Parents Should Stop Giving Teens Alcohol

When teens get alcohol from their parents they are more likely to engage in risky drinking practices. This was found in a large study of Australian adolescents ages 13-18.  Surprisingly, 15% of teens received alcohol from their parents when they were 13, versus 57% when 18. Compared with teens with no alcohol supply, parental supply increased the risk of binge-drinking,…

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Parents Should Stop Giving Teens Alcohol

When teens get alcohol from their parents they are more likely to engage in risky drinking practices. This was found in a large study of Australian adolescents ages 13-18.  Surprisingly, 15% of teens received alcohol from their parents when they were 13, versus 57% when 18. When compared with teens with no alcohol supply, parental supply increased the…

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Teen Brain Development Hampered by Alcohol

Researchers studying teenagers for two years found significant negative brain changes is both heavy and moderate drinkers. The more alcohol consumed the worse the outcomes. After controlling for confounders, slower increases in gray matter and accelerated decreases in gray matter were observed. PositiveTip: Drinking alcohol is harmful to adolescent brains--and brains of all ages!

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Teens Perception of Pot Changing

After marijuana was legalized in Washington and Colorado, teens perceived it less harmful and use of the drug in this group increased--especially in the younger teens. A large national survey has found even in states without laws allowing recreational use, the perception of the harmfulness of marijuana declined significantly following passage of these laws. While…

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Kids, Smartphones and Sleep

Two-thirds of high schoolers sleep next to a phone or tablet--and 47% awake at least once per night to respond to messages! A meta-analysis of 17 studies finds the use of smartphones and tablets at night are a significant problem for the amount and quality of sleep kids get. These studies were not randomized, so…

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No Decline in Tobacco Use Among U.S. Teens

There has been no decline in overall tobacco use among middle and high school students in the U.S. since 2011. The use of cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco and pipe tobacco has declined--while the use of nontraditional products such as e-cigarettes and hookah pipes continues to rise. E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among teens…

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Teen Alcohol Use

Adolescents aged 12-20 living in rural Pennsylvania completed alcohol use assessments. The DSM-5 criteria for alcohol use disorder were met by 1.9% of 12-14 year-olds, and 10% of those 15-20 years old. Study authors recommend physicians screen adolescents about their frequency of alcohol use due to the high prevalence of alcohol-related harm among teens. PositiveTip:…

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Sunlight and Low BMI May Help Avoid MS

Danish investigators found a strong protective effect of adolescent summer sun exposure and body mass index (BMI) at age 20 on later onset of multiple sclerosis (MS). Not spending time in the sun every day during the teen years was associated with earlier onset of MS; and similarly, a higher BMI at age 20 was associated…

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Early Life Exercise Brings Lifetime Benefits

Data from a large Chinese study of women 40-70 years old reveals that adolescent and adult exercise significantly reduces the risk of all-cause mortality. Women who didn't start exercising until adulthood saw a lower risk also, but not as low. Exercise is good at all ages, but there seems to be an additive benefit when…

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Overweight Becoming the New Normal Among Teens

American teens don't seem to be getting the message that an increasing number of them are overweight or obese. Between 1988-1994 and 2007-2012 the likelihood of adolescents perceiving themselves as overweight declined. Only 21% of boys and 36% of girls perceived their weight correctly. This compares to 28% and 79%, respectively, in the earlier survey.…

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