This week, a new bill introduced by some Republican lawmakers (and a former President of the Tavern League) would lower the drinking age in in Wisconsin to 19 if passed. Proponents of the bill state that it will decrease amount of money and time spent on patrolling underage drinking (mainly on college campuses). They also point out that an 18-year-old can serve in the military, live independently, purchase firearms, purchase tobacco products, and vote, so why shouldn’t they be able to enjoy an adult beverage? Although, the proposal would not allow 18 year olds to purchase alcohol (that is to prevent high school students from legally drinking, according to the bill’s authors).
Every few weeks, I get asked, “What pill can I take to help me lose weight?” Sometimes it’s asked by an overweight teen (or parent), sometimes from someone who is at a healthy weight but wants to be a “little bit smaller.” Many of my eating disorder patients admit to using diet pills. According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Center for Disease Control – 5% of teens have used diet pills/powders/liquid in the past month without a doctor’s approval in order to lose weight or prevent weight gain. Just as often, I am asked about the proper supplement to take to help build more muscle. An astounding 35% of teen males have used protein powders or shakes to enhance muscles (6% have used anabolic steroids!!). I was just made aware of a bill in Massachusetts proposing to make diet pills and supplements illegal for minors to purchase. Why all the fuss? Read more
I finally bit the bullet and sat down to binge watch the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why. I have been asked about it by parents and patients alike. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, and numerous other professional organizations have all released statements talking about this show. To tell you the truth, I was nervous to watch it. There have been other movies that depicted teen suicide (who can forget the 80s Heathers or Surviving, the 90s The Virgin Suicides, or the more recent A Girl Like Her….ooohh and check out the documentary Audrie & Daisy). Anyways, teen suicide is always a media topic. And for good reason. Check out these stats on teen suicide:
Earlier this month, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on the health risks of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) high school students. If you’ve read this blog before, you’ll know that I’m a fan of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), and the most recent YRBS looked at sexual orientation in addition to other risk taking behaviors. Read more
As you might remember, February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. While you might be thinking to yourself, sure… but it’s no longer February, we’re extending this Leap Day to a Leap Week, which means that we’re right on the mark (and feel totally justified given that the temperatures here are in the single digits and there are several inches of snow on the ground). Additionally, preventing teen dating violence is incredibly important, so we’re giving it a little extra attention.