Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Health line

Briefs: Gay teens face bias in school, legal systems

gay teens face bias in school, legal systems

Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens in the United States are far more likely to be harshly punished by schools and courts than their straight peers, even though they are less likely to engage in serious misdeeds, according to a study published Monday in the medical journal Pediatrics. The findings were based on a national sample of more than 15,000 middle and high school students. Several high-profile bullying and suicide cases across the country have highlighted the harassment of these adolescents by their peers; the new data suggest they also suffer a hidden bias when judged by school and legal authorities. Kathryn Himmelstein, the study's lead author, initiated the research while an undergraduate student at Yale University. Researchers found lesbian, gay and bisexual youths were only slightly more likely to report minor and moderate nonviolent misbehavior, but less likely to engage in serious crimes and violence than their straight peers. Gay teens also were more likely to have been expelled from school.

Florida slips in U.S. health ranking

More Florida children are living in poverty, residents continue to get fatter, and more of us don't have health insurance — three reasons why Florida has dropped from 35 to 37 in this year's America's Health Rankings. The report has been compiled by United Health Foundation, a nonprofit arm of UnitedHealthcare insurance, for the past 20 years. Vermont tops the list as the healthiest state; Mississippi is at the bottom. On the plus side, the survey found that Floridians are smoking less, there have been improvements in cancer and cardiovascular disease control, violent crime has declined, and children are immunized at high rates. For more details, go to

Crash diet before holidays bad idea

Need another reason to take the steady approach to weight management? Consider this: Yo-yo dieting may make you more vulnerable to packing on the pounds, according to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience. Under stressful situations, mice on calorie-restricted diets had escalated amounts of the stress hormone corticosterone, and exhibited symptoms of depression. There was a transformation in the DNA of the mice as well — genes that control eating and stress had changed, and those changes remained after the mice ate enough to go back to their normal, higher weights. While stressed, dieting mice ate more fatty foods than mice that had not dieted. "These results suggest that dieting not only increases stress, making successful dieting more difficult, but that it may actually 'reprogram' how the brain responds to future stress and emotional drives for food," study co-author Tracy Bale of the University of Pennsylvania said in a news release.

Times staff, wires

Briefs: Gay teens face bias in school, legal systems 12/08/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 8, 2010 5:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays shut out Angels to cap homestand, get back to .500 (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays completed their seven-game homestand Thursday with a 4-0 victory against the Angels, a win that moved them back to .500 for the season.

  2. Pasco county lawyer disbarred for taking woman's money

    Real Estate

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred Pasco County attorney and former congressional candidate Constantine Kalogianis.

    The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday disbarred Pasco County attorney and former congressional candidate Constantine Kalogianis. 
[2016 booking photo via Pasco County Sheriff's Office]
  3. Florida Transportation Commission nominates three finalists for DOT secretary


    The short-list for Florida’s next transportation secretary is out, and the three nominees include current and former department employees along with a member of the Florida Transportation Commission, the board which selects the nominees.

  4. Greek ex-prime minister hurt as letter bomb explodes in car


    ATHENS, Greece — Former Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos was injured after a letter bomb exploded inside his car in a central Athens on Thursday in an attack that also left two Bank of Greece employees wounded.

    Greek police experts search for evidence at the scene of an explosion site in Athens, on Thursday. An explosion inside a car in Greece's capital wounded former Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Thursday, police said. His injuries were not considered to be life-threatening. [AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis]
  5. Rick Scott signs package of tax breaks

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott signed a tax-cut package Thursday that — while vastly scaled back from what he wanted — eliminates the so-called "tampon tax" and offers tax holidays for back-to-school shoppers and Floridians preparing for hurricane season.

    Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a tax cut package that will cost state coffers $91.6 million during the upcoming year. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]