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1/6/17: Articles You Need To Read This Week

Welcome to the new year! It's 2017 and we know you're busier than ever--that's why we're keeping up on the news for you. Here are some of the latest articles about teen health that are worth your time. Check back every Friday for more headlines you may have missed!


1. Has the legalization of marijuana changed how teens think about drug risks?

As more and more states legalize marijuana, some teens are now perceiving the substance as less of a threat, says a new study. Since legalization in Washington state, marijuana use has increased among eighth and tenth graders by two percent and four percent, respectively. In addition, eighth graders are 15 percent less likely to perceive marijuana as harmful. Yet in Colorado, teens views of marijuana didn't show a change in perceived harmfulness. For more information on teens and marijuana use, be sure to check out our story, Is Pot the Next Legal Killer?

2. Workout supplements may be dangerous for teens

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Sports Medicine both discourage minors from using workout supplements like creatine. Yet, it seems that these supplements, which are not regulated by the FDA, are often recommended to teens by the companies who sell them. In a new study, a researcher called 244 health food stores in America, pretending to be a teenage athlete who wanted a product to increase muscle. Two-thirds of sales associates recommended creatine. Though it is a natural amino acid found in meat and fish, too much creatine can damage the kidneys and other organs.

3. As little as an hour a day on social media can affect teen wellbeing

A new study conducted by the IZA Institute determined that children ages 10 to 15 who spend a minimum of one hour "chatting" on social media are, overall, 14 percent less satisfied with nearly every aspect of their lives, except friendships. (This affected girls more than boys.) However, the news isn't all bad: the study also found that chatting on social media can increase empathy, so put your teens' screen time to good use with our 9 Fantastic Social Media Advocacy Campaigns For Teens. For more information on how phone use affects the teenage brain, check out our story Help! I Can't Put Down My Phone


Curious about Choices? We're the award-winning health and life-skills magazine for teens, published by Scholastic. For more information, be sure to head over to and discover what we're all about!

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