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How to talk with your teen about 13 Reasons Why

Moms, dads and schools are grappling with how to talk with their kids about the popular new Netflix series “13 Reasons Why,” the story of a suburban teen who dies by suicide and leaves behind 13 recordings for the people she says were the reasons she killed herself. The tapes encapsulate everything from betrayal to romantic relationships gone bad to bullying to sexual assault.

The show is graphic, culminating in fictional teen Hannah Baker’s suicide scene in the last episode. It’s rated M for mature viewers, but ask any high school student (and most middle school kids, too) and it’s likely you’ll hear they’ve watched it or heard all about it through friends and social media.

Some mental health professionals are warning that teens shouldn’t view it, especially those struggling with depression or with a history of suicidal thoughts or behaviors , but it may be too late for some parents whose children have already watched on their own.

If your child has seen the show or is curious about it, Dr. Christine Moutier, chief medical officer of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention  has some advice: “Offer to watch it with them,” Moutier told CBS News.

But she says it’s not for every teen. 

“I would watch it if your kid is in a solid state of mental health. If you have a kid who is struggling or is some years out from a mental health issue -- anyone who’s had a suicide attempt or become suicidal -- they should just stay away from this show,” Moutier said.

Kids with a genetic risk factor for depression or a family history of suicide are also vulnerable to the show’s messaging and imagery, she said.

The mysterious nature of the series -- the viewer follows teenager Clay Jensen as he listens to each tape, uncovering bit by bit the story behind Hannah’s decision to end her life -- may make it tempting to watch all 13 episodes in one fell swoop. But avoid binge-watching it, Moutier recommends.

“Approach it in a tiered way by watching one episode every so often. Binge-watching anything is just going to flood your brain,” she said.

A mother of two teenagers, she said her own daughter was interested in seeing “13 Reasons Why.”

“My daughter had already read the book before I knew anything about it,” she said.

So they are watching it together. Knowing it had graphic sexual assault and suicide scenes, they agreed beforehand that they’d fast-forward through those parts.

“With my own daughter, she and I have already agreed we will figure out where those scenes are and not look at those,” said Moutier.

Any teen who’s experienced a sexual assault should avoid the show, she advised, saying, “Those scenes will be very triggering.”

Parents should shore up their knowledge about suicide prevention before watching “13 Reasons” with their teen or talking about it with a child who has already seen it, so they’re prepared to respond and answer questions. The American Foundation


Are you raising an emotional eater?

Soothing your kids with food may stop the tears in the short-term. But researchers warn it can lead to unhealthy eating patterns long-term.

Parents who are “emotional feeders” can encourage “emotional eating” -- a habit linked to weight gain and eating disorders, the Norwegian-British study found.

“There is now even stronger evidence that parental feeding styles have a major influence on children’s dietary habits and how children relate to foods and beverages when it comes to addressing their own emotions,” said one expert, Rafael Perez-Escamilla. He’s a professor of epidemiology and public health at Yale University’s School of Public Health.

“Emotional feeding” is “what parents do when they provide foods or beverages to their children to calm them down, such as when a child is having a tantrum,” added Perez-Escamilla, who wasn’t involved with the study.

Relying on junk food , desserts and sugary foods for comfort can lead to overeating, and later problems such as bulimia and binge-eating , said study lead author Silje Steinsbekk and colleagues.

“You don’t feel like having a carrot if you’re sad,” said Steinsbekk, an associate professor of psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

For the new study, the researchers looked at the feeding and eating habits of more than 800 children in Norway, starting at age 4. They checked in on the kids at ages 6, 8 and 10.

About two-thirds of the children at all those ages showed signs of eating to make themselves feel better, judging by questionnaires answered by their parents.

Kids offered food for comfort at ages 4 and 6 displayed more emotional eating at ages 8 and 10, the study found.

Also, the researchers also found signs that kids who felt more easily comforted by food were fed more by parents for that purpose.

“Emotional feeding increases emotional eating and vice versa,” Steinsbekk said.

The researchers spotted another trend: Children who became angry or upset more easily at age 4 were more likely to eat to feel better and to be fed by parents for that purpose.

“This makes total sense as parents get very stressed out when their children are having a fit or crying non-stop,” said Perez-Escamilla.

But there are better ways of dealing with discomfort, said Melissa Cunningham Kay, a research assistant with the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.

“Feeling sad or angry are normal emotions. Rather than using food as a distraction from them, children should be taught to tolerate them and find other ways to cope,” said Kay, who was not part of the study.

“Sometimes that may involve positive discipline and a few tears or even a full-on tantrum,” said Kay. “Parents should not fear this. It is a normal and a necessary part of development.”

Perez-Escamilla said parents should soothe upset kids by understanding and responding to their problems -- say, a wet diaper -- instead of offering food as a first response, he said.

He praised the new research, noting


Study: Government costs could rise $2.3B without Obamacare payments

If Congress and President Trump decide not to fund Obamacare-related payments to health insurers, the federal government’s cost could increase by $2.3 billion in 2018, a study released Tuesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation says.


Culinary world gets creative to cut food waste

More than 40 percent of food waste ends up in our landfills every year, but a new movement is underway to change that by finding creative ways to repurpose leftover ingredients.

Gunnar Gíslason is an internationally known chef who doesn’t want to let any food go to waste.

“Everything is about not throwing away something that you could possibly use,” Gíslason, who made his name in Iceland and now cooks at the New York City restaurant Agern, told CBS News. 

Take, for instance, the vegetable powder Gíslason uses to roast beets for salads. It’s sourced from Baldor Specialty Foods in the Bronx, which produces it from the scraps of 20 different vegetables. 

The folks at Baldor Specialty Foods took on the challenge of repurposing and recycling produce in 2015, after realizing they were generating 150,000 pounds of vegetable scraps per week.

“Changing the culture around the way we treat food has to be part of the discussion,” said Thomas McQuillan, Baldor’s director of food service sales and sustainability. 

Baldor also sells discarded bits of produce known as “Sparcs” — that’s “scraps” spelled backward — which others can then repurpose in their own cooking.

“We’re proud to say that 100 percent of food that goes for production at Baldor never makes it to landfill. It’s either consumed by human or animal,” McQuillan said.

Food waste in landfills is behind 16 percent of the greenhouse gas methane produced in the U.S., according to the National Resources Defense Council, or NRDC.  

Approximately one in six Americans doesn’t always have a sufficient amount of food to eat, according to the NRDC. Reducing our nation’s  food waste  by just 15 percent would be enough to feed more than 25 million Americans annually.

At the Haven’s Kitchen Cafe and Culinary School in New York, they consider reducing food waste an important part of their larger mission. 

“You’re always trying to cut cost and utilize as much as you can of a product,” culinary director David Mawhinney said. “Now I look at vegetables and fruits and what can we do differently.”

Mawhinney and his team bake a popular treat at their cafe — carrot cookies — using Baldor’s Sparcs. Here is their recipe:


You don’t have to throw those carrot peels away! You can help eliminate food waste by using them in a recipe. The team at Haven’s Kitchen in New York offers up a recipe for carrot cookies.


1 cup butter (room temp)
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt
½ cup oats
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup golden raisins
1 ¼ cups carrot - grated
1 ½ cups light brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste 

Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; set aside. Combine oats, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds in


College dispenses morning-after pill in vending machine

In a quiet study lounge at the University of California, Davis, back in the corner just past the coffee cups, you’ll find

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