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Kids Who Eat School Lunch Are Less Healthy In General

Research from the University of Michigan suggests that say one in three middle school youth who regularly eat school lunches are obese or overweight. They are also more likely to have higher cholesterol levels than kids who bring lunches from home.

The study included 1,076 middle school students who completed questionnaires about what they ate and how much physical activity they got as well as how many screen hours they logged each day.

Compared with kids who ate school lunches, kids who brought lunches from home were:

– Less likely to be overweight or obese (25% vs 38%)

– Less likely to eat two or more servings of fatty meats like fried chicken or hot dogs daily (2% vs. 6%)

– Less likely to drink two or more sugary drinks a day (7% vs. 19%)

– More likely to eat at least two servings a day of fruit (49% vs. 33%)

– More likely to eat at least two servings a day of vegetables (50% vs. 40%)

– Had lower levels of LDL (the bad cholesterol) Read more »

This post, Kids Who Eat School Lunch Are Less Healthy In General, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Sports Injuries In Kids On The Rise

Several studies presented this week at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons reported that in spite of a dramatic rise in pediatric sports injuries, there is still a lack of education, awareness and early treatment.

More adolescents are participating in year-round sports without seasonal breaks and are playing on multiple teams simultaneously, leading to a growing number of musculoskeletal injuries – both traumatic and from chronic overuse.

Kids’ bodies are still growing and they are just as susceptible to overuse and traumatic joint and extremity injuries as adults. The rate of injury suggests that we might be pushing kids too hard and the damage could last a lifetime. Read more »

This post, Sports Injuries In Kids On The Rise, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Ask Yourself: Have You Had Sex?

You wouldn’t think that was a tough question – most doctors and therapists assessing risk in teenagers ask this simple question every day – but an accurate answer seems hard to get. A new study from the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found no consensus among people 18- to 96 year-year-old when they were asked that question.

Thirty percent of the people did not consider oral sex, having sex. Twenty percent did not consider anal sex, having sex, and the winner – only 89% considered vaginal sex having sex if there was ejaculation. (Can I just say, hay carumba!)

This lack of consensus suggests that just asking the question “Have you had sex?” is pretty much a waste of time, unless you are very specific about the type of behavior you are asking about. In addition, if people do not consider these activities sexual, they are likely not worrying about the sexual risks associated with them. Be clear, be considered!

Photo credit: walknboston

This post, Ask Yourself: Have You Had Sex?, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

How To Make Your Own Sugar-Free Gummy Worms

OK, so this is not a medically brilliant post, but I thought I would share! For a low sugar snack, you can try making your own gummy worms! Thank you to whomever developed this fun treat!


  • 2 packages sugar free Jell-O
  • 2 packages plain gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • (optional) If you like sour gummies, you can add a packet of Kool-Aid to the ingredients

Directions Read more »

This post, How To Make Your Own Sugar-Free Gummy Worms, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Teens Can Give College An Overnight Trial Run

If your teen is seriously considering a college, I now highly recommend setting up an overnight visit with the admissions department. Here is our experience: while on this college visit my daughter spent the night as a guest with two sophomores at the college we are visiting. We thought it would be a great way to get a feel for what it is like to live on campus in this little town and really get a feel for whether or not she “fits in.”

Upon arrival, we read and signed the paper about the rules, she was given her itinerary, meal tickets, appointment with a faculty member in the department she was interested in, and information about the class she was going to visit the following morning. The two young women who were hosting her introduced themselves and off she went – not a glance back – into the next grand adventure. The admission director smiled at me knowing I was holding back the tears – excited for her and knowing my life would never be the same. That evening my younger daughter, her friend and I saw a movie, had dinner and my younger daughter congratulated me when I did not text her older sister to say goodnight. Read more »

This post, Teens Can Give College An Overnight Trial Run, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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