Category Archives: Uncategorized


Hey HAP! Check us out at our new website:

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Shared circulatory systems in mice: what parabiosis may tell us about obesity & diabetes

Hey HAP! This is an experiment worth sharing- researchers “linked” mice together so that they share the same circulatory system as follows and got these results (for those of you concerned for the mice, the procedure is performed under anesthesia; you can read more about parabiosis here- parabiosis


Posted by Alice Li ’14

anyone who’s taken Sociology 190? Shoutout to Prof. Christakis!

“The study concluded that obesity is partially a result of voluntary choices or behaviors, but people are embedded in social networks and are influenced by the appearance and behaviors of those around them as well […] College students tend to eat foods that taste good, are easy to grab, or that friends
are eating” ..maybe this is something to be conscious of in our daily lives on campus?

Posted by Alice Li ’14

Feeling Down? Have some water.


With the 2013-2014 school year now in full swing, Harvard students are busy as ever, gallivanting all over campus for clubs, classes, and social events. Even with a jam-packed schedule, there are many easy ways to stay healthy and prevent illness before it happens. One simple, well-known way to keep health and vitality up is to stay hydrated through out the day. Water makes up roughly 60% of your body weight and is vital for the function of every system in the body, flushing out toxins, transporting nutrients, aiding with enzymatic function and much more.

While symptoms of severe dehydration are well known, including headache, fatigue, constipation, dry skin and dry mouth, a recent study at Tufts University suggests that even moderate dehydration (as low as 2% of body weight) can have a negative effect on mood and energy. In the study athletes who had been deprived of water during a workout were compared with hydrated athletes using cognitive tests and quantitative mood surveys. Dehydrated participants reported significantly higher levels of anger, depression and tension, along with lower levels of vigor in comparison to hydrated subjects, after just one workout! In another study, more significant dehydration impacted physical structure and function of the brain, making cognitive activities much more difficult.

While there is no perfect daily quantity of water for everyone, most recommendations are around 8 standard glasses per day, and this amount should be increased with exercise, illness and hot weather. Most importantly, listen to your body to determine how much water you need to feel good, because needs will obviously vary from person to person. It has also been shown that drinking a lot of water all at once is not as beneficial as keeping hydrated through out the day. This is best achieved by keeping a water bottle with you and re-filing whenever possible.

So if you are feeling tired, down or have a headache, try re-filling your water bottle for a quick, cheap and easy pick me up with minimal inconvenience or additional stress.

Have a HAPpyday!


D’anci, Kristen; Vibhakar, Arjun; Kanter, Jordan. Voluntary Dehydration and Cognitive Performance in Trained College Athletes. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 2009, 109, 251-269. (2009)

Kempton, Mathew et. al Dehydration Affects Brain Structure and Function in Healthy Adolescents. Human Brain Mapping 32:71–79 (2011)

Shipmann, Chris. “How to get more Energy.” N.p., 05 Apr. 2007. Web. 22 Sept. 2013.

Staff, Mayo Clinic. Dehydration: Symptoms “Definition.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 07 Jan. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2013.

Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 12 Oct. 2011. Web. 22 Sept. 2013.

Sign up to join HAP!

Hey HAP!
Thanks to those of you who made it to our intro meeting!  FILL OUT THIS FORM by Thursday Sept 12th to sign up for the initiative(s) you’re interested in getting involved in this semester.

If you couldn’t make our intro meeting, no worries! You can definitely still join; see the descriptions of our initiatives below (powerpoint here: HAP intro 2013 fall) and contact the relevant board member if you have specific questions about that initiative.  Then, fill out the form above by the Thursday Sept 12th deadline.

Don’t forget to join our fb group here!

Fall 2013 initiatives:

1. Education Studies Program (ESP; teach high school students about the biology of nutrition and/or Sound Knowledge on Saturdays at Maxwell Dworkin (right on Harvard’s campus!)) Tiffany Lopinsky <> & Gita Bhattacharya <>

2. Splash (same materials as ESP except condensed into a 2-day program) Tiffany Lopinsky <>

3. Citizen schools (teach junior high students in Boston about healthy living topics like nutrition, food advertising, vitamins, obesity & diabetes, and/or your own topic of choice! It’s a plus if you have Spanish and/or Chinese speaking skills as well. Happens once a week on a school day for ~3 hours in the afternoon (exact time will depend on your schedule once you sign up on the google form)) If you’re interested, send an email asap to Alice Li <> (HAP president), Andrew Kalina <> and Jason Gandelman <> (Citizen program directors).

4. Faculty chats (If a professor you know does research/teaches on a health-related topic, invite him/her to share ideas with undergrads over lunch/dinner!  This is a really great way to get to know your professors better.) Alice Li <>

5. Cooking seminars (Ever notice how common it is for undergrads to not know how to cook? Learn simple, healthy recipes from our board member Marissa, and/or help her teach a lesson! These will happen once a month, possibly in various dining halls- contact Marissa if you’re interested in either participating or helping to organize/teach!) Marissa Grenon ’14 <>

6. Life is Good Parties/Socials (Picture yourself as a future HAP board member? Here’s your chance to get creative by organizing “life-is-good” themed social events for undergrads!) Alice Li <>
7. HAP Insanity Workouts (Insanity is a cardio workout program that requires no props- so join us if you want to try something new, challenge yourself, and have a blast while meeting new people!  We’ll set up a regular time depending on sign-ups.) Alice Li <>

8. Annenberg Fruit Study Break (Contact alice if you want to help set up a fruit buffet study break in Annenberg!  Freshmen out there, get ready for the dry cereal  & chex mix at Brain Break in the dhalls- it gets unappetizing fast.) Alice Li <>

9. Blogging for HAP (If you have blogging experience and/or like to read up on health-themed articles every once in a while, why not turn it into a club activity? Many undergrads will benefit from reading what you post!) Juliet Bailin <> & Emery Poor <>

10. Defeating Malaria (HAP is partnering with the Harvard School of Public Health to raise awareness about defeating malaria.  There’s an ongoing competition for $10,000 to develop an idea for on-campus malaria awareness (deadline Oct 31st); there’s also an ongoing seminar with incredible faculty (first one’s Sept 13th!)  See the defeating malaria website for details, or contact both “Andersen, Anna” <> and Alice Li <>

11. HAP Webmaster & Social Media Manager (Have experience with websites and social media? Help HAP spread our passion for health with the world and boost your chances of a HAP board position!) Juliet Bailin <> & Emery Poor <>

12. HAP Videographer (Help HAP by making a short & simple documentary-style video of our initiatives this semester! Plus it means you’re obligated to attend our parties & socials 🙂 Professional experience preferred though not required.) Juliet Bailin <> & Emery Poor <>

13. HAP Photographer (Have design experience? Stop by our various initiatives this semester and work with our webmaster to keep a lively gallery of our ongoing programs!) Juliet Bailin <> & Emery Poor <>

14. HAP Social Event Organizer (Want to test your creativity and leadership? Get involved in planning our Fruit Study Break & Life is Good Parties!) Alice Li <>

What’s the process for becoming a board member?
All incoming members are eligible for becoming a member of either the Outreach Committee or Programming Committee.  Applications come out by late November/early December in which we look for both a genuine interest in health through the candidate’s level of activity in the committee and evidence for a dedication to pursuing that interest during the candidate’s time with HAP.
I have my own initiative I’d like to add to HAP’s list of activities (eg, I want to show freshmen in Annenberg how to get creative with HUDS) How do I get started?
Believe it or not, all of our initiatives began in the same exact situation- luckily for you, we have all the resources you need, including who on campus to contact if we can’t help you out ourselves.  Email any of us on board; we’ve all had experience setting up initiatives so we’d love to hear your ideas!I told my friends about HAP; how do they get on the email list too?
Tell them to send an email to! 🙂 They can also join our fb group here!
~Stay HAPpy,
Board ’13

—President – Alice Li ’14 (
—Treasurer – Jeffrey Edwards ’16 (
—Outreach Coordinator – Juliet Bailin ’15 (
—Assistant Outreach Coordinator -Emery Poor ’15 (
—Programming Directors
—Tiffany Lopinsky ’16 (
—Gita Bhattacharya ’16 (
—Marissa Grenon ’14 (

Welcome, Class of 2017!

Interested in health education? Passionate about healthy living?

Join Harvard Health Advocacy Program!

HAP’s mission is to connect Boston youth and Harvard undergraduates with health education and wellness resources so that they may actively pursue a healthy lifestyle.

To achieve this goal off-campus, HAP’s mentors work with elementary, middle, and high school students to teach hands-on health curricula covering topics such as nutrition, exercise, food advertising, and music and noise induced hearing damage in youth. On-campus, HAP promotes our mission by hosting health-themed study breaks, group exercise socials, and resourceful cooking seminars.

Why join HAP?
• Make an impact in Boston and on campus.
• Meet and work with dedicated students passionate about healthy living.
• Develop your own lesson plans, plan unique programs, and seek out new sponsorships and partnerships.

Email to express your interest. We look forward to hearing from you!

HAP Board

HAP Board at our spring Life is Good party!


Upcoming events: welcome to HAP!

Mark your calendars:
Friday Sept 6th 4-7PM: come find HAP & talk to us at our booth at the activities fair!
Saturday Sept 7th 10-11AM: Challenge yourself and meet other undergrads at a fun, creative group cardio workout in the style of Insanity! Bring water & RSVP here:!/events/1413523728859899/
Sunday Sept 8th 1-2PM: HAP Intro meeting! Sever 206; come find out more about our initiatives this semester!