Archive | June, 2014

So Today’s Teens are Part of Generation Z—What Does That Even Mean?

You’ll have to excuse us for being a little late on this one, as we’ve been letting it all sink in. But approximately two weeks ago, a cultural strategy firm called Sparks & Honey released a hefty 56-page report on the next cohort of American society. In it, they introduce us to “Generation Z” (read: Americans born after 1995) and hunt for insights by pitting its members against the most researched—and arguably the most reviled—generation in American history.

Not surprisingly, the Internet was equally enthralled and unimpressed.

So what does Team Choices think about Meet Generation Z: Forget Everything You Learned About Millennials?


This Video Will Change the Way You Talk to Girls About Science & Math

After watching this Verizon commercial, we’re in awe. The phone company teamed up with Makers, a digital platform that shares women’s stories, to convey an important message: We need to encourage both boys and girls to pursue their passions. Whether they’re interested in science, English, or art, seemingly innocent comments can deter their dreams more than you think.

In the video, which we first saw on Huff Post Parents, viewers follow the journey of a young girl from her first steps as a toddler to the high school hallway. As an adolescent, she’s drawn to playing in puddles and helping her brother build a rocket. But because of remarks like, “Don’t get your dress dirty” or “Be careful with that,” she switches interests.


BMI Might Not Be the Best Way to Measure Obesity

A normal body mass index means a person is healthy, right? Wrong. A new study by the Mayo Clinic found that this isn’t necessarily true. Physicians who use BMI to diagnose obesity may be missing 25 percent of kids, ages 4 to 18, who have excess body fat. That’s a huge number.

Body mass index is a measurement of body fat that is based on height and weight. It’s problematic because kids’ bodies don’t necessarily increase proportionally as they grow. If the BMI calculation under-diagnoses that many kids, it poses potential problems. Excess body fat can pose long-term health issues, including an increased risk of type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.


Awesome Teen Alert: Harry’s Invention Helps Kids With Scoliosis

Harry Paul, a high school senior from Long Island, New York, has suffered from Scoliosis his entire life. Every three to six months, Harry would have to undergo surgery to treat his curved spine – a condition which, if left untreated, could severely affects the heart and lungs. But Harry doesn’t want other teens to have to go through the same struggles. At only 17 years old, Harry’s invented an expanding implant that allows the spine to grow straight, and hopefully will allow other children and teens with Scoliosis to […]


Teen Caffeine — Coffee Affects Boys & Girls Differently

Teen boys are more affected by caffeine than their female peers, according to a new study. Whether sipping coffee or drinking soda, caffeinated beverages cause males to experience greater heart-rate and blood-pressure changes.

During the study, conducted by the University of Buffalo, 100 preteens and teens consumed equal amounts of caffeine. The pre-teens were ages 8 and 9, while the teens were 15-17 years old. The results showed that after puberty, males and females were affected differently by this stimulant.


More Teens Are Smoking Menthol Cigarettes

Minty fresh is a good thing when it comes to toothpaste, but not cigarettes. Mistakenly believing that they’re less harmful, teens are more likely to smoke menthol cigarettes than regular cigarettes, according to a new study.

Menthol is a substance found in mint plants that provides a cooling sensation. Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that menthol cigarettes are linked with an elevated nicotine addiction among Canada’s youth. Users smoked twice as many menthol cigarettes per week, compared to regular cigarettes.


Summer Camp Bans ‘Body Talk’ & Boosts Teens’ Self Esteem

From new haircuts to cool sneakers, teens are quick to compliment aspects of each other’s appearance. On the flip side, the same can be said about negative traits — frizzy hair, greasy skin, or ugly clothes. But that dialogue usually comes in the form of whispers or snarky remarks. With so much focus on outward appearance, a summer camp decided to make a bold — and brilliant — move: banning body talk.

Eden Village Camp is a Jewish camp on an organic farm in New York. According to the New York Times, campers are not allowed to comment on anyone’s appearance or clothing, even if the comment is positive. The goal is to show that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.


Beware of Buzzwords! ‘Gluten-Free’ Isn’t Always Healthy

“Organic,” “gluten-free,” and “whole grain.” These phrases can provide an inaccurate impression of how healthy foods actually are, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Houston found that healthy buzzwords tends to trick customers into thinking foods are healthier. For the study, they examined how consumers link words on food labels with healthiness. Despite the actual nutrition facts listed on the product, buzzwords had a bigger pull.


Is Overly Strict Parenting Leading Teens to Use Drugs? Study Says Yes

A recent study across six European countries has found that certain parenting styles may lead to increased adolescent drug use, with overly strict and neglectful parents seeing the highest rates of drug use in their teens. The study, recently published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, asked 7718 adolescents across Sweden, the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic to classify their parents levels of control and affection. Based on their responses, parenting styles were organized into one of four categories: authoritarian (strict and unemotional), authoritative (strict, […]


Popular Teens May Face More Problems As Adults, Study Finds

High school may seem like a popularity contest, but there are perks to not coming in first place. According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Virginia, teens who strive to be categorized as the “cool” kids may experience a range of problems in early adulthood. The study was conducted over the span of 10 years — from when the teens were 13 until age 23. Those who were classified as “cool” were 40 percent more likely to use drugs and alcohol at age 21-23 than their […]