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Under the spell of the nation's "cult of thinness," an increasing number of teen-agers are resorting to self-starvation and induced vomiting to stay slim, according to a report by a group of California nutritionists.

But such methods of staying trim pose a greater threat to teen-agers' physical and emotional health than a severe weight problem, the Ad Hoc Interdisciplinary Committee on Children and Weight warns in its report.

The report, "Children and Weight: A Changing Perspective," notes, for example, that stringent dieting during developmental years can retard an individual's growth, development, and reproductive capacity.

And frequent vomiting, often accompanying binge eating, can cause urinary-tract infections, kidney failure, loss of vital body fluids, irregular heartbeats, and dental problems.

Copies of the report are available for $5 from its publisher, Nutrition Communication Associates, 1116 Miller Ave., Berkeley, Calif. 94708.

The 3,300-member National Association of School Nurses has named Beverly K. Farquhar as its new executive director. She replaces Peggy Rufner, who stepped down this past summer.

The group also reports that it has moved its national headquarters to Lamplighter Lane, Box 1300, Scarborough, Me. 04074.

A former president of the Maine Association of School Nurses, Ms. Farquhar left a school nursing position in Scarborough to take the national job.

In addition, the nasn is developing an examination that it will offer to school nurses wishing to become nationally certified through the association, Ms. Farquhar said.

The certification exam is being prepared in conjunction with the Professional Testing Corporation of New York City and could be ready as early as next summer, she said.

"The main purpose of the certification exam is to promote safe and effective care in school nursing," Ms. Farquhar noted.

At first, nasn certification would be regarded as "a badge of excellence," she said. But it could become a requirement for nurses in some school districts, she added. Eleven states currently require school nurses to be certified through their departments of education.

In 1982, 18-year-old Kevin Tunell was convicted of drunk driving and manslaughter in the death of an 18-year-old girl. For his crimes, he was given an "alternative" form of punishment.

Mr. Tunell was sentenced to spend one year speaking to high-school students, teachers, and parents about his accident and the dangers of drinking and driving.

"Kevin's Story," a 20-minute film of his speech, is now available for purchase or rental. For more information about the film, write to New Day Films, 22 Riverview Dr., Wayne, N.J. 07470.--br

Vol. 05, Issue 06

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