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Teen pregnancy rates hit 40 year low
February 9th, 2012
07:08 PM ET

Teen pregnancy rates hit 40 year low

Fewer teens are getting pregnant now, than at any point in the last 40 years, says a new report.

Researchers at the Guttmacher Institute, a sexual and reproductive health think tank, say the pregnancy rate among teens is down 42%, from 116.9 pregnancies per 1,000 women in 1990, to 67.8 pregnancies per 1,000 women in 2008. This means about 7% of young women between the ages of 15 to 19 became pregnant in the United States in 2008.

"The 30-plus years of rates that we have, have been showing a very steady decline," said Kathryn Kost, a senior research associate at Guttmacher, and the lead author on the paper. "Rates now, from 2008 are at the lowest levels we ever seen since we started reporting them."

Kost also says the teen birth rate – the number of actual babies born to teenage moms - was down 35% as well; and the abortion rate among teens dropped almost 60% from its peak in 1988.
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Marijuana nearly doubles risk of collisions
February 9th, 2012
06:30 PM ET

Marijuana nearly doubles risk of collisions

We hear a lot about the hazards of drunk driving, but here's something else to put on your radar: A study in the British Medical Journal found that marijuana nearly doubles the risk of vehicle collisions.

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Measles cases found after Super Bowl festivities
February 9th, 2012
03:33 PM ET

Measles cases found after Super Bowl festivities

Indiana state officials say they have confirmed two cases of measles and two probable cases of the highly infectious disease.

Last Friday, one of the confirmed patients from Hamilton County, Indiana, visited a free outdoor festival called the Super Bowl Village, a three-block area of downtown Indianapolis which was turned into an open area for games, concerts and activities.

The patient did not go inside the Indiana Convention Center where there were more NFL-related activities taking place.

Measles is a respiratory disease which is very contagious.  It spreads through sneezes, coughs and droplets in the air.  Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose and a rash all over the body. Infection can be prevented if you are vaccinated. 
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Triathlete takes a good look in the mirror
Nancy Klinger gets to the summit of Stone Mountain with Dr. Sanjay Gupta and her Fit Nation teammates
February 9th, 2012
02:08 PM ET

Triathlete takes a good look in the mirror

Editor's Note: Nancy Klinger from Afton, Minnesota is one of seven CNN viewers selected for The CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, where they will train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September.  This past weekend, all seven participants came together with Dr. Sanjay Gupta in Atlanta for the official kickoff of the challenge.

The impact of the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Team kick-off weekend in Atlanta did not hit me until Monday morning.

It started out as a normal work day, up at 5:15 a.m. to take the dogs for a walk, ate breakfast, and grabbed a quick shower before heading off to work. I wrapped the towel around myself and looked in the mirror to dry my hair. And then it happened. The impact.

The tears started to flow and they kept flowing. The tears were constant and heavy, like a faucet fully opened.

Although I was looking in the mirror, I did not see myself but small video clips of this incredible weekend with the most wonderful people that one can imagine. The clips were not in any particular order but were random. Each clip sparked a different emotion; emotions that I have not felt, or allowed myself to feel, in a very long time.
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Micro-size me, please!
February 9th, 2012
11:39 AM ET

Micro-size me, please!

How many times have you been to the movie theater, ordered a regular-sized popcorn or soda and been asked, “Would you like a large for a quarter more?” What about ordering a sandwich at your local deli? "Make it a combo!" you probably say.

We’re trained early on, oftentimes by our parents, to clean our plates or no dessert. Frequently, regardless of how hungry we are, that’s exactly what we’ll do. 

Sure, the medium-sized popcorn would’ve been entirely satisfying, but if offered the larger portion, we’re going to take it and eat it – all of it.

This phenomenon, in part, is was what sparked a series of studies conducted at a fast-food Chinese restaurant on Tulane’s New Orleans campus.

The researchers conclude, in a study published in this month’s Health Affairs,  that up to one-third of customers accepted a verbal offer to downsize their lunch, regardless of whether they were offered a minor monetary incentive to do so. Customers who accepted the downsized meals ate, on average, 200 fewer calories than did those who ordered the full-sized meals.
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Understanding females' sexual fluidity
February 9th, 2012
09:02 AM ET

Understanding females' sexual fluidity

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

Actress Cynthia Nixon made headlines recently when she said during an interview that she “chooses” to be a lesbian.

“I’ve been straight and I’ve been gay, and gay is better,” she said. “For me, it is a choice.”

As you might expect, her comments – published in a New York Times Magazine profile - set off a firestorm of controversy, with gay activists and others worrying that Nixon’s words would give credence to those who claim that being gay is a conscious decision, not a genetic certainty.
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Fashion Week starts with updated health guidelines for models
February 9th, 2012
07:00 AM ET

Fashion Week starts with updated health guidelines for models

New York Fashion Week starts Thursday, and there will be more on display than new fabrics and color combinations.

The runway shows will be the first to take place under an updated set of health initiatives for models, which was released last month by the Council of Fashion Designers of America.

The guidelines attempt to address the “overwhelming concern about whether some models are unhealthily thin, and whether or not to impose restrictions in such cases.”

The new guidelines say models should be at least 16 years old to participate in a show. It also encourages greater awareness of the risks and signs of eating disorders. Backstage at the fashion shows should be tobacco-free and also address underage drinking by prohibiting alcohol, according to the guidelines.
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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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