Skin cancer is caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and results in about 13,000 deaths annually. Melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer, is responsible for 9,700 deaths each year. The American Cancer Society estimates 76,000 new cases of melanoma in 2014. Because tanning beds increase the risk of developing skin cancer, the FDA has recently reclassified tanning beds and states have enacted legislation limiting minors’ access to tanning beds.

Last week, Colorado Gov. Hickenlooper announced very good news for his state. Teen birth rates had fallen 40 percent from 2009 through 2013. The drop moved Colorado from the 29th lowest teen birth rate in the nation in 2009...

The rate of child poverty has only slightly lowered since the 1960's when President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty and currently hovers around 22 percent.  In 2012, 1 in 5 children were identified as poor.  Good nutrition, especially in the early years of a child's life, is vital to create the foundation for future physical and mental health.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, nearly 16 million chlidren under age 18 live in homes where they can't consistenly access an adequate amount of healthy and nutritious food.  However, trillions of calories are wasted or lost on a yearly basis.

October 2013 ~ Stateline Midwest

Illinois has joined the handful of U.S. states that ban tanning facilities from opening their beds and other tanning equipment for use by people under the age of 18.

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Human papillomavirus, known as HPV, is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States and a principal cause of cervical cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has approved, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended, two HPV vaccinesCervarix and Gardasil. Both prevent certain types of HPV that cause cervical cancer. Since the vaccine was introduced in 2006, the prevalence of the vaccine-type HPV has dropped by 56 percent. 

When New York City passed the first menu labeling law in 2008 to combat obesity, it didn’t change the number of calories people consumed, found a 2009 study published in Health Affairs, an academic health policy and research journal. But when restaurants offered lower-calorie meals, people would choose them over higher-calorie fare, a 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal found. That’s what Healthy Fare for Kids, a Chicago-based organization, is trying to promote.

Marti Macchi likes to equate America’s problem with diabetes to an iceberg. What’s on top of the water looks bad, but it’s not nearly as bad as what’s lurking below the surface. “We have 26 million people walking around with diabetes,” said Macchi, senior consultant for diabetes at the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. “Approximately 10 million of those are diagnosed and the rest are walking around and don’t know it.”

Who hasn’t shaken their head and muttered something like “those kids today, what are they thinking?” Whether it was Aristotle, Socrates or Plato who wrote about youth with bad manners and no respect for their elders (no one seems to know), the sentiment has been around a long time.

Let me share some good news with you.

Teen smoking, drinking, use of illicit drugs and sexual activity are all down compared to the 1980s.

More than half of girls ages 13 through 17 in 23 states have received one or more doses of HPV vaccine despite the absence of state mandates.  New vaccination recommendations include boys.

Childhood obesity continues to be a problem for the nation's children. Hispanic boys and African-American girls are disproportionately affected. States are trying a variety of programs to reduce the growth of childhood obesity. 

 

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