
                                               of the environment.
3    Maintaining physical fitness in the
     comfort of your home                      In other words, feeling guilty about
                                               overeating is no substitute for eating
                                                                                                     Parking farther away
                                                                                                     Getting up and walking more at work
                                                                                                4.   _______________________
                                               less. Ironically, focusing on what we
4    Revisit fiber as an important part
     of your diet                              eat can lead to enjoying food more and
                                               eating less. Pay attention while eating—
                                                                                                5.   _______________________

                                                                1                                                                                                                                                                                      USUCHD Newsletter

                                                                                                                            Graduate Advisor:
         About This Newsletter
         Advancing Equal Health is funded
                                                                                                                            Becoming a Physician Assistant
                                                                                                                             by Candace Corbin
         by the National Center on Minority
                                                                                                                            With the growing need for health
         Health and Health Disparities,                                                                                     care, especially in areas where there is
         partnered with the University of                                                                                   inadequate or little access to services,
         Maryland Eastern Shore and The                                                                                     careers in physician assistance have
                                                                                                                            been increasing steadily. It might be
         G.O.S.P.E.L. Program, and published                                                                                easy to confuse physician assistants with
         quarterly by the Uniformed                                                                                         medical assistants because the names
         Services University Center                                                                                         sound similar, but each offers different
                                                                                                                            standards of clinical care.
         for Health Disparities.
                                                                                                                            Physician assistants are licensed to
                                                                                                                            practice medicine under the supervision
                                                                                                                            of a physician, while medical assistants                degree. Even though various degrees are
                                                                                                                            help with office administration and                     available for this career, each graduate
                                                                                                                            minor clinical tasks, such as measuring                 must complete the same exam—the
                                                                                                                            vital signs and drawing blood.                          Physician Assistant National Certifying
                                                                                                                                                                                    Exam, which is administered by the
                                                                                ity Health
                                                                             nor           an
                                                                           Mi                d

                                                                                                                            The clinical duties of a physician                      National Commission on Certification
                                                       ional Cente


                                                                                                                            assistant include diagnosing illnesses,                 of Physician Assistants. A passing score

                of the Health Sciences
                                                                                                                            receiving medical histories, assisting the              on this exam allows one to use the title
                                                                                                                            physician during surgery, prescribing                   “Physician Assistant-Certified” and
         If you wish to contribute to this newsletter,                                                                      medication, performing physical exams                   grants practicing rights.
                                                                                                                            and many other similar tasks.
         contact Tricia L. Psota, Ph.D., Postdoctoral                                                                                                                               To prepare for graduate study as a
         Fellow, USU Center for Health Disparities,                                                                         In some cases, physician assistants can                 physician assistant, a prospective student
         at                                                                                     be the primary health care provider.                    should plan to take undergraduate
                                                                                                                            They often practice in typical health care              courses in anatomy, biology, calculus,
                                                                                                                            settings, such as hospitals, community                  chemistry and psychology. Students
         The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the
                                                                                                                            health centers, private practices and                   should also maintain a good grade
         Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.
         produced this publication.
                                                                                                                            emergency health clinics.                               point average in science courses and
                                                                                                                            Several degrees are offered for physician               university-required curricula.
                                                                                                                            assistants—associate’s, bachelor’s,                     Just as in any other graduate program,
                                                                                                                            master’s, and more recently, a doctorate                standardized tests are required for
                                                                                                                                                                                    admission. Most schools require the
                                                                                         Body Mass Index                                                                            Graduate Record Examination, though
          BMI          19                20   21                            22             23                     24       25     26    27       28        29   30     35     40    some accept the Medical College
                                                                                                                        WEIGHT IN POUNDS                                            Admission Test.
          5’0”       97              102      107                      112               118                      123     128    133   138       143   148      153   179     204
          5’1”       100             106      11                       116               122                      127     132    137   143       148   153      158   185     211   Most master’s programs to become a
          5’2”       104             109      115                      120               126                      131     136    142   147       153   158      164   191     218   physician assistant require about two
          5’3”       107             113      118                      124               130                      135     141    146   152       158   163      169   197     225   years beyond the undergraduate level,
          5’4”       110             116      122                      128               134                      140     145    151   157       163   169      174   204     232   with the first year dedicated to in-class
          5’5”       114             120      126                      132               138                      144     150    156   162       168   174      180   210     240   studies and the second year integrating

          5’6”       118             124      130                      136               142                      148     155    161   167       173   179      186   216     247   a mixture of classroom studies and
          5’7”       121             127      134                      140               146                      153     159    166   172       178   185      191   223     255
                                                                                                                                                                                    clinical rotations, similar to those in
          5’8”       125             131      138                      144               151                      158     164    171   177       184   190      197   230     262
                                                                                                                                                                                    medical school.
          5’9”       128             135      142                      149               155                      162     169    176   182       189   196      203   236     270
          5’10”      132             139      146                      153               160                      167     174    181   188       195   202      207   243     278   For more information about becoming
          5’11”      136             143      150                      157               165                      172     179    186   193       200   208      215   250     286   a physician assistant, visit the University
          6’0”       140             147      154                      162               169                      177     184    191   199       206   213      221   258     294   of Maryland Eastern Shore Physician
          6’1”       144             151      159                      166               174                      182     189    197   204       212   219      227   265     302
                                                                                                                                                                                    Assistant Department website at
                                              NORMAL                                                                              OVERWEIGHT                          OBESE
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has established the Body Mass Index
to determine whether an individual is normal, overweight or obese.

                                                                                                                                                                Winter 2011

Transitioning to Indoor Exercises                                                                                                   In the Community
by Candace Corbin

While the threat of snow and ice                                 can lead to a few added pounds of                       Jan. 28
remains imminent, cold winter weather                            insulation before spring, making it harder
                                                                                                                         Health Disparities and Social
creates obstacles standing in the way                            to resume warm-weather exercise routines.
                                                                                                                         Justice Conference
of exercising.
                                                                 Luckily, there is a whole gym available to
                                                                                                                         On Jan. 28, Dr. Robyn Osborn and Dr. Tricia
With the savory array of warm home-                              most of us right in our homes. Below are
cooked meals and limited physical                                some ways to maintain physical fitness in               Psota of the Uniformed Services University
activity, it is easy to fall into the “winter                    the comfort of your own home.                           Center of Health Disparities participated in the
hibernation zone.”                                                                                                       Health Disparities and Social Justice Conference
                                                                 Remember: Always warm up and stretch                    hosted by DePaul University’s Master of Public
Though warm, this comfort zone                                   before exercise.                                        Health Program. Osborn and Psota led a
                                                                                                                         skills-building workshop focused on the use
                                                                                                                         of community-based participatory research to
                                                                                                                         address health disparities among African-
                                                                                                                         American women. The conference provided
                                                                                                                         a valuable context for dialogue among a
                                                                                                                         range of health and community experts who
   Equipment                                  Aerobic                                    Core Strength                   share DePaul’s mission to address social
                                                                                                                         injustices and community health practices in
   Try using extra socks to                   Crank up the music and                     Crunches are another            marginalized groups.
   create weights—filling                     dance. Many exercise                       classic exercise.This
   them with pennies or                       classes, including Jazzercise,             alternative to sit-ups          April 12
   dried beans and tying a                    Zumba and hip-hop                          allows you to get a great       Building Partnerships for Better
   knot at the end. For ankle                 aerobics, originated in                    abdominal workout
   weights, wrap the sock                     dance.The original concept                 without putting too much
                                                                                                                         Health Conference
   around your ankle and tie                  works just as well because                 strain on your lower back.      The Building Partnerships for Better Health
   the two ends together so                   you are using so much                      The proper way to do            Conference will take place April 12 at the
   the majority of the weight                 energy. Include your family                crunches is to lie on the
   is in the center of the                    so they can enjoy the fun                                                  Richard A. Henson Center at the University
                                                                                         floor with your knees bent      of Maryland Eastern Shore. The conference
   sock. These homemade                       and exercise.                              toward the ceiling. Place
   weights are as useful                                                                 your hands behind your
                                                                                                                         will feature locally recognized academic
   as manufactured hand                                                                  head or lay them across         and community presenters who will address
   weights or ankle weights.                  Weights                                    your chest and carefully        disparities in the health status between racial
                                                                                         lift your shoulders off the     and ethnic minorities and the general population
                                              Remember those                             ground, slightly curling your
   Cardio                                     homemade weights?                          back.Your torso should not
                                                                                                                         in Maryland and the nation. The conference
                                              Use them to do squats.                                                     will also address the Patient Protection and
                                                                                         fully lift off of the ground.
   Walking up and down                        Stand straight with feet                   Bring your shoulders back       Affordable Care Act, or health care reform, and
   stairs is great cardio                     shoulder-width apart and                   to the ground and repeat.       opportunities and challenges in Maryland for
   exercise. Start with a                     hands at your sides with                                                   individuals to receive services to which they
   warm-up by walking up                      a weight in each hand.                     Imagine an orange
                                                                                         between your chin and           currently lack access. Finally, this conference
   one stair and stepping                     Bend your knees slightly
   down one stair. Repeat                     and tilt your torso so your                chest to help keep your         will highlight ongoing research programs and
   this motion for about                      shoulders, knees and toes                  head and neck straight          efforts (including community engagement
   two minutes or until you                   are aligned. Slowly return                 during the exercise. It         programs and a community network program)
   feel that your body has                    to the standing position                   is tempting to pull on          that aim to understand the underlying causes
   warmed up sufficiently.                    and repeat. Try doing this                 them to help raise your
                                                                                         shoulders, but doing            of specific disparities and identify new strategies
   When you are ready,                        exercise for two to three
                                                                                         so can cause injury.            to reduce them and to strengthen diverse,
   start by walking up one                    sets of 10. Remember to
   stair and stepping down                    keep your head up and                                                      multi-disciplinary partnerships and perspectives.
   again. Continue with two,                  look straight ahead during                                                 For additional information, call 301-295-0864
   three then four steps,                     this exercise; looking                                                     or 301-295-9880.
   and keep going until                       down can hurt your back.
   you have completed the
   whole flight.

 Is there snow in the forecast? Great! Turn on the television and click to your cable provider’s “On Demand” page.
 There is often a fitness section that offers free workout programs, including yoga, Pilates, aerobics and kickboxing.

                                                                                          3                                                                                                                USUCHD Newsletter

Nutrition Nook: Try a Fiber-full Diet!
by Tricia L. Psota, Ph.D.

Fiber is an important part of your diet.            Hearty Bean Soup                                  1. Drain beans and reserve liquid.
Research shows fiber-rich diets may                                                                      Rinse beans.
help prevent certain illnesses such as              Makes 16 servings (1 cup each)
                                                                                                      2. Heat oil in a six-quart kettle; add
heart disease, diabetes, diverticular               2 cans Great Northern beans                          mushrooms, onion, carrots, celery
disease, constipation, hemorrhoids and              2 tbsp. olive oil                                    and garlic. Sauté for 5 minutes.
some forms of cancer. In addition, fiber-           ½ lb. mushrooms, sliced                           3. Add tomatoes, sage, thyme, oregano,
rich diets can help weight-loss efforts                                                                  pepper and bay leaf.
                                                    1 cup onion, chopped
by providing a sense of fullness without
                                                    2 cups carrots, sliced                            4. Cover and cook over medium
adding too many extra calories.
                                                    1 cup celery, chopped                                heat for 20 minutes. Cook macaroni
Beans are an excellent source of dietary                                                                 according to directions on package
                                                    1 clove garlic, minced
fiber and should be included in all diets.                                                               using unsalted water. Drain
Beans are nutrient-rich and provide                 1 ½ lbs. canned whole tomatoes, cut up               when cooked.
complex carbohydrates, plant protein,               1 tsp. dried sage                                 5. Combine reserved bean liquid
B-vitamins and minerals, particularly               1 tsp. dried thyme                                   with water to make four cups.
magnesium, iron and potassium. Beans                ½ tsp. dried oregano                              6. Add liquid, beans and cooked
are also low in fat, calories and sodium.           1 bay leaf, crumbled                                 macaroni to vegetable mixture.
Try this recipe for a hearty bean soup
                                                    Black pepper to taste                             7. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer
that is easy to make and full of fiber.
                                                    4 cups macaroni, cooked                              until soup is heated thoroughly.

Volunteer Opportunities

Family Intervention Study of Health                                           Menopausal Women
Would you and your family like to participate in a weight                                 What are some of the issues that affect sexuality during
control program? The USU Center for Health                                                           menopause? African-American and Caucasian
Disparities introduces the Family Intervention                                                          women are needed for a study addressing
Study of Health (FISH), a new weight                                                                    questions about menopause. Participation
management study for women and their families,                                                        requires completing an online or paper survey
at the 19th Street Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. The                                that should take about 60 minutes. Some volunteers who live
center is looking for African-American women between the                             in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area may also be eligible
ages of 18 and 60, along with one or more of their family                          to participate in a substudy that involves a small blood draw.
members, to participate at the church. FISH focuses on                             Participants in the blood draw substudy may be compensated.
healthy eating and exercise for the entire family. Participants
                                                                                  To determine if you qualify, send an email to
will be compensated.
                                                                        Interested individuals will receive a
If you are interested, center representatives will be available                link to the study’s screening questionnaire. For more information, contact
after services to distribute health-screening forms and                        Robert Clark, M.S., at 301-295-9666.
answer any questions. Call the center at 301-295-9718 or email with any additional questions.                     Teen Excess Weight Prevention Study

Effects of Statin Therapy on Skeletal Muscle                                  The study is being conducted by the National Institutes of Health and
Parameters in Older Adults                                                    the Uniformed Services University.
                                                                              We are looking for adolescent girls ages 12-17 who are above average
Are you 65 years old or older, and do you have risk factors for heart
                                                                              weight. The goal of the study is to test how effective group programs
disease? The University of Maryland Eastern Shore’s Department
                                                                              are in the prevention of excess weight gain. Girls must be able to speak
of Physical Therapy is conducting a research project to examine the
                                                                              English, but parents do not. Individuals who qualify for the study will be
effects of statin therapy on muscle and muscle-related factors in older
                                                                              compensated for their time. If you are interested, call 1-800-411-1222
adults. If you wish to participate, contact Dr. Treuth at 410-651-6359.
                                                                              (TTY: 1-866-411-1010). Se habla español. Visit our website at
                                                                     Refer to study # 08-CH-0139.


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