Posts Tagged ‘ teen health ’

Too Many Teen Girls Use Tanning Salons, Despite Cancer Risk

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention finds that nearly a third of all white teen girls visit tanning salons, despite warnings that tanning increases their risk of a lethal form of skin cancer (as well as wrinkles). In fact, the study revealed that more than 15 percent of girls use tanning beds ten times or more a year.

Here’s more from Today Health:

“We need to encourage young women to embrace their natural, untanned skin colors,” says Gery Guy of the CDC’s division of cancer control, who led the research.

Guy’s team looked at surveys of high school students and young adults from 2010 and 2011, which cover tens of thousands of people interviewed in depth.

“Among non-Hispanic white female high school students, 29.3 percent engaged in indoor tanning and 16.7 percent engaged in frequent indoor tanning during the previous 12 months,” they wrote. “Among non-Hispanic white women aged 18-34 years, 24.9 percent engaged in indoor tanning and 15.1 percent engaged in frequent indoor tanning during the previous 12 months.”

That’s even though people who use indoor tanning treatments raise their risk of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer—by 59 to 75 percent. People who use tanning booths or lights before they are 25 raise the risk by as much as 100 percent.

“This widespread use is of great concern given the elevated risk of skin cancer among younger users and frequent users,” Guy’s team wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s journal JAMA Internal Medicine. Melanoma kills more than 9,000 Americans a year.

Image: Girl’s legs in tanning bed, via Shutterstock

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Most Teens with Mental Problems Not Taking Medication

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Most teenagers who have been identified as having a mental health disorder are not taking medications for the condition, a new study from the National Institutes of Health has found. The news will be a relief to those who fear that American teens are abusing psychotropic drugs, but of concern to others who fear emotional problems are going untreated among teenagers.  More from Reuters:

“Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which funded the study, said there was no compelling evidence for either misuse or overuse of psychotropic medications, which include stimulants for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), antidepressants and antipsychotics.

“Certain the use of psychiatric medications has been increasing in children and adolescents over the years,” said Benedetto Vitiello from the NIH, who worked on the study.

“(But) most of the adolescents who met the criteria for a condition were not receiving medication, which suggests that they were being treated with something else, maybe psychotherapy, or maybe they were not even treated,” he added. “This data may suggest that there may be underuse (of psychiatric medications) in some cases.”

The findings, which appeared in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, are based on interviews with more than 10,000 teens and their parents, most of whom had at least a high school education and were middle class or above. The interviews were conducted between 2001 and 2004.”

Image: Depressed teenager, via Shutterstock

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“The Biggest Loser” Adds Teens Next Season

Friday, September 7th, 2012

NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” will include teenagers when the weight loss show resumes in January, CNN reports.

Trainer Jillian Michaels, who returns to the show next season, says she’s especially motivated to help kids since becoming a mother this year. From CNN:

At least three teens between the ages of 13 and 17 will be included in the competition. They will work with trainers, nutritionists and child obesity experts to drop pounds just like the adult contestants on the ranch. Unlike the adults, however, they will not be up for elimination each week.

“As a former overweight teen, I know firsthand how dramatically weight issues can affect every aspect of a child’s life,” Michaels said in a statement from NBC. “Having recently become a mother of two, I am more passionate than ever about helping empower children and families with the information and resources they need to live a healthier life.”

More than one-third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Image: Jillian Michaels via DFree /


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CDC: High-Risk Teen Sex Declining, but Sex Ed Cuts Worrisome

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The number of American teenagers who are having sex and exhibiting behaviors that put them at risk for sexually transmitted diseases including HIV and AIDS is declining, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced.  But the CDC’s analysis of recent data suggests that cuts to school sex education programs may put this progress at risk. has more:

CDC data presented on Tuesday show just 47 percent of high school students have ever had sex, down from 54 percent in 1991 and holding steady since about 2001. Much progress has been seen among black students: in 1991, 82 percent of black high school students had started having sex but this plummeted to 60 percent by 2011. Just 15 percent of all students have had more four or more sex partners, down from 19 percent in 1991.

And 60 percent of those who are sexually active used a condom, which can protect against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases including the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS….

The CDC’s Dr. Kevin Fenton says it’s the frank talk about sex that works. “The more comprehensive an education you provide, the better,” Fenton said in an interview. But he noted there is variation across the country, with some school districts choosing abstinence-only education while others offer a full curriculum that includes discussion of lesbian gay and transgender themes as well as how to respect one another in a relationship.

Budget cuts aren’t helping. “Data show that fewer schools provide the comprehensive HIV education needed to ensure that this trajectory continues,” Fenton said. Another barrier: socially conservative movements that reject sex education. Fenton is diplomatic when he is asked about school districts and parents who fear that sex education teaches poor morals.

“Part of what we are committed to doing is to provide evidence,” he said. “We try to make our recommendations on the best available evidence.” Studies show that a comprehensive sex education program can influence sexual behavior more than a limited approach.

Image: Condom, via Shutterstock


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Study: Teens May Need Less Sleep Than Previously Thought

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Older teenagers can function well with as little as seven hours of sleep, a new study has found.  From

National guidelines recommend at least eight hours of serious snooze time a night for young people. But that’s an unrealistic goal for adolescents, who are overloaded with homework, extracurricular activities and part-time jobs, experts say. Or who feel the need to stay up late texting friends or updating Facebook.

In fact, if standardized test performance is any indication, 16-year-olds score best with about seven hours of sleep a night, surprising new research finds.

Brigham Young University economists Eric Eide and Mark Showalter — who are also dads — used a nationally representative sample of 1,724 students, comparing children’s and teens’ standardized test scores with the amount of sleep they reported.

For older teens, seven hours a night was plenty. The optimal amount of sleep for 12-year-olds was higher, about eight hours, while 10-year-olds did best with about nine hours. The report appears in the current issue of the Eastern Economics Journal.

Image: Sleeping teenage boy, via Shutterstock.

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