With summer winding down and school revving up, let’s take a moment to review recent developments in adolescent health research.
First, the bad news(that we kind of already know): our kids don’t get enough sleep, and those practices extend far into their overall wellbeing. British researchers report a strong correlation between poor sleep and weight problems. You can see the study here.
I have written about the HPV vaccine before, and strongly recommend your child receive it. Recent studies in Australia and New Zealand show that the expected health benefits predicted from HPV immunization are beginning to occur there (vaccine rates are much higher in those countries), with lower rates of genital warts being reported. A recent US study did show that laws requiring HPV for school admission had no effect on adolescent sexual behavior. Teens were no more likely to be sexually active after receiving it. This research backs up previous work done at Kaiser Permanente that demonstrated similar results. Again, I strongly urge parents to get their teens and “preteens”(10-12 yrs) immunized, maximizing the opportunity to provide protection prior to any exposure to the virus later in life. As I keep stressing–its a CANCER shot, not a sex shot.
Let’s end on a positive note. Long term studies conducted at the University of Michigan strongly suggest that teens are abstaining from alcohol, psychoactive drugs, and tobacco at a much higher rate compared to decades past–as much as 5x less! That’s great news!! The researchers did state that, as more states legalize the use of marijuana, this trend may change. I will not advocate pro or con on this public policy issue as it plays out in NJ here. But it is food for thought.
Send along questions or comments, and thanks for following