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Trends and Issues Archive

Over Half Of US Kids On Track For Obesity By 35

November 30th, 2017
 Miami (AFP) - More than 57 percent of children in the United States will be obese by age 35 if current trends in weight gain and poor eating habits continue, researchers warned Wednesday. The risk of obesity is high even among children whose present weight is normal, said the report in the New England Journal of Medicine. "Only those children with a current healthy weight have less than a 50 percent chance of becoming obese by the age of 35 years," said the study, led by researchers at Harvard University. Some 36.5 percent...
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Smartphone Addiction Creates Imbalance In Brain

November 30th, 2017
CHICAGO, Nov. 30, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Researchers have found an imbalance in the brain chemistry of young people addicted to smartphones and the internet, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). According to a recent Pew Research Center study, 46 percent of Americans say they could not live without their smartphones. While this sentiment is clearly hyperbole, more and more people are becoming increasingly dependent on smartphones and other portable...
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Thoughts on Vegas and Why Men Keep Doing This

October 10th, 2017
Note: This post by Charlie Hoehn has some great applications to what we do in student ministry and we wanted to make sure that you see it It’s tempting to say the mass shooter's motive was simply “pure evil,” or to blame the media or guns, but that absolves us of looking deeply at what each of us — as individuals, family members, friends, and community members — might be missing. Now, I’m not a psychiatrist. And I don’t know much about the Vegas shooter. I’m just a guy who studies...
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The Danger More Pressing than Sex and Drugs in Your Youth Group

October 10th, 2017
 A new study of today’s teenagers contains both encouraging and troubling findings for parents, pastors, and youth group leaders concerned with reaching “Generation Z.”   According to the research, teenagers in the early 2010s tried alcohol later and had sex far less often compared with their predecessors: About 54 percent of high-school students in 1991 reported having had sex, while only 41 percent did in the early 2010s. For student pastors who have been fighting the war against partying, pregnancies and...
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Cheap Sex and the Decline of Marriage

October 10th, 2017
Why is marriage in retreat among young Americans? Because it is now much easier for men to find sexual satisfaction outside marriage, argues Mark Regnerus of the Wall Street Journal. Read his article here.    
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How Teens Spend Their After-School Hours

August 29th, 2017
 Smartphones are changing the way an entire generation spends their time. Teens (or iGen, as some have named them) have come of age in a world dominated by devices and unfettered access to the web—and it’s dramatically altering their behavior. According to a recent article in The Atlantic, author Jean Twenge shows that although teens are partying and drinking less, they are feeling more depressed and isolated than ever as they spend increasing amounts of time glued to their smartphones.   In his new book, The...
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New Research: One Kind Of Teenage Friendship Results In Healthier Adulthood

August 23rd, 2017
Parents often think teenagers are overly obsessed with their best friends. They should let them be. New research published in the journal Child Development shows that teens aged 15 and 16 who had a close friend, rather than a bigger peer group featuring less intense relationships, reported higher levels of self-worth and lower levels of social anxiety and depression at 25 compared with their peers who were more broadly popular as teens. Read the whole article here.
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ALERT! Bruno Mars' Trending and Sensual Music Video

August 15th, 2017
Youth Leaders Give Their Perspectives
  Bruno Mars is a definite musical talent, and his popularity is undeniable. That’s why his latest music video, "Versace On The Floor” had 8 million views in the first 24 hours after its release. (Whoa!) The video (and the song's lyric) is very seductive, sensual, and sexual. We asked of Team interlinc youth leaders, “How do we deal with such an overtly sexual song and video that will be seen by almost every kid in our ministries?” Here are a few of their responses. - - - - - - - - - “This song and...
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30-Year Disney Veteran Helps Readers Find Their “Happily Ever After”

August 9th, 2017
“Hello! This is Jody Dreyer from Walt Disney Studios. I would like to come to visit interlinc and discuss having you work on our new film, ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.” When the switchboard operator in our out-of-the-way office in the countryside outside of Nashville relayed the message to our President, Allen Weed, his response was, “Sure," (it’s got to be a joke)," tell her to come on out and see us.” Well, it was no joke, and she came! That one-hour meeting (which wound up...
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Have Smartphones Destroyed A Generation?

August 4th, 2017
More comfortable online than out partying, post-Millennials are safer, physically, than adolescents have ever been. But they’re on the brink of a mental-health crisis. This is a “must read” article for youthworkers and parents in the September issue of The Atlantic.  Here’s what the writer Jean M. Twenge has to say... "I’ve been researching generational differences for 25 years, starting when I was a 22-year-old doctoral student in psychology. Typically, the characteristics that come to define a...
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TMZ Reporting Justin Bieber Cancelled Tour “Because Of Christ”

July 26th, 2017
Justin Bieber pulled the plug on his Purpose tour because he "rededicated his life to Christ" ... sources connected to Hillsong Church tell TMZ.   Bieber's decision seemed to come out of the blue, but our sources say it was squarely based on what Bieber believes is religious enlightenment. Bieber said he canceled due to exhaustion, but that's simply not true. Plus, his remaining touring schedule was not taxing travel-wise.   We're also told Bieber's crew is "incredibly pissed off at him" because it has...
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5 Ways Parents Can Help Kids Balance Social Media With The Real World

July 26th, 2017
Summer couldn’t get here soon enough. After 10 months of parenting two middle-schoolers on different schedules, the lazy, unplanned days of the past few weeks have been a welcome break. But now that my kids are at an age where they don’t have their daily activities planned for them, they’re also having to learn to manage their free time — and determine how much of it they will spend streaming entertainment right into their little eyeballs.   My boys, who were born just a hair before the touch-screen generation,...
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This Is How Many Insects You Can Consume A Year When You Drink Coffee

June 20th, 2017
Bugs are everywhere. There’s no refuting that fact. That’s why the FDA has to make allowances for a certain amount of insects or insect fragments in our food. They’re labeled as unavoidable defects in food and found in lots of ingredients, such as peanut butter, chocolate and even fruits and vegetables. This includes coffee, folks. COFFEE. The FDA keeps a cap on the amount of insects allowed in our food, but over time this number adds up. (Math can be a scary thing sometimes.) If you look at the quantity...
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Teens Are Getting As Little Exercise As 60-Year-Olds

June 19th, 2017
Looks like teenagers being lazy is more than just a stereotype. A new study conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore looked at more than 12,500 people’s exercise habits by having them wear fitness trackers for a week. When they separated that data by age, they found something alarming about teenagers. “Activity levels at the end of adolescence were alarmingly low, and by age 19, they were comparable to 60-year-olds,” says the study’s senior author, Vadim...
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Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap

June 14th, 2017
Nebraska senator Ben Sasse wants parents and youth leaders to get serious about shepherding kids into responsible adulthood. Matt Reynolds, CT’s associate editor for books, spoke with Sasse about how parents (and youth leaders) can equip their children to escape the protective cocoon of extended adolescence. Read more. 
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After Manchester Fear Grips Pop's Youth

May 23rd, 2017
  Fans of Justin Bieber pleaded on Tuesday for his upcoming British tour dates to be canceled, underscoring the potential repercussions to music acts with a young fan base from the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.   Canadian heartthrob Bieber, 23, is due to play an open air concert at London's Hyde Park in July. But fans flooded social media saying his appearance should be axed for the safety both of fans and the singer himself.   "Cancel Justin's concert in the UK, please! We want him to be...
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Popular Dating Apps Impacting STDs

April 13th, 2017
Young people have more STDs than ever before, says CDC
 STDs are on the rise, especially among young people and dating apps like Tinder and Grindr could be part of the reason. Over 1.5 million people dated last week thanks to dating app Tinder, according to company stats. It’s hard to say how many of them took it farther than first base, but public health officials say one thing is certain: dating apps are quickly becoming the primary way partners connect. The rise of online dating has correlated with another more disturbing trend: STD rates are also very much on the...
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Teen Sleep Loss Linked To Social Media

January 26th, 2017
Sleep loss in teenagers is correlated with frequent social media use, according to a new study by researchers in the UK, titled "Sleepless in school? The social dimensions of young people's bedtime rest and routines" published in the Journal of Youth Studies. Researchers at the Wales Institute for Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods surveyed over 900 students, ages 12-15 years old, about their social media usage and sleep patterns, including when they go to bed, when they wake up, and how often they check social...
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Billboard Mag Does Exclusive Premiere of Tobymac

January 26th, 2017
We need love to break through if we are going to come together." TobyMac explores the power of love and compassion in the face of adversity in his new video for "Love Broke Thru" with a timely approach to eternal subject matter. The Eric Welch-directed video tackles the subject of protest over police violence around the country and is premiering exclusively with Billboard. It shows a young man grappling with his anger amidst his grandfather's calls for peace. "When we started working on the concept for this video we...
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Disenfranchised Youth - Barna Research

January 3rd, 2017
In our research on younger generations, particularly Millennials, we continue to see a theme of disconnection that is worth paying attention to. Young adults are waiting longer to get married, delaying children, switching jobs more often (and, with that, often where they live). They are often less trusting of government, of church and even of colleges and universities than their older counterparts. In other words, there are very few institutions—either social or economic—binding Millennials. ... read more
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