Academic Health Center
Stay Connected

The Minnesota State Fair: Where food, fun and exercise (yes, exercise) collide!

The Minnesota State Fair is off and running, bringing with it the symbolic end to summer and the beginning of fall and the school year. The Minnesota State Fair is best known for its shows, rides, livestock and other animals, family fun and of course – the food!

From corn dogs, cheese curds, cookies and basically anything you could possibly imagine deep-fried and/or on a stick, the Minnesota State Fair has something for everyone to enjoy.

Now, at Health Talk, we won’t try to lecture you as to what foods you should and should not eat at the State Fair because we know, honestly, that it wouldn’t be realistic. The old adage, “everything in moderation” still applies, but we can offer you some small and simple ways you can still splurge a little on your culinary favorites AND get some exercise while you’re at it.

Read more

Back to school: Getting kids back on a normal sleep schedule

Editor’s note: This post was developed by Michael Howell, M.D., a University of Minnesota neurologist and sleep expert.

It’s that time of year again. From preschoolers to the one-year-to-go high school seniors, students across Minnesota need to adjust their schedules after a summer of flexible sleep times.

This is particularly challenging for teenagers whose body clocks are naturally inclined to run later and due to the long summer days of late sunlight exposure.  This combination creates a delay in a child’s circadian rhythm leading to anxious nights of being unable to sleep followed by impaired, groggy mornings.

Read more

Breastfeeding at Work: Challenges and Opportunities for Minnesota’s Mothers

Editor’s note: This post was developed by Alexis Russell, M.P.H., a 2015 graduate of the Public Health Administration and Policy Program, Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health and Katy Kozhimannil, Ph.D., M.P.A., associate professor, Division of Health Policy and Management, University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

August is National Breastfeeding Month. It’s also the “Back-to-school” time of year, when students and teachers prepare for the upcoming school year. It’s a time of great excitement, but, it’s also a particularly challenging time for teachers who also happen to be mothers who are breastfeeding.

In 2011, fewer than 1 in 4 Minnesota infants were breastfed to the recommended length of time. Employed mothers are one subgroup of women that struggle to meet recommendations for breastfeeding, due in part to barriers they experience as part of their day-to-day schedules and obligations at work.

Read more

Why Are Some Cancers More Deadly Than Others?

Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders announced last week he has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for what his doctors call a “very treatable and curable form of cancer,” and will continue to coach as he goes through treatment.

So, why are some cancers more deadly than others?


Read more

Research snapshot: Effects of beta-blocker withdrawal in acute decompensated heart failure

Responsible for approximately 1 million hospitalizations each year, acute decompensated heart failure (ADHF), poses a challenge for health care professionals. To combat high mortality rates, patients with heart failure are often treated with beta-blockers, medications that can prevent further weakening of the heart.

A recent study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology-Heart Failure from the University of Minnesota Medical School found the discontinuation of beta-blockers in ADHF patients was associated with a significant increase in mortality and rehospitalization.

Read more

Coming to a beach near you: The ‘dad bod’

Sometimes it’s hard to fathom how or why some trends ever gain momentum or become popular. The selfie stick? Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge? #YOLO?

Now, a new body image trend known as the ‘dad bod’ is making its way around the Internet and social media. What makes up this unique physical trait?

According to this MSN article, the dad bod is “a nice balance between a beer gut and working out.” And while this trend seems relatively harmless and all in good fun, a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine found 67.6 million American adults aged 25 and older are obese and an additional 65.2 million are overweight.

Read more