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Donna's Family Health: Fewer Teens Having Babies

Better contraception and family planning counseling get the credit.
Fewer teenagers are having babies.

In fact, the teen birth rate throughout the united states is the lowest it's been in a long time.

According to the "Annual Summary of Vital Statistics," the number of 15 to 19-year-old girls having babies dropped 8-percent between 2010 and 2011.

A closer look at the numbers shows the teen birth rate has dropped by nearly half over the last two decades.

Doctor Ellen Rome is a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital. She believes there are many things causing the decline.

"We attribute most of this decline to the trend toward better contraception and family planning counseling where you say wait until but then also provide them with appropriate services," she says. 

It's not just teenage births that are down. The general fertility rate in the U.S. declined one-percent and is now the lowest ever reported.

The only age groups that saw an increase in births were 35 to 39 and 40 to 44-year-olds.

And, I just want to say thank you to all of you who are sending me doctor on call questions.

Jackie from Benton writes,
"My husband has diverticulitis. He loves nuts, especially cashews, but eating peanuts is what put him in the hospital for 11 days. Are there any substitutes?"

Dr. Oksana Melnyk with Baptist Health Family Clinic says:
In the past, many doctors recommended that people with diverticulosis avoid seeds and nuts, including foods with small seeds like tomatoes and strawberries. But there is no scientific evidence on that. In fact, eating a high-fiber diet, which may include nuts and seeds, may reduce the risk of the disease. However, if you believe that nuts and seeds trigger your attacks, avoid them. Unfortunately, there are not many substitutes.
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