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Archive for the ‘teens’ Category

Eat Healthy For Life, Not For Weight Loss

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 5, 2010

Eat Healthy For Life Not Weight Loss

We know that the food we choose to put into our body can have a huge affect on our health and quality of life, but many of us still choose to eat unhealthy foods.  Let’s face it, the unhealthy stuff tastes really good, and we don’t usually have cravings for healthy food.  That’s exactly why obesity is such a large problem for both adults and children in our country…But is dieting the answer?  I don’t think so.  As we all know, dieting can often lead to a roller coaster of weight loss and weight gain, that leaves many weighing more in the long run.

So if dieting isn’t the answer…What is?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted in body image, chronic illness, dieting, food, Health, life, nutrition, self-help, teens, thoughts, weight loss, Women, women's health | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Miley Cyrus Encouraging Youth To Do Good – video

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 29, 2009

My daughter Nicole, who is a big Miley Cyrus fan, heard about a project Miley was supporting called Get UR Good On.  As soon as she heard about it, she wanted to get involved.  The idea was to do something good in your community, video it, and then upload it onto the Get UR Good On website to encourage others to do the same.

*read full post and see video at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in current events, empowerment, family, feminism, inspirational, kids, life, media, motherhood, music, my life, news, personal, teens, Women, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Quit Smoking for the Great American Smokeout

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 17, 2009

The Great American Smokeout happens every year on the third Thursday in November, and it has been going on each year since 1977.  This is a day that smokers all across the country are encouraged to not smoke, or at least cut back on their smoking for one day.  Each year millions of smokers participate in the smokeout in the hope that this one step will be the catalyst to their quitting permanently.

On the American Cancer Society‘s website you can find a lot of great information to help you with this challenge…

You can also read about the history of The Great American Smokeout here.

From Suite 101

The American Cancer Society uses this yearly event to not only draw attention to the health issues and dangers that accompany smoking, but also to point smokers who struggle with quitting towards the many resources and tools available to them.

It has been proven that success in quitting smoking is greatly increased when smokers have support. This support can come in a number of ways. The ACS recommends that smokers eager to kick the habit employ one or more of these resources:

  • nicotine replacement products (such as the patch or gum);
  • counseling;
  • prescription medication to lessen nicotine cravings;
  • joining a stop smoking support group;
  • using telephone smoking cessation hotlines;
  • guide books;

Are you a smoker?  Will you be abstaining from smoking for the Great American Smoke Out?

Here’s a look at some of what other women are blogging about quitting smoking…

READ THE FULL POST AT catherine-morgan.com

Posted in awareness, BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, Health, life, lifestyle, self-help, teens | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month

Posted by Catherine Morgan on November 3, 2009

November is Epilepsy Awareness Month.  I hope this post will provide information and facts about epilepsy, while also showcasing women blogging about life with seizures.

Here are some epilepsy facts from CURE Epilepsy

  • Epilepsy affects over 3 million Americans of all ages – more than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson’s disease combined. Almost 500 new cases of epilepsy are diagnosed every day in the United States. Epilepsy affects 50,000,000 people worldwide.
  • In two-thirds of patients diagnosed with epilepsy, the cause is unknown.
  • Epilepsy can develop at any age and can be a result of genetics, stroke, head injury, and many other factors.
  • In over thirty percent of patients, seizures cannot be controlled with treatment. Uncontrolled seizures may lead to brain damage and death. Many more have only partial control of their seizures.
  • The severe epilepsy syndromes of childhood can cause developmental delay and brain damage, leading to a lifetime of dependency and continually accruing costs—both medical and societal.
  • It is estimated that up to 50,000 deaths occur annually in the U.S. from status epilepticus (prolonged seizures), Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP), and other seizure-related causes such as drowning and other accidents.
  • The mortality rate among people with epilepsy is two to three times higher than the general population and the risk of sudden death is twenty-four times greater.
  • Recurring seizures are also a burden for those living with brain tumors and other disorders such as cerebral palsy, mental retardation, autism, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, tuberous sclerosis, and a variety of genetic syndromes.

I found this video on a blog called My 3 Peanuts – It is a very informative video that explains exactly what happens during a seizure.

Understanding Epilepsy…

READ FULL POST AT catherine-morgan.com

Posted in awareness, bloggers, BlogHer, children, chronic illness, family, Health, life, news, parenting, teens, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues, YouTube | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Gardasil: Do The Benefits Outweigh The Risks?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on August 31, 2009

The controversy surrounding the Gardasil vaccine has been around from the moment it was approved for use in young girls.  And from the very beginning I have had a problem with Gardasil being referred to as a cervical cancer vaccine – because it’s not.   I also have a problem with the ‘fear mongering’ commercials designed to look like public service announcements, and the possibility of making this vaccine (yet another) required by the government.

In the end, I want to research the facts and be the one to make an educated decision about whether or not to vaccinate my daughter for the HPV virus.  To be perfectly honest…At this point I don’t see any indication that the benefits of this vaccine outweigh the risks.  Although the risks are very small, the benefits seem to be even smaller.

But don’t take my word for it…Look at some of the most recent facts about Gardasil.

Read full post at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, cervical cancer, children, daughters, Gardasil, Health, hpv vaccine, life, news, teens, vaccines, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Keeping Your Children Safe

Posted by Catherine Morgan on August 8, 2009

If you’re a mom, you probably have concerns or questions about child safety.  And you can find a great resource at the Home Safety Council.  It’s a great interactive website with tips, links, resources, videos and more.

The Home Safety Council (HSC) is the only national nonprofit organization solely dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages to be safer in and around their homes.

All ages are represented on this site, but here is a bit about the little-ones…

READ FULL POST AT CATHERINE-MORGAN.COM

Posted in children, family, Health, kids, life, parenting, teens, Women, women blogging, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My Interview with LeAnn Rimes: On body image, psoriasis and Michael Jackson

Posted by Catherine Morgan on July 15, 2009

LeAnn Rimes Interview:  Her Courageous Battle With Psoriasis

So…A few weeks ago I was asked if I would like to interview LeAnn Rimes about her struggles with psoriasis and her awareness campaign Stop Hiding & Start Living. I think it’s a great campaign and I was happy to help bring more awareness to this physically and emotionally debilitating skin condition.

As women we so often feel bad about ourselves because of the way we look. We might be having a bad hair day, or have a bit of acne on our face, or feel like we could stand to lose a few more pounds…It’s really a vicious cycle and sometimes even a pit of despair that we never seem to quite be able to climb out of. I think that’s why stories like the one LeAnn Rimes will share with us in this interview are so empowering.

The American Academy of Dermatology and the National Psoriasis Foundation have joined together to form the Stop Hiding from Psoriasis public education campaign. This campaign is dedicated to:

  • Educating the general public about how this chronic immune disorder affects nearly 7 million Americans.
  • Motivating patients suffering from psoriasis to Stop Hiding and
    Start Living.
  • Encouraging patients to see a dermatologist and discuss appropriate ways to manage
    their disease.

LeAnn Rimes stands up to psoriasis…

The spotlight has followed singer LeAnn Rimes for most of her life. Unfortunately, so has the embarrassment of her psoriasis. But not anymore. LeAnn is taking a stand to Stop Hiding from her psoriasis and wants you to Stop Hiding and Start Living too.

Earlier this week I spoke with LeAnn…

me1 How difficult was it growing up with psoriasis and at such a young age?

82543072SG004_LEANN_RIMES_S Well yes, I was diagnosed when I was two, so I pretty much don’t know anything other than having it…by the time I was six I was 80% covered, everything but my hands, feet and face. It was very debilitating physically and mentally. Even as a child having people really not understanding what the disease is and thinking it was contagious and trying to stay away from me. My parents really did a good job of covering it up, especially my mom, [with] the way she dressed me. And it was hard, it was hard being in the public eye. ‘Til the time I was 13 I wasn’t really able to wear dresses (short dresses) on the red carpet, or shorts in the middle of the summer…I would always wear jeans. It was really tough; it took a toll on my self esteem for a long time.

me1 Did other children tease you when you were a child?

82543072SG004_LEANN_RIMES_S Yes, I would sometimes miss out on pool parties and things because I would never want to be around other girls with my bathing suite on – because they really didn’t understand what it was.

Read full post and interview with LeAnn Rimes at catherine-morgan.com

Posted in blogging, body image, chronic illness, depression, empowerment, Health, inspirational, life, success, teens, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

What Are You Addicted To?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on March 3, 2009

If you’re alive, you’re probably addicted to something.  What are you addicted to?

So many addictions, so little time. What are you addicted to? Smoking? Coffee? Chocolate? Soda? Sugar? Food? Exercise? Blogging?

I haven’t based this on any scientific study, but it’s my observation that…

If you’re alive, you’re probably addicted to something.

What do you think? Is it just human nature to be addicted? Do you know of anyone who has no addictions in their life? Are some addictions acceptable and others not? Have you replaced one addiction with another? What is your addiction? Is there a 12 step program for it? Do you wish there was?

Here is a little addiction roundup

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in bloggers, blogging, BlogHer, dieting, family, food, Health, heart disease, kids, life, nutrition, opinion, teens, thoughts, Women, women blogging, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are Your Children Getting Enough Calcium? Are You?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 25, 2009

Are your kids getting enough calcium?  Are you?

A recent study shows that calcium may play an even greater role in a woman’s health than we once thought.  Apparently, a higher intake of dietary calcium may decrease the risk of a woman developing colorectal cancer.  But this isn’t about taking calcium supplements, it’s recommended that we increase our intake of calcium by choosing to eat more calcium rich foods.  Yes, it’s another reason to eat healthy.  How many more reasons do you need?

From Women’s Health

High dietary intake of calcium may reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer, especially for women, but has no apparent effect in reducing other malignancies, a U.S. National Cancer Institute study finds.

Why calcium should influence cancer risk differently in women versus men isn’t clear, said Yikyung Park, a staff scientist at NCI who led the study. “One can speculate that hormonal or metabolic factors contribute to this difference,” she said.

Women with higher intake of calcium appear to have a lower risk of cancer overall, and both men and women with high calcium intakes have lower risks of colorectal cancer and other cancers of the digestive system, according to a report in the February 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

From New Wrinkles for old souls

So, what does all this mean. The bottom line comes down to this: If you have to grab a quick meal, grab something that includes calcium, such as low-fat dairy products—yogurt, cheese, or cottage cheese—or calcium-fortified beverages, such as orange juice or soy milk. Dark green leafy vegetables—kale, watercress, and bok choy—are also calcium-rich. Eating calcium foods will do your body more good than supplements. However, if you’re falling short on calcium or if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia, you should still take calcium supplements, particularly if your health care practitioner told you to take them.

But how do we know if we are getting enough calcium?  Do you know if you are getting enough caclium in your diet?

Try this easy to use calcium calculator to find out how much calcium you should be getting, and how much your current diet is providing.   I was shocked to find how little calcium I am actually consuming each day, I will certainly need to pay more attention to this in the future.

Once you know how much more calcium you should be getting each day, use this list of calcium rich foods
to find ways to add more to your diet.

And don’t forget about your kids.

From Kids Health for parents…

During childhood and adolescence, the body uses the mineral calcium to build strong bones — a process that’s all but complete by the end of the teen years. Bone calcium begins to decrease in young adulthood and progressive loss of bone occurs as we age, particularly in women.

Daily calcium needs for kids

It is also important to understand how much calcium kids actually need. The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences recommends:

* 500 mg a day for kids who are 1 to 3 years old
* 800 mg a day for kids who are 4 to 8 years old
* 1,300 mg a day for kids who are 9 to 18 years old

My daughter (14 years old) was recently diagnosed with a slight herniated disk in her lower back.  It’s most likely the beginning stage of degenerative disc disease (which runs in our family).  The doctor wants her to begin doing regular cardio exercise (at least 45 minutes 3 times a week), and also make sure she is getting enough calcium in her diet.  Hopefully making these changes will decrease her pain and reduce her risk of future problems.

Is your child getting enough calcium?

Young bodies need adequate calcium to build strong bones, especially during growth spurts. In fact, 90 percent of a person’s peak bone mass for adulthood is established by the late teen years: The strength and health of an adult’s bones largely depends on calcium intake during formative years. Some experts call osteoporosis a juvenile disease because poor bone mass in adulthood often begins in adolescence.

Other factors also help build bones, such as engaging in weight-bearing physical activity, for example:

  • walking
  • running
  • jumping rope
  • team sports
  • weight lifting

But calcium intake remains critical. An added bonus to consuming calcium: Some studies link diets rich in dairy products with more lean body mass and better weight management.

From A Mom’s Memories

This was a challenging subject to blog about – especially since one of my kiddos is the pickiest eater ever. Here are my 5 tips for making sure my kids get the vitamins and minerals they need for strong bones.

From Food Blogga

When I was kid there was nothing better than coming home from school, opening the refrigerator, and seeing those old-fashioned ice cream dessert glasses filled with Mom’s chocolate pudding, bananas, and Graham Crackers. Cool, creamy, and soothing, just what any kid could use after a long day at school. Plus it’s low in fat and high in bone-building calcium, vitamin D and protein.

Also See:

Nutrition Matters: Five Tips For Healthy Eating For One

What is heart healthy eating anyway?

Nutrition Tips: You are what you eat.

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, chronic illness, daughters, dieting, family, food, Health, kids, life, lifestyle, motherhood, news, nutrition, parenting, pregnancy, self-help, teens, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Are Parents To Blame For Childhood Obesity? Take Poll.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 19, 2009

Who is to blame for childhood obesity? There certainly seems to be a lot of blame to go around.   What do you think?  Are the parents to blame? Take this poll and let me know…

Katherine Berry from Pajamas Media wrote…

It’s not something we, as parents, like to hear and yet it’s precisely what we need to realize: if our children are fat, the chances are we bear a big load of the blame. Kids aren’t the ones pulling the minivan into the drive-through lane at McDonald’s for dinner between dance lessons and karate practice. Again. They aren’t the ones zipping past the produce aisle and dried beans in favor of high-fat, calorie-dense convenience meals that promise to be ready after five minutes or less in the microwave. They don’t keep files crammed with the take-out menus for nearby restaurants, nor program the phone number of the pizza joint on their cell phones. Parents do.

Miriam Stoppard of Dear Mariam wrote…

If a child is obese at the age of two, there’s no one to blame but the parents.

Traditionally toddlers have the healthiest lifestyles – they naturally run around all the time, burning up calories.
So it’s difficult to imagine what these children’s parents have been doing to let them get so fat. If you’re busy and stressed and feel guilty about not spending enough quality time with your child, you’re probably looking for quick and easy ways to make it up to them.

Is fast-food to blame? Or is it the parent who provides the fast-food to blame?

From Dawn at Belle of the Blog: Fat-Bottomed Girls

If my child doesn’t eat well it’s because I as his mother and provider of nourishment have in some way failed to bring good foods to him or convince him to eat those good foods.

It’s bullshit to say that “…America’s chain restaurants have set parents up to fail.” God that attitude sickens me.

What about those unhealthy school lunches?

From Childhood Obesity: A Threat To Our Public Health

School systems have instituted nutrition and exercise programs with some success. For example, a research group, The Healthier Options for Public Schools, followed 3700 students in a Florida county over 2 years. School districts instituted an intervention program in 4 schools and the results were measured against two schools that did not have a program. The intervention program included dietary changes, increased exercise and nutrition awareness. There were dramatic changes in the kids who had intervention, however, when those students returned from summer vacation, most had reverted back to their old habits.

There is also evidence that the economy plays a roleChildhood Obesity: Why Are More Poor Children Overweight?

What do you think? Take the above poll and let me know what you think about who is to blame for childhood obesity.

Personally, I think there is enough blame to go around, but the best thing to do is focus on ways to solve the problem.

What can parents do to help children make healthier food choices?

Create a healthy and active environment

  • Healthy Choices: Stock the fridge with a lot of healthy food and snacks, such as whole-grain choices, fresh produce and milk. Get rid of the junk food and soda.
  • Behavioral changes help: Serving water or milk at dinner instead of soda, sitting at a table instead of around the T.V., eating dinner at a regular time—these changes are small but can break old habits and make a real difference. Make small decisions to increase the activity in your day.
  • Beware of the TV: studies have shown that TV time directly correlates with snacking. Instead, encourage your child to be active, or work on a project that engages his or her hands so they are less likely to snack.
  • Slow down the consumption: Encourage your child to eat slowly and engage them in discussion during mealtime. Serve them smaller portions, and if they are old enough, don’t cut their food for them.
  • Food as nutrition, not reward: Don’t make food a source of reward or punishment. Allow your child to stop eating when they are no longer hungry and never force them to finish their plate.
  • Engage them in physical activity outside of the home: Enroll your child in a physical activity they might enjoy, such as gymnastics, dance or martial arts. Encourage him to join a school team or play basketball with his friends.
  • Be a good role model: Create a healthy lifestyle, not just a goal for your child’s weight. There are old habits to break and good habits to establish- acting as a role model for your child is the most effective way to help him or her make changes that last.

From Misty Humphrey at Healthy Transitions

Often, I say to my adult children “I wish I knew then what I know now”. Our lives would be very different. I would advise that parents involve their children in the healthy choices. A meal always tastes better when the child is involved in the preparation. Make sure the fruit bowl is always full. Take control as a parent over the media hype. Do not give in. I would also advice parents to start with the elimination of “hydrogenated oils” and “high fructose corn syrup” from any products they purchase. Make sure your child starts their day with a nutritious breakfast that would exclude modern breakfast cereals. We drink green smoothies daily and every child loves a smoothie. Cabbage and spinach are the easiest veggies to mask and this can sustain a child with clearer thinking and brain function. In sharing with your child the importance of healthy choices and the affect on their bodies, we can reverse this preventive epidemic we call obesity.

Helpful Links

Overweight Children – Prevention and Treatment

My Overweight Child

Help For Parents – Overweight Teenagers

Also See:

Eat your vegetables and do your circut workout, kids.

Healthier Kids – Moving Beyond Pizza and Hot Dogs

Introducing Slow Food For Our Children

The value of family dinners and giving children presence.

From Fat Fighter TV News Nugget – Obese kids have middle aged arteries , Children are Copycats and Fast food near schools mean fatter kids.

Big Fat Deal – Poor, Obese Children Not Eating Enough

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan

at Catherine-Morgan.com and Women4Hope

Posted in BlogHer, body image, children, chronic illness, dieting, family, food, Health, kids, life, motherhood, nutrition, opinion, parenting, poll, school, teens, weight loss, Women, women's health, women's issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Gardasil For Boys Too?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on February 4, 2008

This is from Mir at BlogHerGardasil’s Back in the News:  Boys Now Need It, Too?

There’s been a lot of talk here at BlogHer about Gardasil, over the past year or so. I wrote about it a year ago, trying to articulate my feelings on it as a mom to a daughter who would soon be eligible for vaccination. Catherine Morgan has kept her finger on the pulse of the matter with multiple posts, including pointing out that several young girls have died within hours of receiving the vaccination.

My initial optimism was, perhaps, premature.

In the meantime, various states have been discussing mandating the vaccine, or trying to, with varying levels of success. (Check out Vaccine Awakening for a good explanation of what recently happened in the Virginia legislature.)

And now there’s this — HPV-caused oral cancer is on the rise in men, prompting Merck to seek government approval to make Gardasil available to boys, as well.

READ FULL POST AT BLOGHER

Also See:

What is Not Being Reported about the Merck Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Ten Reasons Why HPV Vaccine is ‘Murky’

Gardasil:  The Three Faces of the HPV Vaccine

First Update

Second Update

Third Update

Posted in BlogHer, cancer, cervical cancer, daughters, family, Gardasil, Health, kids, news, opinion, parenting, political, teens, vaccines, viruses, Women | 2 Comments »

Childhood Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Prevention.

Posted by Catherine Morgan on December 29, 2007

child249x267.jpg image from

Childhood obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and Prevention — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer

The number of overweight children in the United States is growing at a very alarming rate. Kids are spending much less time being active, and much more time sitting in front of a TV, computer, or video-game. For this reason we are seeing an increase in children developing diseases (such as Type 2 Diabetes) that are normally associated with overweight adults. This is very troubling, especially considering that it is preventable.

So, how do you know if your child is overweight? And…What do you do?

Preventing your children from becoming overweight means adapting the way you and your family eat and exercise and the way you spend time together. Helping your children lead healthy lifestyles begins with you, the parent, and leading by example. — read full article

A recent study also finds that children with type 2 diabetes are more likely to develop kidney disease…

Children and teens diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are five times more likely to develop kidney disease later in life than those who develop diabetes as adults, a recent study found.

The findings underscore the importance of preventing — or at least delaying — the onset of type 2 diabetes, doctors say. — read full article

Tina at Public Spark has some tips for preventing childhood obesity…

I am not a nutritionist therefore cannot give you the 411 on diet, but I thought it would be interesting to take a psychological perspective on it. Obesity is a major problem that exists in our society today. If we can stop it early on, I believe that that we can decrease the problem later on. My boyfriend and I came up with some techniques that we would like to use when we have children. — read full post

Bev from That’s Fit has some tips from Bob Greene on childhood obesity…

Exercise physiologist Bob Greene, Oprah’s fitness trainer, had a few things to say about combating childhood obesity while in Toronto last week. He believes parents can make a significant difference. — read full post

Also See: Childhood Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

Posted in blogging, body image, children, chronic illness, daughters, dieting, food, Health, kids, life, news, opinion, parenting, school, teens, thoughts, Women | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Teen Pregnancy On The Rise – Abstinence Only Programs Failing Our Children

Posted by Catherine Morgan on December 8, 2007

teenagepregnancy.jpg

Teen Pregnancy On The Rise – Abstinence Only Programs Failing Our Children — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

I was shocked to read a headline this week, that the rate of teen births is on the rise.

The rate had been steadily declining since 1991, after an intense educational campaign, that included contraception, condom use, and the risk of Aids and sexually transmitted disease. But now, for the first time in 14 years, statistics show a 3% increase in teens having babies.

How could that be? Could it be that sex education programs aren’t working very well? Actually, the sex-ed programs were working just fine, until the Bush administration began diverting funds from them to abstinence only programs.

It doesn’t take a sexologist to explain why abstinence only isn’t an effective means of sex education. But just in case, here is Logan Levkoff of Third Base Ain’t What It Used To Be

Hmmm…looks like abstinence only programs don’t work. Oh, have I said that before? Sounds familiar, but now there is a new study that is saying the same thing. Last week, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy released a study confirming that ab-only programs don’t delay sex. Even more exciting, the review of teenage sexual behavior also concluded that comprehensive sexuality education does delay the initiation of sex, reduces a teen’s number of sex partners, and increases condom and contraceptive usage. Hurray!

Needless to say, this is terrific news. So I ask you all this: Why have we spent over $1.5 billion in the last ten years on abstinence only? And why is Congress even considering a bill to spend another $141 million on it?

It seems to me that with teen pregnancy on the rise, this would prove that abstinence-only programs are not working. However, instead of recognizing the failure of these programs, the Bush administration is increasing funding.

Ideology, not science, has been driving America’s response to the twin epidemics of teen pregnancy and STD/HIV infections. Funding for abstinence-only censorship programs is dramatically increasing. All told, abstinence-only programs have received over half a billion dollars in federal funds since 1997, and the Bush administration requested yet another sharp increase to $204 million for fiscal year 2007. By 2009, President Bush proposes that funding for abstinence-only programs reach $270 million.

This huge investment of taxpayer funds in abstinence-only programs conflicts with scientific and medical research: abstinence-only programs are not proven effective and may in fact result in riskier behavior by teenagers. Responsible sex education programs, on the other hand, have demonstrated positive results such as delayed initiation of sex, reduced frequency of sex, and increased contraceptive use. — read full article here

Parents really shouldn’t be relying totally on schools to teach their children about sex anyway. It’s not any easy subject to talk about with our children, but it is very important that we do (especially given this latest information on teen pregnancy). Here is a site that seems to include all aspects of sex education…Teensource, and here is one on talking to you kids about sex.

This is from a post by Susan (a parent coach)…

Don’t wait too long to have these conversations. Kids are experimenting with sex and drugs earlier and earlier. The younger you start the easier it will be to continue bringing it up. A great conversation starter might be after you and your child have seen a movie with sex or drugs being part of the content. “What did you think about that movie? What did you think about the choices that Josie made? What would you have done? Do you have any questions about anything that you saw?”

If your child ignores you or doesn’t want to talk about it don’t give up. Keep looking for opportunities to bring up those uncomfortable issues. Soon you will notice that it isn’t so awkward after all!

From Moms Speak Up

In May, according to NPR, “Democratic Rep. John Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, made it clear that Democrats do not intend to re-fund a $50 million grant program for abstinence-only sex education. Dingell says he considers the funded programs ‘a colossal failure.’”

“Democrats would still include money for abstinence teachings in schools, but would combine it with comprehensive sex-ed program* that would teach about birth control and other safe sex methods.” (Click here to read the full USA Today article.)

The abstinence-only grant was set to expire on June 30, 2007.

However, despite Democrat statements and the factual studies that revealed the fallibility and lack of efficacy of abstinence-only education, in June, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations voted to increase federal funding for community based abstinence-only education programs (CBAE) in this country by $27.8 million.

In November, the increase amount was officially set at $28 million for a grand total of $141 million. President Bush would like that amount increased to $204 million for 2008.

Could this be what Bush has in mind?

An easy solution to the problem of teen pregnancy.

If we just had a couple more million to add some critical “family values” classes along with the “abstinence only” program, it wouldn’t matter that the teen birth rate is increasing. It would go something like this…High school counselors could stop pushing college on everyone (it’s getting awfully expensive anyway), and instead they could encourage parenting classes. Picture this…The “advanced placement” pregnant teens could take classes in wedding planning. This could even help solve the divorce problem in our country…With no education and just their husband to count on, these women would be virtually trapped in their marriages, with no possibility of getting a divorce or making it on their own.

Seriously, we are really taking major steps backward these days…even our life expectancy is going down.

What do you think about these new statistics? How do you feel about our government spending millions of tax dollars for abstinence only programs? Do you think the schools should be teaching sex educations? Do you talk openly with your kids about sex?

An open question to the candidates: How will you address the problem of teen pregnancy if you are elected president?

Contributing Editor Catherine Morgan
also at CatherineBlogs.com and The Political Voices of Women

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, children, current events, family, feminism, Health, life, news, opinion, parenting, political, school, teens, thoughts, Women | 12 Comments »

Report: U.S. Teen Births Are On The Rise For The First Time In 14 Years

Posted by Catherine Morgan on December 5, 2007

teens-pregnancy.jpg image from

This post has been cross-posted at The Political Voices of Women


Teen Births Are On The Rise For The First Time In 14 Years

The nation’s teen birth rate has risen for the first time in 14 years, according to a new government report.

The birth rate had been dropping since 1991. The decline had slowed in recent years, but government statisticians said Wednesday it jumped 3 percent from 2005 to 2006.

“It took us by surprise,” said Stephanie Ventura of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a co-author of the report. — see full article here

It seems to me that this latest report proves that abstinence-only programs are not working.

Ideology, not science, has been driving America’s response to the twin epidemics of teen pregnancy and STD/HIV infections. Funding for abstinence-only censorship programs is dramatically increasing. All told, abstinence-only programs have received over half a billion dollars in federal funds since 1997, and the Bush administration requested yet another sharp increase to $204 million for fiscal year 2007. By 2009, President Bush proposes that funding for abstinence-only programs reach $270 million.

This huge investment of taxpayer funds in abstinence-only programs conflicts with scientific and medical research: abstinence-only programs are not proven effective and may in fact result in riskier behavior by teenagers. Responsible sex education programs, on the other hand, have demonstrated positive results such as delayed initiation of sex, reduced frequency of sex, and increased contraceptive use. — read full article here

I would love to know how these programs have spent over half a billion dollars of taxpayer money teaching abstinence? I would also like to know what the current presidential candidates will do when elected to lower the rate of teen pregnancy in this country?

Posted in children, daughters, faith, family, feminism, Health, kids, life, motherhood, news, opinion, parenting, political, pregnancy, school, teens, Women, women's health | 2 Comments »

80% of Women and 92% of Girls Are Dissatisfied With Their Bodies

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 18, 2007

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UPDATE:  I’m am now also at Capessa Health and Fitness.  You might be interested in my post Top 3 Tips For Health Eating.

Hollywood and the fashion, cosmetics and diet industries work hard to make each of us believe that our bodies are unacceptable and need constant improvement. Print ads and television commercials reduce us to body parts — lips, legs, breasts — airbrushed and touched up to meet impossible standards. TV shows tell women and teenage girls that cosmetic surgery is good for self-esteem. Is it any wonder that more than 80% of fourth-grade girls have been on some form of fad diet? Is it any wonder that 80% of U.S. women are dissatisfied with their appearance? — go to Love You Body

92% of girls want to change at least one aspect of their appearance. Dove believes all girls deserve to see how beautiful they really are and is committed to raising self-esteem in girls everywhere. That’s why we created the Dove Self-Esteem Fund.” — above image is from Dove campaign

Sussane Reisman, BlogHer contributing editor, did a great post on body image a few weeks ago.

Just look at some of these ads that are offensive to women. No wonder women can’t be happy with their bodies, the images of what they “think” they should look like are based 100% on men’s fantasies (not reality).

So, what can be done? Will this ever change?

Today is LOVE YOUR BODY DAY – You can learn more about it here.

On a more positive note, I received this in my email today…

Banish Your Self-Hater

Posted in body image, children, depression, dieting, feminism, happiness, Health, life, parenting, teens, Women | Tagged: , , , | 11 Comments »

Breast Cancer Awareness: Do you know what your environmental risks are?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on October 5, 2007

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Click here to see what the numbers mean in this picture.

Breast Cancer Awareness: The Environmental Risks — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

I was honored to be asked and participate in a phone conference this week on breast cancer, sponsored by LUNA and the Breast Cancer Fund, together they have established Pure Prevention. The call brought two nationally recognized environmental health experts, Dr. Janet Gray and the Executive Director of the Breast Cancer Fund, Jeanne Rizzo, to answer questions from a selected group of health bloggers. It was an hour conference that anyone can listen to here.

The focus of this conference and Pure Prevention, is to look at ways a woman can lower her risk of breast cancer by lowering her environmental risks. Many of these risks I was not even aware of, so I am grateful to have been a part of this discussion. My thanks to Cynthia Samuels for inviting me to participate.

Because only 1 out of 10 women who have breast cancer have a genetic history of the disease, what women put on and in their bodies can make the difference. Pure Prevention is a new campaign that seeks to expand on the “cure-centered” breast cancer conversation by helping women identify the environmental causes of the disease and inspiring them to make smart choices about the products they use every day.

One of the questions I asked, was about environmental risks that might not be getting enough attention, and that many women might be unaware of. Several were brought to my attention, including “ionizing radiation” and “electromagnetic fields“. However, the one I found most disturbing, was about the chemicals that are known to be dangerous but are still being used in the packaging of our foods. So even when you are eating a healthy diet, you could still be ingesting many chemicals that could be harmful your health. Frustrating isn’t it?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in blogging, BlogHer, breast cancer, cancer, children, chronic illness, family, feminism, Health, life, motherhood, parenting, political, teens, Women, women's health, YouTube | 6 Comments »

Are Your Children Bringing Home Germs and Viruses From School?

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 30, 2007

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How Many Germs Are Lurking In Your Child’s Classroom? — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

When the kids go back to school, the germs go back to working overtime. How long does your child have to be back in school before he or she brings a boat-load of viruses home to the family? Have you already had the pleasure? I have.

Do you think there is a connection between kids being in school and your family getting sick? Do you think children are exposed to too many germs when they are at school? Do you wish you could minimize your child’s exposure to germs?

Here are a few of the facts about germs and your child’s classroom.

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Posted in blogging, BlogHer, children, family, Health, kids, life, parenting, teens, viruses, Women | 2 Comments »

Is God Pro-Choice? Planned Parenthood Controversy

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 23, 2007

Is God Pro-Choice — by Catherine Morgan (cross posted at BlogHer)

Yesterday I wrote a post on my personal blog titled “All Women’s Rights Are Not Created Equal“, in response to the controversy over the opening of a Planned Parenthood in Aurora.

With the “anti-choice” movement claiming to have God and the Bible on their side…What do you think? Why do “pro-lifers” believe that God wouldn’t allow for “choice”? I’m a Christian and I believe in choice…does that mean I’m going to hell? I don’t know what you think, but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to hell. Anyway, is hell even big enough for all the people that believe in choice?

Well, here is a sampling of what the blogosphere is saying.

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Posted in blogging, BlogHer, current events, feminism, Health, life, opinion, political, pregnancy, pro-life, teens, Women, women's health, women's issues | 2 Comments »

Sally Field at Emmys Is Censored…If women ruled the world, would there still be war???

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 16, 2007

FOX CENSORS SALLY FIELD – FOX Hosts The Emmy’s and Censors Sally Field’s Comments on the War. Shocking! Not, so much.

Sally Field said on live television (unfortunately, with a five second delay) what every one of us already knows…If women (particularly mothers) ruled the world, there would be no more war.

SHAME ON YOU FOX!!!

From The Huffington Post

“If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any god -” Emmy winner Sally Field said before the Emmycast cut her off her sound and pointed the camera away from the stage so viewers would be distracted. Cut off were the words “god-damned wars in the first place.”

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Posted in blogging, current events, family, Huffington Post, media, motherhood, mothers, opinion, parenting, peace, political, teens, Women | 7 Comments »

New Study: Dieting Linked To Smoking In Teenage Girls

Posted by Catherine Morgan on September 15, 2007

teensmoker.jpg image from ABC News

New Study: Dieting Linked To Smoking In Teenage Girls — by Catherine Morgan (cross-posted at BlogHer)

 

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Teenage girls who start dieting are nearly two times more likely to also take up smoking regularly, compared with teenage girls who are not dieting.

Not surprising at all…According to this research study, teenage girls who are on diets are twice as likely to begin smoking than their non-smoking counterparts. The study is published in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

This is just another grim example of how badly teenage girls want to be thin; so much so, that they are willing to risk dying of lung cancer or heart disease, rather than to be fat. What does that say about our society? Between eating disorders, lung cancer, heart disease, and other related illnesses…Could a poor body image become the leading cause of death among women? Could it already be???

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Posted in Alli, BlogHer, body image, Britney Spears, daughters, dieting, family, feminism, Health, kids, life, media, news, teens, Women, women's issues | 6 Comments »