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Marijuana and Your Brain

High-potency marijuana damages key brain structures.

Smoking high-potency cannabis (marijuana) may increase psychosis by five fold. Researchers have found frequent use of this 'skunk' cannabis may structurally interfere with communication between the two brain hemispheres, impacting creativity and cognitive performance. Their findings suggest the more cannabis smoked and the higher the potency, the greater the damage will be.

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Celebrate Thanksgiving!

"O give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good!" 1 Chron. 16:34 wishes all our readers a joyful time with family and friends as you celebrate the blessings God brings into your life. We will see you again on Monday.

PositiveTip: A spirit of gratitude is one of the best tonics for good physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health!

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Video: What if You Didn't Sleep?

Are you getting sufficient sleep?

In spite of growing evidence that adequate sleep is essential to every aspect of healthful living, estimates suggest that in the U.S. 66 percent of teens and 30% of adults are sleep-deprived. This short video animation provides an excellent summary of the importance of sleep. (Take a moment to complete the quiz that follows to test you knowledge!)

PositiveTip: Sleep is not optional. It is essential to physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

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Just One Night of Sleep Deprivation?

Adequate sleep could be the unsung hero of obesity treatment.

When thinking about treating obesity, most of us think of diet and exercise. However, sleep loss increasingly appears to be an important factor. Dogs deprived of sleep for one night suffered a 33% drop in insulin sensitivity. The same 8 dogs had a 21% drop when fed a high-fat diet for 6 months. These results cannot be applied to humans--but poor sleep may yet be linked with overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

PositiveTip: Remember, most adults need 8+ hours per night.

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Do You Have Social Jetlag?

Social jetlag of more than 60 minutes raises cardiometabolic risks.

Emerging evidence suggests that healthy people who adhere to regular bedtime and rising schedules during the work week but stay up late and sleep in on the weekends may have higher cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose levels, and weight. These effects were significant even after adjusting for confounding variables. The biological mechanisms for these findings continue to be explored.

PositiveTip: Regularity in life is important. "For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven" (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

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Audio: Screentime and Your Kids

Is placing an electronic device in the hands of a very young child wise?

Kids are being exposed to technology at younger and younger ages today. Family Life Today aired a discussion with Pediatricians Dr. Den Trumbull and Dr. Michelle Cretella on this timely topic. As parents or grandparents or guardians you will learn valuable and practical ideas on how to limit screen time--and why it is so important.

PositiveTip: It may be easier to place a phone in the hands of a fussy kid, but the easiest is not always the best.

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Animal Antibiotics and Children's Health

Over 4 times as many antibiotics are sold for animal use compared to human use.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has taken a stand against the use of nontherapeutic antibiotics in animals. This report describes how the use of antibiotics as growth stimulants in livestock contributes to strains of resistant organism and potential infection through the food supply. Children are the most vulnerable to these infections. Physicians are urged to encourage families to purchase antibiotic-free meat and poultry.

PositiveTip: Choosing a plant-based diet will help avoid the potential exposure to antibiotic-resistant infections.

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Are Your Kids Drinking Enough?

Dehydrated kids at greater risk for heat-related illnesses.

The American College of Sports Medicine estimates that up to 2/3 of child athletes may be dehydrated during exercise. Much like an automobile radiator, children's bodies cool mostly through "dry" conduction and convection (not evaporation): the body sends warm blood to dilated surface vessels to release the heat to the skin. A dehydrated child does not have sufficient blood for cooling in the skin and the exercising muscles.

PositiveTip: The easiest way to determine hydration is the color of the urine--it should be the color of pale lemonade.

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"Quit Like a Champion"

Smoking is still the single largest cause of disease and preventable premature death.

The 2015 Great American Smokeout is one week away! The American Cancer Society designates the third Thursday of each November to encourage smokers to go the distance and give up smoking. Ready-to-use graphics for social media, flyers, posters and table tents can be downloaded. If you are curious about the impact of smoking in the movies, check out this resource!

PositiveTip: It is never too late to quit smoking. Get the help you need to stop--or help a smoker you know quit!

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Weight Gain in Pregnancy

Less than a third of pregnant American women experience healthy weight gain.

Researchers have found more than 2/3 of pregnant women in the U.S. gain too much weight or too little weight during their pregnancy. Only 32% of pregnant ladies experienced appropriate weight gain, while 48% were excessive, and 20% were inadequate. Those obese or overweight before pregnancy had the highest risk of excessive gain, and those underweight the highest risk of inadequate gain.

PositiveTip: If you are pregnant, visit the Institute of Medicine website to find valuable guidance on a healthy weight.