(CBS) Teen pregnancy is down, way down in America, but teens in this country are still getting pregnant at rates that dwarf the rest of the developed world.
That's according to a new Centers for Disease Control report, which found teen birth rates dropped 37 percent over the last two decades and are now at a record low. But the agency says it's still not nearly good enough. Teen birth rates in America are up to nine times higher than many other developed countries. We find ourselves nestled between Bulgaria and Romania on the issue.
What's the big deal? Education for one. Only 50 percent of teen moms get a high school diploma by the age of 22, according to the CDC. That's compared with 90 percent of teen girls that don't give birth. Money is also a factor. The agency estimates that teen births cost taxpayers $9 billion each year.
There were around 400,000 teen births in 2009, the last year for which the agency has released data. Hispanic and black teens were two to three times as likely to be teen moms as whites. Geography also played a role.
For parents worried about the issue, the CDC has a few tips.
- Get to know the parents of your teen's friends and be involved with what's going on in their lives.
- Talk to community leaders about the need for effective programs that prevent teen pregnancy and address overall sexual and reproductive health.
More at the CDC's teen pregnancy site.
(CBS) Flat-headed babies appear to be on the rise, at least in Texas.
A new review of the Texas Birth Defects Registry shows that cases of flattened heads (plagiocephaly) increased nine-fold between 1999 and 2007, rising from 2.6 cases per 10,000 live births all the way to 60.5 cases.Continue »
(CBS/AP) No warning labels are needed on foods made with synthetic food colorings. That's the word from an FDA advisory panel that spent two days looking into evidence purportedly showing a link between the dyes and hyperactivity in kids.The panel - made up of doctors, scientists, and consumer representatives - recommended Thursday that the agency further study the link between food coloring and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but voted 8-6 that warning labels weren't appropriate at this point. Continue »
(CBS/AP) Add Elizabeth Banks to the list of infertile women who have become moms via gestational surrogacy. On Wednesday, the sexy "30 Rock" star - who has been frank about her fertility problems - and her husband welcomed their baby boy, Felix.Continue »
(CBS/AP) Can food colorings make kids hyper? Some scientists say they can, and starting today, an FDA panel will meet for two days to evaluate scientific data linking the colorings with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD
So far, the FDA has said there is no proven link between the colorings (dyes) and hyperactivity in most children. But it said that for "certain susceptible children," hyperactivity and other behavioral problems may be exacerbated by food dyes.Continue »
(CBS/AP) If you are worried about your child and ADHD, it might be time to ditch the gummy bears and other colorful treats.
This week an FDA advisory panel will decide whether available data links artificial food dyes and the disorder. The results could lead to new warning labels on foods that kids love, such as Jello, sugared cereals, and even macaroni and cheese.Continue »
(CBS) Sexy bras are nothing new, but one major retailer sparked outrage among the mental health police by peddling provocative push-up bikini tops to second-graders.
"These bras are an egregious example of a broader culture that is saturated with sexualizing messages aimed at young girls," psychologist Dr. Eileen L. Zurbriggen, leader of an American Psychological Association task force on the sexualization of girls, told CBS News. "There's nothing wrong with wanting to be attractive, but girls are getting the message that being sexy is the only thing that is important."Continue »
(CBS) Bad news for obesity: Big people might be bigger than they think. That's the word from a new study which asked obese moms and their obese children to pick silhouettes which best represented their body sizes. A whopping 82 percent chose silhouettes thinner than their bodies. And the moms didn't do much better when estimating their own children's weight.Continue »
(CBS/AP) Talk about underage drinking.
Authorities in England say a 3-year-old there was recently treated for alcoholism. The unnamed child had been given alcohol regularly, a trust that runs three hospitals in central England confirmed on Tuesday.
The case highlights a new low in Britain's struggle to control a binge-drinking culture. which has seen alcohol-related deaths double in the past two decades.
(CBS/AP) CHICAGO - Sad dads are more likely to spank, and many are spanking even little kids. In fact, a new survey shows that about 40 percent of depressed fathers say they've spanked kids as young as one year old, versus just 13 percent of fathers who weren't depressed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics warns against spanking children of any age, and studies have shown that kids who are spanked are at risk of being physically abused and becoming aggressive themselves.Continue »
(CBS) Should Ronald McDonald be put out to pasture?
Absolutely, says one watchdog group. Corporate Accountability International has launched a campaign calling for the retirement of the red-haired clown who has been pedaling McDonald's food for almost 50 years. The group says Ronald has been hooking kids on unhealthy food, helping spur America's epidemic of obesity and all the health ills that spring from being fat.
A 2010 study published in "Pediatrics" found that branding food products with cartoon characters clearly influences young children's taste preferences, easily luring them to eat junk food.Continue »
(CBS/AP) TOKYO - Parents worried about the safety of childhood vaccines got a jolt Monday after news broke that Japan had stopped using vaccines from two drugmakers while it investigates the deaths of four children who were inoculated, the health ministry said Monday.
(CBS/AP) Trapped, scared, used, and frustrated. That's how Mickey Rooney felt after being taken advantage of by a meddlesome family member, the 90-year-old film and television star told Congress on Wednesday.
Rooney was testifying before a special Senate committee that is considering legislation to curb abuses of senior citizens.Continue »