Volume 95, Issue 55

Thursday, January 10, 2002
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The Gazette's ultimate guide to addictions

Smoking - what a drag

Mmmm... Coffeeeee

Don't gamble away your life savings

I love Magnum P.I.

Don't get too pumped

Marajuana is not addictive

The myth of the bottomless mug

New Year's resolutions

Don't get too pumped

Ask anyone what their New Year's resolution is and they will almost inevitably answer: "to lose weight."

Whether it be five pounds or 50 pounds, the desire to tone up and slim down spans the country.

Elizabeth Elliot, the fitness and dance co-ordinator for Campus Recreation, said attendance in the gym definitely increases after New Year's.

One factor is the typical resolution, she explained, noting another possible reason is the upcoming vacation during Slack Week.

However, concerns are raised when an individual expresses a sudden interest in a physical change, Elliot said. People often tend to set unrealistic goals to change their body in a short period of time. "They are often looking for a dramatic change, which is very stressful," she said.

Exercising can become an addiction, she added. "It is important to take one day off per week because there is a significant risk of over-training."

In addition to exercising, dieting often increases in the new year. People often get so obsessed with their diet, they tend to go overboard, said Anne Kennedy, president of the National Institute of Nutrition.

"Historically, when it came to eating disorders, we focused on high school and university-age girls," she said. "What we are finding now is eating disorders are developing younger and span across all economic groups."

It is important to find a way to get people more interested in what they eat because a lack of interest in meal preparation often results in poor food choices, Kennedy explained.

Portion size should be a big focus, she noted. "Fast food chains offer supersize options which only encourage overeating, often resulting in feelings of guilt," she said.

"It is better to be slightly overweight and maintain a healthy body than to fluctuate constantly while dieting," Kennedy added.

-Lindsay Satterthwaite

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