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Teens Share ...

Teens can share ideas and learn about other cultures on many sites on the internet.

One example is Teen World News. This web site is dedicated to connecting teen writers across the globe. It's a place for teens to learn about news that affects them and to swap ideas on everything from human rights to hot fashion trends. It's also a place for adults to find out what teens are talking about. You can talk about what's going on in your part of the world ... or what you think about an international news event ... or just what book you're reading. I wish I had had this opportunity when I was a teenager.

Another good site is the GoAskAlice!, started at Columbia University's Health Education program. Go Ask Alice! receives more than 1,500 questions weekly from college and high school students, parents and teachers on every conceivable health topic. All the questions are read. Inquirers to Go Ask Alice! are anonymous—their addresses are electronically scrambled prior to reaching GAA!’s e-mailbox. The mission of Go Ask Alice! is to increase access to, and use of, health information by providing factual, in-depth, straight-forward, and nonjudgmental information to assist readers' decision-making about their physical, sexual, emotional, and spiritual health.


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Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can take the form of overeating or undereating and even bizarre and erratic eating habits. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, in the United States conservative estimates indicate that after puberty, 5-10 million girls and women and 1 million boys and men are struggling with eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or borderline conditions. (Crowther et al., 1992; Fairburn et al., 1993; Gordon, 1990; Hoek, 1995; Shisslak et al., 1995). Their studies show that a distorted body image begins at an early age. Eating disorders are real, complex, and devastating conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity, and relationships. A study done by Collins shows 42% of first through third grade girls want to be thinner. A similar study shows that 81% of 10 year old girls are afraid of being fat. The media influences the distorted body image by portraying exceptionally thin women. Research shows the average American woman is actually 5'4" tall and weighs 140 pounds, not the 5'11", 117 pound model that teens see on TV and in the movies.

A major obesity bill, the IMPACT bill (S. 1172), introduced June 3, 2003, would offer grants for both the training of health professionals as well as conducting programs that promote healthy eating and exercise toward the prevention of eating disorders and obesity. As Sentor Hillary Clinton highlighted in her floor speech, incorporating eating disorders education in an obesity bill provides the public with a balanced message and realistic approach toward health. "While it is so important to fight the obesity epidemic, we should not inadvertently send the wrong message by telling our children and adults simply to eat less and exercise. Unfortunately, many adolescents misinterpret this as a message that they should eat to achieve the body of a runway model. Anorexia and bulimia are increasingly common among our nation's youth. . ." "While it is important to prevent diabetes and heart disease that may result from obesity, eating disorders also have their own very serious consequences. Anorexia nervosa, which will affect 3.7 percent of American women sometime in their lifetime, leads to heart failure, kidney failure, and osteoporosis. In fact, a young woman is 12 times more likely to die than other women her age without anorexia. . ."

We have provided a summary of the more well-known disorders in this link. If you can identify with any of these disorders, please seek help from your parents, friends, trusted adult, physician or counselor. If you recognize any of them in a friend, try speaking to that friend about it and help them get the advice and assistance they need. You cannot force someone to seek help, change their habits, or adjust their attitudes. You will make important progress in honestly sharing your concerns, providing support, and knowing where to go for more information!

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SELF ESTEEM

Do you wish you looked different, weighed less, were taller, shorter, had straight hair or curly hair? It is estimated that 40% of the population is dissatisfied in some way with their body and this is especially true for teens, whose bodies are undergoing changes associated with puberty. You may be unsure of what these changes will be and you may feel self conscious if you develop before your friends and others in your group. Due to heredity and genes you can anticipate some of the changes. You should learn to recognize what you like about your personality and your appearance and make the most of it. If it becomes too much for you to handle there are places and people you can go to for help. Talk to your parents, teachers, coach, pastor or priest, guidance counselor or another adult you trust. If you don't have access to any of these people there are "hot lines" you can call for help. Don't let it get too far before you take action. Your teen years should be happy ones, full of new experiences and learning, not spent in the fog of depression and self-doubt. Get help, and start a regular exercise program.


Dress Up Those Bra Straps!

Bra straps decorated with jewelry, beads, rhinestones, flowers are the latest fashion craze in lingerie!


 


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Visit TRIM KIDS, for practical tools for breaking the vicious circle of childhood weight problems. Straightforward and easy-to-follow, the 12-week program addresses the nutritional, emotional, and physical essentials for safe, effective weight management.


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