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Teen health resources from A to Z.

A Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

For articles, book suggestions, resources, and forums on ADHD, visit the ADHD Parent's Place, an online community:

Check out the National Institute of Mental Health's Web site on ADHD at

Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with Attention Deficit Disorder from Childhood through Adulthood, by Edward M. Hallowell and John J. Ratey, Touchstone Books, 1995


* Some symptoms often evident in a person with ADD or ADHD: Sense of underachievement, difficulty getting organized, tendency to speak without thinking, constant thrill-seeking, easily bored or distracted, has trouble following instructions, impulsive behavior, worrying needlessly and endlessly, and depression.

B Blue Jeans

"Bacteria Dye Jeans," by Helen Pearson, Nature, March 27, 2002

You can read "Bug-Wash Jeans," by Amanda Onion at jeans021015.html

C Computer

To visit the company that developed the virtual keyboard, visit


* The virtual keyboard responds to a maximum of 120 keystrokes per minute, even under very bright lights. Its inventors believe the device can be helpful to surgeons needing both sterile and mobile computers in the operating room.

D Dissection

For dissection alternatives, visit the Humane Society of the United States' Humane Education Loan Program:

To read the National Science Teachers Association's position statement, "Guidelines for Responsible Use of Animals in the Classroom," visit

E Ecstasy

For resources and activities on battling ecstasy, see TE7 and TE8.


Most teen girls stop exercising by the time they hit age 17, according to a study published recently by the New England Journal of Medicine. Find graphs of data and more information online at

For more on the Gyrotonic Extension System, visit:

F Fear

For more information on the fear gene, see the BBC News Web site: 4195

For information on phobias, see "Fear Not!" by Jeffrey Kluger, Time, April 2, 2001,p 52.


* The best way for teens to overcome their fears is to talk about them, says Ted Feinberg, director of the National Association of School Psychologists. "When fear disrupts your normal course of function, that's when you need professional attention," he says.

G Grandparents

"Analysis of birth intervals in a non-contracepting Indian population: An evolutionary ecological approach," by D.L. Leonetti, D.C. Nath, M.S. Steele: J. Biosocial Sci., 2000, 32:343-354. Read the scientific paper here:

"Weighing the Grandma Factor," by Natalie Angler, The New York Times, November 5, 2002

H Hygiene

Information on endotoxins and allergies can be found in The Chicago Tribune's article at:

The National Institute of Health issued a press release on health benefits for kids with multiple pets:


* More than 75 percent of all liquid hand soaps and 30 percent of bar soaps contain antibacterial agents, according to a study conducted by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston Massachusetts.

* Americans spent $400 million last year On antibacterial cleansers.

I Instant Messaging

You can read "On the Mobile," Dr. Sadie Plant's complete study on the behavioral effects of mobile phone use, at this Web address:,1028,296,00.pdf


* Dr. Plant studied the common traits and characteristics of cell phone users and identified six distinctive behavioral types. She compared these personalities with that of six different kinds of birds. Owls, for example, keep their cell phone use to a minimum, making and taking only necessary calls. But starlings are aggressive and chatty users.

J Joking

The world's funniest joke can be found online at: joke021003.html

For more information on Lee Berk's research into laughter as medicine check out


* People of different nationalities laugh at different types of jokes. For example, Germans prefer duck jokes. In October, scientists determined the world's funniest joke--which happens to be violent--as part of the largest study on humor conducted so far.

K Kissing

An interesting article on diseases caused by mouth bacteria can be found at


* Mouth bacteria react with sugar and starches in foods to produce an acid that eats away at tooth enamel.

* Halitosis, or bad breath, is caused by bacteria that thrive between teeth and under the gums. The best way to prevent it is to brush and floss regularly.

* Periodontal bacteria can migrate through the blood to other areas of the body, causing illnesses like stroke and heart disease.

L Loneliness and Depression

For comprehensive information on youth and mental health, visit the American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at

The American Psychiatric Association's "Let's talk about ..." series cover a range of mental health topics ranging from depression and psychiatric medications to choosing a psychiatrist. You can read the pamphlets online at

M Music

For more on Petr Janata's study, visit his home page at

N Nose job

To learn more about cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, visit the Web site of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons:


* According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2001 there were 79,501 cosmetic surgery patients age 18 and under. And their top five procedures were as follows: nose reshaping, 43,615; ear surgery, 23,971; liposuction, 2,755; breast reduction in men, 2,604; breast augmentation, 2,596.

O Organic Food

The Organic Trade Association represents the organic industry in Canada, the U.S., and Mexico. Their informational Web site is located at Also visit their consumer site that includes recipes at

The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center's Web page in organic food production:

For general information on organic foods, check out:

P Puppies

"Teaching Young Dogs is New Trick," by Stephanie Warsmith, The Beacon Journal, November 9, 2002. Read the article here:

Check out the Delta Society's Web site to learn more about animal-assisted activities and therapies:

Q Quesadilla

For a great site on food and health, log on to

To learn about nutrition for vegetarian teens, visit the Vegetarian Resource Group's

For quick nutritional information on many popular fast food restaurants, visit the Minnesota Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division:

R Romance

An interesting article on the science of attraction can be found at Emory University's Web site:


* In 1971, researchers discovered the menstrual cycles of women living together tended to synchronize over time, but no one pinned down how this came about until 1998, when scientists at the University of Chicago found that women of reproductive age secrete pheromones from their armpits that appear to delay or accelerate the menstrual periods of other women.

S Stress

The Mind/Body Medical Institute's Education Initiative has developed mind/body interventions to counteract the negative impacts of student and teacher stress. Educators are taught life-management skills that can enhance their own professional and personal lives, and then are shown how to teach these skills to students. For more information, visit Or contact Jennifer Johnston, MA, RYT, 617-991-0102 x267, or email

A fact-sheet on teen stress is available at the Web site of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry:


* During the fight-or-flight response, blood flow to the muscles of the arms and legs increases by up to 400 percent to help you respond to danger. Meanwhile, the digestive, immune, and reproductive systems shut down.

T Test-Taking

Cracking the PSAT/NMSQT, by Jeff Rubenstein, Princeton Review, 2003

"Predictable Casualties," by Mary Hatwood Futrell and Iris C. Rotberg, Education Week, Oct 2, 2002


* Budget your time: A good rule of thumb on a high-speed timed test is 2 or 3 minutes per question.

* To the degree you're allowed, answer the questions that are easiest for you first.

U Uniforms

"Are Uniforms a Good Way to Improve Student Discipline and Motivation?" by Pat Morse-McNeely and Dave Oland, NEA Today, April 2002

V Vision

"F.D.A. Vows Crackdown on Lenses," by Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times, October 29, 2002

For general vision health information, visit Prevent Blindness America:


* Even contacts worn solely for the purpose of changing eye color affect the organ's physiology. That's why all contacts must be fit to the individual wearer's eyes by a licensed eye care professional.

* Contact-lens manufacturers say that authorized sellers of colored or designer lenses always sell them in six-packs. If a shop sells pairs of contacts in individual blister packs, they're illegal.

W Weight Wars

Visit the special National Institute on Drug Abuse Web site to download "Anabolic Steroid Abuse," a NIDA research report.

"Adding Some Heft to the Ideal Feminine Form," by Jane E. Brody, The New York Times, November 19, 2002, p. F7


* Some steroid abusers take 4,000 milligrams of testosterone a Week; a healthy adult male naturally produces 35 milligrams a week.

* The average adolescent girl is a size 10, but thinks a size 2 is normal, says Dr. Ira Sacker, head of the Eating Disorders Clinic at Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Y Yoga

Yoga for Teens, by Thia Luby, Clear Light Publishers, 1999


* When you do a headstand (or any other inversion in which the head is lower than the heart), gravity makes it easier for the blood to return from your legs and arms to your heart (via the venous return). When you sit or stand, the blood has to flow against gravity.

* Hundreds of different yoga styles--such as Ashtanga, Kundalini, Vinyasa, Power Yoga, Hatha, and Iyengar Yoga--are taught. All consist of physical postures, breathing, and meditation, but some styles focus more on bodily positions while others focus more on meditation and breathing.

Z Zits

"Acne Vulgaris: A Disease of Western Civilization," by Loren Cordain, et al, Archives of Dermatology, December 2002. View online at

For information on acne and its treatment, visit the American Academy of Dermatology:


"Sleep is One Thing Missing in Busy Teenage Lives," by Denise Grady, The New York Times, November 5, 2002, p. F5

"Connecticut Teens Snooze in Power Nap Clubs," by The Associated Press, November 11, 2002. Read the article at


* Experts say teens' sleep patterns tend to be "delayed"--that is, they naturally stay up later than children and adults. But these same night owls need about 9.5 hours of sleep.

* Recent sleep studies at Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, show that watching TV and using a computer can sabotage bedtime, because the bright lights in these machines stimulate the brain. Researchers suggest shutting down the electronic devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed.
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Publication:Science World
Date:Feb 7, 2003
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