ifIknew is a health initiative for young adults that uses a multi media approach, including social media and in person programs, to address the contemporary issues that impact the well-being, self-image, careers, and relationships of people in their 20's and 30's.

If I Knew is a prevention education project that raises awareness about risky behaviors that can profoundly impact lives.

Filtering by Category: Eating Disorders

Q & A: Is it true that fasting to lose weight can ultimately make you heavier than before you began dieting?

While it seems to make intuitive sense that fasting is the quick way to lose weight, it actually makes it a bigger challenge to keep weight off. Under normal circumstances the body uses glucose, the breakdown product of carbohydrates and fats, for fuel. The liver only stores enough glucose for one day. When you fast or severely restrict your caloric intake for an extended period of time, your body goes into "starvation mode." This means that your body begins to store fat instead of utilizing it for energy, and as an alternative begins to break down muscle mass to produce glucose for energy. The amount of muscle in your body impacts the rate at which you burn calories (your metabolic rate). The more muscle mass you lose, the more ineffective your body becomes at utilizing calories from fat, and instead starts to store them as body fat.

The longer the fast, the slower you will burn calories. As soon as your fast is over, you will gain weight faster than you would have previously – this is your body’s attempt to protect against another "famine." Those extra pounds will likely come back as stored body fat!

What do you, me and a beauty queen have in common?

Whether you’re a man or a woman, whether you’re 15 or 55, we all feel the pressure to look a certain way. Especially in our culture today, with rising rates of obesity and labeling of “the fattest states in America”, it’s a constant struggle to find our place in the middle of morbidly obese and frighteningly thin while staying healthy and happy. Kristin Haglund, Miss America 2008, revealed to CNN reporter Yasmin Khorram that even she was not immune, and succumbed to anorexia at the young age of 12. As a former Miss America, she continues to advocate for youth with anorexia and spread awareness about the disorder (Read More).

According to helpguide.org, people with anorexia refuse to maintain a healthy body weight, have a distorted body image and an intense fear of gaining weight or being fat. There are two types: restrictive type (strict dieting, fasting, excessive exercise) and purging type (vomiting or abuse of laxatives or diuretics).

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were no such thing as anorexia... If we could live happily and healthily without the constant anxiety about how we look or how much we weigh? But alas, it’s part of our world. Know the warning signs and know yourself.  More ifIknew info on the subject is here.

Paying with Plastic Promotes Poor Food Picks

It’s hard to keep junk food out of my cabinets at home and to avoid munching on unhealthy treats. But weekly trips to the supermarket can be taunting! Sometimes, it feels almost impossible to restrain myself from reaching for the cookie dough ice cream, chocolate covered pretzels, and barbeque-flavored potato chips. A strategy for avoiding these impulse purchases is to pay in cash rather than using a credit card. In fact, don’t even take a credit card to the store. When we pay in cash, we find it’s easier to monitor our purchases and we are less tempted to go over budget by purchasing unnecessary junk food. This is great for both our waistline and our wallet!

A recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that shoppers consistently purchase unhealthy and unnecessary items when paying via credit card. Interestingly, both debit and credit cards contributed to impulse spending on junk food. This is notable because debit cards are more or less equivalent to cash since the money spent is automatically deducted from a bank account. This study demonstrates that it is the abstraction of plastic payments that influences poor consumer purchases.

What strategies do you use to avoid purchasing unhealthy food? Sound off below!

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Well, to start, a live woman's hips are generally wider than her head. Obviously, this picture is the result of some serious Photoshopping.

This photo appeared in a Ralph Lauren advertisement in 2009.  The picture was so shocking that it started discussions about whether digitally altered fashion photos harm women by promoting standards of beauty that are simply unattainable by natural, non-computerized means.

Some governments have discussed banning digitally altered images or requiring the addition of warning labels, much like the government requires for cigarettes or alcohol.  Some people argue that fashion photography is not supposed to show us something attainable.

What do you think?  Are these images dangerous?  Do they contribute to body image or eating disorders, or do they play upon ideas we already have?  Can or should they be regulated, or is it our own responsibility to be able to detect what's real and what's robot?

Sound off in our comments section!