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Health fair attracts hundreds

When college students need to hear important messages, free giveaways can be useful in aiding their hearing.

Student Health Services found that this trick worked when it witnessed hundreds of students and faculty attend its 15th annual health fair Tuesday afternoon.

Sipping cold Coca-Colas and listening to tunes by Jay-Z and others, hundreds of attendees slowly poked around to different booths in SHS and the SVC breezeway.

Community health experts and on-campus health staff, such as USF dietician Kim May, offered free health screens and advice on preventing illness.

May announced to passersby about a USF nutrition counseling program that’s offered three times a month. She also gave tips such as eating healthy to fight high cholesterol.

She said people who choose fatty or sugary foods instead of nutritious food combinations are more susceptible to heart attacks or strokes.

Freshman Sofia Kolesnikova tuned in when May announced the nutrition counseling program. Kolesnikova told May that she now takes diet pills and exercises, which has caused her to lose 10 pounds within two weeks.

“Losing one to two pounds a week is safe weight loss,” May said to Kolesnikova. “Diet pills aren’t healthy for the body because most supplements contain caffeine and the drug synephrine, which could cause an irregular heart beat or heart attack.”

May warned Kolesnikova that once students get the facts, they’re free to make their own nutritional choices.

Freshman Adam Boryszewski, who said he likes to eat a lot, wanted to know how much body fat he had. So, he approached fitness graduate assistant Anna Filipek for a body composition assessment.

Boryszewski’s results fell slightly above the 22 percent satisfactory range for men. However, Filipek said, if Boryszewski had a higher rate he could suffer from stroke or hypertension.

To keep the composition rate down, Filipek said cardiovascular exercise and healthy eating is required. Men should maintain 10 to 22 percent body fat, and women should have 20 to 32 percent, she said.

Though a good diet and plenty of exercise are the best ways to prevent health problems, folks like graduate student Federico Hudson should be wary that family history can impact a good health record.

Hudson was tested by St. Joseph’s Hospital for glucose and blood pressure.

He received a good glucose score, but his blood pressure was over the 130/80 recommended level.

Hudson said his mother has high blood pressure.

“It’s good to take advantage of these events that are free and convenient,” Hudson said.

St. Joseph’s recommended he check his blood pressure again in a few weeks.

“It’s interesting how they made the event available to students,” freshman Brandi Spencer said. “It’s good to have these services.”