Study: One in Seven Los Angeles Teens Has Sexted
Sexting is once again linked to risky sexual behavior among teens in a study released today in the journal Pediatrics. One out of every seven Los Angeles teenagers surveyed for the study has sent a sexually-explicit text or photo, the study revealed, and those "sexters" are more likely to be engaging in unsafe sex, as in unprotected or under the influence. "What we really wanted to know is, is there a link between sexting and taking risks with your body? And the answer is a pretty resounding 'yes,'" Eric Rice, sudy author and assistant professor at the University of Southern California's School of Social Work, told Reuters. The results of the new study, which surveyed nearly 2,000 high school students, are in line with those from a study of Houston teens earlier this summer. In the Texas study, nearly 30 percent of teens said they've texted or e-mailed nude photos of themselves, and the study showed that those teens were more likely to have risky sex. Rice told Reuters that public sexting scandals among celebrities or politicians can be a good opportunity for parents and teachers to discuss real sex with teens. "Sexting might be an easier conversation for teachers to start having with teens than a full-on conversation that starts, 'Let's talk about sex,'" he said.
How to Spot and Stop Bullying
Forget New York. If you can make it in middle school, you can make it anywhere. Think about it: You're barely pubescent when you leave grade school's bright, happy walls, where your name is probably emblazoned on some artwork, for a place with kids who, although they are probably just as scared as you, are bigger.
Until recently, mistreatment in middle school—even the risk of it—was considered a rite of passage. You were merely lucky or unlucky, liked or disliked. You just hoped to survive.
Thankfully, there's been a rethinking of that philosophy. Growing awareness about bullying, and its associated trauma, has created a cultural shift. Today, many communities know not only how to identify and report these occurrences, but also how to prevent and address them.
Some experts say the heightened awareness stems from the Columbine shooting, which was widely reported as a retaliatory attack by a bullied teen—though later accounts dispute that narrative. Other high-profile cases that linked bullying to suicide garnered media attention. Meanwhile, local and grassroots efforts to fight bullying have developing alongside prominent national campaigns. President Obama has made it a cause of his administration, which last year hosted the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention and created the website, StopBullying.gov, with tips to spot and stop bullying. Earlier this year, Oprah Winfrey joined Lady Gaga at Harvard for the pop singer's launch of her Born This Way Foundation, which aims to end bullying. This spring, The Weinstein Company released Bully, which documents the lives of five kids, viciously tormented by their peers, and featured an anti-bullying campaign backed by celebrities like Katy Perry, Paula Abdul, Demi Lovato, and Anderson Cooper. [Read More: How to Spot and Stop Bullying]
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5 Surprising Benefits of Mindful Eating
How often do you pay attention to what you're eating? If you're like many Americans, breakfast is eaten with one hand on the steering wheel, lunch is inhaled in front of a computer screen, and dinner is spent with the TV blasting in the background. Food rarely takes center-stage in our busy lives, but research indicates that this mindless munching is taking its toll on our weight and health.
"Mindful eating" is the term coined for simply paying attention to your food, your body cues, and the act of eating, writes U.S. News blogger Melinda Johnson. It is eliminating distractions during mealtime and checking in with your hunger or fullness cues. While this may sound a bit too touchy-feely to be scientific, a solid body of evidence suggests this practice is worth trying. Here are five benefits you may experience by turning off that TV while you eat dinner:
1. It might help prevent type 2 diabetes: A new study published in Clinical Nutrition found that people with type 2 diabetes were more likely to be fast eaters than people without the condition. Fast eating has been linked to weight gain in previous studies, and this may be the link that contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes. If you suspect that you may be eating too quickly, take a meal or two and simply focus on your eating style—consciously slow it down and see how you feel. You may be surprised by how soon you get full with less food. [Read More: 5 Surprising Benefits of Mindful Eating]