O, The Oprah Magazine and Seventeen magazine teamed up to survey moms of daughters ages 15-22 and girls in that same age bracket and discovered some interesting things:
• More than half (56%) of the girls who are no longer virgins say they've had sex without any form of birth control; and two-thirds of them (66%) have kept it a secret from Mom.
• Nearly a third (30%) of the 15- to 18-year olds have had oral sex; about double the number mothers of girls in that age group know about—or even suspect (14%).
• About a quarter (26%) of girls say having "The Talk" with their mothers has made them practice (or plan to practice) safe sex. The same number said it made them wait (or plan to wait) longer to have it.
• 18% of girls said having "The Talk" made them use (or plan to use) hormonal birth control.
For more on the survey, check out the latest issues of the magazines.
What about you? If you're a mom or a daughter, how has "The Talk" gone for you? What did you say or hear? What do you WISH you'd said or heard? E-mail your stories to Personal Best Editor Charlotte Sutton at email@example.com. Write "The Talk" in teh subject line. We'll gather up the most helpful/poignant/excruciating responses in time for Mother's Day.
More milk, please: It's well-known that vitamin D deficiencies can lead to bone problems, but a University of Missouri professor has also found a link to inflammation, as in, inflammatory diseases like heart disease, arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Experts are looking into changing the recommendations for vitamin D intake, which now stand at 200 IU (international units) daily for people younger than 50 and 400 IU for older folks. The Missouri researcher, Catherine Peterson, recommends 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily. Stay tuned.
The bmi blues: The formula that is widely used to determine body fat may not be accurate for non-whites. The body mass index (BMI) formula "doesn't take into account differences in body composition between genders, race/ethnicity groups and across the life span," said researcher Molly Bray of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She and her colleagues are using another method, a low-dose X-ray, to estimate bone density, lean mass and fat mass. "Right now non-Hispanic white women are not considered obese until they have a BMI of 30 or above," said Bray. "For African-American women the number to cross is around 32."
Yes, spelling counts: Remember the days when you could just lean your bike up against a tree and never worry about it disappearing? Neither do we. But we're having trouble remembering the combination on our bike lock, too. To the rescue: Word Lock, a handy gadget that lets you set the combination with the four-letter word of your choice (keep it clean, people!) rather than an easily forgotten number. $14.99-$19.99 at merchants such as Target and Amazon.com.