Weight in Teens May Be Affected by Sleep


Definitely, there is no doubt that sleep is very important for us. It pays to get your sleep. At least, that’s what a report in the journal Pediatrics says. They say that sleeping longer may help teens keep the weight off. Researchers followed adolescents from age 14 to 18. More sleep was associated with a reduction in the average BMI. Increasing sleep from 7-1/2 to 10 hours a day at age 18 could lead to a 4% reduction in teens who are overweight. This study supports previous research linking adolescent obesity with lack of sleep. And if you think it only happens in teens, don’t kid yourself. All of us need sleep and I think it’s very important that we respect the fact that it is an essential part of our lives.


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Depression Can Attack Teens


Depression can attack teens, and in fact, it often does. One of the difficult things with depression is it’s often tough to tell if someone is depressed or if they’re just acting like a teenager with the mood swings. What you need to do is have a real close relationship. Try to follow up and make decisions, and look and see how the kids are doing. You cannot take depression lightly. If you have any suspicion, get your teen counseling, because the counseling can make a big difference in preventing long-term problems from occurring.


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Alcohol Education for Younger Children


There is a report from the University of Pittsburgh which suggested that students should be exposed to knowledge of the dangers of alcohol as early as fourth grade. There are several reasons for this. First, kids watch TV and ads marketing alcohol. Those ads are more prominent than ever. Then there is the information from a review of state and national surveys which found that among typical fourth-graders, 10% had already had more than a sip of alcohol and 7% had a drink in the past year. The percent of children who have used alcohol increases with age and doubles between 4th and 6th grades.

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Body Image and Anorexia


Anorexia is a major health problem in teens and it all has to do with body self-image. Clearly, what we’re finding from Hollywood is the message that anorexia is not that bad of a thing…being thin is a wonderful thing. The reality is it is a big problem that has to be dealt with. If you have a child who is too thin, or losing weight and doesn’t really have a good reason for it, talk with them, but get help. It is the psychiatric help that can be essential.


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Girls, Sports, and Knee Injuries


A lot of girls are playing sports and that’s a great thing, but one of the problems with the extra sports is the fact that there is an increase in knee injuries.  Women have more lax ligaments.  That’s because during the entire process of delivering babies it’s essential to be able to spread the hips, to relax, and to have a child go through the birth canal.  The same thing that helps in delivering babies is problematic when it comes to injuries, especially in the knee, because those ligaments, like the anterior cruciate ligament, they’re more likely to stretch and to tear.


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Teen Dating and Safety

Teen Dating and Safety

First dates can be a real problem and a real stressor for teens. Although most of us look back on them fondly, and the awkwardness is more or less joked upon, it is very serious for teenagers as they go through it. One of the things you should tell your teenage daughters, in particular, is that they should not be talked into anything they don’t want and they should have access either to a cell phone or a way to defend themselves if there is a problem. In other words, if there is someone they cannot trust, they have to make sure that there is the ability to get protection, if necessary.

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Unexplained Weight Loss in Teens

Unexplained Weight Loss in Teens

When you see an unexplained weight loss in a teenager you have to think about several things. First of all, you look at their mood. Are they depressed? Are they eating properly? Secondly, is it an intentional thing they’re not telling you about? Are they on a diet? Do they feel they’re overweight and they want to lose weight? Discuss it with them. Beyond that, you have to start thinking about other illnesses. Are there problems associated with it? One other thing…sometimes children go through growth spurts. They may not lose weight, but it looks like they lost weight because they’ve grown up so fast. You’ll also often find that in boys during adolescence.

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