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?

Kids these days.attribution-PictureYouth-CC by 2.0-25621863596_50c9c5f108_h

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…]

What we know about kids and screen time

kids and screen timeNew findings about screen-time for babies and kids are something I keep a close eye on.  As parent of three young children, I want to do what’s best for them. And yet I’m often tempted to use the television – “just one show” – when I need to get something done. [Read more…]

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…]

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