Kids these days…: The evidence on teen behaviors

teenagersAt one time or another, we have all heard someone say, “Kids these days…” in the lofty tone that suggests children from generations past were better behaved, more responsible and less troubled than today’s youth.  Maybe you’ve even said something similar yourself; I know that I have. [Read more…]

Does fasting work for weight loss and health?

obesity-300x225Every few years, a new diet becomes popular for its promise to help people lose weight and improve their health. Sometimes, these diets are based on sound evidence, and other times they are not. Often when new diets first become popular, there is not enough data to know whether they really work. [Read more…]

New evidence on the gap between rich and poor

retireeThe founders of our nation set out to create a place where people could build a life for themselves. Their original idea was that U.S. citizens would be free to pursue happiness and prosperity. But more than 200 years later, a body of evidence shows the gap between the rich and the poor is widening. [Read more…]

The link between relationships and health

teenagers2For decades, social science researchers have believed that social interactions play an important part in our health and well-being. If you think about your own daily life, it makes perfect sense. When you feel supported by a network of family and friends, you likely feel happier and more relaxed. But do those feelings translate into better health? [Read more…]

Wearable fitness trackers: Accurate or imprecise?

fitness bandWearable fitness bands — which can provide data including how many steps you take in a day, how many calories you burn and even your sleep patterns — have become extremely popular. According to market research data, nearly 70 million are sold worldwide each year.  But do they work? [Read more…]

Spirits bring good cheer — and, in some cases, good health too

alcohol‘Tis the season for end-of-year celebrations, and with them often come a few more alcoholic beverages than usual. So we thought it’d be a good time to review how consuming alcohol impacts your health. [Read more…]

What we know about the holiday blues

depressionRegardless of one’s religious affiliation, the holiday season often inspires feelings of warmth, joy and belonging. But for some people, this time of year can evoke feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety. [Read more…]

The birds and bees: Talking to your kids about safe sex

teenagers2There are conversations that many parents approach with apprehension. Ranking high on that list are talks about sex. But given our modern culture, conversations between parents and children about sex are increasingly important.

[Read more…]

Investigating Daylight Savings: The data on springing forward and falling back

Metric_clockThe vast majority of U.S. residents shifted their clocks back to standard time last weekend, effectively “gaining” an hour of time on Sunday. In my house, it meant that my early-rising daughter was up at 4:30 a.m.
instead of 5:30 a.m.! [Read more…]

Can we help children to avoid sexual abuse?

child-abuseI received a shocking e-mail from my public school superintendent a few weeks ago. A substitute teacher who has worked at my son’s elementary school was arrested for possessing child pornography.

After my initial surprise at the e-mail, I gave some serious thought to how I should broach the issue with my son, or whether to mention anything at all.  At seven years old, I’ve never talked to him about the possibility of sexual abuse. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know what it is.  I wasn’t sure if a conversation would be helpful, or would make him feel anxious or uncomfortable. [Read more…]

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