3/3/17: 6 Articles You Need to Read This Week

We know you must be busy--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. Doctors issue warning to parents about teen marijuana use

Today, the majority of teens ages 12 to 17 think marijuana use isn't harmful, and many of their parents agree. But, according to a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics, it's best for teens not to use the drug due to the risks of harming their developing brains. Marijuana today is much more potent than the marijuana of the previous generation, and pediatricians are urging parents to think twice before allowing teens to risk the long- and short-term affects that marijuana can bring. 


2. A bill in California proposes that schools start no earlier than 8:30 

Studies show that allowing teens to sleep a little later improves well-being, GPA, and parent-child relationships, says the author of the bill, Sen. Anthony Portantino. When teens go through puberty, their natural circadian rhythms differ from those of adults, making it difficult to fall asleep early in order to wake up for early school start times. 

For more information on this topic, check out our story, "The Teen Who Woke Up Her School."


3. A doctor brings grief education to the classroom

In American culture, there's a taboo surrounding death and grief. That's why Dr. Jessica Zitter, a critical and palliative care physician in California, decided it was time to talk to high school students about death and end-of-life care. Dr. Zitter says that teens are "woefully unprepared" to face death and she seeks to help children and teens "understand the landscape of what can happen" when they are faced with the death of a friend or a loved one.

Check out this Choices story about a few teens who stepped up to break the silence that surrounds death and grieving. 


4. To keep teens safe online, they need to learn to manage risks

A recent study found that most of the safety controls that can be downloaded to keep teens safe online focus on ways parents can access and block teens' online activity. The problem is, this doesn't give teens an opportunity to learn how to safely navigate the web on their own. This comes at a time when teens are experiencing unwanted exposure and risk online. And the only app that has been designed to let teens control their own online safety is ReThink, which was designed by 15-year-old Trisha Prabhu (who was one of our Changemakers!). 


5. Unhealthy diets may increase teen girls' breast cancer risk as adults

Researchers recently found that women who said they ate poorly in their teenage years were 35 percent more likely to develop premenopausal breast cancer. These women recalled eating more foods that are classified as part of the "inflammatory diet" (such as red meat, sodas, sweet foods, and white flour).


6. Could a single text message transform student attendance and grades?

Results from an experiment at Teachers College at Columbia University show that student grades and attendance improve when parents are notified of missing assignments and absences. Parents received a text message when students missed assignments, like this one: "Parent alert: Jaden has 5 missing assignments in science class. For more information, log online." The study found that parents rarely logged into an online portal, but consistently checked text messages, which led them to communicate with the school and teachers more. This resulted in an increase in GPA, most notably in struggling students. 


Be sure to check out our past news posts, and check back each Friday for an update:



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