What we know about aging Americans and their caregivers

no-attribution-cc0-public-domain-elderly-1461424_1920It is no secret that the U.S. population is steadily growing older. More than 77 million American children were born between 1946 and 1964, and that generation is now beginning to reach its senior years.

As the U.S. population grows older, it’s important to monitor elders’ health and well-being. There’s a federal agency — The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics — set up to do just that. [Read more…]

Clear evidence: Spanking harms kids

CC0 public domain-no-attribution-hand-1006422_1920As a first-time parent, I was completely surprised one day when I was nearly overcome by the urge to spank my two-year-old. After a challenging hour or two at a crowded shopping mall, he purposely pulled a pile of t-shirts off a shelf at a clothing store in a tantrum.  Really, I should have known better than to take a tired toddler shopping for clothes. But that was cold comfort as I stood in the middle of a crowded store watching my son throw merchandise on the floor. [Read more…]

Do you really need to floss?

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If you’ve paid attention to the news over the past month, you’ve likely read an article or two about the benefits — or lack thereof — of flossing.  These articles have appeared in major news outlets across the country including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and many more. [Read more…]

How to improve sex education

no-attribution-CC0 public domain -classroom-1346491_1920 (1)On the whole, public schools in the U.S. are doing a poor job of teaching sex education to American youth.

A report released last year by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control found that fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16 topics the CDC lists as essential components of sex education. Those topics include how to obtain and use condoms, the benefits of condom use, and the kinds of preventative care necessary to maintain sexual health. [Read more…]

Does social media harm kids?

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It’s a phrase that has been uttered for decades by older generations as youth forge their way through the modern world. Today, the phrase often refers to youth’s use of social networking sites. There’s plenty of times I’ve heard older adults argue that relationships forged through platforms like Instagram and Google chat don’t qualify as “real” social connections. [Read more…]

Are the benefits of grit exaggerated?

relay-race-655353_960_720Over the past decade, researchers have focused on the idea that determination and consistency can lead to success – even more so than traditional factors such as talent or I.Q. [Read more…]

GMOs: Agricultural improvement or health threat?

dnaAt the grocery store or in the news, you’ve likely come across the controversy over products made with genetically-modified organisms, or GMOs. Scientific advances that use biotechnology to create plants that can resist disease and insects, offer higher yields and include additional nutrients have sparked fear among the public. The worry is that that genetically-modified foods will harm human health and the environment. [Read more…]

When should kids start kindergarten?

chalkboardIt’s the season when parents of incoming kindergartners register their children for school. For many parents, myself included, deciding which year children should start formal schooling is difficult. [Read more…]

Checking Up on the Science of Homosexuality

heart-1348870_640Diversity in sexual orientation—whether gay, straight, bisexual, or somewhere in between—has sparked long-standing controversies across the globe. In the United States, recent debates have centered around the civil rights for same-sex couples. In many other countries, homosexuality is considered illegal; in some, it’s punishable by death. [Read more…]

Exercise for Weight Loss?

obese1Contestants on the reality television show “The Biggest Loser” exercise for hours a day and follow restricted diets to lose dozens of pounds on the show. But a longitudinal study published this week found very few of them were able to maintain their weight loss in the years following their appearances on the show. (The New York Times published a story this week on the study and the contestants experiences.) [Read more…]

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