Health Buzz: Extreme Binge Drinking in High School Seniors

5 tips for helping your teen quit smoking; how to eat healthfully on game day

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Study: 10 Percent of High School Seniors Are Downing 10 Drinks Or More In One Session

For a study was published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers took a look at a nationally representative sample of 16,332 high school seniors via the Monitoring the Future study between 2005 and 2011. In reference to their drinking behaviors within the previous two weeks, 20 percent of these students reported binge drinking five or more drinks, 10.5 percent reported 10 or more drinks and 5.6 percent reported 15 or more drinks. For reference, binge drinking is traditionally defined as consuming five or more drinks for a man, or four or more drinks for a woman, within about two hours.

The Mayo Clinic website provides tips for parents to discuss and prevent underage drinking with their teenagers. When discussing underage drinking, the website suggests brainstorming ways to handle peer pressure, debunking myths about alcohol and more.

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  • 5 Tips for Helping Your Teen Quit Smoking

    What if you found a pack a of cigarettes in your teenage daughter's purse? How would you feel if you spotted your 16-year-old son taking a drag of a cigarette before passing it along to one of his friends? What if your kid was the nearly one in four high school seniors who smokes? While yes, it would have been ideal if he or she had never started smoking, at this point, you and your teen can only work on quitting.

    "Parents should recognize that it's not too late if their kid has started experimenting with tobacco, or even if they're regular smokers," says Yvonne Hunt, program director in the National Cancer Institute's Tobacco Control Research Branch. "Parents can really be influential by showing interest and engaging their teens in conversations about it."

    But where do you start? Here are tips for parents to effectively communicate with teens about their smoking and help them quit.

    1. Take a breather: Upon finding out your child smokes, "It might be natural for parents to feel upset, angry, scared, worried or like they're losing control of the situation," says D'Arcy Lyness, a child and adolescent psychologist and behavioral health editor for KidsHealth.org. With these emotions brewing, you may feel inclined to find your teen and bark out a lecture or ground him or her for eternity. Instead, take a moment to collect yourself and decide how you want to react, Lyness suggests. Yelling and screaming is probably not going to be helpful, she says. [Read more: 5 Tips for Helping Your Teen Quit Smoking]

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    • How to Eat Healthfully on Game Day

      The football season has officially begun. Many people spend this time of year maneuvering between watching their favorite sport and watching their own waistlines. And whether you actually care about the game, or if you're only interested in the tailgate parties and other festivities, you should care about what you eat. I sometimes say that a single day of eating whatever you want is OK, but that doesn't work for football season, in which there are many, many game days.

      Follow these tips, and you'll survive the season feeling more like an athlete than a couch potato.

      Pre-game:

      1. Definitely do not go to a game hungry. If you're leaving early in the morning to get a good tailgating spot, make sure to eat breakfast. If you're going to an afternoon game at a sports bar or friend's house, grab a snack before you walk out the door. The more satiated you are to begin with, the easier it is to resist temptation later.

      2. Squeeze in some fitness before the kickoff. Whether it is a brisk 30 minute walk, a workout at the gym, or a yoga class – do something that makes you feel that your body is a temple and not a garbage disposal. [Read more: How to Eat Healthfully on Game Day]

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