The Perfect Body(physical appearance) – Julie

There are currently hundreds of social issues that are deemed relevant to the teenage population. One of these issues is how teenagers perceive themselves and what the perfect body is for them. I chose this topic because it is affecting many teenagers both directly and indirectly. It is an issue that I think many teens should be more aware of as it will help shape their personality in a positive manner. I already know, based from personal observation, that many teenagers value their physical appearance more over their character. Teenagers have been judged and they also judged others. In my wellness class, we learned how social media, one of the things that changes people’s perception of what’s beautiful, impacts teenagers. I already knew that many people resort to plastic surgery to achieve the “perfect” body. However, I had no idea that even teenagers are willing to undergo “body-changing” procedures just to be called “beautiful.” This issue is very important to me and everyone else, as it makes us realize what is really important in life and value the things that we have, including our bodies. This is essential to teenagers because from the ages between 13 and 19, we begin to discover ourselves and build a strong foundation for our character. If we learn how to accept ourselves as we are and not judge others based on their bodies, we will grow in a positive environment that promotes respect and equality. We will strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle instead of  imitating those walking down the runway, posing on magazines and showing up on TV ads.

While I was researching about this issue, I was surprised when I found out that approximately 230,000 teenagers(ages 13 to 19) underwent cosmetic surgery last year (only in the U.S.). I realized what a serious problem it is and how it does not only affect teens in general but also me. As I read more articles and did further research, it made me more aware of the issue and the negative impacts it has on society. Many people think that being pretty gives you an advantage in life. It could be true but not all the time. For instance, if you aim to be a medical doctor, being beautiful is not really a requirement. A career in medicine is based on character, academic performance and technical skills. We need to take action and find a solution. How do we do that?  By changing our mindset. Throwing your barbie dolls aways or merely avoiding social media wouldn’t be enough if your way of thinking is still the same. Change has to come from within. Focus on things that are more valuable in life like family and friends and productive activities. Concentrate on developing your character and always aim to be a better version of yourself. Give more importance to having a healthy lifestyle than being just “pretty.” What matters the most is who you are on the inside. Being a judgmental person makes you ugly. This helped me understand that beauty is nothing if it’s superficial. I realized how confidence and self-esteem is directly related to on people’s perception of beauty and how our mindset affects our mental and social health.

Barbie influences what our “perfect” body is. She promotes that beauty can only be found in skinny people who have a thin waist, long legs, etc. If Barbie was real, she would have severe eating disorder and her body probably wouldn’t work properly as well because her body wouldn’t be able to fit all her intestines, liver, lung, etc.

Insomnia – Mikela

I chose to do insomnia because I know a few people in my family who have insomnia. Another reason why I chose insomnia is that I know that it has a big effect on teens or at least teens that have insomnia. Finally, I wanted to do this because it is one of the main sleeping disorders and I was always really interested to know what it was. Before doing this project all I knew about insomnia was that it is a sleeping disorder that people can have. I think that it is important to research about this because insomnia can happen when you are a teenager and to know the causes of insomnia could be very useful once I am a teenager. This is also how this topic could eventually affect me. Even if I am a no longer a teenager this could possibly be something that I experience this but throughout adulthood. I could be experiencing different cases of insomnia and to have already understood what insomnia really is will help me.

The main thing that I learned about insomnia is that it is uncontrollable but the best chances of not experiencing insomnia are to have good sleeping habits and a good sleep cycle. One of the main causes of insomnia is because you have irregular sleeping habits, now that I understand how important they are, I will try to maintain good sleeping habits. I used to think that if someone had insomnia it would mean that they would be experiencing it every night but now I know that there are different types of insomnia and it is possible to only experience it for a certain amount of time.

There is more than one solution towards the different stages of insomnia although one of the best long-term solutions is to find the cause of insomnia and try to solve insomnia based on that. Although another solution which would be advised for short-term insomnia is to take sleeping aids so that it would just be fast to fall asleep and to stay asleep, it shouldn’t be used for long-term insomnia. Before doing this project, I had already known the importance of sleeping but now seeing the effects of insomnia make me realize that without sleep it will affect your overall wellness in all 6 areas.

A teenager having trouble falling asleep.

Kushaal – ADHD

ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. It is a brain disorder that makes you inattentive and keeps you moving or fidgeting most of the time. Because of the lack of focus, most of the time people with the disorder are distracted and unorganized, and they cannot stay at one task for long amounts of time. I chose this issue because even though it doesn’t effect me, I know a few people that have the disorder, and I was interested to find out more about it. I already knew that it makes people unfocused and fidgety, but I didn’t know some of the other things like the reason it happens. This issue is important because it can prevent people from focusing on things that they have to do. For example, if you are a student with ADHD, you would have trouble with learning because you are off task doing something else.

When I was researching about this issue, I learned a lot of things about the disorder. I learned the cause for it, which is brain cells called neurotransmitters being less active in the attentive part of the brain. I also learned the two types of ADHD, which are the hyperactive part and the inattentive part. Also, relating to the two types, I learned that most children with ADHD have both types, but during preschool children with the disorder normally only have the hyperactive part. I think the issue can be a big problem for some people, but it can also be useful at times, like when doing hands on activities or sports. An interesting fact that I learned about the topic is that most people with ADHD work better with music, or something else in the room that doesn’t keep it dead quiet. There is no solution or cure for this, but people with it can utilize it for tasks that could use the disorder.

Yoga and How it Can Benefit Teens – Mik

My dad practices yoga everyday for 30 minutes. I was always curious why he would spend mornings curling up in strange positions and stretching out his back, legs and arms. Yoga has always been a big part of my family. My aunt is a yoga teacher while my dad and his siblings practice yoga regularly. Yoga is a combination of meditation, stretching, and breathing that started in India thousands of years ago. There are many different types of yoga. I have read that yoga improves flexibility and improves your posture. I also know that yoga relieves stress and helps calm the mind. Can yoga benefit teenagers too? Of course! Teenagers have stressful, busy lives filled with school work, sports, and other activities. Don’t forget social media too. Most also have problems with concentrating and focusing during class. Yoga can help teens mentally, physically and spiritually. If teens devote at least two to three times a week of yoga practice, they will have less anxiety and have a more positive attitude. Another benefit of yoga is that it can help teens focus on a certain task and greatly improve concentration. These benefits connect to the lessons we learned in Wellness class such as fitness and its components. Also, yoga involves flexibility, muscular strength, endurance, balance and coordination. I find yoga very important because it can benefit so many people even though it is very simple. Unlike other sports and physical activities, yoga can be practiced by anyone because of the following reasons: You don’t necessarily have to pay to practice yoga. You can do yoga at home whenever you can find the time and for as long or short as you want. You don’t require many things: just yourself and a yoga mat – and that isn’t even required! Best of all, yoga is open to everyone no matter what age or weight they are.

What did I learn about yoga?

  • The effects of yoga on teens
  • Where yoga started
  • How it greatly improves both the mind and body of those that practice it regularly
  • What yoga is all about
  • What are the goals of yoga

This really expanded my learning because I wanted to talk about a topic that could greatly benefit us – particularly our age group. I also wanted to choose an activity that was accessible for us. I want to practice more yoga myself. In my opinion, I believe that yoga is very important for everyone because it can benefit any part of your life whether it’s your social, mental, emotional, spiritual, or physical aspect of your life. When I was researching about my topic, I was surprised to see all the benefits of yoga and that it can benefit everyone regardless of your age. I now want to practice yoga more often. Along the way, my thinking has changed a lot. Before doing any research, I thought yoga only helped the body but as it turns out helps the mind as well. Yoga, when practiced a lot also helps one’s spiritual development and makes one aware of  nature around us. Most people hesitate to try yoga. They think they need to be flexible, or that the poses are too demanding. This is a misunderstanding. Yoga starts off really simple and the more you practice it, the harder it gets. It can be as simple as sitting cross-legged and closing your eyes. However, yoga isn’t always as easy as it sounds. It requires one to set aside time each day to practice. It requires some level of dedication and commitment. This helped me learn a lot about wellness. After all yoga can benefit all of the six aspects of wellness: mental, social, physical, environmental, emotional, and spiritual. Namaste.

Yoga’s benefits on teens and children.

Ellie – Cleft Palates and Cleft Lips

I chose the topic of cleft palates and cleft lips because my mom works for a charity organization called Mabuhay Deseret, and because of that I meet a lot of kids who have cleft palates or cleft lips so I connected to this issue on a personal level. The kids that have the cleft palates and lips are able to get a surgery done so that it will be gone. Cleft lips and palates can affect your speech development and can also make it hard for you to pronounce words. This issue is important because it could happen to anyone and all people who have it need to be treated as soon as possible for the best recovery. It affects teenagers because, once again, it could happen to anyone and also there are a lot of teenagers that do have it. It effects them socially and emotionally because they could get made fun of and that could really lower there self esteem and make it harder for them to make friends. Also, it effects them physically because it effects their ability to speak and to eat.

When making this presentation, I learned that when you are developing as a child, you’re facial features like your eyes, your lips, and your nose, are all to the side and they come together as you continue developing. Researching about this expanded my learning because I now know more about the kids with cleft lips and palates that I interact with at Mabuhay and anyone with this condition. I feel that this issue is something that is very important and that it is important that people get treatment for this condition. What surprised me the most was how high of a chance that I had of having a cleft palate or lip while I was developing, and how high a chance anyone did, but didn’t have a cleft lip or palate. I can apply the new information I learned to situations where I may be talking to someone with a cleft palate or a cleft lip because I will understand them a bit more so that I can adapt to there situation. A common misconception about this topic is that if you have a cleft palate, you have a cleft lip, which is completely untrue. It is possible for someone to have a cleft lip or palate, and not also have the other. The solution to this issue is to have a surgery as soon as possible. This project has influence my thinking about wellness because now I am most likely going to want to dig deeper into topics we learn and looking at other topics.


This is a photo of a baby with a cleft lip and palate.

Stella – Dissociative Identity Disorder

The topic that I chose is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) is a mental disorder where you have multiple identities or personalities. This issue is caused by trauma that happened early in life and the ‘switches’ are triggered by stress or memories. I chose this issue because I thought that it would be really interesting to learn about DID. It was also something that I had never heard of before so I wasn’t aware that it really existed and was a valid disorder. I have seen some examples of DID in the media, one of them being the movie Split. This doesn’t really connect to our previous learning in wellness since we have really only learned about the six areas of health. This issue is important because a lot of people that I know have also never heard of this before and I really think that more people should be aware of DID and it’s symptoms so that when you meet someone with DID you know what it is and how to deal with it. DID affects teenagers in many different ways and there are many different intensities of this disorder. There is are five overall types, and the first two fall under the moderate category. Number one is Normal is when a teenager is reading a book and blocks out the rest of the world, however this is when the person can still tell the difference between what is real and what isn’t. Everything that isn’t considered ‘Normal’ should be of concern to the parents of the individual affected. Number two is Mild. This is when someone has spaced out and is staring at nothing in particular, they are also not aware of their surroundings. This may seem harmless but could really be affecting the person’s learning. These two fall under the category of Moderate. Number three is Depersonalization. Many people refer to this as an ‘out of body’ experience. Depersonalization is the feeling that you are severed from your body. This means that some senses can be blocked out. The fourth one is called Derealization. This is when the individual feels like the world isn’t real. The world may feel foggy or distant. The last one is Severe. Severe dissociation is when the individual completely removes themselves from reality and this is when they ‘switch’.


I learned many things about DID including,

  • How it is caused
  • Symptoms
  • How to handle it
  • How it affects teenagers
  • How it affects all areas of wellness
  • And many other facts and statistics that I wasn’t aware of before


This expanded my learning because I could properly dig into how a mental disorder is caused which I have always found really interesting. I think that there is a possible cure for this and if we really research the effects of the different personalities scientists could probably find one. Something that was really surprising was that there have been cases reported in which one person has up to 100 different personalities. That was really shocking because I thought that one person could only have up to 10 personalities. My thinking has changed a lot about this topic and other mental disorders because you may think that all of these disorders are really simple to understand, but in reality there are so many things that you can learn about them. I will apply that to everything else that I have yet to learn, to not just think that learning what the definition means makes you an immediate expert on the topic. One common misconception is that DID is like schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is when a person has multiple voices in their head that tell them what to do. A person with schizophrenia knows that those are different voices and that those voices are not them. DID is when a person has multiple personalities and do not know that they have them. DID has many problems one of the most problematic is that it still has no cure, however long-term treatment will make the disorder much more manageable. The person receiving the treatment must stay committed otherwise it will not make a difference. This changed my view on wellness as there are many more things to learn about than what we have already been taught. There is much more to wellness than the food groups and how to stay fit.


This is a painting from an artist’s interpretation of what it feels like to have DID.

Angelo – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis



By: Angelo Tabanan


I chose to research about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or more commonly known as ALS because I was reading this book about someone who had a mentor who ended up dying due to ALS, and that gave me the idea of researching about ALS. Before conducting my research i knew that ALS is a progressive disease and it paralyzes you after a few years. I didn’t really have anything to connect with this because I never had to deal with ALS in my life. This disease is irrelevant to me like I said earlier I only found out about this disease because of reading this book (The book is Tuesdays with Morrie if you were wondering). This disease doesn’t really affect teenagers (teens only have around 1% chance at getting ALS) because this disease would usually strike at around 40 to 70 years old.


While researching about this problem I learned that your motor neurons die or degenerate therefore causing you to lose control of that certain muscle. During the process of this disease you usually lose the ability to eat, walk, talk, and at the end you lose the ability to breath. This explained parts of my learning because I wanted to learn about a disease that is impacting people’s lives. I thought that this disease was very interesting because of the fact that this disease is “sporadic” meaning it randomly infects someone for no known reason, but there are other cases where the disease is “familial” meaning that it can be inherited from other family members, luckily this is pretty rare (this happens only around 5 to 10 percent of the time). My thinking about diseases have changed because some of them just randomly happen and for some of the other diseases something needs to happen to get infected. One of the common misconceptions about this issue is that most people think this issue is exclusively only for the elderly. I see why people will think this mostly because ALS strikes on the elderly most of the time, but there are very few cases where people younger than the age of 30 get ALS. Sadly there is no cure for this disease, but there is a drug to slow down the process of the ALS called a riluzole. A riluzole works by blocking the release of a compound called glutamate, which is believed to injure nerve cells and potentially kill them. This helped me learn more about wellness, and that it isn’t only about your mental, physical, social, and emotional wellness is about almost everything.

Kota – Food Before and After Workout

I choose a topic about food before and after workout or training. I chose this issue because I thought it was interesting that your food affects your body and muscles. I knew that proteins make more muscles, but I didn’t know why. I had a connection with this topic because I play soccer, and I wondered how to make my performance better. It also connects to our previous learning because all food can be categorized by six main nutrients, and we learned all of the nutrients. This topic affects many teenagers because many teenagers play sports, and it will be surprising for them if they knew that meal can change your performance.

I learned that what you eat before and after workout changes how your muscles grow. You need to eat carbohydrates and fats before training because those nutrients provide you energy to do some workouts. You have to drink water during a workout because it will keep you away from dehydration. Proteins are most needed nutrients after a workout because it will repair broken tissues and gives you stronger muscles. Also, you need to take minerals, especially magnesium and potassium. Potassium and magnesium will help you to build muscle. It expanded my learning because I didn’t know that food can improve your physical performance. My opinion on this issue is that you should take those nutrients before and after a workout. So that your body will make bigger muscles and you will be healthier. Interest thing was that there are different types of minerals, and each of those has different functions. My thinking had changed because before, I thought the food will not affect your performance, but now I realized that foods are important.


Nikhil – OCD

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health disorder that occurs when a person gets caught in a cycle of obsessions and compulsions. I chose this issue because I thought someone who I knew had OCD. I wanted to learn more and dig into OCD. However, this whatsoever does affect me or my family. I knew it messes with you and your brain but I did not realize the devastating effects of OCD. OCD may mess up teens time management skills. Most importantly OCD can make you feel depressed and you will feel stressed. Which both you should not be feeling when you are a teen.  Some examples of OCD are extensive “double checking”. Which means you will keep on checking something like let’s take closing the stove as an example. You may close the over and over and over again even when you know the stove is logically closed your brain won’t rid the thoughts. Another common example is washing your hands. You wash over repeatedly. But you’re brain won’t stop. These “rituals” should take 1 or more hour a day.

I learned that OCD’s effects are devastating. The OCD disorder can mess up your life completely here are some side effects of OCD


  • Reduced quality of life.
  • Depression.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Poor interpersonal relationships.
  • High levels of stress and anxiety


Now I think that OCD is not just an easy “aspect” of life and I feel sympathy for people who have OCD. I think learning how people cope with OCD was interesting. A misunderstanding I personally had was that OCD affects behavior. But can be entirely mental with no outward symptoms. You may be sitting next to a person who is both obsessing and completing compulsions and not even notice.  Some solutions of OCD are

  Some solutions of OCD are

  • Cognitive/Behavioral Therapy
  • Deep brain stimulation


Mudita – Posture

I chose to research about posture because sometimes, I find myself sitting in a way that my back looks like a ‘C’. This lead me to think about what the effects of poor posture are. We all sit down everyday-on the way to school, during lessons, to eat, to work and several other times. We all sit to relax, enjoy or work, therefore poor posture is a health issue to not just teenagers, but anyone who doesn’t maintain a good posture. I had already known that bad posture can lead to several bones to shift in your back, which can sometimes be visible, but I didn’t know how harmful it can be and its internal effects.

What seems like such a harmless and relaxing habit actually has the power to change your health. Sitting itself has its own risks but poor posture magnifies those risks and creates a greater health risks. It effects the body physically (body functions stopped working, bones shift, more likelihood of accidents, can lead to diseases), mentally (your brain cannot think as well) and emotionally (you feel more sensitive and greater pain).

The short term effects of poor posture are that when your back is slouched, your lungs bend due to the shape of the back. This limits the amount of oxygen entering your body. Your blood flow also decreases due to bent joints and muscles and is not able to flow as easily. Your brain requires both of these to be able to function effectively, but due to the limited amount supplied to the brain, it is unable to think as quickly or smartly. Temporary pause of lipoprotein lipase in your blood is also a short term effect of poor posture. Lipoprotein lipase is an enzyme your blood releases to break down the fat in your blood. While you are seated, your body is not able to burn fat as well. Headaches also occur due to tension and stress.

The long term effects are very harmful, and in some rare cases it can cause death. Swelling of muscles and small rips are caused by certain muscles being strained, stressed, or stretched for too long. These rips are not because your muscles are strained for too long, but because they are being overused. Reduced blood flow and uneven pressure in different parts of your body can lead to heart diseases, and lack of lipoprotein lipase in your blood can lead to diabetes (because of too much fat in body).  It can lead to scoliosis (where your vertebrae align to look like a ‘s’ or a ‘c’) because of bone shifts. Digestion, kidney and liver problems can also occur due to slouched positions and the efficiency of organs and body parts.

The picture below states that ‘Sitting is the new smoking’. This is because sitting for excessive amounts of time can lead to similar effects of smoking. It shows a chair looking like a deadly thing because it has the power to change your health.

The solution of this is simple, try to aim for an active lifestyle, but when you have to be in your seat, sit with good posture. Your back should be straight, the screen level at or slightly below eye level, and your elbows and wrists supported.