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With 2014 coming to a close, ASHA would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a very safe and happy holiday season.
As we reflect on the past year, we would like to provide School Health Action subscribers with a look at the most-read news stories.
Your regular news publication will resume on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2015.
Study finds link between child's obesity, cognitive function
University of Illinois via The Rock River Times
From Sept. 23: A new University of Illinois study finds that obese children are slower than healthy-weight children to recognize when they have made an error and correct it. The research is the first to show that weight status not only affects how quickly children react to stimuli, but also impacts the level of activity that occurs in the cerebral cortex during action monitoring.
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New studies examine the teenage brain
Science World Report
From Sept. 9: Why is it that teen boys seem to take more risks? There may actually be a biological explanation for it. Scientists have taken a closer look at specific brain mechanisms that may help explain what might be going on inside juvenile male brains. "Psychologists, psychiatrists, educators, neuroscientists, criminal justice professionals and parents are engaged in a daily struggle to understand and solve the enigma of teenage risky behaviors," said Pradeep Bhide, one of the researchers, in a news release.
Teens lack of sleep could be causing irritability
From Oct. 7: Think your teen’s angst and irritability is just typical for their age? While it’s likely that your kid’s attitude may have a lot to do with hormones and the growing pains of adolescence, a new study says that a lack of sleep might be one of the main reasons your teenager acts the way they do.
Study: E-cigarettes can encourage youth to smoke
Counsel and Heal
From March 11: Several large cities throughout the U.S. have decided to ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public areas, such as restaurants. Even though studies have not determined if these products are safe to use, some of the state officials have expressed concerns over effects of smoking e-cigarettes, called "vaping" on young children. Now, in a new study, researchers reported that middle and high school children who vape are also more likely to start smoking real cigarettes and less likely to quit.
Teen drinking may lead to problems later in life
From June 3: In a television interview early this year, ABC news anchor Elizabeth Vargas talked candidly about her recovery from alcoholism. Before seeking treatment last fall, Vargas drank as many as three to four glasses of wine a night to cope with the panic attacks that have plagued her since childhood, starting when her father went away to serve in Vietnam. How Vargas came to depend on alcohol later in life is a compelling question for Michael Windle, professor of behavioral sciences and health education at Rollins. Her childhood anxiety is a telltale sign.
Schoolchildren who add hand sanitizer to washing still get sick
From Aug. 26: Schools can be a great breeding ground for colds, stomach viruses, the flu and other bugs kids would rather not get. Researchers wanted to know whether the transmission of those illnesses could be reduced by telling elementary school children to use hand sanitizer in addition to the usual hand washing. But their study, conducted in 68 primary schools in New Zealand, found putting sanitizer in classrooms might not be worth the money and effort in higher-income countries, where soap and clean water are readily available.
Is your teen getting enough sleep?
From April 22: Not getting enough sleep can have serious effects on physical and mental health. This is particularly true for teens, whose bodies and minds are still developing. Not getting enough sleep can interfere with teens' emotional well-being and how frequently they choose to take risks. Yet a recent study found that teens are not getting enough sleep, especially black teens and males.
A new study has the potential to kill the e-cigarette market
The Motley Fool
From March 25: Anyone who has been watching the electronic-cigarette, or e-cig, debate knows that a key argument used to support possible regulation is the belief that e-cigs normalize, or encourage, the action of smoking. As of yet, this has been nothing but hot air from health campaigners and government agencies. But a new study has released groundbreaking data showing that there is in fact a link between the use of e-cigs and traditional cigarettes among U.S. adolescents.
Teen bullies, victims armed more than other kids, study says
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
From June 17: Teenage bullies and their victims are more likely to carry weapons than kids not involved in these abusive relationships, according to a new research review. With school shootings a concern across the U.S., the findings — culled from 45 previously published studies — put a spotlight on the potential link between bullying and subsequent violence, experts said.
CDC study reveals sex education offered too late for teen girls
Food World News
From April 22: "Timing is everything" is a true statement — especially when it comes to educating teens about sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control, sex education is being offered too late for teenage girls. In a recent study among the girls who were sexually experienced, 83 percent admitted that they did not get formal sex education until after losing their virginity and becoming sexually active.
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