Archive | January, 2015

The Elephant in the Room

Two years ago, I was in Charlotte, North Carolina for the national convention of Health and PE teachers. I attended workshops on alcohol and drug prevention, nutrition, physical fitness, mental health, sex ed, you name it. Basically, it was a health teacher’s dream… especially for a curriculum dork like me.

The last session I attended was presented by a peer-based sex ed group, and while I was impressed with what they were doing, I still felt like there was something missing. So when they asked if anybody had any questions, I couldn’t help but pose one to the room.

When are we going to talk about porn?


Talking to Teens About Drinking Matters More Than You May Think

Talking to teens about drinking isn’t a waste of time. In fact, it could be more powerful than you think! According to new research, consistent conversations about alcohol with adolescents can have a positive effect on teen drinking. This research comes from the University at Buffalo.

The study showed that parents tended to talk to younger children more about the dangers of alcohol, but then discontinued the discussions as the kids aged. However, researchers found that parents shouldn’t underestimate the positive impact of those kinds of conversations.


Here’s Another Reason to Add Avocados to Your Favorite Foods

In case you need an extra reason to pay extra for that guacamole at Chipotle, we’ve got good news. Avocados have amazing health benefits! According to information published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, eating one avocado a day can help lower cholesterol.

Research was conducted regarding what happened when saturated fatty acids found in a typical American diet were replaced by the unsaturated fatty acids in avocados, according to Science Daily.


Teaching Kids About Food When Everyone’s On a Diet

New Years is an exciting time to be a health teacher. Everyone’s resolved to make a fresh start, gyms are full, people are eager to overhaul their diets, and there is an insane amount of information in the media about how we can make healthy choices. Our students are being surrounded by positive influence, and come back from the break full of questions and information about nutrition.


Genetics May Influence Insomnia in Teens

While a variety of factors affect a teen’s sleep schedule (including staring at phone screens before bed), a new study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine reveals genetics may play a role as well. According to research conducted on twins, insomnia during adolescence is influenced by genetics. By definition, insomnia is “a sleep disorder that is characterized by difficulty falling and/or staying asleep.” It can lead to fatigue, irritability, and behavioral problems during the day, Science Daily reports.


More Screen Time Leads to Less Sleep

We frequently post about the importance of sleep, but there’s a good reason why: It’s an essential part of a teen’s health and well-being. Lack of sleep not only increases the risk of obesity, but it also leads to poorer performance in school. According to a new study, “small screens”—or devices like iPods, smartphones, and tablets—are negatively impacting teens’ sleep schedules. If kids sleep with a smartphone in their room or bed, they received 21 minutes less sleep than those who didn’t.


Taylor Swift Tops List of Celeb Do-Gooders & This Video Proves Why

Even if they’re not always setting the best examples, celebrities are idolized by teens. From fandoms on Twitter to comments on Instagram, the impact celebs have on today’s youth is undeniable. Luckily, plenty of famous people harness that social power and use it for the greater good. A perfect example? Taylor Swift! The 25-year-old singer topped’s list of Celebs Gone Good for the third year in a row. The list was compiled by our friends at—one of the largest organizations for young people and social change—and highlights stars who use their platforms to create positive change.


Inspirational Starters for a Lesson on Goal Setting

It’s the New Year, and for over half of us adults, that means we’ll be setting resolutions. Unfortunately, only 8% of us will actually stick to them, so that’s not a whole lot of positive modeling for the kids.

That’s why it’s a great time to kick off a unit on goal setting, and fill it with positive examples of real people who not only stuck with and reached their goals, but did so while demonstrating character, resilience, and grit.